Nostalgia with a Twist: TaleSpin

I won’t try and make up any excuses here, life happens and the project got sidelined just a tad. As you can probably guess, it is no longer a Disney Afternoon week so let’s call it Disney Afternoon August! A positive spin is always good for the soul.

Pretending there wasn’t a few weeks long delay, let’s get this show back on the road with TaleSpin. One of Disney’s more interesting shows to me anyhow. Though it doesn’t serve as a spin-off/tie-in, TaleSpin shares several of its key characters with that of Disney’s The Jungle Book. The main character in the show is Baloo, who is also the main friend of the human in The Jungle Book. Shere Khan trades in his evil jungle ware (nothing) for a nice front office and hired goons. There are more characters who come on over for the ride as well. But like I said before, none of them are really related to their Jungle Book counterparts nor do I think there is ever any official mention of it being related.

There’s your minor back story of TaleSpin.

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An opening shot that is rather plain for a change. And I mean plain in a nice way. We start on a rainy night with a plane coming into the foreground. See how nice and easy it was for me to explain it to you? I would note that the plane is a banana yellow color, which just seems so bright.

We come in close to the pilot and his co-pilot. The pilot lets out a big hearty laugh while the co-pilot looks on distressed as their is heavy rain and lightning pounding down on their plane. In a move that is quite surprising for Disney, neither pilot nor co-pilot have their seat belts on. I guess they assumed not many kids would get to fly their own plane, but still an odd oversight.

Now we see not only is there rain and lightning to contend with, but they are also flying the plane through a narrow rocky structure. The obstacles just keep building up for our pilots.

And then… it goes nowhere. Absolutely nowhere! We switch from the rainy night and daredevil flying to being chased in broad daylight by 4 other planes. Somewhere along the line, they also picked up a 3rd member of their crew. I’m not really sure what happened there. And these planes apparently come armed as they are being shot by some random dudes chasing them.

Now the pilot is getting drunk (this is Disney so I’m sure he isn’t actually drinking booze, but if it looks like a duck, sounds like a duck, chances are…) and yelling random things at the screen. We see him do a barrel roll which is an impressive maneuver probably would have meant more if he did it during his mountain run, but alas. Then the co-pilot (perhaps we should give em formal names at some point) is seeing also shouting something.

It should be noted that the first mention of the title TaleSpin is while the pilot is doing a barrel roll. You get it… Tale Spin.. the plane spun… I’m sure someone is retired now off of that idea!

Okay, I had to rewind it a few times, but it appears that the little bear (let’s go with that for now) jump into the plane from the passenger side window. Where would you be coming from that you are able to jump into a plane from its window? And there is yet another random passenger with them.

Big bear gives female bear (the second companion we met) his pilot hat. And they look on at each other with huge smilies. Now female bear is with let’s say Hawaiian bear (he has one a vacation shirt) and they apparently have someone tied up, and are high fiving each other over it. I’m not really sure if this is a good or bad thing.  Female bear also returns the favor of 3 seconds ago by dropping a bowl of popcorn onto big bear’s head. Women! Even bear women!

Okay, I have to admit I love Disney sometimes way too much. Where else would you see a rhino in a suit with a gorilla in a suit holding a gun, chasing bears in a speed boat. Not only do you see it, you don’t question it. That’s the magic of Disney at works folks.

Big bear is next seeing swinging (not sure the origin of the rope) in the snow passed his plane and into a wall. Ouch?

Now we have a gardener cat (I only say that because he was tending to a bush, but he isn’t dressed like a normal gardener) and apparently the pilot is flying WAY too close to the ground as he nearly beheads this wild cat.

In what I’m assured would be an excellent Olympic sport, we see the little bear sky surfing. I’m not sure what one surfs on exactly in the air, I guess it would use technology like a kit where the plane is going fast enough to keep him afloat or else gravity is slacking! Of course, life isn’t all fun and games in the skies, as they are being dressed by a well dressed… well I’m not quite sure what type of animal he is. Let’s go with wolf? He opens fire on them, but little bear gracefully dodges.

Then big bear unloads his secret weapon… pineapples… Yes big bear throws pineapples into the propeller on his plane, which of course slices them perfectly (how do you think I make my salads?) and they land… squarely on the face of the dude chasing them. And people say snipers need a lot of training.

We arrived at the montage portion of the intro. What you ask is the montage portion? While it hasn’t been mentioned officially, its the part of an intro where they try to build excitement by throwing in a bunch of random events from the show. This is made most popular by the Power Rangers, where the intro usually breaks down the main characters before showing them fighting and their zords. But we will get there another day.

Anyhow, we have a random group of animals swinging onto the screen from the left and the right. In-between these odd bookmarks, we see random events like two passengers being flung to the back of the plane, big bear giving the thumbs up to female bear (he keeps giving her his heart and she just stomps on it!)  and the rhino from before using the gorilla’s head as a battering ram! To be noted, we see the evil tiger villain briefly during this montage period.

The intro ends with an animated version of big bear giving the audience the thumbs up while the title is shown on screen.

It goes without saying that I would recommend this show. I mean a rhino and gorilla as mob enforcers? I was sold from that moment really! There’s nothing else to say!

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