The Lion and Bear is one of the seven Magical Events. It features two characters, The Scary Lion With Big Scary Teeth and The Bear With Brown Fuzzy Hair. The two characters are both made out of wood and travel using the appearance of a skateboard and are not animated. It was the only magical event (other than the Dancing Bear) to feature the clips with the Teletubbies a lot than any other event. The original sketch was first aired in 1997 in the episode See-Saw. However, the sketch
became controversial due to its scary and inappropriate appearance and nature for children. The problems were the uncanny appearances of the characters (which are made of wood and have uncanny eyes, ears, and arms and also appear to move on their own), the scary voices, scary scenes, music and the dialogue, such as 'I'm the bear! I'm the bear! And I'm coming!' in a scary voice. Therefore, a brand new edited sketch (which was also banned in other countries, such as the US), with non-scary nature and more humourous content, such as a doorbell ringing when the bear pops out from behind a tree and funny piano music, was made. The edited sketch was first aired in the episode Asian Storyteller (The Fox). The Lion and Bear appear on some various episodes. They are:
See-Saw (original sketch) (First appearance)
Numbers - 2 (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) (Irish Dancing)
Teletubbies: Autumn Fun (UK DVD) (Leaves)
Number Fun (Australian DVD (Numbers - Two)
Teletubbies Classics: Fan Favorites (US 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. Some countries have completely banned both sketches. Some countries show the edited sketch but have banned the original sketch. Other countries still show both the original and edited sketches. On the DVD version of 'Look!', the edited sketch was shown in the extras. The original sketch was kept on the UK DVDs 'Happy Birthday!' and 'Autumn Fun'.
One question circling around is why the edited sketch is not shown in some 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.
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.
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.
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 the magic event place, unlike in other Magical Events, the scene does not change to the Sun Baby, but instead it changes to the Teletubbies looking around. Then, unlike in other Magical Events, 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 (off screen) 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 giggling and shouting (Laa-Laa even says Run Away). Instead of going straight on, they run up the path where they first arrived. Then they sit down in front of some trees up a hill. The Bear then repeats, 'I'm the Bear! I'm the Bear! And I'm coming!' in a horrific sinsister voice, making the Teletubbies giggle in shock. 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 makes the Teletubbies giggle in shock. 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?' She repeats her opening sentence a 3rd time and then states that she knows a 'joke'. As scary music plays, she pops out from behind a tree. 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 says that she's hiding from the Lion but he doesn't know where. She then says: 'Shhh!' and goes to hide. The Teletubbies then say 'Shhh!' then they turn back and go: 'Oooh!' There is a short and scary sequence showing Teletubbyland almost barren. The Lion (off screen) 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 exclaims 'I am the Scary Lion! WITH BIG SCARY TEETH!!' The Teletubbies scream and laugh in shock. He then says 'I'm scary on the top... and I'm scary underneath!' which makes the Teletubbies gasp. He then says '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 says 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 saying 'I'm looking over here... And I'm looking over there! Can you see her?' 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 says 'There's the Bear!' The Bear replies 'Catch me!' and runs out from behind the tree. The Lion starts chasing the Bear around Teletubbyland whilst the Bear continues to do the joke and the Lion growls and roars with frightening music playing in the background. After they disappear, the Teletubbies all say 'All gone!' and run away giggling. Finally, the Magic Windmill stops spinning.
Synopsis (The 2000-2001 Edited Sketch)
The edited sketch starts with the Magic Windmill spinning with a bird song playing in the background. The Teletubbies giggle as they arrive at the Magic Event place while the Windmill's tune plays in the background. Like in the original sketch, the Sun Baby 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 giggle in excitement 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 giggle excitedly. After a piano tune plays, the sound of squeaking wheels can be heard. Suddenly, the Bear pops up and exclaims 'I'm the Bear, I'm the Bear! With Brown Fuzzy Hair' before exploring Teletubbyland. She says 'I'll go running over here... And I'll go running over there!' Then she laughs as she goes around some trees. After repeating her opening sentence, the Bear pops up from behind some hills (with a Cuckoo Clock sound effect) and says 'I'll hide over here... And I'll hide over there. Can you see me? Then she pops over the hills a few more times laughing. Then the Bear pops up again and says she knows a 'joke'. She pops up from behind a tree (with a Doorbell sound effect) and goes 'Blub a lub a lub!' with her tongue sticking out and her eyes rolling in circles making the Teletubbies laugh. The Bear runs around Teletubbyland with her tongue out. She then says that she's hiding from the Lion but he doesn't know where. She hides behind a tree and giggles as the Teletubbies say 'Oooh'. Then over by some hills, a creaking noise can be heard. The Lion then appears saying 'I'm the Scary Lion!' He growls and then says 'And I'm looking for the Bear'. He growls cheerfully and then passes by the trees the Bear is hiding. The Bear pops out and says 'Boo! Boo!' Then She gets back to hiding. 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. He looks around the hills and says 'I'm looking over here... And I'm looking over there! Can you see her?' Then he starts growling and meowing over the hills. The Bear pops our from behind the tree and laughs. The Lion goes back to the trees and 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 sees the Bear and says 'There's the Bear!' The Bear says 'Catch Me!' and laughs as she runs out from behind the tree. The Lion starts chasing the Bear all over Teletubbyland and the Bear continues to do her joke with Christmas-like music playing in the background. After they disappear, the Teletubbies all say 'All gone!' and remain sitting on the hill. Then, the Magic Windmill starts to spin again. The Teletubbies say 'Uh Oh!' and run away giggling. The Baby Sun giggles, and the Magic Windmill stops spinning.
- In some of the foreign language versions, the Bear with Brown Fuzzy Hair is male instead of female, it is unknown why this is (see The Bear With Brown Fuzzy Hair for more info.)
- The characters are live wooden models. However, there are some scenes where they are CGI. These scenes are: When the Bear says 'I'll hide over here and I'll hide over there', when the Lion says 'I'm looking over here and I'm looking over there' and the last part of the chase when both characters go up and down the far away hills as they leave Teletubbyland.
- In most episodes, the Lion and Bear happens straight after the TV Event.
- Dirty Dog, Paddling Pool and The Pier are the only episodes that have no new footage. The opening segments for those episodes were already shown in other episodes that came out before them.
- In the Arabic 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)
- In the original sketch, the Teletubbies' bottoms don't make noise when they sit down at their destination. In the edited sketch, their bottoms do make noise
- In the original sketch, the Teletubbies are silent when they arrive at their destination in Teletubbyland. However, in Leaves and Dentist they giggle. 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 Magic Event tune can be heard in the background whilst the scary music is playing.
- This is the only magical event where the Teletubbies are seen leaving at the end.
- In the episodes Dirty Dog, Paddling Pool, Irish Dancing, The Pier, Long Horns and Jigsaw - Elephant when the windmill spins, the magical event theme plays over the scary music.
- In Leaves, the Magic Event theme plays instead of the frightening upbeat music.
- In the episodes Becky and Jed Finding Eggs,The Pier, Long Horns and Feeding Baby Penguins, the Baby Sun scene is shown after the Teletubbies leave the hillside, however in Long Horns, the Baby Sun giggles for Tubby Bye-Bye.
- In Dirty Dog, Paddling Pool and Sophie - Art Circus, the Teletubbies say 'All gone!' and remain sitting on the hill until the Windmill spins. In Numbers 2 after they say 'All Gone', they remain sitting on the hill but it cuts to Sun Baby. 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 off to hide, instead she's already hiding behind the tree when she says 'But he doesn't know where! Shhhh!' The Lion's entire introduction, including the loud roaring off screen. Instead after the Bear hides, he arrives and starts roaring all around Teletubbyland.
- In the Chinese version of Asian Storyteller (The Fox), half of the edited sketch is shown and then the rest is the original sketch. 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.
- In the original sketch the camera shots were mostly fake. Some of the shots were mirrored shots. Most of the shots are completely still. During the chase, there's one shot used twice where the camera follows the Lion moving (the second time it's mirrored). In the edited sketch most camera shot are real, with very few mirror shots and no shots that follow the camera.
- The way in which the characters moved was that a light piece of string was attached the wheels and that would be pulled around. There are certain scenes where the string is noticeable when the Bear pops up the 2nd time at the right hand corner the string is seen, and when the Bear runs away from the tree and over the hill when the chase starts.
- In the original sketch, the Lion's tail and the Bear's arms move up and down very strongly, with strong, noticeable movement. In the new scenes in edited sketch, they move very weakly, with only small jolty movements.
- Since 2002, the United Kingdom television channel Cbeebies has stopped showing episodes that feature the original sketch of The Lion and The Bear. Even though the episodes with original sketch have been banned from being shown on television, segments from most of those episodes can still be seen on some of the classic VHS tapes and the episodes Irish Dancing and Leaves are shown on the Happy Birthday and Autumn Fun DVDs.
- The Lion and The Bear are featured in lots of Teletubbies merchandise Including :
1998 Teletubbies Memory Game.
Teletubbies 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2005 Annuals.
Teletubbies 1998 Sandylion Stickers.
Teletubbies My First App.
The Bear appears on a jigsaw puzzle for My First Jigsaw Puzzles. (see below)
- 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 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 Medvěd
Chinese - 熊和狮子(Xióng hé shīzi)
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
Slovak - Lev a Medveď
Portuguese - Urso e o Leão
Finnish - Karhu ja Lejona
Swedish - Björnen och Lejonet
Croatian - Medo i Lav
Turkish - Ayi ve Aslan
Lithuanian - Lokys ir Liūtas
Icelandic - Björn og Ljón
- 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).
- 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.
- When the Teletubbies sit down at the hill at the beginning of the segment, there are two orange flowers in front of Po. But then for the rest of the segment, there is only one flower.