Adventures of the Gummi Bears
Disney
Genre
Created by
Starring
Theme music composerSilversher & Silversher
Opening theme"Gummi Bears Theme"
Ending theme"Gummi Bears Theme" (instrumental)
Composers
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons6
No. of episodes65 (95 segments) (list of episodes)
Production
Producers
Running time22 minutes
Production companyWalt Disney Television Animation
DistributorBuena Vista Television
Release
Original network
Picture formatNTSC
Audio format
Original releaseSeptember 14, 1985 (1985-09-14) –
February 22, 1991 (1991-02-22)

Adventures of the Gummi Bears is an American animated television series, created by Disney CEO Michael Eisner, produced by Walt Disney Television Animation, and distributed by Buena Vista Television. The series, loosely inspired by the gummy bear candies,[1] takes place in a fantasy world of medieval lands and magic, and focuses on the lives of seven mystical beings known as Gummi Bears. The series focuses on the exploits of the main characters, as they tackle a series of problems, as well as aid their human friends and thwarting the plans of various evil characters. Episodes consisted of either a single story, or two 11-minute stories.

The lavishly budgeted series became iconic for not only spearheading the style of Disney animated series that followed, but also starting an era of artistic improvement in television animation spurred on its success with competitors forced to improve their own artistic standards to avoid unfavorable comparisons.[2] The series was known for various elements, including its signature potion known as "gummiberry juice",[3][4] and the theme music - written by Michael and Patty Silversher, performed by Joseph Williams.[5] The animated series first premiered in the United States, running for six seasons between 1985 to 1991,[6] with the show later sold to other countries including the United Kingdom.

Premise

Adventures of the Gummi Bears takes place within a fantasy world of magic, monsters, and medieval living. 500 years before the events of the first episode, humans lived in peace alongside a race of beings known as Gummi bears - anthropomorphic bears with great skills in magic and technology. However, growing hostility from neighboring humans forced Gummi Bears to flee to safer lands across the sea, leaving small groups to mind their machinery, cities and ancient warrens in their absence. Over the years that followed, humans began to forget their existence, with the few remaining bears opting to become hidden from the sight of humans for their safety, eventually leading humans to believing that Gummi Bears are merely legends and portraying them as characters in children's fairy tales. For their part, the remaining Gummi Bears declined in population and technical expertise.

The series focuses on the lives of one small caretaker group, consisting of six Gummi Bears - Zummi, the elder of the group; Gruffi, a craftsman and mechanic; Grammi, a cook and mother to the younger members; Tummi, a slightly overweight, relaxed member; Sunni, a young female cub who wishes to enjoy her youth; and Cubbi, a young male cub seeking to become a knight. The group live within one of the Gummi Bear warrens called Gummi Glen, housed within an ancient tree and filled with a network of tunnels, rooms, and access to an ancient transport network known as Quick Tunnels. The group find themselves discovered by a human for a first time in the form of a young page named Cavin, whom they come across out cold after being chased by ogres. Discovering he possesses an ancient Gummi medallion that can unlock the Great Book - an ancient manuscript containing the Gummi Bears' various laws and magic, and the chronicles of their good deeds - the group befriend Cavin, and eventually decide to assist anyone who needs help against wicked people even as they themselves strove to rediscover their heritage.

Alongside Cavin, the group also befriend Calla, a young adventurous princess from the page's home of Dunwyn Castle, and help the pair in protecting their kingdom from attacks by various villains. The most prominent villain the Gummi Bears face is Duke Igthorn, a former knight of Dunwyn who was exiled in disgrace for various misdeeds, who seeks revenge on the kingdom's ruler, King Gregor, by attacking his castle with an army of ogres. Being among the few humans aware of the Gummi Bears' actual existence, Igthorn will stop at nothing to exploit the lost civilization's secrets for his advantage. To help the Gummis in their battles against villains, alongside other matters and problems that arise, the group make use of a special potion called "Gummiberry Juice", which temporarily grants them the power to bounce and become elusive. Humans may also drink the juice, which temporarily grants them superhuman strength, but only once a day; the Gummis may use their juice as many times as needed.

Characters

The Gummi-Glen Bears (from left to right): Cubbi, Sunni, Gruffi, Zummi, Tummi, and Grammi.
The Gummi-Glen Bears (from left to right): Cubbi, Sunni, Gruffi, Zummi, Tummi, and Grammi.

Episodes

Main article: List of Adventures of the Gummi Bears episodes

Season Episodes Segments Originally aired
First aired Last aired
1 13 21 September 14, 1985 (1985-09-14) December 21, 1985 (1985-12-21)
2 8 12 September 13, 1986 (1986-09-13) November 29, 1986 (1986-11-29)
3 8 14 September 12, 1987 (1987-09-12) December 12, 1987 (1987-12-12)
4 10 16 September 10, 1988 (1988-09-10) December 17, 1988 (1988-12-17)
5 9 13 September 9, 1989 (1989-09-09) January 6, 1990 (1990-01-06)
6 17 19 September 10, 1990 (1990-09-10) February 22, 1991 (1991-02-22)


Broadcast

The series premiered on NBC on September 14, 1985, and aired there for four seasons. The series moved to ABC for one season from 1989 to 1990 (airing alongside The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh as the Gummi Bears-Winnie the Pooh Hour) and concluded on September 6, 1991, as part of the Disney Afternoon television syndication package.[8] The series was later rebroadcast on the Disney Afternoon block and rerun on the Disney Afternoon through the summer of 1991. In later years, it was shown on The Disney Channel (from October 7, 1991)[9] to at least January 1997[10] and later on Toon Disney, with its most recent televised airing occurring on December 28, 2001. Seasons 1 to 3 of the series were released on DVD on November 14, 2006.[11] On November 12, 2019, the series was released on Disney+.

Home media

VHS

International releases

Several VHS cassettes of the series were released internationally.[12][13] Of those, eight cassettes containing 32 episodes are listed below. The first four cassettes ("Welcome to Gummiglen!", "Creature Feature", "Hot Little Tot!", and "A Sky Full of Gummies!"), which contain 20 episodes, were released in English[12][13] in the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand. These four cassettes were also released in some non-English-speaking countries (including Poland,[14][15][16] the Netherlands[17] and Germany). The other four cassettes, as well as the ones not listed below, were released exclusively in non-English-speaking countries (including the Netherlands,[13][18][19] Poland,[20][21] Finland,[22][23] and Italy.[13][24])

VHS name Episode titles Release date
Adventures of the Gummi Bears (Volume 1): Welcome to Gummiglen! "A New Beginning"
"Zummi Makes it Hot"
"The Sinister Sculptor"
"Someday My Prints Will Come"
"Can I Keep Him?"
September 11, 1996
Adventures of the Gummi Bears (Volume 2): Creature Feature "The Fence Sitter"
"Night of the Gargoyle"
"Loopy, Go Home"
"A-Hunting We Will Go"
"The Secret of the Juice"
September 11, 1996
Adventures of the Gummi Bears (Volume 3): Hot Little Tot! "Sweet and Sour Gruffi"
"Duel of the Wizards"
"What You See is Me"
"Bubble Trouble"
"Toadie's Wild Ride"
"Gummi in a Strange Land"
September 11, 1996
Adventures of the Gummi Bears (Volume 4): A Sky Full of Gummies! "A Gummi in a Gilded Cage"
"The Oracle"
"When You Wish Upon a Stone"
"A Gummi by Any Other Name"
September 11, 1996
Adventures of the Gummi Bears (Volume 5): The Crimson Avenger "The Crimson Avenger"
"You Snooze, You Loose"
"Over the River and Through the Trolls"
September 10, 1997
Adventures of the Gummi Bears (Volume 6): Wild Ride "Toadie's Wild Ride"
"Sweet and Sour Gruffi"
"Duel of the Wizards"
"What You See is Me"
September 10, 1997
Adventures of the Gummi Bears (Volume 7): Up, Up, and Away "Up, Up, and Away"
"Faster Than a Speeding Tummi"
September 10, 1997
Adventures of the Gummi Bears (Volume 8): For Whom the Spell Holds "For Whom the Spell Holds"
"Little Bears Lost"
"Guess Who's Gumming to Dinner?"
September 10, 1997

DVD releases

On November 14, 2006, Walt Disney Home Entertainment released Disney's Adventures of the Gummi Bears: Volume 1 on DVD in Region 1. The 3-disc set features seasons 1 to 3 and does not contain any bonus features, save for subtitles for the hearing impaired.

DVD name Ep# Release date
Disney's Adventures of the Gummi Bears: Volume 1 47 November 14, 2006

To date, the series has never officially been released on DVD in the UK. However, since November 2016 the show has been available on the UK Disney streaming site DisneyLife.

In Australia, Disney released nine volumes, which have now long been discontinued. They are all in complete storyline production order, but the first volume starts from episode 19 in series 2. Episodes 1-18 have not been released on DVD in Australia and are only available on the USA Region 1 collection. However, the Region 4 Australian DVDs do finish off the series and go right up to episode 65 of the series' final two-part double episode adventure.

Video on demand

On November 12, 2019, the series became available to stream on Disney+.[25]

Media adaptations

Comic strip

Gummi Bears was adapted into a daily newspaper comic, which ran from September 1, 1986, to April 1, 1989. The strip was written by Lee Nordling and illustrated by Rich Hoover.[26]

Legacy

This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.Find sources: "Adventures of the Gummi Bears" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (February 2013) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

Disney's Adventures of the Gummi Bears was Disney's first major serialized animated television series (it was released back to back with another show, The Wuzzles, which lasted only 13 episodes), and is often credited as having helped jump start the television animation boom of the late 1980s and 1990s.[27][28] Consequently, it also became the forerunner to Disney's famous Disney Afternoon timeslot, which gave way to other famous serialized Disney television series, such as DuckTales, Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers and Gargoyles. Although many of these subsequently-created shows exceeded Gummi Bears in budget and length, the show is often credited as a sort of prototype for all of the animation which followed it.[29]

The show was so successful in the United Kingdom that the episodes "A New Beginning" and "Faster Than a Speeding Tummi" were released as theatrical featurettes there in 1986 and 1987, alongside The Great Mouse Detective and a re-release of Disney's Pinocchio.[29]

Appearances of Gummi Bears in other media include one of Gruffi Gummi in a D-TV music video of the Elvis Presley song "Teddy Bear", in 1986.

The show's popularity led to a re-theming of Disneyland's Motor Boat Cruise, along with a small part of Disneyland that became known as "Disney Afternoon Avenue." The Motor Boat Cruise became the "Motor Boat Cruise to Gummi Glen" and plywood characters from the show made Gummiberry Juice along the waterway. The Gummi Bears have been featured as meetable characters who greet guests in Disney theme parks.[citation needed]

Cameos

References

  1. ^ "Waldenbooks for Kids", June 1986
  2. ^ "'Disney's Adventures of the Gummi Bears' Turns 30 Years Old Today". Cartoonbrew.com. September 14, 2015. Retrieved April 8, 2022.
  3. ^ "The Great Site of Gummi". Cortneywilliams.com. Retrieved October 25, 2012.
  4. ^ "Disney's Adventures of the Gummi Bears". The Tv Iv. Retrieved October 25, 2012.
  5. ^ Sweedo, Nicholas (September 28, 2015). "Disney Song #48: Gummi Bears / The Silvershers: A Conversation". TheMacGyverProject.blogspot.com. Retrieved April 24, 2017.
  6. ^ Perlmutter, David (2018). The Encyclopedia of American Animated Television Shows. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 14–15. ISBN 978-1538103739.
  7. ^ "Voiceover actor Michael Rye dies at 94, Bridged the generations from radio to videogame work". Variety. September 25, 2012. Retrieved October 20, 2012.
  8. ^ Erickson, Hal (2005). Television Cartoon Shows: An Illustrated Encyclopedia, 1949 Through 2003 (2nd ed.). McFarland & Co. pp. 254–256. ISBN 978-1476665993.
  9. ^ The Disney Channel Magazine, Vol. 9, no. 5, September/October 1991: pp. 20, 36, 45.
  10. ^ The Disney Channel Magazine, Vol. 14, no. 6, December 1996/January 1997: p. 28.
  11. ^ "Disney's Adventures of The Gummi Bears: Volume 1 DVD Review". DVDizzy.com. November 13, 2006. Retrieved December 2, 2020.
  12. ^ a b "The Great Site of Gummi". Cortneywilliams.com. Retrieved November 14, 2013.
  13. ^ a b c d "Disney Video List VHS and DVD Disney Videos, Disney home entertainment DVD Video". Sealvideo.co.uk. Archived from the original on June 10, 2015. Retrieved November 14, 2013.
  14. ^ "Polish Gummi Bears VHS cover #1". Cortneywilliams.com. Retrieved November 14, 2013.
  15. ^ "Polish Gummi Bears VHS cover #2". Cortneywilliams.com. Retrieved November 14, 2013.
  16. ^ "Polish Gummi Bears VHS cover #3". Cortneywilliams.com. Retrieved November 14, 2013.
  17. ^ "Dutch Gummi Bears VHS cover #1". Cortneywilliams.com. Retrieved November 14, 2013.
  18. ^ "Dutch Gummi Bears VHS cover #2". Cortneywilliams.com. Retrieved November 14, 2013.
  19. ^ "Dutch Gummi Bears VHS cover #3". Cortneywilliams.com. Retrieved November 14, 2013.
  20. ^ "Polish Gummi Bears VHS cover #4". Cortneywilliams.com. Retrieved November 14, 2013.
  21. ^ "Polish Gummi Bears VHS cover #5". Cortneywilliams.com. Retrieved November 14, 2013.
  22. ^ "Finnish Gummi Bears VHS cover #1". Cortneywilliams.com. Retrieved November 14, 2013.
  23. ^ "Finnish Gummi Bears VHS cover #2". Cortneywilliams.com. Retrieved November 14, 2013.
  24. ^ "Italian Gummi Bears VHS cover #1". Cortneywilliams.com. Retrieved November 14, 2013.
  25. ^ Adventures of the Gummi Bears on Disney+ Edit this at Wikidata
  26. ^ Holtz, Allan (2012). American Newspaper Comics: An Encyclopedic Reference Guide. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press. p. 179. ISBN 9780472117567.
  27. ^ "'Disney's Adventures of the Gummi Bears' Turns 30 Years Old Today". Cartoonbrew.com. September 14, 2015. Retrieved April 8, 2022.
  28. ^ "Disney's Adventure of the Gummi Bears Changed How '90s Kids Spent Their Afternoons". Cbr.com. September 25, 2020. Retrieved April 8, 2022.
  29. ^ a b "Hollywood! Adapt This: DISNEY'S ADVENTURES OF THE GUMMI BEARS". Collider.com. October 28, 2012. Retrieved April 8, 2022.
  30. ^ "Ducktales Exclusive Clip With Gummi Bears Easter Egg - IGN" – via www.ign.com.