The 90’s was the decade when recycling became a more common habit than in the 80s. Not to mention money you inherit from recycling cans, glass, and bottles. I get atleast $13 with three bags full. The character that influenced me to recycle is none other than Recycle Rex! Rex is a blue T-Rex who was looking forward in using a field as the new baseball arena for him and his friends to play on. Unfortunately a Garbage Truck Dinosaur starts dumping on their field, where Rex tries to stop him from ruining the field with waste. The Garbage Dinosaur was sorry for dumping on the field, but he couldn’t find any other place to dump the garbage cause every other land fill is full. Rex and his friends decide to find a way to get rid of their own garbage, however none of their ideas work out as planned until Rex discovered a solution. He noticed the end of his empty bottle has three arrows in the form of a triangle, while the building he’s glancing at has the same symbol with the sign “recycle” on the front entrance. Rex looks up the word recycle from one of his friend’s books and learns the meaning of the word. To make something old into something new again, Rex was thrilled and so were his friends that they were able to get rid of their garbage by turning all of it into new merchandise. The short concludes with all of the characters playing baseball on the field that is now garbage free.
Recycle Rex was created by both David Cutler & Irene Mecchi. Irene wrote for such films like Lion King, Hunchback of Norte Dame, Hercules, & Fantasia 2000. While David was an animator for Little Mermaid, Nightmare Before Christmas, & Fantasia 2000. The short was produced by Disney hinting it was created by two prolific Disney staff members. While the animation was animated by Klasky-Csupo(Makers of Duckman, Real Monsters, Wacky Adventures of Ronald McDonald, & The Tracey Ullman Simpson shorts/First 61 episodes of the Simpsons. Note how the way the characters are drawn in the same style as the earlier Simpson episodes(back when the show had less details on the backgrounds and micellaneous characters). The short was funded by McDonalds which is a corporation that’s all in for recycling like any other big company. These big name companies came together to put together this short film that was used for various schools around California. I never saw this short at my school for some reason, if all of the other schools in the State of California got to watch this short then why not mine? All we had to watch that is related to the enviroment was Ferngully: The Last Rainforest. Which was more entertaining than the Once Upon a Forest movie.
Let’s now talk about the characters and the voice actors. Rex is the basketball obcess t-rex and star of the short film. We never hear him being called Recycle Rex in the short, but we’ll think of it as a nickname so that way we don’t get him confused with the Rex from We’re Back a Dinosaur Story or Rex from Toy Story. Edsel is a purple stagosarus who is larger than the other dinosaur kids and might be a big eater as implied in one scene where they went to get some free samples at a department store. Edsel also reminds me of Spike from Land Before Time except he’s more talkative. Ethel is a triceratops who basically is a complete opposite of Cera from Land Before Time who was knwon to be arrogant while Ethel is a little nicer. Turbo is a yellow petradon who is a fast talker and really hyper. Imagine Petrie from Land Before Time as a girl except most confident about himself and not a slow speaker. Turbo’s speech pattern is similar to that of Eddie the Pulverizer from CatDog & Bing the lizard from Angry Beavers. Butson is a green Agilisaurus who never once spoke in the short. His propellar hat seems to spin whenever his mood is different. There’s always a character like this in school related cartoons, such as Duncan Bubble from Detention(Kids WB cartoon). Knock & Ping are identical twins who are refer to by Rex and the others as the Stomper twins due to them stomping their feet. These two were voiced by Christine Cavanaugh who you all might know best as the original Chuckie Finster, Marty Sherman from The Critic, Oblina from Real Monsters, and Birdie the Early Bird in Wacky Adventures of Ronald McDonald. Knock & Ping are what it would of been like if Christine Cavanaugh voiced Phil & Lil instead of Kath Soucie. Unlike Christine Cavanaugh, Kath Soucie is still an active voice actress today. As Christine retired from voice acting back in 2002 for personal reasons and to this day nobody knows why she quit when there were so many roles she could of inherit. But boy hard to believe it was almost 10 years ago since the last time she did something. Other than the Garbage Truck Dinosaur, the red dinosaur of Rex’s group is the only one who had no name. So let’s call Smart Red Dinosaur for now who uses his “Book on Everything” to look up a word. Since the iPad and smartphones weren’t invented yet kids had to use dictionaries to look up definitions. The last character is Rose the talking wise flower who advises litters about the results we’ll get if we don’t stop using up natural resources that aren’t renewable. The funny thing about Rose is she is a daisy yet not an actual rose, while she was voiced by Eileen Brennan who played the Crazy Cat Woman from Jeepers Creepers(and no I’m not really a fan of that movie).
It was hard to tell who does the voice of who beisdes the known actors I listed above. But this short does feature the voice talents of Josh Keaton, voice of Young Ocelot from Snake Eater & Portable Ops of Metal Gear Solid. Susan Blu who also did the voice of Arcee from Transformers. Edsel was voiced by Christ Allport who played one of the Singing Gallows Pirates in POTC: At The World’s End. Alex Greenwald who played a part in Donnie Darko. Raymond McLeod who was the singing voice of Flavio the Hippo from Animaniacs & the voice of an Alleycat & Bulldog in the Tom & Jerry Movie. Elisabeth Moss who did the voice of Kimmy in the “See No Evil” episode of the 1992 Batman series. And finally Megan Pryor who played a part in one episode of the 25 Season ABC Afterschool Specials(Holly crap I just discovered that show ran from 1972 to 1997!).
I didn’t officially see this short until last Monday where I received a hard to find DVD of it off of Amazon with some interesting bonus features including the option to watch it in Spanish. In the past I always remenbered the PDA to was always shown on TV, which they always played the “Recycle, Reduce, Reuse” song except it was shorten down to 30 seconds and showing editted footage of the short film as well. I never knew the PDA was originally a short film used for school purposes until very recently. So you can imagine how backwards I felt when I was watching a short film with characters I’ve always known but given a longer introduction to each of them that makes their appearances in the PDA look like a movie preview of a movie. Recycle Rex was just a small fraction of other PDAs that I grew up watching during the 90s. I’ll make other articles about them within time, but since they made so many, cartoon shows ended up making parodies of them like in the Recycle episode of Rocko’s Modern Life which is one of the fewest episodes to educate kids when they’re not realizing they are learning something new.
Recycle Rex is surprising not a known character where I live. The DVD extras implied that all schools in California know about his exsistence, but I swear I never once knew a kid at my school who even knew who the heck he was. Oh well, there were a lot of things that don’t seem to spread well to my Grade School. I also felt like the only kid who watches Reboot, and this was back when CGI wasn’t that common on TV. Anways in conclusion to this article, Recycle Rex is still around, it’s just sadly he’s not as well received as Smokey Bear. His website is still up which can be viewable via link down below this paragraph. Along with a sing a long version of the “Recycle, Reduce, Reuse”. Which doesn’t cover the entire song as they sing the rest of it during the end credit. Also without seeing the short film, some may be confused by the appearance of Rose who appears briefly at the end of the song. Since I already told you who the flower is, you won’t feel too confused when you see her shouting “Come on team!”. Otherwise it would of been like that flower from Brave Little Toaster who mistaken the Toaster’s reflection to be another flower. Which was regarded as the most meaningless scene in the whole film, if you edit that scene out you wouldn’t miss a darn thing. Anyways this should cover everything I know about Recycle Rex, if you ever do find the short film watch it cause it’s educational cartoons at best.
Posted on September 30, 2011, in Advertise of the Week and tagged 1990s, brave little toaster, dinosaurs, disney, oblina, ocelot, real monsters, recycle, recycle rex, rocko, t-rex, talking flower. Bookmark the permalink. 35 Comments.