The Forgotten ’90s Talking Animal Cartoon Based On Star Wars

By Zack Zagranis | Published

Chances are that even if you’re a ’90s kid like me, you probably don’t remember Bucky O’Hare and the Toad Wars! How an action-packed cartoon featuring anthropomorphic animals cosplaying as Star Wars characters only got one season, I’ll never understand. And yet, during its brief time on air, the 1991 animated series spawned a line of action figures, an NES game, and an arcade beat’em up game.

Bucky O’Hare and the Toad Wars!

Bucky O'Hare and the Toad Wars!

I’m surprised Bucky O’Hare isn’t looked back on with more nostalgia. Like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the cartoon featured lots of human-sized talking animals beating up countless no-name henchmen. Also, like the TMNT, Bucky O’Hare and the Toad Wars! was based on an indie comic book from the early ’80s. And yet one is looked back on with fond memories while the other elicits a response of “Huh?” whenever it’s brought up.

Homage Bordering On Parody

Bucky O'Hare and the Toad Wars!

Bucky O’Hare was a rollicking homage to Star Wars—though sometimes it bordered on parody. The basic story is that Bucky and the crew of the Righteous Indignation travel around the galaxy trying to bring an end to the evil Toad Empire. An accident with the ship’s photon accelerator pulls human Willy DuWitt from our universe into the “Aniverse,” and he joins Bucky’s fight against the toads.

Cast With Composite Characters

Bucky O'Hare and the Toad Wars!

Bucky O’Hare wasn’t an exact 1:1 copy of Star Wars. Some characters like Bruiser the Betelgeusian Berserker Baboon—a Chewbacca-inspired brute—had obvious parallels to the franchise. Meanwhile, others like Jenny, an anthropomorphic cat from the planet Aldebaran with psychic powers, are a combination of several characters.

In Jenny’s case, she’s simultaneously filling the Princess Leia and Obi-Wan Kenobi roles. Then there’s Dead-Eye Duck, a four-armed ex-space pirate with an itchy trigger finger. I’ll let you guess who he represents (it rhymes with San Holo). Bucky O’Hare’s C-3PO analog, AFC Blinky, feels almost like a combination of Threepio and Marvin, the Paranoid Android from the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

Oddly enough, the closest thing to R2-D2 on The Righteous Indignation is Willy. The same accident that transported Willy aboard the Righteous Indignation also teleported the ship’s engineer somewhere unknown. As a result, Willy took up engineering duties on the ship.

Only Ran For One Season

Bucky O'Hare and the Toad Wars!

Despite having all the right ingredients, Bucky O’Hare failed to make the same splash as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and instead got lost in the anthropomorphic animal boom of the ’90s. While other similar shows like Biker Mice from Mars and C.O.W. Boys of Moo Mesa are still remembered today as slightly quirkier counterparts to the Ninja Turtles, nobody ever talks about Bucky O’Hare.

It could be not enough people were exposed to the show for it to gain a strong following. Yes, there were toys and video games, but that was hardly a mark of success in the ’90s. Both the Rocketeer and Dick Tracy also had video games and toys in the early ’90s, and neither film ever got a sequel. Many kids likely had other shows to watch and couldn’t be bothered with Bucky O’Hare and his freedom fighter pals.

We Need A Bucky O’Hare Reboot!

Bucky O'Hare and the Toad Wars!


Whatever the reason it flopped, I think it’s high time Bucky O’Hare had a pop culture resurgence. The show’s 13 episodes aren’t officially streaming anywhere, but they’re easy enough to find on YouTube. If you’re one of the few people like me who actually remembers the cartoon, show it to your kids, your friends, or even your friends’ kids.

With any luck, we can start a grassroots movement to get Bucky O’Hare rebooted. Stranger things have happened.