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The Raccoons, CBC (Canada)
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This began as a series of specials that aired in the early 1980s. I know I saw at least one or two of them, maybe all of them. But I'd certainly love to see them all again someday, so I could write reviews. Anyway, the specials spawned a regular series, which aired for five seasons, from 1985-91. I don't think I watched much of the later seasons, but certainly the show was important to me for a few seasons. I'm afraid I don't remember enough specifically to say very much about it, so I'd probably like to see the whole series again someday. But at least I can say it's very nostalgic to me. Oh, and I always really liked the closing theme song, "Run with Us," by Lisa Lougheed.

Anyway, it takes place in the Evergreen Forest. The protagonists are a trio of raccoons: Bert Raccoon, who's kind of nuts and foolhardy and adventurous, and his friends Ralph and Melissa, a married couple who run a local newspaper. They're also friends with a sheepdog named Schaeffer. And they're kind of friends with an aardvark named Cedric, who's basically a good guy, though his father, Cyril Sneer, is the show's main antagonist. (Incidentally, most of the animal characters on the show are to some extent anthropomorphized, but I'd say this is most evident with the aardvarks.) Cyril is a rich and greedy businessman, who seems kind of evil, but not entirely so. He wishes Cedric would take more of an interest in business and stop hanging out with the raccoons, who frequently foil his plans. (And of course Cedric wishes his Pop would stop coming up with such schemes in the first place.) But now and then we see that Cyril does have at least a bit of a conscience, and that despite his frequent arguments with Cedric, he really does love his son. So... the series is kind of a cartoonish indictment of corporate greed and the ruination of the environment, and stuff like that. And a demonstration of the importance of a free press. But it's also nice that it shows even some "villains" aren't completely irredeemable.

Of course, there are various other characters, such as a trio of sycophantic pigs who work for Cyril. And a puppy named Broo, who is one of the few animals on the show not to be anthropomorphized. And Cedric's girlfriend, Sophia Tutu (another aardvark). And Cyril's pet dog, Snag (also not anthropomorphized). And a rich crocodile businessman named Mr. Knox, who eventually marries a rich high-society hen named Lady Baden-Baden. (Knox is sort of an associate/rival of Cyril's, who probably has even less scruples than Cyril does.) And other characters whom I don't remember well at all. And... aside from the Raccoons and their friends stopping the vaguely nefarious plans of corporate types like Cyril, the show also has other random plots. It's usually kind of silly or corny, but it can also be serious, clever, and fun.


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