Best Shows & Episodes Wiki has been closed following a Request for Comments which shutdown all Qualitipedia wikis. Please see this page for more information. This wiki is now locked and will remain in a read-only state.

Bonkers (1993, Lucky Piquel episodes)

From Best Shows & Episodes Wiki
(Redirected from Bonkers (1993))
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Bonkers (1993, Lucky Piquel episodes)
Bonked.jpg
What was originally planned to be an Roger Rabbit series, came this.
Genre: Crime-Comedy
Slapstick
Running Time: 30 minutes
Country: United States
Release Date: February 28, 1993 – February 23, 1994
Network(s): Disney Channel
Distributed by: Buena Vista Television
Starring: Jim Cummings
April Winchell
Earl Boen
Charlie Adler
Ron Perlman
Frank Welker
Rip Taylor
Corey Burton
Robert Ridgely
Eileen Brennan
Sherry Lynn
Karla DeVito
Seasons: 4
Episodes: 64
Previous show: Raw Toonage (1992)
Next show: Marsupilami (1993)


Bonkers is an American animated television series and a spinoff of the earlier series Raw Toonage. It aired from September 28, 1993, to February 23, 1994, in first-run syndication (after a "preview airing" on The Disney Channel in early 1995). The syndicated run was available both separately and as part of The Disney Afternoon. Reruns of the show continued in syndication until 1995. The show was last seen on Toon Disney but was taken off the schedule in late 2004. The show is currently available for streaming on Disney+, having been included upon its November 2019 launch. However, this only applies to US territories. Is currently available also in Europe.

Plot

A zany, anthropomorphic bobcat named Bonkers D. Bobcat, who was once a popular cartoon star leaves a failing showbiz career behind to join the police department and helps officers solve crimes related to cartoon stars in Tinseltown with an ill-tempered human Lucky Piquel, a grim and ill-tempered stick-in-the-mud human cop who hates Toons. Throughout the series, the pair works together to solve crimes in the Hollywood, Los Angeles, California region. Bonkers repeatedly tried to win Piquel's praise, but usually just ended up ruining missions with his antics. After several years of working with Bonkers, Piquel was given an F.B.I. job in Washington, D.C., and with great glee was finally able to leave Bonkers, but finally realized that after all the time spent hating working with Bonkers he had grown to love him.

At the end of the "Lucky" episodes, Bonkers was given a new partner named the attractive Sergeant Officer Miranda Wright, who is also human, she was far more patient and tolerant of his antics than was Piquel. With Miranda, Bonkers was more the brunt of the slapstick.

Why These Episodes Are Anything But "Bonkers"

  1. Despite the whole show being a shameless Roger Rabbit wannabe, it somewhat manages to decently expand on the Roger Rabbit mythos.
    • While it has been ridiculed a lot for being a rip-off of Roger Rabbit, there was material that had shown that this show was intentionally made to be like a follow-up to that movie.
  2. With that said, there were some episodes that have cleverly written material.
    • It has some well-written messages, like not judging a book by its cover (e.g an episode that showed how criminals could be reformed over time and how there were episodes that deconstruct classic stories like how the three little pigs were actually real estate con-men that built crappy homes and then blame the wolf when they fell apart). Especially where Bonkers and other characters can help to enforce good morals in the Lucky episodes for the most part.
  3. This show along with Freakazoid!, was seen as the most positive and underappreciated cartoon show not just in the original version but especially in the Italian version.
  4. The animation is decent & the art styles are pretty good (if kinda confusing for the human characters giving you an illusion of being so-called realistic) and some of the toon characters look appealing.
  5. Lovely soundtrack that mostly consists of jazz.
  6. It has its funny moments with quick verbal & wordplay jokes, along with some good slapstick humor here & there.
    • Some cute side jokes that include some of the dialogue from the "I Outta Be In Toons" episode are a prime example.
    • Lucky himself has a bunch of funny moments because of his sarcasm and sass that enforces the comedy (even if his cartoony elements are kind of a contradiction to his character since he was supposed to be a non-toony and realistic character like Roger Rabbit's Eddie compared to the toon characters in this show).
  7. The Lucky Piquel episodes are arguably better than the Miranda Wright episodes.
    • Despite this, there can be a handful of decent Miranda Wright episodes as well where the co-protagonist Miranda Wright can be quite likable to many (especially compared to how annoying Bonkers can be in contrast to Miranda). Not to mention that viewers can find something charming about these episodes despite from what it lacks from the Lucky episodes.
  8. The human characters [especially Lucky] are fun, tolerable, relatable, & far more interesting than Bonkers and some of the toon characters themselves that can be forgettable at times (except for the well-known Disney characters that appear in cameos many can enjoy like Mickey, Donald & The Mad Hatter as examples).
    • Speaking of Lucky, while he is obviously a redo of Eddie Valiant, the dynamic between him and Bonkers has still kinda worked, especially where Lucky surely helped ground Bonkers in some way.
  9. Speaking of which, some of the toon characters like Fall-Apart Rabbit, Talking sirens, and radio players are better around than Bonkers himself.
    • The Collector was a decently done and memorable villain towards fans, one who was nefarious, gave a genuinely creepy demeanor with stuff that'd sound completely stupid by its concept but was rather well-executed, and he was the perfect antagonist to Bonkers, before his 'true reveal' that is.
  10. Bonkers portraying Roger Rabbit by his compassion, good nature, sensitivity, and what he knows about toons in the Lucky episodes to help (or just being a harmless character) was decently done.
    • Despite the episodes relating to Miranda Wright being rather mediocre as a whole, Miranda Wright herself has a certain charm to her personality that some viewers might have on her (e.g being quite attractive and somewhat likable as a part of nostalgia).
    • Also, the slapstick that gets inflicted onto Bonkers a lot can make him somewhat sympathetic towards viewers.

Bad Qualities

  1. Countless, visible animation errors. Sometimes to the point that they seem like washed-out colors in some episodes.
    • This may seem like a nitpick but some of the backgrounds can be typical for the 90s, even if they're decently well-drawn (In contrast to the Raw Toonage version, those episodes are usually looking washed-out and overly abstract in comparison).
  2. Some cartoony sound effects can grate on the nerves, even if there are decent ones.
  3. Where the intro can be insanely fast-paced & distracting. The singers' voices sound extremely corny, this was because it was sped up from a black guy's voice along with other singers. So they sound like cheesy, shrill vocalists because of this editing, and as a result, the theme song is quite grating to hear.
    • There is some extremely corny voice acting from the toon characters [especially Bonkers being the biggest example of them all], which can come from some dragged out dialogue or scenes like that un-named Glasses looking like bird's voice & Fall Apart's wailing that was played for laughs in the episode "Color Me Piquel" are examples of this.
  4. Bonkers himself is a rather divisive character towards fans and viewers in general when it comes to his character overall and his more flanderized counterpart of being a hopeless incompetent. Some consider him to be the most annoying because of his over-the-top antics/etc or lovable for being wacky in an entertaining/endearing way. Especially when a ton of the supporting characters have been shown to be so much better around than Bonkers himself for the most part. As such, the Miranda Wright episodes are rather inferior to the Lucky Piquel ones.
    • This is a more glaring instance where he can be an irritating, immature, and dull protagonist in the show where his childish and awkwardly emotional (or just awkward) traits/moments can make it seem hard for some viewers to find him likable and/or narrows down the enjoyment of the episodes to some. Especially his weirdly over-the-top voice is the biggest offender which can get pretty grating and annoying to tolerate listening to when he gets much more talkative.
      • With this in mind, some of the toon characters can be forgettable at best or just flat-out unfunny, annoying & pointless at worst.
  5. There are also some bad episodes that are either just unoriginal, uninspired, underdeveloped or utterly nonsensical in hindsight.
  6. While some of the ideas and concepts were interesting, unique, and were fairly complex for the audience, the execution of these ideas & concepts were decently done at best and horribly jumbled at worst. However, a reboot idea was planned but never got beyond discussions.
    • This is better shown when the writing can be overly subtle or can make little sense.
      • Like not properly explaining about their world of cartoon structure because of several instances of missing details, having unsubtle commentary, tons of padding like the explanation with the logic of toons that hunt other toon characters or even why the Roger Rabbit effect [nor the story similarity] works in this show when everyone are all cartoon characters (or are hard to tell who aren't toon characters) other than jokes & gags that can fall flat and how the show would, later on, try exaggerating everything that occurred in episodes like it's full of complexity.
    • This is better shown when the show tries to be so complex at the Roger Rabbit effect along with conflicting premises that always felt the need to punch up to something bigger than itself, but there was a point that it failed massively due to the aforementioned vague and poor executions into the Miranda Wright era, along with the cluttered writing being all over the place when the show tries way too hard at being subtle, meaningful, and complex.
  7. With that said, this also includes morals/etc in some of the Disney Afternoon shorts or more specifically the flaws with them from the Raw Toonage counterpart;
    • Speaking of which, while this is an original creation from Disney, what this show tried adding in such as the aforementioned Roger Rabbit's plot, the complexity, the buddy-cop ideal, and other forms of media that were borrowed from other properties such as Marsupilami, how much it can sometimes poorly imitate the Animaniacs (and also Tiny Toon Adventures), and the Laurel and Hardy buddy-cop ideal. Much to the point that after a controversial episode had started disorganizing what was established in the Lucky Piquel episodes has made it seem like it a complete mish-mash. One that doesn't give you the feel like this show was made by Disney in spite of what they were aiming at by its other efforts.
    • Also, the chemistry between Bonkers and Miranda Wright doesn't communicate as off-the-wall as the intro implies, especially when the Lucky episodes were more focused on the Roger Rabbit dynamic and many moments that are hard to find any emotion from Miranda when Bonkers does something 'wacky' and humorous.
    • Continuty Errors: Episodes that either relates to the Miranda Wright episodes or flawed Lucky episodes sometimes doesn't take time to flow & grow with their plots & story since this was due to having a very messy production with needing a tighter direction, having a change in its story because of a controversial episode called "New Partners on The Block" that lacked any finalizing about what the show is supposed to be. As a result, when it comes to the writing and were on time constraints, later episodes after the pilot can occasionally end up feeling very underdeveloped, forgettable, mindless, repetitive, or even basic, especially for 90s cartoons (Heck, they sometimes feel like a harmless fever-dream or just a run-of-the-mill and/or middle-of-the-road 90s episode because of this).
    • This is also because of the nonsensical and unjustified pacing from the Raw Toonage/Miranda Wright counterpart because of how the executions in this show on its own are presented in sometimes mind-numbing, incoherent, or distractingly forced ways.
      • Specifically, the executions with most episodes with their concepts and everything can be filled with occasional jumbles and weak writing. Like the fourth wall breaking episodes, the aforementioned Miranda Wright episodes that changed the theme to lose what originality the show had in the Lucky episodes, and a lot more because of its plot relating to a strange creature's "wacky" traits in the real world as a story has been done to death. Much to the point that it starts to have this feeling of mediocrity and tedium to what it has had established when it comes to the execution of the pacing that makes these stories seem rather inconsistent and developed way too quickly to be cohesive.
  8. Speaking of that aforementioned controversial episode, "New Partners On The Block", the episode relating Bonkers thinking that Lucky had been killed by a terrorist bomber. While it had a dark twist, Lucky was revealed to be alive by arresting that bomber that got him working with the FBI. Thus allowing Miranda to replace Lucky as Bonkers' new partner. And to top it off, the whole bomber plot came off as extremely oversensitive in the coming years as of 2001, for obvious reasons, it was removed off of reruns as a plothole of the series with how the casting change came about as a whole shakeup by itself.
    • Because of this, what was added to the confusion was the entire change in tone and continuity was with the remaining characters that came with it had no explanation whatsoever. One big thing about Bonkers during the Lucky episodes was that it had firmly established that the real Bonkers as a person was different from the character he portrayed in the cartoons, and while he was a zany toon, more traits that were added as plot elements as actors in-universe, especially since the interaction off-screen had everyone portrayed as professional actors... The Miranda Wright episodes however had suddenly made those cartoonish personality traits become a part of the real Bonkers. Which has made everything nonsensical as a whole, where Miranda had no point of being in the show for the most part.
  9. With that said, the Miranda Wright episodes are downright boring & very subpar compared to the crime-related Lucky episodes that at least try and do their best at providing interest to viewers with what crimes Bonkers and Lucky have to solve. Which was where the show went downhill with that fact.
    • Filler: An lot of the cameos don't seem to make much sense since Disney couldn't buy the rights to have some characters shown. Prime examples of this is when Mickey himself was never physically seen when a tall & fat rat was replacing his image the whole time, is in a silhouette or is in a cage in which you never see him animated in the "I Oughta Be In Toons" episode, and is there for no other reason aside from being napped from a rumor to take Mickey's place.
      • With that said, every other cameo aside from that either serves no purpose to the plot or can be also considered to be used for filler and/or padding.
    • Some bits of the humor, 'satire', slapstick & punchlines can be very passé, forced, & seem lacking to an incredibly unfunny degree that'd seem like other shows such as Animaniacs and Tiny Toon Adventures would do way better at comedic timing in comparison.
    • Speaking of after the pilot to the show, almost every episode's focus is on just the "wacky" and "cartoonish" elements of every episode whether they can be sappy, repetitive & have no other true substance than that. This rather indicates how the show never makes full use of its premise with no direction in general.
      • This is better shown in the episode "Seems Like Old Toons", where Lucky and Bonkers were tasked to save a fledgling local animation demolished from not delivering animation clips in time, and Lucky's daughter Marilyn agreed to help draw animated characters and drawing a cartoon (in the middle of a cartoon) which returns to a cartoon that was drawn by a person within its cartoony realm, they still don't take proper measures to explain this muddle that makes the distinction between cartoons and humans rather confusing and harder to pin down.
    • Viewing episodes in chronological order isn't very easy to do since they either premiere the Raw Toonage perspective as Bonkers working at other jobs like a TV salesman/etc with his own misadventures that'd ensue before he got fired or the Disney Afternoon (the so-called spinoff) perspective as his titular job as a cop at in the Toon Division of the Hollywood P.D. after he was fired, even if Bonkers was created by Disney & was also shown to be aired on other platforms like Kids' WB. Which in other words, it is incredibly inconsistent & disordered.
      • With that said, this was also one of the many shows that first jumped the shark with the legacy of The Disney Afternoon. That being said, it was not that much of a massive effect on the network's downfall from infamously bad shows like Shnookums & Meat or Quack Pack for example.

Video

Reception

It was successful with video games, syndication until 2004, features Bonkers in 3 cameos, & got three VHS tapes and Betamax tapes in 1995 by Walt Disney Home Video, each containing no more than two episodes.

Due to those rushed time constraints and complications behind the production of this show, Disney tried to remove all public consciousness of Bonkers himself and scrap the show entirely.

External Links

TV Trash's review of this show on Vimeo.

Trivia

  • Disney's Bonkers was created when reworking an attempt at making a Roger Rabbit cartoon series. Disney's Bonkers was a short-lived series about a failed cartoon star, Bonkers D. Bobcat, who becomes the "nonstop comedy toon cop."
  • WB's Animaniacs would usually poke fun, make some mean digs, and have some jabs at this cartoon when rivaling (as discussed from the Cosmodore video, the Nostalgia Critic video, and the podcast above) since Bonkers was originally intended to be in Animaniacs' name.
  • Many fans of Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers despised this show for replacing Rescue Rangers in the time slot.
  • Bonkers was featured in some appearances with some Disney parks featuring Mickey and his friends in 1996.
  • Speaking of that controversial episode, "New Partners On The Block", an episode relating to how Bonkers thinking that Lucky had been killed by a terrorist bomber. Lucky was revealed to be alive by his efforts to arrest that bomber that got him working with the FBI. Thus allowing Miranda to replace Lucky as Bonkers' new partner. And to top it off, the whole thing got worse was that the whole bomber plot came off as extremely oversensitive in the coming years as it was removed off of reruns to make the story lacking focus afterward.
  • It featured autonomous vehicles 28 years before they were even discussed in society, although for humor rather than parody or satire.

Comments

<comments voting= "Plus"/>