Little Bear is a Canadian animated series produced by Nelvana Limited. It is based on the books of the same name, written by Else Holmelund Minarik and illustrated by Maurice Sendak. The program was originally commissioned by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and it has been rebroadcast on many channels, including Noggin and Nick Jr. (US), ABC and ABC2 (Australia) and Children's BBC (UK). A direct-to-video/DVD full-length feature film titled The Little Bear Movie was released in 2001. Reruns aired until August 2018 on the Nick Jr. Channel.
Little Bear (voiced by Kristin Fairlie), the protagonist of the series, is a 6-year-old small, curious, feisty and imaginative grizzly bear cub who lives in the forest with his family and friends. Throughout the series, he has grown somewhat, as his voice is slightly deeper, and he rarely takes naps. He is the only character whose parents are shown other than exception of Duck's mother in one show who is a chicken. Little Bear lives in a stucco, wood, plaster, and brick house. He is always kind and loves to explore. His catchphrase is "Interesting!"
Emily (voiced by Jennifer Martini) is a 7-year-old girl who is Little Bear's best friend. In the summer, Emily vacations with her parents by the river near Little Bear's home. Emily carries around a doll named Lucy everywhere she goes and is very attached to her. Emily gave Little Bear Lucy when she was leaving to go back to school but then took her back, saying that she just remembered that "Lucy has to go to school", too. Emily eventually moves to the forest permanently and lives there with her grandmother.
Owl (voiced by Amos Crawley) is a male short-eared owl who is sometimes pompous, yet he is very wise. He lives in a treehouse, and can be quite serious at times. Although Owl enjoys fun games, he will only participate if the gameplay is sensible. It is also shown that reading is his hobby.
Duck (voiced by Tracy Ryan) is a female domestic duck with yellow feathers, an orange beak and a long neck. Slow and smart at the same time, Duck is one who gets herself into comical situations. She lives in a nest, although in one episode, she expressed longing for a house and tried to live in a house boat. It floated downriver filled with frogs and Duck lived happily in her nest. She loves playing "princess" and pretend. She was hatched in a nest of chicks, because "some eggs got mixed up", and Little Bear taught her to fly when she was a duckling. She never has any ducklings of her own, but she is sometimes seen babysitting a group of them. Her voice sounds scratchy.
Cat (voiced by Andrew Sabiston) is a laid back, slothful male tuxedo cat who enjoys prowling at night, playing tricks on passersby, and eating. When he and his friends must get to a certain place in the woods, Cat often leads them through one of his shortcuts.
Hen (voiced by Elizabeth Hanna) is a fussy, feisty chicken with an English accent who lives in a large chicken coop. She is classy, sophisticated and enjoys cleanliness, though her several nieces and nephews often mess up her spotless house. However, she never turns down the opportunity for fun. Hen has also been shown to be fond of opera, but it seems that she is not good at singing it.
No Feet (voiced by Rick Jones) is a friendly, gentle and green male garter snake (hence the name) that lives in Mother Bear's garden. Little Bear gets along with him very well, except Hen.
Mother Bear (voiced by Janet-Laine Green) is Little Bear's mother. She enjoys cooking and is always there to help Little Bear if he needs it. She also seems to be very tidy and does not like it when the house becomes messy. She normally wears a pink shirt and a blue skirt with a white apron.
Father Bear (voiced by Dan Hennessey) is Little Bear's father and Mother Bear's husband. His occupation is a fisherman and sometimes takes Little Bear out fishing. He has been to many places and likes to keep things that are old, even if they have to be thrown away. He usually wears a blue suit with a purple tie and brown shoes. Throughout the run of the show he is sporadically absent in appearance, as he is "away, fishing".
Grandmother Bear (voiced by Diane D'Aquila) is Little Bear's grandmother and Mother Bear's mother, and Grandfather Bear's wife. She likes to cook and tell stories.
Grandfather Bear (voiced by Sean McCann) is Little Bear's grandfather and Mother Bear's father. He once worked at a circus with his wife and sister. He wears a green suit but with khakis and a dark-red tie with brown shoes.
Rusty Bear (voiced by George Buza) is Father Bear's younger brother and Little Bear's uncle. He mentions that he lives in the woods, and that he would prefer to live there because it is quiet and peaceful. He is a very large bear, slightly taller and huskier than Father Bear. He has a deep voice, wears overalls, and has a red handkerchief around his neck. He is only seen in a few of the Little Bear episodes. Little Bear is fascinated with Rusty's outdoor ethic, and whenever he shows up, Little Bear is tempted to emulate his rustic character.
Granny (voiced by Kay Hawtrey) Emily's grandmother, who she lives with in the summer and then permanently, has traveled the world and has many odd pieces of furniture. She is the owner of Tutu.
Tutu (voiced by Tara Strong) is Granny's dog. She acts very hyper and she can understand humans. According to Granny, she only speaks French, yet she understands English.
Lucy – Lucy is a female doll who belongs to Emily. She has short blond hair and wears a red dress and bonnet with brown shoes. In one episode, Lucy fell from a tree and her porcelain arm was broken. Little Bear fixed it with tape. Another time, Duck sat on Lucy mistakenly and they had a funeral, where she was proved to be "alive" in the end. Emily is the only one who can "understand" and "talk" to Lucy.
Mitzi (voiced by Ashley Taylor) is a mischievous, sometimes rather unthoughtful tomboyish monkey who lives in a tree house in the forest around Little Bear's home. She feels bad after slighting somebody's feelings or misleading them. She sometimes has green or white eyes. Mitzi is the last to join the supporting cast, not appearing until the end of season two.
Otters – Four silly Northern river otter siblings that sporadically appear, reside in the local river. They are frequent in episodes focusing on water activities.
Mermaid – Mermaid is a mermaid who Little Bear occasionally meets when he goes to the lake, she is friendly and takes Little Bear to see places underwater.
Frog – Frog is a male frog that dispenses zen-like wisdom between his meditations. He resides at Little Bear's favorite swimming spot, 'Hop-Frog pond'. He is also very wise, and good friend to Little Bear.
Moose (voiced by Ian Finlay) is a male Eastern Moose, who sometimes helps Little Bear and his friends when they are in need.
Little Ick – Little Ick is a baby raccoon who only appears in an episode where his mother went to visit his grandmother and dropped him off with Mother Bear. Little Bear and Little Ick form a bit of a sibling relationship together like Little Bear feeling left out because Mother Bear seems to be paying more attention to Little Ick. Little Ick is the baby raccoon's nickname from Little Bear because "Ick" is the only thing the baby can say.
Marshmallow – Marshmallow is a baby albino skunk who is found by Owl and Little Bear in an episode and plays with Duck, Little Bear, Owl, and Cat in the episode "Little Footprints".
|Nick Jr. originals|
|1980s premieres||Pinwheel (reruns) • Eureeka's Castle|
|1990s premieres||Allegra's Window • Gullah Gullah Island • Blue's Clues • Binyah Binyah! • Little Bill|
|2000s premieres||Oobi (shorts) • Dora the Explorer • Oswald • Whoopi's Littleburg (specials) • Blue's Room • LazyTown • The Backyardigans • Go, Diego, Go! • Jack's Big Music Show • Wonder Pets! • The Upside Down Show • Ni Hao, Kai-Lan • The Fresh Beat Band|
|2010s premieres||Team Umizoomi • Bubble Guppies • Wallykazam! • Dora and Friends: Into the City! • Blaze and the Monster Machines • Fresh Beat Band of Spies • Shimmer and Shine • Nella the Princess Knight • Sunny Day • Zoofari • Butterbean's Café • Blue's Clues & You!|
|2020s premieres||Santiago of the Seas • Baby Shark's Big Show! • Noggin Knows • The Tiny Chef Show|
|See also||List of Nick Jr. original programming|