Help Needed – The Friendly Old Owl With the ABCs


Commenter mae graciously converted and uploaded a copy of this hard to find classic!



Can anyone help me with this?

As a kid in the 1980s, I used to watch this video tape of a show over and over. It has the following characteristics:

1) Traditional cartoon animation

2) Featured a talking owl who taught about the alphabet – his catch phrase: “Hello again, it’s me! The/Your friendly old owl with the ABCs,” after he woke up from being perched on a tree branch at the start of each episode.

3) Each episode focuses on a letter of the alphabet – as the owl put it, “Big D… And little d.”

4) Once every episode, he would invite us to look inside ‘the magic pot’. The screen would zoom into the mouth of the pot/vase, inside which looks like outer space. Items that start with the letter of the episode would zoom towards us as the owl says out their names. After that was all done, the owl would reach his wing to dig around inside the vase and pull out the letters featured.

5) For the letter X, the owl admitted that there were very few words that begin with that letter. The magic pot was correspondingly sparse, with xylophone and x-ray being the only items.

6) At the end of each episode, a jazzy tune would play (led by clarinet or something similarly high pitched) we would see all the letter of the alphabet lined up in several rows – each big letter next to its small letter – and the letter pairs would light up or bulge out (I forget which) one by one until the featured letter pair was reached, at which point it would light up/bulge out for longer than the others.

7) There were other animals too, kind of guests for certain letters.

I’ve been trying my very best, but I simply cannot find any trace of this show online – not even the name! And I’m no noob when it comes to Google searches either. Unfortunately, there are lots of other cartoon owls to clog up the searches – such as Owl from Winnie the Pooh and Owl Johnson (I love to singa!).

Can anyone help me name this show or even find a copy?

It’s a treasured childhood memory. I even remember the tunes for the magic pot sequence and at the end of each episode.

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48 Responses to “Help Needed – The Friendly Old Owl With the ABCs”

  1. dog-ment Says:

    Jimmy Giggle and Hoot the owl

  2. starynite Says:

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    The project is called “Worlds of the Sky” which is an International Project for the public observation of an Extrasolar Planet Transit, specifically of XO-3 b. The name of this event, “Worlds of the Sky” was taken from a famous book by Camille Flammarion, the man behind the “Flammarion Woodcut”, a recognizable picture that you see often in Astronomy books and magazines.

    The event will be broadcast live on the website, or at on February 13, from 7pm onwards. The webcast will allow users around the world to watch the evolution of the light curve of the star XO-3 as the planet passes in front of it, monitored by the 1.34-metre Ruths Telescope of the Brera Observatory in Merate, Italy. The real-time data will be accompanied by comments of astronomers in English, Italian and Chinese.

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    The newspaper Al Watan interviewed one florist in Dammam who said the price of contraband red roses had soared from 5 riyals (about $1.30) to over 30.

  4. al_gored Says:

    Icicle gunned down in eastern Sweden

  5. Vat-a-hoot Says:

    The KFC Double Down: This Is Why the Terrorists Hate Our Freedom

  6. Mad Bluebird Says:

    Now if the owl did AEIOU they could call him VOWEL OWL

  7. ranger Says:

    This is worth watching
    WONDERLAND by Tim Burton

  8. slake Says:

    I Heard the Owl Call My Name

    is the story of Mark Brian, a young vicar who is sent to a Native Indian village called Kingcome in British Columbia which speaks the language Kwakwala. He was sent by his bishop who knows that Mark is suffering from an unnamed, fatal disease which he doesn’t know of because the man that sent him on his journey didn’t tell him. But he had a method to his madness… government outlaws the village’s time-honored festivals of potlatchs on the assumption they promote larceny. The village also owned a gigantic colorful mask, to which they refused an earlier offer from someone to buy it for several thousand dollars on the basis that it was an insufficient offer.

    A white man manages to buy the mask for fifty dollars by getting one of the Indians drunk, who then proceeds to write a bill of sale on the mask. In order to ingratiate himself to the village to gain access to the giant mask, the same white man also started dating an attractive young woman by promising to marry her. At first he treats her to things like hairdressing and nail polish, to which the village is naively impressed with her enhanced beauty and the fact she has a fiancee. When the con man has acquired what he was truly in search of, the giant mask, he leaves the young Indian woman to fend for herself on the streets of Vancouver.

    A man from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) informs Mark of her tragic end, where she was only taken in at a beer parlor, working as a prostitute until she died of a heroin overdose. This is a turning point in the book for Mark as he ponders the “depth of sadness”; the destitution of the village, as well as man’s greed and disrespect for women. Mark dies in the end, but not before having made an impact on the village and allowing the villagers to make a profound impact on him as well. Ironically, he doesn’t die from the deadly illness that he possessed; instead he is killed when a landslide crushes his boat.

  9. owly Says:

  10. Simon Thong Says:

    Thanks, slake, for that succinct summary of that marvellous novel. I read it in the 1970s…a very moving tale.

  11. hamid Says:

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    Among the sea life in the tank were 400 SHARKS and killer stingrays.

    Read more:

  12. Melissa Fabez Says:

    I HAVE BEEN LOOKING FOR THE SAME SHOW! I remember it well. Please let me know if anyone finds the right answer!!!!!!

  13. missprime Says:

    YOU TOO??!? My friends and I have been searching for this … since 2003.

    So yes!! We AREN’T crazy! πŸ™‚

    (well .. we may be — but at least someone else recalls this cartoon figure).

    It was actually quite interesting… the owl would reach down into a large vase/pot / cauldron, what have you .. stir the alphabet around and then a slightly “we possibly smoke too much of something’ scene would occur.

    I DO know that it was on similar to the same time as the Letter People… and the Polka Dot Door. … as far as channel line up .. ..

    Thanks for the search!

  14. Scott Thong Says:

    Yay!!! Now all we need is a name.

  15. Yehan Jehan Says:


  16. Dawn Says:

    I have been looking for this too for so long.
    My Autistic Son loved it when he was younger. It was on VHS video, I need to find it in DVD format.

  17. Dawn Says:

    The company who produced the videos were

  18. Nachtsider Says:

    Animal Alphabet Parade.

    That show remains one of my favorite animated features ever.

  19. Scott Thong Says:

    Finally, a new lead! Thanks! If you know any where or way to get a copy (hard or soft), please let me know!

    International Film Bureau
    332 South Michigan Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60604-4382
    (312) 427-4545
    Toll-free (800) 432-2241
    FAX (312) 427-4550

  20. Scott Thong Says:

    Nachtsider, I’m stuck – almost no information available online.

    Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

  21. Nachtsider Says:

    That’s the thing. You aren’t going to find anything helpful about it anywhere online, let alone copies for sale. The series is just that obscure. I have it on VHS tape, but it’s been ages since I gave it a spin. I can only hope the tape hasn’t degraded over time; if it hasn’t, I’m going to try transferring its contents to DVD and upload the stuff for you.

  22. Scott Thong Says:

    That’d be great, thanks!

    Guess if I were a rich nob, I’d post a wanted ad offering big bucks for it. I haven’t tried calling the International Film Bureau number which is the only lead I have.

  23. adez Says:

    any info on this friendly owl show..really need it too…

  24. kezzla Says:

    FInally! this page is the only trace of this cartoon on the whole internet!

    I had this video too as a young child, we got it from a malaysian video shop. I liked it when the big letter and the small letter did their dance, and the magic pot and the owl was cool too.

    any updates on the existence of this video?

  25. John Snow Says:

    Scott – were you ever able to get a hold of the series? I grew up (in Malaysia funnily enough) in the 80’s as well and used to love that show. Now I want to get my nephew hooked on it as well he’s just starting to learn his ABC’s and I think it would be great.

  26. Scott Thong Says:

    Nope, sadly no one can find any available copies. Even digging thru the net for the original studio was a dead end – listed on filmography but nowhere to get one. Maybe if we put out a request on ebay? I’d be willing to pay for it.

  27. rk Says:

    I remember this too – half of the alphabet was on one video and thesecond half on the other!

  28. jhp Says:

    i’m glad!!! i found a group of people who have same childhood like mine sharing this wonderful memory. Mine an my sibblings’ chidlhood wasn’t incomplete without this beautiful cartoon ‘A FRIENDLY OLD OWL WITH THE ABC ‘. i remember each music and dialogue of this cartoon. specially the magic pot scene in which mysterious music played in background and all things starting from particular alphabet would emerge.
    I even remember ‘ ZAINY ZEBRA’S ZOO’ coming at alphabet Z.
    i was cleaning an old drawer of my house, luckily where i found VHS of this cartoon. i’m glad i have it but it’s not available anywhere else.

  29. Scott Thong Says:

    Could you please, please, please check with one of those ‘convert VHS to Digital’ services whether they can transfer the Firendly Old Owl to softcopy? I’d gladly pay for a CD or DVD copy of it, including shipping!

  30. Adam Says:

    I have been looking for this programme for years, I have the tools to convert a VHS to a digital format if someone has a VHS (even a copy of a copy will do at this point!)

    I’m in Australia if that helps!

  31. Colleen Says:

    LOOK AND LEARN: Alphabet Soup – Learn the Letters (2008)

  32. Scott Thong Says:

    No, not quite…

    The one we’re talking about was old by the time I was a kid in the 80s (not 2008). And the Friendly Owl Old was brown and looked like a proper owl with wings sitting in a tree, not anthromorphosized.

    Thanks for trying though.

  33. Urlop od A do Z Says:

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    work and reporting! Keep up the wonderful works guys I’ve
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  34. Mae Says:

    Hi there! You can check this out…

    I also have the VHS but still trying to make a way to convert it…

  35. Scott Thong Says:

    Hey thanks a lot! I remember the copy I had ran through the entire alphabet… Friendly Old Owl had a hard time with X because so few words start with it, when he dug around inside The Magic Pot i was almost empty. So he resorted to words with X anywhere in them.

    There are services to convert VHS to DVD, for example

    I don’t mind sharing in the bill if you could send the softcopy file from the DVD!

  36. Mae Says:

    Hey Scott, it seems imemories only handle services in the US…

    Take a peek on the video here:

    We tried playing it on tv and took a video of it on camera… πŸ™‚

    I’ve uploaded it so that others can also see it…

    Hopefully, someone has a clearer copy… πŸ™‚

  37. Scott Thong Says:

    Yes, this is it!!!!

    Where are you located? I can try and find a service that does conversions in your area.

  38. Mae Says:

    It’s okay. Will try to find one and just let you know once I already have the digital copy. πŸ™‚

  39. FH Says:

    This is one of my childhood memories too πŸ™‚
    I’d be more than grateful if you could send me a link to watch it once it’s converted. Many thanks :)))

  40. Reeler dealer Says:

    Hello! I have a full set of the Animal Alphabet Parade series- all 26 letters- on 16mm reels used in a British Infant School in the 70s and 80s. Pristine condition. Contact me if interested to purchase!

  41. Scott Thong Says:

    Dear Reeler Deeler,

    Yes, I/we are interested to purchase the films but logistics may be a problem.

    Is there any way to digitize the content via a specialized service in order that the softcopy files can be electronically transferred? Compensation will be provided of course.

    A preview of some of the material you have would be great too!

  42. Mae Says:

    Hi Scott!

    Sorry for the very late reply. Finally converted the whole thing to digital. It took a while to do the uploading too, due to limited resources and funds. Hehe

    Here it is:


    Hi there friend from Malaysia!! Me too I was searching for years and never gave up!! Finally I found it! One great person did the honors and uploaded it to youtube, named mae1216… Here is the link, hit it and relive your golden childhood days….

    Kind Regards!!!!
    Haseeb Haqqani

  44. Scott Thong Says:

    Dear Mae, thanks so much for this! I don’t know how long this can stay online, or whether anyone still would even make copyright claims on such an old and unknown show. But I’m putting the link right at the top of this post!

    You’ve done the world (well, at least a few of us with great nostalgia) a wonderful service!

  45. Mae Says:

    Hi Scott,
    You’re welcome. I was a bit excited when I found out about your blog a year ago. Years back I have been finding ways to convert my old VHS. It’s good to know that someone out there is also looking for this classic. πŸ™‚ Sorry it took a while and glad that I finally made it.

  46. Chris Says:

    Would also like to thank Mae very much, I had looked for this a few years ago but failed. Today my Mum brought it up in conversation (as she’s babysitting my son) so tried again to find it and thanks to you we can all see it again.

  47. Adam Says:

    I am so glad this has been found, thanks Mae!

  48. jhp Says:

    I can’t thank enough firstly to Scott, for creating this blog and then Mae to put efforts in making this beautiful, nostalgic ‘Friendly old owl with ABC’ online conversion . Although I found VHS of this animation years ago but I couldn’t convert it online. It really is so precious!!!
    It’s glad to be part of community who share same childhood memories.
    Stay blessed and thank you

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