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Adventures of the Little Koala
Adventures of the Little Koala Title Card.JPG
Title screen
(Koara Bōi Kokki)
Genre Adventure, Kodomo
TV anime
Studio Topcraft
Licensor Tohokushinsha Film (Japan), Cinar Films, Viacom (USA, Canada, France, UK etc.)
Network Japan TV Tokyo
English network United States Nickelodeon
United States Nick Jr.
Original run 1984-10-041985-03-28
Episodes 52
Anime and Manga Portal

Adventures of the Little Koala (コアラボーイコッキィ Koara Bōi Kokki ?) is an anime TV series that aired originally in Japan on TV Tokyo from October 4, 1984 through March 28, 1985, and then aired in the United States on Nickelodeon dubbed in English from 1987 to 1994. It also aired in Greece, Italy, France, the United Kingdom, in the Arabic-speaking world and other countries, but its biggest success by far was in the United States on Nickelodeon. Production of the English and French versions of the series was done by Canadian studio Cookie Jar Group. The storyline revolved around Roo-bear Koala and his friends in a utopian village.



  • Roo-bear - a young boy koala, the series' central character and protagonist. Smart, adventurous, inquisitive, and athletic, he enjoys surfing, skateboarding, and baseball. His name is Kokki (sometimes spelled "Kocky") in the original Japanese version and "Kolbi" in the Italian dub. Voiced by Steven Bednarski (English) and Toshiko Fujita (Japanese).
  • Laura - Roo-bear's younger sister. Although she is sometimes a bit of a brat, she is generally kind-hearted and is also a strong-willed girl. In the original Japanese, she is "Lala" (or technically "Rara"). Voiced by Morgan Hallet (English) and Chisato Nakajima (Japanese).
  • Mommy - Roo-bear and Laura's mother, known as simply "Mommy" to her children and her husband, and as "Mrs. Koala" to the other children. She is a devoted homemaker, wife and mother, and an excellent cook, but she has other talents as well: ten years prior to the events in the series, she won the village's airplane race, and proceeded to win a second time in the episode "Mommy Can Fly" (despite not being an official entrant in the race and only taking the cockpit in order to rescue other contestants who were stranded following a crash). Voiced by Jane Woods (English) and Yoshie Asai (Japanese).
  • Papa - Roobear and Laura's father, known as "Papa" to his children and wife and as "Mr. Koala" to the others. He works as a photographer for Miss Lewis' magazine. His biggest vice is a tendency to overeat, leading his family to try to put him on a diet and exercise program (despite his protests) in the episode "Papa On Stilts." Voiced by Walter Massey (English) and Hachirou Azuma (Japanese).
  • Betty - Another girl koala, Roobear's girlfriend. Generally a kind-hearted girl, she also can be somewhat vain at times, and her relationship with Roobear is sometimes colored by misunderstandings. Voiced by Cleo Paskal.
  • The Kangaroo Brothers - Led by Walter, a self-described expert boomerang thrower, and also including his brothers, the taller Horsey and the shorter Colt. Walter was the ringleader of this group, who loved nothing more than stirring up trouble in the village; Pamey and Mingle were the most frequent recipients of their teasing. Walter had an unrequited crush on Betty but, oddly given his character, was too shy to tell her how he felt (one episode revealed that he had written seventy unmailed love letters to Betty). Walter is voiced by A.J. Henderson, Horsey by Dean Hagopian, and Colt by Rob Roy.
  • Floppy - Roo-bear's best friend. Floppy, a boy rabbit, is a science enthusiast and budding inventor who also has a strong competitive streak when it comes to sports and other contests. He always wears a Walkman. Voiced by Timothy Webber.
  • Mimi - Floppy's twin sister, and Laura's best friend. Voiced by Barbara Pogemiller (English) and Mayumi Shou (Japanese).
  • Pamie - A girl penguin who loves to eat (although she temporarily turned anorexic in the episode "Balloon Pamie" as a result of Walter's teasing about her big stomach, which resulted in her fainting). She also has an unrequited crush on Roobear and has ambitions of being a nurse one day. Pamie and her brother Nick always wore scarves, even in hot weather, and had three younger brothers who were triplets. Voiced by Bronwen Mantel.
  • Nick - Pamie's twin brother. While he is generally more level-headed than his sister and also has a bit of a sarcastic streak, he often goes along with Pamie's antics even though he knows better. In the episode "Pamie Falls in Love" he concocted a plan to cancel Roobear's planned picnic date with Betty so that Pamie could have the date with Roobear instead, but the plan ended in disaster for all. He also wore a bobble hat in addition to his scarf. Voiced by Ian Finlay (English) and Yumiko Shibata (Japanese).
  • Kiwi - A bespectacled boy kiwi bird who worked as Papa Koala's assistant. Voiced by Phillip Pretten.
  • Miss Lewis - A young adult female koala who worked as editor-in-chief for the village magazine and was always on the hunt for stories that would interest her readers. She had a close relationship with Roo-bear and his friends, acting as a surrogate teacher of sorts, and encouraged them when they decided to start their own children's newspaper. Voiced by Bronwen Mantel.
  • Weather - An enigmatic dingo who was always shrouded with a heavy coat, scarf and hat, even in hot weather, and could forecast the weather with great accuracy. Like Miss Lewis, he had a close relationship with Roo-bear and his friends and acted as a sort of mentor and counselor for them. Voiced by Richard Dumont.
  • Mingle - A sugar glider and weather's constant companion, who was often involved in the children's adventures. Voiced by Barbara Pogemiller.
  • Duckbill - A duckbill platypus who enjoyed collecting old junk and fashioning useful things out of it. The children called him "Bill" for short. Voiced by Arthur Grosser.

It could be assumed that the series takes place in Australia due to the presence of koalas and kangaroos and the fact that Ayers Rock is mentioned in several episodes. Including different types of animal creatures in the daily life of the village was likely meant to demonstrate the virtues of pluralism and diversity.

Historical Background

In 1984, the Tama Zoo in western Tokyo welcomed its first koala, and the government of Australia sent six koalas to Japan as a token of goodwill. As a result, according to The Anime Encyclopedia by Jonathan Clements and Helen McCarthy, Japan went into a koala frenzy and anything to do with koalas became very popular. It was during this "koala-mania" that The Adventures of the Little Koala was made, as was another anime on Fuji TV, Nippon Animation's Fushigi na Koala Blinky, which would later be broadcast alongside Little Koala on Nickelodeon's Nick Jr. block in 1988, as Noozles.

Production Notes

The Japanese animation studio Top Craft, best known for providing animation duties on many of Rankin-Bass' American animated TV specials as well as the feature film The Last Unicorn, worked on The Adventures of the Little Koala. Top Craft provided animation assistance for Hayao Miyazaki's 1984 feature film Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind; in fact, some of the animators who worked on Little Koala also worked on Nausicaa. After Nausicaa, a number of Top Craft animators went on to work for Miyazaki's Studio Ghibli.

Some notable animators who worked on this series included Katsuhisa Yamada and Hidekazu Ohara.


  • When the English-language theme song mentions Mimi's name during the bridge in which some of the other characters (such as Laura, Nick and Floppy) are named, Betty is shown onscreen. This error was never corrected.



Source: Anime News Network

  • Co-producer: Haruo Nakayama
  • Scripts: Kenichi Ogawa, Kiichi Takayama, Mamoru Kanbe, Nanako Watanabe, Naoko Miyake, Riki Matsumoto, Toshiaki Imaizumi, Toshiro Ueno, Tsuyoshi Yatsuki, Yoshiaki Yoshida
  • Storyboards: Akio Mitani, Katsuhisa Yamada, Kozo Takagaki, Masamitsu Sasaki, Sodatsu Ishikuro, Takashi Tanasawa, Tatsuya Matsumoto
  • Animation Directors: Ai Kagawa, Hidekazu Ohara, Hiroshi Yamagishi, Kazuyuki Kobayashi, Masahiro Sasaki, Masahiro Yoshida, Masaru Hirakawa, Masayuki Uchiyama, Shinnosuke Kon, Takashi Watanabe
  • Music: Tsuyoshi Kawano
  • Animation Studio: Top Craft
  • Original Animation & Story: Tohokushinsha Film Co., Ltd.

English version (produced in Montreal, Canada)

  • Adaptation & direction: Ernest Reid
  • Executive Producer: Micheline Charest
  • Producer: Ronald A. Weinberg
  • Associate Producer: Elizabeth Klinck
  • Post-Production Supervisor: Pierre Michaud
  • Production Coordinator: Liz Joyce
  • Talent Coordinator: Marrielle Gaudreault
  • Production Secretary: Donna Vektris
  • Sound Editor: Tony Reed
  • Music Production: Andre Perreault
  • Rerecording Engineer: Andre Perreault
  • Titles Sequences: Tony Reed
  • Production: Cinar Films
  • Distribution: Viacom International Inc.

Characters/Voice actors

Japanese theme music

English version "Koala Song" theme

  • Music: Pierre-Daniel Rheault
  • Lyrics: Liz Joyce
  • Performed by: Sonja Ball, Shari Chaskin and Maxie Vaughann

List of episodes

There were 52 episodes; they are listed in the pairs they were aired in.

  • The Old Clock Tower / Mingle Takes A Dive
  • Is Weather A Frog? / Lost In A Race
  • Ghost Ship / Balloon Pamie
  • The King of the Castle / Hang-Gliding With Roobear
  • The Mysterious Moa Bird / Love That Baby Moa!
  • Snow White and the Seven Koalas / Roobear's Invention
  • Papa On Stilts / Detective Roobear
  • The Dinosaur Egg / Treasure Hunt
  • Pamie Falls In Love / The Koala Butterfly
  • The Koala Bear Gang / Back To Nature
  • Roobear Saves the Day / Editor-In-Chief Roobear
  • Monster Scoop / The Biggest Jigsaw Puzzle In the World
  • Who Will Be the Flower Queen? / Circus Day
  • Roobear the Babysitter / Papa Makes a Pie
  • The Amazing Boomerang / The Runaway Hat
  • Conquering Mt. Breadknife / Save the Eucalyptus
  • Mommy Can Fly / The Secret of the McGillicuddy Vase
  • Heavenly Fireworks / Save that Junk
  • The Winner / A Hundred-Year-Old Camera
  • Nurse Pamie / Any Mail Today?
  • The Writing on the Wall / A Ride In A Spaceship
  • Is Mingle a Nuisance? / Allowance Problems
  • A Whale of a Ride / Laura Finds An Egg
  • A Broken Umbrella / Save The Butterflies
  • The Moon Goddess / The Flying Doctor
  • A Eucalyptus Rocket / Penguins Don't Fly

See also

External links

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