|Created by||Frank Fehmers
based on an idea by Gene Deitch
|Directed by||Frank Fehmers|
|Voices of||Allen Swift
Kees ter Bruggen
Eric Jan Harmsen
|Narrated by||Gene Deitch|
|Theme music composer||Eric Jan Harmsen|
|Country of origin||Netherlands|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||13|
|Executive producer(s)||Frank Fehmers|
|Running time||25 min.|
|Original release||7 October – 30 December 1986|
The Bluffers is a Dutch children's cartoon series created by Frank Fehmers. It was first screened in 1984. The stories revolved around the inhabitants of the fictitious land of 'Bluffoonia' and their ongoing struggle against the evil tyrant 'Clandestino' and his plans to destroy the forest in which they live.
The series was based on an idea by Gene Deitch, who also wrote the lyrics. Michael Jupp, who also created The Dreamstone and Bimble's Bucket, was art director for the series and created the characters.
The show's opening strapline is:
Bluffoonia once was a beautiful country before the crazed maniac Clandestino took over. Clandestino turned that beautiful place into this. Why? Because Clandestino is afraid the Bluffers will get his secret — the secret of getting it all!
- Zok (short for Zocrates), a wise old owl wearing a toga and a laurel wreath. Zock is a fatherly figure and advisor to the Bluffers (i.e., the animal denizens of the last remaining forest in Bluffoonia), and the keeper of the encyclopedic Book of All Knowledge. His name is a take-off of Socrates (hence his Roman Emperor appearance).
- Zip, a fast-running blue squirrel with a love of adventure; he's led a number of raids into Clandestino's castle. When Zip is not leading a raid on the castle he is often found in some activity involving nuts.
- Blossom, a pink mouse with a head of red hair. She has romantic feelings for Zip but he is reluctant to return them.
- Honey Boy, a simple-minded brown bear with a strong passion for anything to do with honey, and whose pet bees are always flying around his head.
- Sharpy, a red, bipedal fox who likes to outwit others for his own gain. He feels that lying, cheating, and stealing are what "real foxes" do, although he tends not to do these very successfully.
- Regal Eagle, an eagle (although he looks more like a buzzard) who talks and thinks like a soldier. This character is the least featured of the Bluffers and is often only called upon to perform a small task in any plans the animals may have.
- Ginseng, a goose with an Oriental appearance about her who specializes in brewing herbal remedies. She is named after the plant ginseng.
- Prickly Pine, a hyperactive, red-quilled porcupine who is always ready for action and combat. He is able to project his quills with pinpoint accuracy, although this inexhaustible supply of quills often end up in the rump of Sharpy or some other unsuspecting Bluffer.
- Psycho, a shy, reclusive snake with limited psychic powers; e.g., he was once used as a metal detector. When speaking he adds an audible "P" to words that contain an "S" sound; "p'sad," "p'certainly," et cetera.
- Clandestino, a bloated, self-adoring, hunchbacked human; he's the self-appointed totalitarian ruler of Bluffoonia. He lives in a fortress-like castle, the dungeon of which contains his precious "Secret of Getting It All" which is the source of his power.
- Sillycone, Clandestino's robot butler; he is smarter than his master and seems to possess no malice, but he serves Clandestino faithfully. His name is based upon Silicone (the material most transistors and integrated circuits are made out of) and Silly.
- Glum, Clandestino's watchdog; his sympathies lie with the Bluffers, but he doesn't dare to openly rebel against his master because he doesn't want to lose his home in the castle.
- Song and Dance, two rabbits — one tall and thin, one short and fat — who are often wearing sunglasses. They are sometimes seen conducting the musical segments, but are not integral to the stories.
Each episode is approximately 25 minutes long. Most of the stories are centered on Clandestino doing or plotting something that will either destroy Bluffoonia's last forest or otherwise disrupt the Bluffers' lives, and the Bluffers' attempts to thwart him. Some of the stories are centered on the Bluffers' plans to steal Clandestino's "Secret of Getting It All" so they can use it to remove him from power. This secret, which plays a major part in most episodes, is never successfully stolen or even revealed throughout the series. The closest of it seen is the door to the secret, locked and vaulted with chains, a skull and stylish lights around its frame. Only Clandestino is allowed to see it, and if anyone tries and dares, even by his servants, are to be killed. That's why he always carries to keys to the locks of the door. In the final episode of the entire series, whilst digging his courtyard with his machines for minerals, ended up disrupting the moat, thus causing the entire castle to be flooded, and the lower parts sunk, taking the secret with it, despite his futile attempts of rescuing it.
Each episode contains two musical numbers.
In the late 1980s, the series was released on VHS videocassettes in the United States (by Celebrity Home Entertainment's "Just For Kids label) and most European countries, each containing one or more episodes. There was also a videocassette of collected musical numbers from the series. As of this writing, all of these are out of print.