Imagine another Earth similar to ours, yet altogether
different set in a time period reflecting the golden
age of air travel. Put in a handful of characters from one
of Walt Disney's animated classics and give them new lives;
add a generous helping of never-before-seen people, places,
and things; blend humor and drama in equal parts; cram in
as much fun and adventure as you can, adding a dash of danger
and a healthy dose of heart-filled storytelling. You now have
the formula for what is an unsung highlight of animated television
a series which many consider to be the finest the Disney
Company ever released.
TaleSpin, a spin-off loosely based on Walt Disney's 1967
adaptation of The Jungle Book, stars Baloo Bear as
an ace pilot from the harbor city of Cape Suzette, in a fantasy
world whose citizens are clothed, talking animal-people. The
fuzzy, fun-loving bear and his new best buddy, navigator Kit
Cloudkicker, fly deliveries for an air cargo company called
"Higher for Hire" run by Rebecca Cunningham, sharp
businesswoman and caring mother of young daughter Molly. Their
compatriots include the singing orangutan Louie, now the proud
manager of a swinging island nightclub, and also Higher for
Hire's trusty, rust-brained mechanic Wildcat.
Aboard the fabulous airplane the Sea Duck, these "friends
for life" travel to distant places, finding high-flying
action and adventure (or rather, it finds them) as they run
afoul of adversaries such as Don Karnage, egomaniacal leader
of the dreaded Air Pirates; Shere Khan, CEO of the largest
corporation in the world, Khan Industries; and Colonel Spigot,
tyrannical commander from the frozen, communist country of
Thembria. Through thick and thin, the heroes learn valuable lessons
on courage, honesty, and friendship, always winning as they
team up to turn things around on troublemakers.
TaleSpin officially debuted on syndicated television on September
9, 1990, with the premiere of its introductory TV-movie "Plunder
& Lightning." Fans since justifiably view the series
as the pinnacle of the Disney Afternoon's program lineup,
as well as one of the best shows (animated or otherwise) of
its decade. In spite of critical praise (best embodied by
the Emmy Award won by "Plunder & Lightning"
and an Emmy nomination for all 65 episodes), TaleSpin seemed
undeservedly downplayed by its parent company. Yet its quality
has earned the appreciation of many who seek to preserve this
special series for generations to come.
The TaleSpin Sourcepage strives to be what Disney never published:
a reference that organizes information, details, facts, and
trivia into a cohesive whole, providing an in-depth and comprehensive
look inside the TaleSpin saga. Rather than supplying episode
lists and strings of statistics, the Sourcepage presents the
world of TaleSpin from the show's own perspective, familiarizing
readers with this fictional setting. The ultimate goal is
to enjoy its richness and texture, and admire the imagination
and creative labor that went into designing it.
To maintain continuity and avoid discrepancies, the Sourcepage
describes things after the events of the series have taken
place and exclusively covers the 65 episodes constituting
TaleSpin canon. TaleSpin comic books are not dealt with, although
pertinent material from them and other merchandise does appear.
This keeps page articles as true to the TaleSpin series as
possible while exploring concepts as far as what available
facts imply. Submissions from fan writers are featured
also, as supplements to related topics; they are noted wherever
Packed with descriptions, explanations, and illustrations,
the TaleSpin Sourcepage serves as a guide to an amazing world
filled with intriguing locations, dazzling aircraft, breathtaking
cities, fantastical technology, unusual creatures, and entertaining
characters. So put on your flight cap, pull chocks, and take
off for the wild blue yonder there's nothing but clear
skies ahead . . .
WHAT'S IN THESE BOXES?
Throughout the TaleSpin Sourcepage you will find inset
boxes such as this, some large and some small. These
insets, wherever they are found, will contain additional
information related to a topic. Because these side notes
may develop into a profile within a profile, they are
separated from the main text for easier reading.
Readers will notice a box following the end of each
character or vehicle profile, with a list of figures
such as "2D" or "3D+2" in various
categories. These numbers, known as die codes, are based
on the classic "D6" system published by West
The die codes presented with each vehicle and character
serve as an abstract way to measure and compare important
qualities and attributes. What's more, game enthusiasts
will find these codes fully compatible with West End's
systems and may use them to run their own TaleSpin-themed
Many thanks to Steven Ganske (aka
"Starkweather") for the essays he contributed.
Thanks also go to Geary Graham, author of one of the
earliest works of TaleSpin fan fiction now featured
on the TaleSpin Sourcepage for all to enjoy.
Thanks to members of the TaleSpin fandom for their ideas
and contributions, credited wherever used.
Most of all, many thanks to Jymn Magon, supervising
producer of TaleSpin. Besides his introduction of the
term "Usland" to the TaleSpin lexicon years
after the show ended, Jymn's insights have been invaluable
in better appreciating this wonderful series.
To Jymn Magon and co-producer Mark Zaslove, to the writers
and story editors, the voice actors, the animation artists,
to composer Christopher L. Stone, to everyone involved
in the making of TaleSpin and to fans everywhere
the TaleSpin Sourcepage is dedicated.