Thursday, February 3, 2011
The Bear Necessities Of A Good Breakfast: TaleSpin Cereal Figures!
What "TaleSpin" character did you find in your box of Kellogg's Cocoa Krispies cereal? Figures of Baloo, Kit, Molly and Don Karnage were available as part of a big promotion for the 1990 Disney Afternoon TV series. These figures could also be ordered as a set through the mail.
TaleSpin took Baloo the Bear, Louie the Orangutan, and Shere Khan the tiger from Disney's 1967 film, "The Jungle Book", and cast the characters in new roles. Baloo became a cargo pilot for a business called Higher for Hire. Louie became an island nightclub owner, and Shere Khan was a ruthless tycoon. Baloo and Kit Cloudkicker worked for Rebecca Cunningham (mother to Molly). The characters often had run-ins with air pirate Don Karnage.
Kellogg's made sets of figurines from other Disney Afternoon shows, too. This Kellogg's promotion also featured figure sets for Gummi Bears, DuckTales, and Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers.
Kellogg's also had a cereal prize promotion featuring TaleSpin stampers.
My favorite TaleSpin story is "Time Waits For No Bear." This was one of the very first episodes (it was shown on The Disney Channel before the series debuted on The Disney Afternoon) and there are some production glitches (the voices of the hilarious Gorilla Goon and Rhino Goon are accidentally switched in one scene, and mechanic lion Wildcat's costume is the victim of some paint color confusion as he gives a Hippo lady and her Stork husband a tour of the town of Cape Suzette). This episode sticks out in my mind not only because it is really funny, but also because it starts off with a robbery committed by an Elephant cat-burglar! It's not surprising that the police end up catching him (it's an elephant---how could they miss him?!?).