Sunday, December 23, 2007

Fables of the Green Forest

The "Fables of the Green Forest" is an anime adaptation based on a series of books published in the 1910s and 1920s by Thornton W. Burgess which ran on the Japanese network Fuji TV from 7 January 197330 December 1973. This original version of the show was called Yama Nezumi Rokky Chyakku, ie, "Rocky Chuck the Mountain Rat". It consists of 52 episodes and was created by the animation studio Zuiyo Eizo (the predecessor to Nippon Animation). The series has been aired in many countries outside Japan.

More recently (eg. the 90s onward) Rhino video repackaged several episodes (almost half the 54 episode series) under 'Peter Cottontail in the Green Forest". These videos are subtitled with various names, including: Autumn Fun, Autumn in the Green Forest, Winter Fun, Winter in the Green Forest, (same for Spring and Summer), and at least one or two others (don't recall the subtitles), each containing up to three eps.

Editions of the books are still in print. Alternate sources list some of the books as having been written in the late 1800s.


  • Rocky Chuck
  • Polly Chuck
  • Peter Rabbit (a rabbit)
  • Sammy Blue Jay
  • Josie Otter
  • Bobby Badger
  • Bob Quail
  • Chatterer the Squirrel (a squirrel)
  • Buster Bear (a bear)
  • Reddy Fox (a fox)
  • Rocky-papa
  • Rocky-mama
  • Johnny Chuck
  • Grandpa Frog (a frog)
  • Paddy Beaver (a beaver)

The Lyrics to the opening them are as follows (Transcribed by J. de Pinho and C. Opasky):

Jimmy Skunk is getting about,
Buster Bear's persuing trout,
Reddy Fox's radar snout has sniffed out his prey!

In the Green Forest, the green forest,
The laughing brook chuckles all day.

Paddy Beaver's building a dam,
Joe the Otter tells him SCRAM!
Chatterer's upon the land,
Oh what a sight!

In the Green Forest, the Green Forest,
You may see the occasional fight.

Peter Rabbit hippity-hops,
The mean old weasel growls,
Grandpa Froggy flippity-flops,
And Sammy Bluejay scowls.

There are marshes, mink and sable there,
toads on mushroom tables there,
Four and Fifty fables there...
With friendship and strife.

In the Green Forest, the Green Forest
The stories you've read about all come to life,
Yes the stories you've read about ALL... COME... TO... LIFE!

Alternative titles:

Dieren Verhalen van het Groene Woud (Dutch)

Fables de la Foret Verte (French)

Fables of the Green Forest

Fábulas del Verde Bosque (Spanish)

Os Bichos da Floresta Verde (Portuguese)

Peter Conttontail in The Green Forest

Peter Cottontail and Friends

Rocky und seine Freunde (German)

Yama Nezumi Rocky Chuck (Japanese)

الغابة الخضراء (Arabic)

More about the show:

There’s this group of talking animals – who wear clothes for some reason – living together as neighbours and enemies in a forest which borders a farm. I think we sometimes see the feet and legs of the human family living there, but I’m not sure we ever hear their voices. I don’t even remember any of the plots, but I assume they involved basic morality tales. What I do remember was being spellbound by the animation style that brought the animals and their adventures to life. Oh, and their voices. Was there a really high pitched one? The blue jay, maybe? And did Buster Bear have a super low voice? Sadly, I’m pretty sure none of them transformed into robots. Another lasting impact of Green Forest were some common animal stereotypes that have turned out to be oh so true: foxes are murderous thieves, blue jays are pain in the ass loudmouths, weasels are nasty and friends to no one and rabbits are hair brained appetizers in waiting.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There is now a website for 'Fables of the Green Forest': . Read about the story and characters of this 1970s animé, the books that inspired it, the author and makers, view the episodes and sing along with the theme song as you watch opening with lyrics. Or get involved in the Subtitle Project, a way to add the 8 missing episodes to the playlist!