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DVD Review

DVD cover

The Raccoons
Season Two


Starring (voice): Michael Magee, Len Carlson, Marvin Goldhar and Carl Banas
Fabulous Films
RRP: £19.99
Certificate: U
Available 20 April 2009

Welcome to the Evergreen Forest... quiet... peaceful... serene. That is until Bert Racoon wakes up. Luckily he has some good friends to help him out. Life would be simple in the forest except for Cyril Sneer - and his life would be simple except for the Raccoons...

The Raccoons: Season Two contains all ten episodes from the show's second season. The animated show originally ran between 1985 to 1992 and was a joint Canadian/Mexican production.

Set in the Evergreen Forest, the show featured the adventures of Bert Raccoon and his raccoon friends Ralph and Melissa. They are also friends with an Aardvark called Cedric, whose father - Cyril Sneer - is obsessed with the accumulation of wealth.

Each episode sees Bert and his friends embark on an adventure, which usually sees them crossing paths with Cyril and his three pig henchmen.

Highlights in this collection include:

'Blast from the Past!' - An old business partner of Cyril's, Karl Snarl, sends a telegram to the Evergreen Forest to let Cyril know he's finally tracked him down and he's going to get what he deserves. Cyril is worried because years ago he ran out on Snarl leaving him to sort out their business which was in debt.

'Power Trip!' - Bert's auntie comes to stay, and ends up having more get up and go then her nephew. At Cyril's mansion the electricity is cut off because he's failed to pay the bill. Cyril decides to get free electricity by building a power dam. But, as expected, everything does not go smoothly.

'Stop the Clock!' With the Evergreen Forest olympics pending, Cyril reminisces about his youth and when he won several of the medals in a previous olympics. When Bert's cousin Bentley arrives, Cyril's pigs think that Bert has found the fountain of youth. The pigs tell Cyril, who is convinced that whatever Bert's drinking will make him younger too. The pigs manage to steel this magic potion and Cyril truly believes he is younger and fitter - to the point where he actually starts to do well in the olympics.

'Last Legs!' - Cyril Sneer is coming down with a bad cold, but the pigs manage to make him think he's dying. On hearing this news Bert decides to pay for a monument to Cyril to be erected in the Evergreen Forest. This was money that Bert was saving towards a new printer for the Evergreen Standard. When Cyril realises he isn't dying he decides not to tell Bert as ensuring the Evergreen Standard goes out of business is in his interest.

'Courting Disaster!' - At Lady Baden-Baden's garden party, the pigs overhear Cyril talking about a proposal. They immediately jump to the conclusion that he is planning to propose to Lady Baden-Baden. A further mix up leads to the pigs sending Lady Baden-Baden a letter of proposal of marriage. Discovering the mix up, Cyril agrees to get married when he realises that his son seems to be looking forward to having a new mother. This episode also has one of the most touching endings - as Cyril and Cedric walk off into the sunset with Cyril talking fondly about how he loved Cedric's real mother.

While the above episodes were my personal favourites, there is something here for everyone - there is only really one bad episode. 'Time Trap!' - a time travel episode which is basically a clips show. It's a shame, because this could have been interesting if it weren't for the fact that quite a bit of old footage is used.

Extras include Behind the Scenes Documentary (9 min, 46 sec interview with creator Kevin Gillis and other members of the production); Cast and Crew Biographies (text based biographies of the characters, not the voice actors, and Gillis); Original Character Drawings; Original Character Rotations (showing the main characters from various angles); and Original Image Gallery.

Another impressive collection of episodes that are still as enjoyable today as when I first watched them in the '80s.


Darren Rea

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