16 May 2010 | TOMASBBloodhound
The essence of innocence.
Ever since our local cable company replaced ESPN Classic with Nick Jr., I have been aware of this show. It is impossible not to come across it when scanning through my sports channels. How else would I have come to watch a show created for pre-schoolers? Little Bear is about just what the title implies. He is a small grizzly bear cub living as a six year old boy in a house in the woods he shares with Father Bear and Mother Bear. The 7-8 minute episodes detail Little Bear's adventures with his animal friends and relatives. Many of the episodes include fantasy sequences which demonstrate that the young cub has quite an active imagination.
Little Bear's animal friends are a motley crew of forest and domesticated fauna. And more often than not, they are named as simply the animal that they are. For example, his feline friend is simply named "Cat" and his owl friend is named "Owl". There is also a hen and a duck named.... you guessed it, "Hen" and "Duck". Obviously this is an attempt to help the target audience learn what these kinds of animals look like. Every now and then they throw in a curve ball such as a garter snake being named "No Feet", and a monkey being named "Mitzi". Little Bear also has a human friend who is a little girl named Emily. She lives in a house in the woods with her granny.
The episodes all involve Little Bear playing with his animal friends and occasionally solving a simple problem such as finding something that got misplaced. Little Bear, like his father (and pretty much every other bear in the world) likes to fish. His father actually seems to have a job as a commercial fisherman. Mother Bear always seems to have a pie or cake baking in the oven for whomever comes over. The show seems to take place many years ago, perhaps in the early 1900s. Nobody has a TV, anyway. Oddly enough, the adult bears wear clothing while Little Bear does not. In a hilarious touch, Little Bear's grandfather wears an old-fashioned pair of glasses on the tip of his snout! The cartoon is well-animated, and hearkens back to a simpler time even adults are bound to recall. Usually everyone plays nice together. Except the monkey. Sometimes she can be a problem. But what exactly is a monkey doing in a seemingly North American wilderness? And why did they draw the garter snake to resemble a deadly green tree mamba? Hard to say. If you have very small children who like animals, then this is sure to keep them occupied for a while at least. 9 of 10 stars.