The following is the press release for TaleSpin, from the autumn of 1990...
Buena Vista Television's New High-Flying Animated Series "Tale Spin," Lifts "The Disney Afternoon" To New Heights
The new high-flying, exotic adventure series "Tale Spin," premiering this fall as part of "The Disney Afternoon" will lift television animation to dazzling new heights. The Buena Vista Television series is the first time Disney television animation has combined its reknowned classic animation style with an assist from state-of-the-art computer animation. Newly-created characters join established Disney animated characters in exciting, fun-filled escapades.
"Tale Spin" reunites Baloo the Bear, Louie the Ape and Shere Khan the Tiger from the all-time Disney favorite "The Jungle Book" and takes them to a time when the world of adventure had taken to the skies. Now an ace cargo pilot, Baloo is teamed with a new character, Kit Cloudkicker. Together, the resourceful Baloo and the young, feisty Kit are pitted against a menacing band of air pirates. Louie the Ape is featured in "Tale Spin" as a music-loving nightclub owner. Rebecca Cunningham, also a new character and the mother of five-year-old Molly, provides the cargo company's down-to-earth business sense, and Wildcat, the whiz mechanic, completes the regular cast.
The eclectic group of characters find mystery, intrigue and humor in the exotic Art Deco setting of Cape Suzette, a huge bustling city in a tropic zone. They barnstorm from vine-tangled jungles and around towering mountain ranges, where villainous air pirates may lurk behind every cloud.
"From the very beginning, we tried to create something that had never been done before," says Gary Krisel, executive vice president of Walt Disney Television Animation. "The image of Kit skipping along the clouds on a surfboard behind an airplane gave everyone that sense of Disney magic and excitement right away. We knew we were on the right track to creating a truly unique show."
The adventures of the maverick pilots take off with the aid of the latest in computer-assisted animation technology. The process allows a drawing to be electronically and smoothly rotated to any angle. This lets complex flight maneuvers of the program's numerous airplanes to be depicted without any loss of visual perspective. The result offers the viewers spectacularly realistic action sequences.
"We're very excited about the animation technology," notes supervising producer Jymn Magon. "When you see the planes come zooming toward you, it's quite a thrill."
This same animation technology is also being applied to the series' various landscapes and cityscapes in order to depict the passing scenery from the point of view of the characters in the cockpits performing the complex aerial stunts for non-stop action and excitement.
Complementing the industry's top animation talent are the well-known actors and actresses providing the voices for "Tale Spin's" characters. They include two-time Emmy Award winning television and film star Sally Struthers (Rebecca), Edmund
(PAGE 3) Gilbert (Baloo), Jim Cummings (Louie), and Tony Jay (Shere Khan), as well as members of the next generation of Disney talent, Janna Michaels (Molly) and R.J. Williams (Kit Cloudkicker).
Producer Larry Latham was determined to maintain the highest level of quality for "Tale Spin." "Quite simply, we wanted real acting," he says. "That's why we cast real actors, not cartoon voices."
Struthers, best known for her role as Gloria Stivic on the landmark situation comedy "All in the Family," portrays Rebecca Cunningham, Baloo's boss. Veteran actor Edmund Gilbert ("The Hardy Boys") is the voice behind Baloo.
Adding to the fun are seven-year-old Janna Michaels, who can be heard as Rebecca's daughter Molly, and fourteen-year-old R.J. Williams, who provides the voice for Kit. Using youths as voice characterizations for young characters is a departure from typical voice-over approach.
The writers, producers and artists have all aimed to create a series that has a rich, multi-level blend of adventure and humor so that it would appeal to the whole family. "The humor in the show is a little more sophisticated than what you might expect for an animated series," says Krisel. "I definitely think 'Tale Spin' is for the whole family to enjoy together."
Underlining the efforts of all those involved with "Tale Spin" is the traditional dedication to quality and innovation which has always characterized Disney's animated programming.
Buena Vista Television introduced "DuckTales" in 1987 and "Chip 'N Dale's Rescue Rangers" in 1989. The two animated series became the #1 and #2 highest
rated animated shows. "The Disney Afternoon" will also include the popular "Disney's Adventures of the Gummi Bears," the top-rated Saturday morning animated series in its time slot for five seasons which will now be seen exclusively as part of the series programming.
"We all have high standards and we try to achieve things that have never been seen before, things that stimulate our imagination," notes Latham. Magon agrees. "'Tale Spin' is not your typical animated television program," he notes. "There's something here that I think touches a sort of 'fantasy nerve' in people and they say, 'Wow, that's different! I'm gonna watch that show!'"
Buena Vista Television is a subsidiary of the Walt Disney Company.
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