Rebecca Cunningham

By Gidget

 

 

Nicknames: 
Beckers, Becky, Lady, Boss Lady (Baloo)

Species:
  Bear (female)

 

Age:  (late 20's, I think... I really don’t think she’s in her 30’s yet)

 

Appearance: Very attractive without the floozy element (girl-next-door prettiness).  She's got babe status though (see the glam get-up in Bringing Down Babyface)

Eyes:  Dark brown (almost black)

Hair:  Long and auburn (with weird reddish stripes down the middle and the sides ('highlights'?), neatly coiffed in a 1940’s ‘do

Body Type:  Figure is slender and shapely; very petite

Clothing:  Usually wears a white turtleneck, pink sweater and violet pants; dark blue raincoat (on chilly days); fussy pink gowns (fancy occasions); light-blue/white nightgown (usual) and hideous pink 'granny gown' and snood when staying overnight in haunted castles.  Honestly, the snood (pink thing covering her hair in The Balooest of Bluebloods) looks like someone poured a bottle of Pepto-Bismol over her head.

Personality:  Hard-working, dependable and intelligent, Rebecca has many admirable qualities. She can be loving and understanding with Molly (she’s her daughter, so she has to be) Kit (remember the cookie jar in Plunder and Lightning), and even Baloo (encourages him to go to school, even if she has to give him time off in Sheepskin Deep).  Wildcat… well, let’s just say she tries to be patient with him. 

 

But cross her and look out!  The Big Guy has good reason to fear her (she can fire him, keep his plane and starve him into good behavior).  Plus, she’s physically strong enough to do him bodily harm (when he ate her truffle (a mushroom delicacy she was hoping to sell at $50 a pop), she threw him across the room and tried to pry his jaws apart to retrieve it).

 

Being primarily interested in earning money (not an altogether bad thing, since she just wants a good life for her and her daughter), Rebecca is particularly enterprising when thinking up ideas for promoting her cargo company, Higher for Hire.  Using kangaroos to make ice cream, starting a mid-air refueling service (see For a Fuel Dollars More episode), hunting truffles with a gargantuan pig, to name a few… tough-yet-tender, hardheaded, high-strung, stubborn, and supremely confident that she’s right.  She’s a lovable crank… sort of an ursine Murphy Brown.

Voice:  Sally Struthers

 

 

Comments by Others:

 

"Hello, gorgeous!"
(Louie greets Rebecca in A Touch of Glass)


"It's Rebecca, see... she's kinda bent outta shape?"

"Her shape looks fine to ol' Louie!"
(Baloo and Louie in A Touch of Glass)

“Well, she might know business… but she’s got a lot ta learn about planes!” (Baloo, grumbling about Becky and her taste in plane decoration… Plunder and Lightning, Part 2)

 

"I'm comin'... (mutters) Someone's gotta save her from herself!"
"Aw, I hate it when she gets that look in her eyes!"
(Baloo in The Bigger They Are... the Louder They Oink)

 

"Well, she might know how ta figure... but I know how ta fly!"
(Baloo in Feminine Air)

"Becky's gonna kill me when I get back to Cape Suzette!"
(Baloo ponders the ramifications of destroying the cargo (paper weights resembling Pwincess Gwace)) and paying a $10,000 fine (in Walla Walla Bing Bang 'wubles') in Waiders of the Wost Tweasure)



Best Episodes:

 

The Bigger They Are... the Louder They Oink
(her funniest!)

Feminine Air
(teaches Baloo a few things about women; some sexist examples... I'll address those sometime in the episode review... but Rebecca is by far the smartest character in the episode)

For a Fuel Dollars More
(she's greedy and fiercely competitive)

Her Chance to Dream
(a very revealing episode... wistful, romantic... shows a more vulnerable side)

I Only Have Ice For You

(pushy, condescending, tortures Baloo... but it's cute when she does it!))

My Fair Baloo
(again a brown-noser, yet proves her loyalty where it counts)

 

Save the Tiger
(noble, self-sacrificing and heroic)

A Star is Torn
(determined, protective... even an amateur sleuth)

A Touch of Glass
(naive, brownnosing, easily impressed... makes up for it with a mean right hook!)

War of the Weirds
(a prankster... shows no mercy)



Best Lines:


"No... it's a good picture of you looking stupid!"
(Baloo and Becky argue over whether his newspaper photo is 'good' or 'stupid' in A Bad Reflection on You, Part 1 of 2)


"I'll strangle him... then I'll fire him... then I'll strangle him again!" then she holds up hand-written sign for Baloo to see (who she thinks is flying the plane):  Land now so I can strangle you!
(plans to 'welcome' Baloo in Times Waits for No Bear)

 

(sobs): “Get this over with---shoot me!

(Rebecca faces a Thembrian firing squad in The Time Bandit)

 

Baloo:  “Three o’clock!  Look, Rebecca, three o’clock!”

Becky:  “I know how to tell time, thank you.”

Kit:  “No, Miz Cunningham.  There’s something on our right.”

(Becky misunderstands Baloo’s warning of air pirates approaching the Sea Duck in I Only Have Ice For You)

 

“Baloo, I’m going insane and I’m taking you with me!”

(Rebecca goes ballistic when his friend Louie’s thoroughly alienates her wealthy clients in A Touch of Glass)

 

“I was playing scarfs and goggles with Baloo’s googleschlocker and it fell off!”

“Stop!  I don’t wanna hear the gory details!”

(Becky believes Baloo is dying in Bearly Alive)

"Stop touching my client!"
(Becky is very possessive of her cash cow in From Here to Machinery)

"We're going to win this contest like ladies... with our brains."
(exposes bad guy in Feminine Air)

"Wait!  I'm gettin' a brainstorm!"
"And me without my umbrella."
(Becky's first of many unenthusiastic reactions to Baloo's harebrained schemes in Plunder & Lightning)

 

“Well, it’s quite obvious Jack really is a spy.  I was right and now we’ve just helped the government on a secret mission…so there!”

(Becky gloats over Baloo in A Spy in the Ointment)

 

“They’re trained worms, right?  They carry microfilm?  They explode?  Jack, tell me they’re not just plain worms!”

(finds out that she’s been risking her neck for fishing worms and a jewel box in A Spy in the Ointment)

"Baloo, you're acting like a complete idiot... even for you!"
(Becky is left in the dust, shouting after a smitten Baloo in A Star is Torn)

"Jealous?  Of an empty-headed bombshell with a body that can stop a moose at fifty paces?  Hmmph!"
(Becky has issues about Kitten Kaboodle in A Star is Torn)

”Now you two go and work out all the details while I stay here and get all… goosebumpy!”
(She pretends to believe Baloo’s story about being assigned a mission to Mars)

 


Love Life:


Cunningham
(husband) (deceased)
(I call him 'Kenneth' in A Fair to Remember);
All:  You killed Kenny!  You b*****d!
Not much is known about Becky's dead husband.  He died when Molly (daughter) was about two years old.  Mentioned as the cause of Molly's blighted existence... :-).  Just kidding… Molly’s not that bad… just too darn cute.

Covington
Appeared in: Mollycoddled)
Smooth-talking ladie's man and con-artist (will provide more info at later date under Covington link).

Captain William Stansbury (deceased)
Appeared in: Her Chance to Dream
Courtly and gallant, yet steely ("You'll apologize to the lady, sir!"), Stansbury is the epitome of gentle strength and seems to be the answer to Becky's need for romance... (more info later)
Is there a pattern here? What's this attraction to dead men, Beckers?


Baloo
Appeared in: all episodes (very small part in Flight School Confidential, though).  Not that Ted would complain, mind you...

 

Him:  A fat, lazy, irresponsible pilot who lives for himself and his beloved Sea Duck (extremely low standards)

Her:  A smart, primly attractive young businesswoman (outrageously high standards occasionally).

It wasn’t love at first sight, but they definitely noticed each other.  Their relationship is always changing from antagonistic to competitiveness to easy companionship to subconscious jealousy.

 

In Rebecca's words: “...a terrific pilot... I would be inclined to add, 'sloppy, careless, and rude!”

Baloo’s reaction to the idea of working for her (probably because she’s a woman, frankly): “If you think I’m flyin’ for you, Brown Eyes, you’ve got your hair tied too tight.”  But he does, because they need each other.  She needs him to fly the cargo and he needs her to run the business.  Neither can competently do the other’s job, so they learn to work together.  He has problems running a business in Pizza Pie in the Sky and she finds out that flying is much tougher than it looks in I Only Have Ice For You. 

 

Rebecca’s first impression of Baloo is accurate.  He's all that and a bag of chips, although he probably ate the chips.  Lazy, irresponsible and hopeless at the most simple task (eg: mailing a letter in Your Baloo’s in the Mail), Baloo drives Becky insane.  His slovenly habits infuriate her, but he’s so easy-going and genuinely nice that she can’t stay angry with him for long. She’s ‘hung up on appearances’ and her controlling ways bug him in a big way.  They’re both pig-headed, competitive and always coming up with some wacky money-making scheme, although he and Kit often suffer for her ideas (eg: For a Fuel Dollars More)

 

 

Why I like Rebecca:
She’s a single mother doing her best to make a better life for her daughter, blah, blah, blah… just kidding. Yes, she is a loving mother and a good person, but frankly that ‘lovin’ frettin’ mama’ side bores me to tears.  I like her because she’s cute, smart, greedy, obnoxious and realistically flawed.  I love her wacky ideas, skewed logic, snappy comebacks, the way she uses her power over the Big Guy and her genuine sweetness of spirit (when she feels like being nurturing, that is).  She’s willing to fight for her rights and demand justice.  While she does try too hard to impress people, especially the wealthy, she won’t take crap or allow her friends to be abused for long (My Fair Baloo and A Touch of Glass).  Even the occasional client isn’t safe from her wrath if they don’t play fair (consider Mr. Robert Service of At-Your-Service Delivery Services, a client who switches his account to Coolhands Luke’s cargo company because she’s a woman and not a pilot in Feminine Air.)  And if a client has the gall to bring fly-ridden fertilizer into her office (like ‘poor Fred’ in A Touch of Glass), he just might find himself thrown out on his derrière. 

 

Plus, Rebecca is never above blackmail to get what she wants.  While not evil, she is definitely sneaky.  Eg: Plunder and Lightning, Part 4:

The Seaduck is wrecked during the air pirates’ attack on Cape Suzette; a week later Baloo is still sitting around, completely depressed over his loss.  Rebecca gets it repaired and he’s called outside to take a look.

 

Baloo (runs joyfully forward to embrace the plane): “My baby!”

Rebecca (triumphantly): “Well, actually… (Baloo’s ‘oh-no-don’t-say-it’ expression is priceless here)  she’s my baby.  I paid to get it put together, piece by piece, I own it again! 

Then she adds, batting her eyelashes at him, “So… you gonna be my pilot… or what?”

 

I’m betting on ‘or what’.


Comments by HorseMage

 


Best Episodes:
The Time Bandit:  I think it is one of the best as we get to see so many emotions from Rebecca. It is also one where she is very well drawn and animated. I love her “take” when she is in front of the firing squad of tanks and screams that they should “SHOOT ME NOW!”


Best Lines:

One of my favs:  To Baloo, “I’m going insane and I’m taking you with me!” (A Touch of Glass)

 

Love Life:
She is certainly not shy about letting the men that she likes know it. She is playing “catch-me-if-you-can” awfully soon after meeting the Cap’n. Running around alone with a strange lion in a tropical paradise in the middle of the night. She’s kissing him rather soon in the relationship. Is this part of her, “I want it. I go for it. I get it.” attitude? She gets all gooey for Covington rather quickly as well.

 



Baloo is a lovable rogue. He certainly is a fairweather friend in most of the episodes. He dumps Rebecca and leaves her to evil fates time and again. I really do wonder about if he ever entertains any romantic intentions for Rebecca. I get the feeling that after Save the Tiger he is finally realizing what a genuine friend he has in Rebecca. There are not many episodes I can remember where it seems as if there is any hope of romantic pursuits between B+B. One is at the end of It came from Beneath the Sea Duck where as Kit is giving Molly a horsy-back ride. Baloo has his arm around Rebecca in a very relaxed fashion. It seems as if they are a family in that one.

 


What to me is actually a rather sexy scene was at the end of  “Vowel Play” where Baloo is nude, except for his hat. Rebecca is leaning into him in a very friendly fashion as the crew looks on. (Get a room, guys!) This interchange is much more than just employer and employee, or casual friends embracing.

 


 

 

 


 


We see them together in friendly ease at the end of Balooest of the Bluebloods sharing fries and burgers. (I really enjoy simple scenes like this that show our friends as “real”. Stuff that we do in normal life that makes them so much more realistic.) That shows how forgiving Rebecca’s nature actually is. Cloddy ol’ “Iron Paws” had left her to the wolves once he got the fortune. Then who is the first one he crawls to for help once he cannot handle the situation? TA-DA! Rebecca to the rescue! And now she is feeding his bottomless belly. Is she forgiving, or is it the businesswoman’s sense that he is a valuable commodity that helps her to make a profit and she does not want to lose the bear she has power over? The weak-willed slob she can manipulate most of the time?  (I am just playing devil’s advocate here. Trying to analyze a bit more of her personality. As one fanfic writer for Rescue Rangers wrote about Gadget that might apply to Rebecca, “As it is, there's nothing wrong with her a few months of therapy couldn't clear up.")

 

Response to Gidget’s ‘Why I like Rebecca’:
She’s a single mother doing her best to make a better life for her daughter, blah, blah, blah… just kidding. Yes, she is a loving mother and a good person, but frankly that ‘lovin’ frettin’ mama’ side bores me to tears.  I like her because she’s cute, smart, greedy, obnoxious and realistically flawed.  I love her wacky ideas, skewed logic, snappy comebacks, the way she uses her power over the Big Guy.

 

I agree with all the above. We could lose Molly at any moment and I am afraid I would not shed a tear. I would just have to do what I could to console Rebecca. ;) I am trying to think of all the reasons that I like Rebecca and it is more difficult to analyze than I thought it would be. It really is the whole package that is appealing. She has depth to her character makes her someone it would be fun to meet. I think she is painfully cute. Sally Struthers does a great job of giving her voice character, which makes her even more appealing to me. My liking for her is skewed from the male perspective. I can’t help but think of her as a prospective girlfriend.  She is, like you say, realistically flawed, so I feel as if there is hope in being able to have a relationship with her and not be overwhelmed by perfection. She is intelligent and original in many ways.  She is a little monomaniacal as far as her business is concerned, but it seems as if she will relax when the time is right. She is quite brave in the many circumstances life (and Baloo) throws her into. Except…

 


 

…she does not like rats.

 

 

July 2000

 

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