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Overview

The Adventures of Hello Kitty and Friends (Traditional ChineseHello Kitty 愛漫遊) is a 3D CGI animated series featuring Hello Kitty and other characters from the Japanese company Sanrio. It was produced from 2006 onwards by Sanrio Digital and Dream Cortex distributed by Televisa. It consists of of 52 episodes and deals with themes of happiness, family and friendship. It is intended for children between the ages of three to ten to watch with their family and friends.

Origin

A simply drawn icon, Hello Kitty is the most successful image created by the merchandising corporation Sanrio to sell toys, toasters, luggage, dolls, stickers, and just about anything else. Her fellow brands include Kero Kero Keroppi and Pekkle the Duck, but Kitty has a bigger international fan base than the rest put together. A complete rundown of her screen appearances, including all the compilations and recombinations of the last 21 years, would require substantially more space than this book allows, but these are the highlights of her anime resume.

A Hello Kitty version of Cinderella (1989) was originally shown theatrically before initiating the franchise of Hello Kitty's Fairy Tale Theater, where the mouthless icon appeared in many adaptations of famous stories, including her own versions of Snow White, Heidi, Sleeping Beauty, Alice in Wonderland, The Dream Thief, Kitty and the Beast, and the Wizard of Oz pastiche Wizard of Paws. Sensibly realizing that the U.S. market would not bear a single episode to a tape, these were bundled into compilation volumes in America, where they were well received as children's entertainment, and Santa's Missing Hat was combined with Keroppi crossover The Christmas Eve Gift.

Meanwhile, Kitty's popularity continued in Japan-1990 saw a theatrical retelling of Thumbelina, and the Japanese audience was treated to several successive video outings that never made it to the West, including a second Heidi pastiche in 1994 and a ten-part series of Japanese Folk Tales, including adaptations of The Hidden Tengu, Momotaro, Kintaro, The Snow Maiden, The Monkey and the Crab, Princess Kaguya (see Rei Rei), and Here Comes the Mouse Bride. Kitty also featured in several video specials with fellow Sanrio character Bad Batz Maru (see same) and the old-time Japanese adventures Ratboy and Return of the Tanuki (both 1989).

Other stories were more original, including some set in Kitty's hometown of London, such as The Day the Clock Stopped (1992), in which Kitty and sister Mimi have to restart Big Ben, and HK: Aliens in London (1992), in which the gullible sisters are convinced that two jewel thieves are visitors from outer space. Other outbreaks of the Kitty virus were aimed squarely at impressing parents. HK: Mom Loves Me After All (1992) deals with a child's jealousy for a newborn sibling, telling the tale of Kitty's mother babysitting for someone else. We Love Hello Kitty (1993) ex-plained the wonders that await good little kittens on their birthdays, when they get presents from all their friends and the chance to eat their favorite food. The franchise jumped on the eco-bandwagon in 1994, the same year as Pompoko, with HK: Everyone Must Protect the Forest. In 1997, the parental propaganda machine began rolling in earnest with a succession of short informational videos including Trying Hard, Cleaning up the House, Going to the Toilet Alone, Sleeping Alone, Being Careful Outdoors, Saying Sorry, Table Manners, and Enjoying the Bath, all followed by the winning subtitle ". . . with Hello Kitty." The late 1990s saw the Kitty team animate a six-part video series of Aesop's Fables in their own inimitable style. The ". . . with Hello Kitty" series, combined with "Kitty Parody Theater" (possibly a new name for the fables or fairy tales above) was rebroadcast on Japanese TV as the 39-episode Kitty's Paradise (1999), which was swiftly snapped up for the U.S. market by Saban Entertainment during the mad rush to option Japanese children's animation post-Pokémon. This was particularly ironic, since it was now sought after because "anime sells," whereas it had clearly been selling rather well without the "anime" tag for several years already.

Plot

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Original US Poster Art

General Information Edit
Name Hello Kitty
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Publisher Sanrio
Start Year 1989
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