The Littl' Bits
, known in Japan as Mori no Youkina Kobito-tachi
: Belfy to Lillabit
(Cheerful Dwarves of the Forest
: Belfy and Lillabit
) was a children's anime created by Tatsunoko Production
in 1980, brought to America and shown on Nick Jr.
in the early 1990s. It focused on a race of tiny people living in a place known as Foothill Forest. While the show usually had lessons to teach, it did so in a subtle, non-Anvilicious
Not to be confused with The Littles
(though both deal in Lilliputians
This show contains examples of:
- The Ace: Willabit is a minor version
- Adults Are Useless: Subverted; the children go on a lot of wild adventures but their parents and other guardians are always there to worry about them and help them out.
- Alternative Foreign Theme Song: The Japanese theme song is different from the English theme song.
- Beach Episode: "Let's Go To The Sea".
- Betty and Veronica: Gender-flipped and averted; while the two guys fought over the girl, Lillibit made her preference for Willabit perfectly clear.
- Bowdlerise: Uncle Snoozabit was originally a habitual drinker; in English they edited that to his being simply lazy. And what was obviously wine that he was drinking was explained away as "dandelion juice."
- Children Are Innocent
- The Complainer Is Always Wrong: Snagglebit, sort of. He tended to argue with the others and want his own way a lot, but he was never painted as a bad person because of it or humiliated into learning a lesson every episode.
- Cultural Translation: Although the original Japanese version predated "The Smurfs", the show did not make its way Stateside until the early 1990s, thus the reason why a "Smurf"-like naming scheme is used in the English version. Most other versions of the show kept the original Japanese names for the characters or some variation thereof, but in English, Belfy became "Lillibit", Lillibit became "Willibit" (yes, Lillibit was the name of the male, and not the female, lead in the original), Chuchuna became "Teenybit" and so on. The English name changes even carried over into some later European dubs (e.g. Dutch).
- The Determinator: Chip in episode 2. He wants to be a doctor and he won't take no for an answer, he'll even wait out in the rain until Dr. Snoozabit agrees to take him on as an assistant.
- Friend to All Living Things: Lillibit, so much that she can even communicate with animals
- Green-Eyed Monster: Snagglebit's feelings for Lillibit every now and then
- Hey, It's That Studio! Would you believe that this was created by the same studio that made Speed Racer?
- On the other hand, so was Superbook, which this show predates by a year, and actually used many of the same staff.
- It Was with You All Along: Browniebit's quest to find a certain feather he was told would grant him courage. Though he failed to actually get it, the fact that he'd climbed a treacherous mountain in order to find it was bravery in and of itself.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Snagglebit and his father, Mayor Bossabit
- Keep Circulating the Tapes: These are pretty much your only means of getting the show on video or DVD.
- Let's Get Dangerous: Dr. Snoozabit is a lazy drunk, but when there's serious medical business to be dealt with he'll do it 110%. Even if he himself is in pain after falling into a hole.
- Lost Episode: Four episodes are extremely rare in English.
- Mouse World
- My God, What Have I Done?: In "The Mystical Monument". Snagglebit, after being a first-class Jerk Ass to Browniebit over losing a bullfrog rodeo, immediately regrets his behavior when he finds out Browniebit has gone off to explore a dangerous cave. He even outright admits it's his fault.
- Even the normally sweet-tempered Lillibit (Belfy) had such a moment in one episode... the flying squirrel (Snuffly) kept trying to join in her games with Willibit but always messed them up, and Lillibit yelled at him. Not until Snuffly ran away as a result did she realize what she had done.
- Names to Know in Anime: Aside from the studio (Tatsunoko), there was composer Takeo Watanabe (of Cutie Honey fame) and episode director Mizuho Nishikubo, who later worked on Mysterious Cities Of Gold, Zillion, and Video Girl Ai.
- The Napoleon: Snagglebit. His original name even was Napoleon!
- Parental Abandonment: Lillibit is an orphan who lives with her uncle. It's later revealed that her parents are actually still alive, but were members of a shunned race called Wanderbits and gave up their daughter so she could live a happy life in Foothill Forest.
- Missing Mom: Snagglebit's mother died when he was very young.
- Plucky Girl: Lillibit
- Rapunzel Hair: Lillibit.
- Tagalong Kid: Willabit's sister Teenybit
- Three Plus Two: Snagglebit, Willabit and Lillibit are the lead trio. Chip and Browniebit are Snagglebit's close friends outside the two others and while important, they don't get so much face time as the former three.
- Two Guys and a Girl: Lillibit, Willabit and Snagglebit most of the time