Saturday, June 27, 2009

Inquiring Minds Need to Know: Little Bear Edition

Some important questions about Little Bear:
  • Little Bear is an anthropomorphic six-year-old bear. He goes around without any clothing. His parents, Mother Bear and Father Bear, wear clothes. When will Little Bear start wearing clothing?
  • The eponymous animal characters, Duck, Hen, and Cat, are nearly as large as Little Bear. Are they just really big, or is Little Bear tiny?
  • All the animal characters can speak, with the exception of the dog. Why are birds, frogs, and even otters more intelligent than this dog?
  • The time period that the stories take place in seems to be a lot like Little House on the Prairie times. Why then does Little Bear have a toy car and a toy airplane?
  • Where does Mother Bear get her candles? Because they are as bright as electric lights.
  • How do the Bear family make ends meet? They don't seem to work the land and it's not clear that Father Bear works outside the home (not to mention Mother Bear).
  • Little Bear's best friend, Emily, is a seven-year-old human girl. Little Bear appears to really like her more than just as friends, at least from my perspective. It seems kind of awkward, like the "romance" between Anakin Skywalker and Padme Amidala, only even more awkward because Little Bear is a bear and Emily is a human. Are they going to grow up, fall in love, and have an inter-species relationship?
  • Mother Bear and Father Bear have more patience with their son than two individuals in this world could ever have. Where can I get some of that patience too?
  • What appeals to my son so much that when Little Bear smiles, he does too?
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Scott said...

I heard if you play a Little Bear episode backwards it has hidden satanic messsages.

I'm just saying.

Madeleine said...

Father Bear goes off on fishing trips from time to time. I think Little Bear went with him once. I guess that's the only work they need to do.

EcoGeoFemme said...

The grown-up cartoon show, Family Guy, has some of these inconsistencies which add to the hilarity (if you find the show funny in the first place, that is). The family dog basically acts like a human -- dates human women, goes to the bar, reads -- but sometimes acts like a dog -- gets his head stuck in a paper bag, sleeps at the end of the bed, can't resist chasing a stick. Also, it's always unclear whether anyone but the dog can understand the baby. The ambiguity is funny.

Sally said...

I absolutely love the Little Bear TV show. We have many episodes and I'm glad Tommy still doesn't think they're too young for him. Charlie's just starting to like them too. I aspire to be even just half as good a mother as Mother Bear.

I was totally going to tell you about Father Bear being a fisherman, but Madeleine beat me to it. He spends long months out at sea sometimes, according to the books. You really must get them for Vinny if he loves the TV show. They're classic I Can Read books by Minarik and were illustrated by Maruice Sendak. Can't go wrong there! The humor of the books is a bit drier than the show, but the show manages to remain quite faithful in tone.

Unknown said...

The dog "tutu" is introduced as being French in the episode where Emily and her grandmother move to the woods. When Tutu barks, Emily says "he speaks French." Later in the episode Tutu barks at Owl and Owl says "I"m sorry I don't speak French." So he talks, he just doesn't speak English, which somehow all the other animals speak.

Anonymous said...

I used to wonder about the time period Little Bear took place in. My children loved the show. I noticed the family had a water pump in their kitchen, apparently had no electricity and listen to music on an old phonograph, yet he did have toy cars and trucks, and would pretend to be an astronaut with a space helmet. When I asked my kids one day when they thought it was set, they answered immediately the present. When I pointed out these inconsistencies, my 6 year olds pointed out the he lived in the forest, and they hadn't gotten all of the modern conveniences of life like tv, electric or internet yet. Hard to argue with.