Geek It! Animation Flashback: Little Bear
Do you remember a grizzly bear? A duck? A cat? An owl? A hen? And they fly to the moon? Ready or not, it is time for a #Throwback to one of our favourite childhood shows — LITTLE BEAR.
Based on the children series written by Else Holmelund Minarik and illustrated by Maurice Sendak, Little Bear is a Canadian animated show that won many hearts in the ’90s.
Despite being originally produced for Canadian television, the show went on to broadcast in other countries including US, Australia, Ireland, and New Zealand. With five seasons and 65 episodes, Little Bear was so popular that it even had its own film and video game for pre-schoolers.
Set in an anthropomorphic late 19th Century setting, Little Bear goes on exciting adventures and learn new things with his friends Duck, Hen, Cat, Owl and Emily.
Little Bear is a kind, adventurous, and imaginative grizzly bear cub who loves to play. While he’s not out and about, he would spend his time at home with his stay-at-home mum, Mother Bear, who looks after Little Bear while Father Bear is away for work.
At first, the episodes may seem simple and basic. But as the episodes go on, the world of Little Bear expands and evolves, and so does Little Bear and his friends.
Back in the ’90s, as a child viewer, there was something magical about Little Bear. Was it the array of different characters that made it fun to watch? Perhaps the storytelling — as we embark on adventures with Little Bear?
Now, looking back at the show as an adult, the show is still a heartwarming treasure. Little Bear reminds us of the simple, carefree days where we didn’t have to worry about anything. Remember how we spent most of our time out in the backyard and using our imagination to play? We must say, those were the days.
We also want to reminisce the show’s traditional art style, and how it made sure to use Maurice Sendak’s original illustration as the basis for its animation. It makes the storytelling quaint and rustic, and it is rather unfortunate that we don’t see such beautiful illustration in modern animation anymore.
In addition to this, we can’t help noticing how the show uses Franz Schubert’s Violin Sonata No. 1 in D Major as part of Little Bear’s theme song. But that’s not all. Throughout the show, we hear musical excerpts by other composers including Chopin, Bach and Mozart.
In conjunction with the art and simple storytelling, the musical score makes the storytelling operatic and complete as a whole.
With its memorable characters and fun memories, the spirit of Little Bear continues to live on forever in our memories — and we are thankful for the magical times.
And to share our love for Little Bear, here is the first episode for a nostalgic hit! Enjoy!
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