The animated Shirt Tales cartoon featured Tyg Tiger (in orange), Pammy Panda (in pink), Digger Mole (in light blue), Rick Raccoon (in red), and Bogey Orangutan (in green, so called because he spoke using a Humphrey Bogart-style voice). They lived in Oak Tree Park and wore shirts which flashed various brightly lit messages reflecting the characters' thoughts. They spent their time teasing the park custodian, Mr. Dinkel, and battling crime in and out of their hometown of Mid City. They zipped around the world in a vehicle known as the STSST (Shirt Tales' SuperSonic Transport) which could operate as a car, jet, boat, submarine, and other forms of transportation. Though most law enforcement agencies knew of the Shirt Tales as crime fighters by reputation, few people seemed aware that they were talking animals—including Mr. Dinkel, whom the group often had to trick to keep their secret safe.
Each episode was divided into two 11–minute segments. After the success of the thirteen episodes in Season 1, ten episodes were created for Season 2. However, the show was semi-rebooted and Kip Kangaroo (in yellow) was added to the cast of characters without context for her joining the Shirt Tales. There is also a difference in leadership among the Shirt Tales, in which for the first season Rick appeared to be the de facto leader, but in the second season is instead Tyg. Also several stories in Season 2 either omit Rick altogether or give him a minor role in the story. The second season also added some superhero elements to the dynamic of the group as well, most notably the color of all their T-Shirts changing to a Bright Red Color when "Shirt Tale Time" is called for.
Buck Beaver (in whitish blue) helped the Shirt Tales use a tree as a bridge in "The Big Foot Incident" and helped them build an ark in "Dinkel's Ark". In "Moving Time", four cousins from out west were introduced for this episode only: Prairie Dog Pete (in red with black vest), Fillmore Fox (in green), Violett Skunk (in yellow), and Hoozitz Owl (in lavender). In "Back to Nature", Cubby Bear (in red) helped the Shirt Tales when a wild bear had Mr. Dinkel chased up a tree.
Following the initial run on NBC, Shirt Tales aired on CBS during the 1984–1985 Saturday morning season, replacing The Biskitts in their time slot. CBS aired selected episodes from its two-season NBC run until March 23, 1985, when The Biskitts were returned to the time slot for the rest of the 1984–1985 season.
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