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The Raccoons and the Lost Star

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  • Executive Producer: Sheldon Wiseman
  • Producer: Kevin Gillis
  • Directors: Kevin Gillis and Paul Schibli
  • Writer: Juliet Packer
  • Music: Kevin Gillis and Jon Stroll

article written by James Fabiano

Cyril Sneer "The Raccoons and the Lost Star" is the last totally original Raccoons special before the coming of the regular series in 1985. (As a sidenote, it is also the first exposure I had to the Raccoons as a whole!) It premiered in December of 1983 and was originally shown in two parts either across two days (as it was on KNBC in Los Angeles, which aired the parts on December 1st and 2nd), or one week (as was the case with WNBC in New York City, which showed them on December 13th and 20th). "Lost Star" was also ran several times on the BBC, as well as the Disney Channel when they aired the Raccoons series in the early '90s. It was also available on video from Embassy Home Entertainment, which also released "The Raccoons on Ice," "The Christmas Raccoons," and "The Raccoons: Let's Dance!"

"Lost Star" is an interesting departure from the other Raccoons specials and the series. The story begins typically, however, as we first join Dan the Forest Ranger, Tommy, Julie, and Schaeffer in the Evergreen Forest by a campfire. At the children's insistence, Dan begins to tell them a story, but gets interrupted by a car horn. "It just might be a surprise," Dan tells his kids, who follow him in curiosity, leaving Schaeffer alone to sleep until he is awoken by a nearby bang. Now faced with a curious situation of his own, Schaeffer wanders into the forest to find the source of the noise. Eventually, he discovers a strange glowing plane and is startled by a radio message ordering it back. So he ducks into the passenger's seat to hide, and ends up on the mysterious plane's flight out of the forest.....and out of the Earth itself.

Whisked to a far-away planet, Schaeffer finds himself in a hollowed-out mountain fortress of machines, rocketry, and numerous Bear Soldiers. Three Pig Generals meet the plane's Bear Pilot to receive reconnaissance data for their "Imperial Commander," who of course turns out to be Cyril Sneer. However, when they discover the "Earth dog" that stowed away on the flight, their plans are temporarily interrupted as they give chase. Schaeffer escapes for the moment, and we then soon learn the purpose of Cyril's mission. Seems that he had calculated the falling of one perfect star that would power all of his weaponry, yet his generals failed to retrieve it because of some unseen bungling. Since then, Cyril is determined to find the star so he may prepare to launch an invasion against Earth. To that end he has captured almost all of the animals populating their planet to see if any of them have the lost star.

Bert & Co.In the meantime, Schaeffer has escaped into the jungle and meets up with a seemingly familiar face in Sophia Tutu, only this Sophia acts like she just met him. One new friend he does meet, however, is Sophia's puppy, Broo, who looks very much like Schaeffer, except for a certain "starry thing" hanging across his neck. Schaeffer tells Sophia of his dilemma, and she in turn suggests that her boyfriend and his "influential father" could help. (Little does she know that the "influential" Cyril is telling his son Cedric that there will be no time for worrying about "social climbing dames" where he's going) While they do so, Schaeffer, Sophia, and Broo are suddenly swept up by a net trap set by Bert, Ralph, and Melissa Raccoon, who are the only animals to evade capture and are thus slow to trust the newcomers at first. However, when Schaeffer and Sophia plead their innocence, the Raccoons realize that they all share a common threat from Cyril and become fast friends with the other animals (although Schaeffer again feels as if he knew the Raccoons from somewhere). They then agree to come up with a plan to free the captured animals and to keep Cyril from taking over the Earth. Well, at least Ralph, Melissa, Schaeffer, and Sophia agree. Bert, on the other hand, would rather perform a daring sneak attack as "Bert Raccoon, Karate Ace," or maybe "Bert Raccoon, Dueling Ace!"

Differing techniques aside, the Raccoons, Schaeffer, Sophia, and Broo manage to raid Cyril's hideout on numerous occasions afterwards, but it seems that no matter how many times they try, Cyril quickly recaptures the animals after they're released. But the trouble is only starting; when Cedric notices that his girlfriend Sophia is among the intruders, Cyril demands to know more. It is then that he discovers that Broo is the one who has the lost star, and declares that the band of animals just had their last successful raid. "You had your fun, now it's my turn!" he promises, determined to capture the Raccoons and their friends once and for all. He starts by capturing Sophia after his army sabotages her date with Cedric, and Bert, Ralph, Melissa, Schaeffer, and Broo soon follow when they try to rescue her. With his opposition caught, Cyril claims the star for his own and sends the animals into a maximum security prison cell. However, Broo manages to get away and obtain plans to the war room from Cedric, who presumably wants to make up for Sophia's capture. All that's left now is to find the star and set the animals free. Can little Broo do such a monumental task on his own? And if so, will the Raccoons and their friends find their way out of Cyril's mountain hideout? And how will Schaeffer ever get back to Earth?

"The Raccoons and the Lost Star" features the music of guest voices John Schneider (of "The Dukes of Hazzard") and Dottie West. Compared with the previous specials, it's interesting to note that this one begins to develop the look and feel of the series, from the introduction of prominent characters such as Broo and the Pigs to the familiar musical cues, including the instrumental Raccoons theme itself.

		"Last night, dreaming,
		 so brightly gleaming,
		 falling from a place so high,
		 that you and I . . .

		 Last night, falling,
		 like rain from the front porch awning,
		 tumbling down from the sky above,
		 like falling in love,
		 like falling . . ."

As told by Rich Little, with songs performed by Dottie West and John Schneider, THE RACCOONS AND THE LOST STAR is an adventure story involving THE RACCOONS family of characters, including Schaeffer--the dog. On a far-away planet, Cyril Sneer plots his takeover of earth. With the help of his Pig Generals, an army of Bears, and a special STAR, he has very carefully devised a plan to imprison all of the animals and attack earth. Schaeffer--the earth dog, is mysteriously transported to Cyril's planet and, with the help of the Raccoons, Sophia and Broo, Sneer's evil plan is thwarted, saving Schaeffer's home on earth.

1983, Color, Running time: 49 minutes.

As told by RICH LITTLE
Songs Performed by DOTTIE WEST
Created, Produced, and Directed by KEVIN GILLIS
Screenplay by JULIET PACKER
Animation Director PAUL SCHIBLI
Executive Producer SHELDON S. WISEMAN
Music Composed by KEVIN GILLIS
Music Arrangements by JON STROLL

(P) 1983 Evergreen Raccoons Marketing, Inc.
(C) 1983 Evergreen Raccoons Marketing, Inc.
Songs and Music (C) Copyright Lost Angels Music CAPAC (USA ASCAP)
Licensing Agent--Evergreen Marketing, Inc.