TaleSpin reviews


10 / 10 10 / 10

Best. Series. EVER,

To tell the truth, even though I'm from 1984 and was old enough to watch TaleSpin when it used to air here in France, I just didn't watch TV series that much. And I really discovered TaleSpin only two years ago...

In a way, this makes my opinion even less biased, because I have absolutely no nostalgic effect on it. And to cut it short : I love this show.

On first sight, the show may seem like a Jungle Book spin-off, as three famous characters (Baloo, Louie and Shere Khan) are present - but this is VERY far from the truth, the show being very unique and creative on almost every side : clever and varied stories, great characters, good animation and orchestral musics...

And while this was a series "marketed" with kids in mind, it has different levels of reading, so that both kids and adults alike will love the stories. The show never hesitates to mention "hard" topics : money problems, jealousy, treason, war, death...while staying true to the Disney values!

I believe that what makes Talespin work is the characters AND the scenarios/storytelling. Let's start by saying that the Talespin writers have done a ***MUCH*** better work with these characters than the Jungle book ever did.
Why? Because the characters from Talespin are many-sided :

- Baloo is torn between being a father for Kit, and being his best friend; torn between liking Rebecca, and wanting to quit his job / buy back the Sea Duck; torn between being having fun, and doing his job correctly...

- Kit is torn between being independant and between letting him taken care of; torn between trusting Baloo and trusting Rebecca...

- Rebecca is torn between loving Baloo, and wanting to fire/strangle him; torn between being a good mother for Molly, and running her business; torn between trusting Baloo and following her own ideas.

- Shere Khan isn't really the "bad guy" you may expect, but more a neutral character - while he actually acts more like a Lex Luthor from Smallville...

- Louie and Karnage are more one-sided, although can be "stuck" in unusual situations...and help on the comical side (ex : "For a fuel dollars more", "Stuck on you")

- Wildcat is the Goofy of the troop, yet a very original character and one the funniest ever encountered! You just have to watch to understand...

Now you'll excuse me, but that's more character development that what I can find in even famous and high budget live series...And that doesn't mean they are "out of character", I mean : everyone has multiple sides.

And I didn't even talk about the high-level voice actors, which were doing a awesome job and gave real personalities to the characters.

The show was HUGE at Disney : it had 4 teams working on it at the same time (with countless writers, which explains the huge variety of the scripts), 5 animation facilities from all over the world (France, Japan, Asia, ...), millions of people watching every episode when it aired, and had in total a bigger budget than the animated film released that year : The Little Mermaid!

It's also one TV cartoon where the focus is on the adult characters : and I find this to be pretty rare. Usually, the adult characters are only there for support, while the youngest are the real "heroes" : there, it's (almost) the opposite. Almost, because there's Kit, but he's not really the typical child...Of course there are adults in superheroes shows, but that's totally different : they're not *realistic* and very stereotypics.

Of course not everything's perfect : if I had to name flaws, I would have to say : the reset button. This IS annoying. I would SO MUCH want the characters to evolve, and longer story arcs, with more continuity. Of course, it helped getting more varied stories, and audiences could jump on the show at anytime - but if there's ever a future for this series, I don't want the reset button. Comics would be a GREAT answer already (please DO it, Boom!!!)

Also, the animation is not always very good : the Japan and France staff did amazing work, but the Asian production facilities sometimes produced very average animation. Then again, even the "worst" episodes animation still look so much better than anything produced nowadays...

The show takes place in the 30's, and everything looks coherent from that point : from the look of the planes to the situations. Yes, there can be a few mistakes, but they're enough rare to forget them. It's very amazing to see a cartoon showing both a huge amount of creativity (Cape Suzette, Thembria, Air pirates, etc...) AND a realistic setting.

Yes, realistic is the word. Matters like fenimism and machism ("A feminine air") is something I have rarely encountered in any animated film...And almost every episode has something that you don't expect to see.

References to the 1st world war is very surprising too, that's the first Disney I see talking about it. (even if lightly)

I could make this even longer, but in a few words, this is an animated gem that Disney should be proud of, and should SHOW it!

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January 23, 2017
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I love this show and it still gets me :mad: that they cancel it. Stupid Einser.░x░

September 24, 2016
Canada Is not currently on the site
I have written a lot about this series for a long time now; but I felt that even the television series held back too much now. A lot of the episodes were well done and the stories were great and all; but the comics did a lot of things the television series didn't do. I don't know why the television series decided to hold back and have Don Karnage forget that Kit was one of his former members; but the comics embraced Kit's former pirate life. The Gates of Shambhala Part Three is a perfect example because they not only referenced Kit's pirate past; they basically answered the question of Kit actually committing a legit crime. The problem is; the comics were a mess logic wise, artwork wise and continuity wise in many of the comics; but most of those stories were wonderful ideas and they ran with the characters and gave them a lot of backstory. Like WildCat working for Ravenwood for example. Like Baloo having Lillian Ravenwood as a childhood friend and having a stunt plane in Clementine. There was even a story line reason for Don Karnage forgetting Kit in Pirate For A Day. Also; kids shooting guns in Idiots Aboard and even full blown Nazi parodies in Dog Of War!

As much as I think TaleSpin deserves full marks for the television series; that is because it looks professional and the performances were top notch. The stories were merely very good. The comics had less professional and less quality performances; but their story idea really fleshed out the series characters. It's a shame either way that Disney treated this as a fourth wheel in a block because it should have been the main event and a statement on Disney being the alternative to Warner Brothers. They didn't see it that way and we're still waiting to see if TaleSpin can even get a big enough voice to get a reboot of this series.

***** for the television series, **** 1/2 for the comics and a hearty "Nuts to You!" (Cubbi Gummi reference) to the clueless Disney company out there.

September 24, 2016
usa Female Is not currently on the site

September 07, 2011
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I only found out about it in 2007. Channle surfing.

July 23, 2011
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any one can agree with that!

November 16, 2010
Usa Is not currently on the site
No weapon can sever the soul from me
I totally agree, TaleSpin rocked. I wasn't born in the 80s, but I used to watch reruns all the time and knew the theme song by heart. You are so right, Disney ought to show off TaleSpin and animators/writers in general should take a tip or two here! :)

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