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Western Animation / The Adventures of Teddy Ruxpin

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Come dream with me tonight!
The Adventures of Teddy Ruxpin is a 65-Episode Cartoon produced by Dic Entertainment and Atkinson Film-Arts based on the popular toy. It follows young Teddy Ruxpin as he leaves his home on the island of Rillonia with his best friend Grubby to follow an ancient map which leads him to find a collection of crystals on the mainland of Grundo. With the help of their new friend Newton Gimmick, Teddy and Grubby discover the magical powers of what turns out to be an ancestral treasure as well as an organization with ambitions to use it for evil. Along the way, Teddy learns the long-lost history of his species and clues to the location of his missing father.

This cartoon has examples of:

  • Abhorrent Admirer: Eleanor Tweeg is this to both her estranged husband and Ickly, whom she quite fancies. It says much that one went into hiding rather than deal with her.
    • Eleanor has one herself in the form of the Mudblup King, who would happily make her his queen if she didn't find him repulsive in every way.
  • Adaptation Expansion: Played with. While later books mention "the crystals" that the group found at the Hard-to-Find City, only the live-action special, and the series talk about how they actually found them.note 
  • All That Glitters: Justified in that the Seven Crystals were far more valuable than the hoard of treasure.
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  • Always Chaotic Evil: The Gutangs and the Mudblups.
  • And Knowing Is Half the Battle: Many stars of the era, such as Tiffany Brissette (of Small Wonder), Jason Bateman, Corey Feldman. and Shannen Doherty, appeared on camera usually introduced by an animated Teddy Ruxpin (in one instance by the doll itself) to deliver a safety message in a segment titled "Protect Yourself" at the end of every episode. This also happened in the original books, where it was also combined with one or two songs.
    • The Missing Princess features a five minute one about stranger danger.note 
  • And the Adventure Continues: Teddy, Grubby and Gimmick, having reunited Teddy's formerly amnesiac father Burl with his family, head north looking for the Illiops who went north after the Hard-To-Find City fell. However, unknown to them, Quellor has stolen the Eighth Crystal back, used it to find out about their quest, and will send M.A.V.O. after them.
  • The Barnum: Two of them. The Wizard of Grundo and the Sorceror of Ying, brothers, are both showman to the core who play to the crowd for their living. Comes to a head when the Wizard sets up a theme park next door to the Ying Zoo and the two come into direct competition.
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  • Baseball Episode: "Win One for the Twipper". Also happens in "Teddy's Birthday".
  • Battle Discretion Shot: In the finale of "In The Fortress Of The Wizard", Grubby grabs a Gutang from behind a wall and beats him up offscreen. The only thing that can be seen is the staff being thrown out.
  • Beach Episode: "The Surf Grunges" and "On the Beaches".
  • Beware the Nice Ones:
    • For nearly the entire series, Teddy is portrayed as patient, soft-spoken and calm. When his friends turn against him, however, Teddy is able to take on an entire room of bad guys alone and win, as seen in "M.A.V.O. Costume Ball".
    • Also Wooly, whenever he gets angry.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: Despite his status as an Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain, Tweeg has twice nearly managed to start a war; once between the formerly friendly Elves and Woodsprites, and again between M.A.V.O. and the Gutangs. His actions were only stopped at the last minute both times.
  • Big Bad: Quellor, the Supreme Oppressor.
  • Big Good: The Kingdom of Nogbert is this for Grundo. Formerly the title was held by the Illiops of the Hard to Find City.
  • Big Eater: Grubby.
  • Bigfoot, Sasquatch and Yeti: The Wooly What's-It.
  • Birthday Episode: "Teddy's Birthday".
  • Bothering by the Book: Part of Bognostriclum's character. He knows and can recite every M.A.V.O. rule and regulation from memory, and does his best to enforce them on everybody... And we do mean everybody. Quellor has come close to throttling the man twice for such actions.
  • Brutal Honesty: Grubby, sometimes.
  • Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp":
    • Teddy Ruxpin is not a bear; he is an illiop. Similarly, Gimmick is a Perloon, and the monkey creatures in the masks with the planes are called Gutangs.
    • In Brazil, illiops were changed into "ursos" (Portuguese word for bear) anyway.
  • Canon Foreigner: Both Quellor and the M.A.V.O. organization were invented for the TV series.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Literally. Membership in MAVO comes with a card proclaiming such, though only Ms. Maggotheart ever seems to present hers (usually when shaking down another member for their late dues).
  • Celebrity Resemblance: L.B.'s Bounder henchmen look like the Three Stooges.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The crystal seen in Quellor's black box. It is actually the eighth crystal, and holds the memories of the Hermit of Leaky Lake.
  • Christmas Episode: "Winter Adventure".
  • Clip Show: "Uncle Grubby" has flashbacks of Tweeg's previous failures.
  • Cloning Blues: In "Double Grubby", a Grubby clone made by Gimmick's machine was constantly arguing with the original.
  • Cold Snap: "Wooly and the Giant Snowzos," "Winter Adventure."
  • Collector of the Strange: The Sorceror of Ying, by necessity. He runs a zoo and the rarer and odder his attractions, the more money he makes. Teddy and Grubby inadvertently get on his radar while wearing disguises because he he's never heard of the monsters they're pretending to be. And apparently he charges his sapient exhibits room and board.
  • Cool Airship: The Airship, of course! And a Cool Boat came later in the form of the Subwater Boat, a submarine that was much cooler than it sounded.
  • Courtroom Episode: One of the plots of "Uncle Grubby" was Tweeg being taken to M.A.V.O. court to answer for his failures.
  • Deadpan Snarker: L.B. definitely, and Grubby frequently has his moments.
  • Dick Dastardly Stops to Cheat: After crossing a bridge during a race, Tweeg stopped to destroy it and even waited to see how the Wooly What's-It would cross it. And he wasn't even on the lead.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Tweeg, constantly.
    • Quellor, surprisingly, when he threaten to erase Tweeg's memory, if Tweeg did not reveal him the secret gold-making formula. Tweeg rather logically pointed out, that if Quellor erase his memory, he would erase the formula, too.
  • Disappeared Dad: Teddy's missing father. Later it's revealed that the reason he hasn't returned is that Quellor erased his memory. Once his memory is restored, he returns to his family. Tweeg's father is this as well, though for different reasons.
  • Disney Death: Happens to Wooly. Even Teddy gets one of these.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: Phil Baron, Teddy Ruxpin's actor, sings the opening theme song "Come Dream With Me Tonight".
  • The Dragon: Several M.A.V.O. members can make this claim, most notably Bognostraclum and Mrs. Maggotheart. L.B. is Tweeg's Dragon.
  • Embarrassing First Name: To Tweeg, anyway; his full name is actually Jack W. Tweeg. We never do find out what the "W" stands for, so it is possible he also has an Embarrassing Middle Name, particularly with his mother's personality...
  • Everybody Do the Endless Loop: Any song in "Octopede Sailors" is accompanied by a dance with this. "Just like the Hokey Pokey, it's bland" indeed...
  • Evil Chancellor: The Understander of Knowledge.
  • Evil Counterpart: Not for one of the characters, but the Airship itself gets one. M.A.V.O. steals the plans to the ship from Gimmick's house while everyone is away, and create the suped-up war machine, "Eclipse".
  • Evil Debt Collector: Ms. Maggotheart combines this with Intimidating Revenue Service in her role as MAVO's dues collector. Once Tweeg becomes a Junior Apprentice 3rd Class member of the organization, she pretty much dogs him every day demanding he pay the rather sizable debt he's accrued with the organization. Given she also has Sludge, Drudge, and Trudge assisting her, the intimidating part comes with the territory.
  • Evil Overlord: Quellor.
  • Exact Words: In "Winter Adventure", when Quellor ordered his henchmen to capture Tweeg and bring the gold formula, he asked if they had "any questions", one asked why the sky was blue and another one asked why water was so wet.
  • Expy: Tweeg and L.B. are expies of Dick Dastardly and Muttley. L.B. occasionally laughs like Muttley, and Tweeg not only has his Dick Dastardly Stops to Cheat moments but he once said "Drat, drat, and double drat".
  • The Faceless: The Gutangs are always wearing weird brown tribal owl-like armors. One of them passed as a jester during the attack on King Nogburt's arc, wearing a mask that only showed his eyes.
    • Quellor's hood and scarf covers his face completely in a dark shadow. His eyes are his only visible feature.
  • Faeries Don't Believe in Humans, Either: When Gimmick crashes the airship into Leota's tree, she introduces herself as a woodsprite, which Gimmick says don't exist. She quips that there's no such thing as a big bag of air stuck in her tree, and yet, there it is.
  • Fiery Redhead: Prince Arin, as explained under Hot-Blooded below. Though it's not immediately obvious as he only removes his helmet a couple times in the series.
  • Five-Man Band: Whenever the Trio's allies adventure with them.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • In the fourth episode of the series, the gang are wandering around the Hard To Find City, when someone wonders who would build such a magnificent place. The camera pans away to show off a building done in the shape of a bear's head.
    • Similarly, the ancient book in King Nogbert's library and the aqueduct beneath the castle both bear a silhouette of their creators.
  • Freudian Excuse: Tweeg sings about his in the song "Mommy". Though possibly subverted in that he seems proud of and happy about it.
  • Freudian Trio: Teddy = Ego, Grubby = Id, Gimmick = Super-Ego.
  • Friendly Enemy: L.B. and the Trio. He seldom is directly mean to them, and even helps them occasionally or is otherwise what passes as friendly from him.
  • Gentle Giant: The Wooly What's-It.
  • Go-Karting with Bowser: On several occasions, but especially "Win One For the Twipper" and the Wizardweek arc.
    • Believe it or not, Teddy and Quellor managed to sing a duet together when they were both trapped in MAVO's prison. They managed not to be overtly antagonistic towards each other, though Quellor's lines lamenting not having the freedom to be an Evil Overlord did manage to creep Teddy out.
  • Good Cannot Comprehend Evil: In the pilot episode, The Wooly-What's-It says this line.
    Wooly What's-It: Why would anybody kidnap a princess? That's baaaad!
  • Halloween Episode: "Autumn Adventure."
  • Hate Plague: The primary goal of M.A.V.O. is to spread a stormy darkness over Grundo that causes plants to start withering and bring out the worst in the population of the land. They succeed, at least for a while.
  • Have a Gay Old Time: One of the incorrect names the Bounders call Tweeg: Twink.
    • Literally; The Twink has become a homosexual slang term for a very promiscuous gay man.
  • Heel–Face Door-Slam: A B-plot for one story arc involves Tweeg, who has spent most of his life under the heel of his abusive mother, meeting his estranged father Elroy who treats him rather decently. Despite himself, Tweeg finds himself coming to enjoy Elroy's surfer lifestyle, and the two even get a nice bonding montage while collecting seashells. It seems Tweeg will be exiting the series with a happy ending, until it's revealed Elroy is sitting on a bucket full of gold. Falling back into old habits, Tweeg steals his father's gold and tries to leave, tearfully returning because he doesn't want Elroy's memories of his son tainted by thinking of him as a thief. Elroy doesn't really care about the gold and is all set to forgive his son, but Tweeg points out he's a villain to the core and won't be able to resist the gold's temptation. The two part company with Tweeg returning to his villainous life.
  • Hot-Blooded: Prince Arin tends to be impulsive and impatient at times, and his default setting seems to be "enthusiastically energetic bravery", to the point where Teddy and the others have to rein him in occasionally.
  • If My Calculations Are Correct: Newton Gimmick's Catchphrase.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: Tweeg can't hit the broad side of a barn with his cannonballs. (And what's funny is that he seems to know it— why else would his cannonballs be stamped with the words "Return to Tweeg"?)
    Gimmick: Oh, don't worry. Tweeg is, without a doubt, the world's worst shot. If he's firing at us, this is probably the safest place in the valley to be.
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: Apparently a trait of Illiops. When M.A.V.O. took all the crystals Teddy and The Hermit (whose actual name is Burl) weren't affected by them.
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: Tweeg.
  • Initialism Title: M.A.V.O. (Monsters and Villains Organization) and L.B. (Lead Bounder).
  • Insane Troll Logic: In "Beware the Mudblups", while eating the slop the Mudblups serve the heroes while they're held captive, Gimmick says that there's at least one consolation: "Anything that tastes this bad has to be good for you."
  • Insistent Terminology: Grubby is fond of reminding people that the appendages normally thought of as his hands are actually two of his eight feet.
  • Intrepid Reporter: While Louie works for a wizard instead of the press, he otherwise acts just like an old-fashioned news reporter, adventuring out and getting footage of any and every noteworthy event.
  • Inverse Law of Sharpness and Accuracy: Prince Arin's sword and the Gutangs' spears and arrows. Sometimes they'll be used to damage non-living things or knock people out, but naturally never get to be used to cut or stab anything living.
  • Kangaroo Court: One of the plots of "Uncle Grubby" was Tweeg being taken to M.A.V.O. court to answer for his failures. A rule prohibited the defendant (Tweeg) from speaking.
  • Knight in Shining Armor: While Prince Arin is technically not a knight, he otherwise fits the archetype beautifully.
  • Last-Name Basis: Practically everyone calls (Newton) Gimmick, (Jack W.) Tweeg and (Ickly) Bognostraclum by their last names.
  • Lethal Chef: Grubby cooks food with roots in them. Given new meaning when his famous root stew is actually weaponized by King Nogbert's kingdom to fight the Gutangs. Teddy and Gimmick are far too polite to point out to Grubby that he's a horrible chef. Except for root beer. Teddy and Gimmick liked Grubby's recipe.
  • Magitek: Apparently the ultimate ability of the Precursor Civilization of Grundo, powered by the crystals they left behind. Of course, since there are only 8 crystals total, one has to wonder what they did if they needed the same one in two different locations.
  • Malicious Misnaming: L.B. and the other Bounders can never get Tweeg's name right, which annoys him greatly. (L.B., however, seems to be doing it on purpose just to elicit this very reaction).
  • Meaningful Name: Grubby is called an Octopede, as he and his fellow Octopedes has eight feet.
  • Mineral MacGuffin: The Seven Crystals. As well as the eighth crystal hidden in the black box.
  • Modest Royalty: Princess Aruzia while helping the kingdom's farms.
  • Mordor: The patch of the Impassable Mountains where MAVO HQ is situated is perpetually dark and covered in a storm, even when the Hate Plague isn't present. It even looks more desolate than the rest of mountain range. Not surprising considering that, barring the Hard-To-Find City, it's the location closest to the Land of Ying.
  • Musical Episode: Kinda of, in that almost all of the episodes will have at least one scene with the characters breaking out into a song related to the situation (and occasionally dance as well). A few specific examples:
    • Crowd Song: Several, but particularly King Nogburt's subjects singing a Welcoming Song for the trio in "King Nogburt's Castle".
    • Dark Reprise: In "Beware of the Mudblups", the trio sing cheerily about how singing makes mining coal for their airship feel like it goes faster. Later on, when they're captives of the Mudblups and forced to mine coal, they sing the same song again, but in an angry/sarcastic tone, and with Arin adding on a mournful verse worrying about being captive forever. Also done in the episode "The Ying Zoo".
    • "I Am" Song: Wooly gets one sung about him in "Through Tweeg's Fingers", while Gimmick gets his own sung about him in "Gimmick's Gizmos and Gadgets".
    • Musical Chores: "Two Hands Are Better Than One" in "The Faded Fobs".
    • Villain Song: The Gutangs get one in "In the Fortress of the Wizard", and M.A.V.O. has its own in-universe official anthem with a similar theme in "The New M.A.V.O. Member".
  • Nebulous Evil Organisation: M.A.V.O. (Monsters and Villains Organization).
  • Non-Human Humanoid Hybrid: It eventually turns out that Tweeg is one; half Surf Grunge on his father's side (from which he inherits his general look), half Troll on his mother's side (which is where he gets his personality and his skin color from). There's an episode where he tries to bond with his father, even.
  • Non-Mammal Mammaries: Despite being a bug, Karen Caterpillar from Grubby’s Romance sports a massive bust.
  • Opposing Sports Team: The Mashers in the Grungeball Episode and Tweeg's team (composed of himself, his mother and the bounders) in the Wizard Week.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Played headscratchingly straight on many, many occasions, usually with Tweeg in the disguise. Even amusingly Double Subverted at least once, when Gimmick recognized two Mudblups were really Teddy and Grubby in disguise as a prank... but not because of two Mudblups mysteriously having furry feet or eight legs, rather because Mudblups hate daylight and these two Mudblups were out in daylight without sunglasses.
  • Power Crystal: The crystals from the Hard To Find City.
  • The Power of Friendship: While it's played straight with the main cast for the vast majority of the series, it notably gets averted once. When M.A.V.O. succeeds in collecting all the crystals, the dark sides of all of Teddy's friends' personalities are brought to the fore, causing them to abandon him when he needs them most. This results in Teddy having to go on a mission alone.
  • Power-Up Food: The Grunges like to cook with VitaminZ, which makes most species slightly stronger, but is addictive. However, if an illiper eats it, they become an armored giant with super strength and go into a berserker rage until they come in contact with enough water.
  • Precursors: Grundo is littered with old contraptions and stockpiles from a lost society. It's later revealed that these used to belong to the illiops.
  • Precursor Killers: The Gutangs weren't the original settlers of the Hard-To-Find City.
  • Protagonist Title
  • Psycho Electro: Quellor attempts to gain this for an episode or two via a convoluted set of wires and a portable electricity generator. It doesn't end very well. Considering Quellor was seen using that sort of power during the intro, one'd expect it'd last more.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: L.B. is arguably this. Despite being a member of M.A.V.O., he's likable enough that half of Grundo showed up for his wedding.
  • Quirky Miniboss Squad: Drudge, Sludge, Trudge.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: The Fobs, Wogglies, and Nothings/Anythings.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Prince Arin and Princess Aruzia. King Nogburt and the Queen occasionally join in the adventuring and other hands-on things, as well.
  • Self-Made Man: With his surfing skills, Tweeg's father earned enough gold to fill a bucket.
  • ShapeShifting: The Nothings/Anythings.
  • Signature Team Transport: The Airship is this for the Trio.
  • Single-Episode Handicap: "Sign of a Friend"
  • Smug Snake: Tweeg.
  • Snake Oil Salesman: Tweeg.
  • Soft Water: Apparently Leaky Lake is full of it as Teddy fell several hundred feet off of MAVO's Eclipse airship and, while the Hermit had to rescue him, he suffered not a single broken bone.
  • Speech Impediment: Newton Gimmick has a stuttering problem. It's said that most of his race, the Perloons, have this issue.
  • The Starscream: Tweeg during one episode. It is fairly short lived.
  • Super-Powered Evil Side: Do not feed Prince Arin vitamin Z... or any Illiper for that matter. It is not pretty. Judging by the dialogue, this would happen to anyone who eats too much vitamin Z, not just Illipers. Notice how Grubby crushed a large spoon with ease after just a taste of the vitamin Z-saturated soup and the Grunge chief became concerned.
  • Surfer Dude: The Surf Grunges.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Quellor felt like that at the end of "Winter Adventure".
  • Terrible Trio: Drudge, Sludge and Trudge.
  • Thanksgiving Episode: "Harvest Feast".
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Grubby has his root stew.
  • The Unfavorite: Highlights how sucky Tweeg's life is this to his mother despite being an only child.
  • Verbal Tic: In all three versions, Newton...uh, uh, Gimmick speaks with one most of the time.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Grubby and Gimmick.
    • Tweeg and L.B. are a villainous version.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifter: The Nothings/Anythings are this, and can even team up to become larger forms, as seen when five of them became copies of Grubby and Gimmick to help facilitate a prison break from M.A.V.O.
  • Wacky Racing:
    • The subject of a five-part plot arc that happened later in the series. Whilst the trio used their Airship (modified to sail on the land), some of the other vehicles we get to see are a giant hamster wheel (Tweeg's mother), a toy car (Leota and Seymour), a motorbike (Prince Arin and Princess Aruzia), and a skateboard (Wooly and some of his fob friends).
    • Tweeg's vehicle was a chariot pulled by bounders and he made it more like Wacky Races by playing the Dick Dastardly Stops to Cheat trope.
    • The surf grunges used a wheeled windsurfboard.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: The terrifying Mudblups intensely dislike bright light.
  • Wedding Day: "L.B.'s Wedding".
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?:
    • After drowning during a terrible storm and saving his father from falling in the water, Grubby doesn't feel like swimming anymore.
    • L.B. is terrified of Fobs. You know, those cute little rainbow-hued fluffy guys? That's like being afraid of a declawed kitten.

Alternative Title(s): Teddy Ruxpin


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