Like Lascaux palaeolithic cave art, the playroom landscapes of many Euro-American pre-school children betray the ubiquity of animal representations in Western culture. Providing some understanding of why it is that adults engender and utilize animal-based models for children — and most especially why bears occupy a privileged place in this pantheon — is now very much a multi-disciplinary endeavour. The ‘teddy bear’motif pervades and is culturally iconic of Western childhood, and yet this most mundane of facts seems to have drawn little scholastic comment. Equally significant, however, has been the gradual development of the ‘teddy bear’ over the last century from partially realistic animal-doll — massive shoulder joints, back humps, etc. — to the modern incarnations with stubby legs and arms, non-gendered and seated, and a ‘skin’ of mohair or some synthetic acrylic. The Sooty Show parades its reality credentials by quarantining the puppets’ primary animality from their assumed humanity.