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Nostalgia November Day 06 — TaleSpin #7

Each day in November, I will read and review/discuss/whatever one comic taken from a box of some of my childhood comics. Today, it’s TaleSpin #7.

The Nostalgia November archive can be found here.

TScomic_7_cvrTaleSpin #7 by Bobbi JG Weiss, Oscar F. Saavedra, and Hector Saavedra is part of the comic series spun off from the Disney cartoon. I have fond memories of watching this show as a kid, although, honestly, it wasn’t anywhere near as good as Duck Tales. The concept for the series was, basically, taking characters from The Jungle Book and putting them in a seaside town where Baloo is a pilot of a small cargo plane and has run-ins with air pirates and is romantically involved with the owner of the company, Rebecca…? Actually, not so sure about that last point. Anyway, to round out the cast, there’s Kit, the orphan boy that Baloo has taken in; Molly, Rebecca’s daughter; and Wildcat, the mechanic.

In this story, Baloo and Rebecca go away on business for the weekend, so Kit is put in charge of watching Molly. Their initial interactions are rather funny as Molly wants to play ‘sibling rivalry’ where Kit will break her toy and then their mom will yell at him… But, things get all crazy when there’s a knock at the door and it’s Witherspoon, an asshole who searches for stowaways on planes and tried to send Kit to an orphanage. Fearing that Witherspoon has come to take him away, Kit takes Molly to Higher for Hire — but Witherspoon follows them there apparently! Kit realises that he has to run away and packs a trunk full of things. (We see that Witherspoon leaves an envelope with Wildcat…) After stowing away the cargo hold of a plane, Molly bursts from Kit’s trunk having hidden away in it. The pilot of the plane discovers them, but that’s no problem since his plane is safe travel for hobos, and he takes them to Kit’s old place of residence where there’s a little hobo enclave. This visit doesn’t do much except set up Kit and Molly returning home… via an island where hobos never return from. That’s because they’re being captured and made to work on a plantation! But, thankfully, Molly snoops around and rescues the true owner of the place, so he and the hobos can overthrow the assholes who took over the place. Kit and Molly make it home, Kit having a new appreciation for other people, and we learn that Witherspoon just wanted to book a vacation with the company. Oh ho ho.

In the two-page back-up strip, air pirates attack the group on the way to a fishing trip, but the air pirate leader, Karnage doesn’t believe they have no cargo… which leads to the gang using fishing and beach stuff to beat up the air pirates.

I was expecting something I wouldn’t enjoy, but the storytelling here was rather engaging. The art is clean and basic, very much in step with the show’s look without adding anything. The plot is a little heavy-handed in its message of how family and friends are good, that being alone isn’t as great as you’d think, how running away from home just leads to more problems… but it’s done in an entertaining way. Granted, the only joke that really got me was the ‘sibling rivalry’ one, it was still a solid comic. Much better than I expected.

Tomorrow, we continue our journey to the past with… well, I don’t know. Come back and see!

24 Comments

[…] #3 Nostalgia November Day 04 — Batman annual #15 Nostalgia November Day 05 — Transformers #57 Nostalgia November Day 06 — TaleSpin #7 The Reread Reviews — The Death of […]

by all reason, just the basic concept of mutating the jungle book into something so absurd – the show was far better than it had any right to actually be.

Jeremy A. Patteron

November 6, 2009 at 9:22 am

I hope there are more off-brand kiddie comics in this month!

J.A.P.

TaleSpin was no Darkwing Duck, but it was awesome.

Jeremy — A few more maybe… as a kid, I was mostly into superheroes… and the other non-superhero stuff I remember isn’t in this box… perhaps they’re in another, meaning they’ll show up if I do this again next year.

I remember watching this show religiously on TV’s “Disney Afternoon.” I always thought it was strange that it apparently didn’t exist in the larger Duck-universe the way Duck Tales and Darkwing Duck did. (C’mon, Duck Tales had talking dogs, too. Talking bears isn’t that much of a stretch.) I could never figure out why it had this sort of modernized steampunk environment: technological marvels like robots and houses built on waterfalls existed, but television did not.

Anyway, great show, but very much an oddity in the Disney lineup at the time.

Y’know, oddly enough the thing I remember most about this show is reading somewhere, once, one of the people who worked on the show observing that yes, it was a little odd taking Baloo, the jungle-livin’ bear who sang of “The Simple Bear Necessities” and putting him into a furry-animal modern civilization with jobs and machines and evil business tycoons, etc.

As I recall the show was okay, but yeah, definitely a weak offering by Disney cartoon show standards. I’d rank Ducktales, Rescue Rangers AND Darkwing Duck ahead of it.

(I really did just type that, didn’t I? Oh well, this is America in the 21st century; 31 is still basically adolescence, right?)

I’m not sure how often it’s remarked on, but I’m sure that TaleSpin was influenced by the TV show “Tales of the Gold Monkey”, which surfaced for a season in the wake of the success of Raiders of the Lost Ark.

All you have to do is watch any random clip of Rescue Rangers on Youtube to see that it was actually atrocious. Racist, too.

But that Gadget chick was HOT, for a geeky mouse! ;-)

Not to stir controversy, but how was Rescue Rangers racist? I’m not saying it wasn’t, I’m actually asking looking-for-information-wise. I have no recollection of any racial elements on the show, but I have little recollection of much of anything from that show.

zzz : my guess is it’s a knee-jerk liberal reaction to King Louie.

Man, I LOVED these cartoons as a kid. I remember when I moved from Florida to Arkansas thinking “why aren’t these shows on Channel 3 anymore?”

I’ve still got my plastic Kit figurine that I got in a cereal box lying around here somewhere.

Oh, the nostalgia

i remember thinking the show was interesting espically with shear khan as a business man. watched it along with duck tales and dark wing duck. maybe disney could always revive it some day.

I always felt that Tailspin probably had the least kid-appeal of all the Disney Afternoon shows (and that includes Gargoyles which had plenty of kid appeal but was definitely was more sophisticated than a kid show). With the exception of Kit and Molly, the main characters were adults who did adult things and who led adult lives (not children in adult bodies as was the case in so many children’s animated cartoons). The premise of the show was more workplace comedy than comedy-adventure or action-adventure. It had plenty of action and adventure but the show centered around cargo freight company rather than a group of adventurers. The show reminds me of Cheers in a lot of ways. Heck, the shows creator stated that he modeled the Baloo and Rebecca relationship after Sam and Diane. Maybe I enjoyed show more than many of you because I saw the show in my mid-teens (the show debuted when I was 16) rather than as a younger kid.

GOOF TROOP was the worst.
I always thought Shear Khan was a badass, kinda like how Lex Luthor became to be portrayed

I never read the comic but really enjoyed the show. This and Darkwing Duck were my 2 fave Disney cartoons. Like one of the posters above I still have one of the cereal figures from this series. Don Carnage, the pirate leader, was probably my favorite character.

I really enjoyed TaleSpin, but I can understand why it wasn’t a huge hit with younger viewers. It had kinda a retro pulp feel, and was pretty clearly intended to be set in a 1920s or 30s era. Shere Khan, who in the Jungle Book film was obviously the villain, was reinterpreted as a morally ambiguous Kingpin type figure, one who you were never sure who’s side he was on, aside from his own, of course. And there was a lot of Cold War satire with Thembria, which was obviously a stand in for the Soviet Union.

At the time the show aired, though, I was in high school, so it appealed to my slightly more mature sensibilities. I loved the period setting, and the retro feel of the technology. It was so cool that Rebecca and her daughter lived in an apartment building built on a waterfall. How awesome is that?!? And I enjoyed the idea of sky pirates flying around in a giant airborne base called the Iron Vulture.

So I ended up buying all the issues of the comic book series, and was disappointed when it was canceled. If the TV show ever makes it onto DVD, I am so buying it.

Goof Troop was the worst. Awful show.

And TaleSpin is on DVD: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talespin#DVD_releases

Cool, thanks for the DVD info, Chad. Now I have to track them down.

Ah, nostalgia :)

TaleSpin was a GREAT show! For Disney TV shows I only rate it below Duck Tales – and that’s because of the Barks factor.

I really wish it could have some sort of conclusion. Maybe a direct-to-video feature length movie? I can dream…

Best,
Hunter (Pedro Bouça)

With all the craziness within the superhero genre during the early 1990s, people often forget that there was a short-lived but very respectable line of Disney comics at the time. It was also no slouch in the talent department with people like Marv Wolfman writing Duck Tales and Mickey Mouse Adventures and Peter David writing Little Mermaid. I still have a number of ’90s Disney comics stashed away around here.

As for Tale Spin, it was a good show, but not my favorite from the Disney Afternoon. My favorite was probably Darkwing Duck and my least favorite was probably Goof Troop. As much as I like Goofy and Max (their animated movie is a load of fun), I didn’t warm up to the show’s whole sitcom vibe,

Talespin, weak??…I don’t think we watched the same show!
To me it was clearly above all the Disney Afternoon shows, and yet I love all of them!
It was very special in many ways : more adult stories, very varied episodes (unlike Chip & dale which is very repetitive and naive), best multi-dimensional characters ever created!

Yes two Talespin DVD packs have been released.

Also, if you want to read this comic, it’s available for download here :

http://www.animationsource.org/talespin/en/custom_list/&id_film=9&nump=1201

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