Way back in 1985, Disney wanted to strengthen its presence in live action and television programming. Walt Disney Television Animation was formed and its first two series starred original characters.
The Wuzzles and the Adventures of the Gummi Bears premiered on Saturday mornings.
I recently finished watching Disney's Adventures of the Gummi Bears: Vol 1 on DVD.
I must say for a 22-year-old show, it holds up really well. The animation is very well done compared to other animated shows from that time. The stories are full of adventure like the title of the series suggests, and they actually fit well with today's standard of storytelling. The Gummi Bears live in a mythical kingdom filled with kingdoms, beasts and creatures. Watching it all over again reminded me a little of Lord of the Rings and/or Harry Potter.
The main Gummi Bear characters are Grammi, Zummi, Cubbi, Tummi, Gruffi and Sunni. In the same vein as the 7 dwarves, each name suggests the characteristic of each individual. They live in a secret location called Gummi Glen where they live and cook their defensive potion, Gummi Berry Juice. Their main way of transportation is the quick tunnels which use cars that travel along long railways that run underneath the woods built by the ancient Gummies.
The series starts off as young Cavin, a page from the local Dunwyn Castle, meets the Gummi Bears for the first time. Cavin was given an heirloom from his grandfather which turns out to be an ancient Gummi medallion. The medallion is the key to open Zummi's Great Book which is full of the magic and history of the Great Gummi heritage.Once the book has been opened, the Gummies are shown the treasures of the past which included information of ancient Gummi machines, Gummi lands, Gummi spells that leads to many fun filled storylines.
The great dictator which plans to destroy and take over Dunwyn, is Duke Igthorn and his army of Ogres. The Gummi Bears help the humans secretly by foiling Igthorn's plans whenever they can. There are many other dangers that the Gummies encounter such as gargoyles, goblins, sprites, dragons, wizards and mean-spirited humans.
I found an article printed in a 1988 issue of Cartoon Quarterly that looks behind the scenes of Walt Disney Television Animation.