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Hello Kitty

Guest Author - Lesley Aeschliman

The Hello Kitty character was created in 1974 by the Sanrio Company. It is not known for sure what inspired Sanrio to come up with the character. Some think she was inspired by Musti, a little cat created by a graphic artist named Ray Goossens in 1945. However, there are some people who think Hello Kitty was inspired by Miffy, who was created by a Dutch artist named Dick Bruna in 1955.

Hello Kitty, whose full name is actually Kitty White, has starred in several anime series that are targeted toward young children. The character also made cameo appearances in the animated films produced by Sanrio between 1977 and 1985.

The earliest-known Hello Kitty animated series was animated by DiC Entertainment, but was co-produced by Sanrio. 1986's Hello Kitty's Furry Tale Theatre parodied famous fairytales and blockbuster movies from that time period. The series was broadcast on The Family Channel, and a Spanish-dubbed version aired Saturday mornings on Univision.

The first Hello Kitty anime from Japan was 1991's Hello Kitty and Friends. This series depicted Kitty as a little girl who has a twin sister named Mimmy, and they live with their mother and father. Mimmy is identical to Kitty, but she has different colored clothes and wears her bow under the opposite ear. Other episodes in the series featured other Sanrio characters, such as Keroppi, Pochacco, Badzt-Maru, and Pekkle. A total of 13 episodes were produced for the series. In the United States, the series originally aired on CBS; later, it aired on Toon Disney.

In Japan, Hello Kitty and her friends also starred in a show called Hello Kitty’s Paradise. 16 episodes were produced for this series, and aired in Japan between 1993 and 1994. An English dub version of the series was released in 2000 and aired on Toon Disney. In this series, Hello Kitty and her friends explore issues and activities in an everyday setting. This series is focused more on teaching kids some basic ethics, but also incorporates some visual games and puzzles. Each episode of this series clocks in at eight minutes. Hello Kitty and her friends also appeared in Hello Kitty's Animation Theatre, which had some of the Sanrio characters appearing in their versions of different fairytales.

In 2006, Hello Kitty appeared in a claymation series titled, Hello Kitty's Stump Village. This show teaches such lessons as how to be nice to others and share, and how to apologize when you do something mean to your friends. Each episode of this series clocks in around 10 minutes.

Sanrio's digital entity, Sanrio Digital, produced the first 3D animated Hello Kitty series, Adventures of Hello Kitty & Friends. The series made its debut on Japanese television on February 16, 2008. The characters in this series include Hello Kitty, Dear Daniel, My Melody, Pochacco, Badtz-Maru, Keroppi, Little Twin Stars, and Cinnamoroll. In addition to the core values of the other Hello Kitty series, this series has real actors and the characters teaching kids ages two to six about words, simple math, shapes, colors, and foreign languages. This series is an educational show that targets both kids and parents.


Title
Episodes
Release Year(s)
Director
Studio
N.A. Licensor
Hello Kitty and Friends131993-1994??ADV Films
Hello Kitty’s Paradise162000??ADV Films
Hello Kitty’s Stump Village262005??Geneon Entertainment
The Adventures of Hello Kitty & Friends522008-ongoingSanrio DigitalN/A
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Hello Kitty & Friends Volume 1
Hello Kitty & Friends Volume 2
Hello Kitty & Friends Volume 3
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Content copyright © 2014 by Lesley Aeschliman. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Lesley Aeschliman. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Brenda Chen for details.

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