Anime: Belle and Sebastian

aka: Meiken Jolie

Belle and Sebastian (Meiken Jolie) is an anime that ran between 1981 and 1982 based on a series of French novels. It was then exported to other countries in Europe and Latin America where it became very popular. It also received a measure of success in North America, with the English dub being an early cartoon series on Nickelodeon.

It follows the adventures of a boy called Sebastian who lives in the French side of Pyrenees mountain range with his adoptive grandfather, brother and sister. One day he meets an enormous white dog (appropriately enough, a Great Pyrenees) who is being wrongly accused of attacking people and becomes friends with her. He names her Belle ("Beauty") and, alongside his tiny dog Poochie, decides to cross the Pyrenees into Spain in search for his Gypsy mother. They have many adventures and make many friends on their way while avoiding the authorities hunting for Belle.

Not to be confused with the culty admired indie rock band Belle and Sebastian which also got its name from the books. Or the Disney characters.


Tropes:

  • Bad Cop/Incompetent Cop: Inspector García and Officer Muñoz, respectively.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Do not threaten Sebastian in front of Belle, in the case of humans, most of them cower over her enormous size, and in the case of animals, like a pack of wolves, she truly lives up to her otherwise undeserved nickname "The White Demon". That goes for hurting Poochie as well.
  • Big Friendly Dog
  • A Boy and His X: A Boy and His Dog
  • Cool Clear Water: Subverted in one episode.
  • Cool Old Guy:
    • Sebastian's adoptive grandfather, Cecil.
    • And Pedro's grandpa.
  • Free-Range Children
  • Disappeared Dad: It is mentioned that Sebastian's father was an Italian who died before he was born.
  • Evil-Detecting Dog
  • Gentle Giant: Belle
  • Ill Girl: Lena
  • Inspector Javert: The authorities chasing Belle.
  • Kick the Dog: Literally,Inspector Garcia loses his patience once and kicks Poochie in anger, prompting Belle to attack him.
  • Lonely Rich Kid: Lena again.
  • London England Syndrome: Sebastian's mother was in the Sierra Nevada mountains in southern Spain, not the ones in California. In case you wonder why he never made it to the ocean.
  • Mama Bear:
    • Belle acts as one toward Sebastian and Poochie whenever they are in danger.
    • Sebastian's adoptive older sister, Anne-Marie is rather overprotective of him as well; she locked him in the stables at one point as punishment for wandering off.
  • Missing Mom: Lena's mother died at childbirth.
  • Parental Abandonment: Sebastian, since his Gypsy mother left him with his adoptive family (promising to return one day for him) because of her people's laws about having a child with outsiders.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: Poochie
  • Puppy Love: Lena and Sebastian; she actually kisses him at the end of one episode.
  • ¡Three Amigos!: Belle, Sebastian and Poochie.
  • Ungrateful Bastards: Near the beginning of the series, some of the villagers testify against Belle even after she saved their lives, because they still want to be able to claim the reward for capturing her.


Alternative Title(s):

Meiken Jolie