Cheburashka seems to have gained an enormous following in Japan since its owner Soyuzmultfilm sold the distribution rights to a Japanese company. Now Chebi and friends have got dedicated web- & i-mode sites, popular merchandise and whatnot (even minor credits in Russian were cut out from the original animation and used as some kind of art! Now I understand how inane may some random Asian writings, used for "style", look for a native reader).
What should I say? Yay for cultural exchange. Me, I was raised on Cheburashka (forgot nearly everything that was in there, though). Came overwhelmed from Spirited Away, too.
P.S. To whoever is in charge of Cheburashka's fate: please, don't sell him out for a Hollywood remake! We'll have to kill the poor creature after that.