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Dec 172013
 

Next to seals, the polar bear is a wonderful animal to think of when it comes to the Christmas holiday, particularly the ones that drink Coke from the bottle. In honor of the Coca-Cola polar bear, I have a list of my top ten favorite bears in pop culture. Unfortunately, none of them are from the Arctic. So bear with me.

#10) Winnie the Pooh from Disney’s Winnie the Pooh: He’s a quiet and friendly bear that loves honey. What usually stands out to me is Pooh’s classic catchphrase. Whenever he finishes a honey pot, he always says, “Oh, bother. Empty.”

#9) Sancho Panda from The Adventures of Don Coyote and Sancho Panda: He is the nervous, but noble squire of Don Coyote and rides a donkey for a steed. Sancho is sensible, even though Don never listens to him when it comes to avoiding trouble, but you’ve got to hand it to him for trying.

#8) Lookout Bear (Michael B. Moynahan) from Zoobilee Zoo: This adventurous bear loves to travel. He drives a jeep and lives in a tent. It seems primitive compared to the other zoobles’ houses. I don’t think it even has a bathroom, but Lookout doesn’t seem to mind.

#7) The Country Bear Jamboree from Disney’s Magic Kingdom: This is a group of performing bears that perform country songs. It was one of the main attractions that’s been a part of Walt Disney World since the 70s and still remains there today. I never really had just one favorite among the group, but The Country Bear Jamboree has always been a favorite since I was a kid.

#6) The Buddy Bears from Garfield and Friends: Bobby, Billy, and Bertie are a trio of brothers, who sing, dance, and always get along with each other. Their antics often drive others crazy when their purpose is to teach important lessons to their viewers. Whether it’s to invade Garfield’s personal space or drop heavy objects on Roy the rooster, these bear cubs leave me laughing.

#5) Yogi Bear from Yogi Bear: There’s no doubt that he is one of Hanna Barbera’s biggest icons. Yogi, along with his good friend Boo-Boo, are friendly park bears that love food in picnic baskets and will do anything to get them. Yet it often results in driving Ranger Smith crazy. In later years, Yogi has adventures with the other talking animals of Hanna Barbera. And like Scooby-Doo, he was a team captain on the Laff-A-Lympics. He certainly is smarter than the average bear, not to mention friendlier.

#4) Little John from Disney’s Robin Hood: I totally remember this bear from when I was a kid. He is Robin Hood’s faithful companion when they go out helping the poor by rebelling against Prince John. Little John is a master of disguise just like Robin and has a fun persona.

On a side note: Some might confuse him with Baloo from Disney’s The Jungle Book because the same voice actor did both roles (Phil Harris). Do you think there’s a resemblance?

#3) Tummi Gummi from Disney’s Adventures of the Gummi Bears: He was always my most favorite of the Gummis, mainly because he is very similar to Garfield. Tummi sounds like Garfield and love to eat like Garfield. Isn’t that something?

#2) Teddy Ruxpin from The Adventures of Teddy Ruxpin: Technically, Teddy is an illiop, but when it comes down to it, he is in fact a bear. Teddy hails from the country of Rillonia and enjoys going on adventures in the land of Grundo with his best friends Grubby and Gimmick, as well as making new friends everywhere he goes. Teddy’s loyal and positive attitude always comes in handy when there’s a squabble among his friends. It’s all part of what makes this teenage bear such a big hero.

#1) Fozzie Bear from Muppets franchise: What bear could compete with this lovable and comedic performer. Fozzie not only does stand-up comedy. He’s also a singer, dancer, sketch comedy actor, and even plays the ukulele. Although Fozzie’s jokes can be corny sometimes, I find him to be a real creative comic, no matter what Statler and Waldorf say about it.

Jul 202011
 

We all know the tale of Don Quixote the noble, but delusional knight who looks for adventure with his squire Sancho Panza. The main version I remember best was the animated series, The Adventures of Don Coyote and Sancho Panda (1990-1991).

In a time of castles and villages, Don Coyote is a noble knight who travels around the countryside saving people from various evildoers. He’s not very bright, but isn’t entirely delusional. Don Coyote doesn’t fight any dangerous beasts, which is good because he is a total klutz with a lance as is his only weapon.

Don’s squire is Sancho Panda, who is more sensible but always nervous when faced with danger, whatever it may be. In other versions of Don Quixote, Sancho is a family man, which was never featured on this series.

Don’s steed is Rocinate the horse and Sancho’s steed is Dapple the donkey. These two animals can speak, but no one can understand them except for each other. That leaves the two steeds to provide their own hilarious commentary throughout the adventures.

Another crucial item that isn’t featured on this show is Don’s true love, the fair lady Dulcinea, even if she is only fictional. In a way, that’s a good thing, considering that Don and Sancho are the only animal-like characters in a land of humans. Secondly, searching for such a woman can be a major distraction for a couple of crusaders who travel all the time.

This was a clever series of hilarity and adventure. Whenever a hero is needed, Don Coyote always steps forward, though it’s never because he’s a brave knight. It’s because he’s the only one crazy enough to risk his own life for no charge. Whether that’s a compliment or not, Don Coyote always gets the job done for the greater good. No question about it.