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Laura, the Prairie Girl

1975 – 1976 Japanese animated series about the Ingalls family.

For twenty-six weeks in 1975 and 1976, the animated television series “Sôgen no shôjô Laura” (Laura the Prairie Girl) aired in Japan. Produced by the Nippon Animation Company, Limited, the series adapted stories from two of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House books: Little House in the Big Woods and Little House on the Prairie. According to the Anime News Network, each 24-minute episode featured the voices of Kazuko Sugiyama as Laura, Hideo Nakamura as Pa, Eiko Masuyama as Ma, Masako Sugaya as Mary, and Yoneko Matsukane as Baby Carrie. Other characters included Mr. Fitch (no doubt taken from On the Banks of Plum Creek), Dr. Tan, and Freddy Ingalls.

In 1982, the 24-minute episodes were dubbed in Spanish and shown in Spain, Mexico, and Peru as “Laura la niña de la Pradera.” If snippets available on YouTube can’t satisfy you (search for “Laura la niña de la Pradera” or “Sougen no shoujo laura” – there are too many to link to here), the entire series can be purchased for around $500 (ouch). Does anyone have any episodes they’d be willing to sell copies of at a more reasonable price?

A list of episode titles and their original air date is below. For the most part, anyone familiar with the Little House books will find it easy to match them to their book counterparts. Since Freddy was a character on the show, I wonder if the “new calf” episode is really about Freddy’s birth? And what do you think “Something terrible has happened” is about? Malaria, perhaps? Indian uprising?

7 October 1975 – “Little house in the big woods”
14 October 1975 – “A wolf cub arrives”
21 October 1975 – “Everyone’s treasure”
28 October 1975 – “The boy in the covered wagon”
4 November 1975 – “New house in the woods”
11 November 1975 – “Bear cub we met at the waterfall”
18 November 1975 – “My hero the cowboy”
25 November 1975 – “A fawn is calling”
2 December 1975 – “Pa makes bullets”
9 December 1975 – “Bearded guest”
16 December 1975 – “Lost migrating bird”
23 December 1975 – “Where did Santa Claus go?”
30 December 1975 – “Lost in a Snowstorm”
6 January 1976 – “Dreams and hopes! Departing for the prairie”
13 January 1976 – “Big adventure! Crossing the frozen lake”
20 January 1976 – “Jack disappears”
27 January 1976 – “Come back, Jack!”
3 February 1976 – “Cute animals of the prairie”
10 February 1976 – “Build it quickly! Our new house”
17 February 1976 – “A wolf pack surrounds the house”
24 February 1976 – “Pa builds the house”
2 March 1976 – “A cute calf has arrived”
9 March 1976 – “Perilous well-digging”
16 March 1976 – “Something terrible happened!”
23 March 1976 – “My house is burning”
30 March 1976 – “Wheat, grow tall!”


Laura, the Prairie Girl