Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Blast from the Past Blog:The Littles cartoon series

The 80's gave us many, many cartoon series, some were good, some were great and some you just watched because it was a cartoon. The Littles was produced by DIC and if im correct it was their first cartoon, it aired on ABC Saturday mornings from 83-85 but its reruns ran for years and years. The Littles were tiny people who lived in the walls. They had tails and pointy ears and big teeth, kind of like mouse people. I believe the idea was taken from the novel, "The Borrowers." In the cartoon Henry Bigg, a normal boy finds the littles one day and befriends them. He is the only human that knows about them and is friends with them. The series was focused on Grandpa Little, his two grandchildren Tom and Lucy and their cousin Dinky, which i always thought was a hilarious name. In season three the episodes took place in a new location each week. The story goes that Henry does a ton of traveling and the Littles with their, "massive fascination," just wanted to come along. They go from distant country to distant country with a new adventure each episode. This time the only characters that were littles were Grandpa, Dinky and the two grandchildren, their parents and the rest of the little society had been written out of the series. There was also a feature film but it was just a big episode basically. A common reoccurring joke was Grandpa getting all pissed at Dinky and trying to hit him or chase him or just mess him up. Dinky was always screwing stuff up for everybody else, a sort of Little Gilligan.
The theme for this show really stood out for me, not only were the lyrics great but the tune was very catchy. By its last season in 85 you can hear an attitude in the girl's voice who sang the theme, a slice of pop culture for the time period. If i had no clue about the show or when it was made i could tell you mid 80's based only on hearing the theme.

Season 1 lyrics start out with Henry Bigg telling us about the Littles. They go: "I have a very special secret, im the only one who knows about tiny people living in our walls called, THE LITTLES." We are the littles, tails wiggle to and fro, we are the littles, we are living with you don't you know? We keep the secret from the outside, from Mr. Bigg we gotta hide, we use a pencil for a slide. Here come the littles so you better watch out! With their massive fascination, in almost every situation, everyday is a celebration, you cant top the littles cause the littles don't stop!

Season 2 starts out a little different. This time Henry Bigg doesn't narrate the story and the actual story of their meeting is revealed. The music and tune and some lyrics are the same but the music has just a tiny bit more of an attitude, you can hear the established cartoon demeanor. They go: Here come the littles, always running to and fro, here come the littles, they're living with you don't you know? One day when Henry went away the littles fell inside his suitcase, he later found his castaways when he opened his luggage and the littles jumped out! They've been the best friends ever since, hes got to secret their existence, inside the walls they've always been. He patched up the littles cause the littles don't stop!

Finally in season 3 the singer busts out some real attitude. This time the lyrics tell us the littles will be going around the world. Most of it is the littles themselves talking and getting into trouble so there is a big break in between the singer's lines. The theme shows them going to the jungle, to Egypt, to Japan, to Mayan ruins, a Scottish castle and even in space. They go: Here come the littles. Traveling around the world, they'll go from one land to the other, they know theres so much to discover, here come the littles so you better watch out! The littles massive fascination in almost every situation, here come the littles so you better watch out!

although the three season openers changed the end credits always remained the same. As the credits rolled, the littles would be running around the screen getting into trouble. These lyrics were different from the beginning themes but the tune was always the same. They go: We are the littles, tails wiggle to and fro. We are the littles, we're living with you don't you know? We keep a secret from the outside, from Mr. Bigg we gotta hide. We use a pencil for a slide, you cant top the littles cause the littles don't stop!

This wasn't a spectacular cartoon that was beloved by millions of kids such as He-man, Thundercats or Ducktales but i do believe everyone my age watched it just the same. That to me is worth noting. I remember when they made a live action movie of the borrowers i remember saying, thats bullshit, thats just the littles and you ripped them off. Haha, turns out the littles could have been the rip offs either way i'll always like that show. Check out the themes on youtube or retrojunk.com

They also owned a tiny turtle named Slick. I told myself i would name my next turtle Slick for the one on the Littles. I forgot all about it and didnt name my turtle Slick, im kicking myself in the ass for it everytime i think of the littles. All in all this was a show you could just sit down and watch and you know it was going to be good. I never turned the channel but i never remember saying, YES, THE LITTLES ARE ON!!! Watch a few episodes, i know it wont be the same but if you remember it will surely take you back and thats my two cents.


IcyBear said...

Nice article. Actually

"The Littles were the title characters of a series of children's novels by American author John Peterson, the first of which was published in 1967."

Those novels in turns were likely inspired by "The Borrowers" written by Mary Norton some 12 years earlier. So the Littles were based on books based on another book, you could say.

Tiwaking said...

"thats bullshit, thats just the littles and you ripped them off"

Hahaha! I think everyone who had grown up with The Littles thought that too :D

Ragingwolf said...

I loved the littles. Very cool how they used normal day things to use and live with. cigeret box into a car. I made one. Very cool and fun. Even a rubber band air plane. Had lots of fun making things from the show . Wish at time they were real.