Madeline is a French-Canadian-American animated media franchise based on the children's books of the same name by Ludwig Bemelmans. Produced mainly by DIC Entertainment, it started off as six television specials that were all adaptations of each of the six original books, first aired between 1988-1991. Since then, it spawned a television series that lasted three seasons, as well as three full length films. The franchise officially came to a close with the film Madeline in Tahiti in 2007.
Much like the books, they are set in Paris, France and all follow the adventures of the title character and her friends from her boarding school.
Why They Rock
- Charming tone that stays true to the books.
- Madeline herself is quite endearing thanks to her kind, independent, and brave nature. Her several voice actresses (in order, Marsha Moreau, Tracey Smyth, Andrea Libman, and Chantal Strand) each do a good job in capturing her well. No wonder the other girls like her so much.
- Many of the other characters are just as memorable for their quirks, depths, or similarly decent personalities, including the other girls (most notably Chloe, Danielle, and Nicole), Miss Clavel, their dog Genevieve, Lord Cucuface, Pepito, and more.
- Decent traditional animation, especially in the third season and films.
- Many of the plots are well written with a lot of passion in them.
- It occasionally decides to give a look at different cultures (French culture is the main one, but it has also covered Spanish and Oriental culture).
- The show's soundtrack is well done, filled to the brim with catchy (the theme songs, "Bad Bad Hat", "The Perfect Dog", etc.) and sometimes beautiful songs ("You Can Never Run Out Of Love", "Where Is The Hope I Once Knew?", and especially "Without You"), as well as a lush background score fitting to the setting. Heck, the songs themselves where popular enough back then to warrant CDs and sing along tapes.
- Whenever the show goes for a more emotional moment, it usually hits all the right notes necessary, and has even covered some deep subject matter, from losing a pet and having a broken limb, to Madeline having to have her appendix removed and young girls being forced to do labor.
- Witty humor on times. This dialogue for instance: "Greybeard?! How terrible!" "Terrible indeed. Especially since he died 200 years ago."
- Despite its obscurity, Madeline in Tahiti was a cool way to end the franchise.
- The animation in the original specials (partly handled by Cinar) is quite choppy and very similar to Hanna-Barbera and Filmation's works. It improved as the franchise went on.
- The live action movie isn't that good.