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Jul 012015

Many superheroes are usually vigilantes with a cause, or accident victims that acquired superpowers. Very few are chosen based on a legacy like the hero in The Adventures of the American Rabbit.

In a world where everyone is a talking animal, there’s a legacy about a chosen hero of justice. This chosen hero is Rob the rabbit. He’s a smart young man that’s great at sports and plays piano like a pro. Not many rabbits can do that, which shows that Rob has a lot of potential in more ways than one.

As the American Rabbit, Rob can fly, life heavy objects, and run fast with the roller-skate wheels attached to his feet. The transformation is simple. Rob turns into the American Rabbit by sprinting a short distance and turns back by saying his own name. I wonder what Captain America or Wonder Woman would say about this patriotic superhero.

The wise old rabbit that tells Rob about his destiny is only known as Mentor, though it would’ve been nice to know his real name. He pops in and out throughout Rob’s childhood and occasionally provides counsel when necessary while in a different guise.

Rob’s journey begins in San Francisco, where he finds a job as a piano player at a nightclub called the Panda Monium. It’s a catchy name since a panda named Teddy owns it. Rob becomes a fast friend with Teddy and the other employees. I like that they are such a friendly bunch.

The villains in this film are a gang of jackals that run a Mafia-style protection service. When Teddy refuses to pay, the jackals destroy his nightclub. Knowing that the jackals won’t stop there, Teddy and co-owner Bunny O’Hare organize a rally and eventually take their house band the White Brothers on a cross- country tour in order to raise money to rebuild the nightclub.

The jackals’ leader is Vultor. This guy is a man of mystery. His face is completely hidden under his shirt and tie and he walks awkwardly, which leaves the impression that he’s not entirely what he appears to be. Vultor will do anything to keep the people from rebelling against him, even trying to kill Rob and his friends at every city on the tour.

Another one of Rob’s friends who travels with the group is Ping-Pong the gorilla. He’s the hired muscle, but is very friendly and soft-spoken just like Teddy. It’s also interesting to know that Lorenzo Music voices Ping-Pong. Unlike some of his other characters like Garfield and Tummi Gummi from The Adventures of the Gummi Bears, Ping-Pong doesn’t crave food so frequently. Somehow it just seems out of character for that distinctive voice.

This was a good animated movie. It had great 80s style superhero action and the potential for a TV series. Unfortunately, that never happened which is a real shame. I could only imagine what other adventures the American Rabbit would’ve had.

Aug 192011

I remember Disney’s Adventures of the Gummi Bears (1985-1991) from Saturday mornings back in the 80s. In a world of fantasy and enchantment, there resides the legendary and reclusive Gummi Bears. Centuries ago, they were once a great civilization. Now it’s down to only a handful.

They include Grammi the mother of the group that does all of the cooking and cleaning, Gruffi the grouchy craftsman, Zummi the wise magician, Tummi an easygoing teen who enjoys good food, Sunni a young preteen that’s highly curious about human culture, and little Cubbi the aspiring knight.

Their only human friends are Cavin a young squire, who aspires to be a knight and Princess Calla, who is highly adventurous and is best friends with Sunni. To other humans, the Gummis are only thought of as nothing more than fairytales. The Gummis always try to make sure they keep it that way.

Together they help defend the Kingdom of Dunwin from renegade knight Duke Igthorn and his army of multicolored ogres. Where is Puss in Boots when you need him?

At other times the Gummis face other enchanted creatures like dragons, trolls, griffins, etc.

One of my most favorite characters is Tummi because he is a lot like Garfield. Not only because the same voice actor (Lorenzo Music) plays him, but Tummi also has the same relationship with food as Garfield does. One thing I didn’t understand was that Tummi likes to snack on fruits and vegetables, and to the Gummis it’s labeled as junk food.

In later seasons, a new Gummi Bear joins the group, Gusto. He’s an artist, who is also a big influence on Cubbi and Sunni. It’s nice to know that there were still other Gummis out there if they’re close to extinction.

Then of course, there’s the Gummi berry juice that’s made from Gummi berries. It makes the Gummis bounce around off the walls and high above ogres, which gives them an exciting edge. The juice also gives humans super strength. Unfortunately, it doesn’t last very long and only works on humans once a day.

This series is a real classic. I must admit that those Gummi Bears are about as slick and resourceful as the Smurfs, and just as friendly too.