Odisea Burbujas (lit. Bubble Odyssey) is a Mexican sci-fi/fantasy children’s educational puppet show. Created by writer Silvia Roche as a radio show, it aired for the first time in 1979 and ran for five original seasons, rebooting in 2003.
This show, created by Silvia Roche, shared a universe with subsequent TV shows, El Tesoro del Saber (The Treasure of Knowledge) , whose title was based in a song that appeared in Odisea Burbujas, that ran for three seasons between 1984 and 1987 and Super Ondas (Super Waves), a weekly TV show that has the characters of both shows (along with new ones) that invited the audience to solve clues while watching small sketches, this show only survived one season.
The basic premise is the adventures of scientist Profesor Memelovsky and his team of anthropomorphic animals traveling in time and space, such as into books of fiction (thanks to Memelovksy’s inventions, like a time machine and a machine that allow you to enter books), whilst at the same time fighting the evil CYDA organization made of polluters and destroyers, thus giving environmental and educational message to children in a subtle fun way. It inspired an entire franchise with comics, music and board games.
The show was very popular throughout Latin America, though not as much as El Chavo del ocho, but close, and famous for its giant animal suits known in Mexico as “botargas”. All the seasons featured original music and songs from famous lounge music star Juan Garcia Esquivel.
It all starts when Memelovsky receives the visit of his four new assistants, only to discover that they are small animals; a toad, a lizard, a bumblebee and a mouse. He turns them into human-size (or even bigger), which may scare some of the people they encounter.
The main villain is Ecoloco, a dirty, bumpy looking, polluter who lives among trash.
The main ensemble consists of:
- Profesor Memelovsky; a good hearted, albeit very eccentric scientist and inventor, worried about the environment, encourages the saving of energy and other eco-friendly actions, fascinated by history and literature (which probably has to do with his inventions).
- Patas Verdes (Green Feet); Professor’s apprentice and leader of the group. Described in his own song as un sapo galán y simpatico (a flirty and sympathetic toad), he’s also Mimoso's godfather.
- Pistachón Zigzag (Cluely Zigzag) a bumblebee journalist who works for the dairy “El Chisme Cachetón” and has his own news report show.
- Mafafa Musguito (Mafafa Moss) a lizard and the only woman in the group, she’s a photographer and represents many of the female stereotypes (for example, she’s vain and constantly worried about her looks) but is also one of the more clever members of the cast.
- Mimoso Ratón (Spoily Mouse) a child mouse apparently of prepubescent age and Patas Verdes’ godson, also the Tagalong Kid, has many childish behaviors but in general obey the adults, especially his godfather, and works as some kind of Audience Surrogate as he asks a lot of questions that adults are suppose to know.
- El Ecoloco (The Eco-Crazy) the main villain of the series and the most recurrent. His theme song and catch phrase is “I love noise and smog, water and soap I hate”, seems to be obsessed with polluting and he himself looks dirty and unwashed like a homeless person. He travels in a flying garbage can.
- Popotito 22 the interstellar ship.
- El Exprimidor de Libros (The Book Squeezer): a machine that allows the character to enter books.
- El Tobogán del Tiempo (The Time Slide): a time machine.
- Regadera Micromacromática (Mycromacromathic Shower): a shower that can change the size of objects.
This series provides examples of:
- An Aesop: some episodes have it.
- Bad Future: in an episode they go to a future city call Futurotepec lead by an evil dictator member of CYDA.
- Big Bad: Jefe Maxi Smog, the leader of the CYDA organization.
- The Dragon: Don Mugrovich, second in command of CYDA and immediate boss over Ecoloco.
- Four-Legged Insect: Pistachón.
- Fun with Acronyms: The Ecoloco's superiors were the Obviously Evil "Contaminadores y Destructores Anónimos (Contaminators and Destroyers Anonymous)", with the acronym of "CYDA" (Spanish for AIDS).
- Green Aesop: Very often.
- Invisible Parents: Mimoso’s parents are nowhere to be seen.
- Laughably Evil: El Ecologo is a classic example of a comedic villain
- Nebulous Evil Organisation: Contaminadores y Destructores Anónimos (CYDA), an evil organization.
- Nephewism: Mimoso seems to be under permanent care of his godfather Patas Verdes.
- The Smurfette Principle: Mafafa is the only girl in the cast (in-universe, Mimoso was played and voiced by female actresses)
- Time Travel: Many episodes are centered around it.
- Unexplained Accent: Memelovsky's Eastern European accent is never explained.
- Villain Song: All characters have their own songs, including Ecoloco: "Amo el ruido y el smog, agua y jabón yo detesto".