The Littles were the title characters of a series of children's novels by American author John Peterson, the first of which was published in 1967. Peterson's books were adapted into The Littles
animated series by D.i.C Audio-Visuelnote
and Tokyo Movie Shinsha
(until season 3, which was animated instead by Studio Gallop
). In 1985, an animated feature film called Here Come the Littles
was released, and the television show ran on ABC
Saturday mornings from September 10, 1983, to November 2, 1985. It ran for three seasons, comprising 29 episodes.
Similar to Mary Norton's earlier novel The Borrowers
, The Littles
features a family of tiny but intelligent humanoid creatures with mouse-like features (the Littles) who live in a house owned by the Bigg family. The mouse-like features include a long, furry tail, long teeth and mouse-like ears. Their height is 4–6 inches.Needs Wiki Magic Love
This series provides examples of:
- All Just a Dream: Dinky's Doomsday Pizza.
- And Knowing Is Half the Battle: Until the 3rd season, each episode featured a how-to segment called "Little Ideas for Big People", which showed how to make small arts and crafts projects. It was later replaced by "A Little Known Fact" which featured various historical facts, sometimes related to the places they were visiting in the episode. The latter segment had a teaser before the commercial break that would ask a question about the "little known fact", the answer to which would be revealed at the end of the episode (before the credits).
- Played straight in the episode A Little Drunk, where it does not have a teaser before the commercial break, and at the end before the credits roll is a segment where the Littles make a contract that kids could make for their parents to sign promising not to drink and drive, and for kids to not ride with drunk drivers (though it still featured the "A Little Known Fact" title card and music).
- Animated Adaptation
- Animation Bump: In some episodes and Here Come the Littles.
- Animesque: Like many early DiC shows, the overseas animation was done in Japan.
- Author Avatar: Peterson (Dr. Hunter's assistant) may or may not be based on John Peterson, the original creator and author of the books.
- Babies Make Everything Better: Seen in Twins and The Little Babysitters.
- Bears Are Bad News: The bear in For the Birds.
- Cats Are Mean: The Littles have avoided many cat attacks, even in the opening sequence to the show's second season!
- Subverted in Here Come the Littles when the cat befriends Tom after getting a splinter out of its paw.
- The Cutie: Lucy Little
- The Ditz: Dinky Little, much to Grandpa's annoyance
- The Eighties: Some 1980s cultures appear in this show (as it was produced during this time), such as the rock band in A Little Rock and Roll.
- Everybody Laughs Ending
- Evil Uncle: Uncle Augustus in The Movie.
- Evolving Credits / Music: Each of the three seasons had a different opening sequence and theme song. In fact, while the melody remained the same, there were lyric changes with every version, to the point where the season 3 version had nothing in common lyrically with season 1 other than the Title Drops occurring in the same spots. Averted with the closing credits, which retained the original theme music and the same animation throughout the run.
- Expository Theme Tune: The theme music to the show's second season (1984), though it doesn't fit with the continuity of the movie tie-in.
- Forging The Will: Uncle Augustus in The Movie to cheat his nephew Henry out of Henry's parents' house.
- Gulliver Tie Down: Used to restrain a runaway girl who'd fallen asleep in a barn. She's able to break loose, but it delays her departure while the Littles prepare a ruse to convince her to return home.
- Halloween Episode: The Littles' Halloween.
- It Was a Dark and Stormy Night: Throughout the episode The Rats are Coming!
- Missing Mom/Disappeared Dad: They are lost on a trip to Africa during Here Come the Littles.
- Mouse World
- The Movie: Here Come the Littles, although the 2011 box set has the multi-part episode Liberty and the Littles featured as a second movie.
- Never Say "Die": Played straight most of the time, but averted at least once each in Here Come the Littles and Liberty and the Littles.
- Nice Character, Mean Actor: Kurt Corwin in "A Little Drunk," but only when he is under the influence of alcohol. Even the movie crew doesn't like to work with him when he is drunk.
- Recycled Soundtrack: The episode The Wrong Stuff features some "space" background music from Heathcliff and the Catillac Cats.
- Rodents of Unusual Size: Rats are the size of horses to The Littles, as seen in The Rats are Coming! and The Littles Halloween.
- Secret Keeper: Henry Bigg, but only in the TV series.
- Stock Footage: A shot of Dinky's plane flying away uses this in Liberty and the Littles.
- Vanity Plate: All episodes ended with a customized "D.i.C." logo where Dinky dots the "i" with a buttonnote . The movies used the 1984 "Vortex" logo, and syndicated reruns from 2004-2007 replaced them with the Incredible World of DiC logo (however, the original "button i" logo is preserved on the DVDs).
- Very Special Episode: There were a few of them, most notably Prescription For Disaster (dealing about drug abuse), A Little Drunk (alcoholism) and The Little Girl Who Could (handicapped people).
- You Called Me X, It Must Be Serious: Grandpa usually calls Dinky "airhead" or "birdbrain". In "Looking for Grandma Little", he calls Dinky by his name, which naturally surprises Dinky.