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Old Bear Stories was a BAFTA award-winning stop frame animation television series for children based on the Old Bear and Friends books by Jane Hissey. Jane Hissey also created the television series, starting it on 24 September 1993, and creating 3 seasons, which ended on 24 December 1997 with a double-length Christmas special. In all, 41 episodes were made. The series was produced by Ealing Animation (El Nombre) and was originally broadcast in the United Kingdom on ITV. Episodes have subsequently been repeated on Channel 5 in the UK, and are also broadcast in the United States and other countries worldwide. The show also aired for a short time on the CBC morning children's block in Canada. It also aired in the United States as part of Cartoon Network's Small World as well as ABC in Australia, M-Net, SABC 2 and Bop TV in South Africa, MediaCorp Channel 5 in Singapore, Channel Eye in Sri Lanka, TVP1 in Poland, SVT Barnkanalen in Sweden and TV2 in New Zealand. The series was also screened on armed forces television on BFBS (and its former network SSVC Television) where it was shown in several countries such as Germany and the Falkland Islands.

Old Bear Stories
StarringAnton Rodgers
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of series3
No. of episodes41
Running time10 mins
Production company(s)Carlton Television
Original networkITV Network (Carlton)
Channel 5
Original release24 September 1993 (1993-09-24) –
23 December 1997 (1997-12-23)

Episodes of the series were released on VHS by Carlton Video.


The animals at the play room have remembered that Old Bear disappeared long ago. He has been put into the loft. They rescue him and bring him back down to the Play room. He becomes the most respected toy and guides the others in their many adventures, both in the play room and in the garden.


  • Old Bear: an elderly dusty teddy bear, he was put up in the attic when he reached an advanced age, but was rescued by the other toys. They now look up to him as a fearless, yet wise, leader.
  • Bramwell Brown: a wise old bear, often considered second to Old Bear. Likes to cook things for the other toys.
  • Duck: a gloomy and depressed toy duck who sometimes wishes he could fly. Doesn't like to get his feet wet.
  • Rabbit: an impulsive toy rabbit.
  • Little Bear: a small white bear who wears overly baggy orangey red trousers. The youngest of the all the toys, as he is very much like a young child. Sometimes has some good ideas of what to do.
  • Jolly Tall: a toy giraffe who despite his height doesn't like heights - he says his head thinks it was high enough as it is. Jolly has an extra long scarf which Bramwell knitted.
  • Sailor: a toy sailor who enjoys sailing in his toy boat.
  • Zebra: a female toy zebra.
  • Hoot the Owl: a toy owl living in the loft. Originally had a nest made of a bunch of socks that didn't match, until Little Bear gave her an old bobble hat to use instead.
  • Ruff the Dog: a bouncy toy dog which resembles a Fox Terrier.
  • Dog: a toy black Scottish Terrier who likes to bury his rubber bones in some plant pots.
  • Camel: a toy camel who is almost as tall as Jolly Tall. Once tried to use Little Bear's trousers as hump warmers.
  • Cat: a toy cat who likes to nap in any place she finds.
  • Rabbit's cousin: female cousin of Rabbit, who occasionally stays with the toys. She wears a straw hat, and seems to like to cause mischief, and doesn't like cleaning.
  • The dolls: a family of 3 dolls (a father, a mother (Mrs. Doll) and a daughter) who live in a dolls' house in a corner of the play room.


  1. Old Bear
  2. Little Bear Lost
  3. There Were Five in a Bed
  4. Jolly Tall
  5. Little Bear's Trousers
  6. The Circus
  7. The Rainy Day
  8. The Fancy Dress Competition
  9. Little Bear's Big Race
  10. The Apple Tree
  11. The Winter Picnic
  12. Jolly Snow
  13. The Dolls' House Christmas Tree
  14. Ruff
  15. The Play
  16. The Boat Race
  17. Jigsaw
  18. Hoot
  19. Ruff Follows His Nose
  20. Spring Clean
  21. Old Bear's Chair
  22. Market Day
  23. The Car
  24. Little Bear's Book
  25. The Birthday Band
  26. Hot and Spotty
  27. Hoot and the Mystery Eggs
  28. The Clock
  29. The Castle
  30. The Colour Chase
  31. Little Bear's Snowman
  32. The Painting
  33. Duck Tries to Fly
  34. The Jolly Dragon
  35. Rabbit and the Visitor
  36. Little Bear's Cold Day
  37. Ruff and the Big Wheel
  38. The Birthday Camp
  39. The Treasure Hunt
  40. The Perfect Presents
  41. Little Bear and the Christmas Star

Cast and crewEdit

  • Writer: Jane Hissey
  • Director: Kevin Griffiths
  • Assistant Director: Liz Whitaker
  • Producer: Richard Randolph
  • Executive Producer: Peter Gillbe
  • Composer: Paul Castle
  • Film Editor: Nick Follows
  • Assistant Editor: Nick Aleck
  • Dubbing Mixer: Nick Glynn-Davies
  • Puppet Makers: Monique Brown, Alix Hardwood, Val Johnston, Helen Ranch
  • Animators: Fin and Humphrey Leadbitter, Tobias Fouracre, Geoffrey Walker, Dan Ryan, Aziz Samuels
  • Props: Pippa Randolph, Sue Phillips, Geoffrey Walker, Donna Joy
  • Sets: Colin Armitage, Graeme Owen
  • Production Manager: Lynne Pritchard
  • Production Assistants: Jilly Clarke, Geoffrey Walker
  • Narrator: Anton Rodgers
  • Characters Copyright by Jane Hissey, licensed by Random House UK Ltd.
  • An Optomen Television Production in association with Ealing Animation and Carlton Television

Copyright Carlton Television UK 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997

Theme musicEdit

The theme tune was composed by Paul Castle and consists of the lyrics:

Please read us a story Old Bear, we'll all gather round

Dear Old Bear.

Sit in your favourite chair,

We'll sit all around, all around dear Old Bear.


The harmony vocals were provided by Alison Goldfrapp of the band Goldfrapp.[1]


The series was very well critically received and won a lot of awards:

See alsoEdit


External linksEdit