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The Raccoons and the Lost Star:

Sliced and Diced


THE RACCOONS AND THE LOST STAR: Rerun Cuts and Changes

by James Fabiano

Introduction

December 13, 1983. That was the day when I, then a six year old boy, was first "acquainted" with Kevin Gillis' Raccoons. Our NBC affiliate, WNBC-4, aired the third Raccoons special, "The Raccoons and the Lost Star," during the holiday season. Since my clearest television watching memories exclude the first five years of my existence, I can't say whether or not I saw the original broadcasts of "The Christmas Raccoons" or "The Raccoons on Ice." So I always had a special place in my memories for Lost Star, since it was the first Raccoons-related thing I remember seeing.

Anyway, eight years later I discovered that The Disney Channel was showing the Raccoons television series. Remembering how much I loved Lost Star, I followed it regularly, setting my VCR before school to tape episodes. Imagine my delight when I came home one day and found Part One of "The Raccoons and the Lost Star" waiting for me. Needless to say, I was overjoyed to have what got me into the Raccoons in the first place again. I taped Part Two the next day, and everything was right with the world. Or so I thought . . .

You see, when I decided to give Lost Star another watch, I noticed that the credits mentioned a song by Dottie West called "Fallin, Fallin." Now, I obviously remembered the Disney Channel run better than the original broadcast, and I couldn't remember this song being played anywhere. I posed the question of what happened to it on the internet with little response. Eventually, though, I came across this page, and asked its keeper, Jim Gilsinan IV, about "Fallin, Fallin." He told me it was in a sequence that should have came after Sophia was captured by Cyril, but was apparently cut from the Disney Channel rerun. (Strangely enough, I did see this sequence done to different music in the Raccoons video special, "Let's Dance")

So through a tape trade, Jim gave me a copy of the complete version of Lost Star. While watching it, I discovered that the hack and slash job that The Disney Channel didn't begin or end with "Fallin, Fallin." With that in mind, I have compiled a list of the cuts made to "The Raccoons and the Lost Star" in rerun form, some of which caused the elimination of dialogue or scenes relevant to the story. This list is divided into two parts, as Lost Star was in its original and rerunned broadcasts.

Part One

Cut Scenes

There was a cut in the scene where Schaeffer approaches the Sneer plane. (After the "Very odd, very suspicious, and more than a little scary...." narration) In the original, we see him actually sneak near the plane before the Pig General calls on the radio. In the rerun, they just cut to when Schaeffer is actually by the plane and hears the radio.

In the scene when Schaeffer sees Sophia by the waterfall, there are a few seconds of him going through the forest cut out.

Cedric and Sophia's date begins with Cedric telling Sophia that she's a little late. In the original, he greets her by giving her flowers.

The "Lions and Tigers" scene is also cut short. In the rerun, after the Raccoons and Schaeffer's first raid, they simply go to the part that begins with ". . . the Raccoons kept releasing the animals, but Cyril would capture them again." Actually, the song went on a little longer, as we see scenes from more raids (in which the same stuff happens).

Cut Dialogue

After Sophia tells Schaeffer that "I'm the only me I know!", there's snipped dialogue where Schaeffer explains how he came from Earth. They also cut the end of the scene, where Sophia admits that she never met Cedric's father, but assumes that he must be just as wonderful as he is.

When Cyril is chiding the Pigs and Bears for failing his recon mission, they leave out Cyril talking about how he can pardon his pilots but not his generals.

When Cyril talks to Cedric, they cut out Cyril talking about his plans to leave their "rinky dink planet" for Earth, as well as Cedric asking if they could at least take Sophia with them. Also gone from this scene is Cyril feeding the remnants of his globe to Snag, along with narration explaining the irony of Schaeffer seeking Cedric's father's help to get back to Earth, when he wanted to go there for different reasons.

When Schaeffer, Sophia, and Broo get captured by the Raccoons, there's missing dialogue where Schaeffer demands that they let them out, but Bert refuses to oblige, saying "So you can capture more animals? No way, Shaggy!" When Bert tells Ralph and Melissa how he doesn't trust Sophia because "she looks like one of Cyril Sneer's men," Schaeffer thoughtfully repeats the name "Cyril Sneer" in the original, continuing the notion that he does in fact know everyone from somewhere. The end narration that poses Schaeffer's question, "How was it that he knew Sophia and the Raccoons, but they didn't know him?" is cut short before Rich Little adds that he decided not to worry about it, just being glad to be with friends, whether they were new or old.

In the rerun, when we see the Raccoons and Schaeffer plan their first raid, it begins with Bert declaring himself "Bert Raccoon, dueling ace!" However, in the original, there is extra dialogue before that, with Bert threatening an imaginary and invisible Cyril Sneer.

(NOTE: In both the original and rerun, Part One of Lost Star ends with Cyril Sneer telling the Raccoons, "You've just had your last successful raid! You had your fun, now it's my turn!" If you're using the Embassy video to follow along, the next scene begins Part Two. If you have any of the versions divided into the two parts, I think the credits make that abundantly clear)

Part II

Cut Scenes:

There is a bit chopped off in the beginning of the the scene where Cedric meets Sophia before they are interrupted by Cyril's army. In the rerun, Sophia is coaching Broo on how to do a backflip; in the original, we first see him actually trying it.

For some reason, the Disney Channel rerun also excluded the ENTIRE "Fallin, Fallin" sequence, as I pointed out in my intro to this list. It happens after Sophia is captured and Cyril declares (Wicked Witch of the West style), "I'll get your little dog, and I'll get those Raccoons too!". The sequence involves a "blue outline" style animation of Sophia being locked in the dungeon. In the rerun, all that's left of "Fallin, Fallin" is the opening melody, which carries over to the next scene.

After the Raccoons, Sophia, and Schaeffer are put in maximum security, the rerun begins the next scene closer to when Bert talks about how he always wanted to fly a plane. There is a little more footage before that in the original.

Finally, the end credits in part two are shortened in the rerun, with some of them cut out. The original has more actual credits, as well as more pictures in the usual "slide show" that ends most Raccoons episodes. Moreover, the song "Friends" goes on longer as a result. On the Embassy video, it even plays a while after the credits end (against a blank screen).

Cut Dialogue

When Cyril tells the Raccoons, etc. how nice it is "to have them all here," Melissa retorts, "The pleasure is not mutual!" When Bert and Ralph tell him that he has no right to keep them there, Cyril warns them, "Don't try to appeal to my conscience, because I have none!" In the rerun, they skip from Cyril's "greeting" to Schaeffer asking what he wanted with him and his friends.

The scene where Broo comes back with the map of Cyril's fortress begins (in the original) with the narrator saying, "As dawn neared, so did Cyril Sneer's final countdown . . ." This is not present in the rerun.

When Ralph finds that Broo brought back a map to the warroom, Bert cries, "Whoopie! All we have to do is follow the map and get the star! WE'RE SAVED!!!" In the rerun, though, he only says "We're saved!"

After the Raccoons, etc. have escaped Cyril's fortress, the rerun starts with Ralph exclaiming, "Oh, it feels good to be on home ground again!" But in the original, this is preceded by a view of the mountain ruins as we hear Cedric ask, "Pop, is it time to leave for Earth?" To which Cyril replies, "AAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!"

Conclusion

Well, that's it for my list. I know that the Raccoons series has appeared on several outlets other than The Disney Channel; as such, if you have seen Lost Star in rerun form and noticed different or more changes, let us know.






Copyright © 1996-2009 Jim Gilsinan IV
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