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Disney's Adventures of the Gummi Bears was an American animated television series that aired in the United States and other countries in the mid-1980s through the early 1990s. The show was created by The Walt Disney Company and premiered on NBC on September 14, 1985, and continued to air on ABC. The final episode of the series was aired on December 8, 1990. Episodes were later rebroadcast on the syndicated Disney Afternoon block. Reruns on the Disney Afternoon and on Saturday mornings on ABC continued through the summer of 1991. It was later archived into the Disney Channel and Toon Disney. It was inspired by the gummi bear candies. There was also a line of toys based on the show. There are 95 episodes in 65 shows.

The main characters were seven anthropomorphic bears, although some human characters also featured. The series is set in medieval times in the once populous Gummi Glen; the main Gummies' neighborhood is inhabited only by seven gummies. The world has other gummies. Great Gummies are refugees elsewhere awaiting a signal to return. Other gummies live in Ursalia. Allies of the gummies include the people of Dunwyn (Princess Calla and Cavin), other kind humans, and other Gummi Bears. Their main nemesis is Duke Igthorn, who aims, with the aid of ogres, to rule Dunwyn. The theme song, "Bouncing here and there and everywhere", was written by Michael and Patty Silversher.

The Gummi Bears gain their temporary ability to bounce by drinking Gummiberry Juice. If the juice was consumed by humans (or ogres) they would also gain temporary superhuman strength, although the effect would only work once a day. For this reason the bears kept the recipe secret (this element is perhaps influenced by the Asterix stories[citation needed]). A fruit juice drink called Gummiberry juice was for a short while retailed in the United Kingdom, Germany, and possibly other places.

Of interesting note, aside from DuckTales and Gargoyles, Gummi Bears was the only show in the Disney Afternoon generation of TV animation that had a series finale. All the other shows such as Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers and TaleSpin lacked a "last episode", and were for the most part ended on open notes.

The Gummi Bears were last seen on Toon Disney on December 28, 2001. A DVD release of Seasons 1 - 3 came in November 14, 2006. [1] There is no word on when Seasons 4 -6 will be released on DVD at this time.

The Adventures of the Gummi Bears was Disney's first successful foray into television animation (it was preceded by another show, The Wuzzles, which lasted only 13 episodes). At the time of its first premiere, very few, if any, animated television series were on par with Gummi Bears' production values. It even exceeded the quality of much Japanese animation made for TV at the time. Gummi Bears is often credited by animators and animation historians as having helped jump start the massive boom of television animation in the late 1980s all through the 1990s.

Another remarkable characteristic of the Gummi Bears was its depth coupled to its wide appeal - children would delight in the antics of the characters in the traditional 'good triumphs over evil' stories, while teenagers would find definite delight in characters bucking of stereotypes, for example Gusto, Cubbi and to a certain extent Zummi, Sunni and Tummi.

Ultimately, the longevity of the Gummi Bears could be derived from the extremely rich Universe it portrays - one which is clearly anchored in a Medieval Europe similiar to Earth history, but whose pre-history is underlied not by men, but by the Ancient Gummis.

The Gummis mix fairytale magic (Zummi and Cavin's Medallion as key to The Great Book of Gummi), modern technology as anachronism (The Quick Cars), biotechnology (Gummi Juice) - and mystery - the fate of the Great Gummis - which is never truly answered. Occasional encounters with exotic pieces of older Ancient Gummi technology, for example the Solar Messenger Laser, reveal that trhe pygmies of the present are still unable to grasp the achievements of the Giants in their past.

Gummi history after their Empire's fall parallels that of men - the Glen Gummis appear to be retiring peasants, Sir Thornberry guards the fallen citadel of Ursalia, Belisarius to the Ancient Gummi's Ravenna/Byzantium, the Gummi Knights have become medieval aesthetes while those of the Barbic woods have become medieval toughs ! Gusto's mysterious appearance is a question of conjecture - granted his appearance on the island is of a boat ride gone disastrously wrong - but whence did he set sail ? The many level of mysteries and unfinished tales within the Gummi Bear's Universe gives it am immortality which transcends that of more mundane fare, and has allowed their production to be one of the longest lasting of any Disney Cartoon.

Gummi Bears also became the forerunner for Disney's famous Disney Afternoon timeslot, which gave way to classics such as DuckTales, Darkwing Duck, Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers, TaleSpin, and Gargoyles. Although shows created in its wake such as the above mentioned exceeded Gummi Bear's budget and length, it is often credited as the sort of prototype to all of the subsequent animation which followed it, while DuckTales really jump started the trend. Nevertheless, it was a gamble which paid off tremendously in the long run.

It should also be noted that this show has the most number of seasons of any Disney animated series. Even though it did not have the most total episodes, this shows that Gummi Bears was approved for 6 straight seasons, something no comparable show has done before or since. Even some of the big non-Disney animated series such as Batman: The Animated Series, X-Men, or Spider-Man cannot match this claim. Some shows like DuckTales have more episodes but fewer number of seasons. The significance of this is that there were new episodes contracted and made from 1985 to 1990.


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