TAKE ME TO THE PICTURES

Little Bear


Name of show that this character is from:  Little Bear
Titles of Episode:

Bigger Little Bear

Original Air date: November, 1996  (NETWORK: Nickelodeon  )
Where can I find this episode now?: (Cable) Noggin Network

EPISODE TYPES: Fantasy Situation
(see Common Themes section for more on this category)

WHAT IS LITTLE BEAR?: An Anthro, Furry, young bear cub

IS HE MACRO ORIGINALLY?: No        

HOW DID HE BECOME MACRO?: Imagined what it would be like to be bigger

WHAT DOES HE BECOME AFTER HE GREW?: Larger version of self
                  
IS GROWTH SHOWN?: Yes

MACRO NAME: (If different from regular sized name) Bigger Little Bear

QUOTE:   "I'm just a little bigger, little bear."

SEX:    Male

LOCATIONS:  Little Bear's House, a forest, a pond and outer space

MACRO SIZE (Approx or Average ): 50 Feet

NATURE: Heroic Good

DESTRUCTION LEVEL DONE: None

SYNOPSIS OF EPISODE:  Little Bear is standing at the wall waiting for his mother to mark the wall with a pencil to measure his height. The pencil is marked and Little Bear notices he got a bit bigger since the last time the marks were made. Little Bear thinks he is now big enough to help set the table and goes to reach the dishes in the high cabinet. He can't reach them and grabs a chair to assist. His mother notices him standing on the counter to try and reach the dishes and she stops him telling him to wait till he is bigger to help. He claims he is bigger now.

Little Bear decides to speed up his growth a bit by adding more marks on the wall each one higher then the next as his head rises to meet the new marks. Before he realizes it he is now as big as the room and hits his head on the ceiling. Satisfied with his new height he decides to head outside and venture about telling his mother he will be back later. He squeezes out of the doorway to the house that he barely fits through and leaps over the entire house as he sets out. Owl is reading a book in his chair about the giant in Jack and the Beanstalk only for Bigger Little Bear to show up and scare him. Own doesn't recognize Little Bear and is more scared then happy to see him. Owl escapes out his window to avoid Little Bear still insisting he doesn't know him. Little Bear explains that he used to be Little Bear and now he's Bigger Little Bear. He freaks Owl out as he pushes his huge head through some leaves and Owl flies off claiming he's too big now.

Little Bear next heads off to Duck's Pond to visit him. Duck doesn't recognize him either until Little Bear explains he is Little Bear. Duck accepts that and asks Little Bear if he wants to play. He says OK and goes to jump into the pond sending the water flying out everywhere leaving a huge empty ditch. Duck is less then pleased by this.  Duck walks off. 

Cat is hopping through the grass and leaps up onto what looks like a hill only for it to be Little Bears back. Little Bear sits up saying hi to Cat freaking him out sending him running off as far away as he can. Little Bear sits there sulking as the moon starts to rise out of the sunset. Little Bear jumps atop it and starts to be lifted away from the very Earth. The moon grunts at how heavy he is for a little bear and is told that he's a bigger bear now. The moon understands and then takes the bear for a tour of the solar system. Little Bear decides that he is hungry and doesn't need to see anymore. Only to be woken up by his mother calling his name.

Little Bear is back at home suddenly back at his previous size as his father comes home. He asks his son if he is any bigger. Little Bear says just a little bigger. The father asks if he is too big to jump into his arms and Little Bear answers no and does so.


REVIEW OF EPISODE: An interesting situation as this is not something you will often find in this type of target audience cartoon. The Little Bear cartoons are pretty much intended for a very young pre school group of kids. Most of the time the cartoons will be about values and imagination all dealing around this young bear and his friends. Very short and simple stories that hopefully send a good message home to the would be viewers.  I think it does accomplish that well and the show is fun for its intended target audience. Its nice to find macro moments in the cartoons for even the youngest of audiences. There are some who feel such themes are scary for kids, but I know I always found these themes cool and fun. What little kid wouldn't like to fantasize about being a giant and the perspectives it gives them on the world? I think sometimes parents use their own views of what scares them to determine what is acceptable for kids, not giving kids enough credit to handle more then they think they can. That's why it is always nice to find moments like this in the most unlikely of places.

This episode seems to be a favorite amongst some fans due to it's a) focusing on a giant bear, an animal that doesn't seem to get enough time as a real giant, b) is not violent or rampage based like a lot of the episodes on here are and c) it is a fun and cute situation that a lot of fans feel macro moments should be.  So I'm sure this episode will be a good representation of what a lot feel a good macro situation is and more proof that a good situation doesn't have to involve ripping buildings in half. To me I like all sorts of situations. Violent or nice. As long as it's big I'm all for it. But I have to objectively review this episode not on the basis of what is good to some or not, but if the moments were fun and something people would enjoy for the most part.

It's a very cute story. Little Bear wants to be bigger more then anything. (who doesn't around here ;) ? ) and seems excited by the fact that he did grow slightly since the last time he was measure. But of course Little Bear takes it to the extreme with his imagination and imagines what it would be like to be even bigger then he really is. And before we know it a huge Little Bear is out and about stomping through the forests trying to interact with his usual friends of animals. Some of the situations were fun like when they show Owl reading a book and Bigger Little Bear (as he is now known in his larger size) peeks through the window and door of his tree house home scaring him. Ironically of course Owl was reading a book about the giant in Jack in the Beanstalk at the time. It was a cute interactment but also a little silly. The fact that Owl didn't recognize his friend just because he was bigger seemed to not make much sense. But then again this is really all just a fantasy that Little Bear is experiencing. Even though we don't truly realize that until the end when they show him waking up, none of the events of him as a giant happened. So the reactions and experiences are all just things he imagined it would be like if he were big.

To me the situations were  just a little too repetitive. One time scaring his friend was cool. Even a second time but then when it kept happening it was almost beating a  theme to death here. The last moments with the moon I found very silly. I didn't even get the significance of it. Besides the fact that since he is supposed to be the bigger that would in comparison make the moon smaller. But I didn't get where they were going with it. Seemed like a strange way to end the situation. I couldn't help but to find the banter the moon and Little Bear had with one another a little awkward. Like two people who have nothing in common meeting for the first time and trying to make small talk. It seemed like they were forcing to find things to say to one another  and nodding at things they were saying. You almost were expecting one of them to say "Umm, So how about those stars, heh?" 

Overall its almost a lost treasure due to the fact you just would never expect to find it in this type of show.  The growth moments could have been a little better, but for the nature of the show it was fitting the way they went about it. The episode is pretty short, but this is also the norm of the show to have short 7 minute long episodes at a time. Little Bear as a giant is fun, in the way that he seems to be experimenting with his size and trying to interact with everyone in the same way. But falls flat in that the story is not that exciting or eventful. It just seemed strange that a little cub like that would imagine himself as a giant and all he really wants to do is play with his friends and sit atop the moon.  Strange moments but for the target audience it was intended for it will do it's job in being a fun watch. Macro wise though it isn't the best. The growth moment is quick and his macro moments aren't too exciting. Its a pretty middle of the road episode though and probably something most may want to check out just to see what is going on in this short lived moment. There were many cartoons for this target audience that never got macro moments (i.e.) Franklin) at least this accomplished that well enough and gives the youngsters a chance to see what macro situations are all about.


RATING:   C+

 

MEMORABLE QUOTES AND MOMENTS IN EPISODE:


Owl: "I don't know any bigger little bear!"
Little Bear: "I used to be Little Bear and then I got bigger!"
(Owl flies off terrified as the bigger Little Bear moves in along his tree towards him)
Owl: "You're too big!!"

****************

(The moon lifts Bigger Little Bear up away from the Earth as it grunts)
Moon: "You're heavy for a little bear."
Little Bear: "That's because I'm a bigger bear."
Moon: "Oh..."

*****************


FINAL NOTES:

*Little Bear is a long running series that appeared for over 5 seasons on Nickelodeon network during it's noon block of programing called "Nick Jr." The target market for shows in this  time slot was toddler and pre-schooler set. Often times the shows shown at this time were to teach good morals and values to youngsters. Each showing of Little Bear consisted of 3 various episodes each about 7 minutes long. Most episodes involved adventures of the title character Little Bear along with his other animal friends and the trouble they get into with their imaginations or games that they wind up playing together. Sometimes the stories are more family oriented dealing with Little Bear and his parents teaching him about lessons he needs to know.

*Little Bear the cartoon show is based on a popular illustrated book series of the same name written by Else Holmelund Minarik and illustrated by Maurice Sendak. The books were originally written in the 1950's. The cartoons based on the book weren't made until the mid 1990's. No new books or episodes are made dealing with Little Bear but the cartoon series still runs in repeats on the Noggin Network which is an indirect off shoot network of  Nickelodeon.  The show also ran on CBS Saturday morning blocks in the early 2000's.

*All the main characters found in this cartoon series are named after the species they are. His friends are Duck, Cat, Owl and Hen and are those exact species that they are also using for their names. Little Bear's parents are only known as "Father Bear" and "Mother Bear".

Errors--

      Factual -- Of course this is all a dream situation and just in his mind but for the sake of factuality...it is impossible to literally hop atop the moon as it rises up. For one thing the moon doesn't really rise up from under the ground but is just not seen until the part of the planet a person is on happens to be facing away from the sun so it can be seen. Not to mention the moon doesn't talk. Little Bear was far from big enough to sit atop it and it doesn't travel through the galaxy on it's own as if it were a space ship.
      Continuity --  Size Fluctuation. At first Little Bear is about 12 feet tall when he exits the house. He is then bigger when he shows up at Owl. Bigger still when he arrives at Cat. Then back to smaller then his biggest size when he interacts with the moon. Even though technically he should have been at his biggest at this point.

+ :Fun situation that plays with the imagination of a young bear showing what he dreams it would be like to be big. Interesting interactments with his friends as they deal with the larger Little Bear.

- :Can be a little too childish if you are watching it for other reasons other then for some giant bear moments. Growth moment not done well and some of the moments are a little silly and too cute even for a very young audience.  Lame moments dealing with the moon at the end.


PICTURES OF LITTLE BEAR



Time to measure the bear cub     Hmmm not big enough yet     If only I could get bigger..

Why do they put those shelves so high up?     Gotta speed this getting bigger thing up     Time to size myself up some more

There he grows     Maybe he will raise the roof     Not such a little bear now

See ya mom. Going to go stomp everyone     Being bigger makes my butt look big     Giant bears are very flexable

Little Bear finds a new hidding spot     Able to leap small houses in a single bound     Ill crush the place later. Time to rampage

Oh so that's what those small windows are for..     Come on out owl or Ill destroy your home     Scaring that runt Owl is fun

Seeing eye to eye with very big eyes     Its going to take a lot of fish to feed a bear this size     Time for a swim. Look out below!

Big butt emptied the water again     Hey little cat! BOO!     Its night time already?

Boy the moon looks so much bigger when you are small     May as well hop on. No cities around to stomp     Its the only way for a giant to travel


AVINONE