Comedy, Drama, Crime, Fantasy
|Created by||Jymn Magon
|Directed by||Larry Latham
|Voices of||Ed Gilbert
R. J. Williams
|Theme music composer||Silversher & Silversher|
|Composer(s)||Christopher L. Stone|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||65 (List of episodes)|
|Running time||22 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Walt Disney Television Animation|
|Distributor||Buena Vista Television|
|Original channel||The Disney Channel (1990)
first-run syndication (1990–1991)
|Picture format||480i SDTV|
|Original run||May 5, 1990– August 8, 1991|
TaleSpin is a half-hour animated adventure series based in the fictional city of Cape Suzette, that first aired in 1990 as a preview on The Disney Channel and later that year as part of The Disney Afternoon, with characters adapted from Disney's 1967 animated feature The Jungle Book, which was theatrically rereleased in the summer before this show premiered in the fall. The name of the show is a play on "tailspin," the rapid descent of an aircraft in a steep spiral. The two words in the show's name, tale and spin, are a way to describe telling a story. The show is one of the nine Disney Afternoon shows to use established Disney characters as the main characters, with the others being Darkwing Duck, DuckTales, Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers, Goof Troop, Bonkers, Quack Pack, Aladdin and The Lion King's Timon and Pumbaa.
- 1 Background
- 2 Synopsis
- 3 Characters and cast
- 4 Episodes
- 5 VHS releases
- 6 DVD releases
- 7 Video On Demand
- 8 Reception
- 9 Outsourced Production Work
- 10 Comics
- 11 Video games
- 12 Cameos
- 13 Award
- 14 References
- 15 External links
After a preview of TaleSpin aired on The Disney Channel from May 5 to July 15, 1990, the series began its syndicated run in September of the same year. The original concept was embodied in the pilot episode and introductory television movie Plunder & Lightning which was the sole nominee for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program (For Programming More Than One Hour) in 1991. After its premiere on September 7, 1990, Plunder & Lightning was re-edited into four half-hour episodes for reruns. The show was often seen either on its own as a half-hour show, or as part of the two-hour syndicated programming block The Disney Afternoon. TaleSpin ended on its 65th episode which aired on August 8, 1991. However, reruns continued to be shown on The Disney Afternoon until September 1994. On October 2, 1995, TaleSpin began reruns on The Disney Channel as part of a two-hour programming block called "Block Party" which aired on weekdays in the late-afternoon/early-evening and which also included Darkwing Duck, DuckTales, and Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers. Later, the show was aired on Toon Disney, where it was first aired from April 1998 until January 2006 (with a hiatus between 2001 and 2002 due to the September 11 attacks), and later from January 2007 until May 2008. Throughout its broadcast history, the series has been subjected to numerous edits.
Several of the characters are loosely based on characters from Disney's animated film version of The Jungle Book: in particular Baloo, the hot-shot pilot hero of the series; Louie, the owner of Baloo's favorite bar; and Shere Khan, a business tycoon who appears in many episodes. Despite its strong likeness to and re-use of several characters from the film, TaleSpin has never been intended to be a "spin-off" or a parody of The Jungle Book. There is also a more than passing resemblance to Hayao Miyazaki's film Porco Rosso about a pigheaded man who flies a seaplane and fights air pirates, which the creators of TaleSpin explain by the influence the previous Miyazaki's films had on them, and the possibility of Miyazaki watching TaleSpin at some point. While the film was released in 1992 (two years after TaleSpin had already aired) Porco Rosso is based on Miyazaki's manga, Hikōtei Jidai, which was first published in 1989.
The series was largely developed by writers Jymn Magon and Mark Zaslove, who were also the supervising producers on the series as well as story editors. There were four production teams, each one headed by a producer/director: Robert Taylor, Larry Latham, Jamie Mitchell, and Ed Ghertner.
TaleSpin is set in the fictional city of Cape Suzette (a pun on the dish Crêpe Suzette), in a fictional country called Usland. The city lies in a harbor protected by giant cliffs through which only a small opening exists. The opening in the cliffs is guarded by anti-aircraft artillery, preventing flying rabble-rousers or air pirates from entering the city. The characters in the world of TaleSpin are anthropomorphic animals. The time frame of the series is never specifically addressed, but appears to be in the mid-to-late 1930s. The helicopter, television and jet engine are experimental devices, and most architecture is reminiscent of the Art Deco style of that period. In one episode, Baloo comments that "The Great War ended 20 years ago," suggesting that the series specifically takes place in 1938. Radio is the primary mass medium, and one episode even briefly alludes to the characters having never heard of television.
The series centers on the adventures of bush pilot Baloo the bear, whose air cargo freight business, "Baloo's Air Service," is purchased by Rebecca Cunningham upon his default on delinquent bills with the bank and renamed "Higher for Hire." An orphan boy and former air pirate, the ambitious Kit Cloudkicker, attaches to Baloo and becomes his navigator. He sometimes calls him "Papa Bear." Together, they are the crew of Higher for Hire's only aircraft, a 20-year old modified Conwing L-16 (a fictitious combination of a Fairchild C-82 transport and a Grumman HU-16 amphibian) with the livery of the Canadair CL-215 waterbomber, named the Sea Duck. From there, the series follows the ups and downs of Higher for Hire and its staff, sometimes in the vein of old action-adventure film serials of the 1930s and 1940s and contemporary variations, such as Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Their adventures often involve encounters with a gang of air pirates led by Don Karnage, as well as with representatives of Thembria (a parody of the Stalinist Soviet Union inhabited by anthropomorphic boars), or other, often even stranger obstacles. In deference to contemporary sensitivities, there is no equivalent of the Nazis in the series, although one story in Disney Adventures Magazine, "The Dogs of War!," had the heroes encounter members of the "Houn" nationality, a menacing militaristic nationality of dogs from "Hounsland" who wear uniforms that are clearly based on German ones and who speak in a mock-German accent.
The relationship between Baloo and Rebecca owes something to the screwball comedy films of the 1930s. More precisely, according to Jymn Magon (co-creator of the series), the two characters were fashioned after Sam Malone and Rebecca Howe from the then-popular sitcom Cheers. Famed Uncle Scrooge comic writer and artist Don Rosa wrote episode 6, "It Came from Beneath the Sea Duck," episode 9, "I Only Have Ice for You," and episode 24, "A Touch of Glass."
Characters and cast
Eight VHS cassettes containing 15 episodes of the series were released in the United States.
|VHS Name||Episode Titles||Release Date|
|True Baloo||"From Here to Machinery" & "The Balooest of the Bluebloods"||August 9, 1991|
|That's Show Biz!||"Stormy Weather" & "Mommy for a Day"||August 9, 1991|
|Jackpots & Crackpots||"A Touch of Glass" & "Her Chance to Dream"||August 9, 1991|
|Fearless Flyers||"Jumping the Guns" & "Mach One for the Gipper"||August 9, 1991|
|Treasure Trap||"The Idol Rich" & "Polly Wants a Treasure"||February 28, 1992|
|Imagine That!||"Flight of the Snow Duck" & "Flight School Confidential"||February 28, 1992|
|Wise Up!||"Molly Coddled" & "The Sound and the Furry"||February 28, 1992|
|Search for the Lost City||"For Whom the Bell Klangs" (Parts 1 & 2)||February 28, 1992|
UK, Australia & New Zealand releases
Eleven VHS cassettes containing 21 episodes of the series were released in the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand.
|VHS Name||Episode Titles||Release Date|
|TaleSpin (Volume 1): Fearless Flyers||"From Here to Machinery" & "The Balooest of the Bluebloods"||September 11, 1992|
|TaleSpin (Volume 2): Baloo Skies||"Stormy Weather" & "For a Fuel Dollars More"||September 11, 1992|
|TaleSpin (Volume 3): Dare-Devil Bears||"Mommy for a Day" & "The Idol Rich"||September 11, 1992|
|TaleSpin (Volume 4): Hot Shot Heroes||"Jumping the Guns" & "Mach One for the Gipper"||September 11, 1992|
|TaleSpin (Volume 5): Imagine That||"Flight of the Snow Duck" & "Flight School Confidential"||September 11, 1992|
|TaleSpin (Volume 6): Treasure Trap||"Polly Wants a Treasure" & "The Bigger They Are, the Louder They Oink"||April 2, 1993|
|TaleSpin (Volume 7): True Baloo||"The Time Bandit" & "Louie's Last Stand"||April 2, 1993|
|TaleSpin (Volume 8): Jackpots & Crackpots||"Her Chance to Dream" & "A Touch of Glass"||September 10, 1993|
|TaleSpin (Volume 9): That's Show Biz!||"I Only Have Ice for You" & "It Came from Beneath the Sea Duck"||September 10, 1993|
|TaleSpin (Volume 10): Wise Up!||"Molly Coddled" & "The Sound and the Furry"||September 10, 1993|
|TaleSpin (Volume 11): Search for the Lost City||"For Whom the Bell Klangs" (Parts 1 & 2)||September 10, 1993|
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment has released some of the series on DVD; two volumes have been released in Region 1 thus far featuring the first 54 episodes of the series. The first was released on August 29, 2006 (containing episodes 1–27) and the second on November 13, 2007 (containing episodes 28–54). Volume 2 includes the controversial episode "Last Horizons," which has never been re-aired in syndication although it was rerun on The Disney Channel during the mid-to-late 1990s. On June 25, 2013, the third and final volume was released on DVD via the Disney Movie Club Exclusives. TaleSpin: Volume 3 is also for sale on DisneyStore.com. Volume 3 includes the controversial episode "Flying Dupes," which has never been re-aired in syndication.
|DVD Name||Ep#||Release Date|
|TaleSpin: Volume 1||1-27||August 29, 2006|
|TaleSpin: Volume 2||28-54||November 13, 2007|
|TaleSpin: Volume 3||55-65||June 25, 2013|
The series has been released into several volumes in different countries, each containing only 4 episodes each. As to the US release, all 65 episodes have been released in the US.
In Germany, A series of 3-disc sets started with Collection 1 released on December 5th 2012, in Region 2, PAL format. The sets contain the episodes in the same order as the US releases, as well as a Fastplay feature and 6 language tracks: English, Danish, German, Italian, Norwegian and Swedish, but no subtitles have been added. the first collection has only 17 episodes. A Second Collection, containing 16 episodes, was released on March 7th. A Third Collection, containing 17 episodes, was released on May 29th.
However, a few episodes have been removed from the original list. The 1st collection does not included "From Here To Machinery" and "Vowel Play". The 2nd set excludes "A Touch of Glass", while the 3rd set misses out "Jumping the Guns". There is no confirmation on whether or not these episodes will be released, along with the final 11 episodes of the series.
|DVD Name||Ep#||Release Date|
|Käpt'n Balu und seine tollkühne Crew Collection 1||17||December 5th 2012|
|Käpt'n Balu und seine tollkühne Crew Collection 2||16||March 7th 2013|
|Käpt'n Balu und seine tollkühne Crew Collection 3||17||May 29th 2013|
|Käpt'n Balu und seine tollkühne Crew Collection 4||15||N/A|
The sets from Germany have also been released in the United Kingdom. The First Collection came out on February 11th 2013. The Second Collection was released on May 20th 2013.
|DVD Name||Ep#||Release Date|
|TaleSpin First Collection (Volumes 1–3)||17||February 11th 2013|
|TaleSpin Second Collection (Volumes 4–6)||16||May 20th 2013|
|TaleSpin Third Collection (Volumes 7–9)||17||N/A|
The sets from Germany and the United Kingdom have also been released in Australia. The First Collection came out on August 17th 2012. The Second Collection was released on March 15th 2013. The Third Collection was released on October 11th 2013.
|DVD Name||Ep#||Release Date|
|TaleSpin First Collection (Volumes 1–3)||1-27||August 17th 2012|
|TaleSpin Second Collection (Volumes 4–6)||28-54||March 15th 2013|
|TaleSpin Third Collection||55-65||October 11th 2013|
Video On Demand
Outsourced Production Work
The following is a list of companies based outside of the United States that helped to produce the animation for the series:
- Walt Disney Animation France S.A.
- Walt Disney Animation Japan
- Walt Disney Animation U.K.
- Hanho Heung-Up Co., Ltd.
- Jade Animation, Inc.
- Pacific Rim Animation Productions
- Sunwoo Animation
- TamaPro, Inc.
- Wang Films Co., Ltd.
A monthly comic book based on the show was published by the Disney subsidiary W. D. Publications, Inc. as part of their Disney Comics line in 1991, running for eleven issues, including a four-issue limited series called "Take Off" based on the series premiere episode Plunder & Lightning, which was published between January and April, followed by a series of seven regular issues published between June and December. Bobbi J.G. Weiss was the writer for regular issues 1–4 and 6–7, while "Take Off" was adapted from Plunder & Lightning and regular issue 5 was adapted from episode 35, "The Old Man and the Sea Duck," for both of which Weiss is credited for adaptation.
The comic's cancellation at the end of 1991 terminated several planned stories that would have revealed pieces of background for the main characters. Issue 7, "The Long Flight Home," explored Kit's past, and how he joined up with the pirates. According to the letter page in #3, a planned story for the comic's annual would have explored the origin of the Iron Vulture. In addition, #4–7 would have letters 'answered' by the characters. A collected edition called Disney's Cartoon Tales featuring TaleSpin came out in 1991 (ISBN 1-56115-269-2). It reprints #4 and 6 from the regular comic book series. Subsequent comic stories were also printed in Disney Adventures from 1990 to 1995, and then re-appeared in the Summer 2006 issue of Disney Adventures Comic Zone Magazine, as well as in The Disney Afternoon comic book published by Marvel Comics.
Although issue #8 of the monthly comic series never made it to print, the end of issue #7 included a preview for it: "Spies in Cape Suzette?! There are some mighty mysterious folk sniffing around Shere Khan Industries. When Special Agent Booker shows up to handle the problem he finds that battling foreign agents is easier than dealing with Baloo as an assistant in... THE SPY WHO BUGGED ME!"
Three different TaleSpin video games were produced. One was a scrolling shooting game developed by Capcom for the NES and Game Boy. The other two were platform games, one developed by Sega for the Sega Genesis and Game Gear, and the other developed by NEC for the TurboGrafx-16. A PC video game is currently being developed by fans, and a prototype version has been released on January 2012. The final game will be an adventure point & click with platform and shoot'em up levels.
- Darkwing Duck (1991–1992): In the episode "Film Flam", the front of Darkwing Duck's uniform is ripped open, revealing the TaleSpin logo on the shirt he wears underneath.
- Raw Toonage (1992): In the episode "Sheerluck Bonkers / All Potato Network / The Puck Stops Here", Don Karnage hosts the episode, teaches how to look for treasure, finds a lunchbox with a picture of Baloo on it, and swordfights with Captain Hook.
- Bonkers (1993–1994): In the episode "Of Mice and Menace", Shere Khan appears in a mugshot.
- Aladdin (1994–1995): In the episode "When Chaos Comes Calling", there is a scene where the Genie transforms into a figure resembling and dressed like Baloo and is flying the Sea Duck, while Iago is dressed like Kit Cloudkicker, Jasmine is wearing the clothing and hairstyle of Rebecca Cunningham, and Abu is dressed like Louie.
- Emmy Award
- "The Jungle Book (re-issue) (1990)". Box Office Mojo. 1990-09-04. Retrieved 2013-02-08.
- "TaleSpin". Entertainment Weekly. 1990-09-07. Retrieved 2010-10-19.
- The Disney Channel Magazine, Vol. 8, no. 2 (typo in magazine: should be "no. 3"), May/June 1990: pp. 22, 34, 37, 46, 49–53, 57–59.
- The Disney Channel Magazine, Vol. 8, no. 3 (typo in magazine: should be "no. 4"), July/August 1990: pp. 45–47.
- "Primetime Emmy Awards (1991)". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2013-01-24.
- "Disney's 'Tale Spin' Gets Late Nomination for TV Animation Emmy". Associated Press. 1991-07-25. Retrieved 2013-01-24.
- "Nominees/Winners | Academy of Television Arts & Sciences". Emmys.com. Retrieved 2013-11-04.
- "DISNEY'S TALE SPIN: PLUNDER & LIGHTNING | Academy of Television Arts & Sciences". Emmys.com. Retrieved 2013-11-04.
- ""TaleSpin" Plunder & Lightning (TV episode 1990) – IMDb". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2013-01-24.
- "Block Party: Four Disney Animated Series." The Disney Channel Magazine, Vol. 13, no. 5, October/November 1995: p. 36.
- Weagle, Gregory. "TaleSpin Edits". Cloudkicker.50webs.com. Retrieved 2014-07-31.
- "TaleSpin and The Jungle Book". Animationsource.org. Retrieved 2010-06-03.
- "TaleSpin and Porco Rosso". Animationsource.org. Retrieved 2010-06-03.
- "Four production teams for TaleSpin". Animationsource.org. Retrieved 2010-06-03.
- "Bygones". TaleSpin. Season 1. Episode 64. 1991-05-03.
- "The Incredible Shrinking Molly". TaleSpin. Season 1. Episode 63. 1991-04-08.
- Gray, Doug (w), Lavoradori, Alberto (p,i). "The Dogs of War!" Disney Adventures v2 #1 (November 1991), The Walt Disney Company, Story code: KZ 4590
- "Question about the relationship between Baloo & Becky to Jymn Magon". Animationsource.org. Retrieved 2010-06-03.
- "TaleSpin, Volume 1: Ed Gilbert, R.J. Williams, Sally Struthers, Jim Cummings, Pat Fraley, Alan Roberts, Charles Adler, Janna Michaels, Chuck McCann, Frank Welker, Michael Gough, Tony Jay, David Mohr, Duane Capizzi: Movies & TV". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2013-02-08.
- "TaleSpin, Volume 2: Ed Gilbert, R.J. Williams, Sally Struthers, Jim Cummings, Liz Georges, Pat Fraley, Alan Roberts, Charles Adler, Janna Michaels, Chuck McCann, Frank Welker, Michael Gough, Alan Burnett, Bruce Morris, Carter Crocker, Chuck Tately, David Weimers, Dev Ross, Duane Capizzi, Jeremy Cushner: Movies & TV". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2013-02-08.
- "TALESPIN VOLUME 3 to be the second DMC Release with GARGOYLES". Disney Afternoon Forever. 2013-05-30. Retrieved 2013-07-03.
- "GARGOYLES, TALESPIN up for Sale on DMC, Cover Art Up". Disney Afternoon Forever. 2013-06-24. Retrieved 2013-07-03.
- "TALESPIN, GARGOYLES Now Sold on DisneyStore.com". Disney Afternoon Forever. 2013-01-24. Retrieved 2013-08-30.
- "TaleSpin Volume 3 2-Disc DVD Set | Animation". Disney Store. Retrieved 2013-08-30.
- "Netflix Around The World". 2014-07-13. Retrieved 2014-07-13.
- "IGN – 81. TaleSpin". ign.com. Retrieved 2014-07-14.
- Weagle, Gregory. "TaleSpin Crew". Cloudkicker.50webs.com. Retrieved 2013-02-08.
- Weiss, Bobbi J.G. (adaptation from a script by Mark Zaslove) (w), Quartieri, Cosme (p), Valenti, Carlos, Robert Bat (i). "Take Off: Part One – Plane for Keeps" Disney’s TaleSpin Limited Series #1 (January 1991), W. D. Publications, Inc., ISBN 1-56115-115-7, Cover code: KB 0390, Story code: KB 0190
- Weiss, Bobbi J.G. (adaptation from a teleplay by Alan Burnett) (w), Quartieri, Cosme (p), Valenti, Carlos, Raul Barbéro, Robert Bat (i). "Take Off: Part Two – Missed Deeds and Derring-Don'ts" Disney’s TaleSpin Limited Series #2 (February 1991), W. D. Publications, Inc., ISBN 1-56115-116-5, Cover code: KB 0590, Story code: KB 0290
- Weiss, Bobbi J.G. (adaptation from a teleplay by Len Uhley) (w), Quartieri, Cosme (p), Valenti, Carlos, Robert Bat (i). "Take Off: Part Three – Khan Job" Disney’s TaleSpin Limited Series #3 (March 1991), W. D. Publications, Inc., ISBN 1-56115-117-3, Cover code: KB 0690, Story code: KB 0490
- Weiss, Bobbi J.G. (adaptation from a teleplay by Mark Zaslove) (w), Saavedra, Oscar F. (p), Valenti, Carlos, Raul Barbéro, Robert Bat (i). "Take Off: Part Four – Plunder and Lightning" Disney’s TaleSpin Limited Series #4 (April 1991), W. D. Publications, Inc., ISBN 1-56115-118-1, Cover code: KB 0790, Story code: KB 0890
- Johan Rhen. "Disneyania: TaleSpin Wings: TaleSpin Comic Books". D-zine.se. Retrieved 2013-10-19.
- "Nostalgia November Day 06 – TaleSpin #7 | Comics Should Be Good! @ Comic Book Resources". Goodcomics.comicbookresources.com. 2009-11-06. Retrieved 2013-02-08.
- "Fans Of Talespin Cartoons Can Look Forward To More Fun". Chicago Tribune. 1992-01-10. Retrieved 2010-10-19.
- "Fan Video Game". Animationsource.org.
- "Film Flam". Darkwing Duck. Season 1 (ABC). Episode 67. 1991-09-14.
- "Sheerluck Bonkers / All Potato Network / The Puck Stops Here". Raw Toonage. Season 1. Episode 2. 1992-09-26.
- "Of Mice and Menace". Bonkers. Season 1 (Disney Afternoon). Episode 38. 1993-10-21.
- "When Chaos Comes Calling". Aladdin. Season 1 (Disney Afternoon). Episode 53. 1994-11-23.
- "Transcripts: "When Chaos Comes Calling"". Aladdin Central. Retrieved 2013-10-05.
- "Aladdin Central Image Gallery – 084 – When Chaos Comes Calling/wccc160". Aladdincentral.org. 2007-12-23. Retrieved 2013-10-05.
- ""TaleSpin" (1990) – Awards". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2013-01-24.
- "1990–1991 Emmy Awards – Infoplease.com". infoplease.com. Retrieved 2013-01-24.
- Official website
- TaleSpin at the Internet Movie Database
- TaleSpin at the Big Cartoon DataBase
- TaleSpin at TV.com