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"Ooh, they got o-ri-gi-nality!/Living with a split....personality!"—opening theme song
The Wuzzles was the first Disney original animated series. It debuted in 1985, and aired on broadcast television as a Saturday Morning Cartoon. It is also their shortest running series of The Eighties, at 13 episodes, though it went into reruns for quite a while.
Like many other shows of the 1980s, it had a plush line (which it
may have been was designed to sell) and each stuffed animal character came with a picture book that helped set up the world of the series.
It was a fun little cartoon and toy line that followed the great tradition of 80’s cartoons and toys: It was colorful, had kind of a sci-fi/fantasy theme, and made you wonder what kinds of medication the people who came up with it were taking at the time.
All of the main characters were Mix-and-Match Critters:
- Bumbelion (bumblebee/lion)
- Hoppopotamus (hippo/rabbit)
- Eleroo (elephant/kangaroo)
- Butterbear (butterfly/bear)
- Moosel (moose/seal)
- Rhinokey (rhino/monkey)
- Tycoon (tiger/raccoon)
- Croc (crocodile/dinosaur…maybe)
- Brat (boar/dragon…despite his misleading name)
- Flizard (frog/lizard)
The plush line actually outlived the cartoon, and involved several more characters who never got a chance to appear in the cartoon. Additionally, a few episodes of the television show were given theatrical runs in Europe, acting as animated shorts before Disney films.
- Animal Gender Bender with a sometimes Viewer Gender Confusion chaser: Eleroo, who is a male, and has a pouch.
- Arbitrary Skepticism: One episode revolves entirely around the rest of the gang mocking Moosel for being afraid of monsters. This is after it's been established that things like Sharkasaurus (half Great White Shark, half Tyrannosaurus Rex) apparently exist.
- Big Eater: Eleroo and Hoppopotamus.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: The characters and the narrator tend to interact with each other quite often.
- Broken Aesop / Moral Dissonance: Surprisingly, a lot of it.
- Carrying a Cake: Subverted in the episode discussed in the above link.
- Dinosaurs Are Dragons: Oh yeah. Word of God is annoyingly inconsistent as to whether Crock is half-crocodile, half-dragon or half-crocodile, half-tyrannosaur... or if he's a hybrid at all! Further, all the monsters Moosel lives in fear of are named [something]-saurus.
- Five-Man Band
- The Hero - Bumblelion
- The Lancer - Hoppo
- The Smart Guy - Moosel
- The Big Guy - Eleroo
- The Chick - Butterbear
- Kid-Appeal Character - Rhinokey
- The Sixth Ranger - Tycoon
- Jerkass: All the characters had their jerkass moments, but none moreso than Rhinokey.
- Mix-and-Match Critters: The entire cast and the core concept.
- Not just limited to the cast, in fact - the gadgets they use and food products they eat all seem to be odd combinations.
- No Fourth Wall / Medium Awareness: In the course of thirteen episodes, Freberg manage to address the audience or the presence of the show every single time.
- Off-Model: Ye Gods. Some examples can be seen here.
- Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Pretty hard to miss this one. All three of the recurring villains are at least part reptillian (including Brat, despite his name suggesting a wholly mammalian combination), in stark contrast with the main cast, who are all predominantly mammals with the odd cute bug mixed in.
- Saturday Morning Cartoon
- Talking Animal
- The Renaissance Age of Animation
- Unrequited Love: Hoppo/Bumblelion.