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Anime / Adventures of the Little Koala

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From top left to bottom right: Papa, Mommy, Laura, Roobear

An anime from The '80s, originally titled Koala Boy Kokki in Japan, depicting the day-to-day adventures of Roobear, his family and his friends in a village somewhere in Australia. Originally airing on TV Tokyo from 4 October 1984 to 28 March 1985note , it was one of the last works animated by Topcraft before the studio's closure and integration of most of its staff into Hayao Miyazaki's Studio Ghibli, just a few months after the studio participated in the production of Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind.

Like The Noozles, it was made as the result of a koala craze. In 1984, the Tama Zoo in western Tokyo welcomed its first koala, and the government of Australia sent six koalas to Japan as a token of goodwill. These koalas induced a huge craze among the Japanese for anything koala-related (such as merchandise). Also like The Noozles, Adventures of the Little Koala ran on Nickelodeon from 1987 to 1993. In Canada, the English version aired in a Saturday morning timeslot on Global circa 1990. The English and French dubs were produced in Montreal by Cinar Films.


Roobear, a smart and athletic koala, had various adventures along with his sister, Laura, and his many friends. Among them were his love interest Betty, brother/sister pair Floppy and Mimi Rabbit, brother/sister pair Nick and Pamie Penguin, aspiring photographer Kiwi, and sugar glider Mingle.

This anime provides examples of:

  • All Love Is Unrequited: Pamie has a crush on Roobear, who fancies Betty; Walter also likes Betty, but she plainly prefers Roobear.
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song: The English language dub replaced the Japanese music with an entirely new score, including a new theme song ("Brand new day, time to play with Roobear and his friends...") which played over a montage of scenes from the series. The original Japanese credits were... a bit more bizarre. The Italian dub also features a montage of scenes but yet another different song. The Arabic dub uses an adaptation of the Japanese song.
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  • Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: The koala family come in some rather unusual colors for their species. Roobear is light blue, Laura and Mommy are both pink, and Papa is brown. Also, Betty is orange.
  • Artistic License – Biology: Indulged in for the sake of Rule of Cool in "A Whale of a Ride". After loading fish into whales' mouths to be transported to cleaner oceans elsewhere, Roobear gets engrossed in conversation with a goldfish, and he and Laura are still inside one of the whales when they swim out to sea. They eventually get sprayed out through the whale's blowhole. In reality, though a whale's mouth is large, it cannot swallow anything larger than a beach ball. Furthermore, the digestive tract is not connected to the blowhole, which is part of the respiratory system. And where is the light source by which Roobear and Laura are able to navigate the whale's insides?
  • Artistic License – Geography: The prominence of the Breadknife rock formation overlooking the village places it somewhere in New South Wales, about 350 miles from Sydney. However, in "Heavenly Fireworks", Weather journeys on foot to Ayers Rock to research the likelihood of a spectacular meteor shower, a journey which appears to take a day at most. The Breadknife and Ayers Rock are over 1,000 miles apart, so to make that journey on foot would take over a month; the writers evidently decided to set the distance aside in the interest of having an excuse to depict Ayers Rock's visual splendour.
  • Ascended Extra: Sort of. The strange-looking character on the upper right of the episode title screen in the dub is an alien who appeared in all of one episode.
  • Badly Battered Babysitter: In "Roobear the Babysitter", Roobear agrees to babysit Nick and Pamie's identical triplet younger brothers to earn some extra money to buy a toy railway engine. The triplets insist on cranking the air conditioning to maximum, challenge Roobear to a hundred-lap swimming race during which he almost drowns and has to be rescued by the triplets, and force him to buy their silence on the near-drowning with ice cream (thereby wiping out his savings and then some). Fortunately for Roobear, Nick, Pamie, and their parents are aware how much of a handful the triplets can be when they work together, and they buy him a toy engine as a thank you gift.
  • Big Eater:
    • Pamie is the focus of one of the series' Diet Episodes for a reason: she has one of the biggest appetites of the main cast. When her ploy to arrange a picnic with Roobear in "Pamie Falls in Love" falls apart, she eats the entire picnic herself.
    • Like Pamie, Papa Koala gets a Diet Episode because of his huge appetite; he routinely eats three or four helpings of whatever eucalyptus dish Mommy Koala has prepared. In "The Mysterious Moa Bird", Mommy laments that surely eating four helpings of eucalyptus cake can't be good for him.
    • In "The McGillicuddy Vase", Roobear, when he gets the titular vase stuck on his finger, ends up essentially starving himself (because he is forced to hide his hand to avoid getting caught, and therefore can't use his hands to eat). At the end of the episode, with the vase finally off his finger, Mommy cooks up a gigantic feast for Roobear, which the koala boy happily devours.
    • In "The Flying Doctor," Dr. Flight crashes his old plane "Jalopy" on his way to treat a patient with a stomachache from eating six slices of eucalyptus cake. He reasons the patient might learn a lesson about gluttony from being forced to suffer for a bit.
  • Bittersweet Ending: "Laura Finds an Egg." She's still very sad about having to release her baby turtle into nature, but is comforted by the thought that her baby turtle was the luckiest of the brood, because it got to meet its mother - Laura. Granted, Laura isn't the turtle's birth mother, but she did keep the egg safe until it hatched.
  • Blind Without 'Em: "Grandpa/Uncle" Mailman in "Any Mail Today?" can barely read the addresses on the envelopes he delivers without glasses, but he refuses to wear them and thereby admit that he is getting old until after he accidentally rides his bicycle into an open manhole.
  • Camping Episode: "Back To Nature" serves as one, though the kids don't manage to spend more than a day doing it.
  • Cheaters Never Prosper: A number of episodes discouraged cheating to get ahead.
    • During the orienteering competition in "Lost in a Race", Walter and his brothers change one of the signs on the course to point down the wrong path to fool the other teams. Roobear, Laura, and Betty follow the arrow and get lost, but then Walter and his brothers are forced to backtrack to the altered sign, forget which path is correct, and also get lost. Floppy, Mimi, Nick, and Pamie rely instead on their map and compass to follow the trail and end up winning the race. However, the other two teams stumble on a previously undiscovered cave, and as a reward, Roobear's team is allowed to share the prize of a helicopter ride with Floppy's team (Walter's team, meanwhile, is disqualified for cheating).
    • Walter cheats yet again in "Roobear's Invention". As part of an invention contest/showcase, Walter claims to have built a life-size robot that only needs verbal commands to work. The robot is exposed as one of Walter's brothers in disguise during a dancing demonstration.
  • Clear My Name:
    • The reason Roobear and Floppy don the mantles of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson in "Detective Roobear"; a plate Papa Koala gave to Mommy as a wedding present is smashed, and as Roobear had been playing soccer inside the house moments before, Mommy accuses him of being the vandal. He decides to find the real vandal to clear his name.
    • "Holmes" and "Watson" get a Call-Back (Pamie even remarks she was hoping Roobear and Floppy would do that again) in "The Writing on the Wall", this time to find out who scrawled all over the inside of the Mayor's office, as the Mayor suspects Roobear and friends because the scrawls are the same colour paint the kids are using to paint a backdrop for their upcoming play. This time the culprit is snails who were getting into the kids' paint cans at night and then crawling all over town.
  • Clingy MacGuffin: In "The Secret of the McGillicuddy Vase", Roobear gets his finger stuck in the titular vase. Trying to hide his hand with the stuck vase from his parents, Roobear is unable to eat anything as that would reveal the vase on his finger. Roobear's friends try to remove the vase with oil, soap, and hot water, but nothing works. Roobear's parents eventually find out and tell the museum, which leads to Roobear standing on display alongside the vase. The vase manages to come off his finger at last; Papa Koala explains that Roobear not eating anything caused him to lose weight and made his finger shrink enough.
  • Conflicting Loyalty: Roobear ends up stuck in this in "Who Will Be the Flower Queen?". As both Laura and Betty plan to enter the competition, Roobear is caught between promising to vote for his sister and wanting to vote for his girlfriend.
  • Continuity Nod: Although the episodes can mostly be watched in any order (aside from those which clearly introduce minor characters, as "Monster Scoop" does for Miss Lewis' excitable assistant Maki-Maki and "Save That Junk" does for Bill the junk-collecting platypus), a few episodes contain references to other episodes. The English dub re-ordered the episodes from the original Japanese, but the re-ordering didn't destroy the minor continuity threads that did exist.
    • In "The Flying Doctor", Roobear and his friends band together to re-build Dr. Flight's aeroplane after it crashes; though the result is a rather strange plane/boat hybrid with a coffee pot on the nose, it still flies. Dr. Flight is later seen flying the re-built craft in "Ghost Ship".
    • In "The Writing on the Wall", Roobear and Floppy dress up as Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson to track down the vandals who have scrawled paint all over the town hall. Pamie recalls that they have dressed up as the characters before, a reference to the episode "Detective Roobear".
  • Cosmetic Catastrophe: Writing a story for the children's newspaper in "Editor-in-Chief Roobear", Nick recounts a scolding Pamie recently received in which their mother told her to act more grown-up. Pamie apparently took this to mean she should look the part, so she got into her mother's makeup and ended up getting scolded a second time.
  • Delicious Distraction: Mommy's Eucalyptus Cakes are such for Papa in "The Mysterious Moa Bird." It's to the point that when Miss Lewis arrives, Mommy can't get Papa to wake up from his nap until she mentions the cake, and Papa all but ignores Miss Lewis while he is eating the cake.
  • Description Cut: In "Hang-Gliding with Roobear", once Roobear manages to take off on his hang glider, everyone watching him comments on how easy he makes it look, and how much he must be enjoying soaring through the air. Cut to an absolutely terrified Roobear exclaiming that he has no idea how to control the hang glider.
  • Dick Dastardly Stops to Cheat: Walter, Horsey and Colt do this in "Lost in a Race", changing one of the signs to throw off the other racers. This comes back to bite them when they fall for the same sign they altered!
  • Diet Episode: Not one, but two. Papa Koala is put on a diet in "Papa on Stilts" and in "Balloon Pamie", Pamie goes on a crash diet after being teased by Walter and his brothers. Neither diet is particularly successful - Pamie goes too far and becomes so severely malnourished that she faints, and Papa, although he gets plenty of exercise walking on stilts, doesn't do all that well in controlling his overeating. In fact, his portion control is so poor that his pot belly actually increases in size by the end of the episode despite all the exercise he's been getting.
  • Distinguished Gentleman's Pipe: Papa Koala is frequently shown smoking a pipe. In fact, he goes crazy when his pipe vanishes in "Roobear's Invention", only to find out later that his son took it to use as a hood ornament on his sail-powered car.
  • A Dog Named "Dog":
    • The recurring cast members include a kiwi bird named Kiwi and a duck-billed platypus named Duckbill (though he goes by Bill).
    • In the Arabic dub, Roobear/Kokki's given name is actually "Koala."
  • Doomed Supermarket Display: As Roobear learns the hard way in the "Allowance Problems" episode, nothing good can ever come of wearing roller skates in a grocery store: he loses control and crashes into a display of oranges, squashing or bruising every last one of them, and ends up having to buy all the oranges to make up for his mistake.
  • Dub Name Change:
    • The most notable example is the main character being re-named from Kokki (usually Romanized as "Kocky" or "Kockey" on merchandise) to Roobear, while his parents didn't so much have their names changed as have them removed (see Unnamed Parent for details). However, most other characters' names were either unchanged (i.e. Floppy, Nick, Betty, Weather, Miss Lewis) or underwent minor Anglicizing (i.e. Lala to Laura, or Panni to Pamie). Even Weather's name is Weather (or the Engrish equivalent thereof) in Japanese.
    • In the Italian adaptation, which came a year before the English dub and was thus based on the original Japanese, the main character's name is Kolbi. In the French dub (which was, like the English dub, made by Cinar), Roobear's name is Robin.
  • Egg MacGuffin: The episode "Laura Finds an Egg" had Laura Koala finding an egg while playing baseball. The egg turns out to be that of a sea turtle, and Laura chooses to set the turtle free rather than keep it.
  • Enforced Method Acting: "Snow White and the Seven Koalas" features an in-universe example. Betty, playing the role of Snow White in the cast's production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, is told by director Roobear to make her fainting at taking a bite of the poisoned apple look realistic. When she takes a bite of the apple, she sees a worm inside it, screams, and actually does faint.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Roobear built a sail-powered car in the episode "Roobear's Invention", while "The Flying Doctor" even has Roobear and his friends rebuilding the local doctor's plane.
  • Ghibli Hills: The animation studio, Topcraft, became part of Studio Ghibli shortly after this series aired in Japan.
  • Go-Getter Girl: Miss Lewis appears to be an example. She's young and attractive, but is wholeheartedly devoted to her journalism career, and there's no mention in the series of her having a love interest. Plus, she rides a motor scooter.
  • The Good Guys Always Win: If an episode features some sort of prize up for grabs, there's a good chance the prize will go to a member of the Koala family (sometimes as a member of a team). Examples include Roobear's sail-powered car winning the invention contest in "Roobear's Invention", Roobear, Floppy, and Nick's boat winning the sailing race in "The Winner", Mommy Koala inadvertently winning the aeroplane race in "Mommy Can Fly", Papa Koala winning the Golden Bird award for his picture of a baby moa in "The Mysterious Moa Bird", and Roobear, Laura, and Mingle winning the sandcastle competition in "The King of the Castle". Even in "Lost in a Race", though Floppy's team crosses the finish line first, Roobear's team gets a share of the helicopter ride awarded to the winners for their role in finding a previously undiscovered cave.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: In "Lost in a Race", Walter and his brothers have taken the lead in the orienteering race, and when they reach one of the markers indicating the correct path at a fork in the trail, they point it at the wrong path to mislead the other teams. However, when they lose their bearings later on the trail, they decide to backtrack to the fork... and forget which way the sign was originally pointing and fall into their own trap by taking the wrong path.
  • Hollywood Genetics: Roobear has blue fur, and his sister Laura has pink fur. Their mother also has pink fur, but then their father has brown fur, which raises the question of how they gave birth to a blue-furred koala (aside from it just being something you gotta have in anime).
  • Honor Before Reason: The main cast end up trapped in an example of this at the end of "A Hundred-Year-Old Camera". After Kiwi's attempts to take pictures of Laura, Roobear and Floppy, Nick and Pamie, and Walter and his brothers with the title camera end in failure as they all involve situations where they cannot hold a pose for the required ten minutes, they all agree to pose for a group picture, and promise to hold still for ten minutes. Then a swarm of bees shows up... but the distraught Kiwi prevents the group from running for cover by reminding them of their promise, and in the finished photo, the characters are covered in bee stings and sporting very forced smiles.
  • House Wife: Roobear's mom is a homemaker, although in "Mommy Can Fly" we learn that she used to be a skilled pilot, and takes to the controls of her aircraft again for an emergency medicine delivery.
  • Hypocritical Humor: At the beginning of "A Whale of a Ride", Roobear falls off his surfboard while attempting to impress Betty, who falls off her own surfboard when distracted by Roobear's plight, followed by Laura falling off her board when she accuses Betty of just trying to make Roobear feel better about falling off by doing so herself. Floppy and Mimi appear over the next wave and laugh at the koalas for falling off their boards, noting that surfing requires paying attention rather than getting distracted by talking... which is exactly what they are doing as their boards crash into each other, sending them toppling into the sea.
  • Idiot Ball: Walter, Horsey, and Colt definitely had a few of these moments.
    • In "Lost in a Race", Walter and his brothers change one of the signs on the course to point down the wrong path to trick the other teams. Soon, Walter and his brothers end up getting lost too when they follow the sign they themselves altered!
    • In "Roobear's Invention", Walter has one of this brothers posing as a robot for an invention contest. You'd think that Walter wouldn't do anything that would expose the charade; the phony robot ends up doing a dance that causes parts of the robot costume to fall off!
  • Ignored Confession: In "The Dinosaur Egg", Walter and his brothers chip and sand a boulder into an egg shape, bury it near the base of Mt. Breadknife, and get Roobear, Laura, and Floppy interested in the possibility that there might be a dinosaur egg buried nearby. When Roobear and co. present their find to the museum curator, he is delighted to announce that it is the biggest dinosaur egg ever discovered. However, when Walter and his brothers decide the joke has gone far enough and try to admit the deceit, the curator chases them away angrily. In fact, Roobear, Laura, and Floppy were not fooled by the fake egg, and had found a real egg buried further up the mountain.
  • Insistent Terminology: In "The Amazing Boomerang," Floppy's flying mechanism is repeatedly described by the others as a "radio-controlled boomerang," and he corrects them by saying he prefers to call it an "electronic boomerang."
    Floppy: It sounds better.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Walter and his brothers, Horsey and Colt. Though they admit to getting laughs out of pranks and teasing (with Pamie and Mingle being their favourite targets), they're generally more mischievous than outright malicious, and in some episodes are genuinely helpful; for example, Walter uses his boomerang in a bid to help Roobear catch the title object in "The Runaway Hat". They also try to make amends if they feel their mischief has gone too far; for example, when Mingle runs away in "Is Mingle a Nuisance?" after they tease him for relying so heavily on Weather, they form a search party to look for him (although by this time Mingle has been found anyway).
  • "Just Joking" Justification: In "Hang-Gliding with Roobear", Floppy's first three attempts to take off in his hang glider all end in failure. Mingle, being naturally suited for gliding, offers to accompany him to give advice. Floppy asks what good that would do, and has to issue a hasty "just joking" justification when the indignant Mingle suggests he try flying alone again.
  • Kangaroos Represent Australia: It's an Australia-set series with anthropomorphic animals, so naturally there must be kangaroos in the cast - namely, Walter and his brothers, Horsey and Colt.
  • Karmic Jackpot: In "The Winner", Roobear, Floppy, and Nick find the ideal tree to use in building a boat for a sailing race, but they are forced to give it to Walter and his brothers when they threaten to chop down a tree housing a family of birds, and instead they assemble their boat from an assortment of junk scavenged by Bill the platypus. They quickly fall into last place in the race until a strong wind causes the other boats to capsize, and although the wind soon dies down completely, the bird whose tree they saved repays their kindness by rounding up an entire flock to flap their wings and create enough wind to push the boat over the finish line in first place.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: In "Roobear's Invention", Roobear's sail-powered car has been assembled from a variety of Papa, Mommy, and Laura's possessions, which Roobear has used without permission and passes off as junk no-one was using (to his family's anger). Although he wins first prize in the competition in which he enters the car, he forgets to put the brakes on after the demonstration, and a gust of wind blows the car into a nearby tree and smashes it to bits (allowing Papa, Mommy, and Laura to recover their possessions), leaving Roobear sobbing over the wreckage.
  • Lethal Chef:
    • Inverted in "Papa Makes a Pie". Roobear and Laura don't like the eucalyptus pie Papa made for breakfast - and go so far as to run away from home when they're scolded for their rudeness. They meet up with Pamie and Nick, who are also running away for similar reasons, and once they've set up camp, Pamie and Laura try their hand at making cookies, which also turn out awful (Nick remarks he'd rather eat a rubber tire), but Laura rightly points out they did the best they could with only flour and water. When the kids are back home after being rescued by their parents, they try Papa's pie again and remark it's the best they've ever tasted. Apparently it just had to sit.
    • Laura may also be such in regard to eucalyptus cake, given her comments about the weight of her cakes in "The Mysterious Moa Bird", although we never find out for sure as the cakes are destroyed before anyone can try them.
  • Lost Food Grievance: Happens to Laura in both of the "moa bird" episodes.
    • Laura helps out in the kitchen in "The Mysterious Moa Bird" and actually makes her own eucalyptus cakes. Nobody gets to try them, however; the cakes are destroyed when Roobear crashes his hot air balloon into the house. Laura is very upset over her wrecked cakes. (However, as she had just boasted to Miss Lewis that her cakes were twice as heavy as her mother's cakes, Laura may be the only person who is upset over the lost cakes!)
    • And in "Love That Baby Moa!", the moa is scavenging food wherever he can find it - including the Koala family's dining room table. While the Koalas' backs are turned, he races in, grabs the food from every plate on the table, and races out again. Laura is especially upset over the loss of her eucalyptus salad.
  • Love Triangle:
    • Pamie has feelings for Roobear, who loves Betty; this triangle causes a pileup of misunderstandings among all involved in "Pamie Falls in Love".
    • Walter also loves Betty, but is too shy to tell her; he comes close to telling her in "Any Mail Today?" until Betty tells him the love letter he thinks he had received from her was actually addressed to Roobear. For her part, Betty can't stand Walter.
    • Becomes a Love Dodecahedron in "The Moon Goddess." Roobear and Floppy both fall hard for the beautiful Moon Rabbit, Diana. The competition between the boys never gets to more than friendly rivalry, but Betty pretty much dislikes Diana instantly, and seeing Roobear go gaga over Diana doesn't help. Diana decides to return to the moon, thereby taking herself out of the running and leaving behind a peace offering for Betty.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: At the end of "A Ride in a Spaceship", when the three koalas, two rabbits, and two penguins wake up on the hillside where they supposedly first encountered the friendly extraterrestrial Cosmo, they wonder if they simply dreamt their space adventure, until Floppy notices his headphones are missing, apparently exchanged for the Key of Friendship. However, the key Roobear produces for a sceptical Walter and his brothers looks like an ordinary rusty key rather than the golden artifact we saw Cosmo give him earlier in the episode. And yet holding the key does make Walter more amiable toward the others, and in the episode's final shot, as Roobear holds the key aloft, it transforms back into its golden version.
  • Meaningful Name: Weather the dingo is an infallible weather forecaster; the suitability of his name is even Lampshaded by the other characters.
  • Meat-O-Vision: Occurs, without cannibalism subtext, in "The Secret of the McGillicuddy Vase." Roobear has the titular vase stuck on his finger and doesn't want his parents to find out, which forces him to go without eating, since trying to use a utensil would expose his secret. Dinner one evening is his favorite meal, Eucalyptus Steak, and Roobear has to skip it since Mommy notices when he tries to eat it one-handed. Alone in his room, the hungry koala boy sees what looks to him like a steak and tries to take a bite of it, only to realize he's trying to bite into a book.
  • Merchandise-Driven: Like most anime aimed at children, the show had quite a bit of merchandise released in Japan, from records to memo pads to puzzles to paper dolls. Despite the series being arguably more popular in the United States, none of it was ever released in America.
  • Miles Gloriosus: Mingle has a moment of this in "Mingle Takes a Dive". While the main cast are at the top of Mt. Breadknife, Mingle boasts of looking down on the world while riding a kite many times, but when a forest fire breaks out and the quickest way to get word to the village is to have Mingle dive into the village from a kite, he panics and admits that he's never been on a kite before in his life and was just trying to impress them.
  • Misplaced Wildlife:
    • Averted with Nick and Pamie Penguin. The little penguin (also known as the fairy penguin in Australia or the little blue penguin in New Zealand) is a species of penguin native to the south coast of Australia. As their New Zealand nickname suggests, their plumage has a deep blue sheen, meaning Nick and Pamie also avert Amazing Technicolor Wildlife. Although Roobear does note the penguin triplets' high tolerance for extreme cold in "Roobear the Babysitter" and thinks it must be because they're from the South Pole, this may suggest simple ignorance of the simple penguin on Roobear's part.
    • Played straight with the baby moa from the two-part episode "The Mysterious Moa Bird"/"Love That Baby Moa!"; setting aside the artistic license (lampshaded in-universe) of having a moa still alive centuries after they are believed to have gone extinct,note  they were native to New Zealand, not Australia.
  • Mood Whiplash: "Back to Nature" and "Snow White and the Seven Koalas" are both very lighthearted and comic until something unexpected and near-tragic happens - respectively, a fire started by Roobear and Floppy getting out of control; and Betty fainting for real (see Enforced Method Acting) on the set of the play.
  • Moon Rabbit: "The Moon Goddess" has the moon rabbit appear on Earth as a green-haired female rabbit on whom Roobear and Floppy both develop crushes. The English dub changes the folklore from Japanese to Roman mythology, naming the rabbit Diana.
  • No Antagonist: Although Walter and his brothers fill antagonist roles in a number of episodes, most episodes feature no antagonist. In such episodes, if the three kangaroos appear at all, they are either neutral (e.g., in "Hang-Gliding with Roobear", they appear in a single scene in which they flee a panic-stricken Roobear's out of control hang glider) or working with Roobear and co. to a common end (e.g., in "The Amazing Boomerang", Walter uses his boomerang to save Mimi from going over a waterfall).
  • No Ending: Most of the stories had a happy (or at worst bittersweet) ending, but "Pamie Falls in Love" is a big exception - the story ends with all the misunderstandings still unresolved, and Roobear and Nick frantically trying to explain what happened to Betty. Pamie just decides everyone's gone crazy and sits down to eat the entire picnic lunch she made for herself and Roobear.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Although the show takes place in Australia, the actors in the Canadian-produced English dub speak in their normal Canadian dialect, not even attempting Australian accents.
  • Oblivious to Love: Pamie has a crush on Roobear, who doesn't even notice because he fancies Betty. Nick's attempts to play matchmaker in "Pamie Falls in Love" result in disaster.
  • Ocular Gushers: Particularly with Pamie and sometimes Laura.
  • One Note Chef: Pamie states in "Papa Makes a Pie" that the only thing she knows how to make is cookies (and the ones she does prepare turn out badly). Apparently she's a quick learner, because in "Pamie Falls in Love" she's able to whip up one impressive-looking picnic lunch for herself and Roobear.
  • Or Was It a Dream?: During the title journey in "A Ride in a Spaceship", the primary cast are shaken into unconsciousness when mysterious yet friendly extraterrestrial Cosmo has to navigate his ship through an asteroid field. When they wake up, they are back on the hillside where they first met Cosmo, and wonder if they simply imagined what had happened. However, Floppy's usually ever-present earphones are gone, apparently given to Cosmo in exchange for the Key of Friendship. Walter and his brothers show up and laugh off the story, saying Floppy probably lost his earphones somewhere and the "Key of Friendship" is just a rusty old key - although when Roobear gives them the key to hold, they suddenly feel much more amicable toward the supposed spacefarers...
  • Parental Substitute:
    • Weather appears to be one of these for Mingle. In "Is Mingle a Nuisance?", after Walter and his brothers have teased Mingle for relying so heavily on Weather, Weather points out that they all rely heavily on their parents, but Mingle is all alone - as is Weather himself.
    • When "Laura Finds an Egg," she wants to keep the creature that hatches from the egg and raise it herself, and isn't at all disappointed or dissuaded when said creature turns out to be a turtle instead of a beautiful golden bird as she had dreamed. She's devastated when she is told she'll have to let the baby turtle go into the ocean, but tearfully complies. Weather and Roobear console her by pointing out that since baby turtles head for the sea as soon as they are hatched and never meet their birth mother, Laura really was, in essence, the baby turtle's mother, and that her turtle was the luckiest in the brood, because unlike the other baby turtles, Laura's turtle got to meet its mother.
  • Pie in the Face: Or cake in the face, in "The Old Clock Tower". To rebuild the local clock tower, a bazaar and bake sale is held to raise funds. One of the cakes at the bake sale is a birthday cake made in honor of the clock tower's birthday. Walter and his brothers spot the cake, offering to buy it since they think it's for Walter's birthday (which falls on the same day as the clock tower's birthday). After being refused, Walter tries to claim the cake anyway, only for it to be ruined after it falls on the ground in a struggle. In anger, Walter starts flinging chunks of cake at everyone, triggering a Food Fight (one of the chunks even knocks poor Mingle off Weather's shoulder). In the end, Roobear and friends learn about Walter's birthday and bring Walter his very own birthday cake.
  • Police Are Useless: Played with in "The Koala Bear Gang". A pair of masked thieves race through the village with Roobear and Floppy in hot pursuit, while the police officers who are supposed to be on duty are nowhere to be found. However, the thieves don't seem to have actually stolen anything, and are strangely concerned for Roobear and Floppy's safety as they pursue them... because the "thieves" are the police officers, and the "theft" was an experiment to see if any villagers would avert Bystander Syndrome in the event of a real crime (of which the village has very few, if any).
  • Powder Gag: Mommy is the victim of this in "The Mysterious Moa Bird," when a bee flies into the kitchen while she and Laura are making eucalyptus cakes. While crouching to avoid the bee, Mommy blindly tries to swat it away from the cakes and ends up knocking a bowl of flour off the counter, covering her in flour.
  • Real Men Cook: In "Papa Makes a Pie," Papa states outright that a man should be able to fend for himself in the kitchen. Laura briefly expresses the opposite point of view ("Men should stay out of the kitchen") after she and Roobear try Papa's pie and don't like it.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Although most of the adults have their irrational moments, they generally fall into this category. For example, in "Save the Butterflies", the mayor initially declines the children's plea to move the flowers from the botanical gardens to Mt. Breadknife to sustain the mountain's butterfly population, explaining that as the flowers belong to the village, he can't make a unilateral decision to move them. However, when the children collect the signatures of almost everyone in the village on a petition to move the flowers, the mayor is more than willing to accept their request.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Mingle. Big eyes? Check. Small? Check. Huggable? Check. High pitched voice and cry? Check.
  • The Rival: Walter Kangaroo and his brothers, Horsey and Colt, to Roobear and friends. However, at times all three are friendly toward Roobear, and in "Conquering Mt. Breadknife", Walter joins Roobear and Floppy on their attempt to climb the mountain's sheer eastern side.
  • Sequel Episode: "Love That Baby Moa!" is implied to take place almost immediately after "The Mysterious Moa Bird".
  • Shown Their Work: The production staff did their research. Many of the species that appear in the show do live in Australia, and the Breadknife rock formation is prominently shown in the background.
  • Sleeping Single: A brief shot of Mommy and Papa Koala's bedroom at the beginning of "Papa Makes a Pie" reveals that they sleep in twin beds, despite having been married for at least ten years.
  • Slice of Life: The episodes mostly revolve around the characters finding or creating adventure in their daily lives, although some episodes are a bit more fanciful (such as Roobear and Laura's odyssey inside a whale in "A Whale of a Ride", or the entire primary cast going for "A Ride in a Spaceship", although the latter journey may or may not have been a dream).
  • Speak in Unison: Nick and Pamie's identical triplet younger brothers, seen in "Roobear the Babysitter", always speak in unison, whether counting the laps during a hundred-lap swimming race, ordering ice cream, or threatening to tell their parents that they had to save Roobear from drowning during the swimming race unless he buys them more ice cream.
  • Species Surname: Most of the central characters' family names are the same as their species; Roobear and Laura are the Koala siblings, Nick and Pamie are the Penguin siblings, and Floppy and Mimi are the Rabbit siblings. So, for example, the previously-undiscovered title species in "The Koala Butterfly" is not named after the koala in general, but specifically after its discoverer, Papa Koala.
  • Spell My Name with an S: The katakana spelling out Pamie's name in Japanese - パニー - could alternately be read as "Honey." (See also Cutie Honey or Honey Honey.)
  • Techno Wizard: Floppy, who was handy with electronics. He built a pair of walkie-talkies in "The Koala Bear Gang" and even a small robot (if a temperamental one) in "Roobear's Invention". Then there was his electronic boomerang in "The Amazing Boomerang," which, as sleek and sophisticated as it was, couldn't save Mimi after she fell into the river, since it short-circuited and failed when it came into contact with water.
  • Terrible Trio: The Kangaroo brothers: Walter, Horsey and Colt. Also the Penguin triplets in "Roobear the Babysitter."
  • Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: Pamie and Laura both wore ribbons to indicate their gender.
  • Theme Tune Roll Call: "Laura, Nick and Roo/Mimi and Floppy too/Waiting here for you." Never mind that when Mimi's name was mentioned it was Betty who was shown onscreen.
  • Toilet Humour: A very mild example; in "Is Weather a Frog?" Roobear and Laura are trying to bathe the frog they believe to be Weather when he leaps out of their grasp. Roobear makes a jump for the frog... and lands in the toilet. Head first. (We can presume it had been flushed after its last use!)
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Like real koalas, the entire Koala family subsist almost entirely on eucalyptus. Unlike real koalas, they find lots of ways to prepare it - salads, cakes, stews, on steak...
  • Tsundere: Betty's fairly sweet and likeable in most episodes, but she also takes the role of Lovable Alpha Bitch at times, even toward her love interest, Roobear. Despite being Roobear's girlfriend, she doesn't think twice of insulting his skills as a babysitter in "Roobear the Babysitter" or making fun of him along with the other kids in "The McGillicuddy Vase". In addition, she cheerfully insults Pamie for having short legs in "Back to Nature", and she's quite vain and occasionally narcissistic.
  • Unnamed Parent: Roobear and Laura's parents are universally referred to as "Mommy Koala" and "Papa Koala", even by other adults. (This only applies to the English dub; in the Japanese version, their names are Vera and Mel.)
  • Volumetric Mouth: Laura, when she cries. Which is quite often.
  • We Need to Get Proof: In "Detective Roobear", Laura sees Walter and his brothers running away from the Koala house shortly after Mommy's favourite decorative plate is smashed, but when Roobear and Floppy accuse them of being the vandals, the three kangaroos point out that they are basing their accusation on purely circumstantial evidence. Roobear and Floppy mention this trope almost word-for-word. (Instead, they ultimately find proof that Walter wasn't the vandal, and he and his brothers were running away after Walter had broken a branch in one of the Koala family's trees while retrieving his wayward boomerang; the broken branch is still clearly visible.)