Adventures of the Gummi Bears

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"Dashing and daring, courageous and caring,
Faithful and friendly with stories to share,
All through the forest they sing out in chorus,
Marching along as their song fills the air..."

Disney's Adventures of the Gummi Bears is a truly groundbreaking series by Walt Disney. Although The Wuzzles was Disney's first original animated TV series, that was really a trial run for this series, which almost immediately made the company a dominant force in television animation. Lasting from September, 1985 to February, 1991. A total of 94 episodes.

The show was actually a major gamble for Disney, as it was a very new idea. Disney reasoned that the costs of a high-quality animated show could be recovered in syndication. The gamble worked, and a new era of unprecedented quality in western television animation was born.

The series takes place in The Theme Park Version of medieval time, centuries after the Great Gummis fled across the sea while a small caretaker colony stayed behind in Gummi Glen in the Kingdom of Dunwyn to maintain the civilization's extremely sophisticated infrastructure on the off-chance the Gummis could return to live with humans in peace.

Unfortunately, when the story begins, the Glen Gummis have declined to only six descendants who have forgotten their past skills. Fortunately, they meet a friendly human boy named Cavin who has a Gummi Medallion that unlocks their library's Great Book of Gummi, the essential book of their culture's knowledge. Inspired, the colony decide to rediscover their heritage and help the boy whose kingdom is under dire threat.

That threat comes in the form of Duke Igthorn of Drekmore and his army of really dumb ogres. He is out to conquer Dunwyn and upon discovering that the supposedly mythological Gummi Bears exist, he will stop at nothing to exploit their secrets, like their powerful magic and technology, for his own use. Furthermore, he is but the most frequent of a whole host of enemies that the Gummi Bears and their human allies must oppose.

At the most uncharitable, you could call this series TMS's (late) answer to The Littl' Bits (as The Littl Bits came out in 1980, this did not came out until 1985), but it's more accurate to call it Disney's/TMS's attempt to show how to do the premise right (as The Littl Bits does have its fans). Apart from obviously lavish animation, the series addressed the major complaints of Tatsunoko's series and the basic ideology of the 1980s; for instance, individuality is celebrated in proper proportion to the value of cooperation and the primary characters are far more nuanced with carefully considered flaws and strengths. Furthermore, the female characters avoid The Smurfette Principle, with multiple characters with strong well-defined personalities who bow to no one.

If you're wondering how they came up with a premise for, of all things, Gummi Bears, as the story goes, Michael Eisner was inspired when his son requested them. True story, straight from That Other Wiki.

Tropes used in Adventures of the Gummi Bears include:

"Siggy Soggy-Pants!"