Teddy Ruxpin and his best friend, Grubby, are on
their way to the land of Grundo. The pair are on a journey to find a
treasure that is rumored to be located in an ancient city. Teddy
discovered the map many years ago and has finally decided to embark on
his journey. Grubby complains about having walked so much and how many
feet he has, as he is an Octopede. As Teddy reminds Grubby how long
he's waited to go on this quest, his friend counters the argument with
one of his own. Finally, after some convincing, Grubby agrees to
continue on the quest, though he asks of they can at least take a break
and rest for a while. Teddy agrees, and the pair set up camp at the
entrance to Grundo, which is known as Bounder Pass. Grubby thanks Teddy
for the chance to rest, so he could make roasted roots for dinner. It
appears that Octopedes have a fondness for roasted roots, while Teddy
detests the stuff.
" Come on Grubby!"
" Teddy, my feet are getting sore. I must have stepped on every rock
between Rilonia and here. You didn't tell me that adventure seeking
would be this hard on my feet"
" Yes Grubby, you do have a lot of feet to worry about."
While resting, the pair are attacked by a pack
of red skinned, armless creatures, known as Bounders. Teddy and Grubby
dodge the initial attack, but after a stern lecture from their leader,
LB, the Bounders regroup and attack again. At this point, Teddy and
Grubby decide to get out of there and the pair start running. They
eventually run into an elderly man, who is gathering firewood. As the
pair attempt to explain, the Bounders appear. The man takes care of
them, by sticking pieces of wood into the mouths of the creatures. The
Bounders flee. Teddy thanks the man for saving them and Grubby comments
how brave it was for him to do so. The man explains that he would do
the same for any visitors. Teddy and Grubby are confused. The man
explains that anybody who is travelling through this part of Grundo,
called Gimmick's Valley, must be coming to see him, and he introduces
himself as Newton Gimmick, though everyone just calls him
Gimmick. Gimmick pulls out a magnifying glass and asks if
Teddy is an Illiop, which the youngster confirms. Gimmick then turns to
Grubby and realizes that he's never seen someone like Grubby before.
Grubby tells Gimmick that he's an Octopede and he too gets a look over
with the magnifying glass. Gimmick invites the pair to his house for a
bite of lunch. The two friends accept and the trio walk off into the
distance, as Teddy explains to Gimmick why he and Grubby were in
Grundo. Unbeknownst to the trio, LB is hiding in the bushes, listening
in on the conversation.
While the trio approaches a small house in the
middle of a vast open patch of land, LB makes his way to a tower across
the field from Gimmick's house. Inside, LB approaches a green skinned
creature who we will come to know and love as Tweeg -
attempting to get his attention. Tweeg berates the Bounder for failing
in his mission to get rid of Gimmick and for getting wood in his mouth.
In the process, he loses his balance and falls over, knocking a boiling
pot of some sort of concoction right onto his head, from the stove
behind him.Tweeg then asks about Gimmick's visitors and LB explains
there are two of them and one of them is an Illiop. The news changes
Tweeg's demeanor and he rushes out onto his deck. He looks through a
telescope and spots Teddy, Grubby and Gimmick sitting on the porch of
Gimmick's house. Believing that Gimmick is out to steal his formula for
making gold out of buttermilk, Tweeg orders LB to go down to the valley
and find out what the trio is planning and the Bounder leaves,
grumbling about how he always has to do Tweeg's work. The villain arms
a cannon and fires it.
Teddy and Grubby hear the sound
of the cannon being fired and ask Gimmick about it. Gimmick replies
that it's merely Tweeg firing his cannon at them. Teddy and Grubby are
alarmed, but Gimmick explains that Tweeg has been doing it since he
first moved into the house and that they're safe, as Tweeg is a really
bad shot, never having actually hit the house. A fact that is proven a
second later as the cannonball lands in the grass a ways away from the
house, where other cannonballs had landed.
The shooting forgotten, Teddy pulls out his map and lays it on the
table for Gimmick to inspect. He also shows Gimmick a piece of what
appears to be a medallion that he found with the map. Gimmick reads the
inscription, which says: " spirit, treasure, ledge". Gimmick says that
the Hard to Find City is atop the Treacherous Mountains, and explains
that the mountains are extremely difficult to climb. He leads Teddy and
Grubby to a clearing, where his latest invention is waiting. Gimmick
explains that it's an airship, which Grubby comments that it looks more
like a boat than an airship. Gimmick agrees and says that it was
originally supposed to be a boat, but since he doesn't live near water,
he decided to use a similar premise and adapted it to using hot air to
make the ship float in the sky, rather than on water.
Tweeg spots the airship through his telescope
and fears that Gimmick is not only building an army but a navy as well.
In order to kill two birds with one stone, Tweeg decides to fire his
cannon at the still grounded airship, thereby getting rid of Gimmick,
his "army", and his "navy", all at once. The cannon is fired yet again,
but this time the cannonball lands to the left of the Airship. Teddy
comments that Tweeg is at it again. After getting the airbag in place,
Gimmick heads back to the house to get the rest of the supplies the
trio will need for the trip. Distracted by the list he's creating in
his head, Gimmick forgets he has the treasure map in his hand and puts
it into LB's open mouth, instead of a piece of wood like before. Not
believing what happened, LB races back to Tweeg's tower with the map in
Back at the tower, Tweeg refills the cannon with more powder and when
he lights the fuse, it blows up, sending the cannon shooting backward,
right off the tower, with Tweeg holding on for dear life. Tweeg and the
cannon crash into LB at the base of the tower. Not realizing what he
has, Tweeg berates the Bounder for getting another piece of wood in his
mouth, claiming that he's a "villain, not a dentist". LB tells his
boss, that he's going to be a very rich villain as the "piece of wood"
he has in his hand, is actually a map that leads to the legendary
Treasure of Grundo. Tweeg's lights up as he recalls all the years he's
attempted to find the fabled treasure. Tweeg rushes up to the tower and
draws a phony map, demanding that LB take it back to Gimmick's, so the
trio will be thrown off the trail. Once again, LB returns to the
valley, this time with the false map.
Aboard the Airship, the trio has finished
loading the last of the supplies and are just about ready to leave,
when Teddy asks where the map is. Figuring that he probably left it
back at the house, Gimmick makes his way back to look. LB drops the
false map on the path where Gimmick walks. The inventor sees it, and
takes it, thinking it's the real map, and returns to the Airship. With
everything ready, the trio casts off, taking the craft into the sky.
Once they're flying, Teddy asks Gimmick how to steer the Airship.
Gimmick realizes that he hadn't made such a device and hadn't really
answered that question for himself. A second later the airship crashes
into a tree. Suddenly a voice demands to know what they're doing in the
tree. A tiny flying lady appears and repeats the question. The trio is
stunned at the size of the girl and Grubby asks her what she is. The
lady replies that she's a woodsprite. Immediately, Gimmick attempts to
refute that statement, but Teddy quickly tells him that she's in front
of them, she's small, she can fly and she says she's a Woodsprite,
therefore she must be a Woodsprite. Gimmick gives in, and the
Woodsprite introduces herself as Leota. Teddy introduces himself and
his two companions. Leota asks them if she could teach them to fly the
Airship properly. Once again, Gimmick is adamant in his abilities to
fly the ship, but soon admits defeat, when Leota shows off her own
flying abilities. Leota instructs the trio in the construction of a
simple propellor and rudder system that will allow them to steer the
Airship in any direction they want. The trio thanks Leota and they set
off once again for the Hard to Find City.
Meanwhile, Tweeg and LB are on their way to the city, with Teddy's map
in hand. LB is complaining about why he has to pull the wagon, while
Tweeg sits there, reading the map, citing Tweeg's claim that they'd be
equal partners in this job. Tweeg informs his lacky that he's the
thinking partner, while LB is the muscle. LB decides that makes sense.
Back aboard the Airship, Grubby asks if they're at the Treacherous
Mountains yet. Gimmick replies that they're not even at Woodley Bog
yet, and won't be at the Hard to Find City for several more days. Teddy
then asks Gimmick where they are. The inventor answers that they're at
Trembly Fault. This sets off a bell in Gimmick's mind and he realizes
they've been going in the wrong direction. The trio checks the map, and
they notice it looks different and that it now says the treasure is
hidden in the Great Desert. They realize the map is a phony and that
Tweeg somehow managed to switch maps with them.
Back on the road, Tweeg and LB continue their journey when they come
across the same group of Fobs that Teddy and Grubby had encountered
back near Bounder Pass. LB is scared and leaps into Tweeg's lap,
sending the wagon careening backwards. The wagon roll off a ledge and
crash into a tree, sending Tweeg and LB flying. Angrily, Tweeg demands
to know why LB ran away from the Fobs. The Bounder replies that the
Fobs are so good that they disgust him, stating that the qualities of
friendliness and loyalty shouldn't be posessed by animals. Tweeg merely
rolls his eyes.
The Airship is coming to a vast desert. Gimmick
explains that it's known as the Great Desert. Grubby suggests they go
down and get some, as he thinks that Gimmick said, " Great Dessert".
Teddy explains to the Octopede that a desert is a vast plain of
openness and sand and is usually quite hot. Grubby simply says it
reminds him of his empty stomach. Gimmick then goes on to explain that
until they cross the desert, they won't be able to land for fuel, as
there are no trees for miles. Teddy says that the log he's about to put
into the fireplace better burn slowly as it's their last one. However,
the log burns quickly and soon, the Airship runs out of fuel. As the
trio attempts to land, Grubby informs Teddy that he hates adventure.
The episode ends with the Airship heading toward the desert at a great
As the first episode
of a children's series, this episode holds up pretty well. However, it
tended to be slow at times. One thing I didn't like was Gimmick's
attitude towards Leota. I think the writers went too far on this, when
they added his protest at her offer to teach them how to fly. It was
unnecessary and it showed Gimmick as intolerant of other races, rather
than the tolerant, friendly guy we all know and love. The second thing
I didn't like was the inclusion of the opening title sequence. Too many
characters are shown throughout the sequence and many of them aren't
even introduced until later on in the series. It shows Wooly, the
Grunges, the Gutangs, Quellor and Louie. Louie isn't introduced until
the next episode, Wooly and the Grunges aren't introduced until the
third episode, the Gutangs aren't introduced until the fourth and
Quellor isn't even mentioned or introduced until the eigth episode.
Other than those two
things, the episode was pretty good at laying out the foundation for
the upcoming adventures and the later episodes. It established each of
the three main characters and what their personalities are, and it
established the main villain and his relationship with his henchman. It
was also really cool to actually see LB lead the Bounders, rather than
sit back and watch them make fools of themselves.
One of the things I
liked about it, is that, unlike the first part of the live-action pilot
film, it omitted the scene where the Airship tips over as a result of
Gimmick having the airbag underneath the ship. I just thought that,
even though it was part of the original book, it didn't really serve
any purpose other than to fill time. It was a great way to start the
series, and the cliffhanger at the end was very good for people who've
never seen the show before.
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