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Chucklewood Critters (also known as Buttons & Rusty) is an American line of television specials and an animated television series created by former Hanna-Barbera animators, Bill Hutten and Tony Love, which centered on two North American woodland animals: Buttons, a young bear cub, and Rusty, a young fox pup. It started as a Christmas special in 1983 called The Christmas Tree Train, followed by eight more holiday/seasonal specials. In 1997 it was developed into a series entitled The New Chucklewood Critters, which ran for two seasons.
- Buttons is a brown bear cub who lives in a cave in Chucklewood Park, along with his parents, Bridgette and Abner.
- Rusty, a red/orange fox pup, and his parents, Rosie and George, live in the same cave as Buttons' family.
- Ranger Jones, a.k.a. Jonesy, is the park ranger in charge of Chucklewood, and the only regular human character in the series. Ranger Jones is a mentor to Buttons and Rusty.
- Bearbette and Frisky are a zaftig female grey and yellow bear cub and a slim orange-cream vixen cub, respectively; they were introduced in the Valentine's Day special, Honeybunch. They live in Chucklewood with Bearbette's parents Darwin and Bearnadine; Frisky is an adopted member of the family, and she and Bearbette are Rusty and Buttons’ girlfriends.
- Skipper and Bluebell are rabbits, introduced in A Chucklewood Easter. They live in an underground warren and bear a bit of a suspicious resemblance to Bugs Bunny.
- Lester Eli Gator is a Cajun alligator who lives in nearby Crystal Bayou, which is where Bearbette and her family lived before moving to Chucklewood; Lester is a close friend of the family.
- Franklin the Owl is the cubs' teacher, who sometimes turns into a rap singer to make the lessons more interesting.
- Freddie the Raccoon who wears a red T-shirt is a friend and classmate of the cubs, introduced in School Daze, who tends to be a troublemaker. He lives with his father, Philbert, who is a carpenter.
- Turner the Turtle is another friend and classmate of the cubs, who was introduced in What's Up, Mom? and sometimes appears to be wearing a bow tie.
- Claude the Coyote is a trader who'll stoop to underhanded means to make a deal; he was introduced in the episode An Eye for a Tooth. His voice is modeled after that of W. C. Fields (whose middle name was Claude).
- Quacker the Duck is a denizen of the forest, who often relays messages for the others. True to his name, he often makes quacking sounds.
- Skeeter the Mouse who wears a green sweater and a hat is the smallest member of the cast. Because of his size, he is often nervous and high-strung.
|"The Christmas Tree Train"||1983|
|"Which Witch Is Which?"||1984|
|"The Turkey Caper"||1985|
|"A Chucklewood Easter"||1986|
|"The Adventure Machine"||1991|
|"What's Up Mom?"||1992|
|"Twas the Day Before Christmas"||1993|
|The New Chucklewood Critters|
|Written by||John Bates|
|Directed by||Bill Hutten|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||26|
|Executive producer(s)||Bill Hutten|
|Running time||24 min|
|Production company(s)||Encore Enterprises|
|Distributor||Daro Film Distribution|
|Original release||January 6, 1998 –|
July 22, 1999
All the episodes in this series were directed by Bill Hutten and written by John Bates.
Season 1 (1998)
|1||1||"Mudcats Galore"||January 6, 1998|
|The cubs learn about the endangered mudcats and decide to help them, but don't know what they look like and accidentally mistake them for a couple of wild pigs.|
|2||2||"Chucklewood Cousins"||January 13, 1998|
|Buttons' Uncle Woodrow, Aunt Francine, and Cousin Bruce visit Chucklewood. However, when Bruce shows off in front of Rusty and the girl cubs, Buttons loses his confidence. How can he get his confidence back?|
|3||3||"The Salmon Are Running"||January 20, 1998|
|Buttons is caught in a dilemma; he has to choose to either go fishing with his father or go to Bearbette's birthday party. The cubs come up with a way for Buttons to do both.|
|4||4||"The Big One"||January 27, 1998|
|Earthquakes are mysteriously occurring in Chucklewood Forest, and the cubs meet a young elephant and his mother, who were responsible for the tremors.|
|5||5||"No Cave Like Home"||February 3, 1998|
|All the critters are forced to evacuate Chucklewood when they hear explosions from a mountain, which they think is a volcano.|
|6||6||"Mother Nature's Missing"||February 10, 1998|
|A barrel of chemicals falls into the Chucklewood creek and Mother Nature becomes affected by it, which causes strange things to occur around the forest, like a rainbow at nighttime. The cubs set off to find a flower called the Shepherd's Goblet which will save Mother Nature and restore the natural balance in Chucklewood.|
|7||7||"An Eye for a Tooth"||February 17, 1998|
|There's a rumor of food shortage in the forest, and the cubs meet a traveling trader named Claude; they exchange Abner's tools for a barrel of food, but it was full of straw. The cubs go on a search to get the tools back, and the search leads them from one critter to another who have used the tools.|
|8||8||"The Mystery of the Sneaky Snacker"||February 24, 1998|
|The critters celebrate Chucklewood's birthday. When a bobcat named Jonah comes to Chucklewood, food starts mysteriously disappearing, and Jonah is accused of stealing and eating it. Buttons and Rusty set a trap to catch the real thief.|
|9||9||"Anything You Can Do...?"||March 3, 1998|
|While the mothers are visiting Grandma Bear's, the fathers are in charge of doing chores and cooking dinner. Meanwhile, the bear cubs have an argument about whether boy cubs or girl cubs are better, Freddie decides to have a contest.|
|10||10||"Raging Rivers"||March 10, 1998|
|Jonesy reminds the critters that the Critter vet is coming to do some sort of inoculation. Meanwhile, the cubs set off for adventure, water rafting and camping, and are caught in the rapids. They reach a cave and meet a critter named Selma, who ran away from something scary.|
|11||11||"Scenter of Attention"||March 17, 1998|
|When Rocky Ridge, which was on the other side of a ravine from Chucklewood, catches on fire, a skunk named Eugene escapes it and meets the critters. However, they find his scent a little disturbing.|
|12||12||"Timeout"||March 24, 1998|
|The cubs enter a cave which leads them to an underground world, and there they meet a young dinosaur named Bubbles.|
|13||13||"Family Feud"||March 31, 1998|
|The cubs' folks are into serious arguments. They must think of a plan to stop the feud between their folks before it ruins their friendship.|
Season 2 (1999)
|14||1||"Winter Wonder"||April 8, 1999|
|It's winter in Chucklewood, and Buttons and Rusty go on a skiing trip which gets them lost in a sudden blizzard.|
|15||2||"The Creature from Chucklewood Lake"||April 15, 1999|
|The cubs glimpse something in Chucklewood Lake and are convinced they have discovered a relative of the Loch Ness Monster.|
|16||3||"Where Did I Come From?"||April 22, 1999|
|While the cubs learn about family trees and how not all families are the same, Frisky goes on a search to find her long lost family and finds out she was adopted.|
|17||4||"Nora Know It Owl"||April 29, 1999|
|Franklin's Aunt Nora arrives at Chucklewood Park, full of amazing stories, and Franklin confides to Jonesy that no one seems to need him anymore.|
|18||5||"Spring Eternal"||May 6, 1999|
|During a dry spell at Chucklewood Park, the critters learn how to conserve water.|
|19||6||"The Gram Who Came to Dinner"||May 13, 1999|
|Buttons' grandmother (known as "Gram") comes to Chucklewood. However, problems make everyone grumpy and impatient until she tells a story to the critters, with them as the main characters.|
|20||7||"The Wishing Stone"||May 20, 1999|
|Exploring a new cave, the cubs discover some old Indian artifacts; in particular, a shiny stone which they come to believe has magical powers.|
|21||8||"Smile Please Lester"||May 27, 1999|
|The boy cubs, their folks, the girl cubs, and Franklin visit Lester in Crystal Bayou, but Lester isn't himself. After investigation it turns out he has a toothache but is too scared to visit the dentist.|
|22||9||"The Lone Pony"||June 3, 1999|
|The cubs find a lost pony separated from his herd and Bearbette decides to look after him.|
|23||10||"Unidentified Furry Object"||June 10, 1999|
|Franklin teaches the cubs about space travel and really fires their imagination when a strange new creature from a planet called Down Under appears in Chucklewood.|
|24||11||"The Treasure of Chucklewood, Part 1: The Search"||July 8, 1999|
|A misunderstanding causes the cubs to think that they'll be sent to a zoo because the park is closing down, and they decide to run away. The search for them involves a treasure map, three wolves, the Adventure Machine, and a man named Zachary in a house near a waterfall.|
|25||12||"The Treasure of Chucklewood, Part 2: The Rescue"||July 15, 1999|
|A rainstorm hits Chucklewood, and Zachary's house is washed across the river; the cubs' families and friends go on a quest to save them and Zachary from going over the waterfall.|
|26||13||"Arrival of the Fittest"||July 22, 1999|
|As the cubs learn about the Olympics, their cave is taken over by a family of grizzlies. The cubs compete with the grizzlies in an Olympics tournament to win their home back.|
- Barbara Goodson - Buttons, Christie (Which Witch is Which), Frisky
- Kathy Ritter - Rusty, Rosie (The Christmas Tree Train/Which Witch is Which/The Turkey Caper)
- Mona Marshall - Rusty, Bearbette, Bluebell
- Alvy Moore - Abner (The Christmas Tree Train/Which Witch is Which/The Turkey Caper/A Chucklewood Easter), Santa (The Christmas Tree Train)
- Morgan Lofting - Bridgette (The Christmas Tree Train/Which Witch is Which/The Turkey Caper)
- Oceana Marr - Bridgette (A Chucklewood Easter)
- Bill Ratner - George (The Christmas Tree Train/Which Witch is Which/The Turkey Caper)
- Robert Axelrod - George (A Chucklewood Easter/What's Up, Mom?), Easter Bunny (A Chucklewood Easter)
- Bill Boyett - Ranger Jones (The Christmas Tree Train/Which Witch is Which/The Turkey Caper/A Chucklewood Easter)
- Dan Roth - Skipper (A Chucklewood Easter), Marty (The Turkey Caper), Toy Dept. Manager (The Christmas Tree Train)
- Doug Stone - Lester, Skeeter
- Steve Bulen - Franklin
- Bobby West
- Shane Margolis
- Shifra Margolis
- Standley Gurd, Jr.
- Dan Smith
- Jan Carole
- Brock Richards
- Marsha Jones
- Joyce Roberts
- Hal Ventura
- Ann Green
- James Curtis
- R.T. West
- Susan Clark
- Bill Kerns
Most of the holiday specials were released on VHS videocassette, but these are now out of print. More recently, the entire series and all the specials have been made available on a four-volume DVD set but as of now, the DVD set has been discontinued by its publisher (Platinum Disc) and practically, out of print.