Adventures of the Little Koala
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|Adventures of the Little Koala|
(Koara Bōi Kokki)
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Takashi Tanazawa|
|Music by||Kunihiro Kawano|
|Original network||TV Tokyo|
|Original run||October 4, 1984 – March 28, 1985|
Adventures of the Little Koala (コアラボーイコッキィ Koara Bōi Kokki) is an anime television series produced by Tohokushinsha Film Corporation. It aired originally in Japan on TV Tokyo from October 4, 1984 through March 28, 1985, and then aired in the United States on Nickelodeon (until it moved to the Nick Jr. block in 1988) dubbed in English from June 1, 1987 until April 2, 1993. It also aired in Greece, Italy, France, the United Kingdom, in the Arabic-speaking world and other countries, but its biggest success by far was in the United States on Nickelodeon. Production of the English and French versions of the series was done by the Canadian studio Cinar Films. The storyline revolved around Roobear Koala and his friends and their utopian village in a fictional version of New South Wales Australia, within the shadow of a real rock formation known as The Breadknife.
|Character Name(s)||Canadian / Japanese Voice Actor|
|Roobear Koala / Kokki (Kocky) / Kolbi||Steven Bednarski / Toshiko Fujita|
|A young boy and the series' central character and protagonist. Smart, adventurous, inquisitive, and athletic, he enjoys surfing, skateboarding and baseball.|
|Laura Koala / Lala (Rara)||Morgan Hallet / Chisato Nakajima|
|Roobear's younger sister. Although she is sometimes a bit of a brat, she is generally kind-hearted and is also a strong-willed girl.|
|"Mama" Koala / Vera||Jane Woods / Yoshiko Asai|
|Roobear and Laura's mother. She is a devoted homemaker, wife and mother, and an excellent cook, but she has other talents as well: ten years prior to the events in the series, she won the village's airplane race, and proceeded to win a second time in the episode "Mommy Can Fly" (despite not being an official entrant in the race and only taking the cockpit in order to rescue other contestants who were stranded following a crash).|
|"Papa" Koala / Mel||Walter Massey / Hachirou Ozuma|
|Roobear and Laura's father. He works as a photographer for Miss Lewis' magazine. His biggest vice is a tendency to overeat, leading his family to try to put him on a diet and exercise program (despite his protests) in the episode "Papa on Stilts".|
|Betty Koala||Cleo Paskal / Yuriko Yamamoto|
|Roobear's girlfriend. Generally a kind-hearted girl, she also can be somewhat vain at times, and her relationship with Roobear is sometimes colored by misunderstandings.|
|Horsey Kangaroo||Dean Hagopian|
|The Tallest of the Kangaroo Brothers.|
|Walter Kangaroo||A.J. Henderson / Naoki Tatsuta|
|Ringleader of the Kangaroo Brothers, a self-described expert boomerang thrower. He and his brothers love nothing more than stirring up trouble in the village. Pamie and Mingle were the most frequent recipients of their teasing. Walter has an unrequited crush on Betty but (oddly given his character) was too shy to tell her how he felt.|
|Colt Kangaroo||Rob Roy|
|The Shortest of the Kangaroo Brothers.|
|Floppy Rabbit||Timothy Webber / Kyōko Tongū|
|Roo-bear's best friend. Floppy is a science enthusiast and budding inventor who also has a strong competitive streak when it comes to sports and other contests. He always wears a Walkman.|
|Mimi Rabbit||Barbara Pogemiller / Mayumi Shou|
|Floppy's twin sister.|
|Pamie Penguin||Bronwen Mantel / Noriko Tsukase|
|A girl who loves to eat (although she temporarily turned anorexic in the episode "Balloon Pamie" as a result of Walter's teasing about her big stomach, which resulted in her fainting). She also has an unrequited crush on Roobear and has ambitions of being a nurse one day. Pamie and her brother Nick always wore scarves, even in hot weather, and had three younger brothers who were triplets.|
|Nick Penguin||Ian Finlay / Yumiko Shibata|
|Pamie's twin brother. While he is generally more level-headed than his sister and also has a bit of a sarcastic streak, he often goes along with Pamie's antics even though he knows better. In the episode "Pamie Falls in Love" he concocted a plan to cancel Roobear's planned picnic date with Betty so that Pamie could have the date with Roobear instead, but the plan ended in disaster for all. He also wore a bobble hat in addition to his scarf.|
|A bespectacled boy kiwi bird who worked as Papa Koala's assistant.|
|Miss Lewis||Bronwen Mantel / Fuyumi Shiraishi|
|A young adult female koala who worked as editor-in-chief for the village magazine and was always on the hunt for stories that would interest her readers. She had a close relationship with Roo-bear and his friends, acting as a surrogate teacher of sorts, and encouraged them when they decided to start their own children's newspaper.|
|A paranoid adult male frilled-lizard, who served as Miss Lewis' assistant, and would often act as a town-crier: loudly trumpeting whatever breaking-news he'd discover, usually before checking its accuracy, and thus often being completely wrong.|
|Weather||Richard Dumont and Vlasta Vrána / Kaneto Shiozawa|
|An enigmatic dingo who was always shrouded with a heavy coat, scarf and hat, even in hot weather, and could forecast the weather with great accuracy. Like Miss Lewis, he had a close relationship with Roo-bear and his friends and acted as a sort of mentor and counselor for them.|
|A meek, sensitive sugar glider and Weather's constant companion, who was often involved in the children's adventures; particularly when his airborne/gliding capabilities could come in handy, such as when the children were learning how to fly hang-gliders.|
|Duckbill Platypus||Arthur Grosser / Isamu Tanonaka|
|A duckbill platypus who enjoys collecting old junk and fashioning useful things out of it. The children call him "Bill" for short.|
|Mr. Mayor||A.J. Henderson|
|Dr. Nose||Walter Massey|
|Mr. Curator||Michael Rudder|
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. As a result, according to The Anime Encyclopedia by Jonathan Clements and Helen McCarthy, Japan went into a koala frenzy and anything to do with koalas became very popular. It was during this "koala-mania" that The Adventures of the Little Koala was made, as was another anime on Fuji TV, Nippon Animation's Fushigi na Koala Blinky, which would later be broadcast alongside Little Koala on Nickelodeon's Nick Jr. block in 1988, as Noozles.
The Japanese animation studio Topcraft, best known for providing animation duties on many of Rankin-Bass' American animated TV specials as well as the feature film The Last Unicorn, worked on The Adventures of the Little Koala. Topcraft provided animation assistance for Hayao Miyazaki's 1984 feature film Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind; in fact, some of the animators who worked on Little Koala also worked on Nausicaa. After Nausicaa, a number of Topcraft animators went on to work for Miyazaki's Studio Ghibli.
Some notable animators who worked on this series included Katsuhisa Yamada and Hidekazu Ohara.
Sources: Anime News Network, Allcinema.net (Japanese)
- Producers: Yoshihiro Osada, Daisaku Shirakawa, Toru Hara
- Art Director: Kazuo Okada
- Series Director: Takashi Tanazawa
- Animation Character Design: Kazuyuki Kobayashi, Hidekazu Ohara
- Sound Director: Hiroshi Yamazaki
- Music: Kunihiro Kawano
- Production Manager: Kiyoshi Sakai
- Supervisor: Kazuyuki Kobayashi
- Animation Production: Top Craft
- Production: Hakuhodo, Osada Co.
- Co-producer: Haruo Nakayama
- Scripts: Ken'ichi Ogawa, Kiichi Takayama, Mamoru Kanbe, Nanako Watanabe, Naoko Miyake, Riki Matsumoto, Toshiaki Imaizumi, Toshiro Ueno, Tsuyoshi Yatsuki, Yoshiaki Yoshida
- Storyboards: Akio Mitani, Katsuhisa Yamada, Kozo Takagaki, Masamitsu Sasaki, Iku Ishiguro, Takashi Tanazawa, Tatsuya Matsumoto
- Directors: Takashi Tanazawa, Masamitsu Sasaki, Akio Mitani, Iku Ishiguro, Daisuke Todoroki, Shigeru Omachi
- Animation Directors: Ai Kagawa, Hidekazu Ohara, Hiroshi Yamagishi, Kazuyuki Kobayashi, Masahiro Sasaki, Masahiro Yoshida, Masaru Hirakawa, Masayuki Uchiyama, Shinnosuke Kon, Takashi Watanabe, Takashi Hattori, Tadashi Tsubokawa, Iku Ishiguro
- Original Animation & Story: Tohokushinsha Film Co., Ltd.
English version (produced in Montreal, Canada)
- Adaptation & direction: Ernest Reid
- Executive Producer: Micheline Charest
- Producer: Ronald A. Weinberg
- Associate Producer: Elizabeth Klinck
- Post-Production Supervisor: Pierre Michaud
- Production Coordinator: Liz Joyce
- Talent Coordinator: Marrielle Gaudreault
- Production Secretary: Donna Vekteris
- Sound Editor: Tony Reed
- Music Production: Andre Perreault
- Rerecording Engineer: Andre Perreault
- Titles Sequences: Tony Reed
- Production: Cinar Films
- Distribution: Viacom International Inc.
Japanese theme music
- Music: Hiro Nagasawa
- Performed by: Akasaka Komachi (later Princess Princess)
English version "Koala Song" theme
- Music: Pierre-Daniel Rheault
- Lyrics: Liz Joyce
- Performed by: Sonja Ball, Shari Chaskin and Maxie Vaughann
- "The Old Clock Tower"
- "Mingle Takes A Dive"
- "Is Weather A Frog?"
- "Lost in a Race"
- "Ghost Ship"
- "Balloon Pamie"
- "The King of the Castle"
- "Hang-Gliding With Roobear"
- "The Mysterious Moa Bird"
- "Love That Baby Moa!"
- "Snow White and the Seven Koalas"
- "Roobear's Invention"
- "Papa on Stilts"
- "Detective Roobear"
- "The Dinosaur Egg"
- "Treasure Hunt"
- "Pamie Falls in Love"
- "The Koala Butterfly"
- "The Koala Bear Gang"
- "Back To Nature"
- "Roobear Saves the Day"
- "Editor-In-Chief Roobear"
- "Monster Scoop"
- "The Biggest Jigsaw Puzzle in the World"
- "Who Will Be the Flower Queen?"
- "Circus Day"
- "Roobear the Babysitter"
- "Papa Makes a Pie"
- "The Amazing Boomerang"
- "The Runaway Hat"
- "Conquering Mt. Breadknife"
- "Save the Eucalyptus"
- "Mommy Can Fly"
- "The Secret of the McGillicuddy Vase"
- "Heavenly Fireworks"
- "Save That Junk"
- "The Winner"
- "A Hundred-Year-Old Camera"
- "Nurse Pamie"
- "Any Mail Today?"
- "The Writing on the Wall"
- "A Ride in a Spaceship"
- "Is Mingle a Nuisance?"
- "Allowance Problems"
- "A Whale of a Ride"
- "Laura Finds An Egg"
- "A Broken Umbrella"
- "Save The Butterflies"
- "The Moon Goddess"
- "The Flying Doctor"
- "Eucalyptus Rocket"
- "Penguins Don't Fly"
Home media release
In 1989, Family Home Entertainment released the English dub of the show on a single VHS cassette entitled The Adventures of the Little Koala and Friends: Laura and the Mystery Egg containing four episodes without their title cards which are "Laura Finds an Egg", "Conquering Mt. Breadknife", "Saving the Eucalyptus", and "Mommy Can Fly".