Bonkers (TV series): Wikis

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Bonkers
Format Animation
Starring Jim Cummings
April Winchell
Earl Boen
Ron Perlman
Frank Welker
Rip Taylor
Corey Burton
Robert Ridgely
Eileen Brennan
Sherry Lynn
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 4
No. of episodes 64
Production
Running time 30 min
Broadcast
Original channel Disney Channel
Original run September 4, 1993 – December 21, 1995

Bonkers is an animated American television series that aired from September 4, 1993 to December 21, 1995 in first-run syndication (after a "preview airing" on the Disney Channel). The syndicated run was available both separately, and as part of The Disney Afternoon. The show was last seen on Toon Disney, but was taken off the schedule in late 2004.

The series originated from an attempt at a television adaptation of the 1988 film Who Framed Roger Rabbit,[citation needed] which never reached production due to legal complications[citation needed]. As a result, the show created original characters, but still set the action in a Roger Rabbit-like world where "toons" and humans co-exist[citation needed]. Unlike the film that inspired it[citation needed], however, Bonkers was entirely animated and featured no live-action.

Contents

Premise

The premise of the series was that Bonkers D. Bobcat, an anthropomorphic bobcat who was a popular cartoon star (he appeared in Disney's Raw Toonage shorts in the fictional world of Bonkers as well) had washed out of show business and became a cop. He was made the junior partner of Detective Lucky Piquel, a grim and ill-tempered human who hates toons. Throughout the series, the pair work together to solve crimes in the Hollywood, Los Angeles, California region. Bonkers repeatedly tried to win Piquel's praise, but usually just ended up ruining missions with his antics.

After several years[citation needed] of working with Bonkers, Piquel was given an FBI job in Washington, D.C., and with great glee was finally able to leave Bonkers, but finally realized that after all the time spent hating working with Bonkers he had grown to love him[citation needed]. At the end of the "Lucky" episodes, Bonkers was given a new partner, the attractive[citation needed] Sergeant Miranda Wright. Although also human, she was far more patient and tolerant of his antics than was Piquel[citation needed]. With Miranda, Bonkers was more the brunt of the slapstick.

Production

The series played 65 episodes, as part of The Disney Afternoon. They were not created in chronological order: The "Miranda" episodes were actually produced first, excluding the two-part series premiere, which featured Piquel and Bonkers meeting for the first time[citation needed]. This discrepancy becomes evident when observing the look of the main character in both sets of episodes[citation needed]. In the Raw Toonage shorts, Bonkers was orange with one brown spot, golf-club-like ears, and an undone tail. When the Lucky Piquel episodes (produced by Robert Taylor) were made, the character had a major overhaul: skinnier ears, two black spots on each his tufts, black Tigger-like stripes on his tail, and a different uniform. The Miranda Wright-era episodes (produced by Duane Capizzi & Robert Hathcock) use Bonkers's original look from Raw Toonage. The series also occasionally featured episodes of "cartoons" from Bonkers's pre-police actor days, all lifted from the Raw Toonage series.

The Raw Toonage shorts were an after-thought of production[citation needed]. While the Bonkers series was in pre-production, the Raw Toonage team, headed by Larry Latham produced 12 "He's Bonkers" shorts. These shorts were, in the context of Bonkers, explained to be some of the shorts Bonkers made at Wackytoons Studios before he was fired. The animated short entitled Petal to the Metal was originally shown in theaters in 1992 before the feature movie 3 Ninjas,[1] while the rest were shown on the program Raw Toonage. In syndication, the shorts were collected into four full episodes with fillers of new material in between.

Meanwhile, Duane Capizzi, making his producing debut, was brought into the fold and teamed with animation veteran Robert Hathcock and charged with making 65 episodes (a full season's worth in syndication). The episodes theoretically would feature Bonkers with Wright as his partner. These episodes came back from overseas animation studios looking less than spectacular, causing considerable concern at Disney[citation needed]. Ultimately, the original team was replaced, and a team headed by Robert Taylor came in[citation needed]. Only 19 of the original-order shows survived to air[citation needed]; they are what is known as the "Miranda Wright episodes" of Bonkers, shown toward the end of the series in the official continuity[citation needed]. Greg Weisman (co-creator of Disney's Gargoyles) worked on the Miranda episodes, and Bonkers's relationship with Miranda inspired Goliath's relationship with Elisa Maza[citation needed].

Taylor threw out the old premise of the show[citation needed]. He replaced it with the Lucky Piquel scenario, but his episodes were revised and established to occur before the original episodes. 42 episodes of the "Piquel Era" were made, including one (New Partners On The Block) which attempted to bridge the gap between the two somewhat contradictory storylines.

The syndicated version of the series (which omits several of the original episodes that survived first-run) was last seen on Toon Disney, but due to bad scheduling and the addition of Jetix, it has vanished completely off the network.

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New Partners on the Block

New Partners on the Block was a transition episode that showed how Bonkers went from having Lucky Piquel as a Partner to having Miranda Wright as his newest partner. The episode was much like the pilot episode/movie "Going Bonkers", using the CGI rain and bringing back the characters that were associated with Bonkers, those characters being Fawn Deer, Jitters A. Dog, and Grumbles Grizzly and, unlike the pilot, had more speaking and screen time.

At the end of the episode, Bonkers, along with Miranda and Lucky, captured the main villain, Fireball Frank, thus making Bonkers and Miranda a team and giving Lucky a job as an FBI Agent in Washington, D.C. Piquel, his family Dyl (wife) and Marylin (daughter), Fall-Apart Rabbit, Toots and Brodrick the toon radio all subsequently relocated to Washington, D.C., allowing them to be written out of the show.

However, this episode has not been seen in between 6½ to 12½ years[citation needed].

Characters

Bonkers D. Bobcat

Bonkers, as he appears in the series.

Voiced by Jim Cummings, Bonkers D. Bobcat is an overly energetic and hyperactive cartoon bobcat that works in the Toon Division of the Hollywood PD. Once a big name cartoon star for Wackytoons Studios, he was fired due to his show being bumped out of first place in the ratings. He was introduced to law enforcement when he unknowingly saved cartoon celebrity Donald Duck from a park mugger (mostly due to the help of officer Lucky Piquel) and was given full credit for the mugger's capture.

For his actions, he received the Citizen of Valor award by the Chief of Police, Leonard Kanifky. Bonkers, while soaking in the praise, told the chief about how his experiences starring in police cartoons (the "Miranda" episodes[citation needed]) helped in the capture of the mugger. Chief Kanifky mistook his fictional roles as real life, world wide police accounts and, thinking that Bonkers would be a benefit to the police force, asked if the former cartoon star would like a job working for the Hollywood PD, which Bonkers accepted because of his recent unemployment from Wackytoons Studios. Bonkers then requested Lucky as his partner. and the two established the beginning of the Toon Division. When Bonkers first came home to Lucky's house, he was treated as a sort of adopted son to Lucky[citation needed].

Though Bonkers means well, he usually messes up cases for his fellow officers due to his lack of experience in law enforcement and his wild, exaggerated, cartoony nature. He even tells Lucky at one point that he isn't good at logical police thinking because he is a toon. It is interesting to note that not only does Bonkers make a design change between the 'Lucky' and 'Miranda' episodes, his personality is slightly tweaked as well.

In the 'Miranda' episodes, he's portrayed as a rather clumsy, somewhat foolish character who ends up being the shows punching bag. In the Lucky episodes, he's less of a buffoon and more of a Inspector Clouseau-type, in control of himself (though still hyperactive), and carries an extensive knowledge about the toon and their behavior, which is an asset on cases dealing with rogue toons (Lucky would very rarely acknowledge this, although he knows it deep inside[citation needed]). The joke is his lack of law enforcement experience and procedure is still his "Achilles Heel."

Lucky Shirley Piquel

Lucky Piquel, as he appears in the series.

Voiced by Jim Cummings, detective Lucky Piquel is Bonkers's partner from the "Lucky Episodes". He is a slovenly, morbidly obese, street-wise mustachioed man. He is balding, but wears a toupée. Lucky is a serious, hard-boiled detective whose by-the-book nature is at odds with Bonkers' decidedly more maniacal approach to crime solving. In the first several episodes in which he appeared, he defeated the villain by falling on them or otherwise crushing them beneath his massive girth. Though he often was able to get to the core of the cartoon universe by finally embracing it, with Bonkers' help. He is the father of Marilyn and husband of Dilandra or who he normally calls "Dil" or "Dyl". It was revealed in Once In A Blue Toon that his middle name is Shirley, and that he has a 53 inch waistline.

Marilyn Piquel

Marylin Piquel, Lucky's daughter.

Lucky's child genius[citation needed] daughter, who is an aspiring artist as well as script/story writing and has deep connection to toons such as Bonkers, with her favorite toon being TV star Skunky Skunk. She is more than capable of taking care of herself and aids her father in a number of his cases often being the words of wisdom or source of knowledge to Lucky. Although looking like her mom Dilandra "Dil"/"Dyl" (aside from her big round glasses and freckled face), she also shares her father's hair color.

Dilandra (Dyl) Piquel

Voiced by April Winchell, she is Lucky's understanding wife who supports her husband and at times encourages their daughter Marilyn.

Miranda Wright

She is Bonkers's partner from the "Miranda Episodes".

Timmy Wright

He is the nephew of Miranda Wright who she babysits. Although seemingly cute and precious is sly and smart combined with a mischievous streak, who often delights in tormenting Bonkers with troublesome tricks or pranks such as a giant spiky itchy feather. He only shows his true colours around Bonkers as he knows no one not even his aunt Miranda Wright would believe anything negative about him, if it came from Bonkers.

Chief Leonard Kanifky

Voiced by Earl Boen, he is the absent-minded Chief of Police.

Sergeant Francis Q. Grating

Voiced by Ron Perlman, he is the boss of Bonkers and Miranda.

Fall Apart Rabbit

Fall Apart Rabbit, talking with his friend Bonkers.

Voiced by Frank Welker, he is Bonkers's clumsy friend and stunt-double back during Bonkers' Hollywood days, appearing only in the "Lucky Episodes." He literally falls apart at the drop of a hat and must wear bandages over various body parts to keep himself from dismantling. He is often remarkably stupid and goofy, even for a cartoon character[citation needed]. His voice is based upon that of Dustin Hoffman's character in Rainman[citation needed].

Fawn Deer

Voiced by Nancy Cartwright, Bonkers's love-interest; willing to do anything to please her. Appearing mainly in the "Miranda Episodes."

The Mad Hatter, The March Hare, and The Dormouse

From Disney's Alice in Wonderland. They commonly make appearances in Bonkers to add to the mayhem of the wacky show. They apparently live in the Hollywood Sign, the "H" is the Door.

Other characters

  • Toots - Bonkers's pet horn. Appearing only in the "Lucky Episodes."
  • Jitters A. Dog - A small, nervous dog who was Bonkers's sidekick in Raw Toonage; and the episodes with Miranda. His role in the series was of the straight man, constantly having serious bodily harm done to him through Bonkers' recklessness (and occasionally others). His catchphrase is, "I hate my life". Known as Bonkers's "best friend", though Jitters himself might disagree.
  • Grumbles Grizzly - was Bonkers's boss in Raw Toonage, appears occasionally in Bonkers. His speech pattern is similar to that of Porky Pig's[citation needed].
  • The Collector - the villain from the pilot episode ("Going Bonkers"), and therefore, the first criminal Bonkers encounters. He is a toon that collects other toons in suspended animation. At the end of the episode, he is revealed to simply be a deranged, cartoon obsessed human nerd in disguise. Sort of the opposite of the villain Judge Doom in "Who Framed Roger Rabbit", a villainous toon disguised as a human[citation needed].
  • Mr. Doodles - The Collector's evil henchman.
  • Wacky Weasel - the cunningest (and most feared as even the laid back Chief Leonard Kanifky was afraid of him) toon villain that ever existed who had a fixation for eggs of any kind which originally led to his capture (he broke into a prison because he heard it was full of "bad eggs"). Upon breaking out of jail, he went on a rampage through the city, running rings round the entire police force, before finally being outsmarted by Bonkers.
  • Scatter Squirrel - A crazed thief with a fixation for nuts of any kind, Lucky and Bonkers had to aid former Chief Leonard Kanifky in capturing him, in order for the mayor to give Kanifky's job back.
  • Toon Pencil - A toon graffiti artist who spread toon graffiti all over Hollywood, Marilyn had a major role in helping her father and Bonkers track him down by chasing the pencil into a surreal toon world where he (the pencil) normally would hide out.
  • The Bag - A deeply troubled toon who captured and stored objects and people inside of himself in a misguided belief that it would end his loneliness.
  • Skunky Skunk (Rip Taylor) - A favorite toon TV star of Marilyn Piquel who was framed for manslaughter by an embittered TV chief, who then tried to arrange a fatal accident for him.
  • Two-Bits
  • Professor Ludwig Von Drake (Corey Burton) - classic Disney genius duck who occasionally appears as a scientific expert or creator of inventions which Bonkers uses in his cases.
  • Al Vermin (Robert Ridgely) - The toon cockroach who is Bonkers's arch-nemesis from the Miranda era.
  • Lilith DuPrave, Wyatt, Mr. Blackenblue, Catia Legs Go-won-a-lot and Flaps the Elephant - five more Miranda-era villains.
  • Bucky Buzzsaw' (Pat Fraley) - A toon Beaver who stars in his own show at Wackytoon Studios. He appers in the Miranda Episodes.

Episodes

Video games

Bonker has inspired three video games. The first one, released for Super NES, Bonkers was released December 15, 1994. In the game, Bonkers is on his first case alone, and must retrieve the Toontown treasure of the Sorcerer's Hat (from Fantasia), the Mermaid's Voice (The Little Mermaid), and the Magic Lamp (Aladdin).

The second game, for the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis on October 1, 1995, was also titled Bonkers.

The third game, for the Game Gear was titled Bonkers: Wax Up!

References

  1. ^ Hicks, Chris. 1992-08-07. Movie Review: 3 Ninjas. Desert News, via desertnews.com, retrieved on 2007-08-29.

External links


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