The Raccoons (1985 - 1992): A Walk Down Memory Lane to the Evergreen Forest

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Ready for a nostalgic trip back to the Evergreen Forest? For those who grew up watching cartoons in the 1980s, The Raccoons holds a special place in our hearts. Created by Kevin Gillis and centering around a lovable gang of anthropomorphic animals, this Canadian animated series delighted kids for over half a decade.

The Background of The Raccoons TV Show​

The Raccoons TV show first aired in 1985 and quickly became a beloved animated series for audiences of all ages. Created by Kevin Gillis, the show was inspired by a real-life encounter with a mischievous raccoon while camping. Gillis saw the potential to turn this encounter into an entertaining and educational show that would captivate viewers. Thus, the concept for The Raccoons was born, to showcase the charm and intelligence of raccoons while promoting important values such as friendship, environmentalism, and teamwork.
1705481806569.pngTo bring The Raccoons to life, Gillis enlisted the help of animator Sheldon Wiseman and composer Jon Stroll. Together, they developed the show's distinct animation style and catchy theme song that would become iconic throughout the show's run. Wiseman's hand-drawn animation techniques and attention to detail brought the characters to life, while Stroll's anthemic theme song set the tone for each episode. The combination of these creative talents resulted in a visually appealing and musically engaging TV series that captured the hearts of viewers around the world.

A Brief Overview of the Characters in The Raccoons​

In the world of The Raccoons, there are a delightful ensemble of characters that add charm and depth to the show. Meet the leading protagonist, Bert Raccoon, a lovable and mischievous character with a heart of gold. Bert is often seen sporting his signature red cap and blue overalls as he embarks on various adventures in the Evergreen Forest. Alongside him is his best friend, Ralph Raccoon, a dependable and resourceful raccoon who is always ready to lend a helping paw. Ralph is known for 1705481883335.pnghis intelligence and quick thinking, which often saves the day for the friends. Image courtesy: Fandom.

Together with their spirited friend, Melissa Raccoon, the trio forms a strong bond as they navigate the challenges and wonders of their woodland home. Joining the raccoons on their escapades is Cyril Sneer, the show's main antagonist. Cyril, a wealthy and cunning aardvark, is constantly scheming to expand his business empire at the expense of the environment.

With his characteristic green suit and iconic snout, Cyril serves as the perfect foil to the raccoons' efforts to protect their beloved forest. Supporting characters such as Cedric, Cyril's well-meaning but bumbling son, and Sophia, Cedric's caring and wise nanny, further enrich the cast of The Raccoons. Each character brings their own distinct personality and quirks, creating a vibrant and engaging world for viewers to immerse themselves in.

The Memorable Theme Song of The Raccoons​

The theme song of The Raccoons is not easily forgotten. Its catchy tune and upbeat melody instantly transport fans back to the magical world of Evergreen Forest. Composed by Kevin Gillis and Jon Stroll, the song perfectly captures the essence of the show's adventurous spirit. The lyrics, sung by acclaimed Canadian singer Lisa Lougheed, evoke a sense of wonder and excitement, setting the stage for the tales of bravery, friendship, and environmental conservation that unfold in each episode. Accompanied by vibrant visuals of the lovable raccoon trio, Bert, Melissa, and Ralph, the theme song serves as a delightful introduction to the beloved animated series.
With its joyful chorus and memorable lyrics, the theme song of The Raccoons has become an iconic anthem of nostalgia for fans across generations. The opening lines, "Run with us, we've got everything you need," embody the show's inclusive and welcoming nature, inviting viewers to join the escapades of the forest inhabitants.

As the song progresses, the catchy refrain, "Run with us, we've got everything you need, run with us, we are free," captures the core message of the show – the importance of friendship, freedom, and living in harmony with nature. The theme song of The Raccoons is much more than just an introduction; it's a musical embodiment of the show's themes and values, etching itself permanently into the hearts of its devoted fans.

Exploring the Unique Animation Style of The Raccoons​

The animation style of The Raccoons TV show was truly unique for its time. It blended traditional hand-drawn animation with elements of computer-generated imagery (CGI), creating a visually distinct and captivating world. The characters' movements were fluid and expressive, with attention to detail in their facial expressions and gestures. The backgrounds were vibrant and richly textured, showcasing the natural beauty of the Evergreen Forest where the story takes place. This combination of traditional and modern animation techniques added depth and dimension to the show, setting it apart from other cartoons of its era.
1705482144945.pngOne notable aspect of The Raccoons' animation style was the meticulous attention given to character design. The main characters, Bert, Ralph, and Melissa Raccoon, along with their friends and foes, were all carefully crafted with distinctive features and personalities. Each character had their own unique design elements, from Bert's round glasses to Cyril Sneer's pointy snout and green top hat. The animators paid close attention to capturing the essence of each character through their appearance and movements, ensuring that viewers could easily identify and connect with them. The attention to detail in character animation was a testament to the artistry and skill of the animators involved in bringing The Raccoons to life on screen.

The Impact of The Raccoons on 80s and 90s Pop Culture​

In the 1980s and 1990s, The Raccoons made a significant impact on pop culture, captivating audiences of all ages with its unique blend of storytelling, characters, and animation. This beloved animated series found its way into the hearts and minds of viewers, leaving a lasting impression that continues to resonate even today.

1705482262098.pngOne of the key reasons for The Raccoons' influence on pop culture was its ability to address important social and environmental issues in a relatable and accessible manner. Through its cleverly crafted episodes, the show shed light on topics such as deforestation, pollution, and the importance of conservation. This not only entertained young viewers but also instilled in them a sense of responsibility towards the environment. The Raccoons' ability to tackle such issues with finesse and care set it apart from other animated shows of its time, making it a relevant and impactful force in 80s and 90s pop culture.
The adventures and storylines in The Raccoons were captivating, taking viewers on exciting journeys through the Evergreen Forest. The show introduced us to a lovable group of characters, led by the courageous and ever-resourceful raccoon, Bert. Alongside him were his friends Ralph and Melissa, as well as the mischievous and scheming Cyril Sneer. Together, they faced a variety of challenges and obstacles, from battling pollution to protecting their beloved forest from greedy industrialists.

One of the most memorable storylines in The Raccoons was the battle between the kind-hearted animals and Cyril Sneer's relentless pursuit of wealth and power. Viewers were drawn into the ongoing struggle as they rooted for Bert and his friends to outsmart Cyril and preserve the beauty and harmony of their natural habitat. The show effectively highlighted the importance of teamwork, friendship, and standing up for what is right, making it not only entertaining but also deeply impactful. As we reminisce about these adventures, we are reminded of the valuable life lessons and positive messages that The Raccoons imparted to its audience.

The Positive Messages and Life Lessons in The Raccoons​

In addition to its engaging characters and captivating storylines, The Raccoons TV show was cherished for its positive messages and valuable life lessons. Throughout the series, viewers were encouraged to embrace the power of friendship, teamwork, and perseverance. The incredible bond shared by the main characters - the brave but mischievous trio of Bert, Ralph, and Melissa Raccoon - served as a constant reminder that unity and collaboration can overcome any challenge. By showcasing the importance of loyalty and support, The Raccoons effectively taught young audiences about the lasting impact of strong relationships.

Furthermore, The Raccoons often emphasized the significance of environmental conservation and preserving nature's beauty. The peaceful Evergreen Forest, where the adventures took place, served as a vivid backdrop, highlighting the importance of protecting our natural surroundings. The show encouraged viewers to be mindful of their impact on the environment and to promote sustainability in their daily lives. Through creative storytelling and relatable characters, The Raccoons instilled a sense of environmental responsibility and encouraged a love for nature in its audience.

The Voice Cast Behind The Raccoons' Beloved Characters​

The talented voice cast behind the beloved characters of The Raccoons brought the show to life through their remarkable performances. Leading the pack was Len Carlson, who lent his voice to the show's protagonist, Bert. With his deep, rich voice, Carlson captured Bert's gentle nature and unwavering loyalty, endearing him to audiences of all ages. Joining Carlson was Sharon Lewis, who portrayed Lisa, Bert's love interest. Lewis brought out Lisa's intelligence and determination, effortlessly conveying her strong-willed and independent nature. The chemistry between Carlson and Lewis's voices made Bert and Lisa's relationship truly memorable.

Adding to the mix was Marvin Goldhar, who voiced Ralph, Bert's mischievous but lovable friend. Goldhar's versatile voice perfectly embodied Ralph's energetic and adventurous spirit, making him an instant fan favorite. Rounding out the main cast was Bob Dermer, who brought the villainous Cyril Sneer to life with his distinct and memorable voice. Dermer's portrayal of Cyril, with his gruff tone and sly delivery, made him an unforgettable antagonist, always scheming and causing trouble for the Raccoons. Together, the voice cast created a group of characters that audiences continue to adore to this day.

The Popularity and Longevity of The Raccoons TV Show​

The Raccoons TV show gained immense popularity during its original run in the 1980s and 1990s. With its engaging storylines, relatable characters, and memorable theme song, it captured the hearts of both children and adults alike. The show's unique animation style, featuring hand-drawn animation combined with stop-motion, set it apart from other cartoons of its time.
1705482361787.pngOne of the reasons for the show's longevity is its ability to convey positive messages and life lessons in a way that resonated with audiences. The Raccoons tackled important topics such as environmental conservation, friendship, and the power of teamwork, making it not only entertaining but also educational. Additionally, the talented voice cast brought the characters to life, ensuring a strong connection between the viewers and their beloved raccoon friends. This combination of factors contributed to the continued popularity and enduring legacy of The Raccoons TV show.

The Merchandise and Collectibles Inspired by The Raccoons​

The popularity of The Raccoons TV show in the 80s and 90s not only sparked the imagination of young viewers but also inspired a wide array of merchandise and collectibles. Fans of the show were eager to bring their favorite characters into their everyday lives as they adorned themselves with Raccoons-themed clothing and accessories. T-shirts featuring the lovable trio of Bert, Melissa, and Ralph became a common sight, while backpacks and lunchboxes showcased the vibrant animation style that made the show so special.

In addition to personal items, The Raccoons merchandise expanded to include toys and figurines that allowed fans to recreate their favorite adventures at home. Children and collectors alike were thrilled to have miniature versions of their cherished Raccoons characters, from the mischievous Cyril Sneer to the brave and resourceful Bentley. These figurines were not only highly detailed but also came with various accessories that enhanced the playability factor, allowing fans to come up with their own imaginative storylines and adventures.

The Merchandise and Collectibles section of The Raccoons article brings to light the impact the show had on popular culture at the time. With a dedicated fan base clamoring for more ways to connect with their favorite characters, the merchandise and collectibles industry eagerly embraced The Raccoons, resulting in a wide range of products that allowed fans to express their love for the show in tangible and playful ways.

The Cultural References and Parodies in The Raccoons​

The Raccoons, known for its wit and clever storytelling, was not shy in incorporating cultural references and parodies into its episodes. One of the most notable examples is the episode titled "Stop the Clock!" which parodied the iconic film "Back to the Future." In this episode, Bert Raccoon finds a wristwatch that has the power to control time, leading to hilarious and chaotic consequences. The clever nods to the film, from the time machine car to the eccentric inventor character, delighted both young viewers and adults who were familiar with the original movie.
Another memorable parody in The Raccoons is the episode titled "The Prism of Zenda," which paid homage to the classic novel "The Prisoner of Zenda." In this episode, the characters find themselves in a parallel world where everything is exactly opposite to their reality. The clever inversion of characters and situations presented in the episode added a layer of intrigue for older viewers who appreciated the literary reference. These cultural references and parodies not only entertained the audience but also showcased the creators' attention to detail and their ability to infuse popular culture into their storytelling.

The Legacy of The Raccoons: How It Influenced Future Animation​

The impact of The Raccoons on the world of animation cannot be understated. This beloved TV show introduced a unique blend of storytelling, animation, and character development that set a new standard for future animated series. Its success paved the way for other shows to explore complex themes and tackle important social issues in a way that resonated with audiences of all ages.

One of the ways in which The Raccoons influenced future animation was through its innovative animation style. The show utilized a combination of hand-drawn and computer-generated techniques, creating a visually stunning experience for viewers. This hybrid approach opened up new possibilities for animation, inspiring other creators to experiment with different techniques and push the boundaries of what was thought possible in the medium. The Raccoons' animation style also helped to create a sense of realism in the characters and their world, allowing audiences to connect with them on a deeper level. This influence can be seen in many modern animated series, where a mix of traditional and digital animation techniques is now common practice.

The Fan Community and Continued Love for The Raccoons​

The enduring popularity of The Raccoons is a testament to the dedicated and passionate fan community that has formed around the beloved TV show. Over the years, fans of all ages have expressed their continued love and admiration for the show, creating a vibrant and active online presence. Social media platforms are filled with fan pages, forums, and discussion groups where fans can come together to share their favorite memories, exchange theories and trivia, and express their ongoing devotion to The Raccoons.
1705482535240.pngOne of the reasons why The Raccoons has garnered such a strong and dedicated fan base is its timeless appeal. The show's endearing characters, engaging storylines, and positive messages continue to resonate with viewers even decades after its initial release. Fans appreciate the show's commitment to storytelling, character development, and its ability to tackle important themes with warmth and humor. The Raccoons has become more than just a TV show; it has become a cherished part of many people's lives, sparking nostalgia and fond memories that are passed down from generation to generation.

It has been decades since the beloved animated TV show, The Raccoons, first aired on our screens, bringing joy and laughter to audiences of all ages. Many fans have often wondered what the talented voice cast behind the iconic characters are up to now. Let's take a look and catch up with some of our favorite Raccoons stars.

Lisa Lougheed, the voice behind the show's unforgettable theme song, "Run with Us," continues to pursue her passion for music. After her success with The Raccoons, Lisa released several albums and singles, showcasing her incredible vocal range and songwriting abilities. She has also collaborated with various artists, keeping her love for music alive and inspiring generations of fans with her talent. Although she may have ventured into different genres and styles over the years, Lisa Lougheed will always be remembered for her timeless contribution to The Raccoons.

The talented voice cast of The Raccoons consisted of many renowned actors, including Len Carlson, who brought life to the mischievous Cyril Sneer. Throughout his career, Len showcased his versatility by lending his voice to numerous other animated shows and commercials. His distinctive voice and ability to embody unique characters made him a sought-after talent in the industry. Although Len Carlson passed away in 2006, his legacy lives on through his memorable performances, including his unforgettable portrayal of the conniving Cyril Sneer in The Raccoons.

Final Thoughts​

The Raccoons remains beloved decades after its original run because of its universal themes and memorable characters that continue to captivate fans. At its heart, the show emphasized enduring values like loyalty, environmentalism, and community that still resonate today. Viewers, both young and old, connected with the emotional journey of Bert, Melissa, Cedric and the whole lovable cast of characters.

Their humor and adventurous spirit gave the show an optimistic tone that encouraged audiences to root for them, whether facing bullies like Cyril Sneer or protecting their idyllic forest home. While animation and storytelling styles have evolved over the years, The Raccoons used thoughtful writing and timeless motifs to craft stories centered around friendship and overcoming adversity that fans still find relevant and heartwarming to this day.

The show's ability to tap into simple but profound ideas about human connection and preserve what is most precious explain why it endures as a treasured part of many childhoods.

What do you remember about The Raccoons Show?