Maple Town

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Maple Town
Maple Town Opening Shot.JPG
Title card from the US version (the logo was also prominent on Tonka's toy line based on the show)
メイプルタウン物語
(Maple Town Monogatari)
Genre Adventure, Slice of life
Anime television series
Directed by Junichi Sato[1]
Hiroshi Shidara
Produced by Shinji Nabeshima (Asahi Broadcasting)
Azuma Kasuga (Asatsu Inc.)
Yasuo Yamaguchi[1]
Written by Shigeru Yanagawa
Music by Akiko Kosaka
Studio Toei Animation
Asatsu Inc.
Asahi Broadcasting Corporation[1]
Licensed by United States The Kushner-Locke Company[2]
Network TV Asahi[1]
English network Canada YTV
United States Syndication (original run)[3]United States Nickelodeon[4]
Original run January 19, 1986 (1986-01-19)January 11, 1987 (1987-01-11)
Episodes 52
Anime film
Maple Town Monogatari
Directed by Hiroshi Shidara
Junichi Sato
Studio Toei Animation
Released July 12, 1986 (1986-07-12)
Runtime 30 minutes
Anime television series
New Maple Town Stories: Palm Town Chapter
Directed by Hiroshi Shidara
Junichi Sato
Network TV Asahi
Original run January 18December 27, 1987 (1987-12-27)
Episodes 50
Anime film
New Maple Town Stories: Home Town Collection
Directed by Hiroshi Shidara
Studio Toei Animation
Released March 14, 1987 (1987-03-14)
Runtime 30 minutes
Portal icon Anime and Manga portal

Maple Town, known as Maple Town Stories (メイプルタウン物語 Meipuru Taun Monogatari?) is a 1986 Japanese slice of life anime series created by Chifude Asakura and directed by Junichi Sato. The series is animated by Toei Animation, consisting of 52 half-hour episodes, which aired on TV Asahi in Japan from January 19, 1986 to January 11, 1987.[1] It focuses on the adventures of Patty Rabbit, Bobby Bear, and their families, in a small utopian anthropomorphic city named Maple Town. The series gave way to a 50-episode sequel, New Maple Town Stories: Palm Town Chapter, which made Patty Rabbit (and her voice actor, Maya Okamoto) the only ongoing member from both series, although Maple Town's citizens made cameos from time to time. To date, this has not seen an official English release.

The program spawned collectible figurines with changeable clothing as well as houses, furniture, and vehicles; Tonka was the licensee and manufacturer in the US market.[5]

VHS compilations of Maple Town appeared in North America, Europe and Japan during the late 1980s and early 1990s. As of 2013, official DVDs of the show have only surfaced in Japan, Spain,[6] and Hungary,[7] with no release plans announced for other territories, including the United States.

Plot[edit]

Set in Canada[8] around the late 1920s,[3] Patty Rabbit, along with her family is soon arriving in Maple Town, a small town inhabited by friendly animals. However due to a train heist by the sly—if usually "endearingly" unsuccessful—thief, Wilde Wolf, he stole the mailbag from her father and made his escape in the forest. Soon she follows after him alone to retrieve the mailbag. In the midst of getting the bag back from the thief, she befriends a boy of her age named Bobby Bear who has the bag. As they both escaped from Wilde Wolf and outwitted him, they deliver the mailbag back safely to her father. Soon, the Rabbit Family made their stay at Maple Town as mail carriers and the bitter, yet sweet friendship of Patty and Bobby begins to blossom. At the same time trying to foil Wilde Wolf's plans.

Characters[edit]

  • The Rabbits Family - Patty, Papa Rabbit, Mama Rabbit, Rachel and Ricky
  • The Bear Family - Bobby, Mr. Bear, Mrs. Bear and Bobby
  • The Cat Family - Mr. Cat and Mrs. Cat
  • The Fox Family - Fanny, Mr. Fox, Mrs. Fox and Freddy
  • The Dog Family - Danny, Dr. Dog, Mrs. Dog and Donny
  • The Squirrel Family - Suzie, Squire Squirrel, Mrs. Squirrel and Skippy
  • The Pig Family - Penny, Mr. Pig, Mrs. Pig and Polly
  • The Raccoon Family - Ruthie, Mr. Raccoon, Mrs. Raccoon and Roxie
  • The Mouse Family - Missie, Mr. Mouse, Mrs. Mouse and Marty
  • The Beaver Family - Bucky, Mr. Beaver, Mrs. Beaver and Bitsy
  • The Badger Family - Bert, Mr. Badger, Mrs. Badger and Betty
  • The Mole Family - Maggie, Mr. Mole, Mrs. Mole and Mikey
  • Kirby Cat
  • Mayor Dandy Lion
  • Miss Deer
  • Sheriff Barney Bulldog
  • Oscar Otter
  • Master Monkey
  • Dr. Goat
  • Wilde Wolf

Credits[edit]

Japanese version:

US version:

Voice cast[edit]

English[edit]

Japanese[edit]

Episodes[edit]

Production[edit]

Produced of Toei Animation, Asatsu and Asahi Broadcasting, Maple Town was created by Chifude Asakura[9] and directed by Sailor Moon's Junichi Sato.[1] It served as one of the first projects for Kunihiko Ikuhara, who would later go on to join the crew of Sailor Moon and Revolutionary Girl Utena.[10] Ikuhara served as an assistant director[10] and production manager[11] for some of the show's later episodes.[11]

In the United States[edit]

In October 1986, toy manufacturer Tonka acquired the property for US$2.5–3 million[12] and became its US licensee, launching a toy line and ad campaign early the following year.[5] An English-dubbed version, airing in tandem with the toys' promotion, starred actress Janice Adams as Mrs. Maple in its book-ending live-action segments.[3] Mrs. Maple was the only human inhabitant of the title town in this version, and she offered every episode's moral lesson to audiences. The voice cast included Reba West as Patty Rabbit and Steve Kramer as Wilde Wolf.

The English version of Maple Town was produced by Saban Entertainment and The Maltese Companies,[3][4] the latter of which also produced Spiral Zone, another syndicated series in which and in whose licensing Tonka was involved, and the 1988 animated feature Pound Puppies and the Legend of Big Paw.[4]

Broadcast history[edit]

The original Maple Town series aired on Sunday mornings in Japan on TV Asahi, from 19 January 1986 until 11 January 1987.[1] Following its last of 52 episodes, its follow-up, New Maple Town Story: Palm Town Chapter (新メイプルタウン物語-パームタウン編 Shin Maple Town Monogatari: Palm Town Hen?), aired in the same 8:30 a.m. slot.

In late 1986, Saban Entertainment and toy maker Tonka picked it up for the North American market;[5] the latter invested US$7 million on television ads for the toy line.[13] An English dub premiered in barter syndication the following year[4] before settling into a re-run cycle.[3] The show could also be seen on the children's cable channel Nickelodeon,[4] where it aired until 2 April 1993. A 65-episode run was originally announced,[13][14] but only 15 of those ever reached US television.[3] Among the stations playing Maple Town at this time was WNYW, Fox's affiliate in New York City.[15]

Around the late 1980s and early 1990s, a number of European stations also aired Maple Town in their various native languages. In Spain, TVE aired the program under the title La aldea del arce,[6] starting in 1987. It also aired on RTL Veronique in the Netherlands (as Avonturen in Maple Town);[9] in Finland under the title Seikkailumetsä; in Sweden as Äventyrsskogen;[9] and on Hungary's RTL Klub channel as Juharfalvi történetek.

As with Japan, several other countries aired both series of the Maple Town franchise. In Italy, Mediaset's Italia 1 broadcast both iterations of Maple Town during the late 1980s (under the titles Maple Town: Un nido di simpatia and Evviva Palm Town).[16] The combined series also aired as Les petits malins on FR3 in France at the time.[17] On Nasza TV's showings in Poland, the show was known as Opowiesci z Klonowego Miasteczka and Opowiesci z Palmowego Miasteczka.[18] In Hong Kong, Maple Town aired on the ATV network during 1991.[19]

Home video[edit]

During the 1990s, Toei Video released a ten-tape collection of Maple Town, each consisting of three episodes in their original airing order. In 2013, TC Entertainment also released the original series in DVD Box Sets as part of Toei's Recollection Anime Library lineup, with the first box set released on September 27, 2013 and the second set on October 30, 2013. Palm Town Chapter series is also released in the same label in November 27, 2013 for the first box set and in December 25, 2013 for the second box set.

Select episodes of Saban's US dub were released from late 1987 until 1990 by Family Home Entertainment and Tonka Home Video. Each tape consisted of two stories each, except for the first release, "Welcome to Maple Town". No less than eight English episodes were distributed in the UK by the now-defunct M.S.D. (Multiple Sound Distributors) label.[20]

In the Netherlands, CNR Video released a Dutch dub of the first two episodes in 1992. The stories were entitled "De Overval op de Trein" and "Voor het eerst naar de nieuwe school" in the Dutch language.[21]

The entire original series has been released on DVD in Spain by Divisa Home Video,[6] and Hungary's Fümoto has released some episodes onto that format.[7] As of 2009, no other plans for a DVD premiere have been announced elsewhere.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Maple Town (メイプルタウン物語) cast and crew information" (in Japanese). Takashi Murakami. Retrieved 2010-01-06. 
  2. ^ "INTERNATIONAL SERIES & MINI SERIES". The Kushner-Locke Company. Retrieved December 10, 2009. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Erickson, Hal. "Maple Town". Television Cartoon Shows: An Illustrated Encyclopedia, 1949 through 2003. 2 (M—Z). McFarland & Company. pp. 524–525. ISBN 0-7864-2099-5. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Television/Radio Age (Television Editorial Corp.) 36: 55. 1988. "Last season Maltese produced the barter-syndicated series Maple Town and Spiral Zone for Tonka Toys; the former is on Nickelodeon" 
  5. ^ a b c Weiss, Barbara (1986-10-20). "No blockbusters in sight to boost holiday toy sales". Drug Topics (Copyright Medical Economics Company) 130: 46. 
  6. ^ a b c "La Aldea del Arce - Serie Completa DVD" (in Spanish). ZONADVD.com. 2007-02-21. Retrieved 2009-12-10. 
  7. ^ a b "AnimeAddicts - Ismertetők - Anime: Maple Town Monogatari / メイプルタウン物語" (in Hungarian). Animeaddicts.hu. 2007-02-16. Retrieved 2009-12-10. 
  8. ^ http://www.toei-anim.co.jp/lineup/tv/mapletown_2nd/
  9. ^ a b c "Maple Town show information" (in Dutch). KinderTV. Retrieved 2010-04-09. 
  10. ^ a b "おしごと一覧(東映時代)". ikuniweb (in Japanese). Shikoku Broadcasting Co., Ltd. Retrieved 2010-01-06. 
  11. ^ a b "Maple Town staff credits (メイプルタウン物語スタッフ)" (in Japanese). Paxkoo's Furry Animation Data Lists. 1998-05-29. Archived from the original on 21 December 2009. Retrieved 4 January 2010. 
  12. ^ Wascoe Jr., Dan (16 February 1987). "Toy makers tuning in to TV show connections" (Registration required to read article). Minneapolis Star-Tribune. p. 03M. Retrieved 25 September 2010. "In an era when the investment to launch an animated cartoon show ranges from $12 million to $15 million, shrinking viewership means 'the economics are becoming strained,' [Tonka Toys' president Pat Feely] said. 'We don't do it unless we feel we've got a strong product line.' In the case of Tonka's Maple Town series, the cost was much less—between $2.5 million and $3 million—because it's an edited and dubbed version of a popular Japanese show, Feely said." 
  13. ^ a b Stern, Sara E.; Forkan, James P. (2 February 1987). "Fantasy dolls stay in action; High-tech toys finding big consumer interest". Advertising Age (Crain Communications, Inc.): 33. 
  14. ^ Eitzen, D. Stanley (1989). Society's Problems: Sources and Consequences. Allyn and Bacon. p. 321. ISBN 0-205-11979-4. 
  15. ^ "Television Listings: Weekdays, April 22–24 and 27–28". New York Magazine (New York Media LLC) 20 (17): 181. 1987-04-27. Retrieved 2009-12-31. 
  16. ^ "Maple Town, un nido di simpatia / Evviva Palm Town". Il Mondo dei Doppiatori (in Italian). Antonio Genna. Retrieved 2010-01-06. 
  17. ^ "Les Petits Malins: Les aventures de Malinville show description" (in French). Planète Jeunesse. 2009-09-25. Retrieved 2010-01-06. 
  18. ^ Nowakowski, Witold and Mariusz Jarczewski (2002-12-26). "OPOWIEŚCI Z KLONOWEGO MIASTECZKA". Anime in Poland: Complete Guide. anime.info.pl. Retrieved 2010-01-06. 
  19. ^ "香港播放動畫特攝中日名稱對照表" (in Cantonese). RXBlack. p. 10. Retrieved 2010-01-06. 
  20. ^ "Certification search results for "MapleTown"". British Board of Film Classification (BBFC). Retrieved 31 December 2009. 
  21. ^ "Animatie verschenen op VHS" (in Dutch). Hét Jeugdsentiment Portaal. 2010. Archived from the original on 15 January 2010. Retrieved 5 February 2012. 

External links[edit]