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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Bonkers is a Disney animated cop show from the mid-'90s. Cartoon violence is a staple of this series, as it follows two officers in charge of the cartoon crimes unit of Hollywood. The cases are as silly as the characters, and due to the immortality of toons, no one is ever put in serious danger. This comes in handy as the officers demonstrate in each episode just how incompetent they are at their jobs.
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What's the Story?
BONKERS (voiced by Jim Cummings) is a cartoon bobcat and former television star who lost his fame and fortune. After Bonkers' series is canceled, he joins the Hollywood police force, solving cartoon-related crimes with his human partner Officer Piquel (also voiced by Jim Cummings), who has a particular hatred for cartoons. Together, the two work to help the cartoon stars of Hollywood, like the Mad Hatter and Donald Duck. However, Bonkers' seemingly uncontrollable hijinks often do more harm than good.
Is It Any Good?
Mischief is afoot in this cartoon buddy cop comedy. Bonkers the anthropomorphic bobcat is a riot to watch as he gets on every last nerve of his partner, Officer Piquel. The series is a fun watch for the whole family. Younger children may like Bonkers' wacky faces and prop humor, and adults can find enjoyment in the occasional nods to political humor, such as the Police Chief alluding to his desire to run for office (although he's adamant that he's not actually planning to run for any office).
Although Bonkers is usually getting in Officer Piquel's way when on the job, sometimes his antics do end up helping the investigation. The series ends up being a great lesson in patience and acceptance of others -- a lesson Officer Piquel also begins to learn as Bonkers becomes an important part of his life and family.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the buddy cop genre. How does Bonkers' and Officer Piquel's relationship reflect other buddy cop series or films you have seen? Why do you believe this dynamic is so frequently used?
Families can also talk about how Bonkers has aged. How does the animation style compare to modern-day cartoons? How has the portrayal of police officers in media changed or stayed the same over the years?
Bonkers often foregoes his responsibilities because he'd rather just have fun. How does this negatively affect his job? Why is it important to balance work and play?
- Premiere date: September 4, 1993
- Cast: Jim Cummings, Frank Welker, Earl Boen
- Network: Disney+
- Genre: Kids' Animation
- Topics: Adventures, Friendship
- TV rating: TV-Y
- Last updated: February 18, 2023
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