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Anime / Belle and Sebastian

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Belle and Sebastian (Meiken Jolie) is an anime that ran between 1981 and 1982 based on a French TV series of the 60s that was also published as novels. It was then exported to other countries in Europe and Latin America where it became very popular. It also received a measure of success in North America, with the English dub being one of the first animated series to air on Nickelodeon and both the English and French dubs airing in Canada.

It follows the adventures of a boy called Sebastian who lives in the French side of the Pyrenees (southern Alps in the novels and French TV series) mountain range with his adoptive grandfather, brother and sister. One day he meets an enormous white dog (appropriately enough, a Great Pyrenees) who is being wrongly accused of attacking people and becomes friends with her. He names her Belle ("Beauty") and, alongside his tiny dog Poochie, decides to cross the Pyrenees into Spain in search for his Gypsy mother. They have many adventures and make many friends on their way while avoiding the authorities hunting for Belle.

Not to be confused with the culty admired indie rock band Belle and Sebastian which also got its name from the books. Or the Disney characters.

Provides examples of:

  • Beware the Nice Ones:
    • Do not threaten Sebastian in front of Belle, in the case of humans, most of them cower over her enormous size, and in the case of animals, like a pack of wolves, she truly lives up to her otherwise undeserved nickname "The White Demon". That goes for hurting Poochie as well.
    • Likewise, do not threaten to shoot Belle in front of Sebastian. He’ll throw himself in the line of fire just to protect her!
  • Berserk Button:
    • Never tell Sebastian that he has no mother.
  • Big Friendly Dog: Belle is a large white Pyrenean Mountain dog who escaped into the French countryside. She is gentle and warmhearted, but her attempts to help those in need are misunderstood.
  • Disappeared Dad: It is mentioned that Sebastian's father was an Italian who died before he was born.
  • Dub Name Change:
    • For some reason, Belle was renamed Jolie (sometimes romanized as Jolly) in the original Japanese anime. Her name was changed back to Belle in most foreign dubs. Also, Angelina was renamed Anne Marie in the English dub.
    • A man named Raymond appears as Belle’s former owner and he used to call her Jolly.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Belle, who has been falsely accused of attacking people. She is labeled "The White Monster" and the police are constantly on her tail.
  • Instrumental Theme Tune: In the English dub, where the theme song is an instrumental version of the Japanese theme which was sung by Mitsuko Horie.
  • Kick the Dog: Literally, as Inspector Garcia loses his patience once and kicks Poochie in anger, prompting Belle to attack him.
  • Sebastian's adoptive older sister, Anne-Marie is rather overprotective of him as well; she locked him in the stables at one point as punishment for wandering off.
  • Missing Mom: Lena's mother died at childbirth.
  • Parental Abandonment: Sebastian, since his Gypsy mother left him with his adoptive family (promising to return one day for him) because of her people's laws about having a child with outsiders.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Near the beginning of the series, some of the villagers testify against Belle even after she saved their lives, because they still want to be able to claim the reward for capturing her.

Alternative Title(s): Meiken Jolie