Sunday, August 12, 2018

Maple Town Needs Your Help

This is a short blog post this week.  I'll have more episode commentaries and related blog posts next week.  But there is something I want to remind everyone.


The purpose of this blog is to document Maple Town and its sequel Palm Town for future generations.  In spite of all my research, there is only so much I can do or can uncover.

If you have any useful information about Maple Town - be it the English dub, any of the foreign dubs or the original Japanese - or if you are connected to the show in any way - working on the original or the dubs, involved in selling the show, voice acting, etc - feel free to comment on the blog or email me at mapletown(at)gmx(dot)com.

I can't do this alone.  I need help.  Any more information would be appreciated.

That's it for now.

Be sure to check out my blog about my comics series Sunnyville Stories and my webcomic Tiffany & Corey.  If you like this blog, be sure to buy me a Ko-Fi.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Maple Town Episode 2 Commentary

Now without further ado, let's move onto the next episode of Maple Town!

Maple Town Episode 2
English Dub Title: The Stolen Necklace
Japanese Title:  "Nerawareta kubikazari" (ねらわれた首飾り)
Spanish Dub Title:  El Robo Del Collar


This episode continues to build up on the previous episode as it introduces many of the children of Maple Town; in the first episode, we met Patty Rabbit and her family along with Bobby Bear.  More characters get introduced, namely because this episode deals with Patty's first day in Maple Town's school.




The episode opens with Patty Rabbit waking up in her new home and being excited because it's the first day of school.  I'm not sure whether this episode takes place the day after the first episode or a few days after as the English dub never says.  Anyway in her excitement, Patty rushes to wake up her sister Rachel, who's upset about being awakened since it's still too early.  Patty rushes downstairs to the kitchen where her mother and little brother Ricky are.  We learn it's so early that Mrs. Rabbit hasn't even started breakfast yet.  

Sunday, July 29, 2018

The Mysteries of Maple Town Part 4

And now we come to the final part of the mysteries surrounding the North American broadcast of Maple Town.


What was the plan for the original proposed 65-episode run of Maple Town for US television?
My sources tell me that when Maple Town was exported to the US television market, there were plans to turn it into a 65-episode package for television syndication.  How was Saban and the Maltese Companies (they handled the North American dub) planning to even fill a 65-episode requirement?  Keep in mind that Maple Town had 52 episodes total, about 13 episode short of that above mentioned 65.



Before we continue, I will need to explain syndication to any non-American readers out there.  (My thanks to the TV Tropes page for this explanation!)  Because of the fact that television in the United States operates, syndication is a uniquely American design though some other countries have similar concepts.  


Anyway, when a television show is sold for broadcast, it is usually to a single network, be it broadcast, cable or satellite; said channel will broadcast that show exclusively and at a designated time.  When syndication is done, a show is sold to multiple independent television stations to do with as they wish.  When I say syndication, my fellow Americans will think of second-run syndication or off-network syndication; this is when a show that has already broadcast on a network and reruns of it air in syndication.  That's one kind of syndication.  There's also first-run syndication which was done with many cartoons of the 1980s such as He-Man, She-Ra, Transformers, Inspector Gadget, etc.  Yes, the original plan for Maple Town was to run it in first-run syndication; it did initially before moving over to Nickelodeon where it ran until 1993.


That's the long and short of it.  The above link to TV Tropes has more details on syndication and how it works.


As I said before, Maple Town broadcasted in "barter" syndication in the USA.  "Barter" syndication is where the episode is given for free to the network and allows the holder of the show to have more control over when it is aired.  This is contrast to "cash" syndication where the independent network is given total control over the show such as what episodes air and what time it airs.  In order to air in syndication, at least 65 episodes are needed mainly for animated series.  That's why most of the cartoons I mentioned above are that long.


But that still brings us back to our main question - how was this planned 65-episode dubbing of Maple Town going to work?


I have formulated a theory as to how they'd have stretched Maple Town into a 65-episode run.  It's possible that some episodes of the sequel Palm Town were going to be dubbed and edited to fill in the 65 episodes.  That may not be so far-fetched.  Carl Macek did this with Robotech.  He originally wanted to make the anime Super Dimension Fortress Macross into Robotech, but he didn't have enough episodes requires for syndication so he took two more series, Super Dimension Armored Cavalry Southern Cross and Genesis Climber Mospeada, and carefully edited them into the required 65 episodes.  Of course, my above theory can't be proven unless someone out there can verify it.


On one final note, my sources tell me that television rights to the English Maple Town dub is presently held by the Kushner-Locke Company, which holds 39 episodes.


That's it for now, readers.  Any information or comments should be added below in the comments or sent to mapletown(at)gmx(dot)com.


Be sure to check out my blog about my comics series Sunnyville Stories and my webcomic Tiffany & Corey.  If you like this blog, be sure to buy me a Ko-Fi.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

The Mysteries of Maple Town Part 3

Now we come to another mystery with Maple Town.  So what mystery is it today?

Who were the uncredited voice actors for the English dub of Maple Town?


Some of the information on who voiced who in the English dubbed Maple Town is incomplete.  What we do know is as follows:


Patty Rabbit was Rebecca Forstadt (credited as Reba West)
Bobby Bear was Wendee Lee (some incorrectly credit Susan Roman)
Wilde Wolf was Steve Kramer
Mikey Mole was Barbara Goodson
Mayor Dandy Lion was Ted Layman
Miss Deer was Edie Mirman
Susie Squirrel was Lara Cody
Danny Dog was voiced by the late Kirsten Bishop.
Fanny Fox was voiced by Maureen O'Connell.  Maureen's identity is not confirmed at present; according to IMDB, this was an alias used by Marbry Steward, but this is not known for sure.

The other voices on the show like Patty Rabbit's parents, Rachel Rabbit, etc. aren't known.  This may owe to the fact that anime voice actors tend to be non-union; as the television & film industry's powerful unions have a strict policy against their members doing non-union work, it's not unusual for these actors to do voices under assumed names.

UPDATE (7/25/2018):  According to her Wikipedia entry, Melora Harte is cited as another voice actor for Maple Town, stating she did "various" roles.  Coincidentally, she is married to Steve Kramer, the voice of Wilde Wolf!

If anyone out there has information, I'd appreciate hearing from you.  You can comment below or email me at mapletown(at)gmx(dot)com.

That's it for now.

Be sure to check out my blog about my comics series Sunnyville Stories and my webcomic Tiffany & Corey.  If you like this blog, be sure to buy me a Ko-Fi.


Sunday, July 15, 2018

The Mysteries of Maple Town Part 2: Palm Town

There are more mysteries about Maple Town that I have yet to solve.

Maple Town actually had a sequel made.  Some of you here in North America just read that last line and I know what you are thinking.  Maple Town had a sequel?  Yes, it did.

Many out there, like myself, never even knew of this sequel until years later with the Internet coming along.  The name of the series was Palm Town or more precisely as New Maple Town Stories: Palm Town Chapter - the Japanese title was 新メイプルタウン物語-パームタウン編  or Shin Maple Town Monogatari: Palm Town Hen.  It aired from 1987 to 1988 on TV Asahi in Maple Town's same time slot.

I plan to talk some more about Palm Town in a future blog post and will also have episode commentaries on those.  But now we come to yet another mystery to solve.  




Why was Palm Town never dubbed into English for North America?

For some strange reason, the sequel series to Maple Town, Palm Town, never made it to the USA and Canada.  Some countries though that got Maple Town did get Palm Town; I know the show broadcast in Italy because I watched the Italian dubs.  I did confirm with a Dutch Maple Town fan that Palm Town did not broadcast either in the Netherlands.

Palm Town screenshot courtesy of Maple Town Story Boards


Having watched the Italian dubs of Palm Town, the series isn't as good as Maple Town but still has its own charm.

If anyone out there has information, I'd appreciate hearing from you.  You can comment below or email me at mapletown(at)gmx(dot)com.

That's it for now.

Be sure to check out my blog about my comics series Sunnyville Stories and my webcomic Tiffany & Corey.  If you like this blog, be sure to buy me a Ko-Fi.



Sunday, July 8, 2018

Maple Town Episode 1 Commentary

So how about a write-up of the first episode of Maple Town?  Before we continue, I need to emphasize that just as I will be using the English dub names of the characters, I will be using the English dub titles where I can.  I will also use the Japanese episode titles and the Spanish dub titles as well.

Maple Town Episode 1
English Dub Title: Welcome to Maple Town
Japanese Title:  "Kochira dōbutsu taun" (こちら動物タウン)
Spanish Dub Title:  El Senor Conejo Cartero


This episode is essentially a "welcome" episode designed to introduce the main characters, namely Patty Rabbit and the Rabbit family.  Anyway, let's get on with the show.




As the episode opens up, we get some nice camera shots of a steam powered train moving through a dense forest.



As the train moves through the forest, we cut to a shot of our protagonist Patty Rabbit looking out the window of the rear train car.  

Sunday, July 1, 2018

The Mysteries of Maple Town Part 1

Another favorite show of mine was Unsolved Mysteries because I was always fascinated by mysteries and how they got solved.  The 1986 anime series Maple Town is a source of mystery for me because there are unanswered questions about the show's North American broadcast.  I hope in the course of doing this blog, we can solve these mysteries and answer these questions.

In my mind, there's four things that have been puzzling me in regards to Maple Town.  The first mystery that comes to mind.  It's this -

We did not get all 52 episodes broadcast here in the United States.  Why was this the case?

I have reason to believe that all 52 episodes may have been dubbed into English but never broadcast.  This happened when Saban dubbed the anime Grimm's Fairy Tale Classics into English but some episodes did not air on Nickelodeon for being too scary and too violent.  Some years ago on YouTube, someone contacted me and claimed to have watched the remaining English dubbed episodes on Canadian television.  These episodes did NOT have the Mrs. Maple segments that the earlier episodes have.  Unfortunately, this is a secondhand account so until some other Canadians out there can verify this, I'm not sure if this is true.

I have been attempting to contact two of the voice actors from the English dub - Rebecca Forstadt (Patty Rabbit) and Edie Mirman (Miss Deer).  I hoped to ask them some questions about Maple Town and maybe even confirm if they recorded dialogue for all 52 episodes.  Unfortunately, at the time of this writing, I am unable to reach them. 

If anyone out there has information, I'd appreciate hearing from you.  You can comment below or email me at mapletown(at)gmx(dot)com.

That's it for now.

Be sure to check out my blog about my comics series Sunnyville Stories and my webcomic Tiffany & Corey.  If you like this blog, be sure to buy me a Ko-Fi.