(Maple Town Monogatari
) was an animated television series, produced by Toei
of Japan and originally broadcast on that country's TV Asahi in 1986 and 1987. The show centered on a community of anthropomorphic animals; its main characters were Patty Rabbit and her friend, Bobby Bear. The town was an impossibly friendly, cheerful place, with the only trouble being caused by the thieving swindler, Wild Wolf, and occasionally by the bratty but generally good-hearted Fanny Fox
In the U.S., Saban Entertainment
dubbed the show into English, and added a live-action segment focusing on the moral of each episode, starring Janice Adams as Mrs. Maple. This version aired in syndication and on Nickelodeon
from 1987 to 1993.
After 50 episodes, the series underwent a format change and changed its name to "New Maple Town Stories: Palm Town Chapter." In this new series, Patty Rabbit moves away from the forested Maple Town (thus making the title rather misleading) and to a new setting, the tropical Palm Town. Waiting for her there are a new group of friends and troublemakers. None of the other Maple Town denizens tag along, making Patty the only regular character in both series. This move proved unpopular, and the series ended about a year after the change. Note that none of the Palm Town episodes were ever dubbed into English.
The show aired in many other countries, too, including France, Spain, Italy, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the Netherlands.
Not to be confused with MapleStory
Maple Town contains examples of:
- Alliterative Name: In the American version, this applied for almost every character (save for Patty): Danny Dog, Fanny Fox, Barney Bulldog, Suzie Squirrel, Roxie Raccoon...
- Alternative Foreign Theme Song: Every country has its own unique theme song.
- Bait-and-Switch Credits: The intro is far more cutesy and surreal than the show itself.
- Bittersweet Ending: In both series. Patty is happy that she can live with her auntie in Palm Town however, this means goodbye for her close friend Bobby. The good thing is she promised to return someday. This is taken a bit further in the Palm Town Chapter.
- Cheerful Child: Patty, as well as several other cast members.
- Forged Message: One episode dealt with Mayor Dandy Lion making himself sick over not getting an answer from a letter he sent to his estranged daughter. Patty Rabbit and her big sister write their own letter (writing it as if the mayor's daughter sent it) and send it to Mayor Lion in order to make him feel better.
- Frothy Mugs of Water: One episode had wine referred to as "grape juice", but shortly after, one of the voice actors slipped up and called it "wine".
- Loads and Loads of Characters
- Merchandise-Driven: Figures of the characters along with playsets and vehicles were available during the initial run of the series. This was towards the end of The Eighties when economic downturn and a market already saturated with licensed toys were present. In fact, this even led to a theory about why the later episodes of Maple Town and the sequel series were not released in the USA - the merchandise simply didn't live up to expectations.
- No Cartoon Fish: Or birds, for that matter.
- Puppy-Dog Eyes: Rolley from Palm Town. Literally... she's a cocker spaniel.
- Retro Universe: Wardrobes of the characters resemble the first half of the 20th century as does the technology. Old-fashioned automobiles, phones, radios, and microphones appear plus there's a noticeable lack of television, computers, video games, etc. It does end up being established that both Maple Town and its sequel, Palm Town, are indeed set in the later half of The Eighties - in spite of the retro setting of Maple Town. During an episode of Palm Town, Patty Rabbit even received a letter dated 1987!
- Screwy Squirrel: Bobby's three brothers (Kin, Kun and Ken) in several of the original episodes.
- Short Anime Movie: Two of them, released theatrically. The one for Palm Town had an extended flashback sequence edited from the original series' finale.
- Species Surname: The original Japanese version was clever in this respect: many character surnames are formed from Japanese words associated with said species, plus European roots. For example: Bobby Kumanoff (Japanese kuma, or bear + Russian noff (nov).
- Vocal Dissonance: Bobby and Johnny, at least in the Japanese version, sound more like they're in their 20s...