Hello Kitty's Furry Tale Theater is available on Hulu+ and on Amazon. Each episode runs for two, 11 minute segments and is comprised of 13 episodes total.
Have you ever wanted to see Star Wars, Hello Kitty and Power Rangers mashed together in one 1987 package? No? Well tough cookies, you're going to see it anyway!
Hello Kitty's Furry Tale Theater is almost impossible to imagine. It's existence does not make any real sense to those born after 1986, and for those of us born 1986 and before, it serves as a relic of 80's cash-ins.
It was produced by DiC, Sanrio and MGM/United Artists and ran for only 13 episodes in 1987. One third of the show was animated in the United States, one third came from Canada, and one third came from Sanrio's Japanese animation studio, making it a true Cartanime. DiC would later become a subsidiary of Disney, until it went defunct and was bought out by the now defunct Cookie Jar a few years ago, which then folded into DHX Media.
The music? Well get this. That actually came from Haim Saban and Shuki Levy, known as the men responsible for bringing Mighty Morphin Power Rangers to the United States in the 1990's! Before Saban became an enterprise, Haim Saban and Shuki Levy worked on several Japanese-American shows and anime titles, with this being one of the few they worked on for girls and toddlers.
Not to be confused with Hello Kitty's later television shows, this series pre-dates the 1999 introduction of Hello Kitty's boyfriend, Dear Daniel. So her romantic interest in this series is Tuxedo Sam, Sanrio's friendly penguin. What their children might have looked like is a mystery I'm not willing to check into at the moment, though fanart comments will be accepted.
Each episode is chopped into two 11 minute segments. The premise of the show is that Hello Kitty runs a theater where she and her friends spoof movies and fairy tales in a series of comedic plays.
Maybe one of the most famous (or infamous) episodes is "Cat Wars" which was a spoof of Star Wars, though it got 99% of the story wrong. That's the biggest issue with the series is that most of it's parodies hardly follow the source material. Another infamous episode spoofed ET The Extra Terrestrial, but we won't discuss that here.
Another issue is that Kitty is rarely seen as a hero in any of the tales. She usually acts as a slightly smarter damsel in distress, but is usually being rescued by Tuxedo Sam.
Also of note are the introduction of non-Sanrio characters. While Sanrio staples Kitty, Tuxedo Sam and My Melody appear, along with Chip and Kitty's parents and grandparents, the group often finds themselves putting up with Catnip (voiced by Cree Summer) and Grinder, two American-made characters specifically for the show.
The show is rife with American references and an endless stream of 80's jokes. Because of the short segments, many of the cartoons have been sold mixed up in different order than what originally aired, while Hulu has aired the entire series in order and with the original credits.
Hello Kitty's Furry Tale Theater was made for ages 2-6. It may not please the average Sanrio fan, but should entertain your toddler for a little while.
It's not really an anime, but it's not a cartoon either. It's a Cartanime, a hybrid of the two styles, usually incorporating Flash, Anime Studio, ToonBoom or a similar animation program. The series can come from Italy, Canada, Japan, America, Taiwan or Korea, and rarely, India!