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The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Adventures of the Gummi Bears is an '80s Disney series loosely inspired by the popular candy of the same name. It tells the story of fabled bears thought to be extinct until they're discovered and befriended by a boy who pledges to keep their secret. There's a strong focus on doing good, and the characters join forces to protect each other and the rest of their community, even when doing so gets them no recognition for their efforts. Villains aren't scary, but they do cause strife in the kingdom, and you'll see mishaps such as characters crashing into each other and heavy objects falling on people's heads. This enjoyable cartoon is fun for parents and kids to enjoy together.
What's the story?
In ADVENTURES OF THE GUMMI BEARS, the last remaining descendants of an ancient civilization once renowned for its magical prowess -- the Gummi Bears -- live tucked away in a remote part of the forest. After centuries of peaceful coexistence, jealousy caused humans to cast the Gummis out of their home, forcing them into hiding for generations and turning tales of their existence into the stuff of fairy tales. But when a boy named Cavin (voiced by Christian Jacobs) stumbles upon them, they strike up a friendship that enables Tummi Gummi (Lorenzo Music), Cubbi Gummi (Noelle North), Gruffi Gummi (Corey Burton), and the rest of the gang to help Cavin keep peace in his kingdom and allows the Gummis to learn more about their shared history with humans.
Is it any good?
What '80s cartoons lack in impressive animation (by today's standards anyway), they usually make up for with their characters and storytelling, and this unpretentious Disney gem is no exception. Adventures of the Gummi Bears is jubilant, well-rounded, and funny, and the characters' busy adventures transport viewers to a magical kingdom where mini multicolored bears and a few special humans work together to unlock the secrets of their past and to ward off the bad guys who mean them harm.
Also typical of '80s productions, the show's villains tend to be more bumbling than foreboding, so even with a team of ogres in the mix, little of what happens on-screen will frighten kids. The medieval setting and the blend of magical creatures, castles, kings, and princesses are great for young imaginations, and its nostalgic nature makes this pleasant series fun watch-together fare.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how animation has changed between when Adventures of the Gummi Bears was made and now. Do modern styles make it more difficult to separate what's real from what's not? How does this affect content that's scary or violent?
Kids: What are some of your favorite fairy tales? Why is it fun to imagine the world differently from reality? If you were magical, what kind of power would you like to have?
Why is it important to relate to people who are different from you? Given enough effort, can we find common ground with everyone? How can differences be a positive force in relationships?
- Premiere date: September 14, 1985
- Cast: Lorenzo Music, Corey Burton, Noelle North
- Network: Disney Channel
- Genre: Kids' Animation
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Princesses, Fairies, Mermaids, and More, Friendship, Great Boy Role Models, Great Girl Role Models
- Character Strengths: Teamwork
- TV rating: NR
- Available on: DVD
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