The Wuzzles

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The Wuzzles
The Wuzzles.PNG
Created byCarson Van Osten
Starring
Opening theme"The Wuzzles" performed by Stephen Geyer
Ending theme"The Wuzzles" (instrumental)
Country of originUnited States
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes13
Production
Running timeapprox 22–26 mins
Production companies
DistributorBuena Vista Television
Release
Original networkCBS[1]
Picture format4:3
Audio format
Original releaseSeptember 14 (1985-09-14) –
December 7, 1985 (1985-12-07)

The Wuzzles is a 1985 animated television series created for Saturday morning television, and was first broadcast on September 14, 1985 on CBS.[2] An idea pitched by Michael Eisner for his new Disney television animation studio, the premise is that the main characters are hybrids of two different animals.[3] The original 13 episodes ran on CBS for their first run.[4]

Premise[edit]

The Wuzzles features a variety of short, rounded animal characters (each called a Wuzzle, which means to mix up).[5] Each is a roughly even, and colorful, mix of two different animal species (as the theme song mentions, "livin' with a split personality"), and all the characters sport wings on their backs, although only Bumblelion and Butterbear are seemingly capable of flight. All of the Wuzzles live on the Isle of Wuz. Double species are not limited to the Wuzzles themselves. From the appleberries they eat to the telephonograph in the home, or a luxury home called a castlescraper, nearly everything on Wuz is mixed together in the same way that the Wuzzles are. The characters in the show were marketed extensively — featured in children's books, as poseable figures and plush toys (similar to Care Bears), and in a board game.

Disney premiered two animated series on the same day in the same time slot, 8:30 AM ET, in the United States, with the other being Disney's Adventures of the Gummi Bears on NBC,[6] and both series were successful during their first seasons. However, The Wuzzles ended production after its initial run largely due to the sudden death of Bill Scott, the voice of Moosel. CBS canceled the show, and ABC (later acquired by Disney in 1996) picked it up and showed reruns during the 1986–1987 season; they aired it at 8:00 AM so that the two Disney shows would not be in competition with one another.

It was a bigger success in the United Kingdom, where the first episode aired as a theatrical featurette in 1986 alongside a re-release of Disney's Bambi. In the United Kingdom, The Wuzzles and Disney's Adventures of the Gummi Bears were originally screened on the same channel (ITV) in 1985/1986; therefore, both series enjoyed high popularity. Reruns of the show were aired on both the Disney Channel and Toon Disney. Songwriter Stephen Geyer performed the lead vocal and composed the theme song.

Characters[edit]

  • The Narrator (voiced by Stan Freberg):[5] The never-seen narrator welcomes the viewer to "the Land of Wuz," and is heard throughout each episode.
  • Bumblelion (voiced by Brian Cummings):[5] Half bumblebee and half lion, Bumblelion is mostly lion in appearance. He is a short, squat orange furred creature with a pink mane, fuzzy antennae, a lion's tail, small insect wings, and horizontal brown stripes up his tummy. He lives in a beehive, likes sports, is courageous, and has a crush on Butterbear. He is said to be the sort who "rush[es] in where angels fear to tread". He and Eleroo are best friends.
  • Eleroo (voiced by Henry Gibson):[5] Half elephant and half kangaroo. One of the larger Wuzzles, Eleroo is purple, with the body shape and tail of a kangaroo and an elephant's trunk and ears. He has a horizontally striped pouch (despite the fact that pouches are found only on female kangaroos). Eleroo has trouble remembering what he stores in his pouch. He is sweet, but accident-/disaster-prone. He and Bumblelion are best friends.
  • Butterbear (voiced by Kathleen Helppie-Shipley): Half bear and half butterfly, Butterbear is mostly bear in appearance. She has yellow fur with a white tummy, larger wings than the other Wuzzles, and short antennae with flowers on their ends. She is a keen gardener who is gentle and patient despite the crazy adventures of her friends.
  • Moosel (voiced by Bill Scott):[5] Half moose and half seal, Moosel has a moose-like head with antlers, although he also sports flippers like a pinniped. Moosel, the smallest Wuzzle, is blue and purple. He has a vivid imagination, which makes him believe in monsters. He is the youngest of the Wuzzles. He and Rhinokey are best friends.
  • Hoppopotamus (voiced by Jo Anne Worley):[5] Half rabbit and half hippopotamus. She is called Hoppo by her friends. Hoppo is the largest Wuzzle. She is a hippopotamus with a rabbit's ears, buck teeth and a fluffy tail. She has blue fur with a purple tummy, and she loves to sing and act. Hoppo is a pushy demanding diva, but she can be sweet. However, when toughness is called for (particularly in dealing with the regular villain, Crocosaurus), she is the toughest Wuzzle of all. Hoppo has a crush on Bumblelion, but Bumblelion has his heart set on Butterbear.
  • Rhinokey (voiced by Alan Oppenheimer): Half rhinoceros and half monkey, Rhinokey is mostly monkey in appearance. Rhinokey is a Wuzzle who has a rhino-like snout with a horizontal-stripped horn, pink fur, and rhino-like legs. He is in a posture that is very much like that of a monkey's. Rhinokey is a fun-loving, happy-go-lucky prankster. He loves to play practical jokes. He can be obnoxious, but he loves his friends. He and Moosel are best friends.
  • Crocosaurus (voiced by Alan Oppenheimer): Half crocodile and half dinosaur, and the main villain of the show. Crocosaurus (normally referred to as Crock in the series) is bad-tempered, lazy, vile, ignorant, a bully, and does anything to get what he wants. He always wants the best of what the other Wuzzles have, but does not want to apply the effort to acquire it himself.

Episodes[edit]

Title Directed by Written by Original air date
1"Bulls of a Feather"Carole BeersMark EvanierSeptember 14, 1985 (1985-09-14)
Eleroo adopts a Baby Brahman bullfinch (part Brahman cattle, part finch) and is reluctant to part with it, especially when the other Wuzzles wish to return it to its original mother. Meanwhile, Crocosaurus plans to get wealthy with the baby Brahman bullfinch.
2"Hooray for Hollywuz"Carole BeersKen Koonce,
David Weimers
September 21, 1985 (1985-09-21)
Hoppo attempts to reach her dream of becoming a star in Hollywuz.
3"In the Money"Carole BeersKen Koonce,
Bob Rosenfarb,
David Weimers
September 28, 1985 (1985-09-28)
Bumblelion finds money on the ground (which was stolen from the bank) and becomes rich, which puts a crimp in his friendship with the other Wuzzles.
4"Crock Around the Clock"Carole BeersKen Koonce,
David Weimers
October 5, 1985 (1985-10-05)
The stormy weather gets bad in Wuz, and with Crocosaurus's house destroyed, he takes up residence with Butterbear, conning her out of her food supply.
5"Moosel's Monster"Fred WolfTed PerryOctober 12, 1985 (1985-10-12)
Moosel's imagination goes out of control when he accuses everything of being either a monster or an omen, and believes that a real and friendly monster is all in his head.
6"Klutz on the Clutch"Fred WolfKen Koonce,
David Weimers
October 19, 1985 (1985-10-19)
Due to Rhinokey's crazy driving, he is banned from driving and therefore banned from the upcoming race.
7"Bumblelion and the Terrified Forest"Fred WolfKen Koonce,
David Weimers
October 26, 1985 (1985-10-26)
Bumblelion and Hoppo go deep into the Terrified Forest to rescue Butterbear from an evil witch.
8"Eleroo's Wishday"Fred WolfMark EvanierNovember 2, 1985 (1985-11-02)
Eleroo wishes to fly using the wishing well.
9"Ghostrustlers"Fred WolfKen Koonce,
David Weimers
November 9, 1985 (1985-11-09)
With a plague in Wuz Town, the Wuzzles move to a ghost town that really is inhabited by ghosts.
10"A Pest for a Pet"Fred WolfMark EvanierNovember 16, 1985 (1985-11-16)
The Wuzzles get revenge on Rhinokey for playing jokes on them by playing a joke on him that makes him depart from Wuz.
11"The Main Course"Fred WolfKen Koonce,
David Weimer
November 23, 1985 (1985-11-23)
After being attacked by Pirats (part parrot, part rat), the Wuzzles sail to an island where Hoppo is mistaken for a god by a tribe of Pigmice (part pig, part mouse) who intend to throw her into a volcano as a sacrifice.
12"Class Dismissed"Fred WolfKen Koonce,
David Weimers
November 30, 1985 (1985-11-30)
When Butterbear is hired to make invitations to a ball, the other Wuzzles decide to get invited by bettering their class. Also, Crocosaurus makes a bet with Butterbear about turning Brat into a sensible and polite Wuzzle.
13"What's Up, Stox?"Fred WolfKen Koonce,
David Weimers
December 7, 1985 (1985-12-07)
After visiting the new neighbor, zillionaire Tycoon (part tiger, part raccoon), the Wuzzles are given a money tree which they obsess over. Crocosaurus, however, plans to steal it for himself.

Legacy[edit]

Butterbear and Rhinokey will appear in a future episode of DuckTales (2017). Unlike their original TV series' appearances, Butterbear and Rhinokey's designs are more realistic and animalistic, and Rhinokey resembles a gorilla instead of a monkey.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Team Disney-flying High In Burbank – Page 4 – Los Angeles Times". Los Angeles Times. September 22, 1996. Retrieved August 25, 2013.
  2. ^ Perlmutter, David (2018). The Encyclopedia of American Animated Television Shows. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 708–709. ISBN 978-1538103739.
  3. ^ "'Whats' Wuzn'T 'Wuzzles,' Federal Judge Determines – New York Times". New York Times. September 19, 1987. Retrieved August 25, 2013.
  4. ^ "The Wuzzles Episode Guide (1985)". BCDB. Retrieved August 25, 2013.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Rovin, Jeff (1991). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Cartoon Animals. Prentice Hall Press. p. 290. ISBN 0-13-275561-0. Retrieved 8 April 2020.
  6. ^ "Disney Enters Saturday's Cartoon Fray". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved October 19, 2010.
  7. ^ "'DuckTales' surprises Comic-Con with 'Rescue Rangers,' Lin-Manuel Miranda". EW.com.
  1. ^ Animation outsourced to TMS Entertainment.

External links[edit]