Disney's The Wuzzles is an American animated television series created for Saturday morning television and was first broadcast on September 14, 1985 on CBS. An idea of Michael Eisner for his new Disney television animation studio, the Wuzzles are animal creatures composed of half of one animal and half of another. Only 13 episodes of Wuzzles were produced, making it one of the shortest running animated series produced by Disney. A second season was planned to be made, but the future episodes were never made due to the death of Bill Scott (the voice of Moosel). Scott's death, however, did not stop a second season of Adventures of the Gummi Bears, which also starred Bill Scott and premiered the same day as The Wuzzles. One season later, The Wuzzles moved to ABC (which was eventually sold to Disney) for reruns, and disappeared from network television after that.
Wuzzles features a variety of short, rounded animal characters (each called a Wuzzle, which means to mix up). 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 the Wuzzles are. The characters in the show were marketed extensively. The characters were 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, Wuzzles and Disney's Adventures of the Gummi Bears, but on different networks. The Wuzzles was on CBS, and Gummi Bears was on NBC. Although Gummi Bears was a successful series, Wuzzles was not, at least in the US. However, it does have a fan base today. It was a much bigger success in the United Kingdom where the pilot episode aired as a theatrical featurette. In the United Kingdom, 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, and Wuzzles was also repeated on the BBC in 1987. Reruns of the show were aired on both Disney Channel and Toon Disney. Lead vocal on the theme song for Wuzzles is performed by songwriter Stephen Geyer.
- 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 in where angels fear to tread". He and Eleroo are best friends.
- Butterbear (voiced by Kathleen Helppie-Shipley): Half bear and half butterfly, 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.
- 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.
- Moosel (voiced by Bill Scott): Half moose, half seal. Moosel is a small aquatic Wuzzle with the body and flippers of a seal and the head and antlers of a moose. He is blue with a lavender tummy, and his antlers and flippers are pink. Moosel lives in a lighthouse off the coast of the Isle of Wuz and pilots his own chugboat. He has an affable spirit, and a very vivid imagination, which makes him believe in monsters. He and Rhinokey are best friends.
- Hoppopotamus (voiced by Jo Anne Worley): Half rabbit, half hippopotamus. She is called Hoppo by her friends. Hoppo is a Wuzzle who 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, Croc), 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 a Wuzzle who has a rhino-like snout with a horizontal-stripped horn, pink fur, and rhino-like hind 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, but he loves his friends. Rhinokey is Moosel's best friend.
- Tycoon (voiced by Gregg Berger): Half Tiger and half Raccoon. Tycoon is the rich kid of Wuz. He owns a money tree. He shows the other Wuzzles that he got his wealth from smart investing and saving his money, and teaches the Wuzzles about fiscal responsibility.
- Crock (also voiced by Alan Oppenheimer): Half crocodile, half dinosaur; The main villain of the show. Crock is bad-tempered, lazy, vile, ignorant, a bully, and does anything to get what he wants. He always wants the best of what the Wuzzles have, but does not want to apply the effort to acquire it himself.
- Brat (also voiced by Bill Scott): Half wild boar, half dragon, Crock's chief sidekick. Brat sputters, babbles, and grunts in his speech, but Crock clearly understands what he is saying. Like Crock, he is very lazy and has a strong dislike towards the 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 Crock falling victim to their own devices, which in turn occasionally sees the two of them falling out.
- Flizard (also voiced by Brian Cummings): Half frog, half lizard, Crock's other sidekick. Flizard is not particularly intelligent, but he means well and is more amiable in his manner than either Crock or Brat, and relatively more tolerant of the Wuzzles, but nevertheless very loyal to Crock; on occasions where Crock and Brat fall out, it is often left to Flizard to try and patch things up between them. His character essentially emphasizes tolerance of others who 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.
- Narrator (voiced by Stan Freberg): The narrator of the series, who would often be heard at intervals and broke the fourth wall, telling the audience points where he considered trouble ahead for the Wuzzles or explaining a certain facet of the island of Wuz.
Characters that appeared in books and as plush toys, but not on TV
- Piggypine: Half Pig and half Porcupine.
- Koalakeet: Half Koala and half Parakeet.
- Pandeaver: Half Panda and half Beaver.
- Woolrus: Half Lamb and half Walrus.
- Skowl: Half Skunk and half Owl.
|1||"Bulls of a Feather"||September 14, 1985||Eleroo adopts a baby bullfinch and is reluctant to part with it, especially when the other Wuzzles wish to return it to its original mother. Meanwhile, Crock plans to get wealthy with the baby bullfinch.|
|2||"Hooray for Hollywuz"||September 21, 1985||Hoppo attempts to reach her dream of becoming a star in Hollywuz.|
|3||"In the Money"||September 28, 1985||Bumblelion finds money on the ground, which was stolen money from the bank, and becomes rich, which puts a crimp in his friendship with the other Wuzzles.|
|4||"Crock Around the Clock"||October 5, 1985||The stormy weather gets bad in Wuz, and with Crock's house destroyed, he takes up residence with Butterbear, conning her of her food supply.|
|5||"Moosel's Monster"||October 12, 1985||Moosel's imagination goes out of control when he accuses everything of being a monster or an omen, and believes a "real" and friendly monster is all in his head.|
|6||"Klutz on the Clutch"||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"||October 26, 1985||Bumblelion and Hoppo go deep into the Terrified Forest to rescue Butterbear from an evil witch.|
|8||"Eleroo's Wishday"||November 2, 1985||Eleroo makes a wish from the wishing well to fly.|
|9||"Ghostrustlers"||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 for a Pet"||November 16, 1985||The Wuzzles get revenge on Rhinokey by playing a joke on him that makes him depart from Wuz.|
|11||"The Main Course"||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 in which a tribe of Pig-Mice (part pig, part mouse) intend to eat her.|
|12||"Class Dismissed"||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, Crock makes a bet with Butterbear about turning Brat into a sensible and polite wuzzle.|
|13||"What's Up, Stox?"||December 7, 1985||After visiting the new neighbor zillionaire Tycoon (part tiger, part raccoon), the Wuzzles are given a money tree in which they obsess over. Even Crock is after the money tree and plans to obtain it for himself.|
- Gregg Berger - Tycoon
- Brian Cummings - Bumblelion, Flizzard, Peter Parrotfox
- Stan Freberg - Narrator
- Henry Gibson - Eleroo, Girafbra
- Kathleen Helppie - Butterbear
- Steve Kramer - Additional Voices
- Tress MacNeille - Mrs. Pedigree, Transylvia
- Alan Oppenheimer - Rhinokey, Crock, Mr. Pack-Cat, Pi-rat Captain
- Will Ryan - Wishing Well
- Bill Scott - Moosel, Brat, Officer Eaglebeagle, Dr. P. U. Quack, Mr. Beaverbuck, Pigmouse, Chef, Mover
- Frank Welker - Mockingbirddogs
- Jo Anne Worley - Hoppopotamus
Home video releases
Many DVDs have been available for sale online, but are not official releases. Whether Disney plans to release the series on DVD is unknown.
- United Kingdom
- CITV (1998–2000)
- Canal 13 (1992–1995)
- RED TV (1996–2000)
- Latin America
- Disney Channel (2000–2002)
- The Wuzzles are parodied in Robot Chicken's season 4 episode "Especially the Animal Keith Crofford!" with Bumblelion voiced by Breckin Meyer, Butterbear voiced by Vanessa Hudgens, and Eleroo voiced by Seth Green. The three Wuzzles wonder how their parents got together given the biological impossibility of such a mating. Bumblelion envisions that his bumblebee mother and a lion mated with each other, Eleroo envisions the same thing with an elephant and a kangaroo, and Donkeyhuman (a modified Hoppopotamus figure that is voiced by Seth Green) attempts to do the same only to be cut off by the other Wuzzles who don't want to know.
- However, despite their voice actors, the special credits (credits included for additional humor) for the entire episode said that Sarah Michelle Gellar voiced Hoppopotamus (who, despite her absence in the segment had her figure modified to Donkeyhuman), Mila Kunis voiced Butterbear and Andrew Racho voiced Donkeyhuman.
- In season 1, episode 16 of the NBC sitcom Amen entitled "Yes Sir, That's Your Baby", the Hetabrink sisters Amelia and Cassietta adopt a baby and are seen standing at the door for the baby's arrival holding two plush Hasbro Softies™ Wuzzles. Cassietta is holding Bumblelion, and Amelia is holding Butterbear. The episode originally aired on February 14, 1987.
- Hasbro Softies™ of Bumblelion and Butterbear were also see in the late '80s or early '90s on the NBC soap opera Another World, as toys of Amanda Cory Fowler's daughter Alli.
- In Phineas and Ferb, the Bango-Ru toys are a nod to the Wuzzles, as they are creatures who are part one animal, part another, as seen in the season 2 episode "The Chronicles of Meap".
- Wuzzle "walk around" costumes that were used for Disney theme parks and parade floats have appeared in numerous movies, TV shows and music videos after being accidentally sold off, the reasons why are unknown.
- The Dixie Chicks music video "Ready to Run" featured the Moosel costume.
- The Eleroo costume appeared in the movie Old School.
- Wuzzle costumes have also been spotted in the Fox sitcoms Grounded for Life and Malcolm in the Middle.
- A Butterbear Costume was seen in an episode of Sonny With a Chance.
- ↑ "Disney Enters Saturday's Cartoon Fray", Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved on October 19, 2010.
- ↑ http://jimhillmedia.com/Editor_In_Chief/b/jim_hill/archive/2003/09/12/324.aspx
- The Wuzzles at TV.com