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Saturday, November 03, 2012

Disney's Adventures of the Gummi Bears

Gummi bears are one of those confectionary treats that people either love or hate.

My stance? 100% Pure Love.

(And, no, I didn't just come up with that stance just because I have some Crystal Waters playing on my computer as I type this. I swear it.)

Seriously, as long as I can remember, I have always loved gummi bears. I would always go to the candy store (back when the most expensive penny candies cost a quarter) and always get a handful of gummi bears (or gummi worms if the bears weren't in stock) to eat whenever I was craving them. I don't think my dentist liked me very much for eating them, but I didn't care. I couldn't get enough of them.

To me, they were fruit flavoured morsels of goodness!

Depending on the brand name of the company that made the gummi bears, the flavours of the bears varied. The orange ones were always orange flavoured, and the yellow ones were always lemon flavoured. Green ones could be lime or strawberry flavoured (not real strawberry though...if they were, my allergy would act up). Red ones were usually raspberry or cherry flavoured. And the colourless ones? They were my favourite ones, because they were mostly pineapple flavoured. And anyone who knows me knows how much I love pineapple flavoured candy.

Oh, but those aren't the only gummi bears that I like. There's another version that I loved just as much as the ones that you eat. Not that one. Somehow, a giant green bear in jockey shorts would make me want to GIVE UP gummi bears for the rest of my life!

No, I'm talking about THESE gummi bears!

Yes, today is Saturday, and I thought that I would feature a television cartoon that ended up running for several seasons. It's actually one of Disney's longest running cartoon series!

Disney's Adventures of the Gummi Bears” debuted on NBC's Saturday Morning cartoon block on September 14, 1985. It remained on the network until 1989, when it moved to ABC for two more seasons, ending its original run in February 1991. And would you believe that the idea for the show was inspired by the tasty gummi bear candies? The inspiration came from the young son of Disney CEO Michael Eisner, who had asked his father for some gummi bear candies to eat.

The television show was pure magic from the memorable and catchy opening theme song to the various plots and stories that the main characters were a part of.

In case there are some of you out there who have never seen the show, allow me to give you a bit of a refresher.

Centuries ago there lived an entire race of anthropomorphic bears who called themselves the “Gummi Bears”, and they once ruled a great civilization which thrived. That was until humans who were jealous of the Gummi Bears' magical powers forced the species into a permanent exile from their own kingdom. It was widely thought by humans that the Gummi Bears faded away into the stories of legends and fables, but unbeknownst to them, a group of six (seven from the second season on) Gummi Bears still live nearby, making their homes underneath the medieval kingdom of Dunwyn in a series of subterranean tunnels affectionately called “Gummi Glen”.

And just who are these Gummi Bears? They are...

Gruffi Gummi (Bill Scott/Corey Burton) is incredibly old-fashioned, and wants to always do things the “old Gummi way. Despite this, he is the leader of the group, and is very skilled with making sure that the trap doors and other mechanical devices within Gummi Glen work properly.

Then you have Zummi Gummi (Paul Winchell/Jim Cummings), the oldest of the Gummi Bears. He is the “Keeper of Gummi Wisdom”, and the holder of the Gummi Medallion. He's the group's magician, and provided that he can remember the magic words, his spells can work perfectly. But most of the time, they backfire in a big way!

Grammi Gummi (June Foray) is the Gummi Bear matriarch. She cooks, cleans, and is one of only two Gummi Bears who know the recipe for...well...I'll tell you a little later in this blog.

There's Tummi Gummi (Lorenzo Music), a teenaged Gummi Bear whose heart is as big as his size. Sure, he's laid-back to the point where some would call him lazy, and his personality is easy going...but whenever the Gummi Bears find themselves in danger, he is always the first one to respond to the fight. If Tummi Gummi applies himself, he can be quite valuable.

Sunni Gummi (Katie Leigh) is the only teenaged girl Gummi, and she often closes the book on traditional Gummi history, and is fascinated by the world of human fashion and culture. She is the other one who knows the secret recipe for...yeah, yeah...I'll tell you later.

Cubbi Gummi (Noelle North) is the youngest of the Gummi Bears, and has dreams of becoming a Gummi Knight someday. But, Cubbi also has been cursed with a short attention span, and can easily get sidetracked by something mysterious and exciting.

The seventh gummi joins the cast in the second season. Gusto Gummi (Rob Paulsen) was stranded on a deserted island for a dozen years with his toucan, Artie Deco. He meets Tummi and Gruffi after they crash on his island, and brought Gusto home just before a volcanic eruption destroyed his island. Gusto is most known for thinking outside the box, which impresses both Sunni and Cubbi.

For years, the Gummi Bears have successfully managed to avoid any contact with humans...but in the very first episode of the series, the Gummi Bears cover is blown by a young boy named Cavin.

TRIVIA: Cavin was played by five different voice actors; Christian Jacobs, Brett Johnson, David Faustino, Jason Marsden, and R.J. Williams.

Anyway, Cavin ends up being abandoned in the woods after a group of ogres capture his human allies, and accidentally stumbles into Gummi Glen. It turns out that Cavin is in possession of a legendary Gummi Medallion (it was found by Cavin's grandfather years earlier), and the other Gummi Bears want to know exactly how he got the medal. At some point, Cavin manages to escape after Tummi Gummi ends up sipping a special concoction (yes, I promise that I will reveal what it is in due time). But when a common enemy presents himself (the evil Duke Sigmund Igthorn and his army of ogres), Cavin stands side by side with the Bears, and becomes one of their strongest allies.

Cavin becomes close with all of the Gummi Bears (in particular with Cubbi and Tummi), and Princess Calla also befriends the Gummi Bears sometime during the series.

But what exactly does Duke Sigmund Igthorn have against the humans and the Gummi Bears?

Well, in the case of the human population, it's simple. Igthorn was once considered the greatest knight in all of Dunwyn, but after he was exposed for plotting against King Gregor, he was exiled, finding refuge in Castle Drekmore. He formed his army of ogres and constantly seeks his revenge against Dunwyn.

And his beef with the Gummi Bears stems from one of their finest creations. A certain recipe for a certain kind of juice that makes Gummi Bears bounce and gives human beings temporary super strength. A recipe that only Grammi Gummi and Sunni Gummi know.

Don't worry though. I too know the secret that goes into making the perfect batch of Gummiberry Juice.

It's just unfortunate that Gummi Berries don't really exist in, the next best thing I can do is make substitutions with real fruits. I don't know if you want to try this recipe out, but hey, it's worth a shot, right?

Anyway, in the cartoon, the recipe went like this.


6 handfuls of red berries
4 orange berries
3 purple berries
4 blue berries
3 green berries
1 yellow berry

Once you have the ingredients in the right amount, all you have to do is the 3-step stir. Stir slow to the right, then slow to the left, and then tap the pot to banish the bubbles.

Sounds pretty good, doesn't it? Now, here's my just made up spur-of-the-moment version of it using various fruit juices.

For the handful of red berries, try using a red juice as a base, such as cranberry cocktail or fruit punch.
For the orange berries, add in four cups of pulp-free orange juice.
For the purple berries, add three cups of grape juice.
For the blue berries, the closest thing I can think of is 4 cups of Ocean Spray Blueberry cocktail.
The green berries can be added in using three cups of lemonade or limeade.
As for the single yellow berry, a squirt of lemon juice can work.

Now the cartoon recipe states that you need to remove the bubbles, but if you want to make it fizzy, you can always add ginger ale or 7-Up, or Sprite.

Of course, this recipe works if you are making a big bowl of Gummiberry Juice. If you want to make a smaller version, use tablespoons instead of cups.

Now, this recipe is not one that I have tested, so I don't know how good it is. But maybe that's something that I will try out now that I have it written down. Hmmm...

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