Little Bear is an educational Canadian children's animated series based on the Little Bear series of books written by Else Holmelund Minarik, and illustrated by Maurice Sendak. Originally produced by CBC, it was first shown in the UK on the Children's BBC, and a part of Toy Box BBC video collection in the late 1990s. It was also shown on Nick Jr UK and US, as well as on Tiny Pop. The direct-to-video/DVD full-length feature film The Little Bear Movie was released in 2001.
Main characters Edit
Little Bear (voiced by Kristin Fairlie) is a small, curious grizzly bear cub who lives in the forest with his family and friends. Throughout the series, he has grown somewhat, as his voice is slightly deeper, and he doesn't take naps as often. He is the only character whose parents are shown with the exception of Duck's mother in one show who is a chicken. Little Bear lives in a stucco, wood, plaster, and brick house. He is always kind and loves to explore.
Duck (voiced by Tracy Ryan) is a female domestic duck with yellow feathers, an orange beak and a long neck. Slow and smart at the same time, Duck is one who gets herself into comical situations. She lives in a nest, although in one episode, she expressed longing for a house and tried to live in a house boat. It floated downriver filled with frogs and Duck lived happily in her nest. She loves playing "princess" and pretend. She was hatched in a nest of chicks, because "some eggs got mixed up", and Little Bear taught her to fly when she was a duckling. She never has any ducklings of her own, but she is sometimes seen babysitting a group of them.
Owl (voiced by Amos Crawley) is a male short-eared owl who is sometimes pompous, yet he is very wise. He lives in a treehouse, and can be quite serious at times. Although Owl enjoys fun games, he will only participate if the gameplay is sensible. It is also shown that reading is his hobby.
Cat (voiced by Andrew Sabiston) is a laidback, slothful male tuxedo cat who enjoys prowling at night, playing tricks on passersby, and eating. When he and his friends must get to a certain place in the woods, Cat often leads them through one of his shortcuts.
Hen (voiced by Elizabeth Hanna) is a fussy, feisty chicken who lives in a large chicken coop. She is classy, sophisticated and enjoys cleanliness, though her several nieces and nephews often mess up her spotless house. However, she never turns down the opportunity for fun. Hen has also been shown to be fond of opera, but it seems that she isn't good at it.
Emily (voiced by Jennifer Martini) is Little Bear's human friend. In the summer, Emily vacations with her parents by the river near Little Bear's home. Emily carries around a doll named Lucy everywhere she goes and is very attached to her. Emily gave Little Bear Lucy when she was leaving to go back to school but then took her back, saying that she just remembered that "Lucy has to go to school", too. Emily eventually moves to the forest permanently and lives there with her grandmother.
Recurring characters Edit
No Feet (voiced by Rick Jones) is a friendly, gentle and green male garter snake (hence the name) that lives in Mother Bear's garden. Little Bear gets along with him very well. However, Hen is not fond of him.
Mother Bear (voiced by Janet-Laine Green) is Little Bear's mother. She enjoys cooking and is always there to help Little Bear if he needs it. She also seems to be very tidy and does not like it when the house becomes messy. She normally wears a pink shirt and a blue skirt with a white apron.
Father Bear (voiced by Dan Hennessey) is Little Bear's father and Mother Bear's husband. His occupation is a fisherman and sometimes takes Little Bear out fishing. He has been to many places and likes to keep things that are old, even if they have to be thrown away. He usually wears a blue suit with a purple tie and brown shoes. Throughout the run of the show he is sporadically absent in appearance, as he is "away, fishing".
Grandmother Bear (voiced by Diane D'Aquila) is Little Bear's grandmother and Mother Bear's mother, and Grandfather Bear's wife. She likes to cook and tell stories.
Grandfather Bear (voiced by Sean McCann) is Little Bear's grandfather and Mother Bear's father. He once worked at a circus with his wife and sister. He wears a green suit but with khakis and a dark-red tie with brown shoes.
Rusty Bear (voiced by George Buza) is Father Bear's younger brother. He mentions that he lives in the woods, and that he would prefer to live there because it is quiet and peaceful. He is a very large bear, slightly taller and huskier than Father Bear. He has a deep voice, wears overalls, and has a red handkerchief around his neck. He is only seen in a few of the Little Bear episodes. Little Bear is fascinated with Rusty's outdoor ethic, and whenever he shows up, Little Bear is tempted to emulate his rustic character.
Granny (voiced by Kay Hawtrey) Emily's grandmother, who she lives with in the summer and then permanently, has traveled the world and has many odd pieces of furniture. She is the owner of Tutu.
Tutu (voiced by Tara Strong) is Granny's dog. She acts very hyper and she can understand humans. According to Granny, she only speaks French, yet she understands English.
Lucy - Lucy is a female doll who belongs to Emily. She has short blond hair and wears a red dress and bonnet with brown shoes. In one episode, Lucy fell from a tree and her porcelain arm was broken. Little Bear fixed it with tape. Another time, Duck sat on Lucy mistakenly and they had a funeral, where she was proved to be "alive" in the end. Emily is the only one who can "understand" and "talk" to Lucy.
Mitzi (voiced by Ashley Taylor) is a mischievous, sometimes rather unthoughtful tomboyish monkey who lives in a tree house in the forest around Little Bear's home. She feels bad after slighting somebody's feelings or misleading them. She sometimes has green or white eyes. Mitzi is the last to join the supporting cast, not appearing until the end of season two.
Other characters Edit
Otters - Four silly Northern river otter siblings that sporadically appear, reside in the local river. They are frequent in episodes focusing on water activities.
Mermaid - Mermaid is a mermaid who Little Bear occasionally meets when he goes to the lake, she is friendly and takes Little Bear to see places underwater.
Frog - Frog is a male frog that dispenses zen-like wisdom between his meditations. He resides at Little Bear's favorite swimming spot, 'Hop-Frog pond'. He is also very wise, and good friend to Little Bear.
Moose (voiced by Ian Finlay) is a male Eastern Moose, who sometimes helps Little Bear and his friends when they're in need.
Little Ick - Little Ick is a baby raccoon and only appears in an episode where his mother went to visit his grandmother and dropped him off with Mother Bear. Little Bear and Little Ick form a bit of a sibling relationship together like Little Bear feeling left out because Mother Bear seems to be paying more attention to Little Ick. Little Ick is the baby raccoon's nickname from Little Bear because "Ick" is the only thing the baby can say.
Marshmallow - Marshmallow is a baby albino skunk. She is found by Owl and Little Bear in an episode and plays with Duck, Little Bear, Owl, and Cat in the episode "Little Footprints".
Little Bear has been first shown on BBC Two since Monday 8th January 1996, airing during Mondays and Wednesdays, and gets repeated on BBC One from January to March 1997, then inside summers 1998 and 2000, CBBC on Choice has also shown Little Bear from the first day on Monday 29th November 1999 at 10:00am, airing and repêating all blocking long except for Christmas Days 1999, 2000 and 2001 when they showed a double bill of fairytales from Jackanory. Nick Jr have also shown Little Bear from 1999 - 2008 at 08:00am.