February 28, 1993 – The Animated Series Bonkers Premieres on the Disney Channel
“Once upon a time in Toontown, there was a cat that had it all: fortune and fame, top of the game, up until he hit the wall.”
On February 28, 1993, the first episode of the animated series Bonkers premiered on the Disney Channel with the episode entitled “Trains, Toons and Toon Trains.” The title character had originally been part of the Raw Toonage feature, appearing in segments of the show. The series was also run in syndication starting on September 6, 1993, although it was taken off the air in 2004. The premise of the show is that popular cartoon character Bonkers D. Bobcat becomes a police officer with the Hollywood Police Department – Toon Division, after he was washed up and finished with show business. Bonkers is partnered with Detective Lucky Piquel, a cantankerous middle-aged man who hates cartoons, and is constantly trying to win Piquel’s praise, only to botch their assignments; the first season, however, had Bonkers paired with Miranda Wright, a cop that works at the same station. The series ended after 65 episodes on February 23, 1994, and starred Jim Cummings as Bonkers and Lucky Piquel, Karla DeVito as Miranda, and Frank Welker as Fall Apart Rabbit.
The episode begins with Bonkers getting his hand stuck in a typewriter, then accidentally sending it flying through the Chief’s door when trying to free himself. The Chief, not entirely thrilled by Bonkers’ arrival, gives him and Miranda an assignment to transport a criminal to the state penitentiary. While Bonkers is excited for the trip, Miranda is less than enthused. The criminal, Stiff Lips Sullivan, is the last surviving member of an infamous gang, and the only one who knows where the jewels the gang stole are hidden, but no one is able to get the information out of him. Miranda and Bonkers take Stiff Lips to the station, where they are spied on by a mob couple who is also after the location of the jewels. Miranda leaves Bonkers alone to watch Stiff Lips, but Bonkers finds himself getting into more trouble than he should, although he manages to make Stiff Lips laugh with his antics. Stiff Lips offers to tell Bonkers the location of the jewels since Bonkers is the only one to make him laugh.
The mob couple, Helga and Mr. Blaine, come up with a plan to use knock out gas and truth serum to get the jewel information. Unfortunately, the knock out gas knocks out Stiff Lips rather than Bonkers, and Bonkers attempts to arrest Helga, although he is chained to Stiff Lips and unable to leave. Miranda searches for the mob while Bonkers tries to hide Stiff Lips, although Helga is hot on his trail. When Blaine finds that Bonkers knows where the jewels are buried, Blaine and Helga try and torture the information out of him. Bonkers is able to escape and tells Miranda what’s been going on. Bonkers tries to hide, but is found by Helga and Blaine. Helga tries to use the truth serum on Bonkers, but Miranda takes him away before he can reveal the secret of the jewels. Helga and Miranda end up battling on top of the train until Bonkers sprays her with the truth serum, where she reveals she wanted to act and dance, but is snapped out of it by Blaine.
Miranda and Bonkers are thrown off the train, and are forced to walk the tracks. Bonkers comes up with an idea to get his train friend, the Locomotive Kid, to come save him and Miranda, and the Locomotive Kid races off to the rescue. After taking a rather unconventional shortcut, the three are able to catch up with the train, but the mob couple coerces Bonkers to tell them where the jewels are hidden. Bonkers draws them a map, and they jump off the train to their riches. As Miranda tells Bonkers they should radio for backup, Bonkers tells her it’s not necessary and reveals the location of the jewels: Stiff Lip’s teeth. The map he drew leads the criminal couple to the police station, in the middle of the Chief’s office.