Shamu and his friends from the ocean have been entertaining visitors to Sea World parks across the country for years. Many people have fond memories of Sea World's animated sea creature mascots. Shamu's Crew includes Dolly Dolphin, Seamore Sea Lion, O.P. Otter, Virgil Pelican, Sir Winston Walrus, Penny and Pete Penguin, Cap'n Kid, Chester the Parrot, and Shamu the Killer Whale.
Cartoon Shamu and his pals later got a Manatee friend. The first time I saw him was in this artwork for the Shamu's Happy Harbor attraction. I don't know the Manatee's name.
This great art was featured in a 1995 advertisement for Sea World in San Diego, California.
I visited Sea World in Orlando, Florida in 1987. Of course, I got some souvenirs (including the Shamu and his Crew button above) and I even saved the shopping bag.
The bag lists the parks in Florida, California and Ohio. The Sea World Park in Aurora, Ohio would later become a Six Flags theme park in 2001. Not mentioned on the bag is Sea World San Antonio in Texas, which opened in 1988.
Pressed Penny collections are big in Florida, and Sea World is no exception.
I can't remember getting this on my Sea World visit, so maybe a friend or family member got it for me.
Shamu is quite the performer. He is so eager to please, he even walks on land to greet visitors to Sea World.
This picture was taken from an old Sea World Orlando brochure. I used it for a school report about Florida.
This same report had an image of a lesser-known Sea World character named Al E. Gator, taken from the same brochure
Al E. Gator had his own restaurant at Sea World in Orlando, which can be seen on a park map at Sea World Orlando's Electronic Eels and Automated Otter: Undersea Fantasy.
Undersea Fantasy was an indoor show featuring animation, puppetry, costumes, music and much-appreciated air conditioning. O.P. Otter, Sir Winston Walrus, and Cecil Sea Turtle appeared on stage with a female performer and a "live" coral reef backdrop.
Cap'n Kid the pirate and Chester Parrot were early Sea World characters, and hosted the Cap'n Kid's play area for children at Sea World.
Cap'n Kid must have gotten lost at sea, as it seems he is no longer a major Sea World character.
Maybe Cap'n Kid is in the Bermuda Triangle, on the same ship with Captain Crook, the pirate that always caused trouble for Ronald McDonald in McDonaldland.
Sea World characters had a life beyond the theme parks.
The Sea World Fish card game featured the animated versions of Shamu and Friends, including Virgil Pelican.
For many years, Seamore was the only sea lion performer from Sea World represented as a mascot. Seamore's co-star Clyde the sea lion was given the cartoon treatment later.
Penny Penguin was often seen with her mate, Pete.
Sea World characters invaded toy stores across the country when Shamu teamed up with Kenner's Littlest Pet Shop line in 1995.
I do not have this set. I gave the toys away years ago. I'm glad I kept the box.
This toy was pretty cool because it used real water and lights, and the whales could actually leap out of the water. Sort of.
This toy reminds me of the night time Shamu show at Sea World, which is pretty amazing.
In case you did not know, Shamu's "wife" is named Namu and their baby is Baby Shamu.
The backdrop in this picture is a cardboard cut-out from the back of the box. I imagine with the water play, it did not last long.
Here's the back of the box, which has the backdrop for the Shamu show.
The box gives instructions on how to operate the whales.
The Shamu set connects to other Sea World playsets, too.
The Dolly Dolphin set and Pete and Penny Penguin set are joined by yet another Killer Whale and a Walrus. I wonder if the designers thought about using O.P. Otter, Clyde or Seamore, or Winston Walrus.
Yes, the Shamu set had instructions.
The most important instruction is not shown here: DO NOT SUBMERGE BASE IN WATER. You know this was ignored.
I love the schematic drawings created for this set.
It is crucial that these instructions are followed for maximum play value and safety.
This Sea World hat is one of my souvenirs from my 1987 visit.
There are two pieces of Velcro attached to the top of the hat. I had won a small plush whale and a small plush dolphin from one of those crane games at Sea World. The park sold a Sea World logo hat with a plush whale on top, but I wanted a hat with the animated Sea World characters AND a plush whale and dolphin. With the magic of Velcro, we made the dream happen when the vacation was over.
For more of cartoon Shamu, check out Shamu And The Animated Sea World Crew.