Canadian families will remember the classic 80s cartoon The Raccoons. I know I watched it every week, and still feel nostalgia for Bert, Melissa, Ralph and their friends.
Created in 1985, ‘The Raccoons’ series follows the day-to-day life of three raccoons – Bert, Melissa & Ralph, their friend Cedric the aardvark, and his Dad, Cyril Sneer, whose hunger for a quick fortune causes many conflicts inside The Evergreen Forest, according to a release from Run With Us productions. Now, four decades after its original launch on Canadian television, the series returns to the small screen.
Kevin Gillis, President of Run With Us Productions, and creator of the series said, “We are thrilled to partner with Crave and reintroduce ‘The Raccoons’ to an entirely new generation. Over the past few years, we’ve seen a resurgence of interest in the program along with its specials. Parents, who were children themselves in the 80s and 90s, are eager to share the show’s strong environmental values and loveable characters with their children, a message which resonates more than ever today.”
For two decades, this award-winning and highly rated series engaged the imaginations of families in over 180 countries worldwide. And let’s be honest — we’ll be watching as much for ourselves as for our children!
According to the release, the new digitally remastered and restored content includes all 60 half-hour original episodes and four animated specials including ‘The Christmas Raccoons,’ ‘The Raccoons On Ice,’ and ‘The Raccoons and the Lost Star.’ With a strong theme focused on the environment, this classic Family and Children’s program is sure to resonate with families today.
Gillis and his production team began the process of restoring and digitally remastering the show and specials in 2022. “The process has been a huge technical undertaking, involving the original 35mm films, 4K and HD scanning in both 16:9 and the original 4:3 aspect ratio, audio syncing in English, French, and Latin American Spanish as well as deliveries in M&E tracks for other languages,” he shared. “The work has involved partners in Canada, the U.S., the UK, and India. It has been a labour of love for everyone on the team. The results are simply amazing.”
Seasons 1 and 2 of the classic cartoon will drop on Crave on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022, with Seasons 3, 4, and 5, plus four animated specials, to follow at a later date, the production company stated.
Anthony Matt, VP of Technical Operations for North America Prime Focus Technologies (PFT) said, “It is our mission at PFT to deliver the highest quality technical, creative services in digital restoration. When ‘The Raccoons’ was brought to our team, we knew we had the technical know-how to get the job done and the results are simply astonishing. There is nothing like the image quality of 35mm film to reveal the art of the original animation – something that was not possible when it originally aired.”
The Raccoons is scheduled to roll out its remastered world streaming premiere on Crave in Canada this weekend, with plans to expand to additional markets in 2023.