Rembert Explains the ’80s: The Wuzzles

Editor’s Note: Welcome back to our series Rembert Explains the ’80s. Every so often, we’ll e-mail 24-year-old Rembert Browne a video from the 1980s that he hasn’t seen. Rembert will write down his thoughts as he’s watching it, then we’ll post those thoughts here. This week’s installment was selected by Hollywood Prospectus editor Mark Lisanti: The Wuzzles (Episode 7). If you have an idea for a future episode of Rembert Explains the ’80s, e-mail us at hollywood@grantland.com.

Rembert’s Note: ’80s animation has proven to be brutal thus far. I bring that up to publicly express my fear for how bad this show will be.

0:01 The Wuzzles, Episode: “Bumblelion and the Terrified Forest”

0:11 There is a creature in the middle of a sword fight, named Buck Squashler. While I have no idea who this is or what he is doing, I love a good spoonerism. Few things are more exciting than a spood goonerism.

0:13 Narrator’s voice: “Well, here we are, watching our favorite hero, Buck Squashler. Wait a minute? Buck Squashler? Is this the Wuzzles? Am I narrating the right cartoon?” What is he talking about? This is already the most meta animated show I’ve ever seen, and I just plugged in my headphones.

0:28 A lion in a bumblebee costume and an elephant are sitting on a couch, watching the TV show containing Buck Squashler. That’s normal.

0:40 In the next room, a hippo with bunny ears and a bear cub with flowery antennae are also watching the same cartoon on their TV. Again, nothing to call home about.

Side note: I’m 1:15 in and have nothing of substance to report. Not a single thing worth noting has happened. This is horrible. Also, I haven’t the slightest clue who these characters are, what a “Wuzzle” is, or why I work here.

1:19 The lion/bee thing, to another weird-looking creature that is fishing:

“Don’t touch that line, Moosel.”

And like that, I finally understand what this stupid cartoon is about. All these dumb animated creatures are hybrid animals. “Moosel” is a seal with moose antlers. As for the the lion/bee, you guessed it, “Bumblelion” (from the title of the episode). It’s still unclear what the hippo with bunny ears is named, but I’m going to make a guess and say “Bunnybottomus.”

2:10 Flash to the hippo, referred to as “Hoppo.” Wow, that’s quite clever, because bunnies hop, which sounds like “hip.” I can’t wait for this clip to be over, so I can begin drafting a letter to the human being who created this show.

2:22 It’s also worth noting that Hoppo is a fat black woman. IT LOOKS LIKE THEY’RE BAKING BREAD IN HER SHOE.

2:35 Hoppo is at a salon about to get her hair did. Her stylist is a half beaver/half mob wife from Staten Island. Until proven otherwise, her name is “StatenIslandBeaver.”

2:38 Oh lord, the elephant is also half kangaroo. This is insulting. Earlier, when Bumblelion said “Eleroo,” I ignored it because it’s not a real word and it’s stupid. Now I get it. I’m going to fight someone today.

3:23 Eleroo just informed us that all of the creatures are Wuzzles. You can breathe easy now. I know this was a point of stress.

3:36 The narrator is back, talking to the audience and continuing to break the fourth wall, Fresh Prince style. This is the only part of this show I respect so far.

3:38 HYBRID ANIMAL UPDATE 1: “Dingbat” = Part dingledog, part bat. Wow. I want to interview people who grew up watching this show and find how messed up they are as adults.

4:22 HYBRID ANIMAL UPDATE 2: The bear cub with the flowery antennae that showed up earlier is named “Butterbear.” Sigh.

4:39 There are very few actual-English words used in this show. Actual dialogue:

Bumblelion: Going over to Butterbear?
Hoppo: What’s that little Wuzzle got that I don’t?
Bumblelion: Hunkenberry pie. Woly Wuzzles, Hoppo, is that you?
Hoppo: It’s the new hip-hoppo. Don’t you think I look positively wuzzerful?

I can’t believe I just typed that out. I need to go back to grad school.

4:55 Butterbear is sorta hot, right? Just me? Whatever, don’t judge me.

5:22 And wouldn’t you know it, just as I’m falling for her, Butterbear gets Wuzzlenapped by two dingbats. FIND HER, BUMBLELION. FIND HER.

5:42 NO NO NO. They are taking her to the Terrified Forest. I think every show about a dumb, made-up species has its own Elephant Graveyard region where characters are forbidden from visiting (see: Snorks — “Beyond the Limits”; Friends — “Harlem”).

6:12 Hoppo is crazy jealous that Bumblelion has such a crush on Butterbear. Hoppo also doesn’t seem too upset that Butterbear got wuzzlenapped. I, on the other hand, need Butterbear to be saved, but I don’t want her to fall for Bumblelion, because I love her. Oh, the classic love rhombus.

6:27 OK, Wuzzles, you just got some brownie points for your “villain” music. It’s like an instrumental acid jazz version of “Leave Me Alone,” performed on a Fisher-Price keyboard by a Dingbat. It’s so good.

6:59 Silly Dingbats. The witch of the Terrified Forest sent them to go get butter berries and instead they brought back my girl, Butterbear. Come on, Dingbat 1 and Dingbat 2, you’ve got to do better.

7:10 The witch spotted Hoppo and Bumblelion in the forest through her looking glass. I’ve got to get one of those, but they are extremely hard to come by. Go figure.

7:40 Oh no, the forest is made up of tree ghouls. Three of them, to be exact. That’s the worst. Bumblelion and Hoppo are freaking out. So am I.

7:55 They’re sort of melodic though, and are quite harmonious in their scare tactics. It’s like if Bell Biv Devoe were Terrified Forest Wuzzle scarers. Exactly like that.

8:00 YES. IT’S OVER. NO MORE. THANK YOU.


I know I was invested in Butterbear, but after that last scene, I’m pretty sure she’s going to die. So yeah, that sucks.

As for this show, it warms my heart to learn that only 13 episodes of this nonsense were made. In a very 30 Rock/Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip-esque move, Disney premiered The Wuzzles at the same time as Disney’s Adventures of the Gummi Bears, in what appeared to be an animated battle to the death. Thankfully, Gummi Bears surged in popularity (mainly because it was awesome) while Wuzzles crashed and burned (because it was horrible). Imagining what America would be like had the opposite taken place is a terrifying thought. Yes, even scarier than the Bell Biv Devoe forest ghouls. A bold statement, but I’m standing by it.

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Rembert Browne is a staff writer for Grantland.

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