I’ll be straight with you, this one’s all about the theme song for me. While I was a little too young for the show when it originally aired in 1985, Gummi Bears was one of my favorite shows on Disney Afternoon. Though the show was initially inspired by the candy, there was an entire world built around them, bringing with it the superior Disney quality. But seriously, it’s all about the theme song.
The concept is simple. In a medieval setting with knights, kings, and ogres, Gummi Bears are thought to be myths. A page named Cavin discovers they’re more than legend, and befriends the bears. Gruffi, Zummi, Grammi, Tummi, Cubbi, and Sunny Gummi (one of these things is not like the other…) live in Gummi-Glen. Gummi Bears are the keepers of the secret recipe for Gummiberry juice. The juice, when consumed by Gummis, allows them to bounce and bound for a short period of time. When drank by humans, it imbues them with super strength for a time. The bears lived underground, traveling my a network of slides built within trees. In my youth I thought this was a great idea, as an adult and engineer, I question a utility of such a construction.
Gummi Bears is one of the few shows that offers little as far adult entertainment. That might not be fair to say. It’s more in the vein of family friendly entertainment. There was no growing plot or threat beyond their weekly adventures. The villainous Duke Sigmund Igthorn, ruler of Castle Drekmore, commanded the ogres and was obsessed with finding the bears to gain control of Gummiberry juice. If you watched cartoons from the time period, I’m sure half the voices will sound familiar. Particularly if you were a fan of Disney cartoons, as most of the actors were from their stables. Legendary voice actress June Foray (Magica De Spell) voiced Grammi; Lorenzo Music (Dr. Peter Venkman) was Tummi; and there’s-no-way-you-don’t-know-him Rob Paulsen (Yakko Warner) was Gusto Gummi. Apparently they didn’t believe in contracts on this show as many actors were replaced from season to season. Cavin was the worst offender with 5 actors portraying him across 6 seasons.
The show ran from 1985-1991. It was toward the end of the run that I discovered the show. I fondly remember it kicking off Disney afternoon for the first year of the cartoon block. Considering it was eventually bumped for the far superior Darkwing Duck, I got over the loss.
Disney always brings with it a high level of quality. Aside from the live-action garbage they’ve created, you generally know what to expect from their animated offerings, particularly if they pre-date the 2000s. While Gummi Bears is certainly no Ducktales or Gargoyles, it still had a level of quality, making it suitable for children or family viewing. I would watch this with my children, but probably not alone. Gummi Bears lacked something that put it among the pantheon of other Disney cartoons. When I bring the show up (I do this more often than you’d think), I’m amazed at how many people have never heard of it or don’t remember. Or worse, confuse the theme song for the awful “Gummy Bear” song. Considering the concept came from the candy though, I think they were pretty successful overall.
Remember this gem? How about the theme song? Who was your favorite Gummi? More importantly, ideas for topics? Share in the comments, but only if you’ve showered.
The Gummi Bears theme is sung immediately following Ducktales on every road trip.
After a week off from his real job, Tony doesn’t want to go back to work. Want to see what he’s been working on? Head on over to thecredhulk.com to see. Shoot him a Facebook like or follow him on Twitter.