Faithful and friendly with stories to share,
All through the forest they sing out in chorus,
Marching along as their song fills the air..."
Disney's Adventures of the Gummi Bears is a show by Walt Disney Television Animation and TMS Entertainment, which produced the animation for the show's first four seasons; it was replaced by Walt Disney Animation Japan for the rest of the show's run. Although The Wuzzles was Disney's first original animated TV series, that was really a trial run for this series, which almost immediately made the company a dominant force in television animation. This series lasted from September 1985 to February 1991, with a total of 94 episodes; it initially aired on NBC before moving to ABC in 1989note and then to syndication as part of The Disney Afternoon.
The show was actually a major gamble for Disney, as it was a very new idea. Disney reasoned that the costs of a high-quality animated show could be recovered in syndication. Also, TV animation companies like Hanna-Barbera and Filmation had to operate within the network license fees for their productions to keep the studios alive, while Disney, a major media corporation with renewed strength, could directly finance their TV work on top of the network license fees for a future payoff. The gamble worked, and a new era of unprecedented quality in western television animation was born with Disney's competitors eventually being forced to raise their production standards and budgets to avoid unfavorable comparisons. In short, this series helped usher in The Renaissance Age of Animation.
The series takes place in The Theme Park Version of medieval times, centuries after the "Great Gummis" fled across the sea, while a small caretaker colony stayed behind in Gummi Glen, in the Kingdom of Dunwyn, to maintain the civilization's extremely sophisticated infrastructure, on the off-chance the Gummis could return to live with humans in peace.
Unfortunately, when the story begins, the Glen Gummis have declined to only six descendants, who have forgotten their past skills. Fortunately, they meet a friendly human boy named Cavin who found a Gummi Medallion that unlocks their library's Great Book of Gummi, the essential book of their culture's knowledge. Inspired, the colony decide to rediscover their heritage and help the boy, whose kingdom is under dire threat.
That threat comes in the form of Duke Igthorn of Drekmore and his army of really dumb ogres. He is out to conquer Dunwyn and upon discovering that the supposedly mythological Gummi Bears exist, he will stop at nothing to exploit their secrets, like their powerful magic and technology, for his own use. Furthermore, he is but the most frequent of a whole host of enemies that the Gummi Bears and their human allies must oppose.
If you're wondering how they came up with this show's premise, as the story goes, Michael Eisner was inspired when his son requested Gummi Bears.
The show is animated by four different studios: TMS, Japan (39 episodes), Walt Disney Japan (17,5 episodes), Walt Disney Australia (8 episodes) and Guimaraes, Brazil (one segment).
The show was incorporated into the backstory of the rebooted DuckTales (2017), which posits the Gummi Bears as a legendary ancient race who left behind the recipe for their juice which is now being fought over, though unfortunately the word "Gummi" can't actually be used in the show due to rights issues with the candy.
The show is streaming on its entirety on Disney+.
This show includes examples of:
- Actor Allusion: In one episode, Grammi (voiced by June Foray), says "Hokey smokes!".
- Added Alliterative Appeal: The theme song.Dashing and daring, courageous and caring,Faithful and friendly with stories to share...<...>Magic and mystery are part of their history...
- Affably Evil: Duke Igthorn.
- All Animals Are Dogs: The baby griffins in "Gummi Dearest" act like a lot like puppies, wagging their tails when pleased and licking faces affectionately.
- Ambiguously Absent Parent: Cavin's parents are never seen or mentioned, his only known relative being his grandfather Sir Gawain.
- Ambiguously Gay: Gusto Gummi is yet another in the long-standing Disney television tradition of figures who are coded just enough as gay to appeal to gay youth and gay young adults but not enough to be noticed by and draw the wrath of conservative parents or paranoid advertising sponsors
- An Aesop: "Bridge on the River Gummi": If an Advanced Ancient Acropolis decides that a tiny wooden bridge is sufficient, there's probably a very good reason behind that decision. As it turns out this was a military strategy since anything more than a gummy bear would collapse it.
- An Ice Person: Chillbeard the frost giant.
- And Your Little Dog, Too!: The witch Marzipan says this to Calla in "Eye of the Beholder," after being exposed - except it's a pig, not a dog, and the pig is actually a disguised Sunni.
- Arbitrary Skepticism: In spite that they live in a world filled with dragons, ogres, wizardry and many other things stranger than techicolor furry talking bears, most people tend to believe that Gummis are just fairy tale creatures following their disappearance ages ago. The Glen Gummis prefer to keep it that way until they find all of humanity trustful enough to bring in more families.
- Badass Adorable:
- Cubbi is extremely cute, but he's usually very capable in their adventures, even though he's just a little bear cub. His badassery is exponentially enlarged when he takes on his "Crimson Avenger" secret identity.
- All the bears are this to an extent. Would you really expect something so cute and small to be able to open up such a can of whoopass?
- Badass Longcoat: Flint Shrubwood, the Bounty Hunter Igthorn hires in "For A Few Sovereigns More" to capture a Gummi Bear. Unlike most minor villains in Disney cartoons, he's actually capable. He effortlessly captures Cubbi and subdues the Duke when he refuses to pay up. With a more reliable sponsor, this man would be a Hero Killer. (Fortunately, he's clearly Only in It for the Money.)
- Badbutt: Gruffi.
- The Bad Guy Wins: In the Grand Finale, Igthorn ends up mastering the Gummiberry Juice recipe, destroying Gummi Glen, and taking over Dunwyn. Too bad for him it didn't last as the knights and Gummis foil his plan and drive him out.
- Bag of Kidnapping: Seen when Igthorn kidnaps "Calla" (really Sunni in disguise) in "A Gummi by Any Other Name".
- Barefoot Cartoon Animal: Zummi, Gruffi and Grammi do not wear shoes.
- Batman Gambit: Igthorn's scheme in "King Igthorn, Part I" is a rather long-form one. He has his forces procure a special termite (Big Tooth) and then stays out of sight for an entire year. Once everyone's guard is down, he ensures Big Tooth gets into Gummi Glen by having Toadworth covertly slip the bug into Zummi's hat; almost immediately, the place is destroyed and the Gummis are left out in the open. Igthorn quickly captures Zummi and then Grammi and Tummi, too, which results in him finally getting the Gummiberry Juice recipe and waging a full-scale assault on Dunwyn.
- Bears Are Bad News: Despite their adorable form, Gummis as a whole are all capable to be formidable opponents to anyone who threaten them or their friends, whether by machines, traps, or Gummiberry Juice.
- Beary Friendly: As the theme song states, they are all courageous and caring, faithful and friendly.
- Berserk Button: Gruffi has a magical one in "Sweet and Sour Gruffi." The word "thanks" makes him evil.
- Sir Victor does not like it when someone mocks his steed, Destiny.
- Be Careful What You Wish For:
- In "When You Wish Upon A Stone" a young boy wishing to be bigger turned into giant.
- Sunni takes to singing in "A Gummi In A Gilded Cage" and hopes she can sing in front of kings one day. Seconds after saying so, she's carried off by Carpies (giant vultures) who were ordered by their king to find a new "songbird". Sunni is not pleased.
- Better the Devil You Know: In "Just a Tad Smarter", when the ogres kick Igthorn out and Toadwart's cousin Tadpole takes over, he treats them even worse than Igthorn did. Not only does he mistreat them the same way, he makes them take baths! After the ogres call a truce with the Gummis (who also regard Tadpole as worse because he was smart enough to have the ogres target the Gummi Berry Bushes), they help them find Igthorn again, who at least dearly values the Gummi Berries himself for his own ends. All the Duke has to do is promise there'll be no more baths, and he's back in charge.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Gummi Bears are friendly, helpful, and loyal, but assuming they're weak is a big mistake.
- Big Eater: Tummi. Gets him in trouble in at least one episode.
- Blackmail: In "The White Knight", Duke Igthorn blackmails his brother Sir Victor into helping him conquer Dunwyn. However, after the attack is thwarted, Sir Victor reveals that Igthorn is his brother to the whole of Dunwyn so Igthorn won't be able to blackmail him over it again.
- Blind and the Beast: Tummi befriends a blind human woman in one episode.
- Blind Without 'Em: Zummi.
- Bluff the Eavesdropper: In one episode, the King tries to find out a famous chef's secret recipe by listening at the door, which the chef thwarts by reciting absolute nonsense instead of his ingredients. However, this does not thwart Cubbi, Sunni, and Tummi, who are hiding in the kitchen and can write down the actual steps he's taking.
- Bouncing Battler: Gummiberry Juice makes Gummi Bears incredibly bouncy and quick. They usually save it for battles or emergency situations.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: Aside from Aside Comments, the show generally avoided this trope—making it comically unexpected in "Patchwork Gummi" when Toadie straightup turns to the camera and winks at the audience while making a wisecrack.
- Bumbling Sidekick: Toadwart for Duke Igthorn.
- Butt-Monkey: Toadie. Even his fellow ogres pick on him.
- Cassandra Truth: Cavin's grandfather tells of his adventures with the Gummi Bears. The Dunwynians love his stories, but don't believe him at all. Unfortunately, while Cavin does believe him, he is unable to confirm it with him.
- Chained Heat: Cubbi and Igthorn in "For A Few Sovereigns More," after Igthorn tries to double-cross a bounty hunter he hired to capture Cubbi.
- Chekhov's Gun: The Chekhov's Volcano in "My Gummi Lies Over the Ocean" (see below) is also one of these. Earlier in the episode, Gruffi tells Cubbi that steam is dangerous when the latter tries to unjam a teapot. Later in the episode, Gruffi realizes he can use the steam from the volcano to get him, Tummi and Gusto off of Gusto's doomed volcano island. He thanks Cubbi for the inspiration.
- Chekhov's Volcano: Accompanied by Convection, Schmonvection in "My Gummi Lies Over the Ocean".
- The Chew Toy: Toadie.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: After Season 4, Unwin is never seen again.
- City of Adventure: Dunwyn.
- Clingy Macguffin: A Gummi medallion can be lost or dropped, but it cannot be taken from a Gummi Bear by force (humans, should they get one, have no such privilege) and will zap anyone who tries.
- Clock Punk: The general nature of recovered Gummi technology.
- Clothes Make the Superman: In one episode, Toadwart gets a suit of armor that makes him invincible in battle.
- Gusto. Spending twelve years on an island with only a talking toucan for company can do things to a guy.
- Thornberry fares similarly, due to spending even longer by himself and not having anyone for company.
- The Complainer Is Always Wrong: Averted in that Gruffi complains a lot, but his practical nature means his call on things is often right and the other Gummis respect him for it.
- Conspicuously Light Patch: The various "secret doors" in particular almost always exhibit this.
- Continuity Snarl: Sir Thornberry says he's been guarding Ursalia for fifty years despite the fact that the Great Gummies fled across the ocean five hundred years ago.
- Cool and Unusual Punishment: The Deluxe Torture Plan:Toadwart: You'll be forced to listen to a medley of popular folk tunes sung by Gad and Zook.
- Cool Big Sis: Calla is a surrogate one to Sunni.
- "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot: "Duel of the Wizards" is one huge example of this; when the arrogant plane-walking wizard Don Gordo is trapped in Dunwyn Forest after Igthorn steals the magic key that lets him travel between worlds, he starts tearing the forest apart looking for it. When Zummi and Gruffi ask him, he rudely brushes them off, leading to an episode-spanning fight that ends with them finally knocking him off of his high horse and forcing him to explain himself. Zummi, who had the key fall on his head when Igthorn hid it near the episode's start, promptly calls him out on his foolishness.Zummi: If you had just accepted our help when we first offered it, we could have avoided all this trouble.
- Cowardly Lion: Sir Tuxford is like this most of the time, but he can be somewhat brave if the situation warrants it; he's just slowing down in his old age.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Tummi.
- Daddy's Girl: Sunni seems to have this relationship with Gruffi.
- David Versus Goliath: The main cast is a group of miniature bears and two children, while the bad guys consist of an adult human and a mob of ogres. As such, most conflicts fall into this trope (though gummiberry juice makes the playing field slightly more level).
- Deadpan Snarker:
- Gruffi. Snarking is main way of communicating.
- Grammi tends to repay him in kind.
- Didn't Think This Through: In "A Gummi a Day Keeps the Doctor Away" Tummi helps Doctor Dexter by spiking his potion with Gummiberry juice. It works in giving the people of Dunwyn superstrength until the juice wears off and Dexter is confronted by (another) mob of angry customers.
- Diet Episode: In "The Oracle", Tummi Gummi gets put on a diet.
- Disability Immunity: Being stupid is actually a benefit for Igthorn's ogres sometimes. In one episode, Igthorn's plan involves using magical bagpipes that hypnotize people, which only work on intelligent creatures. (That leaves his men out.) In another episode, it's stated that a slumber sprite's spell might put Gruffi to sleep forever, but it only works on the ogres for about a minute, because as the sprite says, "they're so dumb!"
- Disguised in Drag: "Tuxford's Turnaround" features a two-fer. Toadie (reluctantly) dons such a disguise to infiltrate Dunwyn and signal the ogre army when enough people leave the castle to watch the knights' tournament. Meanwhile, with Tuxford beginning to doubt his abilities, Cavin tries to lift his spirits by faking an attack in need of foiling; the young page plays the would-be attacker, while Tummi and Cubbi form a Two Men, One Dress to be a (masked) princess.
- The Ditherer: Tummi in "The Fence Sitter".
- Duck!: Someone shouts this when a fish goes flying through the air. Another character remarks, "That's not a duck, it's a fish," before getting hit in the face.
- Dumb Muscle: The Ogres.
- Elaborate Underground Base: Gummi Glen has an unusually realistic take on such a habitat and the various tasks necessary to maintain it and the consequences of neglecting it is a source of story material.
- Embarrassing First Name: Duke Sigmund Igthorn."Siggy Soggy-Shorts!"
- Enemy Mine:
- In the episode "Just A Tad Smarter", Toadwart's cousin Tadpole takes over Castle Drekmore, kicks Duke Igthorn out, and orders the ogres to destroy all the Gummiberry bushes. Neither Igthorn nor the Gummis want the bushes destroyed, so they reluctantly team up to get rid of Tadpole. (Not to mention that he makes the ogres take baths, something they really hate to do!)
- In "For A Few Sovereigns More", Duke Igthorn hires a bounty hunter to catch a Gummi Bear. When the hunter returns with Cubbi and Igthorn refuses to pay, he and Cubbi are tossed into a dungeon cell and have to work together to escape.
- Everything Trying to Kill You: Drekmore is one nasty place to live. Beyond the marauding tribes of ogres, there's packs of carnivorous sabertoothed rabbits, huge swathes of bomb-plants, literal strangler vines, eagles big enough to carry off Gummi Bears, sentient cliff faces that deliberately drop giant rocks on people walking past...
- Evil Sorcerer: Malevolent or otherwise trouble-making wizards and witches show up multiple times through the series, ranging from self-centered jerks to full-blown magical marauders.
- Evil Twin: Inverted. Sigmund Igthorn has a good twin, (Duke Igthorn being the evil one). His heroic knightly brother Sir Victor (whom Cavin idolizes) is deeply ashamed for the misdeeds of his family and spends his life trying to atone for his brother's actions.
- Eviler than Thou: Flint Shrubwood is this to Duke Igthorn. If you don't give him his gold, you've got a bad thing coming. Heck, he took out an entire squad of ogres.
- Expository Theme Tune: Quoted above.
- Expy: Cavin and Calla bear more than a passing resemblance to Taran and Elionwy, in both physical appearance and role in the story. The Mexican Spanish dub makes this even more blatant as they even share the same voice actors.
- Likewise, Toadie is a short, green, Sycophantic Servant who serves as second-in-command to the antagonist and is kicked around by larger minions. Just like Creeper
- The scene in "A Gummi In A Gilded Cage" where Tummi is trying to stop two Carpies from carrying Sunni off brings to mind Taran trying to stop the dragons from taking Hen Wen. Especially since in both instances, the flying monsters are kidnapping something their king wants.
- Fantastic Racism: Part of the reason Gummi Bears are now the stuff of fairy tales is they were all so mistreated by humans that they either sailed away or went into hiding as their numbers dwindled.
- The views of humans zigzag from each Glen Bear, with only Gruffi mostly distrustful. Barbics, on the other hand, all have varied fear or hatred towards them.
- Fantasy Helmet Enforcement: Sort of. When Tummi builds a boat in "My Gummi Lies Over the Ocean," he and Gruffi are wearing what appear to be life jackets.
- Fartillery: A variant of the "weaponized belching" variety. In one episode, Sunni unwittingly gives Gummiberry Juice to a baby dragon, who develops the hiccups. This causes it to constantly burp up bubbles with little flames inside... which erupt into huge explosions when the bubbles break. Igthorn promptly captures the dragon to try and bombard Dunwyn with them. Fortunately, it's all solved when the mother dragon returns, rescues her baby, and cures its hiccups by burping it.
- Fate Worse than Death: In the Season Six episode "Thornberry To The Rescue", an evil spider called the Spinster kidnaps Gummi Bears but they are rescued by Sir Thornberry and Cavin. To make sure that The Spinster never bothers them again, they leave her tied up in an underground cave, the entrance to which is later boarded up by Gruffi. It is also implied in the episode that the Spinster might be immortal as she was originally imprisoned by the ancient Great Gummis, which makes her fate even worse.
- Feathered Fiend: Carpies, which are avaricious and vicious humanoid vultures who kidnap Sunni in one episode.
- Floating Continent: Aerial Isle.
- Food as Bribe: Igthorn tries to bribe Tummi with food to find the location of Gummi Glen.
- For Halloween, I Am Going as Myself: The Gummis go without costume into Dunwyn on Folly Day.
- Fountain of Youth: Gummiberry juice mixed with baby powder ends up turning Igthorn's ogre army into babies.
- Four-Fingered Hands: The titular bears, the ogres, the dragons and other (mythological) animals in the show, but not the humans, have them.
- Freeze-Frame Bonus: Two instances in the second season episode "Light Makes Right." When Igthorne is reading Tall Tales of the Gummi Bears if you freeze-frame as he flips the pages you can see a text description of the previous scene with Igthorne and Toadie at Castle Drekmore. When Cavin looks through the book later, if you freeze frame you can see quoted song lyrics from "I Just Called to Say I Love You," and "We Are the World," as well as a reference to Leopold Stokowski, who conducted the orchestra for the Disney film Fantasia. The final page before the page Igthorne ripped out reads "The Gummi's famous Nine Old Bears Frank and Ollie," which is a reference to legendary Disney animators Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston, members of Disney's "Nine Old Men."
- French Jerk: Princess Marie and her father, although they both prove to be decent people later on.
- Full-Circle Revolution: In "Just a Tad Smarter," the ogres replace Igthorn with Tadpole in the belief that a fellow ogre will be kinder to them, but once he's in power Tadpole is just as bad as or worse than Igthorn.
- Gone Behind the Bend: "A Gummi A Day Keeps The Doctor Away" has a scene where Gruffi and Tummi get chased by ogres while saving a kindly doctor from Duke Igthorn. The chase scene then leads to the two Gummis and the ogres running around the top part of the castle, until only the ogres are seen running around.
- Grand Finale: "King Igthorn." (It should be noted, in its original U.S. airing, 6 more episodes would premier afterwards that chronologically take place before the finale.)
- Grand Theft Me: Igthorn steals Tummi's body in "If I Were You."
- Great Big Book of Everything: The Great Book of Gummi contains the history, magic, culture and recipes of Gummi king, secured by a lock that can only be opened with one of their medallions. The Gummi Bears encounter Cavin, who just happens to possess one of those that his grandfather claims to have been given by a Gummi Bear.
- The Greatest Story Never Told: The Glen Gummis play a big role in keeping Dunwyn safe, but no one can know of their exploits in order to keep their existence secret.
- Guile Hero: With the exception of Gregor, all of them. Igthorn has a mob of ogres on his side, so the good guys have to outsmart him more often than not.
- Hot Witch: Lady Bane.
- Also Marzipan, until you see her true form.
- Humans Are the Real Monsters: The ancient Gummis were forced into hiding because of greedy humans who wanted to take their magic and technology for themselves.
- Hurt Foot Hop: In "Someday My Prints Will Come", Tummi Gummi blames the machine that he found for causing all the trouble, then kicks it, causing him to hop around in pain while holding his foot.
- Idiot Ball: Gruffi in "Road to Ursalia" for leaving a lit candle on the Great Book of Gummi.
- If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him!: Cubbi's reason for rescuing Igthorn in "For a Few Sovereigns More." Cubbi makes a promise to Igthorn to rescue him, and only someone as treacherous as Igthorn would go back on a promise.
- I Lied: Igthorn tries this on Flint Shrubwood, the bounty hunter, in "For a Few Sovereigns More". Big mistake.
- In a Single Bound: The universal effect of Gummiberry Juice on drinkers is the ability to make prodigious leaps and generally bounce around like they're made of rubber. This trait is more pronounced in Gummi Bears, allowing them to get around more quickly and dodge assailants, whilst humans get less jumping abilities, but can still leap pretty far with their Super Strength.
- I Take Offense to That Last One!:Toadwart: Toady in big trouble! Nauseating brother and stupid horse not done away with yet!Sir Victor: Thou may callst me names... but nobody calls my horse stupid!
- I Want You to Meet an Old Friend of Mine: In Season One, Gruffi was voiced by the late Bill Scott, who voiced Bullwinkle in Rocky and Bullwinkle. Grammi was voiced by June Foray who voiced Rocky in that same series.
- I Was Beaten by a Girl: Calla, going undercover, defeats the squires in "Girl's Knight Out."
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Gruffi.
- Karma Houdini: Angelo Davini in "The Sinister Sculptor" really doesn't receive any punishment for heaven knows how long his cruelty to animals has been going on. He loses his magic dust (ensuring he can't continue doing it) and he's attacked by said animals while escaping after Gruffi and Grammi break the spell, but he does escape, and when you think about it he probably got away with most of his ill-gotten gained money.
- King Gregor did order for his arrest.
- Flint Shrubwood also counts as he is last seen taking away all the money and leaving. Although considering he was simply doing his job (he is a bounty hunter, after all) and was simply taking what was owed to him after being double-crossed and letting his intended target go, it's more than subverted.
- Lady of Black Magic: Lady Bane, a very powerful witch on the hunt for Gummi secrets and magic.
- Large Ham: Igthorn. And his brother.
- Last of His Kind: The Gummi Glen Gummis believe they are the last remaining Gummis. As the series went on, they come across a handful of their species.
- Most of the Gummi Bears set off in ships to find new land where they wouldn't be persecuted by humans. A small number remained in Gummi Glen, to watch and wait for the day it was safe for the other Gummis to return. Five hundred years later, there are six left. However, by the end of Season One it's made clear that there's a thriving Gummi society across the ocean.
- On a slightly smaller scale, in Season Two the group come across another Gummi Bear called Chummi, who's really desperate to find other bears. The small bits he mentions about his past indicate he was from another warren that stayed behind but, like Gummi Glen, their numbers dwindled until there was only him.
- Sir Thornberry seems to be the last of the guards left behind at the ancient Gummi city of Ursalia.
- The "Day of the Beevil Weevils" two-parter features tree-like creatures, of whom only four (a "Great Oak" matriarch and three subordinates) appear. The Great Oak mentions "Our kind dwindled and dwindled, until we are all that are left".
- Latex Perfection: Featured in "Never Give a Gummi an Even Break"; first Cubbi Gummi scares Grammi with an ogre mask as a prank, and then an elf named Carney disguises himself as a Gummi Bear as a sideshow exhibit wearing a particularly convincing rubber mask that manages to fool Grammi and take him in. But once she figures out the trick, she allows Carney to capture them for the sideshow, where an accident causes Grammi's mask to fall off and reveal a human woman underneath (that looks suspiciously like her voice actress June Foray), but once the coast is clear and the Gummis are safe, Grammi removes the old woman mask to reveal her true self once again.
- Lethal Chef:
- Grammi's cooking thanks to limited resources before having access to the Great Book of Gummi. Stinkweed Stew, anyone? (Tummi likes it, however.)
- To Ightorn's dismay, Sunni's various attempts to make Gummi Berry Juice before she gets it right. It's literally explosive.
- In the appropriately named episode "Too Many Cooks", Sunni, Tummi, and Cubbi fill the role after copying Sir Paunch's secret taffy recipe, probably the reason he kept it secret. (Trying to use a pressure cooker ultimately results in them covering the entire castle with the famous taffy.)
- Grammi tends to invoke this whenever Igthorn forces her to make Gummiberry Juice for him by intentionally sabotaging the recipe. Unfortunately, Igthorn's taken a level in Genre Savvy by the Grand Finale and threatens to feed the tampered juice to Zummi and Tummi.
- Like an Old Married Couple: Grammi and Gruffi argue about everything from chores to battle plans to raising the kids. Cubbi, at least, has learned to exploit this like a kid whose parents don't get along, tricking Grammi, for example, into letting him keep a wolf pup by telling her Gruffi said he couldn't. In "A Gummi's Work Is Never Done," a worried Tummi and Sunni watch them argue just like two kids watching their parents fight.Tummi: Uh-oh, they're at it again...
- Lost Technology: By the wagonload. Even the Gummis don't know what half of it does.
- Love Potion: One causes Tummi to fall for Lady Bane and Lady Bane to fall for Toadie.
- Loyal Phlebotinum: The Great Book of Gummi has more security checkpoints than the Pentagon. It can only be unlocked by a Gummi medallion. If it's unlocked, you can only physically open it if you're a Gummi Bear or wearing a Gummi medallion. If it's opened, same applies to actually cast any of the spells. If you can cast the spells, you cannot use them to harm a Gummi Bear — try, and the book will turn the attack back on you. Talk about Crazy-Prepared...
- Mama Bear: Grammi. Literally.
- Marilyn Maneuver: Princess Calla in "A Gummi By Any Other Name". When she and Sunni climb out of a tower's window, some wind lifts up the skirt of her peasant outfit and causes it to flow sideways, but it goes up no higher than calf-level.
- Meaningful Name:
- Sunni is the Cheerful Child and has yellow fur.
- Cubbi the cute Tagalong Kid and the youngest in the group.
- Tummi the Big Eater
- Grammi the Apron Matron
- Gruffi is a grump
- Gusto is Hot-Blooded and energetic.
- Zummi is...um... is... we'll get back to you on that.
- It may have something to do with his spoonerism tendencies, or to emphasize his "wizard-like" nature given that a lot of sound effect depictions have the letter Z, like Zap or Kazaam.
- In the Russian dub he's renamed "Spellcaster," which still rhymes with the other Russified names the same way as it does in the original.
- On the villains' side, Toadie is the Sycophantic Servant.
- Medieval Stasis: Would instantly have been dispelled if humanity at large could have gotten their hands on Gummi technology.
- The Middle Ages: A soft, light depiction.
- Missing Mom: Princess Calla's mom is never mentioned in the series.
- Mobile-Suit Human: In "A Hard Dazed Knight," Gruffi uses one (in the form of an armored knight) to infiltrate Duke Igthorn's castle.
- Mordor: Drekmore is a foul and twisted land inhabited by ogres and filled with all manner of dangerous plants and animals. Carnivorous saber-toothed rabbits, giant eagles and sprawling fields of vines that sprout touch-triggered bomb-melons are just some of the more notable examples, but nothing there can be trusted; even mushrooms rotate like buzzsaws to cut anything that touches them. At one point, Grammi, Cubbi and Gruffi are nearly crushed when a literal cliff face wakes up at their presence and then tries to drop a huge boulder on them for laughs. The dreariness is highlighted in "Gummi in a Strange Land", where Grammi notes that no flowers can be found anywhere inside of Drekmore.
- The Münchausen: Sir Tuxford and King Gregor are like this in one episode, teaming up to tell tall-tales about their past exploits. (Subverted, however, because they knew no one believed them.)
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Gruffi ends up destroying the Great Book by accident, prompting him to find a new one in an ancient Gummi city. When he only returns with a bookmark after a clash with Lady Bane, the bookmark restores the book with all of the knowledge intact.
- The Nicknamer: Gusto has a handful of affectionate nicknames for nearly every member of the cast.
- No Plans, No Prototype, No Backup: Invoked — to protect it from falling into the wrong hands, the Gummiberry Juice formula is never written down but passed down orally each generation, and only one bear in each generation of each clan is trusted with the secret.
- Not-So-Harmless Villain: Igthorn on occasion, particularly in the finale.
- Odd Name Out: See Meaningful Name above.
- Oh, Crap!: The Gummis get an epic collection of these as Toadwort guzzles down an entire keg of Gummiberry Juice singlehandedly, with Zummi warning there's no way of telling what might happen after someone drinks that much. Fortunately for them, all that happens is steam bursts from his ears, and he takes off like a rocket.
- One-Note Cook: The only thing that Grammi can prepare correctly is Gummiberry Juice.
- Old Master: Calla's father King Gregor appears to be in his sixties and soundly trounces Igthorn in the Grand Finale.
- Older Sidekick: Tummi for Cubbi's "Crimson Avenger."
- One Size Fits All: Notably averted in "Toadie the Conquerer", when Igthorne tracks down the tomb of a legendary knight so he could claim his magic armor. The knight in question turns out to have been so short that the only person in his army capable of wearing the armor is Toadwart.
- Our Dragons Are Different: Both the European and Chinese kind appear.
- Our Elves Are Different: They might be multicolored bears, but the Gummi Bears with their lost greatness and secret ways very much resemble classic Tolkien Elves. Ursalia, their ancient capital even has striking similarities in both appearance and geography to the hidden elf city of Gondolin from The Silmarillion.
- Our Giants Are Bigger: They appear on multiple occasions.
- Our Gryphons Are Different: They're pink.
- Our Mermaids Are Different: Standard fantasy version appears in "Water Way to Go."
- Our Ogres Are Hungrier: The Ogres of Drekmore look kind of like goblins, but are several times larger than a man and have at least some level of Super Strength. They're also extremely stupid, though this does protect them from certain Mind Control type spells.
- The One Who Wears Shoes: Slightly more than normal for the trope, but Sunni, Tummi and Gusto.
- The Paladin: Sir Victor is a Knight in Shining Armor and can defeat ogres with ease. Serves well as the counterpart to his twin brother Duke Igthorn.
- Phrase Catcher: The Ogres whenever they call Igthorn "Dukie" are always told, "Don't call me Dukie!" (Usually they answer, "Okay, Dukie!") Toadwart is the only ogre to comply with this order.
- Phlebotinum Overdose: Gorging on too much Gummiberry juice can lead to overdoses, which generally causes beings to flare up from the excessive energy, bounce about uncontrollably and then rocket far away to points unknown.
- Pimped-Out Dress: Calla occasionally wears one.
- Plot Armor: In "Light Makes Right" Igthorn blasts a tower with the Gummi Scope, which Cavin and Calla are inside. The tower collapses and both kids survive.
- Plot Hole: The first time the Carpies encounter the Gummis is when they kidnap Sunni to be the King Carpie's "songbird." He's rather obsessed with having a singer. The next time the King encounters Sunni, he doesn't recognize her at all.
- Power-Up Food: Gummiberry juice. For Gummis, it makes them preternaturally bouncy and agile. For humans, it gives them a few minutes of Super Strength, but only works once a day. Ogres gets super strength too, but unlike humans, it lasts longer and can be renewed by drinking more juice. Other creatures are affected differently when drinking the juice. The berries must be mixed in a very specific way to create an effective juice and, fortunately, only the Gummis know the secret.
- Precocious Crush: Sunni has one for Gusto, who is either oblivious or politely uninterested.
- Precursors: The Great Gummis, who inhabited the Glen long ago but left when it proved unsafe. The Gummi Glen bears often hope for their return.
- Princesses Prefer Pink: Calla and Marie both wear pink dresses.
- Puppy Love: It's clear Cavin and Calla have a mutual crush on each other.
- Ragnarök Proofing: Averted in that many of the Great Gummi artifacts found often have to be refueled, reconditioned or otherwise have just decayed to uselessness. Played a little bit straight in that much (though not all) of this tech is made of wood - like the paddlewheel that brings them water - that really should have rotted out regardless of repairs in the intervening hundreds of years. The aforementioned paddlewheel is something the dialogue reveals that they've never seen before, so it should in much worse shape.
- Rank Scales with Asskicking: From his duel with Igthorn in the last episode it's clear Gregor is no frail old ruler and probably stronger than a lot of his knights. If only being the king didn't keep him out of most opportunities for action.
- Reasonable Authority Figure:
- King Gregor. This extends into his personal life when he eventually discovers, and quickly learns to be pleased, at how powerful a warrior his daughter has become.
- King Jean-Claude proves to be this in his first appearance after finding out Princess Marie lied about Calla starting the fight. He immediately ceases his attack, profusely apologizes to both Gregor and Calla about all this, and promises to give Marie a punishment she'll never forget.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Gruffi, the no-nonsense conservative, is often at odds with Grammi, who is far more progressive, and Gusto, who is out to lunch.
- Remembered Too Late: Zummi does this with the fact that Gummi berry juice only works on humans once a day.
- The Rival: Princess Marie to Princess Calla.
- Rope Bridge:
- Seen in "Zummi Makes it Hot," when the heroes eventually set it on fire to evade pursuit.
- Also shows up in "A Bridge On the River Gummi" when Gruffi attempts to build a much nicer bridge over the former Rope Bridge after it collapses.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: Princess Calla and King Gregor count for this in spades.
- Calla has saved her kingdom and her castle several times.
- In the grand finale of the series, it is Gregor who actually kicks Igthorn's butt.
- Sadistic Choice: How Igthorn finally acquires Gummiberry Juice. He warns Grammi to start cooking or he'll cook the Great Book of Gummi. She tries sabotaging the recipe like she did before, but Igthorn anticipates this and threatens to make Tummi and Zummi drink the entire pot of tampered juice unless he gets what he wants.
- Scooby-Dooby Doors
- Sea Sinkhole: In the episode My Gummi Lies Over the Ocean, bears Gruffi and Tummi are stranded on an island in the middle of a hole in the ocean, surrounded by falling water◊. The water is filling up the hole, threatening to sink the island.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: A couple of different monsters that were locked away by the Ancient Gummis become the source for plots throughout the series. The Evil Sorcerer Zorlock in "For Whom The Spell Holds" is a particularly good example; he's trapped by magic in an ancient fortress, which is buried deep underground and suspended over a lake of lava, with a huge Gummi statue warning others to never cross the only bridge.
- Secret-Keeper: The few humans who discover the Gummis existence are encouraged to invoke this to protect them and their knowledge, especially involving Gummiberry Juice. Cavin is the first to become this, followed by Calla.
- Cavin's grandfather, Sir Gowan (from whom Cavin received the Gummi medallion) becomes one as well. Though, he was initially The Cassandra who talks about his past adventures with other Gummis, but no one believes him (though they greatly enjoy the stories).
- Seesaw Catapult: One episode has Igthorn trying to get into the King's castle before a potion which put everyone inside to sleep. His final attempt is to use one of these... so the heroes drop the drawbridge upon it. Igthorn flies over the castle, and his Mooks run after him.
- She Cleans Up Nicely: Calla proves this on several occasions.
- She Is All Grown Up: Happens to Sunni in the space of one episode, due to a Rapid Aging Phlebotinum. Unfortunately, the aging doesn't stop at "filled out"...
- Shoo Out the Clowns: In "For Whom The Spell Holds" (arguably one of the darkest episodes of the series), a cave in separates the three kids from the three adults, forcing the former to stay behind while the latter go on to face the Evil Sorcerer Zorlock alone.
- Shorter Means Smarter: The Gummis are both considerably smaller and considerably smarter than most of their opponents (though not their human friends and allies).
- Toadwart, who is extremely short for an ogre, also happens to be the smartest of them. Mind you, that isn't saying much. However, his cousin Tadpole is a head shorter than Toadwart himself and he is actually very intelligent and well-spoken.
- Shout-Out: The show has a lot of references to other Disney works.
- You can see a Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck statue on one of the sculptor's shelves in "The Sinister Sculptor."
- Princess Calla wears a dress very similar to Snow White's.
- In "Queen Of The Carpies" the Carpie King says "you bet your bear necessities."
- In "Sweet and Sour Gruffi", Grammi sarcastically calls Gruffi "Mr. Know-it-All" and later on exclaims "Hokey Smoke!". Since this is one of the episodes where Bill Scott voices Gruffi, this doubles as a Casting Gag.
- In "Good Neighbor Gummi", a dimwitted thief says "Hey Rocky, I taw I taw a Gummi Bear". Rocky is also the name of a gangster in Looney Tunes.
- Anytime Tummi talks about being hungry. Helps that he's voiced by Lorenzo Music—better known as the voice of Garfield.
- One of the Carpies bares some resemblance to Beaky Buzzard.
- Toady refers to the knight Sir Victor as a "kanigget" .
- In "Light Makes Right", when Cavin flips through a book of Gummi stories, the shot pauses on a page that mentions "Two of Gummi's famous Nine Old Bears, Frank and Ollie".
- The episode "For A Few Sovereigns More" and it's villain, Flint Shrubwood, is an obvious shout-out to For a Few Dollars More and Clint Eastwood; in the climax of the episode, Shrubwood aims his weapon and taunts Igthorn, "Go ahead, take my pay."
- Sibling Yin-Yang: Sir Victor fights for good while his brother Duke Igthorn fights for evil.
- Slave to PR: Sir Victor agrees to let Igthorn's ogres into Castle Dunwyn, just because he can't bear to have his Knight in Shining Armor reputation ruined by Igthorn revealing their family connection.
- Smooch of Victory: Cavin gets one from Calla at the end of "Ogre For A Day."
- Smurfette Principle: Averted with Grammi and Sunni as well as Princess Calla being prominent characters with plenty of spotlight episodes. Ursa of the Barbics is added later, but she is also the only female Barbic shown.
- Spider People: The Spinster in "Thornberry To The Rescue".
- Spiritual Successor: To The Black Cauldron (the Disney film, not the book).
- Spoiled Brat: Princess Marie.
- Spoonerism: Zummi regularly rakes these. Bit of a problem when he needs to use magic with Exact Wording.
- Sugar Bowl: Actually somewhat less than you'd think for a show named after a candy.
- Super Hero Episode: Cubbi's stories as the Crimson Avenger.
- Super Serum: Gummiberry Juice, which augments drinkers in various ways depending on race, and is also good as motor fuel for Gummi machines.
- Super Speed: Tummi tricks Zummi into casting a spell on him to make him super speedy in an episode. Unfortunately for him, he soon loses control of its power and can't go any slower than the speed of sound.
- Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: Gruffi and Cubbi are able to access Ursalia's library, only to discover that the books are so old, they crumble to dust with just a touch.
- Swan Boats: Our gummi bears had a roller coaster-like transportation system with cars that normally were shaped like birds of prey. However, when they journey to a lost city, the cars there are shaped like swans.
- Taken for Granite: Angelo Davini in "The Sinister Sculptor" poses as a sculptor selling his art, but actually has no talent whatsoever, using magic dust that he stole from a wizard to turn forest animals (and the Gummis) to stone.
- In another episode, Gruffi believes this happened to Zummi - but it was really just a statue that Gusto carved.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Cavin and Thornberry when searching for the Spinster. Thornberry's not much for trusting humans, but this is more true on Calvin's end, due to Thornberry's quirks and scatterbrained antics.
- Tickle Torture: Igthorn does it to Grammi in one episode.
- Title Drop: At the very end of "King Igthorn, Part I":Calla: Duke Igthorn!
Igthorn: Wrong! It's King Igthorn now!
- Title Theme Tune: Although it's a milder example than subsequent Disney animated shows.
- Token Human: Cavin and Calla.
- Token Romance: Sunni's crush on Gusto only comes up twice.
- Too Smart for Strangers: Subverted in the episode, "Folly Day," considering Sunni refuses candy offered by an apparent stranger, but that person is revealed to be Duke Igthorn, a known enemy who is definitely not a stranger to her.
- Took a Level in Badass:
- Cubbi when he becomes the Crimson Avenger.
- Anyone who drinks Gummiberry juice.
- Toadie managed to take over Dunwyn by himself, using magic armor, until the Gummis trick him into taking it off.
- Too Dumb to Live:
- Sir Thornberry on the Gummi Bears' side, usually.
- Gusto, sometimes.
- All the ogres, except Toadie.
- Actually, Toadie too, sometimes, like the time he stole a whole keg of Gummiberry Juice and then drank the whole keg at once, with rather explosive results.
- Transflormation: In one episode, Tummi steals fruit from a cursed tree, and his punishment is to turn into a tree himself.
- Unwanted Assistance: A blind woman to Toadie and two ogres; she does it on purpose.
- Vanishing Village: Castle Gummadoon. Gummadoon's wizards cast a spell over the whole castle to stop humans from capturing it and taking Gummi technology for themselves. To everyone outside, it's vanished and only reappears for one day every hundred years; to everyone inside, one night has passed. Presumably they'll lift the spell when they think humans have changed.
- Vile Villain, Laughable Lackey: Toady is a Sycophantic Servant and regularly suffers abuse from Duke Igthorn, who despite being a laughable villain himself, is nevertheless ambitious and Would Hurt a Child.
- Villain Decay:
- Ogre decay. Early on in the series, with one exception, the ogres were regularly portrayed as capable of feats of extraordinary strength. Later on though, they needed Gummiberry juice to do anything beyond the limits of a human. And the weird side effects that the juice initially had on ogres was apparently forgotten.
- Lady Bane was malevolent and competent in her initial appearance, but later episodes featuring her have her fail just as badly as Igthorn due to Flanderization of her vanity issues.
- Waterfall into the Abyss: The island where Gruffi and Tummi got stranded and found Gusto was in the middle of a hole in the ocean; this made escaping difficult as they not only needed to repair their boat, they needed a way to get the boat across the gap and over the waterfall.
- Wave-Motion Gun:
- The Gummiscope. Although its real purpose is as a giant solar powered messaging machine, it can be used as as a massive energy cannon if there is enough solar energy to power it.
- By contrast, the Great Horn of Ursalia is definitely a Weapon of Mass Destruction.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: While the Barbics' hatred and distrust of humanity is far from unjustified, their desire to destroy all of it puts them at odds with the Glen Gummis in "Return to Ursalia."
- Wham Episode: The final two parter; Igthorn leaves the kingdom and after a year of nothing happening, Zummi sends a message to the Great Gummis, announcing that the kingdom is finally safe and ready for their return. Then Igthorn suddenly returns, more terrible than ever, and quickly succeeds at completely destroying Gummi Glen, capturing the Gummis and stealing the secret of the Gummi Berry Juice from them, and immediately leading his army of super powerful ogres against Dunwyn castle, demolishing its defenses and crowning himself as the new king. All of this is just one episode. Sure, everything turns out all right in the end, but still.
- White Sheep: Sir Victor has spent his entire life trying to atone for the Igthorn family's treachery, implying that his brother Duke Sigmund Igthorn was a fairly typical scion of the family. Based on the age at which he started doing this, Victor was something of a prodigy:Duke Igthorn: Same as when you were a kid, going around protecting the oppressed and saving the downtrodden. What kind of hobby is that for a six-year-old?
- Whole Costume Reference: In one episode, Calla wears a dress identical to Snow White's iconic dress.
- Whole-Plot Reference: "Bridge On the River Gummi"
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Zummi is deathly afraid of heights.
- You Don't Want to Catch This: Gummioleosis, when Cubbi and Gusto are captured by the ogres.
- Your Size May Vary: The Disney+ page for the show has an art piece that shows Sunni being much taller than Grammi and Gruffi.