|Belle and Sebastian|
|Studio||MK Company, Visual 80, Toho Company, Ltd.|
|English network|| Nickelodeon
|Original run||April 7, 1981 – June 22, 1982|
Belle and Sebastian (名犬ジョリィ Meiken Jorii , Jolly the famous dog) is an anime adaption of a series of French novels called Belle et Sébastien by Cécile Aubry. The series ran on the Japanese network NHK from April 7, 1981 – June 22, 1982. It consists of 64 episodes and was a co-production of France's MK Company and Visual 80 Productions and Japan's Toho Company, Ltd.. Toshiyuki Kashiwakura was the animation director and character designs were by Shuichi Seki. The show was broadcast on French and Japanese television in 1981, with American cable network Nickelodeon picking it up in 1984. In the United Kingdom, it aired on Children's BBC in 1989 and 1990.
The series is about the mountain-based adventures of a young boy named Sebastian and his Pyrenean Mountain Dog Belle who live in a small village in the Pyrenees, a mountain range between France and Spain. Sebastian has no friends because he is teased by the other children for not having a mother. But one day, he meets a gentle white Pyrenees dog who has been falsely accused of terrible crimes. He names her Belle and they become the best of friends. To save her from an unjust fate, Sebastian leaves his adoptive family and begins traveling with Belle and his little dog Poochie. They have many adventures as they elude the police and search for Sebastian's long-lost mother.
Sebastian is a 7-year-old boy from the Pyrenees Mountains in France. Since he was born, he has been living with his adoptive grandfather, Cecil, and Anne-Marie. Sebastian is good-natured and energetic, but the children in town tease him because he doesn't have a real mother. Sebastian's deepest desires are to find his mother and to have a good friend.
Belle is a large white Pyrenees dog who escaped into the French countryside. She is gentle and warmhearted, but her attempts to help those in need are misunderstood. She is labeled "The White Monster" and the police are constantly on her tail.
Poochie is a little puppy who rides around in Sebastian's pocket. Although Poochie is always yapping and getting into mischief, he is a good friend to Sebastian and Belle.
Cecil took Sebastian in as a baby and acts as his adoptive grandfather. He is a loving mentor who teaches Sebastian all he knows about the mountains and the wilderness.
Anne-Marie is Cecil's biological granddaughter. She has helped care for Sebastian since he was born, and fancies herself as his mother despite being the age of an older sister at best. She loves Sebastian deeply, but is often overprotective and a little harsh.
Isabel is Sebastian's real mother, a traveling Gypsy. She went against the gypsy code and married an outsider, but he died before she delivered their son. Isabel had her baby secretly in the Pyrenees Mountains, and promised to come back for him one day when her people were able to understand.
Sarah is a sick, lonely little girl Sebastian meets on his journey. Both Sarah and Sebastian long for friends their own age to play with, so they quickly become close. Sarah reappears several times during Sebastian's journey to lend a helping hand.