TaleSpin

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Another Disney adventure cartoon from the DuckTales era, this series transplants several characters from Disney's adaptation of The Jungle Book into a show about the golden age of seaplane travel, featuring Funny Animals. Essentially an animated Tales of the Gold Monkey - especially as one of the key locations is Louie's, an island bar ran by the titular monkey.

Baloo the bear is a seaplane cargo-for-hire operator from the port city of Cape Suzette in a time not unlike the 1930s. His twin-engine flying boat, the Sea Duck, is his most prized possession, and he favors his freedom over all else, including paying his bills. When the bank forecloses on his debts, a young entrepreneur/lady bear/single mother named Rebecca Cunningham snaps up his business, his plane, and his home, and opens the "Higher-For-Hire" air cargo service. Rather than abandon his "baby" to her and whatever low-rent pilot she may hire, he stays on, working for the day when he can buy back the Sea Duck and be rid of her.

Early on, he picks up a young stowaway, Kit Cloudkicker, who eventually earns the post of Baloo's navigator and sidekick. A daring barnstormer and aspiring pilot, Kit uses a collapsible airfoil to glide behind the Sea Duck on a line, and is responsible for much of the derring-do of the series in contrast to his overweight chum.

Although there's not any romance between Becky and Baloo, their relationship smacks more of Sibling Rivalry (outside the odd subtle occasion). The two of them -- with Kit and Becky's adorable daughter Molly -- form a definite sitcom family dynamic, with the practical, strait-laced Becky faced off against her lazy, easygoing, roguish pilot.

Allies of the crew include Louie (the orangutan monarch from The Jungle Book) who operates a seaplane truckstop of sorts out in the ocean that is Baloo's favorite hangout; and Wildcat, a seemingly slow-witted mechanic with incredible skills.

There are three major antagonists: the Air Pirates, led by Don Karnage, who operate from a giant flying aircraft carrier called the Iron Vulture (and would have long ago plundered Cape Suzette, had it not been for all those big honkin' guns on the nearby cliffs); the country of Thembria, a pseudo-Soviet totalitarian state full of snow and blue warthogs, home to the napoleonic Col. Spigot and his Sergeant Schultz-like sidekick, Sgt. Dunder; and Shere Khan, the most feared predator of The Jungle Book, transformed into a Corrupt Corporate Executive (though theoretically, it could be argued, he's not that corrupt...merely absolutely ruthless in the best senses of the phrase).

Refer to the Character Sheet for more details.


Tropes used in TaleSpin include:
  • Abnormal Ammo: The Thembrians would use random objects to attack intruders such as bathtubs and pianos.
  • Absent-Minded Professor: Baloo's friend Buzz from "Baloo Thunder" and "Bullethead Baloo" counts for this in spades.
  • Abuse Is Okay When It Is Female On Male: Rebecca's treatment of Baloo leans towards this on occasion (though granted Baloo can find lots of non-violent methods of dishing it back out).
  • The Ace: Whistlestop Jackson, hero to millions!
    • Broken Ace: Whistlestop apparently has been struggling ever since aviation vehicles started evolving and becoming too complex for him to properly handle and briefly considers dissolving into obscurity until Baloo snaps him out of it.
    • Inverted with the ironically named character Ace London.
  • Ace Custom: The Sea Duck, a hydroplane freighter that Baloo and Wildcat customized up the gazoo. Which includes, of course, the Overdrive system.
  • Acrofatic: Baloo isn't a particularly skilled fighter, though can deal a mean punch, and is quite agile, considering his size.
  • A Day in the Limelight: "Flight School Confidential" is focused largely on Kit venturing to Thembria, with Baloo only having a brief role in the opening and closing moments. A couple of episodes also focus primarily on Rebecca and Molly's relationship.
  • Adventurer Archaeologist: Three of them, all guest stars.
  • Adventurer Outfit: Rebecca wears one in a few episodes, and it's Myra's standard apparel.
  • Affably Evil: Both Shere Khan and Don Karnage.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Baloo dishes out a lot of these, but perhaps the most notable are "Lil' Britches" (for Kit) and "Becky" (for Rebecca). Rebecca's treatment of her nickname also mirrors the trope, only accepting it when she is on happy terms with Baloo. Kit calls Baloo Mowgli's nickname for the original, "Papa Bear".
  • Airborne Aircraft Carrier: The Iron Vulture.
  • Alien Invasion: Baloo and Kit fake one in "War of the Weirds".
  • All There in the Manual: The short-lived comic series confirms Becky's status as a widow and goes into some detail about Kit's life before linking up with Don Karnage.
  • All Women Are Lustful: Louie's aunt, Louise in "The Ransom of Red Chimp", who is attracted to men with accents and goes after Don Karnage, and later her flying rival, a French pilot named Jacques Toujour.
  • Animation Bump: To an extent, due to the animation being exported from six different [1], the style and quality varied to rather noticeable degrees on occasion. This was common with most Disney cartoons at this point.
    • Some of the high points are in the four part pilot "Plunder And Lightning" and "Pizza Pie In The Sky", which were animated by Disney France.
  • Anti-Villain: Shere Khan. Sure, he engages in Evil Plans from time to time and can be ruthless when he needs to, but he is genuinelly fond of the heroes and certainly has a conscience, and generally doesn't cross any lines that there's no going back from. Think David Xanatos, but nicer.
  • Anthropomorphic Shift: From The Jungle Book.
    • Louie can be considered an inversion of sorts. He is given an anthropomorphic role and wears a human attire, though his design and proportioning is actually more hunched over and simian-like than his original The Jungle Book counterpart.
  • Are You Pondering What I'm Pondering?: The vast majority of the scenes with Don Karnage and Gibber, and some dialogs between Baloo and Wildcat.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: In "Louie's Last Stand", Dougie Benson, a minor businessman in Shere Khan's company, attempts to evict Louie from his property by forging Khan's signature on documents that mobilize his company pilots into a makeshift mook-army. When Khan finds out, he dresses Dougie down for forgery, misuse of company property, and his now soot-stained coat not being up to company dress code.
  • A-Team Firing: But at least they use real bullets, unlike some cartoons.
  • Awesome McCoolname: Kit Cloudkicker, Ace London.
  • Badass Adorable: Kit, and to a lesser extent Molly.
    • Oscar from "Captain Outrageous" earns this status at the end of the episode when he Takes a Level In Badass and saves Baloo, Kit, and Wildcat from the pirates.
  • Badass Princess: Princess Lotta Lamour from "The Road to Macadamia". She's not afraid to confront her kingdom's Evil Chancellor ("Touch me and you're dust, buster!"), and during a fight she knocks out several of the chancellor's Mooks with a big mallet.
  • Badass Spaniard: Don Karnage fancies himself as one of these, but invariably comes off as just buffoonish. (Interestingly, some fanfics based on this show not only have him play this trope straight, but also transform him into a psychologically tortured Anti-Villain). Note, though, that, while he may not be Badass per se, he's still very dangerous.
  • Barefoot Cartoon Animals: Many characters, including Rebecca, Molly, Wildcat and Shere Khan in the main cast.
  • Beary Funny: Baloo, Rebecca, Molly and Kit.
  • Beleaguered Assistant: Kit sometimes is this due to Baloo's occasional idiocies and Jerkass tendencies. Rebecca and Baloo himself often play this trope as well, depending on who is leading the madness.
  • Benevolent Boss/Mean Boss/Pointy-Haired Boss: Rebecca can be considered an unusual mix of all three tropes in one. While she mostly leaned towards the first due to her protagonist role and viewing her employees more as her friends, her occasional temperament, superiority complex and outright quirkiness leads to her being less than pleasant to work with on occasion, especially in early episodes.
    • Shere Khan himself was a mix of the first two of those. He is deadly serious, hates having his time wasted and is extremely strict, but he values hard work and albeit he's quite demanding, he is also fair to his employees.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Myra from "In Search of Ancient Blunders".
    • Also Wildcat, Rebecca, Kit, and even Molly fit this trope most of the time.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: Don Karnage.
    • The majority of villains for that matter. While they are nearly all bumbling wackos the majority of them do at least pose as a sort of plausible threat.
  • Big Beautiful Woman: Plane Jane from "Waiders Of The Wost Tweasure" and Sally from "The Time Bandit". Amusingly both are hippos.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Baloo is known for doing this in quite a few episodes with "Plunder And Lightning" and "Last Horizons" being some of the most famous examples.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Rebecca arguably leans inside the fine line between this and a Jerk with a Heart of Gold. She is a Nice Girl deep down, but too often tries to hide her bad temper and ego problems in a professional facade rather than her genuine positive traits.
  • Blondes Are Evil: Kitten Caboodle and Muffy Vanderschmeer.
    • Inverted for Muffy, since she is later revealed to be wearing a wig.
  • Body Swap: "A Baloo Switcheroo".
  • Book Dumb: Baloo to a ridiculous extent.
  • Bound and Gagged: Happens to both Baloo and Rebecca on a few odd occasions, as well as to Shere Khan of all people, in "Bullethead Baloo".
  • Brainy Brunette: Rebecca, of course.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Either Kit or Molly, Depending on the Writer.
  • Breaking Bad News Gently: Parodied in "Bearly Alive".
  • Broken Aesop: "War of the Weirds" focuses on Baloo and Kit lying to Rebecca in order to receive vacation time. Of course, this leads them all into considerable trouble, and the only thing to do is for all parties to continue the lie until the trouble blows over.
    • Another one in "I Only Have Ice For You": The episode ends with a "I should listen to the people who know what they're doing, not assume a book will tell me everything", but taken the wrong way by the right people, it could easily be taken as an "I should Stay in the Kitchen and let men work" Aesop.
      • Rebecca is Baloo's boss, though, and a lot better at the business side of things than he ever was. So it's really more like, "I should stay in my office and let the men earn the wages I'm paying them."
      • There's also the idea that she was relying too much on books to learn how to fly when she really needed the hands-on instruction of an experienced pilot to teach her, like Baloo. As noted below, she apparently listened to Baloo and learned a lot from him.
      • It may have came off as broken due to Baloo hardly acting like an angel when in control himself, making rather cocky (and potentially life-threatening) mistakes and keeping Rebecca in the dark about important details (also note his initial suggestion was to break the law and have him fly anyway without a license). That said he does feel bad after Rebecca shows humility and genuinely offers to give her flying lessons (even if they both snapback by the end of the episode).
  • Bumbling Dad: Baloo, of the surrogate variety.
  • Bunny Ears Mechanic: Wildcat. A cheerful Cloudcuckoolander and generally unaware of social niceties, true. But he was also a genius mechanic, a competent pilot (albeit with few directional skills), and (on occasion, such as in "The Flight of the Snow Duck") surprisingly perceptive regarding matters of the heart.
    • Baloo can be considered something of a "Bunny Ears Pilot" as well, slovenly, obnoxious and Book Dumb, but is an ingenius and versatile flyer (including piloting prototype helicopters and a bare jet engine!). One could argue whether Rebecca's quirks make her a "Bunny Ears Businesswoman" as well.
  • Butt Monkey: Colonel Spigot and Douglas Benson from "Louie's Last Stand". Baloo and Rebecca also have some moments.
  • Casting Gag: The decision to cast Ed Gilbert and R.J. Williams as Baloo and Kit, respectively. They had previously been cast as a father-and-son bear duo in the mid-1980s NBC cartoon Kissyfur.
  • Cat Fight: Rebecca had one with most female villains. Mainly Kitten Kaboodle in "A Star Is Torn" and Muffy Vanderschmeer in "A Touch Of Glass".
  • Chain of Deals: "Double or Nothing".
  • Chained Heat: "Stuck on You".
  • Characterization Marches On: Kit's history with Don Karnage and the Sky Pirates seems to be all but forgotten in episodes following the pilot, to the point the two seem rather inept about each other outside their connections with Baloo. Karnage rarely refers to Kit as anything outside the generic label of "Baloo's little friend".
    • Ironically Col. Spigot's first appearance in "The Idol Rich" is about the one time he and Baloo instantly recognise each other.
  • Cheerful Child: Molly Cunningham. She's rambunctious and not above a little blackmail to get what she wants. However, in the major incident she did that, she didn't hesitate afterward to bail out Baloo when her mother threatened to fire him.
  • The Chessmaster: Shere Khan.
  • Chick Magnet: Baloo has won affection and attention from Katie Dodd, Princess Lotta Lamour, Kitten Caboodle, Myra Foxworthy, Plane Jane, Sally the radio host, and even Rebecca herself, so he definitely deserves a spot here.
  • Christmas Episode: "A Jolly Molly Christmas".
  • City of Adventure: Cape Suzette.
  • Closer to Earth: Becky, albeit to an extent (especially since a lot of her chemistry with Baloo came from having similar flaws as him).
  • Cloudcuckooland: Thembria.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Wildcat. Baloo and even Rebecca on occasion have lighter bouts of this too.
  • Comically Serious: Shere Khan (somewhat in contrast to the hammier Smug Snake he was in The Jungle Book). The odd occasions a smile does appear on his face usually spells big trouble for someone.
  • Commissar Cap: Baloo wears one of these.
    • Also part of Spigot's military uniform.
  • Complaining About Rescues They Don't Like: Baloo and Kit get this a lot due to their occasionally haphazard manner of saving the day, though they're usually rather open about what they think of the situation.

Kit: Well excuse me for saving your tail.

  • Continuity Cameo: A lot of supposed One-Scene Wonder characters from specific episodes make background cameos in others (even previous villains such as Kitten Caboodle and Muffy and Buffy oddly enough). Sometimes counts as an Early-Bird Cameo.
  • Control Freak: Rebecca plays with this. While she has a rather shrill attitude and frequently manipulates or bullies Baloo and the others into following her schemes, she fails to have much intimidation over them or take much action against their own incompetent or obnoxious habits, leading her to come off more as a bossy friend than a domineering boss.
  • Conjunction Interruption/Not Now, Kiddo: Often the bane of Molly and Kit's lives, usually issued by Rebecca (the more Genre Savvy Baloo even notes a couple of occasions it might be worth listening to them).
  • Convection Shmonvection: Baloo has flown into a volcano several times before with the Sea Duck escaping with only mild burns on the plane.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: Don Karnage is fond of these.
  • Cool Plane: The Sea Duck, natch.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Semi-subverted by Shere Khan. Khan is ruthless and can be quite vicious and vindictive. However, he has a moral code and a sense of honor, and his rivals are usually much worse than he is. Many of his appearances have him as a protagonist, and his antagonist appearances frequently end with him saying something along the lines of "You are right and I will stop taking the action you are opposing. Now get out before I change my mind". Furthermore, if he hires you for a job and knows your moral principles, the job will likely be dangerous, but it will be doable, agree with your conscience, and he pays very well in the end.
    • Whether or not it's subverted or not is completely up to the episode. In one episode he'll recruit the sky pirates to attack planes and create a fake fuel shortage. In another he'll swear a life debt. The most consistent thing about this show is its inconsistency.
  • Title Cards Always Lie: The title card of the episode "The Ransom of Red Chimp" has Don Karnage in his signature air pirate uniform, while in the actual episode he's wearing a bathing costume all throughout the episode.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Baloo always manages to save the day.
  • Cute Bruiser: Rebecca earned this status at the end of the episode "A Touch Of Glass".
  • Cut Song: A scene in the TV movie "Plunder & Lightning" where Rebecca sings "Home Is Where The Heart Is", a lullaby to Molly as Kit listens in was cut for time when it was split into four episodes.
  • Damn, It Feels Good to Be a Gangster!: Trader Moe and his lackeys.
  • Dead All Along: "The Old Man and the Sea Duck" ends with Baloo discovering that the man that had taught him to fly again had been dead and gone for 20 years, and that the airfield he trained at was a broken down husk of its former self.
    • Also in "Her Chance To Dream", Rebecca's new love interest Captain William Stansbury is revealed to be the ghost of the captain who crashed his boat on Louie's island centuries ago.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Both Rebecca and Baloo to extremes.
  • Death Glare: Despite Rebecca's appearance, she actually has given Baloo a pretty scary one from time to time.
  • Depending on the Writer: Both Baloo and Rebecca's personalities occasionally come off as erratic due to constantly passing off the Sanity Ball (eg. one can be completely gullible or arrogant towards a situation identical to one they were totally wary of in a previous episode). Their Not So Different tendancies also shift from episode to episode (sometimes Rebecca is Baloo's polar opposite, others they are borderline Distaff Counterparts for each other).
  • Determinator: In both a negative and positive sense, Baloo and Rebecca are very stubborn individuals, be it for Zany Schemes or heroics. Rebecca is also shown to be very protective of Baloo, to the point of potential self-sacrifice; Baloo, in turn, will go to great lengths to aid or protect her.
  • Did Not Do the Bloody Research: In "Bygones", the English pilot Rick Sky actually says the word "Bloody".
  • Dieselpunk
  • Dirty Communists: Not explicitly said to be communist, but Thembria is obviously meant to be a stand in for the Soviet Union.
    • In one episode, Baloo actually refers to the Thembrians as "commies."
  • Disappeared Dad: Molly's. Kit's missing both parents.
    • In the comics it explains that Molly's father is deceased and that Rebecca is unfortunately a widow.
      • The show itself leaves Rebecca's status up for the audience to guess. Gets confusing when a woman in the 30's can be a single mom and nobody cares.
  • Disco Tech: Tinabula.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: The reason Baloo and Louie help Katie find the lost city of Tinabula, even though they didn't want to go treasure hunting in the episode "For Whom The Bell Klangs".
    • This also happens to Baloo and Louie when they help Princess Lotta Lamour in the episode "Road To Macademia".
    • This is the main reason that Baloo won't listen to Rebecca when she tells Baloo that Kitten Kaboodle is responsible for the "accidents" that have been happening on the movie set in the episode "A Star Is Torn".
    • "Cool Hands" Luke is obviously smitten by "Tan-Margaret" (aka Baloo) in "Feminine Air", even though they are competitors in an air race.
  • Damsel in Distress: Happens to Rebecca and Molly on occasion. Baloo and Kit aren't immune to the trope either.
    • Also Katie Dodd when she is kidnapped.
  • Ditzy Genius: Rebecca.
  • Don Rosa: Writer of "It Came from Beneath the Sea Duck" and "I Only Have Ice for You".
  • Downer Ending: "Your Baloo's In The Mail", albeit Played for Laughs (though apparently a few fans insist otherwise).
  • The Drag Along: Rebecca on some occasions, who doesn't appreciate Baloo's tendency to turn a simple cargo mission into a dangerous adventure or Zany Scheme (not that she doesn't force Baloo into a few badly thought ones as well at times).
  • Ear Ache: Rebecca frequently drags Baloo away by his ear in an argument.
  • Ear Notch: Don Karnage has one.
  • Easy Amnesia: In "The Old Man and the Sea Duck", with a dose of Laser-Guided Amnesia too; it only affects Baloo's piloting skills, forcing him to re-learn them. However, the cliche of the second blow is avoided as Baloo's memory returns when he re-experiences the joy of flying again.
  • Easy Come, Easy Go: Several episodes.
  • Elmuh Fudd Syndwome: Played with in "Waiders of the Wost Tweasure". "Wuby Wings" wasn't a mispronunciation of "Ruby Rings", rather, it was "Ruby Wings".
  • Enemy Eats Your Lunch: In "Plunder and Lighting", Don Karnage intimidates the customers of Louie's through drinking someone's drink.
  • Episode Title Card: Done for only two episodes, "The Ransom of Red Chimp" and "Jolly Molly Christmas".
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Shere Khan has several moments of this. He is at the very least Genre Savvy enough to know the consequences of Kicking The Dog too many times.
    • A particularly good example of this is in the end of the episode "Citizen Khan".

Clementine: So you never told the sheriff to mistreat the miners?
Shere Khan: My dear, I desire only money and power. Unpresentable employees provide me with neither.

  • Everyone Loves Blondes: Baloo for Kitten Kaboodle in "A Star Is Torn" and Wildcat for Clementine Clevenger in "Citizen Khan".
  • Everything's Better with Princesses: Princess Grace from "Waiders of the Wost Tweasure" and Princess Lotta Lamour in "The Road to Macadamia".
  • Evil Chancellor: Chancellor Trample from "The Road to Macadamia".
  • Evil Is Hammy: Don Karnage.
  • Exact Words: "When I say 'FIRE', then you FIRE!"
  • Expy: Rebecca, according to Word of God is based on Rebecca Howe of Cheers in both aspects of personality and her chemistry with the main protagonist.
    • The business situation is very similar to Cheers as well: Entrepreneurial businesswoman takes over a failing business run by a laid-back owner and attempts to change his ways to make the business profitable, Hilarity Ensues.
    • Kit is also obviously meant to be an Expy for Mowgli in places. While he has enough unique traits to differentiate the two, his relationship with Baloo is very similar (right down to using the same affectionate nicknames for each other).
    • The three major Thembrians: Col. Spigot, Sgt. Dunder and the High Marshall are Expies (and parodies) of Col. Wilhelm Klink, Sgt. Hans Schultz, and General Albert Burkhalter from Hogan's Heroes.
      • Although the High Marshall is also a very obvious visual Expy of Leonid Brezhnev.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: Baloo's goal: to buy his plane back from Becky.
    • He did buy it back once, though handed back the rights after realising the process was destroying Becky's business, implying he is pretty much set to work at Higher For Hire, willingly or not.
  • Fake Defector: At one point in "Plunder & Lightning" Kit rejoins the pirates, regaining Karnage's trust by pretending he didn't really care about his new friends, so he can convince Karnage to let his friends go. This is Played for Drama, with Baloo convinced that Kit has betrayed him until later in the story.
  • Faked Rip Van Winkle
  • Family-Friendly Firearms: Interestingly enough, almost utterly averted. Don Karnage's men fire what appear to be real tracers out of their machine guns, the Cape Suzette anti-aircraft guns are firing real flak shells, and in one episode Baloo is chased by gangsters with very realistic-looking revolvers that fire real bullets. The few exceptions are justified, such as AA guns that shoot pies during an air race, since they are designed to hinder the racing pilots, not kill them.
  • Fanfare: For the heroic moments.
  • Fan of the Underdog: Baloo, for all his faults, is idolized greatly by Kit.

Kit: You're "somebody" to me.

  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Thembria is the Soviet Union with boars.
  • Fat Bastard: The High Marshall, no question about it.
  • Fiery Redhead: Katie Dodd.
  • Fish Out of Water: Rebecca to an extent. Though one could argue it's the one element preventing her from being Baloo's Distaff Counterpart.
  • Four-Episode Pilot
  • Five-Man Band:
  • For the Evulz: Don Karnage and Shere Khan, though usually more ambitious villains, occasionally are guilty of this.
    • Thembria seems to be an entire population enforced by "evil" standards and customs. Acts such as fun and laughter can land you a hefty jail sentence.
  • Four-Fingered Hands: Almost all characters have them, but there are a (very) few exceptions, such as the five-fingered Princess Lotta Lamour and Kitten Kaboodle.
    • Some inconsistencies have also occurred in this area, like Shere Khan having four fingers in one episode and five fingers in another episode.
  • The Freelance Shame Squad: In "A Jolly Molly Christmas" a rowdy group catch Louie posing as Santa for Molly, taking off his disguise and cackling insanely, completely ignorant of the disallusioned six year old running out of the bar in tears.
  • "Friend or Idol?" Decision: Baloo has an almost unhealthy obsession with the Sea Duck and will scold anyone for laying a finger on it inproperly. Nevertheless, it's established from the very first episode that he would sacrifice it in an instant to save his friends and surrogate family.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Wildcat proves that this description fits him in "Paradise Lost" and "The Sound And The Furry". Also Kit in "All's Whale That Ends Whale" and Molly in "Mommy For A Day".
  • Funny Foreigner: Don Karnage. Colonel Spigot and Private Dunder, to an extent, too.
  • Furry Female Mane: Rebecca and Molly.
  • Futile Hand Reach: Myra and Baloo do this during "In Search of Ancient Blunders".
  • Gainax Ending: Arguable example with "Flying Dupes". Like most Disney Afternoon shows, the series is left open ended, with the finale focusing near solely on Baloo attempting to give Col. Spigot flying lessons. It doesn't help that this episode was banned on certain networks.
  • Genius Ditz: Wildcat, a Cloudcuckoolander of the highest order but neverless can fix a high number of mechanical issues in a matter of seconds (at least for what his provided apparatus allows).
    • Word of God claims Baloo and Rebecca were meant to foil each other in this regard. Baloo is extremely Book Dumb and slovenly, but also streetwise and resourceful due to his adventuring (as well as being a grade A Ace Pilot). In contrast Rebecca is well educated and has profound business ethics, but due to her pampered lifestyle is somewhat naive and inept to the outside world. Depending on what the scenario fit, either character would play The Ditz while another would act as The Straight Man.
  • Gentle Giant: Baloo, at least when not in Jerkass mode. Sgt. Dunder, despite his occupation, also seems to apply.
    • Also Moby Dimple from "All's Whale That Ends Whale".
  • George Lucas Throwback: This show is like watching a Republic Pictures serial film...except everyone is a Funny Animal.
  • Get It Over With: In "The Time Bandit", Rebecca eventually finds the long drawn execution ceremony more torturous than death itself.

Rebecca: [sobs] JUST GET IT OVER WITH! SHOOT ME!!!

  • Girl of the Week: This was a standard theme in the show, and many of them have pretty generous fan bases.
  • Girls with Moustaches: Rebecca disguises herself with a moustache and beard in both "Plunder and Lightning" and "The Balooest of the Bluebloods".
  • Glasses Girl: Katie Dodd and Myra Foxworthy.
  • Green Eyed Red Head: Katie Dodd.
  • The Grinch: In "Jolly Molly Christmas", Don Karnage decides the Sky Pirates will show the true spirit of giving; by making others give presents to them.

Don Karnage: I am not usually this generous, but Christmas comes only once a year.

  • Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal: Baloo, Kit and Louie, among others. Baloo calls Kit "Little Britches" (breeches) in spite of neither of them wearing pants at all, presumably as a Shout-Out to the Jungle Book Baloo calling Mowgli by the same nickname.
    • This even applies to the one episode where Baloo has to wear a tuxedo. Said tuxedo consists of a jacket, shirt, tie, and cummerbund...and that's it.
  • Heel Face Turn: Kit, who leaves the Air Pirates before the series begins.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: Baloo and Louie spend most of the two part episode "For Whom The Bell Klangs" trying to win over Katie Dodd.
  • Heroic BSOD: Baloo does this in "A Bad Reflection On You".
    • Rebecca has a lighter variant in "I Only Have Ice For You".
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Baloo does this in the end of "Plunder And Lightning" where he rams the Sea Duck into Don Karnage's lightning gun and destroys it along with his plane that he had just reclaimed ownership for.
    • Rebecca also attempts this in "A Star Is Torn" by driving an booby trapped plane that Baloo was intended to fly for a stunt. However, Baloo saves her in time. She also does so in "Save The Tiger" by selling Higher For Hire to pay for ransom money after Baloo is supposedly kidnapped in Shere Khan's Xanatos Gambit.
  • Hero Insurance: Subverted hard, in that this is often the reason Baloo comes off just as penniless following his good deeds than beforehand, with him often being rewarded, and then charged for his rather hazardous acts of heroism. Depending on how neccessary his acts of destruction were, this can lead some of his clients to come off as Ungrateful Bastards.
  • Homage: Thembria, the USSR Expy, is populated by warthogs. Anyone remember Animal Farm?
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Rebecca occasionally takes deals from rather shifty clients to say the least.

Rebecca: Jack is on a mission for the government, can't you understand?
Baloo: Oh I understand, I just don't believe. I don't think he's really a spy.
Rebecca: Oh? Then how do you explain the trenchcoat, huh? That's a spy's trenchcoat!

  • Hot Archeologist: Myra and Katie Dodd.
  • Hot Mom: Rebecca.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Considering Baloo's size, this is a given with most females on the show, but he and Rebecca are the most common example.
  • Humanoid Female Animal: Kitten Kaboodle and Clementine Clevenger.
  • Hurricane of Puns: Much like DuckTales, everything original to the series has a name which has some level of punniness to it.
  • If I Can't Have You: Done rather ridiculously in "Feminine Air", an episode where Baloo dresses as a woman in order to enter a females-only flying contest. One of his rivals is so besotted with his female persona that he proposes and, when he's turned down, invokes this trope and starts trying to kill "her".
  • Improbable Piloting Skills: Baloo is so good a pilot he can pilot a plane even if he has to resort to directly manipulating the control cables to a craft's flaps and rudder when the yoke was broke. Furthermore, in one episode, he was able to quickly learn how to fly a prototype helicopter, despite the fact that operating that kind of vehicle is a completely different (not to mention revolutionary for the 1930s) concept in aviation. And don't forget, he was able to successfully "pilot" a prototype jet engine merely by hanging on to it and tugging on it real hard. No wings, no rudder, no plane. Just the engine. He even broke the sound barrier while riding it.
  • Incredible Shrinking Man: Molly (and later Baloo and Rebecca) in "The Incredible Shrinking Molly".
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: This Troper remembers the following exchange from "In Search of Ancient Blunders" being a childhood favorite:

Don Karnage: Fire at will!
(Will runs away, screaming, as the other pirates try to shoot him)
Don Karnage: No, no, no, don't fire at Will, he is my second mate. Fire at the Sea Duck!

Baloo: Now give me one good reason why I should bail those snot nosed money-grubbers.
Rebecca: Because you're better than them?
Baloo: ...Hmm, good answer. Let's go.

    • He and Rebecca often trade this role with each other. For all they suffer from each other, they will go to great lengths to keep the other safe.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Shere Khan is far less bumbling compared to the rest of the Rogues Gallery and can be pretty effective and dangerous if pushed hard enough. Of course the show did like to poke fun of his supposed "seriousness" at times. Interestingly this trope made its way into The Jungle Book incarnation for the sequel (in contrast to his counterpart in the original film, who was fearsome but too hammy and whimsical to count).
  • Large Ham: As is the case with most Disney Afternoon characters voiced by Jim Cummings, Don Karnage (Speaking to you now! In his own voice!) fits this to a tee.
    • About half the cast fits this trope to an extent, even some of the more Closer to Earth characters can't help hamming it up at times.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: "The Old Man and the Sea Duck".
  • Laughably Evil: Don Karnage, who -- despite nearly every one of his scenes being hilarious in some way (mostly due to the funny accent, eccentric antics, and a marked tendency to eat sets) -- is one of the most legitimately dangerous bad guys on the show.
  • Leitmotif: Wildcat frequently has a quirky flute melody accompany many of his appearances. The Disney Afternoon OST disk also includes numerous one shot tracks that signalled different characters and locations.
  • Let There Be Snow: Molly's wish in "Jolly Molly Christmas".
  • Little Miss Badass: Molly in several episodes. Some of them being "Molly Coddled", "Mommy For A Day", and "The Incredible Shrinking Molly".
  • Local Hangout: Louie's is this for pilots, except that it's not really local, being out in the middle of the ocean.
  • Lonely Rich Kid: Oscar Vandershnoot in "Captains Outrageous".
  • Lottery Ticket: "Your Baloo's in the Mail".
  • Luke Nounverber: Kit Cloudkicker? Really?
  • Macross Missile Massacre: The pandas try this on Baloo. However, the missiles don't lock on the Sea Duck to perform a full-fledged Itano Circus because they're heat-seeking, and Baloo has loaded his plane with ice.
  • Mad Scientist: At least three of them.
  • Malaproper: Much of Don Karnage's dialogue fits the trope.
  • Mama Bear: Rebecca is a literal example to Molly.
  • Man Child: Wildcat. There are also times when Baloo and Rebecca don't quite act their age.
  • Meaningful Name: Kit Cloudkicker. "Now where'd he learn that?"
  • Minion with an F In Evil: Sgt. Dunder, though recessively loyal to Col. Spigot, has a meek, friendly disposition and is friendly towards Baloo and Kit outside their bouts. Spigot himself is more of a Jerkass and an Well-Intentioned Extremist than outright evil.
  • Mirror Routine: Used in "A Bad Reflection on You".
  • Missing Episode: Both "Flying Dupes" and "Last Horizons" were pulled from circulation.
  • Missing Mom: Both of Kit's parents are missing and Princess Lotta Lamour's mother also.
  • Mistaken for Dying: Used in "Bearly Alive", twice over.
  • The Mole: Perry in "Baloo Thunder".
  • Mood Whiplash: "Her Chance To Dream" is fairly light hearted and comical for the most part, with Rebecca obliviously becoming infatuated with a ghost that is tormenting Baloo and Louie. However, when Baloo finally convinces her who he is, he realises the terrible decision she now has to make...
  • Morality Pet: Molly to Rebecca. Word of God says that Molly was written essentially to offset Rebecca's nagging tendencies towards Baloo, and bring out her softer and often more protective sides. Kit often brings out this element in Baloo as well.
  • More Dakka: Don Karnage's Tri-Wing Terror consists of little more than an engine, a small cockpit, and six stubby wings which seem to be little more than mounts for the six large-caliber machine guns.
  • Mummy: "In Search of Ancient Blunders".
  • The Mutiny: Karnage's men try to overthrow their captain on a couple odd occasions, though they admittedly aren't brilliant at it.
  • My Name Is Not Durwood: Colonel Spigot!
    • Also "it's Rebecca, not Becky", though she grows attached to the nickname later on.
  • The Napoleon: Colonel Spigot.
    • Also Trader Moe.
  • Nerds Are Sexy: Between Rebecca Cunningham, Katie Dodd, and Myra Foxworthy, this was inevitable.
  • Never My Fault: The punishment for lot of offenses in Thembria, regardless of who is responsible for them, tend involve Spigot getting shot, who in turn blames a lot of his blunders on Dunder.
  • The Nicknamer: Baloo.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: The cartoon combines The Jungle Book characters, dogfighting, 1930s Noir, Indiana Jones-styled adventures, The Cold War, and Screwball Comedy in one cartoon. Can be equal parts comic, dramatic, action-filled or suspenseful, often just in one episode.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: In "A Star Is Torn", several celebrities from The Thirties (or at least their Furry Fandom equivalents) make cameos.
  • Noodle Implements: Turnips and sandpaper, huh?
  • Not So Above It All: Rebecca in a rather extensive manner (though she is toned down slightly in later episodes).
  • Not So Harmless: Don Karnage.
    • Similarly, the Thembrian military usually consisted largely of bumblers whose favored ammunition is stacks of bologna; however, when set on actually offing someone, they take it to torturous extremes.
  • Off-Model: To an extent, due to aforementioned Animation Bump. Don Karnage for example, looked rather vicious and sinister in design in some cases, while in others he was almost as cuddly and docile looking as Baloo.
  • Offscreen Villainy: During the pilot there are more than a few mentions of Don Karnage being famous for never letting anyone go, never taking anyone prisoner, and never leaving any evidence, the time he did let some pilots alive being due to him wanting to send a message. Of course, he never kills anyone over the course of the show (unless you count collateral damage from the Lightning Gun), mostly either due to his men's incompetence (or his own, occasionally), or Baloo and the gang being just that good.
  • Oh Wait, This Is My Grocery List
  • On One Condition: "The Balooest of the Bluebloods".
  • One-Scene Wonder/One-Shot Character: The series contains several guest star characters who have fan followings.
  • The One Who Wears Shoes: Don Karnage and Gibber of the Air Pirates, as well as some guest star characters such as Katie Dodd ("For Whom the Bell Klangs") and Clementine Clevenger ("Citizen Khan").
  • Only in It For the Money: Baloo insists to Becky he's only working at Higher For Hire until he's earned enough to buy back the Sea Duck. While he holds up to that deal a couple of times he earns big, it's often implied to be a bit more complex than that.
  • Out of Focus/Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Many of the later episodes stray from the goings on of Higher For Hire and focus more on Baloo adventuring outside Cape Suzette. While Rebecca, Molly and Kit feature less as a result, Wildcat and Louie gain more prominent roles in later episodes.
  • Overdrive: Used in the first episode. Combines Nitro Boost with Explosive Overclocking if left on too long.
  • Overly Polite Pals: Baloo and Kit have one of these moments in one episode.
  • Pandaing to the Audience: Subverted; while the pandas of Panda-La are cute-looking and seem too intellectual and isolated, they're actually an Affably Evil Eastern Horde with heat-seeking rockets.
  • Papa Bear: Baloo, of the surrogate kind to Kit (and to a lesser extent Molly). Kit even calls him Papa Bear, as Mowgli did in The Jungle Book.
  • Parental Substitute: Baloo and to a much lesser extent Rebecca, to Kit. Baloo also has moments with Molly.
  • Ping-Pong Naivete: Kit's view of Baloo varies from episode to episode, in some episodes he is completely oblivious to Baloo's faults and idolizes him blindly; in others he is the Only Sane Man and The Smart Guy of the team; in others still he's easily manipulated by con men or "too good to be true" deals that even Baloo sees right through.
  • Pity the Kidnapper: "The Ransom of Red Chimp".
  • Poke the Poodle: Both Don Karnage and the Thembrian Army have shown occasional tactics such as this. Subverted slightly as acts such as scratching your nails on a chalkboard and forcing you through a cheesy chat show are actually considered all manner of hell for their hostages.
  • Polly Wants a Microphone: Ignatz in "Polly Wants a Treasure".
  • Poor Communication Kills: The entire episode "Your Baloo's In The Mail" proves this.
  • Positive Discrimination: Subverted. Despite being a female character of the strong independent business woman variety, Rebecca makes her fair share of mistakes, with her and Baloo getting roughly equal opportunities to play the Straight Man for each other.
  • Punishment Box: Baloo stays at a Thembrian penal colony which he has mistaken for a fitness camp. He is frequently sent to what he calls a "solar powered sauna."
  • Punny Name: All over the place--area names like Cape Suzette (Crêpe Suzette), episode titles like "The Idol Rich" (The Idle Rich) and "The Sound and the Furry", and some major and minor characters' names.
  • Putting on the Reich: The nation of Thembria resembles the Soviet Union.
  • Ramming Always Works: How the Lightning Gun from "Plunder and Lightning" was destroyed.
    • Averted a few minutes earlier when the Sky Pirates attempt to ram the door in order to prevent Kit from sending the message to Baloo about his efforts to sabotage the Lightning Gun.
  • Really Seven Hundred Years Old: Captain William Stansbury from "Her Chance To Dream".
  • The Renaissance Age of Animation
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Klang, the Knight of Cerebus villain in the two-part episode "For Whom the Bell Klangs".
    • Also Trader Moe.
  • Requisite Royal Regalia
  • Reset Button: Baloo managed to save up enough money to buy back his plane a few times, but events would always conspire to put him back to work for Becky. On the other hand, after an early episode where Rebecca has trouble learning how to pilot a plane, a later story shows that she's learned a lot from Baloo and is now a capable pilot on her own.
  • The Rival: Plane Jane and Ace London to Baloo.
  • Rocket Ride: In "Mach One for the Gipper", Baloo flies a newly invented jet engine. No, not a plane with a jet engine--literally just the engine.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Princess Lotta Lamour helps Baloo and Louie save her kingdom from Chancellor Trample.
  • Rule of Cool: A general staple of the show, but most evident with Kit's airfoil. To be clear, it assumes a 8 year-old boy can hang on to a rope behind an airplane (travelling at a minimum of 150 mph), while coordinating a piece of metal below his feet.
  • Ruritania: Thembria.
  • Sanity Ball: Thrown around frequently, usually between Baloo, Rebecca or Kit for a Straight Man and Wise Guy scenario.
  • Screw the Money, I Have Rules: Baloo is often shown to be rather overambitious with money, and is dead set on buying back the Sea Duck from Rebecca, however when he realises some immoral and harmful undertone in a scheme or investment, he turns it down immediately.
    • A frequent scruple for Shere Khan, his moral code preventing him from doing anything truly irredeemable.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money: This is the basis behind several of his more petty schemes however.
  • Shangri La: Subverted in the TV episode "Last Horizons", used straight in the Disney Adventures comic "The Gates of Shambala".
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Rebecca looks disturbingly good in a fancy dress.
    • Also Katie Dodd when she is having dinner at the restaurant in "For Whom The Bell Klangs".
  • Shout-Out: "Polly Wants A Treasure": Polly is called a "rare Norwegian Blue".
    • Also, in one episode a character warns that "no one dares to face {{[[[Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan|Star Trek II the Wrath of Khan]] The Wrath of Khan}}!"
    • And who could forget the "This Was Your Life" execution ceremony in "The Time Bandit", complete with cheesy host and aquaintances from the guest's past.
    • Very frequently in the episode titles. "Citizen Khan", "The Old Man and the Sea Duck", "Last Horizons", the list goes on for miles.
      • The episode "The Road To Macadamia" is a straight up homage to the "Road" movies starring Bob Hope and Bing Crosby but with Baloo and Louie.
    • Baloo's gypsy costume in the episode "A Spy In The Ointment" is pretty much a complete copy of Little John's costume from an early scene in the Disney version of Robin Hood. This is actually Fridge Brilliance when you consider that Phil Harris was both the original voice actor for Baloo and the voice actor for Little John in the movie where the costume originated from.
    • Naturally the show features a good few Shout Outs to The Jungle Book. Baloo's aforementioned tendency to disguise himself in drag is also likely a reference to a similar scene in the movie. "My Fair Baloo" also has Rebecca binded by a large (somewhat familiar looking) constrictor snake.
    • Also in "Gruel And Unusual Punishment", when Baloo lands on Bedevilled Island, he floats on his back in a stream eating food off of his stomach, much like he did in The Jungle Book.
    • In "For Whom The Bell Klangs, Part 1", the restaurant Baloo and Louie visit bears a strong resemblance to Rick's Café Américain.
  • Show Within a Show: Danger Woman, Molly's favorite radio series.
  • Sixty-Five-Episode Cartoon
  • Sky Pirates: Don Karnage and his crew.
  • Sky Surfing: Hence "Cloudkicker".
  • The Slacker: As competant a pilot as he is, Baloo is not a devoted worker.
  • Slap Slap Kiss: Baloo and Rebecca have this going on big time in several episodes.
  • Slapstick Knows No Gender: Rebecca gets it as bad as Baloo at times.
  • Specs of Awesome: Myra wears them.
  • Spiritual Successor: The series is basically a Furry version of the old TV series Tales of the Gold Monkey...
  • Sticky Situation: "Stuck on You", in which Baloo and Don Karnage are glued together. The trope name even appears in the dialogue.
  • The Stoic: Shere Khan, to extremes. Even when abducted by a psychopathic robot, his reaction is to merely fold his arms and groan "unamused".
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Don Karnage is pretty much the only competent Air Pirate (or the nearest to one). This tends to put a damper on his plans.
  • Ted Baxter: Rebecca a lot of times. Baloo also frequently fell victim to Acquired Situational Narcissism.
  • Theme Tune Cameo: The show's BGM regularly made use of the instrumental version of the opening theme, along with several variants.
    • "For a Fuel Dollars More" used it during the inaugural fuel run made by the Sea Duck.
    • "I Only Have Ice for You" used a tropical-sounding variant when Rebecca admits she needs Baloo's help.
  • The Thirties
  • Those Two Bad Guys: Mad Dog and Dump Truck. Also Trader Moe's lackeys.
  • Those Wacky Nazis: In one Disney Adventures comic story, "The Dogs of War", Baloo and Kit were briefly held hostage by a zeppelin full of smug, militaristic, German-accented dogs who kept mixing up their "v's" and their "w's".
  • Tickle Torture: Don Karnage does it to Kit in "Polly Wants a Treasure".
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Baloo is often shown to act more selfish and egotistical than his original The Jungle Book interpretation (albeit Depending on the Writer and balanced by his role in some other episodes).
  • Total Eclipse of the Plot: In "The Time Bandit".
  • TV Genius: Rebecca, in contrast to Book Dumb but streetwise Baloo, has an MBA and is refined in terms of social inequity, but is a borderline Ditz in terms of the outside world.
  • The Unfair Sex: The show plays a variation of sorts, with a recurring plotline involving either Baloo or Rebecca falling in love with a new cast member and generally disregarding the other character's attempts to bail them out of the problems their "love interest" is causing them. Despite the similar tone and extent for many of these instances, Rebecca tends to be played as a lot more sympathetic in her cases (eg. "Her Chance To Dream", "Molly Coddled") than Baloo (eg. "A Star Is Torn").
  • The Unintelligible: Gibber didn't speak out loud, he whispered into people's ears. All the viewer heard was a bit of, well, gibberish. Since his name is Gibber... yeah.
    • He said one intelligible word in the entire show, calling Karnage "crazy" in "Stuck On You". Needless to say, it was a poor choice.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Though the characters are generally loveable and redeemable, they have their moments of this, Baloo and occasionally Rebecca are perhaps the biggest players.
  • UST: A number of fans saw this in Baloo and Becky's interaction, despite having nothing outright romantic in the series.
    • Well, some episodes did show some obvious Ship Tease (Baloo's Post-Kiss Catatonia in "Your Baloo's In The Mail" may be a plausible canon example).
      • Word of God claims they intended to show infatuation between the two, though the creators admit it may have ultimately came out "lop-sided" in Rebecca's favor, who is occasionally shown to take bigger extremes in her devotion to Baloo.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Baloo and Louie, who even have a have a fairly catchy tune dedicated to their status as such in "Friends for Life." Unfortunately, it never made it into the show, just the soundtrack.

Baloo: I got moves, son--
Louie: You learned from me, I got a song to sing--
Baloo: If you can find the key
Both: Whatever he's got, I've got more of
But there's one thing we both are sure of, we're
Friends for life [etc.]

Don Karnage: Fools! Surely they would not be so stupid as to attack the Iron Vulture! (Ship rocks with impact) ...They are more stupid than I thought!

    • Also in "Polly Wants a Treasure"

Ignatz: We gotta get Kit outta there before one of those idiots [the pirates] sets off Captain Juan Toomanie's big trap!
Baloo: (leaning backwards) Relax, that would take somebody really dumb.
(the stalagmite he's leaning against falls back with a click)
Ignatz: (Long-suffering sigh) Right again, Baloo.

  1. The Walt Disney Animation Units in Japan and France, Sunwoo and Wang Film Productions. With help from Pacific Rim Animation (France, uncredited); and Tama Productions, Jade Animation & Hanho Heung Up (Japan)