Visual analysis of the Gummi Bears’ song

Visual analysis of the Gummi Bears’ song

As an appendix for my forthcoming article in Dzieciństwo. Literatura i Kultura, I made this description of neomedieval elements in the theme song of Disney’s Adventures of the Gummi Bears (1985–1991).

It is based on a private VHS recording from the 1990s, of which a copy can be found in the embed below. The sheet music can be accessed via this link.

Visual analysis of neomedieval elements in the theme song:

0:00-0:05The series starts with a shot of a medieval castle; the gate is open and knights on horseback are galloping outside. Then, we see a dragon spitting fire at a small brown teddy-like bear – Gruffi Gummi. He wears a hat and clothes, all in (late) medieval style.
0:05-0:10Two ogres in (semi-medieval) armour run into each other when they want to grab another (yellow) bear – Sunny Gummi. Gruffi is shown again, with a blue friend, Gusto, who wears clothes in the same style, just like Zummi, the purple bear that runs by in the next shot.
0:10-0:15A boy in neomedieval clothes, Cavin, and a pink bear, Cubbi, bouncing after him – also in neomedieval clothing and with a wooden sword – are chased by crocodiles, who are in medieval-inspired clothing as well. In the next scene, there is a procession of the Gummi Bears; they do not have a bridge and walk/bounce over a tree stump over the river. 
0:15-0:20The bears then fall into a hole, but bounce on and they pass the ogres – in this scene, it is very visible that all fantasy animals wear medieval-inspired outfits. The Gummi Bears bounce through the screen in an exciting montage, with jokes like a spring hidden in a tree trunk. 
0:20-0:25The following fragments take place on a semi-medieval ship, where the Gummi Bears bounce off the orcs. The animals escape via a kind of amusement park-like wild water rapids, in which they sit in a hollowed-out tree trunk that shoots through the water and makes loopings. 
0:25-0:30Cavin, the medievally dressed boy, hits the helmeted head of an ogre with a club (or a ham?). After that, this boy is apparently rescued by a very strong princess who holds him under her arm and with her other hand holds a rope to which the two of them hurl away. Both their clothes and their hairstyles look late medieval inspired.
0:30-0:35The cubs and the bears are in a medieval/fairytale looking library, where they look at a large handwritten book that opens on an old-fashioned reading stand. It gives light, so it is probably a magic book. Then, a chubby orange bear, red hair – Grammi – is stirring in the magic potion in a large cauldron, which looks similar to the magic kettle from the Asterix comic book series
0:35-0:40Grammi tastes a sip, on which she immediately bounces through the kitchen. This animation shows the rest of the neomedieval cooking room, with the other medieval pots and pans, the hearth/oven, and the natural stone floor. A door in the medieval castle opens and Duke Igthorn – with a neomedieval crown – holds a small green ogre by his neck skin. 
0:40-0:45When the Duke lets go of Toadwart, the ogre, we see the animal falling down, but from the medieval ship, which now seems to float through the air. The small green orc falls into the water, on top of another (purple) orc, with the same neomedieval helmet. Gruffi, the brown bear, steps into a trap of rope and a little later we see Sunny, the yellow bear, in a cage of willow branches. Vultures fly over.
0:45-0:50We see the whole procession of bears happily bouncing and swinging on lianas.
0:50-0:55The intro song ends with all the bears together, the bear with the big cloak conjures them away.
0:55-0:60We see the Gummi Bears’ logo as a woodcut in an old tree. 

My name is Martine and I am writing my PhD about the Cyborg Mermaid. On this website, you’ll find blogs about autism, cyborgs, fan fiction, King Alfred of Wessex, mermaids, music & musicology, martial arts, (neuro)psychology, video games, and random nerdiness.

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