Talespin is an animated series, of 65 episodes, produced by the Walt Disney Company, which first aired in 1990 and ran through to 1991. The show takes three charatcers from Disney’s full length animated feature ‘The Jungle Book’ – Baloo, Louie and Shere Khan – and places them (and several new charatcers) in a 1930’s pacific setting. Baloo is the lead character in the show, playing the role of a carefree pilot who flies a yellow sea plane known as the ‘Seaduck’. In the 4 part pilot episode series (or hour and a half movie), he befriends a 12 year old ex-pirate kid named Kit Cloudkicker, who becomes his partener and navigator. Kit’s hobby is to ‘airsurf’ – to soar through the air on his air foil.
Also in the pilot, he meets Rebecca Cunningham and her daughter Molly. Baloo failed to pay his bills for his business (Baloo’s Air Service) on time, and the bank sold the deed for his office and for his plane to Rebecca – a bright, young businesswoman who had been looking for a failing company to turn into a money-maker. She re-names the business ‘Higher For Hire’, and Baloo, resentfully, takes on the job of becoming her pilot in hope to earn enough money to buy back his plane.
Another employee at Higher For Hire is Wildcat – an absent-minded, yet extremely skilled and capable mechanic. Shere Khan takes on the role of a shrewd and powerful businessman and owner of Khan industires. Louie, Baloo’s best friend, dons a hawaiian skirt and is the owner of ‘Louie’s Place’ – a restraunt/night club for pilots, which located on an island in the middle of no where.
In the way of villians, Talespin definatly has one of the best – Don Karnage, leader of the air pirates. He has a HUGE ego and is very quick to lose his temper. Speaking in a jumbled accent of French, Italian and Spanish, he is definatly the main source humour in the show.The secret pirate hideout, Pirate Island, is located inside a volcano, and the pirates generally travel around in a flying fortress known as the Iron Vulture.
Talespin actually won not one, but TWO emmy awards in 1990-1991:
Plunder and Lightning for Outstanding Animated Program (one hour or more)
TaleSpin (entire series) for Outstanding Animated Program (one hour or less)
And with good reason – it is a force to be reckoned with!