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Disney's Adventures of the Gummi Bears is an Americanmarker animated television series that aired in the United Statesmarker in the mid-1980s through the early 1990s. The show was created by The Walt Disney Company, and loosely inspired by the gummi bear candies; Disney CEO Michael Eisner was struck with inspiration for the show when his son requested the candies one day. The series premiered on NBC on September 14, 1985, and aired there for four seasons. The series moved to ABC for one season from 1989-1990, and concluded on September 6, 1991 as part of the Disney Afternoon television syndication package. Of the series' 65 shows, 30 were double-features, consisting of two 11-minute cartoons, thereby bringing the series total to 95 distinct episodes overall. The show is well-remembered for its theme music, written by Michael and Patty Silversher.

The series was later rebroadcast on the syndicated Disney Afternoon block, and rerun on the Disney Afternoon through the summer of 1991. In later years, it was shown on the Disney Channel and Toon Disney, with its most recent televised airing occurring on Toon Disney on December 28, 2001. Seasons 1 to 3 of the series were released on DVD on November 14, 2006. [40557].

Premise

The series focuses on the escapades of the eponymous "Gummi Bears," anthropomorphic bears who are the last remnants of a once-great civilization of Gummis that fled the land centuries ago when humans, jealous of the advancements and magical skills of the Gummi Bears, forced the species into exile. Now regarded by most of humankind as fairytales, the show's main cast of Gummi Bears (six in number at the outset of the series, increased to seven during the third season) live in the vast subterranean warren of Gummi Glen in the medieval kingdom of Dunwyn.

The Gummis' modern adventures begin when they are discovered by a human boy named Cavin who happens to have a Gummi Medallion, found by his grandfather many years earlier. After he accidentally enters the colony's underground home of Gummi Glen, they capture and interrogate the boy as to how he gained the medallion. During the questioning, Cavin escapes after Tummi inadvertently gives him Gummiberry Juice to drink, but refuses to cause any harm and attempts to befriend the reclusive bears. Impressed by this civilized behavior, they make him swear to keep their confidence and make him a privileged friend of the colony. The medallion magically unlocks the colony's Great Book of Gummi, an essential reference guide to the forgotten knowledge of the Gummi Bears. Inspired by its writings, the colony resolves to rediscover their heritage and help Dunwyn defend against evil. Later, another human from Dunwyn accidentally learns that the Gummi Bears are real: the young daughter of the king, Princess Calla. She also promises to keep the Gummis' existence a secret. In subsequent seasons the Gummis would befriend or be discovered by other friendly humans.

The main antagonist of both Dunwyn and the Gummis is Duke Sigmund Igthorn, a renegade noble with an army of ogres, from the neighboring province of Drekmore. Unfortunately, in stopping Igthorn's attempt to bombard his enemies with a grand catapult, the duke learns of the existence of the Gummi Bears and will stop at nothing to discover and exploit their secrets to become invincible and capture Dunwyn Castle. Chief among his primary goals is gaining a reliable supply of the Gummi Bears' vital strategic substance, Gummiberry Juice, a magic potion that endows Gummi bears with bouncing abilities, but gifts humans (or ogres) with momentary super-strength as well as other numerous uses, including serving as fuel for mechanical machines.

In addition to combating Igthorn's ambition, the Gummis regularly encounter other evil humans and magical beings ranging from wizards to gods, all the while attempting to hide their existence from the world at large. One of the show's main recurring storylines outside of the schemes of Igthorn is the mystery of the ancient Gummis, who are now scattered all across the world, but who have left advanced technology behind them.

Characters

Gummi Bears

The seven gummies who live in Gummi Glen are:

  • Gruffi Gummi (Bill Scott (Season 1), Corey Burton (Seasons 2-6)) - The no-nonsense, perfectionist and conservative every-job-Gummi. He is the technician of the group, and has a running feud with Grammi; their banter suggests that he is very conscious about his height. Gruffi also can be viewed as the de facto leader of Gummi Glen. His stubbornness, conservatism and use of pure muscle could be counterproductive to the Gummis at times, but beneficial other times. However, Gruffi is respected as a source of stability with his practical nature that saved the day numerous times, such as convincing Zummi he could defeat an evil wizard without magic, or rebuilding an old mechanical knight to help Princess Calla save her father.
  • Zummi Gummi (Paul Winchell (Seasons 1–5), Jim Cummings (Season 6)) - The colony's "keeper of Gummi wisdom" turned magician with unreliable skill. Largely due to mild cases of nervousness and lacking self-confidence, Zummi forgets important things, including spells, at the worst possible moment and does spoonerisms when stressed. He is also very helpless when he loses his glasses and suffers from acute acrophobia (fear of heights), which troubled the Gummi Bears frequently. Zummi is one of the oldest Gummies of the group, the other being Grammi.
  • Grammi Gummi (June Foray) - The matriarch of the Gummi clan, she cooks and cleans and prepares the gummiberry juice, a skill that is privileged to a select few among the Gummies themselves. Her cooking - which is sometimes purely experimental - is not always appreciated by the others. In her arguments with Gruffi she is just as hot-headed as he is, but when defending the other Gummies from his ravings she takes the maternal, moderating role.
  • Tummi Gummi (Lorenzo Music) - The gluttonous teenaged Gummi who is seemingly slow in thinking and action, but has shown extreme courage in tough situations. He has a sweet tooth, is a talented planter and loves building model boats. Tummi also has excellent skills at seamanship when he is on a real boat.
  • Sunni Gummi (Katie Leigh) - The preteen of the bunch who often rebels against the clan but learns her lessons eventually. Sunni is quite fond of rather 'radical' fashions, and her dream, with an overactive romanticism, is to one day be a princess. Sunni is Calla's best friend. Other male Gummi bears have often paid Sunni compliments to her attractiveness. She has a crush on Gusto, but in his obsession for art he doesn't take much notice of her.
  • Cubbi Gummi (Noelle North) - The youngest Gummi. An aspiring knight, he is always looking for adventure and often finds it. Because of his youth, he is often not taken seriously by the others, which is frequently a mistake. When fighting crime at Dunwyn, he uses the masked identity of the Crimson Avenger, which he assumed soon after Calla dubbed him "the unseen defender of Dunwyn" for saving her from Igthorn.
  • Gusto Gummi (Rob Paulsen) - Augustus ("Gusto" for short) is an artistic, individualist Gummi who was stranded on a deserted island a dozen years ago and rescued by Gruffi and Tummi in the season 2 finale, "My Gummi Lies Over the Ocean." He did not reappear until "Day of the Beevilweevils," but the following episode, "Water Way to Go," explained that this was because he doesn't actually live in Gummi Glen, but in an atelier cave hidden behind a waterfall (although Gusto resides in Gummi Glen during times of inclement weather or snowstorms). Gusto is a creative artist of considerable talent, but has mercurial moods depending on how well his work is going or being appreciated. His flighty and outgoing personality makes him the polar opposite of Gruffi, whom he constantly tries to loosen up (with moderate success). There is the vague sense that Gusto being shipwrecked for a dozen years on an island with only a chatty toucan named Artie Deco (Jymn Magon, then later by Brian Cummings) for company has left him a little unbalanced.


Curiosity

The creators of the program took inspiration for the character of Lady Bane (Season 5 and 6) by the historical figure of Lucrezia Borgia.

Episodes

DVD releases

On November 14, 2006, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment released Disney's Adventures of the Gummi Bears: Volume 1 on DVD in Region 1. The 3-disc set features seasons 1-3 and does not contain any bonus features.

DVD Name Ep# Release Date

Disney's Adventures Of The Gummi Bears: Volume 1 47 November 14, 2006
Disney's Adventures Of The Gummi Bears: Volume 2 48 TBA


In the UK, Amazon released an exclusive box set in Region 2 (PAL), in seven volumes (also separate). The 7 DVD Boxset is currently unavailable, but all 7 discs (Volumes) are available separately at time of writing.

Significance

Disney's Adventures of the Gummi Bears was Disney's first major serialized television animation (it was released back to back with another show, The Wuzzles, which lasted only 13 episodes), and is often credited by animators and animation historians as having helped jump start the television animation boom of the late 1980s and 1990s. Consequently, it also became the forerunner to Disney's famous Disney Afternoon timeslot, which gave way to other famous serialized Disney television series, such as DuckTales, Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers, TaleSpin, Darkwing Duck, Gargoyles, and Bonkers. Although many of these subsequently-created shows exceeded Gummi Bears in budget and length, it is often credited as the sort of prototype to all of the subsequent animation which followed it, with DuckTales really jumpstarting the trend.

Additionally, while not having the largest number of total episodes, Gummi Bears has the biggest number of seasons of any Disney animated series. Whereas other shows simply produced large numbers of episodes for each of their seasons (DuckTales, for instance, had 100 episodes over three years), Gummi Bears is unique in that it was actually annually renewed for new episodes over six consecutive years, a feat which few other children's animated series can boast even today.

The show was so successful in the United Kingdommarker that the episodes A New Beginning and Faster than a Speeding Tummi were released as theatrical featurettes there in 1986 and 1987.

Other appearances of Gummi Bears in other media included one appearance of Gruffi Gummi starring in a D-TV music video of the Elvis Presley song "Teddy Bear" in 1986.

The show's popularity also led to a re-theming of Disneylandmarker's Motor Boat Cruisemarker, along with a small part of Disneyland that became known as "Disney Afternoon Avenue." The Motor Boat Cruise became the "Motor Boat Cruise to Gummi Glen" and plywood characters from the show made gummiberry juice along the waterway. The Gummi Bears, and on occasion human characters such as Duke Igthorn, Princess Calla, or King Gregor, have also been featured as meetable characters in Disney theme parks who greet guests.

Title in other languages



References



External links




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