Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Wuzzles - Bulls of a Feather

The 80's were a strange time to be alive. For solid proof on that, The Wuzzles. 

Ah, yes, The Wuzzles. If you needed a reason to believe that cartoon writers of this era were on some dangerous form of illegal drugs, this is it.

Okay, chances are if you've seen a cartoon, you've run into a character that was half-something, half-the other, but The Wuzzles really brought that concept to a whole new level and made it popular. The whole mismatched hybrid Care Bear reject thing (a remember, back in the 80's, Care Bears were freaking huge) was their entire gimmick, and the kids loved them because who the hell wouldn't want to play with a rhino/monkey mutant? Several attempts at trying to use this hybridization in other shows has happened since The Wuzzles era (Crash Bandicoot and Spliced, for example, took the half-animal hybrids and tried to make them more science-based, and anyone familiar with WoW knows about the owlbears) but they couldn't quite get the level of cuteness that the Wuzzles had. Maybe it was the fact that, inexplicably, all the characters had tiny wings regardless of what animals were spliced. Or maybe it was the bright colors. Either way, The Wuzzles were something if not unique.

That being said, this show is one of those weird, culture-defining shows that people mainly remember the concept but not so much the content. Tons of people remember The Wuzzles, I've found out, and tons of people remember this theme song. But strangely, if you turn to these same people who can recite the "two times the fun" lyric and ask if they remember any of the plots or any of the character personalities or just anything at all besides Wuzzles being, well, Wuzzles, suddenly their eyes will glaze over and act like you just blew their mind.

Why is this show not as well-remembered as DuckTales or Gummi Bears, two shows around this same era? My theory is the fact that this show only lasted one season and thirteen episodes, giving it the unfortunate distinction of being the shortest lived Disney animated TV show. According to Wikipedia (unfortunately my primary source of research for obscure films because seriously, no one's going to write a textbook on these things), the reason for this is because Bill Scott, the voice of Moosel, had died while the second season was made, so they halted production and the show died with him, hence why most people only remember The Wuzzles because of the sweet toys.

And what kind of show was left behind at the wake of his demise? Let's find out by looking at the very first episode of this ill-fated show by looking at...

Bulls of a Feather

Airdate: September 14, 1985

Availability: Online Only

Our show begins, rather helpfully, with a narrator saying "Welcome to the Land of Wuz" while introducing us to the strange, frightening concept of Wuzzles. To be honest, I was totally not expecting this episode to be well-aware of the fact that it's the first one of the series, so this introduction is kind of a neat touch, even if the narrator sounds about as excited for the Land of Wuzzles as I was excited for my in-class presentation on geysers. The show was trying to be clever by having one of those laid-back nature show-styled narrators, but now I can't help but get the mental image in my head that some poor shmuck is tied to a chair in some dark studio somewhere and is forced to talk about Wuzzles and their strange, human-like behavior or else he'll never see his wife and kids again.

The population was decimated after the great Get Along Gang war of 1983
but I heard their economy is starting to pick up.
With the first glimpse of Wuzzle society actually being quite advanced and almost like our own, already you can see that there's sort of a problem with this idea of having a nature documentary narrator talk about The Wuzzles. This gets worse when the first thing we see them do is try to have a picnic, and it's just awkward hearing some guy go "and here we have the basic Wuzzle picnic" as if we're watching Animal Planet and Moosel's about ready to fight Rhinokey to the death for mating privileges.

And I said "try to have a picnic" with emphasis on "trying" here, because in the Land of Wuz, there exists a creature called a Flant which is half-fly, half-ant, and they're hazardous because they swarm over picnics and they're incredibly persistent. No offense, but isn't that just a swarm of flies? Don't those already exist? I don't know, I feel like this particular Wuzzle combo is kind of of a no-brainer when they could've done something outrageous like wildebeest/ants or fly/chihuahuas.

Both Wuzzles and old cartoon cliches make their home in The Land of Wuz.
This goes on for quite some time, longer than you would expect an "ants at a picnic" sight gag to last, because the animators wanted to illustrate the different personalities of the different Wuzzles and made sure that each of the main characters was equally inconvenienced by these strange insects. The flants don't just bug (no pun intended) one Wuzzle out of the bunch; they have to bug every last one, with each character getting his or her own unique scene. I guess it works considering this is the first episode, but by the time you get to Rhinokey, you just start to wonder when they're going to move on and get to the real plot.

And, considering the level of damage they're depicting the flants causing, why did they even have a picnic again? If the flants are such a problem that they can eat your entire sandwich before it enters your mouth and it can hold a hippo/bunny at bay, then I'd much rather have lunch with my friends indoors or bring some bug spray.

...why the hell didn't they bring bug spray? Bumblelion just has a fly swatter and anyone who's tried to use one of those knows they do absolutely nothing.

Three days later, the authorities discovered their ill-fated picnic site where their carcasses, stripped to the bone,
still lay where they fell, prompting the Wuz government to declare a state of emergency.
Now, you might be wondering, where the hell is this going to lead, anyways? Well, it just so happens that during the chaos, Hoppopotamus (a hippo/rabbit hybrid) ends up tossing her applemelon to Eleroo (an elephant/kangaroo hybrid, and really, I'm just noting these for posterity) as a last ditch attempt to save her food and, in Eleroo's rush to grab the mutated piece of produce, he ends up bumping into a tree. This in turn causes an egg to fall out of a nest and land into his pouch. Oho, looks like wacky shenanigans are heading my way!

...I'm not sure what it says about your cartoon if your biggest plot points so far have been picnic invaders and accidentally disturbing a bird nest. I guess I'm just too used to Disney cartoons having grander plot points like scientists that turn themselves into plants and German fat guys stealing chocolate from the Amazon.

But the icing on the cake is that, while this is all happening, the narrator says that he can't wait to see what happens when the mom of that nest finds out that she's missing her kid. He's not at all concerned either; if anything, he finds this situation absolutely hilarious, which gets downright chilling when you find out what laid that egg and the damage it can cause. Not only is he bored, but this narrator has a sick, twisted sense of humor which, oddly enough, makes me like him a lot more now.

Gotta love a series premiere that opens with accidental poaching and environmental destruction.
The other Wuzzles catch up to their accident-prone friend to make sure he didn't fracture his skull after running into that tree, and that's when he unearths the egg sitting in his pouch. What's the logical explanation he offers to his friends? Why, Eleroo thinks he laid the egg himself and he's now a mom. I do like how that that's the first thing Eleroo can think of, that he somehow defied all laws of biology by spontaneously reproducing. The fact that a lot of his friends believe this too, with the blue bunny monster accusing him of making it up just to cause drama instead of going "Hey, Eleroo, you dumbass, that's not how babies work", just makes it even worse.

But to be fair, he has a pouch. Male kangaroos don't have pouches. That would make anyone a little bit confused about their own reproductive organs. Especially considering that he's a Wuzzle, which only makes things that much more complicated.

...and now I feel bad for bringing that up because most conversations about the Wuzzles on the Internet almost always end up leading to the big "How the hell do these freaks of nature reproduce?" question. I blame Robot Chicken.

The Land of Wuz lacks a good sex ed program, I see.
Luckily, before anyone begins to question who the father of Eleroo's unexplained child is (I'm guessing Rhinokey; my fanfics need closure) and why a marsupial/placental mammal hybrid would lay a goddamn egg, the egg starts to hatch right in front of their eyes, revealing distinctly bird-like feet. Despite the fact that the creature is mooing and looks distinctly avian, Eleroo still insists that it's his baby, because I guess he's a massive dumbass that's deeper in denial than an Egyptian riverboat.

As you can probably guess by now, this is an Eleroo-themed episode. I dislike it when shows have character-themed episodes but they don't indicate it at all in the actual episode title. Darkwing Duck, you can guess which episodes contain which villains depending on what type of pun they use for the title (for example, Megavolt is never in anything with a plant pun), but here, I only came into this episode expecting bulls and feathers and instead got Eleroo the gender-confused Wuzzle. 

"He looks nothing like me."
And, once the egg hatches feet, the egg is somehow able to run around at high speeds while maintaining its balance and not running into things and killing itself, like all cartoon eggs that have feet and only feet. You'd think it'd use this energy to keep breaking out of its egg, but no, instead we need a little chase sequence first where the different mutants try to catch it.

By the way, is it me or is the egg running away from the horrible strangers that kidnapped it from its nest? Wuzzles, remember that that egg isn't yours, no matter what the giant purple elephant in your life says. I'm beginning to see why that narrator was snidely awaiting the arrival of that wild animal's mother; these people are assholes.
And they also don't get the concept of chasing something.
Some notable things about this long and slightly boring chase sequence (which seems to exist just to train animation interns how to animate different run cycles) include the narrator suddenly treating this like he's a sports newscaster and Rhinokey (the pink monkey with a rhino horn on his nose; calling him a rhino/monkey hybrid would be way too generous) just refusing to shut up and saying godawful lines such as "the fun is in the scramble!" and "I wish I could say it was nice running into you!", thus cementing his place in my list as Least Favorite Wuzzle. See, like all the Wuzzles, Rhinokey has a specific trait that defines him, and his quirk is that he likes to tell jokes and laugh all the time. And let me tell you, hearing someone only open their mouth to make jokes about pouched eggs or how someone took a ruler to bed to find out how long he slept gets real old real fast. 

But I can ignore Rhinokey for the moment here, because some sort of walrus shark thing fishes Bumblelion out of a lake after he accidentally ran into it in his attempt to catch the egg. It certainly isn't on screen for very long but, rest assured, the mere sight of it will haunt my nightmares. I probably shouldn't be watching this show sober. 

Why is a walrus/shark even living in a lake? Wouldn't a creature of that nature be more suited for sea life?
After Bumblelion narrowly escapes either a death by drowning or a death by hideous tusked monstrosity, Hoppo hugs him close to her body and wants him to speak to her, to give her any indication that he's still conscious, until he shouts out Butterbear's name by mistake. Maybe I'm reading too much into this hint towards the show's love-triangle, but I was amazed they were able to get this conversation past the censors.

And just throwing this out here, but I remember as a kid just feeling so sorry for Hoppo. Bumblelion was obviously going to shack up with the girl Wuzzle that was more his size and, in addition to this, one of the major running gags in the show was that Hoppo's friends would constantly make fun of her weight. It's a shame Season 2 never got made, but I certainly was looking forward to the episode where the hippo/bunny hybrid ends up developing a severe eating disorder thanks to her low self-esteem and body image. 

"Why must we keep meeting in secret? Shouldn't we share our love with the rest of the world?"
But back to the egg, since this is obviously going to be focus of our plot now. Somehow this egg chase sequence, after it already nearly claimed a drowning victim, leads to Eleroo running off a cliff after the egg did the same thing. Okay, seriously, between this and the whole lake incident earlier, I have reason to believe that Wuzzles are either severely near-sighted or just lack basic survival skills, which is why they as a species can only really thrive on one island and why the biggest Wuzzle city has a population of like twenty. At least that vulture/monkey Wuzzle that appeared in one of the episodes is very well-fed.

"Well, if I'm going to die, I might as well reenact my favorite scene from Swan Lake."
With Eleroo's wings growing out of his spine being meant only for decoration (and I'm not even sure why all the Wuzzles have wings in the first place), it's up to the newborn egg to suddenly sprout wings and save him from a certain doom. All while spitting in the face of physics by being able to drag Eleroo's fat ass up through the air despite being a baby. Geez, that must be one powerful species, being able to carry off something that's half-elephant without breaking a sweat. I've got a bad feeling about this, especially considering the comment the narrator had earlier about how he couldn't wait for the mom to show up.

Speaking of the narrator, it never ceases to amaze me how little he gives a crap, because when he sees Eleroo falling to his death, he just says "Uh oh, looks like this is the end for this Moo-Ma" like he couldn't care less. Dude, one of the main characters is gonna turn into a pancake and you're just saying "uh oh"? What kind of asshole narrator is this?

And then the child drags Eleroo to his nest and devours him whole.
The Wuzzles regroup on the cliff, possibly because they wanted to see the carnage and, immediately, we learn that The Huffalump has decided that he's going to keep his egg. Which is a totally stupid and ecologically damaging idea, but in fairness to Eleroo, the egg did just save him from a horrifying, bone-crushing death. Getting the chance to have a child that epic was just too tempting for him to pass up, even if he's going to get strange comments from the supermarket from now on.

And that really says a lot about your characters if it takes them three minutes to catch something that hasn't even completely hatched yet. I bet they can't cross the street without crapping up and turning it into a giant ordeal that lasts twenty minutes.

"I meant what I said, and I said what I meant,
An elephant's faithful one hundred percent."
Right when I'm about to write this entire group off as a band of drooling idiots, Butterbear (who's a butterfly/bear hybrid and looks a lot like a naked Gummi Bear) shows up and decides to bring some reason to this insane asylum by wisely pointing out that the egg belongs with its mother and that it isn't right to take a creature out of its natural habitat. In the face of intelligence, Eleroo decides that he's going to take the childish idiot route and insist that since the egg fell into his hideous appendage, it's now his, and if the mother doesn't like it, she can just study the quasi-legal concept detailed in the childhood rhyme "Finders, Keepers".

"But Eleroo, this is a federal offense and harms the biodiversity of our fragile island eco-"
"Lalalala I can't hear you!"
Luckily, Bumblelion (aka, the Wuzzle that proved how smart he was earlier by accidentally running into a lake and nearly killing himself) is able to think of a way for everyone to be happy. Why, all they have to do is just keep the egg and bring it to their house until it hatches and then give it back to the forest once they see what it is and their curiosity is firmly satisfied.

Wow. What a terrible and illegal idea, Bumblelion!

In fact, it's so terrible that everyone is on board with it and on screen-wipe later, we find ourselves in one of the Wuzzle households, where they set up a nest and a heating lamp even though they have no idea what this creature is, what its nesting arrangements are, and what temperature will help it hatch and what temperature will kill it. Hooray for irresponsible actions!

Somewhere, an environmentalist is crying.
Of course, instantly this already incredibly mindless idea of only keeping it until it hatches quickly falls flat once the different Wuzzles get into arguments on how they're going to raise the thing that hatches out of the egg, instantly indicating that Bumblelion only came up with that excuse to appeal to the one Wuzzle out of the group with any brains. Bumblelion even says that he'll raise the creature to "be handsome", when I have no idea how the hell you would raise someone to be attractive beyond plastic surgery and good makeup application.

I know I felt sorry for Hoppo earlier, but now I feel sorry for Butterbear. She has to put up with this rampant stupidity every single day of her life. I wonder what else they did that was illegal before they found the egg. Considering Eleroo and the way he was all "it's mine because it fell into my pouch" earlier, I have to wonder if that Wuzzle is a really accomplished shoplifter, which is a theory that carries even more weight when you realize that none of these Wuzzles really have jobs. The Land of Wuz is a sick, twisted place rotten to the core with moral decay.

"Geez, your breath stinks!"
It doesn't take long to hatch either, probably because it was technically already close to hatching considering it sprouted wings and legs earlier, but somehow the actual hatching process takes so long that they had to insert a commercial break inbetween just to drum up suspense and keep us on the edge of our seats. The fact that the most exciting thing about this cartoon so far is something that happens to me in Pokémon all the time (hey, I try to breed for the best natures possible) is kind of depressing. Commercial breaks are usually reserved for when Darkwing Duck is about ready to get killed by a lawnmower, not something that could be easily solved if one of the Wuzzles had a hammer.

Now I'm wondering if all Wuzzles lay eggs or if it's just the Wuzzles that are a hybrid of at least one egg-laying species. And that's not even getting into the Wuzzles that are half insect like Butterbear. Was she a catabear as a baby?
When it finally does break free from the egg shell, the result is, at the risk of using a terrible egg pun, not all that it's cracked up to be. Here I was, expecting something with like tentacles, ten eyes, and a hideous gaping jaw that can issue forth the song of the apocalypse, and instead I get...a generic cutesy animal face pasted onto a bird body. Wuzzles, I guess.

Although now I'm wondering what kind of ecological niche this creature fills in the same environment where walrus-sharks dwell. It sucks how we have a nature narrator in this show but he doesn't actually do his job and tell me whether this thing is an apex predator or not.

What has science done.
So, what the hell is it anyways? Luckily, our bored narrator, who I'm gradually warming up to due to his lack of a damn he gives to his job, is here to give us a slideshow of what it's made out of. Turns out this cutesy-wutesy adorable baby is part Brahman Bull (which is a species of Indian cattle known for its long ears, meaning The Wuzzles taught me something today) and part finch (and just finch, oddly), thus creating the Brahman Bullfinch. Get it? Because there are actual birds called bullfinches but you can also make a Wuzzle that's a bullfinch. Hah!

I do like the finch slide though, if only because that bird just looks mighty pissed off for reasons unknown.

Disapproving Finch disapproves.
That being said, once we get to see what the adult Brahman Bullfinch looks like, instantly our heroes go from just being idiots who removed a wild animal from its habitat to idiots with a death wish. Look at this thing. Charging bulls are one thing, but at least they're on the ground. After seeing this slide, I get the feeling that one of the Wuzzles is going to get a first-hand look at their own intestines.

...and why the hell does it have a nose ring? Cattle handlers usually install those rings so they can better control their bulls for agricultural purposes. A ring's going to do jack if the animal can fly, not to mention that the ring implies that there are Wuzzles who raise these abominations for meat or milk, which makes no sense since this animal was found in the wild. Do they wear the rings for tribal purposes? And if so, how do they install the rings into their noses without any thumbs? Somebody clue me in on the Brahman Bullfinch lifecycle please.

Imagine this thing crapping on your car.
So the cute little sin against nature flies around the room, bites people on the finger, says "moo" a lot, and is basically as adorable as adorable can be even though we just saw what it's going to look like in a couple of years. This scene also illustrates just how incompetent of a person (er, Wuzzle) Eleroo is because, despite everyone insisting that he take the kid back to its real mother before the mother impales him and spills his blood in the name of vengeance, Eleroo still thinks that he can take care of a flying cow beast while at the same time trying to feed it milk from a completely different species.

Wait. Why does Eleroo have a bottle filled with milk just lying around his house? In fact, why does he have a box, nesting material, and a heating lamp just readily available? Oh geez, he does this all the time, doesn't he? His backyard must be filled with the bones of his past children.

"The authorities will never catch me!"
Butterbear, trying to be a good sport (and I have to admire her patience while surrounded in complete dumbasses like her friends), decides to hit the books and do some research, because Eleroo just happens to have books on different Wuzzle species just lying around his house. It turns out bullfinches live in the forest, eat googlberries, and live in bananapine trees. With all of those hybrid names in play (although I have no idea what a googlberry is supposed to be), Eleroo reasons that the egg must've fallen into his pouch when he hit that tree earlier! No, really? I'm glad the characters can figure these things out nearly half an episode after the audience does.

And I just thought I'd mention this, but my spellcheck really, really hates this post right now.

I like Hoppo and Butterbear's smiles. They're obviously humoring the poor mentally-challenged creature.
Now, before you assume that the cartoon's going to end right then and there, with the Wuzzles taking the birdcow monster back to its home before its mom gores them to death with her horns, there's also something else about the bullfinches that we must know. It also turns out that they're also a protected species because their tail-feathers are very valuable due to being fashionable accessories.

Well, then. It's nice to know that Eleroo could be facing a hefty several thousand dollar fine and several years of jailtime now, because it sounds like he did the equivalent of going into the Florida everglades and smuggling a whooping crane egg like a massive dumbass. His bad idea just went from merely a bad idea to "oh my god, are you people crazy?" levels just from this piece of information alone.

I bet this is why the episode is called "Bulls of a Feather" too. I see what you did there, Disney writers.

"I'm not sure why there's a fur and feather trade in a society full of animal hybrids, but what can you do?"
And wouldn't you know it, the moment the cartoon introduces the idea that the bullfinch would be a very valuable target, a bad guy who just so happens to be rooting through Eleroo's garbage and eating it (yeah, the villain roster in this show isn't very classy) overhears the Wuzzles talking very loudly about how they're going to take The Very Rare Brahman Bullfinch With the Very Valuable Tail-Feathers That Could Make Someone Rich back to the forest and it would be such a shame if something happened to the creature. Wuzzles are not a very discreet race.

For those curious, this creature here is Brat, and he's one of the three main villains that turned up in this short-lived show. Despite his name, he's not a boar/rat hybrid, but rather a boar/dragon monster (I guess calling him Dragboar or Bragon would've made too much sense), and he's the closest Disney could get to having The Tasmanian Devil in their show without Warner Brothers knowing, considering the way Brat eats everything, talks in gibberish, and causes wanton property damage. I guess as long as he doesn't turn into a tornado or spits, WB can look the other way.

Come to think of it, I'm not even sure why Brat happens to be eating Eleroo's garbage. Do the Wuzzles just allow him to do that? Is he Wuz's answer to a waste disposal service? It's a good thing they don't live in an era of identity theft because that's just unreasonably unsafe.

And then he dies from Hepatitis B.
Once Brat hears this juicy tidbit of news, he decides to return to his headquarters and report to his head honcho. Brace yourselves, folks, because here is when this show gets weird, and I'm saying that after I saw the bird cow. We're about ready to see our cartoon's main villains, and they're actually pretty unique among the Disney show roster, all things considered.

But before I talk about our villains, the first thing I want to point out is this house. A horrible hodgepodge of  decaying splinters and broken pieces just haphazardly thrown together, this place instantly tells you one thing and one thing only; these villains are not rich and powerful by any means. In fact, they're pretty far down the social-economic ladder if they can't afford a decent place to live. They're essentially squatting in a building, which used to be a boat and was later converted into some living quarters to save on rent, that looks like a small rain could demolish it. I guess homeless shelters just don't exist in The Land of Wuz.

Speaking of which, I like to pretend that the boat was a human fishing boat blown way off-course during a storm and ended up landing on the Wuz island by mistake, if only because I like to think that our main villains killed and ate the occupants and then took their stuff.

Any villain who lives in a house that looks like a Disneyland attraction is instantly awesome in my book.
But then things become even more amazing when we go into the house and we find two of the main villains sitting on the couch, surrounded in their own filth, complaining about how hungry they are and how they haven't eaten in so long. Now, normally in cartoons populating the Disney Afternoon, the villains have some sort of power they can abuse to get their way. Not in the Wuzzles! Instead our main villains are jobless hobos squatting in a destitute structure that was probably condemned years ago for being a massive safety hazard. No matter how assholish these two can be, you still can't help but feel that the hero Wuzzles are massive jerks for picking on the unemployed.

I might as well introduce these two by the way. The one on the left is named Crock, and he's the laziest goddamn Wuzzle combination in the entire show. He's a crocodile/dinosaur hybrid. Seriously. We have freaking lions crossed with freaking bumblebees on this island and the best they can come up with for the main villain is two vaguely dinosaur-like species. Geez, at least throw some tarantula DNA in there or something. Although I like the theory where he's just a talking dinosaur (well, he is the only person on the island with a Louisiana accent...) and thus the only creature on the island that isn't two times the fun, wrapped up and rolled into one. That would make anyone a little grouchy and it throws in some classic discrimination into the mix.

The one on the right is named Frizard, a pink frog/lizard Wuzzle, and man, whatever mean, unjust god created these monsters was especially cruel with this one because he's by far the ugliest main character (because walrus-shark and bullfinches aren't in the entire series) on the entire island. Even though he hangs out with Brat and Crock, he's actually a very nice person to the cuddlier, softer-looking Wuzzles. He just hangs out with the bad guys because he's a terrible judge in character, is too much of a coward to say "no" to any of Crock's schemes, and because he's hideous. Which is really depressing.

"I spent eight years getting my Master's in Engineering and where does it get me?"
Speaking of depressing, they're so poor that they can't even afford real food, instead having to tear out pictures from magazines and eat the pages for nourishment. This bears repeating. They're so hungry that they're eating magazines. Somehow, opening on the villains like this doesn't instill fear so much as it instills absolute pity. Remember, this is the very first episode of the cartoon, so we don't know what horrible things these creatures have done to earn their fate yet. The cartoon that is basically telling us to point and laugh at people who are crashed out on a couch, complaining that they're starving to death. Damn that's cold.

His blood sugar levels are so low that he's starting to hallucinate.
Frizard, stewing in his hunger-induced misery, even says that he's so hungry that he'd even work for it, unintentionally saying the W-word. See, in this cartoon, these characters get really enraged when someone mentions work, and Crock is no exception. In fact, he's so pissed off that it seriously looks like that he's going to beat up his friend, and considering the size difference, I doubt Frizard could live through such a beatdown.

By the way, think of what this scene is saying. This cartoon is telling me that the reason these two don't have any food or any material possessions is because they hate to work and, because of their laziness, they're poor. You can take this in two different directions. That's either a horrible and offensive generalization of the unemployed, meaning this cartoon is sending a very terrible political message to children, or Crock and Frizard are simply like high-school dropouts hoping that someday, their musical genius will be discovered while they laze about, smoking weed and talking about how Pink Floyd syncs up to The Wizard of Oz.

...obviously, you can guess which direction I like. Hell, for all we know, marijuana's legal in Wuz, only it's some sort of weird hybrid like methijuana. 

Maybe hanging out with someone higher on the food chain was a bad idea, Frizard.
Suddenly, while the conversation on work goes absolutely nowhere, the boar creature we saw earlier runs in (destroying a door in the process, because Brat's an asshole and is well-aware that Crock can't afford to replace it) and tells them about the Brahman Bullfinch. We get a really weird scene where apparently, even though Brat talks like a pit bull gnawing on its own butt, Crock can understand every word he says. Instantly, the fat homeless man decides that they can steal its feathers and get super rich from it.

I feel bad for saying this, but considering Eleroo was able to steal the bullfinch and not get caught, I'm totally fine with Crock grabbing some feathers if it means he can afford to improve his quality of life. Considering the villains' diet consists of magazines and garbage, if Crock had some actual money, they might just be able to avoid a death from malnourishment.

And maybe Brat can also get some speech therapy lessons and a trip to the dentist's on top of that.
But we have to check back on the Wuzzles, who we see are on their way to return the bullfinch to its tree by driving through the forest full of protected species in a car. What. You even see that the car isn't even on any state-mandated roads and Moosel is choosing to instead bulldoze his nice 1950's Chevy Lowrider car with moose antlers through an island wilderness that only exists on one place in the entire world. Where's Captain Planet when you need him?

...and why do the Wuzzles even have cars? Is there a thriving automobile industry in this island community? No seriously, what the hell?

"Being environmentally conscious is for pussies!"
We also see that Eleroo is still sentimental about leaving the bullfinch because, in his words, he knew the little guy since the day he was born. Well yeah, considering you took its egg from its nest illegally. Seriously why is this still an issue? Are any of these Wuzzles even the least bit worried that they're breaking several poaching laws?

And then he hugs the creature so close to him that it looks like its in actual pain, because if you have a baby endangered animal in your presence, you should strangle the life out of it!

"I'm gonna hug you and kiss you and love you forever and never let you go!"
They drive up to the tree and have some trouble putting the creature back into its nest, considering the nest is really high up and the wings all the Wuzzles have don't actually do anything. That's when Crock leaps into action and we get to see just how stupid of a race these Wuzzles are. Since Crock can't really afford any decent traps, he decides that the best way to still the bullfinch is to dress up in the worst possible disguise in the history of cartoons (for starters, he had to sew a giant B on his chest in case no one knew he was a bullfinch), start going on in a really fake girly voice about how he missed his baby boy in the thick Louisiana accent that only he possesses, and hope the Wuzzles just hand the bullfinch over.

In fairness to Crock, he is suffering from acute malnutrition. If I was nearly starving to death, I'd think this was a good idea too.

"Oh, junior, I'm so glad you're safe! Let mama hold you close with her frightening dinosaur claws!"
And the worst thing? It actually works.

No, I'm not kidding you. No one finds this at all suspicious, the disguise fools all of the Wuzzles even though the bullfinch is struggling and crying, and they sort of smile and wave to the hideous pink creature with the visible stitching as it abducts the rare animal.

...I think I've lost all faith in these characters now. I expect this sort of behavior from Scratch and Grounder, not characters that are designed to sell cute 80's plush toys. Even the Care Bears aren't this dumb.

"I see you're wondering about the disfiguring scars. I accidentally flew into a jet engine two years ago."
Eleroo's heart is broken that he can't keep an endangered animal in his house, but everyone heads home anyways, with Rhinokey (ever the annoying idiot) even saying that it's a happy ending. Again, note the lack of suspicion in all of the characters. Maybe there's a reason Butterbear and Hoppo wasn't with them; the girls, what with their more advanced brains and their ability to use logic and reason, would've saw right through that disguise. I wonder if there's an evolutionary reason behind the fact that the girl Wuzzles are so much smarter than the boy Wuzzles.

Anyways, it's a good thing the mother bullfinch actually shows up out of nowhere and sits on their car, informing them that something's wrong, or else the rest of the episode would involve the male Wuzzles sitting around the house, wondering why Crock can suddenly afford a mansion and a yacht.

"Here's the beef!"
You gotta love how inept these Wuzzles are at problem-solving by the way. A very angry female bullfinch attacks their car, chases their car, follows them through town, and then sits on Eleroo's home and nearly destroys the roof, and they honestly believe that she's a relative of that nice, pink, badly-sewn mom they saw earlier and can't honestly figure out why she's so angry. Eleroo even yells that they gave the baby back. No offense, guys, but to call you idiots would be an insult to idiots because this is beyond stupid. This bullfinch can't talk, choosing to instead bellow in anger, while the bullfinch you handed the baby over sounded just like the hobo from down the street that everyone hates. Put two and two together! This shouldn't be that hard to figure out!

So it's both a cow and a bird. McDonald's would love to discover a species like that...
With the bullfinch caving in Eleroo's house with her gigantic cow ass, the two girls run off to do something smart off-screen while Bumblelion decides that he's grown tired of living, so he climbs up on the roof and starts threatening the giant horned animal. As you can probably guess, Bumblelion is the stupidly courageous leader of the group; the one that likes to get himself into danger without thinking of the consequences. The interiors of dragon caves are littered with the bones of people like Bumblelion. I'm sending condolences to his family in advance.

And in yet another fascinating display of Wuzzle intelligence, the cape Bumblelion uses is pink. If you're going to dance around and shout "Toro! Toro!" like the bullfighter stereotype you're trying to convey, could you at least get the color right?

Incidentally, female Brahman cattle don't have horns and yet all the Brahman Bullfinches have horns.
Does this mean this species is an all-male race?
Luckily, the bull only decides to snort Bumblelion off of the house with its breath instead of using its horns, or else Eleroo would have to hire someone to climb to the top of his roof and clean all the blood and bumblelion guts out of the straw thatching. This scene also shows just what assholes The Wuzzles are to each other, because their reaction to Bumblelion falling off the roof and narrowly avoiding getting his back broken is not to ask if he's okay, but to point and laugh and crack jokes at his expense. Between this and the extreme leaps in logic earlier, I'm guessing the reason this show only had thirteen episodes is because natural selection finally did its job and none of these creatures survived for a second season.

"Hah hah, you nearly died and that's funny!"
Meanwhile, Butterbear and Hoppo are at the general store, ready to buy googlberries to lure the angry bull off the roof. I know I keep pointing this out, but the girls the only ones with any common sense. They're using research to solve a problem instead of climbing up on the roof with a blanket and hoping a giant bull horn doesn't pierce their sternum. We should rename this show Butterbear, Hoppo, and the Mutant Idiots that Constantly Ruin Their Lives.

Just one problem, says the weird dog-like store owner that I can't honestly figure out what the hell he's supposed to be. All the berries were already sold to someone else. Oooh, the plot thickens!

...although now I'm wondering what a googlberry would taste like. I'm picturing like the fruit equivalent of Trident Layers gum. Come to think of it, a lot of the Wuzzles food, I wish I could try. They have applemelons, for crying out loud. Applemelons!

"Help! This crocodile in a cape keeps following me around and is trying to make me dance ballet!"
Since the shopkeeper is such a nice fellow in redirecting the blame, he even points to who bought the berries. It turns out that Frizard and Brat bought the berries and stored them all in this really derelict truck that just screams trailer trash. Not sure how Hoppo and Butterbear were able to walk into the store without seeing them, but to be fair, hippos, bears, butterflies, and rabbits are not known for their stellar eyesight.

When they see that the two unemployed jerks of the community are carting away an obscene amount of food, Wuzzle hospitality is at its finest because the first thought that springs to Hoppo's mind is the fact that it's amazing that Brat and Frizard actually paid for something. Yeah, poor people, am I right?

...wait, how the hell could they afford all that fruit if they couldn't afford to buy any food for themselves earlier? I'm guessing they robbed the bank off-screen.

It looks like them Duke boys are in a heap o' trouble.
It doesn't take long for Butterbear and Hoppo (who were somehow able to follow Frizard and Brat by car without either of them noticing) to find out that the three bad guys have the bullfinch holed up. And now it's up to the only smart Wuzzles on the island to do the right thing. Take note, Bumblelion. This is how you're supposed to do it.

By the way, now's a good time to point out that while the large, overweight crocodile monster is being a total dick to that bullfinch (although all he did was tie a rope to its leg; he's at least feeding it), technically he broke the same amount of laws as the good Wuzzles. Hell, if anything, Crock's way of doing it is a lot smarter, because he's actually trying to make a profit out of the bullfinch instead of being like Eleroo and insisting on keeping it because he thinks he's the mama or something stupid.

"Berries make me ANGRY!"
Mind you, while I said his plan was "smarter", that doesn't mean Crock's plan is actually smart. His plan is to keep the bullfinch and keep feeding it so that it can grow big enough to have lots of feathers for him to sell. There are several glaring flaws in this (most of them involving him keeping the authorities and the giant property-destroying cow monster off his ass for several years while waiting for his money-making scheme to grow), but I just want to point out the most obvious one. Just earlier, we saw that they could barely afford enough food to feed themselves, let alone an animal that grows to be so giant that a full-grown one can sit on your roof and make your house cave in. The bullfinch is going to starve to death, as will these three jerkasses, long before they see a cent of Crock's enterprise.

The only reason he's not in prison is because the policemen in Wuz find this guy so pitifully entertaining.
Luckily, there's an opening for Butterbear and Hoppo to get the bullfinch because...Crock had to turn to the other two mutants and start whispering to them for an extended period of time.

Uh, why? This plan really isn't that complicated, guys. Croc already laid out all the big details (feed bullfinch, ???, profit) and it's not a very difficult plan to figure out, unless if there's some steps that he didn't mention out loud that involve things like an underground smuggling ring and criminal ties with the Wuzzle mafia, which I heard has weapons that are half-piano wire, half-tommy gun. 

Also I like how in this entire episode, Frizard just looks like he doesn't want to be there. Come to think of it, he doesn't do one thing that's malicious this entire episode besides follow Crock's orders. Poor guy's in with the wrong crowd.
"Just be aware that if the baby's real mom shows up, I'm using you as a meat shield
while me and Brat make our getaway, Frizard."
So Hoppo grabs the kid, which leads me to realize that, while Eleroo is a large part of this episode and was insisting that he's the bullfinch's mom, it's the ladies that are really kicking ass and saving the day. I find that both funny and sad that Eleroo's so incompetent that he can't save his own adopted baby.

Unfortunately, they're not out of the fire yet, because the kid happily cries out in joy. Uh oh.

With a "she's stealing what we rightfully stole" from Crock (I love the way this character talks), that leads us to our climax, which involves, oddly, a really long car chase sequence. Yes, you heard me. The Wuzzles likes car chases. I know we already saw the Wuzzles drive cars two other times in this episode, but it still throws me off that these fairytale creatures travel just like regular human beings instead of using something mystical or fantastical. Plus the cars aren't even a hybrid of anything! They're just cars! Why not a car/boat or a car/airplane as the main method of Wuzzle transportation?

This car chase goes on for way too long and isn't all that exciting, but I will point out that while Butterbear's car and later Crock's car drive past Eleroo's house, Rhinokey calls the three villains "those loonies from the boonies". Just keep on sucking, Rhinokey. The fact that you're a classist dick really doesn't surprise me.

"For the love of god, what the crap are you doing driving 60 miles in this goddamned lane
when there's a perfectly free lane to the right, asswipe!"
You gotta love their cars by the way. People in this town just have the inability to drive unless if their vehicles have attachments that resemble body parts they possess. And after seeing the really awesome car designs in shows such as Wacky Races, I'm really disappointed to see that the main villain's car is just a run-of-the-mill 1950's car with a giant lizard tail glued to the rear. I don't think an ornament of that nature is street legal, but then again, maybe jurisdiction is different in The Land of Wuz. After all, no one's even wearing a seat belt here. Crock isn't even in a seat this whole time.

And how the hell did Crock afford that nice, topless car if he can't even afford food? Hell, how did he afford the magazines?

"Hey, your car looks ridiculous!"
"No, your car looks ridiculous!"
So they drive to Crock's house, because I guess Butterbear had an extreme lapse in judgement and thought that the best way to lose the bad guys is to drive down the roads near where they live. While this really snore-inducing car chase is going on, which includes exciting things like Brat getting hit by an incredibly low street light and Crock demolishing a fence with his silly-looking car tail, the mamma bull called up a whole flock of bullfinches to follow them.

...wait a second, I thought this was a protected species! There's a whole herd of them! Now, before you point out that these could be the only living members of this species, let me point out that we've only seen one of each of the main Wuzzles. Not sure why the bullfinches are considered endangered when I've only seen only one Bumblelion and only one Crock.

Two people were killed by falling cow pies that day.
What I find sad is that Butterbear and Hoppo, who were really quite logical and smart this entire episode, decide that the best course of action to take next, after driving around and trying to get away from Crock, is to hide out in Crock's house. Oh yeah, they'll never look there! And they certainly won't know of any secret entrances in which to surprise you either!

And then the other four run into Crock's house because, according to Bumblelion, it's showdown time in Crock's house. Guys, I'm not sure if you want to call it a showdown. A showdown would imply that there's actual stakes. A showdown implies a life or death struggle between good and evil, with the chance that someone could get killed or at least seriously injured. This plot is just trying to save an ugly baby bird mutant from the jerks no one in this town likes. Calling this a "showdown" is being waaaay too generous.

Sadly, the scene where the rest of the cuddly, merchandise-driven cast bursts through the door and runs in to help Hoppo and Butterbear is probably the scene they used the most in the tv advertisements for this show. Think about what that means about this show, that the money shot for this entire series is the team rushing in to save a baby finch from an unemployed reptile.

They're dashing and daring, courageous and...wait, wrong show.
Crock then shows up, and we learn something that they never really addressed until now. Apparently Crock, in addition to having poor living arrangements and an appetite for printed media, is the strongest, toughest character on the entire island and everyone's kind of afraid of him. Hell, Bumblelion, the guy who climbed up a goddamn roof and tried to face off against a bird with a bull face grafted to its body, needs some convincing from Hoppo before he decides to come to blows with Crock and his goons. They probably should've made that a lot clearer in the beginning of the episode, but what can you do?

By the way, I noticed that, at least with the main characters, all of the good wuzzles are mammalian creatures with the occasional bug part in the mix, while the bad guys are reptilian-based. Nice to know the job market in Wuz actively discriminates against people with a scaly heritage if all the hobos are part lizard. The Land of Wuz is a sick, twisted place.

"We're going to eat well tonight, boys!"
Man, we need some sort of a deux ex machina to save the day, especially one that can be easily narrated by Bored Out of His Mind Narrator. I sure hope this cartoon throws something stupid our way like a flock of bullfinches sitting on Crock's house instead of the Wuzzles actually using their brains to fix the problem that they themselves caused.

And wouldn't you know it, that's just what happens. Not sure why the bullfinches didn't descend upon Crock and rip his body to shreds when he had the baby all tied up in the yard and had a whole truck of googlberries just sitting out there, but I guess that would've been the logical route and, judging by what I learned today, Wuzzles are allergic to logic.

Hey cool, the latest Angry Birds DLC just launched!
So the good Wuzzles escape in time, but the three villains are not so lucky, because they're left behind, trapped in a house that's about to collapse. How heroic.

They deserve it because they were lizards!
Oh, and while this is going on, Rhinokey has to crack a joke about how the bullfinches brought the house down. Hahahaha, it's funny because someone who doesn't have enough money to buy food for himself just lost his home and he happened to be trapped inside while the roof collapsed! They totally deserved it after they stole that rare, exotic animal that only happened to be in town because your friends smuggled it from the forest and just had to see it hatch! 

Rhinokey, I'm going to say this the nicest way I can, but go to hell. Maybe you can laugh at them after you find out if they're still alive, you giant asshole!

Pictured: A total asshole who laughs at the poor.
Luckily, not all the Wuzzles are horrible, because Butterbear is actually worried about whether Crock and his friends are hurt. Unfortunately, this causes Annoying Pink Asshole to go run up to the front door (wait a second, Brat destroyed the front door earlier, what the hell?), discover that they're still alive, although they look pretty hurt and who knows what dangerous molds they just inhaled and are floating in their lungs right now, and then make another joke at their expense. Geez, Rhinokey just really hates people who aren't him.

And again, Frizard. He wasn't actively hurting the Wuzzles. Why does he get lumped into this tragedy?

So not only are the bad guys going to continue eating magazine pictures for food, but now they don't have a roof.
Is this supposed to be a happy ending?
So the Mama Bullfinch gets her baby back, the mother looks frightening and scary considering the cow head awkwardly imposed on a round beanbag body, everyone waves goodbye, Eleroo conveniently ignores that everything that happened today was all his fault because he sucks, and it's a happy ending. Looks like we all learned a valuable lesson on how we need to leave wild animals' nests alone, or else the wild animals will go damage the house of someone we don't like.

"Yeah, I'm just going to conveniently ignore the fact that the reason my baby was in that
life-threatening situation is because you stole my egg from my nest!"
Actually, no. Because the last thing we end this episode on is Eleroo with another egg, this one even larger than the last one, showing that the moral of the episode just sailed right over his thick skull and this character didn't actually develop. Goddamnit, Eleroo! Why must you suck so much? If Rhinokey didn't already earn the title, I would've named you Worst Wuzzle for this!

"This is the best Easter ever!"
Well, okay, I was wrong about it ending on Eleroo comedically appearing with an egg in order to instill some hilarious irony into the cartoon. Turns out we leave on a very chilling, almost scary note when the very, very last thing we see in this episode is the mysterious egg hatching, which causes the narrator to bail out (probably because he's crapping himself in fear but doesn't want the audience to know) and end the episode right before we see what hideous monster crawls out. it safe to assume that whatever hatched out of that egg killed all of the Wuzzles?

And then everyone died.
And that's The Wuzzles I guess.

Or rather, that was The Wuzzles. Now I'm sad that this wasn't the last episode, because that would make one hell of a series ender.

The Moral of this Cartoon
Taking an endangered animal from its habitat is a-okay, just as long as you don't seek to profit from it!

Final Verdict

Okay, obviously there are reasons why this didn't catch on, but it's not terribly bad. In fact, I can honestly say that there are parts of this cartoon that are pretty entertaining. It's just not as good as it should've been.

For starters, let me say what's good. The cartoon's strongest points are easily the animation and the setting. The Land of Wuz has a laid-back feeling to it, and the animation is incredibly cartoony and fluid. Bumblelion in particular gets some great takes and some very fluid movements, and you gotta love the designs on all of these characters. The characters, even though there's a lot of them, all have their own distinct personalities, and you can obviously tell them apart.

I think, oddly, what might be the thing that's hurting it is probably the stakes. Even DuckTales and Gummi Bears, you got some sense that something was in danger, and if the heroes didn't do something, something terrible was going to happen. Here, I'm pretty sure if the heroes just left Crock alone, that flock of bullfinches would've found him and took care of him themselves. I think it might be because of the product of the time, because I noticed that compared to the cartoons that followed after this, there was a lot less physical violence and a lot more focus on friendship.

Another weird thing is kind of the logic that they used for this episode. I know, I know, it's a cartoon, and zany schemes are to be expected, but the complete subversion of the moral and the fact that the heroes suffered no consequences from their bad idea just seems really weird. Yeah, let's take this egg out of the forest, but oh man, that bad guy did the same thing, only he's doing it out of greed! No, both options are wrong. Butterbear tried to address that but I felt like the characters kind of ignored her and in turn, ignored the message. If you're gonna have a moral, go all the way and have that moral instead of flip-flopping unless you're doing it for laughs, and even then, you have to be careful to make sure it doesn't look half-assed like this did. I think it's probably the tone of the show, mind. It's obvious they're aiming this at little kids, when with DuckTales and Darkwing Duck, they'll tell some jokes that end up flying over the kids' heads. 

But then again, maybe it was just this episode in particular. I'll be honest, but I really didn't care for this plot in particular, especially since it had some weird double standards between the heroes and the villains, and I felt that we didn't get to know our main characters very well, but that might change if I see a different episode that isn't so much focused on "Aww, look at the cute little eggy!". The bullfinch was pretty boring and had a generic baby design, and I guess the mom had some laughs, but it kind of felt like nothing happened in this episode that was particularly noteworthy.

All in all, it's cute, but at least here, it lacked meat and the episode didn't make sense in a bad way. I can't honestly say that it'll place in my list of best Disney Afternoon shows, but I at least like the animation a lot and I would consider giving this show a second look.

Just so long as it's not this episode, because man, Eleroo and Rhinokey sucked in this episode.