|Season 1, Episode 1|
|Air Date||July 4, 1985 (U.S.)|
November 11, 1985 (Canada)
|Previous||The Raccoons: Let's Dance!|
|Next||Going It Alone!|
"Surprise Attack" is the 1st episode of The Raccoons.
Cyril Sneer is a prominent figure in the Evergreen Forest who is constantly flummoxed by the Raccoons. Nevertheless, they are merciful adversaries and actually plan to throw him a party as his birthday is looming. Of course, when his spies catch wind of their surprise, he instantaneously assumes it's a plot to overthrow him.
Eventually, Cedric is imprisoned in his own house as Cyril suspects he's a liaison to the Raccoons in their "dastardly scheme". Thus Bert, Sophia, Boo and Schaeffer set out to rescue him while trying to keep him in partial ignorance of the plan.
The opening scene shows us Schaeffer, Ralph and Melissa in their fishing boat. The narrator has already informed us that they are planning to give Cyril Sneer a shock he 'won’t soon forget' and the trio have a conversation in the boat that only incriminates them further. As they use phrases like 'Do you think it will really teach Cyril a lesson?' and 'He’ll never know what hit him' it is no wonder that the pigs, who have overheard the conversation from the shore, assume the worst.
The pigs set off in their motorbike and sidecar to inform the boss of what they’ve found out, even though all they know is that there is a plan and are otherwise uninformed. On route however they happen across a clearing where Bert and Sophia are talking. Bert explains to Sofia that the giant balloon he has with him is his contribution to the plan. He talks about gunpowder and explosions and that he’s going to have hundreds ready. Naturally the pigs assume the balloon is a war machine and run off to Cyril.
Cyril and Cedric are in the vault totalling up the Sneer family wealth when the pigs arrive and tell them what they have heard. At first Cyril does not believe them, but once he’s had a chance to think about it he seems to think it quite logical that the raccoons would try to overthrow him. At the end of this scene he leaves the vault to assemble his secret service, and once he has left Cedric reveals to the empty room that he too is involved with the plan, though he gives us no more detail about it.
Cyril gives a mission briefing to the bears in his secret service and shows a slide show of the raccoons and Schaeffer so that they know what they are up against. He has them in various disguises and promises the one bringing back the most information a 'Sneer medal'. While the tune 'Run With Us' plays we watch the bears trying to be sneaky and catch Ralph and Melissa on camera but they are too busy competing with each other for the medal to actually be efficient. Cyril is furious with them when they get back as they hadn’t even put film in the camera even if they had got the opportunity for photos. He tells them to get back out there and get digging which they take literally and start digging with spades in his front garden. I guess the bears just aren’t too bright. Cyril makes a comment about building a moat and filling it with alligators; Cyril Sneer is not the type to miss an opportunity.
Once the bears are gone a conversation with the pigs reminds Cyril that Cedric is friends with some of the raccoons. He quickly goes to Cedric and interrupts him while he is writing a warning letter to the raccoons. Upon reading the letter Cyril has Cedric confined to the dungeon but leaves the letter on the floor of Cedric’s room. Hidden from view Broo waits till everyone is gone then picks up the letter and takes it to the raccoons and Schaeffer. The gang decide to come and rescue Cedric.
The rescue attempt is well planned with Schaeffer wheeling in a crate that he says is a 'shipment for Mr Sneer'. Here is a little bit of continuity as the bears say it must be the alligators Cyril has ordered, meaning he must be going ahead with his moat building plans that he mentioned when the bears had started digging. The crate actually has Bert, Sophia and Broo inside, and once within the outer perimeter they use a grappling hook to get inside the mansion. While 'Sooner or Later' plays the three rescuers run through a relatively empty mansion and past sleeping guards (and Snag who was knocked out by the grappling hook).
When they reach the room where Cedric is imprisoned they blow the door off with some off Bert’s gunpowder despite Cedric trying to tell them the door isn't locked. The three 'liberators' as Bert calls them take Cedric up to the roof pursued by Snag, bears and the pigs and they escape by jumping from the rooftop to the balloon that Schaeffer is flying past in.
They’re not safe yet though and Cyril commands his bears to give chase and jumps into the sidecar of the bike. Unfortunately for Cyril the incompetence of the pigs lets him down again. First they can’t find the key to the bike, then they need to refill with petrol and then they have to pump up a tyre before they can finally go. While all this has been happening the bears have followed the balloon to the giant crate where it is believed the raccoons are keeping their secret weapon. Cyril ploughs forwards on his bike, standing up as he gets excited about destroying their plans and he drives directly towards the crate. Cedric tries to stop him, standing in front of the crate shouting for him to stop but has to jump out of the way as Cyril and the pig go cruising into the crate. It bursts open revealing Cyril stuck in a huge cake.
It is at this point that the nature of the plan finally becomes clear. It was all a surprise birthday party for Cyril and the gunpowder in the balloon is actually just fireworks that Bert has set up. Cyril is quite taken aback by this discovery and seems quite touched when Cedric hands him a present while everyone else sings Happy Birthday, though he won’t say that. He remains in character all the way and as the camera pans out from the party we hear him exclaiming 'Who’s paying for this!?' and 'No more surprises!' The narrator ends the episode by assuring us that Cyril managed to grumble and groan his way through five helpings of cake and ice cream.
- This is the first episode of the TV series.
- This is the first episode animated at Atkinson Film-Arts.
- Someone judging by the calendar in "Opportunity Knocks", the episode takes place on the 13th of October. But this was the first episode of Season 1, following the other episodes, "Opportunity Knocks" and "Gold Rush". However in "Gold Rush", the same calendar appeared with Friday the 13th still circled and mentioned, but it wasn't mentioned as Cyril's birthday. So nobody knows when Cyril's actual birthday is.
- The majority of the cast from the four specials return to voice their respective (Carl Banas as Schaeffer and the Bears, Bob Dermer as Ralph and the Bears, Nick Nichols as Pig One, Len Carlson as Bert and Pig Two, Michael Magee as Cyril and Snag, and Sharon Lewis as Sophia and Broo), but this is the first episode in which Melissa is voiced by Linda Feige, and Cedric by Marvin Goldhar, and Len Carlson as Pig Three.
- The series is now narrated by Geoffrey Winter.
- Bert was part of the Junior Raccoon Scouts where he learnt to play the bugle, at least a little.
- Bert exclaims "Boogie-woogie bugle boy" while he is playing his bugle, which is the title of a song that was popular at the time for Bette Midler's version. Interestingly the original version of this song by the Andrews Sisters was an iconic 1941 wartime classic, and Bert’s reference to it might be subtly comparing his 'war balloons' to the United States entering World War II.
- Cyril has 40 stocks in Consolidated Consolidations, worth $580.
- At 6:13 into the episode you see in the background that Cyril Sneer has the Mona Lisa painting half buried in a stack of treasure.
- Questionable logic: Why do the raccoons build a giant wooden crate to put the giant birthday cake in?
- The Cyril Sneer symbol is a Aardvark face inside a ring with a sword and a spear through the circle as seen at 7:17 into the episode.
- When we see the room Cyril has his slideshow in there are 7 secret service bears in brown trench coats. When we switch view and scan across the line of bears we can count 9. Perhaps the two from outside got changed and came in? Perhaps this is proof that Cyril has more than 11 bears.
- Melissa's arm keeps flickering from white to grey as her and Ralph walk through the forest at 8:56.
- At 9:08 we catch a glimpse of Ralph and Melissa from above and behind while a bear in a tree tries to take their picture. The paper they are both studying appears to be blank.
- Cedric's possessions in his room include a globe, a computer (on his shelf), his hockey sticks and an electric guitar. But in the band he plays the keyboard.
- Schaeffer (upon seeing Broo) says: "Howdy little buddy. I haven’t seen you for a while. Where have you been?" Could this suggest that Schaeffer and Broo don’t always spend the night times at the humans house together? Or by "a while" is Schaeffer meaning less than a full day? Perhaps Broo occasionally stayed with their other friends.
- When Schaeffer turns up with a crate the bears assume it is a shipment of alligators. Cyril must be going ahead with his moat plans.
- Cyril’s security alarm has ACME written on it. ACME has been used (not in The Raccoons) as an acronym meaning ‘A Company Manufacturing Everything’. Warner Brothers used the name for the mail order house that Wile E Coyote uses when ordering tools to use against the Roadrunner. Perhaps Wile E Coyote and Cyril Sneer ordered from the same company!
- The animation of the alarms going off are reused from The Raccoons and the Lost Star.
- At least 11 bears give chase after the balloon, 11 is still the highest number we have seen on screen so far.
- Cyril Sneer does not appreciate being given underwear for his birthday, even though he doesn't wear any clothes.
- One of the animators for this episode is Nik Ranieri who would later work at Walt Disney Animation Studios to this day.
- It seems strange that Cyril would forget it was his own birthday, we're not even sure if it was even his real birthday or not, since he never noticed. It would have been too rude for him, saying that it wasn't his birthday to the others.
- This is the first time the Pigs wear party hats when they're having Cyril's birthday party.
- Cyril: All I've got is my money, this mansion, and my good looks! What would a bunch of dumb raccoons want with that? Heh, heh.....absolutely everything!
- Cyril: It’s time to call out my secret service.
- Cedric: What secret service?
- Cyril: It’s so secret, I haven’t told anyone!
(Cyril is briefing his bears on spying on the raccoons)
- Cyril: Attention! Now hear this. You are the hand picked elite. The finest secret service ever created. So secret you don't even know who each other are. Now, here's your mission.
(He starts a projector)
- Cyril: These my secretive stoolpigeons are the conspirators. Study them. But don't be fooled. They are not as dumb as they look. Note the masks on their eyes. A sure sign of a thief. A robber. Or maybe even a filthy agitator! Note this one (points to a projection of Schaeffer) - No eyes. Extremely dangerous. Has a keen sense of smell - so take a bath!
(Snag is about to do his business on the bear wearing a tree costume)
- Cyril: Don't you dare Snag! I've just had that tree dry cleaned!
- Cyril: Try to surprise Cyril Sneer? Well I love to spoil surprises!
- Cyril: You are nothing but a powerless paralytic inept ineffective bumbing bunch of deadbeat bears! Some secret service! You didn't even load the camera! You don't seem to realise that if I go, you go! Somewhere out there is an army that is out to destroy everything I've pillaged, cheated, robbed and connived to build. And because of your bumbling they not only know that I know what they know but I don't even know when they'll do what I know they'll do! Anyway, I don't like not knowing! Now get out there and dig up some dirt!
(Cedric is writing a letter to Sophia, only Cyril suddenly interrupts)
- Cyril: What's this?
- Cedric: My homework!
- Cyril: You've been out of school for three years!
- Cedric: It's... late?
- Cyril: My own son, plotting to overthrow me? Very commendable! I didn't know you had it in you!
(Bert and Sophia have come to rescue Cedric, who is in the dungeon)
- Cedric: I'm not supposed to have visitors!
- Bert: We're not visitors. We're liberators!
- Cyril: No more surprises!
- Main article: Surprise Attack/Gallery
- Main article: Surprise Attack/Credits