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Comic Strip: Little Lulu

Oh, Luuuuuuuuluuuuuuuuuu. [harp plays]
Little Lulu, Little Lulu, with freckles on your chin, always in and out of trouble, but mostly always in.
Using Daddy's necktie for the tail on your kite, using Mommy's lipstick for the letters you write.
Though the clock says 7:30, it's really after 10; Looks like Lulu's been repairing it again.
Though you're wild as any Zulu and you're just as hard to tame
Little Lulu, I love you-Lu just the same, the same
Little Lulu, I love you-Lu just the same.
- Theme Song

Created by Marjorie Henderson Buell, Little Lulu is a comic strip series from the magazine publication "The Saturday Evening Post" which began in the 1930s. The series follows the titular Lulu Moppet and her various exploits. The supporting cast includes "Tubby" Thomas Tompkins, her friend and sometimes tormentor; Alvin Jones, a neighborhood Bratty Half-Pint; Annie Inch, Lulu's best friend, and George and Martha Moppet, Lulu's parents.

The character had been adapted into theatrical shorts by Famous Studios in the 1940s. She has also appeared in some television cartoons in addition to two live-action specials in the 1970s, Little Lulu and The Big Hex of Little Lulu, with Lauri Hendler playing Lulu. In 1976, a 26-episode anime adaptation titled Little Lulu and Her Little Friends was created. The Little Lulu Show, a Canadian animated series, aired from 1995 to 1999 on HBO with a total of 52 episodes.
     Famous Studios Filmography 
  • Eggs Don't Bounce (1943)
  • Hullaba-Lulu (1944)
  • Lulu Gets the Birdie (1944)
  • Lulu in Hollywood (1944): First of 3 Little Lulu cartoons to have their story written by Otto Messmer.
  • Lucky Lulu (1944)
  • It's Nifty to Be Thrifty (1944)
  • I'm Just Curious (1944)
  • Lulu's Indoor Outing (1944)
  • Lulu at the Zoo (1944)
  • Lulu's Birthday Party (1944)
  • Magica-Lulu (1945)
  • Beau Ties (1945)
  • Daffydilly Daddy (1945)
  • Snap Happy (1945)
  • Man's Pest Friend (1945)
  • Bargain Counter Attack (1946): Second of 3 Little Lulu cartoons to have their story written by Otto Messmer. Public Domain.
  • Bored of Education (1946) Public Domain.
  • Chick and Double Chick (1946) Public Domain.
  • Musica-Lulu (1947): Final of 3 Little Lulu cartoons to have their story written by Otto Messmer. Public Domain.
  • A Scout with the Gout (1947) Public Domain.
  • Loose in a Caboose (1947) Public Domain.
  • Cad and Caddy (1947) Public Domain.
  • A Bout with a Trout (1947) Public Domain.
  • Super Lulu (1947)
  • The Baby Sitter (1947)
  • The Dog Show-Off (1948) Public Domain.
  • Alvin's Solo Flight (1961)
  • Frog's Legs (1961)


Tropes:

  • Afraid of Needles: In an episode of the 1990s Little Lulu, a Badass Biker has been trying to summon the courage to get a tattoo. Near the end of the episode, he observes kids and their mothers coming out of the tattoo parlor with (painted-on) tattoos and nearly collapses on his bike with shame.
  • All Just a Dream: In the cartoon "Musica-Lulu", Lulu sneaks out to play baseball instead of practicing her violin, and when knocked out by a foul ball, she wakes up in a land of musical instruments, who arrest, try and imprison her for her misdeed. When she breaks out of the jail, she is chased and terrorized by the musical instruments. It turns out to be a dream.
    • Pretty much sums up A Bout with the Trout as well- Lulu plays truant and goes fishing instead, and bumped herself unconscious into the surreal music video while struggling to reel a fish in.
  • Alpha Bitch: Gloria.
  • Art Evolution: If you look at the earliest Lulu comic strips, Lulu herself is nearly unrecognizable- much taller, lankier, and with a head that's almost a totally different shape. See here.
  • Babysitting Episode: The idea for Episode 2 of the Little Lulu anime came from the original comics, where Lulu would occasionally come over to babysit Tubby.
    • Numerous comics also had Lulu being forced to look after Alvin.
  • Black Bead Eyes: Pretty much every single living thing has these. Kind of creepy...
  • Christmas Episode: An episode of the 1990s series consisted entirely of Christmas-themed cartoons.
  • Comedic Underwear Exposure: Relatively common with Tubby and the other boys in Little Lulu.
  • Cross dresser: In "The Little Lulu Show" episode "Mimibur", Wilbur wants new clothes after he got his clothes torn off by a bear. Lulu helps by giving him girls clothes and a blonde wig.
    • In the episode "Tubby's Doll", Tubby was given a doll from a Grandaunt who believes he's a girl. That belief was caused because Tubby was wearing a disguise when she last saw him. To get rid of the doll, he tried to take it to Lulu's but, to avoid being recognized on the way to her place, he put another female disguise.
  • Dream Sequence: A number of the classic Little Lulu cartoons from the 1940s contain dream sequences, such as this one.
  • Fat Best Friend: Tubby.
  • Girls Have Cooties: Invoked sometimes by the boys.
  • Gone Swimming, Clothes Stolen: In "Five Little Babies", the boys got their clothes stolen by Lulu and Annie while they were swimming, as revenge for a prank that they played on Lulu earlier.
    • When the girls went to an island in the middle of a lake to have a picnic, the boys (minus the one left in charge of guarding their clothes) swam there to steal their picnic basket, and make off in their rowboat so they can't follow them. Unfortunately, the boy guarding the clothes found a row boat and decided to go there to give them the clothes. He got caught by the girls, who used the clothes as leverage for the picnic basket.
  • Gossipy Hens: Martha Moppet, Lulu's Mom, shows this.
  • Go to Your Room: Lulu's father gives her this command in "Super Lulu".
  • Her Code Name Was Mary Sue: Almost everytime Lulu tells Alvin a story, a poor little girl who resembles Lulu appears.
  • In Name Only: A Brazillian comics company has made an Animesque Little Lulu spin-off of sorts where the characters in question are teens. Teen!Lulu is the leader of a clique composed of Tubby, who has been slimmed down and left his violin for a guitar with which he leads a rock band (in which his buddy Iggy plays drums - Willy and Eddy having been Put on a Bus); Annie, the gang's geek and a video game freak; Gloria, the fashion expert (whose characterization took an 180-degree turn from Alpha Bitch to Spoiled Sweet), and Alvin, who has become a skateboarder and surfer.
    • It's implied, in the first story arc, that this Lulu's grandma is the original Lulu from the 1940s.
    • Also, the original cartoons produced by Famous Studios in the 1940s were barely true to the comics, keeping only the title character Lulu and some of her friends as occasional extras. And that's about it.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Tubby. Even Lulu herself can be considered this to some.
  • Kangaroo Court: "Musica-Lulu" features this trope in Lulu's dream in which she is tried by a courtroom by musical instruments.
  • Kid Detective: Tubby himself; nicknamed "The Spider". He often gets Lulu out of trouble for things her father did.
  • Mime and Music-Only Cartoon: The "Lulu-Bites" from the '90s cartoon had no dialogue.
  • The Moving Experience: The Trope Namer is a Little Lulu cartoon that had this premise.
  • Panty Shot: Lulu is quite prolific in this.
  • Public Domain Animation: A few of the Famous Studios cartoons have entered the Public Domain and can be found on some cheap VHS and DVD sets.
  • Rapid Hair Growth: One story focused on Mr. Moppet lamenting over the fact that he doesn't have a full head of hair anymore like he did back in his youth. This prompts Tubby to use his chemistry set to invent a hair growth formula for Mr. Moppet to use. Unfortunately, the formula works too well, so Mr. Moppet ends up having to constantly get his hair cut, so Tubby invents an antidote that reverses the effect and Mr. Moppet is bald once again.
  • Regal Ringlets: Lulu herself has curls on the sides of her head.
  • Shown Their Work: Unlike the Famous Studios shorts, Cinar's version was incredibly faithful to the comics, both story and animation wise. Most of the stories that were adapted from comics followed them almost verbatim, and their original stories were still true to the style of John Stanley's story writing.
  • Silence, You Fool!: "Musica-Lulu" has one from the Judge:
    Lulu: He's a liar, an awful liar!
    Judge: Silence is what I desire!
  • Snowball Fight: Often occurs in Little Lulu. In most of these, the boys (led by Tubby), attack the girls (led by Lulu) unprovoked, and the girls exact revenge by outwitting the boys.
  • Writing Lines: Lulu's punishment for playing hooky at the end of "A Bout with the Trout".
  • You Look Familiar: In several of the Famous Studios shorts, Lulu will meet some Jerkass man (such as a magician, a dog catcher, department store owner, train conductor, etc.) who gives her trouble for the majority of the short (or vice verse). These men all look exactly the same.

LiōNewspaper ComicsLittle Nemo
Casper the Friendly GhostPublic Domain AnimationHerman And Katnip
Donald DuckThe Great DepressionLittle Orphan Annie
The Little Flying BearsWestern AnimationThe Little Mermaid
Little AudreyThe FortiesLooney Tunes In The Forties

alternative title(s): Little Lulu
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