The Wuzzles is a 1985 American animated television series created for Saturday morning television, and was first broadcast on September 14, 1985 on CBS. 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. The original 13 episodes ran on CBS for their first run.
|Created by||Carson Van Osten|
|Narrated by||Stan Freberg|
|Opening theme||"The Wuzzles" performed by Stephen Geyer|
|Ending theme||"The Wuzzles" (instrumental)|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||13|
|Running time||approx 22–26 mins|
|Distributor||Buena Vista Television|
|Original release||September 14 –|
December 7, 1985
The Wuzzles features a variety of short, rounded animal characters (each called a Wuzzle). 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, 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.
- The Narrator (voiced by Stan Freberg): The never-seen narrator welcomes the viewer to "the Land of Wuz" and is heard throughout each episode talking about different things.
- Bumblelion (voiced by Brian Cummings): 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): 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 butterfly and half bear, 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): 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): 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, particularly with Hoppopotamus, but he loves his friends. He and Moosel are best friends.
- Crocosaurus (voiced by Alan Oppenheimer): Half crocodile and half dinosaur, and the main antagonist of the series. 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.
- Brat (voiced by Bill Scott): Half wild boar, half dragon, and Crocosaurus's chief sidekick. Brat sputters, raspberries, cries, laughs, yells, growls, and grunts in his speech, but Crocosaurus always understands what he is saying. Like Crocosaurus, he is very lazy and has a strong dislike towards the other Wuzzles coupled with a desire to have the best of what they have without applying any effort towards acquiring it. As his name implies, Brat is very bad-tempered and is often shown throwing tantrums when he does not get his own way. He is also greatly lacking in intelligence, and his incompetence often sees himself and Crocosaurus falling victim to their own devices, which in turn occasionally sees the two of them falling out.
- Flizard (voiced by Brian Cummings): Half frog, half lizard, and Crocosaurus's other sidekick. Flizard is not particularly intelligent, but he means well, is more amiable in his manner than either Crocosaurus or Brat, and relatively more tolerant of the Wuzzles, but nevertheless very loyal to Crocosaurus; on occasions where Crocosaurus and Brat fall out, it is often up to Flizard to try and patch things up between them. His character essentially emphasizes tolerance of others whom one is not particularly close to, while staying loyal to one's friends regardless of whether their plans are morally right or not. Flizard does not appear in every episode, only making sporadic appearances throughout the series.
|Nº||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date|
|1||"Bulls of a Feather"||Carole Beers||Mark Evanier||September 14, 1985|
|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 Beers||Ken Koonce,|
|September 21, 1985|
|Hoppo attempts to reach her dream of becoming a star in Hollywuz.|
|3||"In the Money"||Carole Beers||Ken Koonce,|
|September 28, 1985|
|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 Beers||Ken Koonce,|
|October 5, 1985|
|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 Wolf||Ted Perry||October 12, 1985|
|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 Wolf||Ken Koonce,|
|October 19, 1985|
|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 Wolf||Ken Koonce,|
|October 26, 1985|
|Bumblelion and Hoppo go deep into the Terrified Forest to rescue Butterbear from an evil witch.|
|8||"Eleroo's Wishday"||Fred Wolf||Mark Evanier||November 2, 1985|
|Eleroo wishes to fly using the wishing well.|
|9||"Ghostrustlers"||Fred Wolf||Ken Koonce,|
|November 9, 1985|
|With a plague in Wuz Town, the Wuzzles move to a ghost town that really is inhabited by ghosts.|
|10||"A Pest of a Pet"||Fred Wolf||Mark Evanier||November 16, 1985|
|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 Wolf||Ken Koonce,|
|November 23, 1985|
|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 Wolf||Ken Koonce,|
|November 30, 1985|
|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 Wolf||Ken Koonce,|
|December 7, 1985|
|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.|
- Brian Cummings – Bumblelion, Flizard, Peter Parafox, Molecrab
- Stan Freberg – Narrator
- Henry Gibson – Eleroo, Girafbra
- Kathleen Helppie-Shipley – Butterbear
- Alan Oppenheimer – Rhinokey, Crocosaurus, Mr. Packcat, Pirat Captain
- Bill Scott – Moosel, Brat, Officer Eaglbeagle, Dr. P.U. Quack, Mr. Beaverbuck, Pigmouse, Chef, Mover
- Jo Anne Worley – Hoppopotamus
Butterbear and Rhinokey appeared in the DuckTales episode "The Lost Cargo of Kit Cloudkicker!" Unlike their original TV series' appearances, their designs are more realistic and animalistic and Rhinokey resembles a gorilla instead of a monkey. Additionally, they were created by a relic called the Stone of What Was, which bears Bumblelion's likeness and fuses any two animals that touch it into one chimeric monstrosity.
- "Team Disney-flying High In Burbank – Page 4 – Los Angeles Times". Los Angeles Times. September 22, 1996. Retrieved August 25, 2013.
- Perlmutter, David (2018). The Encyclopedia of American Animated Television Shows. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 708–709. ISBN 978-1538103739.
- "'Whats' Wuzn'T 'Wuzzles', Federal Judge Determines – New York Times". New York Times. September 19, 1987. Retrieved August 25, 2013.
- "The Wuzzles Episode Guide (1985)". BCDB. Retrieved August 25, 2013.
- Rovin, Jeff (1991). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Cartoon Animals. Prentice Hall Press. p. 290. ISBN 0-13-275561-0. Retrieved 8 April 2020.
- "Disney Enters Saturday's Cartoon Fray". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved October 19, 2010.
- "'DuckTales' surprises Comic-Con with 'Rescue Rangers', Lin-Manuel Miranda". EW.com.
- "The Lost Cargo of Kit Cloudkicker!". DuckTales. Season 3. Episode 67. 2021-03-01.
- Animation outsourced to TMS Entertainment.