Disney's Adventures of the Gummi Bears
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|Disney's Adventures of the Gummi Bears|
|Theme music composer||Silversher & Silversher|
|Opening theme||"Gummi Bears Theme"|
|Ending theme||"Gummi Bears Theme" (instrumental)|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||6|
|No. of episodes||65 (94 segments) (list of episodes)|
|Running time||22 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Walt Disney Television Animation|
|Distributor||Disney–ABC Domestic Television|
|Original release||September 14, 1985– March 22, 1991|
Disney's Adventures of the Gummi Bears is a Disney animated television series that first aired in the United States from 1985 to 1991. The series was the first animated production by Walt Disney Animation Television, and loosely inspired by the gummy 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 to 1990 (airing alongside The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh as the Gummi Bears-Winnie the Pooh Hour), 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 94 distinct episodes overall. The show is well-remembered for its theme music, written by Michael and Patty Silversher and creation of "gummiberry juice" which was a type of magic potion, granting abilities, which allowed them to bounce away from their hunters.
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 (from October 7, 1991 to at least January 1997), and later on Toon Disney, with its most recent televised airing occurring on December 28, 2001. Seasons 1 to 3 of the series were released on DVD on November 14, 2006 featuring commentary from producers Eric Wong and Daniel Weinstein.
- 1 Characters
- 2 Gummiberry Juice
- 3 Episodes
- 4 Home video releases
- 5 Legacy
- 6 References
- 7 External links
The Gummi Bears
Gummi Bears are a fictional group of anthropomorphic bears who have a long and rich history, and are relatively unknown to the humans of the world who believe that they are legends and fairy tales. In series continuity, it is said that in ancient times (about 500 years prior to the events of the series), the Great Gummis and humans lived peacefully together side by side, but for reasons left undetailed (it is suggested in the episodes Light Makes Right and The Knights of Gummadoon that the more malevolent humans craved the magical and mechanical advancements of the Gummi Bears, and threatened them with war and possible genocide), the Great Gummis were forced to flee and sail across the sea to find a new home. The ancient Great Gummis left behind small, scattered populations of bears to watch over the Gummi cities and warrens, such as the main group of the series, the Gummi-Glen Gummis, to await the time when humans and Gummis could peacefully co-exist so they could then summon the Great Gummis to return home.
The Gummi-Glen Gummis are a group of Gummis who live in a hollow tree known as Gummi Glen that is the base for a vast complex of underground tunnels and rooms. They harvest the Gummiberries that grow wild around them in the forest, and produce a powerful juice known as Gummiberry Juice. They try to hide from humans as much as possible, with the exception of friends Cavin, a page, and Princess Calla. In later episodes the Gummis have chance encounters with other friendly humans. It is never explained how they are related to each other, although the episode Up, Up, and Away suggests that they are the last remaining ones in Gummi-Glen, and at risk of extinction.
- Gruffi Gummi (voiced by: Bill Scott (season 1), Corey Burton (seasons 2–6) is an old-fashioned bear who prefers to do things "the Gummi way", and the leader of Gummi Glen. An extremely skilled craftsman and mechanic, he is the one that often fixes the old Gummi technology and trap doors, as well as building traps around the Glen to deal with humans and ogres. In the first episode, he was distrustful of Cavin, but later on in the same episode, he unknowingly admitted that he secretly liked him. When it comes to building and using tools, Gruffi is a perfectionist, which can be his undoing at times. However, at other times he is respected as the voice of stability and practical solutions when the other Gummis fall into despair.
- Zummi Gummi (voiced by: Paul Winchell (seasons 1–5), Jim Cummings (season 6) is an aged bear who is the Gummi-Glen Gummi's "Keeper of Gummi Wisdom" and later the holder of the Gummi-Medallion which he uses to read his magic book to become the group's magician. He is forgetful (he is nearly always shown reciting spells from notes instead of from memory) and clumsy, mis-speaking often with spoonerisms, and his spells tend to back-fire. He also has a fear of heights.
- Grammi Gummi (voiced by June Foray) is another old bear who is the matriarch of Gummi-Glen. She acts as the group's mother, who cooks, cleans, and is the Gummi who prepares the Gummiberry Juice. She holds the secret recipe, and wants to pass it down to Sunni when she is of age. She has an intense rivalry with Gruffi Gummi, and tends to bicker with him over what has to be done. Her cooking is implied to be disliked by the others (especially Gruffi), with the notable exception of Tummi.
- Tummi Gummi (voiced by Lorenzo Music) is an overweight Gummi, stated to be around or a little younger than Gusto, who enjoys a good meal, and would much rather be eating the Gummiberries than picking them. Of all the kid Gummis in Gummi Glen, Tummi is the oldest. He has a rather relaxed and easygoing personality, which often gets him caught up in Cubbi's schemes. However, in dangerous situations Tummi has shown exceptional bravery, and throughout the series he demonstrates a natural talent as a sailor, gardener, artist and craftsman.
- Sunni Gummi (voiced by Katie Leigh) is a preteen Gummi, who dreams about becoming a princess just like her best friend the human Princess Calla. Sunni is the most curious about human culture and human fashion, and least concerned with Gummi history. She is the second oldest of the kid Gummis, behind only Tummi Gummi. Later in the series, she is shown to have a crush on Gusto, and becomes close friends with Buddy.
- Cubbi Gummi (voiced by Noelle North) is the youngest Gummi-Glen Gummi (according to the official series' bible around the equivalent of an 8-year-old), and dreams of becoming a great Gummi knight. He is incredibly impetuous and has a tendency to get distracted by anything mysterious or exciting. He sometimes dons a mask and becomes a vigilante known as the "Crimson Avenger". He is best friends with the human Cavin, and coincidentally, he was the first Gummi that Cavin encountered.
- Augustus "Gusto" Gummi (voiced by Rob Paulsen) is an artistic, individualist Gummi who was stranded on a deserted island for twelve years with his best friend Artie Deco, a wise-talking toucan. Tummi and Gruffi were shipwrecked on Gusto's island, just as a volcano was due to erupt and cause the island to sink into the sea. The three bears worked together and brought Gusto home with them to Gummi Glen during season 2. Gruffi tends to argue with Gusto for his outside-the-box thinking, and how much influence he is on Cubbi and Sunni. Gusto lives by himself in a makeshift apartment behind a waterfall, but lives in Gummi Glen when the weather is too harsh.
Later in the series, the Gummi-Glen Gummis discover the Great Gummies' abandoned city of Ursalia, largely unoccupied until the Barbics, a tribe of rough-and-tough Gummis from Barbic Woods, move there after their home was destroyed by hostile humans.
- Sir Thornberry (voiced by Walker Edmiston who also was the voice of Ernie the Keebler Elf), is an old Gummi bear knight. He has been the caretaker for Ursalia for 50 years when we meet him (although who preceded him and how he was appointed are never explained). He is brave and honorable, but also somewhat forgetful and clumsy.
- Ursa (voiced by Pat Musick) is the female leader of the Barbic Gummis. She leads the Barbics to Ursalia in search of an "Ultimate Weapon" that will let the Barbics wipe out the human race, but are eventually convinced to live peacefully in Ursalia. She harbors the most animosity towards humans, but does learn to accept Cavin after he and Buddi save her, Gruffi and Sir Thornberry in the Test of Bearhood.
- Gritty (voiced by Peter Cullen) is Ursa's lieutenant and famous as the Barbics' toughest warrior. Cubbi idolizes him at first, but has to work hard to overcome the latter's antipathy toward humans.
- Buddy (voiced by Dana Hill) is a teenaged member of the Barbics, about Sunni's age; more gentle and artistic than the rest of his tribe, he enjoys playing the flute.
Humans and other figures
- Cavin (voiced by: Christian Jacobs (Season 1), Brett Johnson (Season 2), David Faustino (Season 3), Jason Marsden (Season 4–5), R.J. Williams (Season 6): Cavin, one of the main human characters in the series, and one of the few who believe that Gummi Bears exist, is the page and squire of Sir Tuxford, of King Gregor's court. Cavin befriends the Gummi Bears in the first episode and shares the same ambition as Cubbi - to become a knight and why he and Cubbi are best friends. Cavin also had a Gummi medallion, given to him by his grandfather, that opened the Great Book of Gummi, the source of all Gummi Bear wisdom. The young squire has a crush on Princess Calla, which is requited.
- Princess Calla (voiced by Noelle North) Princess Calla is the daughter of King Gregor, ruler of Dunwyn and one of the main human characters. She is an adventurous character of considerable talents, and she often drags the dumbstruck Cavin (of whom she is more than a little fond) into story situations. She also befriended the Gummi Bears in due time and is close friends with Sunni. She hates the pomp and circumstance that comes with being royalty while wishing to be more involved in the governance and defense of the realm. Consequently, she tends to be somewhat rebellious at times, often spurning her father's admonishment that "a princess must set an example for her people". However, that does not prevent her from exerting her authority as a princess whenever it suits her purpose. She even proved that she needs no protection, as she had surreptitiously trained herself in the use of weapons.
- King Gregor (voiced by Michael Rye): King Gregor is the ruler of a fictionalized English kingdom named Dunwyn. He is a benevolent, brave ruler and protects his people from villains like Duke Igthorn with the help of Sir Tuxford and his knights. On occasion he has personally commanded knights in combat when leading a charge against ogres. Gregor is unaware of the Gummi Bears' existence or involvement in saving his kingdom many times. (He has actually met the Gummis on certain occasions, but has not caught on to the fact that his secret benefactors were Gummi Bears). His pride and joy is his daughter, Calla, which later includes considerable respect of her previously hidden fighting prowess which he saw first hand when they inadvertently challenged each other in disguise during a test.
- Sir Tuxford and knights (voiced by: Bill Scott (Season 1), Roger C. Carmel (Season 2), Brian Cummings (Seasons 3–6): Sir Tuxford is the highest ranking knight in King Gregor's court and his trusted friend. He is an older, jolly character, always ready for a fight but perhaps past his prime. Sir Tuxford leads the knights of Castle Dunwyn and is the main force that keeps Duke Igthorn and his ogres away. His catchphrase is often "I'm sure I don't know, Sire" when questioned by King Gregor of the present situation. Despite his age and his appearance, Sir Tuxford has apprehended many troublemakers in Dunwyn, and done battle with Igthorn and his ogres.
- Unwin (voiced by Will Ryan): A knight squire at Dunwyn. A big bully, loud-mouth, and in reality a coward, who constantly picks on Cavin. He finally gets his dues when Princess Calla bests him at a tournament for the appointment of the princess' royal protector ("Girl's Knight Out").
- Sir Gawain (voiced by Michael Rye): Cavin's grandfather and retired knight, who also originally found the Gummi Medallion which Cavin had been wearing until he gave it to the Gummi bears. When Gawain was about Cavin's age, a local Gummi bear that owned the medallion practically bowled him over in the forest while bouncing along, and lost the medallion, which Gawain found and retrieved. He wore the medallion in his service as a knight, and in his later years passed it on to Cavin. He is highly idealistic and loves to tell moral fables of the ancient Gummis on every suitable occasion. He has met the Bears of Gummi Glen, but he is unaware that Cavin knows them as well, although he has said that he is confident Cavin will meet the Gummi Bears. Having been told by Cavin that he had lost the Gummi medallion, when Sir Gawain saw that Zummi was now wearing it, he was glad it was in the right hands. Most likely named for the knight of the Round Table in the Arthurian legend, though it is possible that he is meant to be the same character. (See Gawain)
- Princess Marie (voiced by Kath Soucie): The daughter of King Jean-Claude (voiced by Hamilton Camp), the ruler of a fictionalized French kingdom allied to Dunwyn. Originally a spoiled brat, she considered Calla a rival and picked a fight with her on every occasion. However, after both their lives are saved by the Gummi Bears, she mellows considerably and becomes one of Calla's best friends.
- Prince Yen-Moon (voiced by Keone Young): A prince from the Far East who travels to Dunwyn in search of help from the Gummies in defending his kingdom from a lethal dragon. Using an ancient Gummi Buddha-like statue, the Gummies are able to defeat the dragon by using it as a teleporting device.
- Trina (voiced by Patricia Parris): A blind peasant shepherdess who lives in the Dunwyn region with her sheepdog Watcher and befriends Tummi after he hides in her cottage when on the run from the ogres. She shares a common bond with Tummi in that both are chubby due to their love of food and she wishes to cook for Tummi, who is more than happy to accept. She sets traps to throw Duke Igthorn off the track, teaching Tummi that "disabled does not mean unable". She invites Tummi to come visit her whenever he wishes, but not to sneak in.
- Doctor Dexter: A pharmacist who feels he is not owning up to his family's proud reputation of medicine. Tummi uses Gummiberry juice in one of his medicines, which results in Dunywn citizens becoming super strong, but attracts Igthorn as well. Doctor Dexter later realizes his concoction can serve as a super fertilizer and thus achieves success after all.
- Sir Victor Igthorn (voiced by Michael Rye): He is Duke Igthorn's brother and a famous paladin in the realm of Dunwyn. Ashamed of his family's betrayal (which had remained a dark secret for a major part of his life), he has taken the path of justice to atone for their sins. Fortunately, when Victor eventually confessed to stop his brother's blackmailing, he was relieved to learn that at least the Dunwinians do not hold his family relations against him. Sir Victor has become Cavin's idol and friend, but he is unaware of the Gummi Bears' existence. He can take any insult to himself, but not to his steed Destiny, and has the ability to make ladies (including Calla) swoon when he kisses their hands.
- Duke Sigmund Igthorn (voiced by Michael Rye): The evil, irascible, vengeful and power-crazed ruler of Castle Drekmore is the main villain of the series. He is also the nemesis of the Gummi Bears. He hunts the Gummi Bears with the aid of his ogre army to get in possession of the Gummiberry juice and their other secrets. His constant attempts to conquer Castle Dunwyn fail typically due to the self-overestimation of his tactical skills, the bearishness of his ogres and the intervention of the Gummi Bears. Once the greatest knight of Dunwyn, he was exiled after conspiring against King Gregor and found refuge in Castle Drekmore.
Igthorn has a big – and alas unrequited – crush on Lady Bane. Sigmund Igthorn's brother Sir Victor fights wrongdoing as his antithesis. It is implied in some episodes that Igthorn had a father who had also conspired to control Dunwyn and thus raised his son in that mindset.
- Toadwart, aka Toadie (voiced by Bill Scott (Season 1), Corey Burton (Seasons 2-6): The smallest ogre in Drekmore, and Igthorn's illeistic lieutenant. He seems to genuinely like his "Dukie" and, as his name suggests, is a fawning and enduring character who bears most of the bullying and punishment brought upon him by the Duke and his fellow ogres. He is the smartest of his kin, who do respect his ability to read and write. He has a cousin named Tadpole, who is just as diminutive, but more intelligent and bossier. Although Toadwart is largely an enemy, there are rare occasions where he learns the values the Gummis stand for, such as one time when he decides to impersonate the Crimson Avenger and gets taught a serious lesson about personal honor and the means of service to others.
- Ogres: Duke Igthorn's shock troops. Big and strong, but also extremely naive and clumsy. Their bumbling incompetence often jeopardizes their duke's "ingenious" plans, which constantly drives him insane and brings him to the verge of despair. They are organized in way of military rank, and constantly call Igthorn "Dukie" (a slang term for feces), which he loathes;
- Igthorn: Don't call me "Dukie"!.
- Ogres: Okay, Dukie!.
- Zook: Has green skin and orange hair.
- Gad: Has purple skin and wears a metal helmet.
- Zook and Gad are Igthorn's bodyguards, their names are taken from "Gadzook!". Gad and Zook hold the rank of corporal and private, respectively. Once, when all the ogres were turned into babies for a while, Zook was called "Snookums" by Grammi.
- Umma: This was originally Cavin in disguise, but in a later episode Cubbi was captured by an ogre who also has that name.
- Lady Bane (voiced by Tress MacNeille): The main evil witch of the series. She is in possession of a Gummi Medallion much like Zummi's, and craves any power she can get her hands on (including the Gummi Bears') for her bid for power. She is served by her jackal-like Troggles and on occasion by Duke Igthorn, whose crush on her she finds very annoying, although she did agree to a dinner date with Igthorn if she figured it would forge an alliance to destroy the Gummis. She is also vain, at one point in addition to expressing anger that she was foiled by the Gummis, that she chipped one of her nails as well. In one episode it was discovered that she is extremely old, and uses her magic to "de-age" herself into an attractive dark-haired sorceress by stealing Sunni's youth until the other Gummis manage to reverse it. The creators of the television program took inspiration for the character by the historical figure of Lucrezia Borgia.
- The Trolls: A band of green-skinned and diminutive thieves trying to do their best to better their positions at the expense of other people. They are very skilled in kitbashing and operating mechanical devices (mostly traps and weapons, like a walnut submachine gun). They are eventually captured by King Gregor's knights and remanded to the dungeon in Dunwyn Castle.
- Carpies: A race of vulture-like creatures living on the spire-like Carpy Mountain. They capture Sunni twice – first for her singing talent, then to become their King (or rather, Queen). Their bullying King has been succeeded by Bobo the Dodo.
- Flint Shrubwood: A wandering bounty hunter in the tradition of Sergeio Leone's "Man With No Name". He is hired by Duke Igthorn in the episode, "For a Few Sovereigns More" to catch a Gummi Bear for the promised price of 20 gold sovereigns. Shrubwood resembles Clint Eastwood in appearance, voice, and mannerisms. He is armed with a pair of boomerang launchers and carries a miniature flute on which he plays a 4-note musical cue as he travels.
Gummiberry Juice is a concoction formulated using Gummiberries by the Gummi Bears, with the recipe known only by Grammi Gummi until she later taught it to Sunni Gummi. The juice is produced by adding six handfuls of red berries, then four orange berries, three purple berries, four blue berries, three green berries and one yellow berry. The recipe ends with the 3-step-stir; first stir slow to the right, then slow to the left, then tap the pot to banish the bubbles.
Gummi Bears gain the ability to bounce at unusual heights for a limited amount of time; falling from heights which would normally be fatal to a Gummi will only cause them to bounce like rubber. The ability to direct themselves while powered by the juice, such as bouncing along the ground, is not instinctive to Gummi Bears and must be learned, as the Barbic Gummis quickly find out.
Ogres and humans both gain super strength for a similar amount of time. Drinking too much Gummiberry Juice has unforeseen side effects on the consumer (Toadie was sent streaking skywards like a firework after downing a whole cask), and the abilities gained from drinking the juice can only be used by humans once per day. With this in mind, Cavin and Calla only drink the juice if asked to do so by the Gummi Bears, and if given a dose for later, will only drink it in an emergency.
If the juice is produced inaccurately from the recipe, the results are adverse outcomes, though nothing fatal. In Season 1, Episode 14 - 'The Secret of the Juice', Grammi Gummi tries to teach Sunni Gummi for the first time how to make the juice. Grammi performs the three-step-stir successfully like she always does, but when it's Sunni's turn, it ends in disaster. She stirs the pot too vigorously and then bangs it too hard, causing the pot of unstable juice to somehow explode, covering Sunni, Grammi and the entire kitchen in juice (Toadie makes a similar mistake at the end of the episode, distracting Igthorn's ogres and allowing the Gummis to escape). In one episode, an incorrect juice resulted in pink fur, but when poured in water, creates a pink sleeping mist that Igthorn once tried to use.
In the series, the Juice was used as a major plot device with the main reoccurring villain, Duke Igthorn, trying to get a good supply of the juice, or the recipe, to create mass amounts to grant himself and the ogres super-strength.
- Darkwing Duck (1991–1992): In the episode "Life, the Negaverse and Everything", Zummi Gummi appears as a doll.
- Robot Chicken (2012): In the episode "In Bed Surrounded by Loved Ones", the Gummi Bears hold an intervention for Tummi's gummiberry juice addiction.
Home video releases
Several VHS cassettes of the series were released internationally. Of those, eight VHS cassettes containing 32 episodes of the series are listed below. The first four cassettes ("Welcome to Gummiglen!", "Creature Feature", "Hot Little Tot!", and "A Sky Full of Gummies!"), which contain 20 episodes of the series, were released in English in the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand. These four cassettes were also released in some non-English-speaking countries (including Poland, the Netherlands and Germany). The other four cassettes, as well as the ones not listed below, were released exclusively in non-English-speaking countries (including the Netherlands, Poland, Finland, and Italy.
|VHS Name||Episode Titles||Release Date|
|Adventures of the Gummi Bears (Volume 1): Welcome to Gummiglen!||"A New Beginning"
"Zummi Makes it Hot"
"The Sinister Sculptor"
"Someday My Prints Will Come"
"Can I Keep Him?"
|September 11, 1996|
|Adventures of the Gummi Bears (Volume 2): Creature Feature||"The Fence Sitter"
"Night of the Gargoyle"
"Loopy, Go Home"
"A-Hunting We Will Go"
"The Secret of the Juice"
|September 11, 1996|
|Adventures of the Gummi Bears (Volume 3): Hot Little Tot!||"Sweet and Sour Gruffi"
"Duel of the Wizards"
"What You See is Me"
"Toadie's Wild Ride"
"Gummi in a Strange Land"
|September 11, 1996|
|Adventures of the Gummi Bears (Volume 4): A Sky Full of Gummies!||"A Gummi in a Gilded Cage"
"When You Wish Upon a Stone"
"A Gummi by Any Other Name"
|September 11, 1996|
|Adventures of the Gummi Bears (Volume 5): The Crimson Avenger||"The Crimson Avenger"
"You Snooze, You Loose"
"Over the River and Through the Trolls"
|September 10, 1997|
|Adventures of the Gummi Bears (Volume 6): Wild Ride||"Toadie's Wild Ride"
"Sweet and Sour Gruffi"
"Duel of the Wizards"
"What You See is Me"
|September 10, 1997|
|Adventures of the Gummi Bears (Volume 7): Up, Up, and Away||"Up, Up, and Away"
"Faster Than a Speeding Tummi"
|September 10, 1997|
|Adventures of the Gummi Bears (Volume 8): For Whom the Spell Holds||"For Whom the Spell Holds"
"Little Bears Lost"
"Guess Who's Gumming to Dinner?"
|September 10, 1997|
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 to 3 and does not contain any bonus features, save for subtitles for the hearing impaired.
|DVD Name||Ep#||Release Date|
|Disney's Adventures of the Gummi Bears: Volume 1||47||November 14, 2006|
To date, the series has never officially been released on DVD in the UK.
In Australia, Disney released nine volumes, which have now long been discontinued. They are all in complete storyline production order, but the first volume starts from episode 19 in series 2. Episodes 1-18 oddly have not been released on DVD in Australia and are only available on the USA Region 1 collection. However, the Region 4 Australian DVDs do finish off the series and go right up to episode 65 of the series' final two-part double episode adventure.
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Disney's Adventures of the Gummi Bears was Disney's first major serialized animated television series (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[who?] 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, Goof Troop, Bonkers, and Gargoyles. Although many of these subsequently-created shows exceeded Gummi Bears in budget and length, it is often credited[who?] as the sort of prototype to all of the subsequent animation which followed it.
The show was so successful in the United Kingdom that the episodes A New Beginning and Faster than a Speeding Tummi were released as theatrical featurettes there in 1986 and 1987.
The show's popularity also led to a re-theming of Disneyland's Motor Boat Cruise, 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 have also been featured as meetable characters who greet guests in Disney theme parks.
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- Gummi Bears at Don Markstein's Toonopedia. Archived from the original on September 1, 2016.