Bannertail: The Story of Gray Squirrel (partially found English dub of anime series; 1979)

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Bannertail - The Story of Gray Squirrel press sheet cover.jpeg

Press sheet cover of Bannertail: The Story of Gray Squirrel.

Status: Partially Found

Bannertail: The Story of Gray Squirrel (シートン動物記 りすのバナー Shīton Dōbutsuki Risu no Banā) is a Japanese anime series based on the 1922 American children's book by Ernest Thompson Seton. The anime was produced by Nippon Animation and aired on TV Asahi from April 7, 1979, to September 29, 1979.


The plot is about a young orphaned squirrel named Banner who was raised by a kindly mother cat. When the farm is caught by fire, Banner gets separated from his adoptive mother and is forced to go to the forest where he befriends the wild squirrels and learns to survive.


The anime was later dubbed and aired in several European countries, being especially popular in Germany and Spain.[1] It also aired in Arab-speaking countries.

The series was at one point dubbed in the late 1970's and was the voice acting debut of actor Robert Axelrod, who played the title character. The English dub's existence is primarily only evidenced by Robert Axelrod's portfolio. It is unknown if this dub was ever aired.[2]

Sometime in the early 1980's the first two episodes were cut together on VHS and was released in the United Kingdom by Portland Films, featuring extremely poor sound mixing that often drowns out much of the dialogue. This release was retitled Bandi the Squirrel, possibly an attempt to cash in on the cinema re-release of the Disney classic Bambi. No further information is available on the creation of the dub, but one possibility is that it came from an attempted amateur dubbing of a local station broadcast in the USA.[3]

At some point another, a likely unrelated dub was created with a different voice cast which this time actually referred to the title character as "Bandi". This, along with the other dub, would later be re-released on VHS by Portland in 1989. Both of these were likely unrelated test dubs.


In the early 1980's, an English-dubbed version, titled "Bandi the Squirrel", was released on video by Portland Films. The tape compiles footage from the first two episodes, creating a single 24-minute feature. On Feb 12, 2016, Archie Pelago uploaded the full tape onto YouTube.[4]

Another UK release called, "Bandi in Love," was presented in a YouTube video uploaded by Awesome Trixie on Apr 18, 2020. On the back cover, it states that the running time is 25 minutes long, meaning that the release also contains only a single episode.[5] Unlike the first VHS, this tape has not surfaced online yet.

"Bandi the Squirrel" (23-minute version)

"Bandi the Squirrel" (80-minute version)

"Bandi the Squirrel" & "Bandi in Love"

A second version of the "Bandi the Squirrel" contains a slightly extended cut of the first dub which also includes the later "Bandi" dub which or may not be included on the "Bandi in Love" VHS.

It is unknown whether there are more home video releases of this English dub.