ALF: The Animated Series facts for kids
Quick facts for kidsALF: The Animated Series
|Created by||Paul Fusco
Tabitha St. Germain (as Paulina Gillis)
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||26|
|Running time||30 minutes per episode|
|Production company(s)||DIC Animation City
|Original release||September 26, 1987– January 7, 1989|
ALF: The Animated Series was a prequel and animated spinoff of the prime time series ALF, which had also aired on NBC from 1986 to 1990. Paul Fusco, the creator and puppeteer of ALF in the live-action series, was the only cast member to reprise his role in voice form; none of the human characters from the prime time ALF appeared in the animated series. ALF Tales was a spin-off from the series that also ran on NBC on Saturdays from September, 1988 to December, 1989. The two ALF animated series ran concurrently during the 1988–89 season as the ALF & ALF Tales Hour.
This show is a prequel to the live action sitcom ALF, depicting ALF's life back on his home planet of Melmac before it exploded. Since the original character's name of "ALF" was an acronym for "Alien Life Form", it is never used in the animated series except for its title. The main character is Gordon Shumway who is normally referred to as "Gordon". In each episode a live action ALF appears at the introduction and conclusion of the episode, talking to the television viewers; either setting up the episode as if writing his memoirs "Melmac Memories" and commenting on it afterwards, reading fan mail or describing what his life was like on Melmac. The visual look of the series was created by the lead character designer Fil Barlow.
The format of the series has the standard setup of a situational comedy, or sitcom, as its premise, in the style of The Flintstones or The Jetsons and it predates the non-Tracey Ullman Show episodes of The Simpsons, which has a similar family arrangement of two parents, three children and a dog; The Simpsons Tracey Ullman Show shorts, which debuted in April 1987, featured two parents and three children, but, unlike ALF:The Animated Series, would not feature any sort of pet as part of the family arrangement. Much of the humor arises from the characters taking part in ordinary everyday activities set in an alien and surrealistic environment.
Gordon/ALF from this series is one of the cartoon characters featured in Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue.
Gordon Shumway is a fairly normal teenager living in suburban East Velcro with his parents Bob and Flo, brother Curtis, young sister Augie and their dog Neep on the planet Melmac. He spends time hanging out with his friends Rick and Skip who call him "Gordo", and he has a girlfriend named Rhonda. Sometimes the quartet would report for mandatory duty with the Melmacian Orbit Guard. The show includes an array of quirky supporting characters, which include the fortune-smeller Madame Pokipsi and the villain Larson Petty with his offsider Eggbert.
The Shumway Family
- Gordon (Gordo) Shumway/ALF (voiced by Paul Fusco) – The star of the show.
- Bob Shumway (voiced by Thick Wilson) – Gordon's father.
- Flo Shumway (voiced by Peggy Mahon) – Gordon's mother.
- Curtis Shumway (voiced by Michael Fantini) – Gordon's little brother, voiced by Michael Fantini.
- Augie Shumway (voiced by Paulina Gillis) – Gordon's little sister.
- Neep – The Shumway family's pet dog. He is officially called a "vespa."
- Harry – Shumway family's pet bird.
- Rhonda (voiced by Paulina Gillis) – Gordon's girlfriend.
- Skipper "Skip" (voiced by Rob Cowan) – Gordon's friend.
- Rick Fusterman (voiced by Paul Fusco) – Gordon's friend.
- Sloop (voiced by Dan Hennessey) – Gordon's other friend.
- Spudder – Curtis' friend.
- Stella (voiced by Ellen-Ray Hennessy) – The waitress.
- Madame Pokipsi (voiced by Deborah Theaker) – The fortune smeller.
- Colonel Cantfayl (voiced by Len Carlson) – An Orbit Guard officer.
- Sargent Staff (voiced by Len Carlson) – A sergeant in the Orbit Guard.
- Larson Petty (voiced by Thick Wilson) – The primary villain of the series. He has made plans to invade Melmac.
- Eggbert Petty (voiced by Dan Hennessey) – Larson Petty's assistant.
Season 1 (1987–88)
|Title||Original air date|
|1||1||"Phantom Pilot"||September 26, 1987|
|An unlikely ally helps Gordon defend Melmac when the evil Larson Petty returns to invade the planet.|
|2||2||"Hair Today, Bald Tomorrow"||October 3, 1987|
|After Harry uses Gordon's hair to build his nest, Gordon finds himself heading to Madame Pokipsi's shack for a baldness cure, only to insult her and leave while cursed with a "Baldness Touch".|
|3||3||"Two for the Brig"||October 10, 1987|
|Gordon and Sergeant Staff end up going to prison after mistaking their ship for a vacation cruise liner.|
|4||4||"Gordon Ships Out"||October 24, 1987|
|Gordon, Rick, and Skip decide to pool their savings for a sailing yacht, but end up marooned on an island thanks to a Pit Termite that Skip names Woody.|
|5||5||"Birdman of Melmac"||October 31, 1987|
|The Shumways' pet bird Harry is an extinct species and dubbed to be protected for reintroduction, but this comes at severe disruption of the Shumway residence, and Harry is letting the fame and power go to his head.|
|6||6||"Pismo and the Orbit Gyro"||November 7, 1987|
|The Orbit Gyro needs its regular maintenance, but it results in its main operator, a robot named Pismo, having a few screws loose.|
|7||7||"20,000 Years in Driving School"||November 14, 1987|
|After getting "Gooped" on the highway, Gordon Shumway has his driver's license revoked and must attend driving school to regain it.|
|8||8||"Pride of the Shumways"||November 21, 1987|
|Gordon plays "Bouillabaseball" (Melmacian baseball where fish are used instead of balls) for the Orbit Guard, and a scout offers him a chance for the big leagues. Curtis Shumway, a good little league player, realizes there is a shadowy purpose for his big brother's promotion to the majors.|
|9||9||"Captain Bobaroo"||December 5, 1987|
|A bump on the head has Bob Shumway thinking he is a Captain Kangaroo-esque TV show host.|
|10||10||"Neep at the Races"||December 12, 1987|
|Gordon enters his dog Neep in a race at Appliance, but Snake, the bikie, wants his cut. Neep wins the race, but they have to use the prizemoney to pay for the bikies' motorbikes which were trashed in the process.|
|11||11||"Salad Wars"||December 19, 1987|
|Gordon's family goes to Salad Dressing Town in their mobile home, where the boss wants a salad seed monopoly. The title is a parody of the movie by George Lucas. Cameo: John Wayne.|
|12||12||"Tough Shrimp Don't Dance"||January 2, 1988|
|Gordon Shumway must rescue an alien shrimp race called the Muklukians from Larson Petty — with some unlikely help from one of their own.|
|13||13||"Home Away from Home"||January 16, 1988|
|When his parents go to Polyester city for holidays, Gordon loses the house to a sleazy estate agent.|
Season 2 (1988–89)
|Title||Original air date|
|14||1||"Flodust Memories"||September 10, 1988|
|After being taken for granted at home, Flo Shumway is entered for Mom of the Millennium contest by Gordon and his siblings as atonement. Flo wins, but her popularity may have become more important than her family.|
|15||2||"Family Feud"||September 17, 1988|
|After losing to the Shumways on a noted game show, the Fustermans declare war on their former friends, and Gordon and Rick end up caught in the crossfire.|
|16||3||"Clams Never Sang for My Father"||September 24, 1988|
|The traditional Mayonnaise Lodge rite of passage has Bob Shumway and Frank Fusterman pitted against each other in the clam-wrestling contest — but their sons want no part of it.|
|17||4||"A Mid-Goomer Night's Dream"||October 1, 1988|
|The holiday of Goomer is upon Melmac, and Larson Petty is intent on getting his gift of foam — but while trying to kidnap the real Goomer, he ends up capturing Bob Shumway in a Goomer suit. Gordon and his sister Augie must then journey to find the real Goomer and rescue their dad.|
|18||5||"The Bone Losers"||October 8, 1988|
|All of Melmac, including Rhonda, is smitten with paleontologist Prof. Egovurger and his Thesaurus. Gordon discovers dinosaur bones in his yard, and constructs a Tunadacyl, not realising Neep stole the bones from the museum. Egovurger cannot stand the competition and plans to steal the bones.|
|19||6||"Thank Gordon for Little Girls"||October 15, 1988|
|Gordon invents an all-purpose object named the "Shumwidget", but Augie and her scout troupe end up with the bragging rights.|
|20||7||"Hooray for Mellywood"||October 29, 1988|
|A movie crew has come to East Velcro to film the life of Gordon Shumway.|
|21||8||"The Spy from East Velcro"||November 12, 1988|
|Gordon is mistaken for agent James Bonzo and captured by looney, evil Ernst Stavro Blofish who talks to his squeaky toy, Mickey. Blofish wants a winning cereal card to win a trip to Spy Land competition, which Gordon has. Parody of Sean Connery and the James Bond movies.|
|22||9||"He Ain't Seafood, He's My Brother"||November 19, 1988|
|Renegade Muklukians kidnap Curtis Shumway and return him to their planet as part of a scheme to claim the throne of Mukluk. Fescue returns to Melmac to ask Gordon for help in dethroning the renegades and finding the true king of Mukluk.|
|23||10||"Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places"||December 3, 1988|
|Gordon tries to fix Rick up with a girl named Elaine — but a misunderstanding leads her to fall in love with Gordon.|
|24||11||"The Slugs of Wrath"||December 10, 1988|
|The Shumway Family move to an abandoned farm to try their hands at raising giant slugs for a living during a severe mayonnaise shortage.|
|25||12||"Housesitting for Pokipsi"||December 17, 1988|
|Gordon, Rick and Skip, are stuck housesitting for fortune-smeller Madame Pokipsi while she is out of town at a 'medium's' conference. Gordon uses her crystal ball against her advice creating a chaotic series of events.|
|26||13||"Skipper's Got a Brand New Dad"||January 7, 1989|
|Larson Petty discovers that his family has left behind a huge fortune, but it can only be turned over to the rightful heir — Larson Petty's son. The only problem is, he has no children. Meanwhile, Gordon and Rick find out that Skip was orphaned as a youth and try to find his birth parents.|
On May 30, 2006, Lionsgate Home Entertainment released both the first nine episodes of ALF: The Animated Series as ALF Animated Adventures – 20,000 Years in Driving School and Other Stories; and the first seven episodes of ALF Tales entitled ALF and The Beanstalk and Other Classic Fairy Tales on DVD in Region 1.
ALF: The Animated Series Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.