|The animal inhabitants of Rudyard Kipling's beloved Jungle Book graduated from swinging in the trees to full-time professional careers and complicated emotional lives in the television spin-off Tale Spin.
Part of the appeal of Disney’s Tale Spin was seeing the return of several characters from Disney’s own animated classic The Jungle Book, who were featured along with a handful of new characters in this half-hour television cartoon.
The series took place in the fictional tropical locale of Cape Suzette. Reunited were Baloo the Bear, now a freewheeling ace cargo pilot, Louis the Ape, enjoying life as a nightclub owner, and Shere Khan the Tiger, currently a powerful businessman. Along with his friend and co-pilot, frisky cub Kit Cloudkicker, Baloo was constantly battling a formidable band of pirates. Baloo and Kit got mixed up in a barrage of high-flying adventures as they tried to avoid the barbaric bandits, uncovering mystery, intrigue, and loads of laughs along the way.
When Baloo lost his own business, he signed up to be a cargo pilot with Higher for Hire, owned by the no-nonsense Rebecca Cunningham, a shrewd businesswoman and mother to 5-year-old Molly. Wildcat was Baloo’s goofy but reliable mechanic who kept Baloo’s plane, the Sea Duck, running smoothly. Louie the Ape was always buying into Baloo’s hair-brained money-making schemes, while the thieving Shere Khan tried to complete his monopoly on Cape Suzette's businesses by running Higher for Hire into the ground. Adding even more danger and adventure, Don Karnage and his motley crew of air pirates were forever on Baloo and Kit's tail, trying to steal the bears’ cargo.
Appearing as one quarter of the two-hour Disney Afternoon, Tale Spin joined such other adventure toons as DuckTales and Chip 'n' Dale's Rescue Rangers. Fun and freewheeling, the show was also the first Disney series to mix traditional cel animation with computer animation techniques. Tale Spin eventually left the air, but the Jungle Book characters returned in 1996's Jungle Cubs.