Literature: Madeline

In an old house in Paris, that was covered with vines, lived twelve little girls in two straight lines. In two straight lines they broke their bread, and brushed their teeth, and went to bed. They smiled at the good, and frowned at the bad, and sometimes they were very sad. They left the house at half past nine, in two straight lines, in rain or shine. The smallest one- was Madeline.

Madeline is a series of children's picture books first published in 1939 by Ludwig Bemelmans, about a little French boarding school student, her eleven friends, her teacher, Miss Clavel, Spanish prankster and friend Pepito (first appears in Madeline and the Bad Hat), and her dog, Genevieve (who first appears in Madeline's Rescue).

The rest of the books were written and published in The Fifties, including Madeline and the Bad Hat, Madeline and the Gypsies, Madeline in London, Madeline's Christmas (although it wasn't published until the `80's), and Caldecot-winner Madeline's Rescue. After the death of Bemelmans, his son, John Bemelmans wrote several others, including Madeline in America, Madeline Says Merci, Madeline and the Cats of Rome, and Madeline at the White House.

CINAR and DiC Entertainment produced several Madeline cartoons from The '80s up through the early 2000s. These ranged from TV specials adapted from the original books, to TV shows and direct-to-video movies with original stories.

Tristar released a live-action feature-length movie based on Madeline, Madeline and the Bad Hat, Madeline and the Gypsies and Madeline's Rescue in 1998. It followed the books, but also expanded the plotline, because... well, it's a picture book series. The expanded plot was for Madeline and her friends to stop Lord Cu-Cu Face (portrayed here as having the "real" name of Lord "Covington") from selling the boarding school. Madeline was also turned into an orphan in this version.

Basically, it's not a children's book series, it is the children's book series.

Madeline provides examples of:

  • Adult Fear: Miss Clavel noticing Madeline's empty bed in Madeline and the Gypsies, then quickly realizing that Madeline got left behind at the circus. The cartoon also shows Pepito's parents (who were apparently off on a business trip in the book) worrying about him also getting left behind.
  • Badass Adorable: Madeline.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Madeline and Pepito, especially in "Madeline and the Bad Hat" though it still does occasionally occur afterwards.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Generous doses of it, considering that the girls are speaking untranslated French through half of everything. Lost in Paris springs to mind.
  • Break the Cutie: Pepito begins to waste away after being separated from Madeline. Luckily his parents rectify this by inviting the little girls to London for his birthday party.
  • Catch Phrase: Miss Clavel turning on the light and whispering "Something is not right". Usually happens Once Per Book. It was even turned into a song in the 1993 movie.
  • Cheerful Child: Madeline herself.
  • Christmas Episode: The book series has, of course, Madeline's Christmas.
  • Circus Episode: Madeline and the Gypsies involves Madeline and Pepito joining a travelling circus.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Pepito is a brat and he is almost killed when one of his pranks goes too far and he's caught in the middle of pack of dogs fighting over a cat. Not to mention Madeline rubbing it in while the poor kid is bedridden and covered in bandages.
  • Eek, a Mouse!!: Inverted.
    "Although she was small, the smallest of them all, she was not afraid of mice."
  • Everything Sounds Cuter In French
  • Foil: Pepito to Madeline. Both are rebellious, brave and adventurous. He's probably what she would have become without her supporting friends and Miss Clavel.
  • Freudian Excuse: Madeline and the Bad Hat shows glimpses as to Pepito's behavior; since his parents are busy ambassadors, he vents out his frustrations on animals.
  • Heel-Face Turn: Pepito in "Madeline and the Bad Hat"
  • Little Miss Badass: If you ever face a tiger, always do what Madeline does. Say this:
    Madeline: (to tiger) Pooh-pooh!
  • Mama Bear: Miss Clavel.
  • Merchandise-Driven: Well, it started with books, and even today, toys are still being produced.
  • Moral Dissonance: Pepito is called out for his cruelty towards animals. But in the hospital, Madeline does almost nothing to comfort him. Instead, she spends the entire time telling him what an ass he is as he's reeling in pain from it and already knows. And then, the girls force him to become a vegetarian, just to make it more obvious they don't like him torturing animals. And before he even does a thing, the girls judge him at first sight. Their cruelty to him is never called out. Miss Clavel's "I'm sure he's just misunderstood" is the closest to an objection raised. And even that is revealed to be misguided.
  • Named by the Adaptation: Madeline's peers had no names given in the original books, but have received them in adaptations of the series:
    • Musical play: Juliette, Regine, Kate, Daphne, Simone, Camille, Marie, Amy, Dominique, Isabelle, and Anne
  • Nice Hat: The girls' all wear yellow hats with black ribbons on them, plus Pepito and his family wear nifty black hats ... even if it does denote their respective personalities.
    • Hair Decorations: Madeline and her friends had a penchant for wearing ribbons in their hair.
  • No Antagonist: Inverted then played straight. Through all the adaptations themselves, Pepito starts out as an antagonist, but is then redeemed a little later on.
  • Non-Human Sidekick: Genevieve, the dog.
  • Oh Crap!: Madeline helped Pepito free all animals and no longer abuse them. It worked a little too well when Pepito starts freeing animals in the zoo!
  • Pint-Sized Kid: Madeline's short height is often a source of frustration for her, like the time she was rejected from a ballet production because her legs were too small, or that time Yvette told her, "Short girls don't model, ever!"
  • The Power of Friendship: "We love our bread. We love our butter. But most of all, we love each other."
  • Put on a Bus: Pepito left for London in Madeline in London.
  • Red-Headed Heroine: Madeline.
  • Rhymes on a Dime: Everyone in the books and specials, the narrators of the series and movie.
  • Ruptured Appendix: This happens to Madeline in the first book.
  • Shipper on Deck: The Spanish Ambassador for Madeline and his son Pepito, mainly before Madeline visits Pepito later on in "Madeline and the Bad Hat".
  • Sick Episode: Madeline's Christmas has Madeline's friends and Miss Clavel all catch a cold.