Hello Kitty is the popular cartoon character created by the Sanrio Company of Japan. Hello Kitty is a white, mouthless female kitten who lives in a seemingly perfect world. Kind, friendly and impossibly cute, she offers advice like "Hello Kitty says be yourself!" Although Sanrio had been producing Hello Kitty products since the 1970s, in the mid-1980s Hello Kitty mania swelled and she became one of the most prominent and recognizable Japanese characters on Earth, found on everything from handbags to bath towels.
At first, Hello Kitty did not have a name at all. The cartoon was born in Japan in 1974, when Sanrio, then a young Tokyo-based company, asked designer Ikuko Shimizu to invent a cartoon animal who would appeal to the preteen girl in everyone. Sanrio, which already had a bear and a dog (and, curiously, a strawberry) in its growing cast of characters, needed the new critter to decorate a plastic coin purse it was planning to produce.
In her own make-believe world, however, Hello Kitty isn't even Japanese. She lives in the suburbs outside London with her father, George White; mother, Mary White; and twin sister, Mimmy White. Yes, Hello Kitty is a nickname; her birth certificate reads Kitty White. How to tell Kitty and Mimmy apart? Look at the bow. Hello Kitty prefers a red bow in her left ear; Mimmy opts for yellow on her right. Other occupants of the White house include Bear, apparently a living teddy, and Moley, who pops up in the garden.
Sanrio located the Whites in England as a nod to the surging Anglophilia of 1970s Japan, notably the books and illustrations of Beatrix Potter (The Tale of Peter Rabbit) and Lewis Carroll (Alice Through the Looking Glass). Much has been made of Hello Kitty's mouth, or lack thereof. A handful of feminist scholars say her non-communicative nature perpetuates the submissive female archetype, while others attribute Hello Kitty's appeal to her blank stare -- onto which fans can project their own emotions.
According to Hello Kitty's official bio on Sanrio's website, "Kitty is a cheerful, warm-hearted little girl. Baking cookies is her forte, but what she enjoys most is eating a slice of Mama's apple pie!" We also learn that her favorite things include candy, stars, and goldfish, as well as the inevitable "small, cute things." Hello Kitty is in third grade. She weighs the same as three apples and stands five apples tall. Her blood type is A.
The very first item which featured Hello Kitty was a wallet, which was a very tiny purse with the picture of Hello Kitty embroidered on its side. Hello Kitty's family was also introduced.
Sanrio welcomed and celebrated Hello Kitty by creating a new pose for Hello Kitty. Instead of just a sitting pose, they made Hello Kitty a standing pose.
Apparently Sanrio liked the new standing pose, and they decided to try a bit more. They made Hello Kitty to sit in a plane, piloting it. It was a very simple picture of Hello Kitty in a plane with its head sticking out. The school children loved it, even high school students and some adults were attracted to this cute new design.
This time, Hello Kitty was designed to ride a dolphin, along with other different styles such as in a car, in different places...etc. Hello Kitty also had a large variety of different uniforms and outfits.
Grandpa and grandma formally introduced to the Hello Kitty world.
Hello Kitty playing sports! Hello Kitty was in a tennis top and playing tennis. Holding a tennis racket and a ball, extremely cute and adorable. Hello Kitty digital watch was also released and went on sale that year, and more than a million watches were sold.
The range of Hello Kitty items on sale expanded to telephones and cameras also some more electronic products, which it continued to increase year after year. The first Hello Kitty movie was made, called "Kitty and Mimi's new umbrella".
Hello Kitty's outline disappeared! The reason for this is to make Hello Kitty more involved to the background picture. They also made a bit of adjustment to the position of Hello Kitty's eyes.
Cris-cross and straight lined background, with a more US style design attracted lot of people in the US. During the same year, Hello Kitty was named the child ambassador of UNICEF in the US as well.
Hello Kitty photo design. This was to make Hello Kitty more realistic and made it seem closer to us. This process was a huge success at the end.
Tiny Cham introduced. Hello Kitty baking a cake in the kitchen, which also attracted lot of young parents.
Passport shot of Hello Kitty's face. This extremely simply design became the official logo for Hello Kitty for a while. This design was also seen on handbags, different clothing, handkerchiefs and lots more.
Black and white Hello Kitty series. This design was aimed to attract more adults instead of teenagers or younger children.
Cris-cross and straight lined background Hello Kitty is back. This design became really popular, and received large recognition from around the world. US CBS television started to show the first Hello Kitty cartoon on TV, "Hello Kitty's Fairy Tale Theater".
English Hello Kitty comic series went on sale in US. This attracted even more fans because the reader could actually get a closer feel to Hello Kitty, it friends, family and life.
Water droplets and snow background design developed. During the Christmas it was even more popular with Hello Kitty in Santa-like costume with snowy background. Sanrio Puroland theme park opened in the same year as well.
Flower series. Hello Kitty was hold a flower with flowers in the background. It attracted lot of female fans instantly.
Fruit series. Hello Kitty was holding a fruit with fruits in the background. The design was changing depending on the season and the time of the year, to match the fruit and the color. It gave the fans a heart-warming feel.
Hello Kitty design changed again! The bow on her ear changed to a flower, a new start to this new look of Hello Kitty.
Nurse series. Hello Kitty in a hospital and in a nurse's uniform! Hello Kitty was named the child ambassador of UNICEF in Japan.
Flower series back again. With much more designs and more more colorful.
Traditional Kitty design. Hello Kitty in traditional Japan clothing, also in school uniform, beach uniform, wedding gown. Mermaid Kitty was also a popular design.
Kitty's House theme park opened, attracted thousands of visitors a day.
Kitty baby series. This series was created in response to a strong request by young mothers who have been loyal fans of Hello Kitty since her debut.
Hello Kitty turned 30 in 2004, and although in her world she remains a kitten, her earthly reality continues to grow. In 1993, Sanrio introduced a boyfriend for her, a similar-looking kitty named Dear Daniel. The two playmates rarely rendezvous, however, because Daniel is perpetually on African safari with his family (dad is a photographer). No worries, correspondence is a Hello Kitty mainstay, hence her fondness for stationery. Other members of her social circle include the teen bunny Kathy, brother and sister monkeys Timmy and Tammy, and boy puppy Jody.
In 1976, Setsuko Yonekubo became Hello Kitty's second chief designer. She was in turn replaced in 1980 by Yuko Yamaguchi, who remains at the helm. In 2004, Yamaguchi explained the long-standing appeal of her charge to London's Times newspaper: "Hello Kitty can wear Laura Ashley but also punk rock leather. She has a wide audience, and she's very flexible because everything goes with white." Hello kitty is a cute cat that everyone loves especially the dark versions of hello kitty.
Hello Kitty is a very outgoing kitten, she loves to go out and make new friends! Lets get Hello Kitty to introduce each and everyone of them to you, so you can be our friends too!
Tippy is a loving and kind-hearted bear. Strong and reliable, always there to help you in times of trouble. Tippy has a crush on Kitty and wants to be her boyfriend.
Jodie is the bookworm out of the whole pack. She is a dog with all the knowledge, and loves to read and study to become smarter. Her dream is to become a researcher one day.
A small cute bear who is always there to keep you companied. Tiny Chum has been a good friend with both Hello Kitty and Mimi for a long time now, and they are such good friends that Mimi and Kitty treat Tiny Chum like their younger brother.
Cathy is not as talkative like some of other Kitty's friends. She is quiet and gentle, and she always think for the others first before herself, which makes her an unique friend.
Joey is a humorous and a good friend with everyone. His wit and charm has turned him into one of the most popular student at school. He is also a great athlete too, check him out during track and field events.
Tim & Tammy
The funniest little monkeys at school. They are very friendly and always show you new things to make you laugh. They are like the little entertainers of all.
Rory lives in the forest and knows the forest well. Roryl oves to climb up trees and jump around from branch to branch. Rory also taught Kitty the secrets of the forest.
Tracy loves to joke around with the others, always brings out laughter and joy to the friends around him with his harmless mischief. He is everyone's good buddy.
Mory is a small, cute but extremely shy seal who lives in Kitty's backyard. You find her in his little pond most of the time enjoying a bit of sun baking.
Fifi is the most energetic student out of all, she is always running around doing something! She is always busy and occupied and you will be surprised all the things she does and how little rest the takes.
This is Hello Kitty's father. His name is George White. He is really funny and likes telling jokes to his family to make them laugh. He works for a trading company. He is very hardworking and dependable, but is sometimes absent-minded.
This is Hello Kitty's mother. Her name is Mary White. She is very kind and loving. She enjoys cooking and taking care of her house. She makes a very good apple pie.
Mimmy is Kitty's twin sister. She is very shy and a bit of a homebody. Mimmy and Kitty spend a lot of time together because they are best friends. Mimmy always wears her bow on her left ear so people can tell her and her twin apart.
Grandpa Anthony is Kitty's grandfather. He is well educated and likes painting.
Grandma Margaret is Kitty's grandmother. She likes to embroider and make pudding for the girls.
Dear Daniel is Hello Kitty's boyfriend! He is often on safari in Africa with his dad who is a photographer.
Several Hello Kitty animated series targeted towards young children have been produced. In the animated films made by Sanrio from 1977 to 1985, Hello Kitty has made cameo appearances in them (similar to Disney's hidden Mickey techniques). The earliest Hello Kitty animated series known was the American-animated (co-produced with Japan) Hello Kitty's Furry Tale Theatre, which aired throughout 1986. This show, produced by Sanrio in cooperation with the now-defunct DiC Entertainment, parodies famous fairy tales and blockbuster movies from the period. It was broadcast in the United States on The Family Channel, and a Spanish-dubbed version also aired Saturday mornings on Univision. The voice of Hello Kitty is Mr. Edmunson .
The Japanese anime series Hello Kitty and Friends aired on TV Tokyo in Japan, and CBS in the United States in 1991. It also ran in reruns on Toon Disney. On the show, Kitty is a little girl living with her mother, father, and twin sister Mimmy, who is identical to Kitty but has different colored clothes and wears her bow under the opposite ear. 13 episodes were produced, using animation produced as early as 1991.
On Japanese television, Hello Kitty (and her pals) have starred in an anime series. Hello Kitty's Paradise ran for 16 episodes between 1993 and 1994. This version was released in English in 2000, and like "Hello Kitty and Friends". Hello Kitty and friends also appeared in Hello Kitty's Animation Theatre, which had Hello Kitty and other Sanrio characters appearing in their versions of different fairy tales. Available in the U.S. from ADV Films (who also own the video/DVD rights to Hello Kitty and Friends & Hello Kitty's Paradise).
Hello Kitty appeared in a new Japanese clay-animated series called Hello Kitty's Stump Village in 2005. At Anime Expo 2006, Geneon Entertainment announced that Hello Kitty's Stump Village was one of the series it licensed for U.S. release. Volume 1 was released in October, and Volume 2 was released in January and in 2008. After Geneon withdrew from the US market at the end of 2007, it was later re-licensed by Funimation Entertainment, who will continue to release it in North America. Hello Kitty appeared for the first time in a full 3D animation The Adventures of Hello Kitty & Friends developed by Sanrio's digital entertainment entity Sanrio Digital.