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The Raccoons
The Raccoons title card.png
Title card
Genre
Created by Kevin Gillis
Directed by Kevin Gillis
Voices of
  • Len Carlson
  • Bob Dermer
  • Michael Magee
  • Linda Feige (Season 1)
  • Susan Roman (Seasons 2–5)
  • Marvin Goldhar
  • Sharon Lewis
  • Nick Nichols (Seasons 1–5)
  • Keith Hampshire (Season 5)
  • Lisa Lougheed (Seasons 4–5)
  • Noam Zylberman (Seasons 1–5)
  • Stuart Stone (Season 5)
Narrated by Geoffrey Winter
Theme music composer
  • Kevin Gillis
  • Jon Stroll
Ending theme "Run with Us" by Steve Lunt (Season 1), Lisa Lougheed (Seasons 2–5)
Country of origin Canada
Original language(s)
  • English
  • French
No. of seasons 5
No. of episodes 60 (plus 4 specials) (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Sheldon S. Wiseman
Producer(s) Kevin Gillis
Running time 25 mins
Production company(s)
  • Gillis-Wiseman Productions
  • Evergreen Raccoons Television Productions
Release
Original network CBC
Picture format NTSC (480i)
Audio format
  • Stereo
  • Mono (some episodes)
Original release July 4, 1985 (1985-07-04) – August 28, 1992 (1992-08-28)

The Raccoons is a Canadian animated series that ran on CBC from July 4, 1985 to August 28, 1992, with three preceding television specials from its inception in 1980, and one direct to video special in 1984. The franchise was created by Kevin Gillis with the co-operation of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (French: Société Radio-Canada).

Synopsis

The series revolves around Bert Raccoon and married couple Ralph and Melissa Raccoon, of whom Bert is a friend and roommate. The series mostly involved the trio's efforts against the industrialist forces of greedy aardvark millionaire Cyril Sneer, who regularly tries to destroy the forest for a quick buck. However, the Raccoons always save their forest from Cyril's schemes, with help from their forest friends including Schaeffer, a gentle Old English Sheepdog; Cedric, Cyril's college graduate son; and Sophia Tutu, Cedric's girlfriend. As the series progresses, Cyril becomes more of a sympathetic character, eventually becoming an antihero, becoming more responsible in his priorities and business practices.

Originally, the story was set in a kind of hidden world in the Evergreen Forest where a small human family of a forest ranger and his children reside unaware of the struggles taking place out of sight. However, the second season had these human characters removed as the premise shifted to an unambiguous fantasy world of a sophisticated humanoid animal version of Canada with complex transportation systems, broadcasting media and heavy industry etc.. In addition, Ralph's relatives become regular characters, especially his young nephew and niece, Bentley the insecure child technology prodigy and Lisa the statuesque athletic teenager who became an understated love interest for Bert.

Unlike many other cartoons of its time, it handled action, humour, and romance in a fairly sophisticated manner, while remaining sufficiently uncomplicated for younger viewers. Lessons featured in the series mainly focused on environmentalism. It also covered other topics, including friendship and teamwork.

Episodes

Characters

Main

  • Bert Raccoon (voiced by Len Carlson) The main hero of the series. He is Ralph and Melissa's houseguest and is their best friend from childhood. An energetic raccoon with a lot of imagination, Bert always likes to seek out adventure and to live life to the fullest. Although he is impulsive and prone to foolish decisions, he has a kind heart.
  • Ralph Raccoon (voiced by Bob Dermer) and Melissa Raccoon (voiced by Rita Coolidge (specials 1–2), Dottie West (special 3), Linda Feige (season 1) and Susan Roman (seasons 2–5)) – the happily married couple who live in the "Raccoondominium" with their houseguest Bert. Ralph tolerates Bert's antics to some extent and knows his heart is in the right place but it doesn't prevent him from getting frustrated by them, he is also the founder of "The Evergreen Standard" newspaper. Melissa is the more sensible of the three raccoons, and is always there to give the boys a push in the right direction, she often enjoys a good laugh too, usually when Bert or Ralph act silly or when Cyril's plans go embarrassingly awry.
  • Cedric Sidney Sneer (voiced by Fred Little (specials) and Marvin Goldhar (series)) – Cyril Sneer's nerdy son and Bert Raccoon's best friend, and heir to the Sneer fortune. Since the special "The Raccoons on Ice" Cedric has gained a crush on Sophia and usually acts nervous around her. In the specials he was completely passive and subservient to his father, but gradually becomes more assertive as the series goes on.
  • Schaeffer (voiced by Carl Banas) – A large sheepdog, who is friends with the Raccoons. Originally portrayed as slow and dimwitted in the original specials, he quickly became one of the smartest characters on the series, and eventually opened the Blue Spruce Cafe as a bartender and assists with the Evergreen Standard's technical needs.
  • Broo (voiced by Sharon Lewis) – A sheepdog puppy who seems to favour Bert as his owner in season 2 after the human characters were dropped from the show.
  • Sophia Tutu (voiced by Sharon Lewis) – Cedric's ditzy girlfriend, who is a superb swan glider and diver. Although very feminine, she likes to ride bikes with Cedric and once participated in the Evergreen Games, coming in third place. She was phased out of the show in later years.
  • Cyril Sneer (voiced by Michael Magee) – Originally the main villain of the series. Cyril is an aardvark, with a long, pink nose, a ruthless and greedy businessman and Cedric's father. Although Cyril starts off villainous, he later softens up, becoming distinctly less so as the series progresses, though he retains his treacherous, greedy nature. Despite his money-grubbing ways, he has shown to genuinely love his son and tries grooming him to take over the family business. He has a soft spot for Bentley and Lisa, Ralph's nephew and niece. He has a strict matter of pride about keeping promises, as shown in "Going it Alone!" and "Trouble Shooter!".
  • Snag (voiced by Michael Magee) – Cyril and Cedric Sneer's pet half dog/half aardvark. He has blue fur, a nose similar to his owners and a bad temper that rivals Cyril's. However, he also loves Cedric and once saved him from a fire.
  • The Pigs (voiced by Nick Nichols (Pig One (special 3-episode 50; 58)), Keith Hampshire (Pig One (episode 51–60)), Len Carlson (Pigs Two and Three (series)) and Fred Little (Pig Three (special 3) – Cyril's three bumbling henchmen and assistants. They are almost never referred to by name, as they are simply listed as Pig One, Two and Three in the credits, although they occasionally refer to one another as "Lloyd". Fans of the show have referred Pig One as "Lloyd" and the other two as "Boyd" and "Floyd"
  • The Bears (voiced by Len Carlson, Bob Dermer and Carl Banas) – are Cyril Sneer's additional henchmen, workers, butlers, soldiers, spies, etc.
  • Bentley Raccoon (voiced by Noam Zylberman (episode 16–54) and Stuart Stone (as Stu Stone) (episode 55–60) – George and Nicole's son. He's an expert with computers, and is a very typical younger kid, with a tendency to overemphasize his personal setbacks. He often favours houseguest Bert while Cyril Sneer thinks highly of him. He is originally introduced as Ralph's cousin in his first appearance but later retconned into his nephew.
  • Lisa Raccoon (voiced by Lisa Lougheed) – Ralph's niece and Bentley's teenage basketball-playing sister, who becomes a prominent character in Season 5, after her first appearance in the Season 4 episode "Spring Fever", where she comes to visit. She is a caricature of her voice-actress (This would likely be similar to the narrators of many Rankin/Bass specials, usually being caricatures of their own celebrity voice actors).

Supporting

  • Dan the Forest Ranger (voiced by Rupert Holmes (special 1), Leo Sayer (special 2), John Schneider (special 3), Kevin Gillis (special 4 (uncredited)) and Murray Crunchley (series) – He is the caretaker of the Evergreen Forest, as well as the father of Tommy and Julie and owner of Schaeffer and Broo during the specials and Season 1. He is shown to be a single father as there is no mention of the mother of his children in neither the specials nor the series.
  • Tommy (voiced by Hadley Kay (specials) and Noam Zylberman (series)) – Ranger Dan's son and one of Schaeffer and Broo's original owners as well as Julie's little brother.
  • Julie (voiced by Tammy Bourne (specials) and Vanessa Lindorres (series) – Ranger Dan's daughter and one of Schaeffer and Broo's original owners as well as Tommy's older sister.
  • Mr. Mammoth (voiced by Carl Banas) – A rhinoceros who is the richest, most powerful character on the show, he speaks in incoherent mumbles that are translated by his assistant
  • Sidekick (voiced by Rick Jones, Seasons 1–2) and Dan Hennessey (Season 5) – Mr. Mammoth's canary assistant who translates his grumbles.
  • Mr. Knox (voiced by Len Carlson) – An acquaintance of Cyril Sneer, a southern crocodile/business mogul; he is married to Lady Baden-Baden, and owner of the television company K.N.O.X. TV. He and Cyril are rivals, though it is a friendly one.
  • Lady Baden-Baden (voiced by Bob Dermer) – A wealthy, melodramatic hen who eventually marries Mr. Knox. She was a theatre actress in her old days, and now is an enthusiastic patron of the arts. She later becomes mayor of the Evergreen Forest.
  • Professor Witherspoon Smedley-Smythe (voiced by Len Carlson) – A goat who runs the Evergreen Museum.
  • Dr. Canard (voiced by Len Carlson) – A duck who is Cyril's doctor.
  • Mr. Willow (voiced by Carl Banas) – A friendly polar bear who is the owner of Willow's General Store.
  • Mrs. Suey-Ellen Pig (voiced by Nonnie Griffin) – The pigs' mother. She appears in two episodes, "Mom's the Word", where her name is revealed, and "Promises Promises".
  • Milton Midas (voiced by Len Carlson) – An eagle businessman and scam artist. He is responsible for the poisoning of the fishing hole at Rippling Pond in the series' penultimate episode "The One that Got Away".
  • George and Nicole Raccoon (voiced by Dan Hennessey and Elizabeth Hanna) – Ralph's respective older brother and sister-in-law and the father and mother of Bentley and Lisa Raccoon. A couple who were once nomads. George hosts "Chef Surprise", a cooking show on KNOX-TV.

Cast

Main

  • Len Carlson – Bert Raccoon / Floyd (Pig Two) / Lloyd (Pig Three) / Mr. Knox / Additional Voices
  • Michael Magee – Cyril Sneer / Snag
  • Bob Dermer – Ralph Raccoon / Lady Baden-Baden / Additional Voices
  • Linda Feige – Melissa Raccoon (1985–1986)
  • Susan Roman – Melissa Raccoon (1987–1991) / Additional Voices
  • Marvin Goldhar – Cedric Sneer / Additional Voices
  • Sharon Lewis – Sophia Tutu / Broo
  • Carl Banas – Schaeffer / Bears / Mr. Mammoth / Mr. Willow
  • Nick Nichols – Lloyd (Pig One) (1983–1990; 1991)
  • Keith Hampshire – Lloyd (Pig One) (1990–1991)
  • Murray Cruchley – Dan the Forest Ranger
  • Noam Zylberman – Tommy / Bentley Raccoon (1987–1990)
  • Stuart Stone – Bentley Raccoon (1990–1991) / Danny
  • Vanessa Lindores – Julie
  • Dan Hennessey – George Raccoon / Sidekick (1990)
  • Elizabeth Hanna – Nicole Raccoon
  • Lisa Lougheed – Lisa Raccoon
  • Geoffrey Winter – Narrator

Additional voices

  • Debra McGrath – Nurse Peck
  • Les Lye – Samaritan "Sammy" Sneer
  • Rick Jones – Sidekick (1985–1987)
  • Derek Diorio – Haggis Lamborgini
  • Pauline Rennie – Aunt Gertie
  • Nonnie Griffin – Mrs. Suey-Ellen Pig
  • Bob Segarini – Woodchuck Berry
  • Barry Bailey – Troy Malone
  • Jeremiah McCann – Bonneville Knox
  • Peter Messaline – The Great Tromboni
  • Kay Hawtrey – Miss Primrose
  • Bruno Gerussi – Edward Miller
  • Barbara Frum – Miss Barbara LaFrum
  • Theresa Sears – Ingrid Bellamour
  • Terrence Scammell – Classmate #1
  • Tara Charendoff – Donna
  • Lisa Yamanaka - Patty

Reboot

On July 4, 2017, it was revealed that series creator Kevin Gillis was working on a reboot of the series. A pitch pilot with slightly redesigned characters was found on YouTube as an unlisted video on March 11, 2018, however the video was soon taken down by Big Jump Entertainment due to a copyright claim. On June 17 of that same year, Big Jump officially revealed the new designs for Bert, Ralph, Melissa, Cyril and Cedric on their website. The reboot is scheduled to premiere in 2021, beginning with a holiday special entitled "When Raccoons Fly!".

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