The Berenstain Bears (1985 TV series)

Not to be confused with The Berenstain Bears (2003 TV series).
The Berenstain Bears Show

The main shot from the opening, showing all four main characters.
Genre Comedy
Created by Stan and Jan Berenstain
Developed by Joe Cates
Written by Stan and Jan Berenstain
Earl Kress
Rowby Goren
Bill Shinkai
Story by Stan and Jan Berenstain
Directed by Buzz Potamkin
Creative director(s) Chris Cuddington (Season 2)
Voices of Brian Cummings
Ruth Buzzi
David Mendenhall
Christina Lange
Josh Rodine
Frank Welker
Theme music composer Elliot Lawrence
Composer(s) Elliot Lawrence
Country of origin Australia
United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 52
Executive producer(s) David Salter (Production Executive; Season 1)
Keith Amor (Executive in Charge of Production; Season 2)
Producer(s) Buzz Potamkin
Editor(s) Robert Ciagilia
Running time approx. 22 minutes
Production company(s) Hanna-Barbera
Southern Star
Original network CBS
Audio format Stereo
Original release September 14, 1985 (1985-09-14) – March 7, 1987 (1987-03-07)
Preceded by The Berenstain Bears Play Ball
Followed by The Berenstain Bears (2003 TV series)

The Berenstain Bears Show is an Australian-American animated comedy television series based on Stan and Jan Berenstain's Berenstain Bears children's book series, produced by Hanna-Barbera and Southern Star Productions.

It aired on the United States from September 14, 1985 until March 7, 1987 on CBS with over 52 11-minute episodes in 26 half-hour shows produced. Each show consisted of two episodes, the first being an adaptation of one of the books, the second being an original story.

The series was nominated in 1987 for a Daytime Emmy award for Outstanding Performer in Children's Programming; it was also nominated that year for a Humanitas Prize in the category of Non-Prime Time Children's Animated Show.


Reruns aired briefly on TLC's Ready Set Learn block from September 28 to November 13, 1998 when a contract dispute forced TLC to pull the show off the schedule. During the early 2000s, reruns were later seen as part of a syndicated kids' programming block from now-defunct DiC Entertainment which primarily aired on some stations of FOX and the also now-defunct UPN, but the episodes were edited and time-compressed by DiC. The series has not been seen on American television since 2006 and it is not mentioned on The Berenstain Bears website.

A few episodes were available on VHS, but the opening title as well as the title cards were changed. The introduction scene showing highlights from the episodes was removed. The opening title shot was flipped (The Bear Family now runs in the opposite direction). The opening title was previously accompanied with the caption: "The Berenstain Bears Show: Created By Stan & Jan Berenstain," which was removed entirely. The episode title cards were originally dark green with a round portrait in a wooden frame. The title cards on the VHS releases instead use part of the main title sequence. The end credits now scroll and the end music is sped up. The 2009 DVD releases use the edited versions of the episodes that have previously been released on VHS, but use unedited versions of episodes not previously released on VHS.


The series tells the story of a bear family that lives in a tree, the bears are just like humans. The family consists of Mama Bear, Papa Bear, Brother Bear, and Sister Bear. The series teaches lessons, continues from the TV specials, and expands Bear Country as well as character development. Each episode follows the struggles of the family, mainly the cubs. Other episodes involve "The Bear Detectives and their sniffer hound Snuff", Papa Q. Bear's attempts of honey gathering, interaction with forest creatures, and attempts by villains to take over Bear Country. It states that Brother Bear is in 2nd grade then in 3rd Grade while Sister Bear is in kindergarten then in 1st grade.

The characters and setting are from various books written by Stan & Jan Berenstain as well as from several television specials by Joe Cates.

Other characters are Actual Factual, Big Paw, Mayor Horace J. Honeypot, Farmer Ben, and Grizzly Gramps & Gran. Characters also introduced are Officer Marguerete, Queen Nectar, and Jake. Queen Nectar and Jake are neither bears nor antromorphic but they do talk and interact with the humanoid bears. Sister Bear plays with many of the forest animals such as Frog & Butterfly. There are many other background characters that live in the nearby forest land; The Bears live among the forest and nature just as they did in the television specials.

The main antagonist of the series is the swindler Raffish Ralph, and occasionally Weasel McGreed, seen in six episodes. To a lesser extent, Too Tall Grizzly is another antagonist.


Stan & Jan contracted with independent producer Joe Cates in 1979 to make a Christmas Special. They continued to make one holiday special each year for five years. They stopped making holiday specials after "The Berenstain Bears Play Ball" and began making a TV series based on the books and to a lesser extent, the same TV specials produced. Joe Cates and Buzz Potamkin produce this TV series as well. Elliott Lawrence continues to score music for the episodes which are based on his compositions from the five specials, although faster pace. While they no longer break out in song, the theme music (matching part of Stars and Stripes Forever) resembles the song lyrics from the specials. The programme is now produced by Southern Star with new voice actors. The characters no longer talk in rhyme, and the TV series has the updated appearance and no longer has the rustic design of the earliest books. This TV series expanded tremendously of Bear Country which includes many characters, economy, and government. As a result, the episodes have a faster timing and the characters seem much busier compared with the TV specials. The stories are now told without narrator and are 11 minutes in length. The Bear Family had complex patterns on their clothes which were changed to solid colours for the animated specials, with the exception of Mama Bear's inside hat. The TV series omitted the spots entirely, but Mama's yellow "Go And Meet" hat was featured in a "Ghost Of The Forest" adaptation. Also it should be noted that "Ghost Of The Forest" resembles a Halloween special, but it is a regular episode.


Episodes marked with an asterisk (*) are adapted from the books.

Season 1 (1985–86)

# Title Original airdate
1"The Messy Room*"September 14, 1985 (1985-09-14)
Mama tries to get the cubs to give their messy room a complete cleanup within exactly any 15-minute period. Failing to do so, she tries to throw away their toy collection, until Papa finally comes up with a better solution.
2"The Terrible Termite"September 21, 1985 (1985-09-21)
Raffish Ralph meets the Terrible Termite (who can eat wood in seconds) and decides to use him to start an insurance business, but Sister and Brother discover his swindle and the termite refuses to further serve Ralph.
3"Go Fly a Kite*"September 28, 1985 (1985-09-28)
Brother and Sister want to enter the Kite Contest.
4"The Trojan Pumpkin"October 5, 1985 (1985-10-05)
Papa gets a magic pumpkin seed that grows into a mutant pumpkin.
5"The Spooky Old Mansion"October 12, 1985 (1985-10-12)
The whole Bear family is terrified of a spooky mansion down the road, but then Mama encourages them to face their fears.
6"The Fly Away Pizza"October 19, 1985 (1985-10-19)
Papa enters a pizza-twirling competition, but his pizza flies away.
7"The Giant Bat Cave"October 26, 1985 (1985-10-26)

Raffish Ralph is planning to wreck Giant Bat Cave to build an amusement park, but the cubs, with the help of a smart bat, are able to scare him away with the usage of a giant, fake bat.

Note: This episode was part of the TV Teddy video range.
8"The Wild Wild Honey*"November 2, 1985 (1985-11-02)

Papa steals some of Queen Nectar's honey.

Note: This episode was part of the TV Teddy video range.
9"The Neighborly Skunk*"November 9, 1985 (1985-11-09)
A skunk moves in next door to the Bear family.
10"The Missing Pumpkin"November 16, 1985 (1985-11-16)
Farmer Ben's prize pumpkin goes missing, so the cubs decide to search for it.
11"Too Much Birthday*"November 23, 1985 (1985-11-23)
Sister's sixth birthday is coming up. The preparations for the party are bigger than Mama expected, including ponies and a merry-go-round Papa hired. The party is pretty distressing for Sister, but by the end of the party she sees the advantage of growing up.
12"To the Rescue*"November 30, 1985 (1985-11-30)
The Bear Scouts Brother, Sister, and Cousin Freddy try to earn their merit badges. Papa tries to help, but his reckless and clumsy antics make him the one in need of rescuing. Still, the scouts earn their badges eventually.
13"The Soccer Star*"December 7, 1985 (1985-12-07)
Brother Bear tries out for the soccer team.
14"Shoot the Rapids*"December 14, 1985 (1985-12-14)
The Bear Scouts try to earn their whitewater merit badges.
15"The Knight to Remember*"January 18, 1986 (1986-01-18)
The cubs find a cursed suit of armor.
16"The Superduper Bowl"January 25, 1986 (1986-01-25)
Raffish Ralph has a football scheme that involves holding a Superduper Bowl.
17"The Not So Buried Treasure*"February 1, 1986 (1986-02-01)

The bears find a treasure map.

Note: This episode was part of the TV Teddy range where the titular teddy bear interacted with scenes and presenter in the video.
18"The Condemned Backscratcher"February 8, 1986 (1986-02-08)
A superhighway threatens a Bear Country landmark.
19"King For a Day"February 15, 1986 (1986-02-15)
Bigpaw is captured and exhibited.
20"Blaze a Trail*"February 22, 1986 (1986-02-22)
Papa interferes with the cubs' scouting efforts.
21"No Girls Allowed*"May 13, 1986 (1986-05-13)
While viewing family memories, Sister gets angry that Brother outdid her. But today, Sister turns the tide on her fellows. In response, they exclude her from their clubhouse, so Papa decides to start a new clubhouse for celebration.
22"The Missing Dinosaur Bone*"May 13, 1986 (1986-05-13)
In the Bearsonian Institute dinosaur exhibit, the skeleton is missing a right thigh bone. Sister, Brother, Cousin Freddy and Snuff are on the case with Papa's not so helpful assistance. Snuff turned out to be the thief to get a lick at the bone.
23"The Spookiest Pumpkin"May 13, 1986 (1986-05-13)
Papa is ambitious to win a pumpkin carving contest and Brother and Sister are also joining in. Papa is extremely secretive with his own pumpkin and guards it closely. Papa then has nightmares and he chooses to miss out on the contest.
24"The Dancing Bees"May 20, 1986 (1986-05-20)
Papa buys from Raffish Ralph "The Secret of the Dancing Bees" book and dons on a bee costume in hopes of extracting Queen Nectar's honey. His plan works and humours the bees but when Ralph tries it, the bees are not impressed.
25"Learn About Strangers*"May 27, 1986 (1986-05-27)
During their outdoor playtime, Sister is in the habit of talking to people she doesn't know. Papa's warnings about stranger danger scare her, but Mama coaxes her that this isn't all true.
26"The Disappearing Honey*"June 3, 1986 (1986-06-03)
With Papa's honey supply missing, Brother, Sister, Cousin Freddy and his dog Snuff do detective work, while Papa does his ineffective searching. It turns out Papa took and ate the honey in his sleep.

Season 2 (1986–87)

# Title Original airdate
27"In the Dark*"September 13, 1986 (1986-09-13)
Brother reads a scary book to Sister. Sister gets the creeps in bed. Mama tries to help leaving the light on for Sister, which causes inconvenience for Brother. Papa shows Sister how to overcome her fear in the attic.
28"Ring the Bell"September 20, 1986 (1986-09-20)
The Bear family are entering contests at the fair. When faced by Too Tall Grizzly, Brother's quarrel leads Papa into a challenge against Two-Ton. Meanwhile, Queen Nectar has a vendetta against Papa for honey theft, but they unwittingly help Papa win the strength competition.
29"Forget their Manners*"September 27, 1986 (1986-09-27)
After being pushed around at Cousin Freddy's party by Too Tall, Brother and Sister develop their own bad habits. Mama puts some discipline on the family to improve their manners, which are put to practice even outside the house.
30"The Wicked Weasel Spell"October 4, 1986 (1986-10-04)
Brother, Sister and Freddy have a hunch the weasels are up to something. Sure enough Weasel McGreed intends to hypnotise Bigpaw to turn against Bear Country, but Brother, Sister and Freddy thwart their plan.
31"The Truth*"October 11, 1986 (1986-10-11)
Brother has quite a passion for soccer and won't join in other activities with Sister. When they begin to fight, they accidentally break Mama's favorite lamp. They tell fibs about how it broke, but Mama tells them that the truth has great value.
32"Save the Bees"October 18, 1986 (1986-10-18)
Weasel McGreed creates a new flower which traps bees to cut off Bear Country's honey supply. Raffish Ralph tricks Mama into planting the flowers. Brother and Sister catch wind of the plot and a meeting to save the bees ensues. Only a skunk's stink gas can wilt the flowers.
33"Get in a Fight*"October 25, 1986 (1986-10-25)
Papa is not in a good mood this morning. The next day, Brother is in a rotten mood with Sister and they both refuse to play with each other and bicker. The fight intensifies until Mama shows them the pointlessness of quarrelling.
34"The Bigpaw Problem"November 1, 1986 (1986-11-01)
Bigpaw comes to Beartown, but his uncontrollable strength causes major tremors. Raffish Ralph is on the verge of getting rid of Bigpaw, so Weasel McGreed can trigger the biggest earthquake in Bear Country, but Bigpaw repels the quake in Beartown.
35"Get Stage Fright*"November 8, 1986 (1986-11-08)
Sister is going to take part in the school play, Grizzlystiltskin, but she is nervous about being the main role especially on stage. With a little encouragement from Mama, she overcomes her problems and performs well.
36"Go Bonkers over Honkers"November 15, 1986 (1986-11-15)
Raffish Ralph seizes an opportunity to trade Bigpaw some pet geese for a gold rock. After the geese cause trouble and good help, Bigpaw shortly has to return them to their mother.
37"The Great Honey Pipeline"November 22, 1986 (1986-11-22)
After some convincing from Brother and Sister, Papa promises not to go after Wild Wild Honey anymore. But when Queen Nectar's honey supply goes missing, the Bear Detectives find Papa broke his word, so they recover the honey and give Papa a lesson he'll never forget.
38"The Great Grizzly Comet"November 29, 1986 (1986-11-29)
The Great Grizzly Comet is passing. Some aliens arrive with a warning that the comet is on a collision course with Bear Country. The whole scenario is actually a big hoax managed by Raffish Ralph and Weasel McGreed to swindle the bears out of their homes, so Bigpaw drives them away.
39"The Sun-Fire Bait"December 6, 1986 (1986-12-06)
Papa is determined to catch Old Jake the catfish.
40"The Cat's Meow"December 13, 1986 (1986-12-13)
Brother and Sister Bear are going to baby-sit Honey Bear's cat, Puff, while she's away on a trip with her family. Puff's unique meow leads the Berenstain Bears on quest to figure out why it is the cat meows.
41"The Trouble with Friends*"December 20, 1986 (1986-12-20)
Sister wants some friends her age just like Brother. Just then, the Bruin family move in next door and Sister befriends Lizzy. Lizzy's bossy behaviour soon makes the two of them split, but they quickly get together since there are more things they can't do by themselves.
42"The Coughing Catfish*"December 27, 1986 (1986-12-27)
Jake the giant Catfish, among other animals are affected by garbage dumping in the lake. Brother and Sister get help from Professor Actual Factual to scan the extensive garbage pollution. Their solution is to use a sunken pirate ship as an attraction to fund cleanup projects.
43"The Substitute Teacher"January 3, 1987 (1987-01-03)
The cubs are afraid of a substitute teacher, but they learn to like her.
44"The Mystery Mansion"January 10, 1987 (1987-01-10)
The cubs investigate a mysterious mansion.
45"Bust a Ghost"January 17, 1987 (1987-01-17)
The Bear Scouts have ghost troubles.
46"The Ice Monster"January 24, 1987 (1987-01-24)
The ice carnival is starting soon. Suddenly Raffish Ralph spots an ice monster. The ice monster is revealed to be a sleepwalking Bigpaw, who decides to skip his hibernation and join in the fun.
47"The Crystal Ball Caper"January 31, 1987 (1987-01-31)
Gran's future-predicting crystal ball goes missing.
48"The Raid on Fort Grizzly"February 7, 1987 (1987-02-07)
Raffish Ralph and Weasel McGreed plan to steal from the Fort Grizzly treasury.
49"The Forbidden Cave"February 14, 1987 (1987-02-14)
The Bear Scouts are trapped in Forbidden Cave.
50"The Hot Air Election"February 21, 1987 (1987-02-21)
Raffish Ralph convinces Papa to run for public office, sparking a fiery election.
51"Life with Papa"February 28, 1987 (1987-02-28)
Mama entrusts Papa to look after the cubs and the house while she goes to visit Cousin Min. Brother and Sister do their best to keep Papa out of trouble, but he manages to make a combined mess in the house, but Mr. Skunk comes to help out and tidy up before Mama comes back.
52"Save the Farm"March 7, 1987 (1987-03-07)
Weasel McGreed is planning to buy Farmer Ben's farm to make it his new headquarters, but he refuses to sell.



External links

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