Madeline is a children's book series written by Ludwig Bemelmans, an American author of Belgian, Austrian and German origins. The first book in the series, Madeline, was published in 1939. It proved to be a success, and Bemelmans wrote many sequels to the original during the 1940s and 1950s. The series continues to this day, written by Bemelmans' grandson John Bemelmans-Marciano. The books were later adapted into a television series and a feature film.
The books, and the show, detail Madeline's daily adventures in late 1930s France. Every day, she and her friends break their bread, brush their teeth, go to bed, and go for a walk in two straight lines. As well, each book shows Madeline's bravery and kindness, especially in the face of adversity.
From the Sept. 4, 1939 issue of Life Magazine:
"Madeline is the story of an adorable pipsqueak. It was written and illustrated by Ludwig Bemelmans and will be published on Sept. 5 by Simon & Schuster ($2). Its author came to the U.S. in 1914 from the Austrian Tyrol. He became a citizen and enlisted in the War. Later he related his experiences as a German-speaking U.S. soldier in a 1937 best-seller, My War with the United States.
In its origins, Madeline goes back to a summer's day in 1938 when Bemelmans was run down by the only automobile on the Île d'Yeu off France. In the hospital, he found himself neighbor to a young girl recuperating from an appendectomy. He was so impressed by the enjoyment the child derived from her operation that he decided to write a children's book in which the heroine should experience a similar adventure. In a fatherly way he wrote the book for his daughter, Barbara, age 3, who is as precocious and enchanting a youngster as Madeline."
The books are famous for having the closing line, first uttered by actress Ethel Barrymore in a play:
That's all there is, there isn't any more.
In 1959, William L. Snyder's Rembrandt Films produced animated adaptations of Madeline's Rescue, Madeline and the Bad Hat and Madeline and the Gypsies for the educational film market. The latter two were featured, along with other similar adaptations of children's books, in Snyder and Gene Deitch's 1966 theatrical feature Alice of Wonderland in Paris.
A live-action feature adaptation of Madeline, produced in France by Jaffilms but shot in English, was released in 1998 by Tri-Star Pictures. It starred Hatty Jones as the title character, Frances MacDormand as Miss Clavel and a supporting cast with British actor Ben Daniels & Nigel Hawthorne. Its script encompassed the plots of three of the books. Original music for the film was provided by Michel Legrand and has Carly Simon singing the theme song "In Two Straight Lines". It was directed by Daisy Mayer.
In 1989, DiC Enterprises in co-operation with Cinar, adapted the first Madeline book into an animated television special for HBO. The show's teleplay was written by Judy Rothman, who would serve as writer, lyricist and story editor for all subsequent Madeline animated projects. The special was narrated by Christopher Plummer, and featured original music and songs by Joe Raposo (who died four months before the special aired), with lyrics by Judy Rothman. The special was nominated for an Emmy Award for Best Animated Program (One Hour or Less).
In 1991, Cinar produced animated adaptations of the other five Madeline books for The Family Channel, with Christopher Plummer returning as narrator. Each special featured new songs, with lyrics by Judy Rothman and music by Canadian composer Jeffrey Zahn, who replaced the late Joe Raposo. In addition, "I'm Madeline," Madeline's theme song from the original special, was reprised in the new specials.
In 1993, DiC began producing a Madeline cartoon series, again for The Family Channel. 20 episodes were produced for the series (Season 1). Christopher Plummer again reprised his role as narrator, and "I'm Madeline" was used as the series' theme song. Until recently the show aired on The Disney Channel and Toon Disney in the U.S., and is still repeated daily on Disney networks and affiliates worldwide.
In 1995, additional 13 episodes were produced for ABC, under the title The New Adventures of Madeline. The new episodes featured a new theme song: "Hats Off to Madeline".
In 2001, another new batch of 28 episodes was produced for The Disney Channel. The theme song was once again changed, this time to "Oh, Madeline!" (although overseas airings of the episodes still had "Hats Off to Madeline" as the opening theme instead). In addition, Christopher Gaze succeeded Christopher Plummer as narrator of the series. The show won a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Children's Animated Program. The New Adventures of Madeline was shown on KOL's Secret Slumber Party between Fall 2006 and 2007.
DiC also produced two animated telefilms. Madeline: Lost in Paris (1999) featured Madeline being drawn into a scam by her supposed "Uncle" Horst, and finding out the true meaning to the word "family." The second cartoon feature, Madeline: My Fair Madeline (2002), puts our beloved heroine in a London finishing school as punishment for the trouble she caused, while trying to stop two thieves from robbing the Louvre. When she finds out that the thieves are in London, Madeline does everything she can to stop them from stealing the Crown Jewels.
The first soundtrack for the TV series was Madeline's Favorite Songs, released in 1995. It contains 16 tracks of music composed by Joe Raposo or Jeff Zahn with lyrics by Judy Rothman from the DIC and Cinar specials. The second soundtrack, Hats off to Madeline, was released in 1996. It contained 17 tracks of music (by Andy Street, lyrics by Judy Rothman Rofé) from the 1993 and 1995 episodes of the show. In 2002, the latest Madeline soundtrack to date, Sing-A-Long With Madeline, was released, featuring 27 tracks of music from the 2001 episodes.
Birds of a feather; Madeline Scout Kerker Allendorf has a special pet that follows her everywhere, rides in her wagon and cuddles in her arms. `I'm her mother,' the 6-year-old girl explained, `and here I thought I'd never be mother to a chicken. But this chicken is oh-so- nice.'.(NEWS)
Apr 11, 1998; Once upon a time, not so long ago and not so far away (actually, right now, in Minneapolis) there was a city girl who loved her...
CHILD MODEL OF MODESTY ; The Cape's Madeline McNulty lands her first big New York job, for Benetton, but her focus is firmly on real life and having fun.
Sep 30, 2004; GISELLE GOODMAN Staff Writer Portland Press Herald (Maine) 09-30-2004 CHILD MODEL OF MODESTY ; The Cape's Madeline McNulty...