The Lion and Bear appear on some various episodes. They are:
See-Saw (original sketch) (First appearance)
Numbers - Two (original sketch)
Dirty Dog (original sketch)
Paddling Pool (original sketch)
Sophie - Art Circus (original sketch)
Leaves (original sketch)
Becky and Jed Finding Eggs (original sketch)
Irish Dancing (original sketch)
Dentist (original sketch)
The Pier (original sketch)
Long Horns (original sketch)
Jigsaw - Elephant (original sketch)
Feeding Baby Penguins (original sketch)
Colours - Brown (original sketch)
Look! (UK DVD extra ) (edited sketch)
Asian Storyteller (The Fox) (edited sketch, Half Edited, and Half Original in Chinese version)
Dragonflies (edited sketch, original sketch in Chinese version) (Last appearance)
Teletubbies: Happy Birthday! (UK DVD) (original sketch)
Teletubbies: Autumn Fun (UK DVD) (original sketch)
Number Fun (Australian DVD (original sketch)
The Lion And The Bear is one of the things that made Teletubbies very controversial. It has been too scary for its target audience (children aged 1-4). Parents have made numerous complaints on the theatrical based sketch for the age-inaccurate music, scary voices, dialogue and the horrifying chase sequence at the end of the sketch. Due to the age-inappropriateness of the sketch, many younger children are so frightened of the two characters so much that they suffer from anxiety. Instead, it was appropriate enough for people aged 10 and older, especially teenagers. This shows that the producers of the show did not pay attention to the target audience which resulted in many complaints and therefore forced them to edit the sketch with the addition of more comedy styled scenes, the scary music taken out and replaced with more jolly styled music, humourous sound effects and several lines redone to match the target audience, but it still gained negative reception. The sketch is banned on TV in the USA, France, Japan, and Russia (though both sketches can be seen online, such as on YouTube). Some countries like the United Kingdom, Germany, South Korea, Czech Republic, Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, Ireland, Norway and Iceland show the edited sketch on TV but have banned the original sketch from being shown on children's TV (though the original sketch is still available online and on videos). Other countries like Italy, the Netherlands, Canada, India, Finland, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Belgium, China, Sweden, Spain, and Bulgaria have no problems and both versions are still shown on TV. On the UK DVD "Look!", the edited sketch was shown. The original sketch was kept on the UK DVD "Happy Birthday!." The edited sketch was not intended to be aired in the USA, France, Japan, and Russia, for that much sake.
One question circling around is why the edited sketch is not shown in said countries. The original sketch was given so much controversy that TV stations in these countries thought that the highly negative backlash it received would worsen if they showed the edited sketch; thus, both versions of the sketch are banned on TV. It is currently unknown if the edited sketch will be shown in those countries sometime in the future.
Other changes in the edited sketch are the ambiguity is limited as although viewers still don't know where ground level is, there are more clues as to where it is, and the fake mirror image camera shots are all natural shots filmed from behind a different shot. Some people think that there are mirror images in the edited sketch - however, they are trick shots. The characters no longer pop out of nowhere, as the camera shots are faster with the characters appearing immediately instead of waiting a few seconds. There is more time in the hiding and seeking parts of the sketch, which increases speed and means it's much less scary. Next, viewers finally know what the characters are, they're mechanical wooden toys. Mechanical sounds like squeaking wheels and vibrating wood are heard to reassure viewers that they're not living creatures, to make the sketch more funny, and the sounds make viewers more clear the characters aren't popping out of nowhere. The camera also stays still during the sketch, and doesn't follow the characters. The scary voices and the scary scenes have also been taken out to match the target audience. The edited sketch is much more relaxing with nice music playing instead of scary music. It is almost, but not quite scare-free, having lost the majority of its original scariness.
Other problems in the original sketch are ambiguity, as viewers don't know where the hill the Teletubbies are watching the event from is, where the "ground" is as there is no view of the hill from there. In addition, many camera shots are fake; instead of being real they are mirror images created on computers, upping the scare factor. The characters also pop out of nowhere, making where they've come from unknown and viewers don't know if they're robots, mechanical toys or models. They are actually wooden, mechanical toy animals on skateboards - however, there are no mechanical sounds heard, scaring viewers into thinking the animals are mutants with mind powers when they aren't. The camera also moves creepily during the magical event, as it follows the characters. The creepy camera shots are what scare the most viewers.
Synopsis (The 1997-1999 Original Sketch)
The original sketch starts with the Magic Windmill spinning with some creepy, scary and upbeat instruments playing instead of the usual soft magical tune. The Teletubbies arrive at their usual place in Teletubbyland. Once they arrive at their place, unlike in other Magical Events, the scene does not change to the Sun Baby, but instead it changes to the Teletubbies looking around, and then, unlike in other Magical Event Sketches, they turn back towards the camera and say "Uh-Oh!" Normally, there are soft magic event tunes that play in the other sketches, but in this sketch, a scary tune is heard. While the Teletubbies jump up and down, the Bear then says in a haunting echoing voice: "It's The Bear! It's The Bear! And I'm coming!" The Teletubbies jump in shock and then run off to the destination of the magical event to a different way by running down the path on the right giggling and shouting (Laa-Laa says Run Away) instead of going straight on, then they sit down in front of some trees up a hill somewhere in Teletubbyland. The Bear then repeats, "I'm The Bear! I'm The Bear! And I'm coming!" in a horrific sinsister voice, scaring the Teletubbies. After a short wait, she pops up out of nowhere and exclaims "I'm The Bear, I'm The Bear! With Brown Fuzzy Hair!" She wanders around Teletubbyland saying "I'll go running over here... and I'll go running over there!" which gives the Teletubbies a half-terrified laugh. She repeats her opening sentence again and hides around the hills laughing and saying "I'll hide over here... (She giggles) and I'll hide over there! Can you see me?" to the Teletubbies and the viewers. After another wonder around Teletubbyland she repeats her opening sentence a 3rd time and then states that she knows a "joke." As scary music plays, she hides behind a tree and pops out again. Her eyes roll in circles and she goes "Blub-a-lub-a-blub-a-blub!" whilst sticking her tongue out and making the Teletubbies laugh at her. She then repeats her opening sentence a final time and tells the Teletubbies and the viewers that she's hiding from the Lion but he doesn't know where. She then says: "Shhh!" to the Teletubbies and the viewers and goes to hide, waiting to perform her joke again. The Teletubbies then turn to the viewers and also go: "Shhh!" then they turn back and go: "Ooh!" There is a short and scary sequence showing Teletubbyland almost barren probably because the other residents are scared of the Bear and Lion. From the front view of a tree the Bear is hiding behind with 3 other trees on the right, three hills with flowers, a field with more trees and flowers, and finally a mirror image of the 4 trees in the scariest view possible. The Bear is hiding behind the tree on the far right. The Lion (not seen) starts growling and roaring so much that the clouds move and the trees bend and shake much to the surprise of the Teletubbies. This happens 3 times, with the Lion getting more vicious and angry each time. He then pops out of nowhere, like the Bear. He lets out a really scary growl and then says to the Teletubbies and the viewers: "I am the Scary Lion! WITH BIG SCARY TEETH!!" Tinky Winky screams and the other Teletubbies laugh in shock. The Lion then says "I'm scary on the top... and I'm scary underneath!" He then laughs, surprising the Teletubbies. The Lion then states, "I am The Scary Lion, as a matter of fact, I'm scary around the front... and I'm scary around the back!" He wags his tail, laughs, and growls, making the Teletubbies laugh. He then wonders around Teletubbyland just as the Bear did and continues to growl and roar fiercely. Still growling, he passes the trees in the area where the Bear is hiding. She pops out from behind her tree quickly saying "Boo! Boo!" She gets back to hiding as a creepy tune is playing. The Lion growls and stops in front of the trees. He tells the Teletubbies (and the viewers) that he's looking for The Bear and he knows that she is hiding, but he does not know where. He wonders around Teletubbyland looking for The Bear. He looks around the hills and says "Can you see her?" to the Teletubbies and the viewers. He growls and then returns to the trees repeating "Where's the Bear?" three times. The Bear pops out twice, giggling. The Lion gets more and more vicious and angry each time until the Bear pops up and repeats her joke. The Lion sees her and cries, "There's the Bear!" The Bear replies "Catch me!" and they chase each other around Teletubbyland whilst the Bear continues to do the joke and the Lion growls and roars menacingly with the frightening music playing in the background. After they disappear, the Teletubbies all say in an excited and relieved voice "All gone!" and run away giggling. Finally, the Magic Windmill stops spinning.
Synopsis (The 1999-2001 Edited Sketch)
The edited sketch starts with the Magic Windmill spinning with a bird song playing in the background. The Teletubbies then arrive at a place in Teletubbyland however, this time they are giggling, while the Windmill's tune plays in the background. Like in the original sketch, the Sun scene is not shown, and the Teletubbies look around and look back towards the camera but this time, instead of saying: "Uh Oh!" they say: "Oooooooh!" While they jump up and down giggling, the Bear then says "It's the Bear, It's the Bear and I'm coming!" in a much more cheerful voice. The Teletubbies then go "YAY!" and run off to the destination of the event, going the same way they went in the original sketch. They sit down on in front of the trees on the hill from the original sketch, laughing. The Bear then says in an excited voice "I'm the Bear, I'm the Bear and I'm coming!" The Teletubbies laugh and giggle excitedly. After a piano tune plays the Bear pops up and exclaims "I'm the Bear. I'm the Bear. With Brown Fuzzy Hair." before exploring Teletubbyland (with the scary scenes replaced with more comical scenes, like the Bear going behind trees and laughing). The Bear says "I'll hide over here... and I'll hide over here. Can you see me?" Unlike the original sketch, she pops out a lot and says "Can you see me?" again and laughs. Then the Bear pops up again and says she knows a "joke." She hides behind a tree and pops up. She says "Blub a lub a lub!" (with new, more humorous sound effects) with her tongue sticking out and her eyes rolling in circles making the other Teletubbies chuckle as the Bear runs around Teletubbyland blowing the tongue out. She then tells the Teletubbies that she's hiding from the Lion and doesn't know where and hides behind a tree (popping out twice laughing and saying "Shh!"), waiting to perform her joke again. The camera then goes to another hill where a squeaking noise is heard and the Lion then appears saying "I am the Scary Lion!" He growls and then replies: "And I'm looking for the Bear." His personality has changed from being very frightening and intimidating to much more humourous and jolly. He growls cheerfully and then passes by the trees the Bear is hiding behind and says "Hmmmmmm" like a detective. The Bear pops out and says "Boo! Boo!" She gets back to hiding the same tree. The Lion stops in front of the tree and then says he knows she's hiding but he doesn't know where. He then searches for the bear (with more comical scenes) and while finding her he hears her laughing and runs back to the tree she is hiding behind. He says "Where's the Bear?" three times sounding more annoyed each time until the Bear pops out from behind and repeats her joke. The Lion finds the Bear and cries "There's the Bear!" and the Bear says "Catch Me!" and they chase each other around Teletubbyland with the Lion roaring excitedly and the Bear continuing to do her joke with Christmas-like music playing in the background. After they disappear, the Teletubbies all say in a sad and disappointed voice, "All gone!" and remain sitting on the hill. Then, the Magic Windmill starts to spin again, and the Teletubbies say: "Uh Oh!" The Teletubbies then run away giggling. The Baby Sun giggles, and the Magic Windmill stops spinning.
To watch the segments/sketches, you can watch on YouTube. Click on a link to see a video that you want to watch.
Trivia and differences in language versions
- In the Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, Lithuanian, Hebrew and Slovak language versions, the Bear with Brown Fuzzy Hair is Male instead of Female.
- In the English version, the Lion's roar isn't so bad, but in the Dutch and Finnish languages, the Lion gets really angry and nearly mental the third time.
- In most episodes, the Lion and Bear happens straight after the TV Event.
- In the Arabic language version, the part where the Bear says "It's the Bear! It's the Bear! And I'm cooooming!!" at the start, when the Teletubbies look around is cut off (The Bear's voice is not heard)
- The Teletubbies' bottoms don't make a sound surprisingly when they sat down at their destination in the Original Sketch.
- In the 1997 original sketch, the Teletubbies are silent when they arrive at their destination in Teletubbyland. In the edited sketch, they giggle when arriving at their destination.
- In the episodes Dentist and Becky and Jed Finding Eggs, when the Teletubbies arrive in their destination in Teletubbyland, the Windmill's theme and sound effects can be heard in the background whilst the scary music is playing.
- In the episodes Numbers - Two, Becky and Jed Finding Eggs, and Long Horns, the Baby Sun scene is shown after the Teletubbies leave the hillside.
- In some episodes such as Dirty Dog, Paddling Pool and Sophie - Art Circus, the Teletubbies say: "All gone!" and remain sitting on the hill until the Windmill spins. In other episodes, they say: "All gone!" and run away. Also, in Dirty Dog and Sophie - Art Circus , the Teletubbies run away in slow motion after they see the Windmill preparing to stop spinning.
- This is the only magical event where a Teletubby screams, after the Lion says 'I am the Scary Lion with big scary teeth' either Tinky Winky or Dipsy screams (it sounds more like Dipsy but some people think that it's Tinky Winky.)
- Both Sketches do not show the Baby Sun giggling when the Teletubbies arrive at the Magical Event place.
- This is the only Magical Event in which the Teletubbies do not go straight on, unlike other Magical Events, instead they run off the other way shouting after they hear the Bear.
- The Edited Sketch is the only Magic Event where Rabbits can be seen (During some of the Lion's scenes)
- In the Edited Sketch, when the Teletubbies leave, Tinky Winky mimics the Bear doing her joke.
- The Edited Sketch had the music changed so it wouldn't be scary. Several scenes were also cut out. The scenes were:
The Bear going to hide.
The close up of the trees, the hill, the field where the Lion appears and also the mirror image of the trees.
The scene of the Lion appearing in the field, the close ups of him speaking, the close-ups of his face and the close up of his tail moving very strongly.
The close ups of the Lion and Bear during the chase towards the end of the sketch.
- In the Chinese Version, the Bear is male and sounds wimpy at the beginning of the sketch but then changes to jolly and mischievous. The Lion sounds incredibly vicious. In the episode Asian Storyteller (The Fox), half of the edited sketch is shown and then the rest is the original sketch and in Dragonflies, the original sketch is shown instead of the edited one.
- During filming, the weather was very changeable, being cloudy then sunny. The creators then used computer technology to speed the weather up and make it look like the Lion's roar can make the clouds move and the trees shake. The moving clouds were already there during filming, as they are just naturally caused by the wind.
- The characters are played by Penelope Keith and Eric Sykes, who have been famous and on British television since the 1940's (Eric Sykes) and the 1950's (Penelope Keith).
- In the original sketch, the Lion's tail wags very strongly, with strong, noticeable movement. In the edited sketch, the Lion's tail wags strongly in some scenes, but in other scenes it wags very weakly, with only small jolty movements.
- The Bear appears on a jigsaw puzzle for My First Jigsaw Puzzles. (see below)
- Different language versions have changed the characters. In the Dutch version, the Bear speaks in a very sneaky voice while the Lion is very vicious and quite bad-tempered. In the Italian version, the Bear is Male and is more jolly than in the English version. The Lion is more jolly and speaks in a very deep voice. In the Czech version, the Bear remains unchanged but the Lion speaks in a very changeable voice. In the Finnish version, the Bear has a Caribbean sounding accent and the Lion is quite vicious and has a really deep voice, although his roar also makes him a bit of a crazy lunatic. In the Spanish Version, the Bear speaks in a majestic jolly voice. The original English version has a posh sounding, scary Bear and a very vicious, intimidating Lion. The Slovak version has a Lion who is a complete chatterbox, and a Male Bear with a very deep voice and neutral, sometimes friendly personality,and the bear is sounding like an old man. In the Arabic version the Bear has a very feminine voice and personality, and a very grumpy, masculine Lion. The Flemish-Dutch version has a girly, nerdy sounding Bear and a Lion who sounds like he has a sore throat. The Polish version has a cheerful old woman personality for the Bear and a very sneaky sounding Lion. In the Japanese version the Bear is male and speaks in a mischevious and fun voice while the Lion talks in a deep rounded voice like Hulk's voice.
- In the Czech version of the original sketch, the Bear speaks in a deep scary voice, whilst the Lion is cheerful and not very scary.
- In the Slovak version, the Bear growls in a menacing manner before the Teletubbies start dancing at the beginning, and the Lion starts roaring right after the Bear has hid, and his roar gets fiercer and fiercer, building up tension. The Lion roars during the bit showing a barren Teletubbyland, whereas in other versions the Lion remains unheard until the closeup of the trees. The Lion chats a lot in the Slovak version, instead of roaring.
- In the original sketch the camera views were mostly fake, creating by using giant mirrors and computer technology. In the edited sketch all camera views are real, with some looking like mirror images actually natural shots taken with very clever camera tricks.
- The actual character models moved extremely slowly across the set, and are really just mechanical models being pushed by a member of the crew. To create the scary characters' movements, the scenes were downloaded onto a computer and sped up with computer technology, by about 20-25 times their real movement, so they travel at 40-50 mph on screen. Also, the person pushing the characters onscreen had to hide really well so it appears the characters can move by themselves, with the aid of computer technology. To make it look like they creepily pop out of nowhere, the person pushing them had to push them from far away, at a speed of 7 mph. Times that by 20 and they pop out of nowhere at 140 mph. Doing all this created the spooky movements you see in the sketch.
- In the original sketch, the characters' mechanical nature has been removed, and the mechanical sounds naturally heard were deleted using computer technology so it looks like the characters have a mind of their own. However, due to controversy, the mechanical sounds were kept in the edited sketch.
- Since 2002, the United Kingdom television channel CBeebies has stopped showing episodes of Teletubbies that feature the original sketch of The Lion and The Bear. The following episodes have been banned in the United Kingdom:
- The Lion and The Bear original sketch hasn't been shown on UK Television since CBeebies existed, though the episodes Irish Dancing and Leaves are shown on the Happy Birthday and Autumn Fun DVDs.
- The Lion and The Bear are featured in the 1998 Teletubbies Memory Game.
- The Lion and the Bear are featured in the Teletubbies 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2005 Annuals.
- The Lion and The Bear were also featured on the Teletubbies 1998 Sandylion Stickers.
- The Lion and The Bear appear in Teletubbies My First App. Interestingly in Teletubbies, My First App, The Lion and The Bear's lines are spoken by the narrator, except when The Lion emits a loud roar after you tap him twice.
- The Lion and Bear is the scariest Magical Event and the best-known one as well. Also, The Lion and Bear is the only Magical Event where it has different versions (due to the original one being frightening for young children, though it is still in existence).
- This is the only magical event where the Teletubbies are seen leaving at the end.
- The Lion and Bear had different names in different countries:
French - Lion et L'ours
Japanese - 熊とライオン (Kuma to Raion)
Arabic - Asad wa dubbu
Czech Republic - Lev a Medved
Korean - 곰과 사자 (Gom gwa Saja)
Italian - L'orso e il Leone
Spanish - Oso y el Leon
German - Bär und Löwe
Dutch - Beer en Leeuw
Polish - Miś i Lew
Portuguese - Urso e o Leão
Finnish - Karhu ja Leijona
Swedish - Bjorn och Lion
- The episodes with the Lion and Bear in the US have that sketch replaced with The Magic House. But Long Horns includes Little Bo Peep and Becky and Jed Finding Eggs is replaced with Dipsy and Laa-Laa in a sticky situation, That was because the Lion and Bear was banned in America ever since Teletubbies first aired in USA (The only way to watch this in the United States is on YouTube).
- In Long Horns the Sun Baby Giggled for Tubby Bye-Bye after the Original Sketch.
- In the episodes Dirty Dog and Long Horns, when the windmill spins, the magical event theme plays over the scary music.
- In Some Language Versions, When the Bear does her joke, instead of going "Blub-a-lub-a-lub!" She just Giggles.
- In the episodes Paddling Pool and Dirty Dog the Teletubbies do The Splashing Dance before the Lion and The Bear.
- In Leaves, the Windmill's theme plays instead of the frightening upbeat music.
- Some Teletubby fans wonder what happened to The Bear With Brown Fuzzy Hair after she was chased by The Scary Lion. Either the bear was killed or eaten or she fell to her death.