Jewel Riders, Episode 3: Travel Trees Can’t Dance

Last time on Princess Gwenevere / Starla and the Jewel Riders, Merlin scattered the Crown Jewels, and Gwen saved Sunstar and became a Jewel Rider. Will our heroes find all the Crown Jewels before Kale does? Find out after the cut.

What Do We Remember About This Episode?

JW: A dance hall in the middle of the forest! Talking animals! A magical item that is never used again!

Ry:  Gwen’s first outing as a proper Jewel Rider!  Dweasels in zoot suits!  Foxes doing the foxtrot!

A Quick and Dirty Summary:

Gwen and Sunstar are practicing their riding skills, because I guess Gwen has no idea how to ride a flying unicorn. They do a pretty decent job dodging obstacles, but they wipe out at the end.

Afterwards, Gwen decides to use the Travel Trees for the first time to get home quickly. Obviously, her attempt works … but as soon as she gets home, the trees whisk her off to the North Woods. Gwen and Sunstar fly along for a while until they find a magical Copacabana-esque dancehall populated with dancing anthropomorphic animals. Wild Magic is to blame for this scenario, of course. Gwen and Sunstar spend over five minutes dancing with the animals.

Meanwhile, Kale — who happens to be practicing her evil posing nearby — follows Gwen and has her dweasels spy on her. The dweasels end up getting wrapped up in the magic dance party.

After the dance party, Gwen and Sunstar ride off and find a Crown Jewel stuck in a Travel Tree circle. Kale gets there first, takes the Crown Jewel, and zaps Gwen and Sunstar into the Wild Magic.

While all this is going on, the other Jewel Riders and Archie are trying to reach Gwen via the Travel Trees. The trees keep sending them to the wrong locations. Eventually, everyone meets up again in the North Woods, where Gwen recaps everything that’s happened.

Kale decides to figure out how to use her new Crown Jewel. She ends up inside the magic dance hall, where she discovers that the Crown Jewel influences how the trees grow. The first thing she does with her new powers: make more Thornwoods. Wow, how utterly creative.

The Jewel Riders see Thornwoods pop up, so they decide to call for reinforcements! They summon the Horn of Merlin, which has the kinda-awesome ability to make the Pack appear. Now that the party is all together, they enter the newly-grown Thornwoods and lob Magic Missiles at them, which somehow make them normal trees again. Yeah, I’m not sure how Magic Missile is able to do that, but whatever. Just go with it.

Kale decides to up the ante and make a giant Thornwood claw that attacks the party! Gwen casts Magic Missle, which temporarily defeats it. Fallon then casts Invisibility and steals the Crown Jewel from Kale. After a brief fight against the dweasels on the dance floor, Fallon gives the Crown Jewel to Gwen. Kale chases after her, so Gwen and Sunstar fly through a maze of crystal spires to lose them. Obviously, Gwen succeeds because she practiced flying earlier.

The Jewel Riders return the Crown Jewel of the North Woods to Merlin’s jewel box, and Merlin appears to give us our PSA of the Day: Keep things in balance!

Stray Observations
* OMG the big band music that plays in the episode is SO BAD. It’s like someone got their Casio keyboard and played some preset melody.

* Gwen obviously got some Travel Tree safety lessons from the other Jewel Riders. Namely: don’t ride alone, and always cast Jewel Armor before riding.

* Kale decides to use the typical Bad Guy plan of letting the hero do all the work in this episode.

* So, how does big band music exist in the Jewel Riders universe?

* I’m sure that ballerina hippo is a Disney reference.

* The raccoon playing the clarinet (or is it a soprano sax?) in this episode made me think: “Rocket Raccoon! How did you get roped into this?” (On a totally unrelated note, I can’t believe they’re making a Guardians of the Galaxy movie. OMG that’s one of my favorite comics ever, next to Thor.)

* The Dragon Wagon can launch spy balloons for the dweasels. I don’t think they’re ever used again.

* Bad Quote #1: “I can’t dance! You can’t make me! I can’t dance ’cause I’m a tree!”

* All this time, I thought the Jewel of the North Woods was a disco ball. Now I discover that it’s a … disco ball-esque acorn? WTF?

* I do appreciate that the Travel Trees look different depending on their location.

* Bad Quote #2: “And I danced with a hippo!

* I like how Kale actually cares about her bonded animals. She loses them after obtaining the Crown Jewel, and wonders where they are before thinking about how to use her new powers.

* The Horn of Merlin is never used again. Why?

* How to cast Summon Horn of Merlin: “From legends of old, we call upon the Horn of Merlin! Wise wolves whose memories run long, hear our song, come to us who need you!”

* How to cast Invisibility: “Moonless sky, so dark has grown, make me disappear, Moon Stone!”

* I forget if the dweasels go in drag often. If they do, this episode has the first occurrence of it.

* How does Gwen get the Crown Jewel into the box? Well, she just happens to carry Merlin’s key around with her, because it’s a “good luck charm”. How freaking convenient.

* Notice how Merlin says that the Jewel Riders have restored balance to “at least one section” of Avalon. I bet they did this in case the episodes were aired out of order.

Ry’s Comments

* For some reason, this episode is often listed (and was often aired) out of order.  It’s obviously the follow-up to Jewel Quest, as Gwen is still learning to use her powers.

* One of the episode’s authors – Christopher Rowley – also worked with Robert Mandell on his show Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers.

* Seconding Jacquesworth on how cool it was to see palm tree Travel Trees.  I don’t think the other tree varieties (aside from the standard) pop up very often.

* I died when Twig showed up in the zoot suit.  And then started dancing with a…crocodile woman?

* It’s super ridiculous, but I can’t help but smile and think of Disney’s Robin Hood every time I see that crazy anthropomorphic fox guy.  And Kale’s “unhand me you idiot!” always cracks me up.

* The Horn of Merlin.  Ye gods, this irritates me.  You make a device that can summon the Pack – wherever they are – and bring them to your aid.  And it’s promptly forgotten at the end of this episode.  This could have been made use of SO MANY PLACES in the series.  But specifically, I’m lookin’ at you, series finale.

* First time seeing Fallon use her Moon Stone’s illusion powers.

* We get to see Kale in the lavender Queen Anya dress when she dances with the fox!  It will show up again in Dreamfields

* Jewel of the North Woods goes first into the Jewel Box!  This also establishes the format of Crown Jewel + Merlin’s Key = Merlin’s PSA for the episode.

Avalon Connections
* After Kara first obtained her Unicorn Jewel, the rest of the party told her to not use magic alone. Gwen goes through the same thing here, except it’s with riding the Wild Magic.

* The magic dance hall is kinda like the random Fairy Raves.

* Colfax (Cotax in the original edition) is a talking fox who works for the Fairy Underground. Gwen dances with a talking fox in this episode.

* Gwen with her hair down looks exactly like Kara from the original edition — specifically, the cover to the Be*Tween single. Check out the Avalon Clubhouse site (link is in the menu above) if you want proof.

* Kale’s whip attack with her Dark Stone is similar to Adriane’s lasso spell.

* Gwen’s ride through Dragon Beach and the crystal pillars mirrors a similar scene in Avalon where Zach, Adriane, and Wind Dancer fly through the Serpent’s Teeth.

All GIFs are from frequent commenter Robert.


Next time: “Song of the Rainbow”, in which Tamara gets brainwashed.



  1. I don’t think you can even technically call it a “Magic Missile” it’s all magical beams/rays. There are magic missiles in the show but it’s not that.

    I guess those animals were like normal forest animals (you know, like hippopotams…) that got changed by the wild magic or something.

    Ha, Casio. They used to be huge, now I had to check if they are even still in business (yes, they are).

    Actually later (at the end of the series) it turns out it was Kale’s plan B all along.

    Speaking of safety-first, this is why she’s wearing her helmet ALL the time:

    “Legends of old”? Isn’t Merlin like still around? Yeah, even now when he’s gone-ish.

    Anyone noticed how much Corrine Orr’s Kale sounds as Kathleen Barr’s Morgana in Bohbot’s earlier King Arthur & the Knights of Justice, and especially Barr’s Dark Queen in Battletoads? (And Sulinara in Conan and the Young Warriors, and Morrigan in Darkstalkers, and so on. It was her typical cast role in the 1990s cartoons.) The resemblence is uncanny, just listen to it!

    Aslo all the gifs that I made for of this ep: (whee!).

  2. I just watched this episode. I was wondering why the animals physically talked. “Wild magic” is as good an explanation as any, I guess.

    I genuinely LOLed at Sunstar’s “I danced with a hippo!” line. So out-of-place and inappropriate, given the situation.

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