“Here in the land of Wuz they’re having twice the fun, cause every single thing is really two in one…”
I was only 4 years old when Disney’s Wuzzles premiered on television, the same day that Disney’s Adventures of the Gummi Bears premiered. The show centered on a bunch of characters that were two creatures in one, say, a lion and a bumblebee, for example. They all lived on an island filled with things that were also two in one, like telephonographs and appleberries. How come, then, did the citizens of the Isle of Wuz last only 13 episodes, while the family at Gummi Glen last 4 seasons? The answer, in my opinion: Bill Scott.
Bill Scott was a brillant voice actor and director. During WWII, Scott served under Ronald Reagan in the U.S. Army’s First Motion Picture Unit. There he worked with men like Frank Thomas. Later, he would be both a write for Warner Bros. and Jay Ward Productions. Probably everyone reading this has heard his voice work. Don’t think you have? Ever watch the old The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show? I thought so. Bill was our favorite moose, “Bullwinkle”. he also provided the voice of the dim-witted Canadian Mountie “Dudley Do-Right”.
Bill Scott with his “Rocky”, June Foray.
In the mid 80′s, Scott joined the team at Walt Disney Studios.There, he would take on two characters that would be his last: “Moosel” in Wuzzles and “Gruffi Gummi” in Gummi Bears. However, with only 13 episodes of each of the series finished, Scott died of a heart attack at the age of 65.
However, why, then, did Gummi Bears last so much longer than Wuzzles, given that they both featured Scott? Well, without one of their major voice stars, both were probably in jeopardy. Looking at the two shows, Disney probably had more vested into the former, with a bigger cast and such. Ratings for the bears were probably higher as well, being that they were named after a candy (which, in fact, is what is rumored to have been the inspiration for Michael Eisner to come up with the series). In my opinion, I think that Wuzzles would have gone on for another season, at least, if Scott did not die. They ended up recasting the voice for “Gruffi Gummi” for the rest of the run of Gummi Bears. In any case, after only 13 episodes, the Isle of Wuz was lost forever. However, toys were still produced and I still got them.
Numerous toys were made. Plush, posable figures, and books. Evidently, many characters were introduced thru these toys, but I only remember the original six, which I have in poseable form. I give to you… The Wuzzles.
“Ooooo… They got originality, living with a split personality.”
Hoppopotamus- Half Rabbit, Half Hippopotamus
Moosel- Half Moosel, Half Seal
Rhinokey- Half Rhinoceros, Half Monkey
Bumblelion- Half Bumblebee, Half Lion
Butterbear- Half Bear, Half Butterfly
Eleroo- Half Elephant, Half Kangaroo
For being over 25 years old, I am surprised that these vinyls have survived as well as they had. I do remember having a few of the plush, but they are long gone. I always had a fun time playing with these figures with my brother. My favorite Wuzzle was Rhinokey, but I always had a soft spot for Eleroo, who is very accident prone.
In my research for this article, I did come across this from Destination Vinylmation. Looks like one of their contributors, Annmarie, did a line of Vinylmations based off these loveable characters. Pretty sweet, Annemarie. (Photos from Destination Vinylmation)
Anyone want their very own Wuzzle? This time around, I have up for grabs:
You could have your very own Hoppopotamus (who was voiced by Jo Anne Worley).
How can you win? If you could combine any two animals, what would you choose? Why would you choose them? Share your thoughts and you could be a winner. Make sure that you are registered over on our forums. If you aren’t, I won’t be able to get in touch with you if you are the winner.
Until next week, enjoy the “two types of fun wrapped up in one”.