Forget depressing news, watch these 90’s animated bunnies who help kids stay safe!
by Patch O'Furr
Current news got ya bothered? Take a break with a forgotten 90’s cartoon of total radness!
For many suburban kids in the 80’s and 90’s, riding a bike to the mall was living the dream, along with going to the video store and renting popcorn sci-fi movies, miniature golfing, or playing the TMNT arcade game at the pizza parlor (maybe while rocking out with Chuck E. Cheese.)
Let all of those vibes come at you from Bert and Gert, the bunnies in kneepads with flipped up hats who ride hoverboards, like in Back To the Future Part II. They’re a brother and sister on a mission, but who sent them? Whoever it was, they trust these bunnies to spy on kids using radar wrist watches more advanced than any smartphone yet invented. WHOAH!
Why do they spy on kids? During the boppin’ theme song, we learn that it’s to protect them — from snakes, lightning and optical illusions (??) — but keep watching. This is the 80’s/90’s Stranger Danger genre. It’s not the boring After School Special kind with terrible acting though; this is pure, uncut cartoon magic. It has neon “wonky” aesthetics with the mellifluous voices and irresistible coolness of cereal mascots you wish were your best friends forever.
What kid wants to get in trouble if these bunnies teach them how to stay safe? I know I’M never talking to a stranger again. I love this so much, I wish I had a fursona like this (and it can happen, because that’s what furry fandom is for!)
That’s the full length 7:00 cartoon. Youtube also has :30 TV spots edited from it to air during fun kid shows on Canadian TV. It’s from a VHS handed out by Canadian Tire, which is the other store Canada has besides Tim Horton’s. (Oh, I think they also have a beer store, but kids can’t go there until they’re big enough to ride a moose by themselves.)
Thanks to Hugo The Pink Cat, Quebecs furry artist, for sharing this maple-syrup sweet piece of Canadian animation we chatted about.
Hugo: I think these Canadian PSAs may have had a hand in me being furry later on. They also made me realize I hadn’t seen Block Parents signs in AGES. It was a program in Canada where you could be designated as a safe place where children in a risky situation could go. My aunt was one when I was a kid. After looking up their website, I understand why. You have to pay to become a block parent (but it’s supposed to be a volunteer job.)
Patch: Yay for happy futurebunnies with that wonky 90’s design. Compared to overly rendered furries with abs, I want more cute simple flat color design. I would eat up a whole comic drawn like this. And there’s much great Canadian animation…
Hugo: Actually I want to find out who animated this. I’m pretty sure that whoever voiced the male rabbit I’ve heard more recently in OTHER stuff, like his voice is SO familiar.
Research actually does lead down a rabbit hole. The animation came from “Bear Spots” (as in TV Spots), an advertising branch of Nelvana, the Canadian animation giant that produced hundreds of TV shows including lots with furry interest.
Gert and Bert were the brainchild of a producer there — and came from a real-life tragedy with her child. They actually represent an entire era of culture, and however sad the story behind it is, they help the memory of a kid to live on in a positive way. Buzzfeed has a good article about this — (warning, it does have intense content so I’m only linking out.) Dive in if you want to learn what’s behind the colorful cartoon world where kids don’t just fear strangers, they have radical bunny friends empower them to use their radars for good.
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