|Maya the Honey Bee|
(Mitsubachi Māya no Bōken)
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Masahiro Endō|
|Produced by||Yoshihiro Ōba|
|Written by||Niisan Takahashi|
|Music by||Takashi Ogaki, Karel Svoboda (title song)|
|Studio||Zuiyo (eps. 1-6)|
|Original network||NET (now TV Asahi)|
|Original run||1 April 1975 – 20 April 1976|
|Anime television series|
|The New Adventures of Maya the Honey Bee|
|Produced by||Sōjirō Masuko|
|Studio||Nippon Animation, Wako Productions, Apollo Film Wien|
|Original network||ZDF, TV Osaka, TV Tokyo|
|Original run||1 September 1979 – 13 September 1980|
Maya the Honey Bee (Japanese: みつばちマーヤの冒険, Hepburn: Mitsubachi Māya no Bōken, lit. "The Adventures of Maya the Honey Bee") is an anime television series produced first by Zuiyo Enterprise and Asahi Broadcasting Corporation of Osaka. After the first 6 episodes, Zuiyo Enterprise would split into Zuiyo Company and Nippon Animation, which retained the rights of the series. The series consisted of 52 episodes and was originally telecast from April 1975 to April 1976 on the NET (now TV Asahi) network, with which ABC (not to be confused with the Tokyo-based TV Asahi) is affiliated. Based on the classic children's book The Adventures of Maya the Bee by Waldemar Bonsels, the anime series has become extremely popular in Europe and has been rebroadcast in countries and languages all around the world since its premiere. A film edited from the first few episodes was released on December 15, 1977.
Two English-dubbed versions of the series exist, a South African version produced by Sonovision for the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), using a translated version of the theme tune used for the German dub, and featuring English South African accents for the characters; and a United States version with an entirely new theme tune, and a Canadian voice cast, produced by Saban Entertainment, which was broadcast from January 1, 1990 to December 31, 1992 on the children's television channel Nickelodeon. Maya the Bee aired alongside other juvenile-targeted anime such as Adventures of the Little Koala, Noozles and The Littl' Bits as part of Nickelodeon's Nick Jr. block of programming for young children. 65 episodes were dubbed.
A second Maya the Bee series, Shin Mitsubachi Māya no Bōken (新みつばちマーヤの冒険, The New Adventures of Maya the Honey Bee), was a co-production made in 1979 by Wako Productions and Austrian/German Apollo Film, Wien. The second series first premiered in Germany (ZDF) from September 1979 to September 1980. The very different and cartoon-like second series, which lasted for 52 episodes, was not very popular and did not premiere in Japan until 12 October 1982, on TV Osaka, and aired through 27 September 1983.
The story centres on Maya, an inquisitive, adventurous and somewhat flighty young honeybee, and her adventures in the forest around her. Maya is born in a bee hive during internal unrest: the hive is dividing itself into two new colonies. Maya is raised by her teacher, Mrs. Cassandra. Despite Mrs. Cassandra's warnings, Maya wants to explore the wide world and commits the unforgivable crime of leaving the hive. During her adventures, Maya, now in exile, befriends other insects and braves dangers with them.
In the last two episodes of the first series, Maya is taken prisoner by hornets, the bees' sworn enemies. Prisoner of the hornets, Maya learns of a hornet plan to attack her native hive. Maya is faced with the decision to either return to hive and suffer her due punishment, saving the hive, or leaving the plan unannounced, saving herself but destroying the hive. As may be expected, Maya, after severe pondering, makes the decision to return. In the hive, she announces the coming attack and is, totally unexpectedly, pardoned. The forewarned bees triumph over the hornet attack force. Maya, now a heroine of the hive, becomes a teacher, like Mrs. Cassandra and shares her experiences and wisdom with the future generation.
Several episodes of Saban's dub were released on VHS by Video Treasures in the United States and HGV Video Productions in Canada under the Saban Video label.
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