For several weeks now, I’ve tried to concoct a logical reason behind going to bat for a cartoon series that seemingly has been overlooked and dismissed for twenty years now. I’m abandoning that direction in favor of simply giving it to you from my heart.
I’ve gone on since I first became aware of the TaleSpin fandom five years ago about the show in general and about one component especially, a component which has gone to my heart and somehow made a difference the way few things of its kind can, a cartoon which has gone to my heart and soul with something that not many series have…a heart and a soul. A vital component to this series had grabbed a hold of me when I first started watching it back in 1991 and has not let me go to this day. Something about it has stayed with me all these years and I’m at the age where, if I’d care about a cartoon at all…it wouldn’t be this one. Why?
We’ve gone back-and-forth like a tennis match about how we’d like to see a third volume of TaleSpin come out on DVD and come full-circle with the original series. Should they bring the series back and make new episodes and add continuity to the development of the characters? That’d be nice, although I must admit, it’d also be unlikely. Some have stated that many of the fans who thought TaleSpin was a good show then don’t seem to care now. They’ve moved on, and I’m still here boosting a twenty-year-old cartoon in the same fanatical way I, a forty-something man, should be doing for the Philadelphia Phillies. Why on earth am I doing this?
Maybe, I need to see a psychiatrist?
Maybe, a reason would be that I see something in this series like I haven’t seen much of before or since on television. Maybe, there’s a special component, even one component, that got my attention and made me look at a contemporary (for 1991) cartoon and made me change my outlook, not just on television cartoons, but on my personal consciousness as well. To me, and probably to you as well, that one vital component takes the form of a big, little, wonderful something that can be summed up in three letters…K-I-T.
Something about this character made an impact on us…at least at one time in our lives, this character made an impact on us…in a way that no other character, animated or live-action, ever could. He is a character who has seen the soft, white, underbelly of life at a time of extremely tough economic conditions. He’s known hunger, homelessness…and hopelessness. With the care and support of a cargo pilot, his life turned around from seeming like a dead-end street, to where the open skies are his personal playground. He is a sky-surfing wunderkind whose antics with a metallic board have made many people look up in wonder and even some of them have panic attacks! A character like this has offered so much in the past and he’s got a lot more to him besides.
At this point, I’m not entirely concerned about whether to bring back TaleSpin in any form. Now, I realize that might go against the grain to some. My primary concern is this character…this one vital component…Kit Cloudkicker. What he’s done before and what he can do in the future can get the attention of new fans for Disney, if they only wish him to. Kit is my primary concern…bordering on becoming my exclusive concern. There’s a lot a character like this can still teach us about reaching for a star and hitching a tow-rope to it…and just fly, boy, fly!
There’s so much he can teach us in the realm of social responsibility and making a difference in our own lives, and in the lives of others. Take another look at those old TaleSpin cartoons and just follow Kit and what he says and does to help someone else. From helping a seemingly hopeless cause like Oscar Vandersnoot join the Jungle Aces…to helping his Papa Bear come to terms with himself and just who he is in the eyes of this brave little bear cub.
In my mind’s eyes and heart…it’s all about K-I-T, Kit Cloudkicker. Whatever else happens in Disney’s Corporate Realm, my hope remains that one board member will ask: Ladies and Gentlemen, may I propose a new project with this character, Kit…um…whatshisname again…oh, yes…Cloudkicker! May I propose this new idea for this character? It’d go something like this…”
With eyes on the skies, and heart on the future,