From left to right: Duck, Emily, Little Bear, Owl, Cat, Hen, Mother Bear, Father BearLittle Bear
, a series of books and a 65-Episode Cartoon
adaptation by Nelvana. It follows the stories of a...well, little bear
, his friends Hen, Owl, Cat, Duck, and Emily, who's human. Later, they are joined by Mitzi, a monkey. The series was created by Else Minarik and the books were illustrated by Maurice Sendak. It currently runs in syndication on Nick Jr.
In Christmas of 2000, a film based on the animated series was released in theaters, and later to video in 2001. It revolves around Little Bear meeting a mysterious bear around his age named Cub, and trying to reunite him with his parents upon learning that they had been separated.
These works provide examples of:
- Animal Talk: Cat, duck, snake, etc.
- Carnivore Confusion: Little Bear is a bear, but is friends with a cat, a hen and a duck, all of which can be prey animals to a bear. The only meat he is seen eating is fish, and this is mostly because No Cartoon Fish is in appliance. The same goes for Cat.
- Cats Are Snarkers
- Crossdressing Voices: Little Bear
- The Ditz: Duck
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Nofeet the snake (No feet).
- Five-Man Band:
- Friendly Tickle Torture: Occurs with startling frequency, with the Little Bear almost always involved as either the tickler or ticklee. All the characters shown in the opening end up getting tickled at least once.
- Funny Animal: Little Bear and his family.
- Furry Confusion: Tutu the dog speaks French. The other animals speak Animal Talk, yet Little Bear is a Funny Animal. A "wild" cub is shown, when most other bears are basically the same as humans.
- The Movie is even more confusing. For one Little Bear is shown drinking from a river like a regular bear, right after putting a carton down. A Mountain Lion appears, and he is shown in a manner that emphasizes the fact he's a predator.
- Good Parents: Little Bear's parents definitely apply.
- Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal: Although all of Little Bear's relatives are fully clothed he and his other animal friends are naked.
- In Case You Forgot Who Wrote It: The TV show was initially advertised as "Maurice Sendak's Little Bear." However, this is peculiar, as Maurice Sendak only illustrated the Little Bear books—Else Minarik was the author.
- Lethal Chef: In the episode where Little Bear and Emily make cupcakes, they go so far as to put a fish in the batter. And that's the least of those cupcakes' problems...
- Lions and Tigers and Humans... Oh, My!
- No Cartoon Fish: Fish are essentially the only animals that don't talk, or at least show some level of sapience. One episode even had a talking moth. Probably a good thing, as two of the primary cast are animals well-known for eating fish...
- There's even a scene where we see Owl grab a fish, which was clearly alive and jumping, in his beak and subsequently eating it.
- No Name Given: All of the characters are named after what they are, except Tutu the Dog, Mitzi the Monkey and Nofeet the Snake.
- One Mario Limit: Averted. Despite the great popularity of this series, a number of other authors have released picture books featuring a main character named simply "Little Bear."
- Only Child Syndrome
- Our Mermaids Are Different: One character Little Bear befriends is a teal-haired mermaid. This being a children's show, she is modestly dressed (wearing a loose tank top instead of a Seashell Bra or Godiva Hair), and she is consistently a sweet, kind Proper Lady, as opposed to the more typical Tsundere and Yandere mermaids.
- Shout-Out: One episode had Little Bear wearing a troll mask that looked an awful lot like a Where the Wild Things Are monster, alluding to Maurice Sendak.
- Sixth Ranger: While Little Bear met Emily during the series, she was introduced in the first season, so it's debatable whether or not she counts. However, Nofeet the snake and Mitzi the monkey definitely do.
- Talking Animal: Every character except for Emily, Granny and Tutu.
- Token Human: Emily
- Walk Into Camera Obstruction:
- Near the beginning of the intro with Owl, where he flies into the screen.
- When Trees Attack: The Laughing Tree