Disney’s first foray into Saturday morning was The Gummi Bears, a half-hour adventure series about a charming sextet of anthropomorphic, medieval bears. In a unique move for the time, the cartoon was based not on a comic strip, plush doll, or series of greeting cards, but rather a candy. The resulting show, however, bore little resemblance to candymaker Heide’s chewy, fruity confection.
The premise had six Gummi Bears protecting Princess Calla and her boy-page Cavin in the Kingdom of Dunwyn. The bears got their power from Gummiberry Juice—made by Grammi Gummi—which gave them the ability to bounce like no bear had ever bounced before. The potion came in handy in defeating the assembled ogres and other nasties who opposed the Gummis in every weekly episode. No bears were eaten during the making of this cartoon.
In the fall of 1989, the Gummi Bears joined everyone’s favorite non-edible bear, Winnie the Pooh, in Disney’s Gummi Bear/Winnie the Pooh Hour. The new arrangement lasted one season before the Gummis were again reassigned, this time to the Disney Afternoon block. One year later, the show found a longer-lasting home on cable’s Disney Channel.
Rocky and Bullwinkle’s June Foray and Bill Scott voiced characters on this show, as did Garfield’s Lorenzo Music and Married…With Children‘s David Faustino, who played one of the four Cavins.