A Look at Disney Investigates: Going Bonkers (Bonkers Pilot Episode Review)






Hello & welcome back to A Look at Disney as we continue our investigation as we look at the pilot episode of Bonkers.  I honestly went back and forth as to whether or not, I was going to review it.  In part, because the main character is just sooo annoying.  Now, this show has an interesting history.  While the episode, we are looking at is the pilot, it’s actually the tenth and eleventh episode produced. This was because this show went through some change including cast as the original partner that Bonkers had wasn’t that well liked by the staff it seemed.  And so, this pilot was created that gave Bonkers, a new partner and an origin of how a Toon became a cop in Hollywood.   Also, there seems to be a back & forth as to whether or not, this show was meant to be a Roger Rabbit cartoon series.  I’ve seem some sites say that was the case while others say that was a misconception that many audiences have about the show.  Well, even if it is the case that this show was never meant to be a Roger Rabbit cartoon,  you can see the influence of the Zemeckis movie on the show in this pilot.

The Plot

Bonkers is a big Hollywood Toon and we see him on his way to film his latest cartoon but when he gets there,  he is fired by his boss,  W.W.  Wacky fires them from the show mid production  as  a new action series is getting better ratings than Bonkers’ show.   It seems like everything is lost for Bonkers as it has appeared that all of his friends have left him.  That night, we come across night patrolman, Lucky Piquel as he was patrolling a park in LA in the hopes of getting a promotion and he comes across someone holding up Donald Duck for ransom.  Bonkers is there too and sees Donald but has no idea about the hold up and yet the news gives Bonkers credit for saving Donald from the person that was holding him up.

And this leads to the police chief is impressed by Bonker’s chivalry and bravery and decides to make him a cop.  And Lucky get promoted to police detective and Bonkers becomes his new partner.  And to say that the relationship is tenuous would be an understatement.  We see Bonkers and Piquel go on the case to look for Toons that had gone missing but it is clear that Piquel really doesn’t care.  And we soon find out that that a villain named The Collector had been stealing the Toons.  And he wanted Bonkers to complete his collection.  Bonkers does prove to be smart with his Toon knowledge in trying to find his friends and he comes across a postcard at one of his friend’s house, that he thinks is a plant. He’s right but Piquel doesn’t think that’s the case.  And after having put up with Bonkers’ inane antics as Bonkers moved in Lucky and his family, Lucky decides that it’s best to relinquish Bonkers from his position as a cop.  And it is around this point that The Collector captures Bonkers.  We see that he is a rabid Bonkers fanboy and wanted him to complete his collection and see that he had been laminating all of the other Toons to preserve them.  It’s around this point, that Bonkers’ dog, Toots finds Piquel and tells him that Bonkers has been taken.  And Piquel sees that is the truth and comes to save him.  Bonkers is saved and using his Toon knowledge decides to challenge  The Collector to a Toon off as no Toons can resist a banana peel slip.  But he was able to and in perhaps, the only clever thing in this pilot, Lucky notices that The Collector has five fingers.   And here, it’s revealed that The Collector is actually a nerdy human pretending to be a Toon as he is trapped inside a prop box that looks like it takes him to the pits of the underworld.   And Lucky decides to reinstate Bonkers as his partner.  I’ve got one thing to say about this pilot.

Thank you, Hipster Ariel!   There was a good idea somewhere in here with having a Toon become a cop but the problem is that Bonkers so annoying, that you don’t want to watch a show about him as you don’t care about him at all.   Let’s move onto characters.


Bonkers voiced by Jim Cummings

I made the point in my review of Roger Rabbit that Roger was my least favorite part of the movie as he could be a bit annoying but thankfully, he had characters around him to ground him and make him less annoying.  That wasn’t the case with Bonkers, take the annoying level and times it by 30.   Bonkers feels like a character is just amped on sugar, the whole time and while smart never calms down.  And tries to be wacky all of the time and gets old after the first five minutes and I was just over him.

Lucky Piquel also voiced by Jim Cummings

On the other end of the spectrum, Lucky is also rather annoying as he is gruff and basically Eddie Valiant lite.  Except for the fact that there is no real reason given for him to hate Toons other than the fact that Bonkers is just annoying.  Which yeah, is kinda valid but that’s not really enough.


The Collector voiced by  Michael Bell

The Collector was a cool villain as he was creepy and sinister and it seemed like he would stop at nothing to get what he wanted but then all of his cool points went down the drain,  when it was revealed that he was just a nerdy human.

Any goodwill,  I was willing to give the show went down the drain right like that as this was such a letdown.  Because while they did the five finger thing towards the end of the pilot, there were never any other hints that The Collector could’ve been human. I get the idea that fans can take their obsession too far as The Collector actually believed himself to be a Toon.  But if this was a better show (ha!), the audience would have been given some hints that The Collector wasn’t what he appeared to be.

My Final Thoughts

Time to dust off an old favorite of mine.

Yeah, that pretty much sums it up.  There was a good idea in there somewhere with this show but it was executed so poorly, that you end up not caring about any of the characters in this show.   There is no need to watch this show.  Join me next time as we look at the….


4 replies
  1. the-second-opinion
    the-second-opinion says:

    I’m a bit surprised by your conclusion, since I was under the impression that this show has its fans, but it’s not one of the Disney Afternoon shows I ended up catching very often, so I can’t say it’s any skin off my nose. (I was more of a Duck Tales and Goof Troop kinda guy.)

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    • moviefan
      moviefan says:

      It does have it’s defenders but some like the Nostalgia Critic view this show as being the start of the decline for The Disney Afternoon. Personally, I don’t think this show is that good and it just comes down to how annoying Bonkers is.

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