In this story, Walter Raccoon comes home with an important announcement: he's been named Lake Hoohaw's recycling hero of the year. He'll be accepting the award in a special ceremony that evening, but first he has to get a good day's sleep. Pinch and Scootch, along with their friends, try to find ways to help him sleep, but at first only succeed in keeping him awake. With some smart thinking and a little luck, they finally hit upon the perfect solution.
Walter pulls up in his recycling boat. His daughter, Pinch, wishes him good morning and waves to him. While Scootch shouts ''Papa'' eexcitedly. He exits the boat, toting a couple of garbage cans, and his wife, Wanda, asks him if he had a good night at work. He says that it was a great night for recycling. Pinch asks him what he did. "Tell us, tell us!" shouts Scootch. The scene flashes back and Walter narrates a sequence in which he describes how he had to replace Mr. Muskrat's doors, as they had taken a terrible beating from his children playing a game of pingpong against them. It looked like the new doors would be in for the same trouble, but then Walter was able to recycle the old doors into a proper pingpong table. The scene fades back to the Raccoons', where Scootch cheers. Wanda says it was great thinking and Pinch asks what else he did. Another scene is shown in which he turned a jumble of wires and bottles into a string of lanterns. Wanda tells him they're very proud and Pinch says that she bets he's the best recycler there ever was. Wanda states that she hopes everyone appreciates him as much they do. He replies that he's been announced Lake Hoohaw's Recycling Hero of the Year and he'll be getting an award that evening. Scootch shouts "Papa!" and races up to Walter, who picks him up and gives him a hug. Pinch asks if he gets to make a speech. "You bet I do," says Walter and tells her that he wants them all to be there. Wanda agrees that they wouldn't miss it for the world. Walter hands Scootch to her and she tells him to get a good day's sleep, as it's going to be a big night. As they walk to the Raccoon family houseboat, he agrees that he needs to sleep, but says that he's so excited that he's not sure he can. Just then, he hears a couple of songbirds in a tree and says that if anything can help him to sleep, "it's the song of those lovely larks." He yawns and as he heads inside, Pinch tells him not to worry, that she and Scootch will help if the song of the birds doesn't work.
Being a Hero and Making Speeches
The scene changes and Pinch and Scootch are now outside their houseboat, standing guard. As the Otters approach, Peanut & Jelly on rollerskates and Baby Butter on a skateboard, Pinch whispers at them to be quiet. Jelly asks what's the matter and Pinch explains that Walter is sleeping. "What a sleepyhead!" comments Peanut, astounded that Walter would be sleeping in the middle of the day. Pinch explains that Walter sleeps during the day, because he works at night. Peanut asks why and Pinch tells him that Walter works at night, so in the morning, everyone's trash is gone and recycled. Peanut says that's really smart and Pinch mentions that Walter has been named Recycling Hero of the Year. Peanut, Jelly and Butter all agree that that's great. Jelly says that someday she'll be a hero and wave to crowds and make speeches. "Me too!" says Peanut. "Me thwee!" agrees Butter. The scenec hanges and Jelly climbs into a chair next to a picnic table and declares "My fellow otters, I'm honored to be your hero!" Everyone claps and Jelly continues that she'd like to think her mama, her daddy and the Academy for this award. She bows and steps down from the chair. Peanut walks up and starts to talk, but quickly cuts himself off. "What's that? My time's up? Aw, man." He gives a quick bow and the others applaud. Everyone cheers and the camera pans up to show Walter Raccoon opening the window on the upper floor of the Raccoon family houseboat. He tells them to keep the noise down, as he was almost asleep. "Sorry, sorry, my fault!" shouts Scootch. Walter tells them to just play a little more quietly.
Trying to Help Walter Sleep
The scene changes and the larks are shown flying to the top of the umbrella that shadows the table where the kids were making their speeches. As the larks sing their lovely song, Peanut shushes them, but Pinch tells them to keep singing and explains to Peanut that the sound of the larks' music helps Walter to sleep. Peanut says that they should make sure that Walter can hear them. He picks up the umbrella to get the birds closer to the window, With some help from Jelly, they move the umbrella and they know it's working because they can hear the sound of Walter's snoring. Unfortunately, just then a stiff wind blows the umbrella portion of the umbrella away, leaving only the stick that held the umbrella. The birds fly away in fright and the umbrella covers up the window. Jelly suggests that maybe he was too fast asleep to notice, but then Walter pokes his head out the window, ruining the umbrella and removing any doubt. He asks if everything's okay. "Pwetty flower" giggles Butter, as the sight of Walter's head sticking through the umbrella looks rather like a flower. "Sorry, my fault!" says Scootch. The others apologize too. He tells them that it's okay, but to be careful, as he really needs to get some sleep. He pokes his head back inside and Flick walks up, asking why Walter was dressed like a giant flower. "Wasn't he supposed to be sleeping?" Pinch moans. "What? What did I say?" Pinch tells him that it's important that they try to help Walter sleep. Peanut explains that the songbirds flew away and Flick says that he's a bird and he could help. He asks what he has to do and Pinch tells him that bird sounds help Walter fall asleep. He says he can make some bird sounds. "Nice sounds," specifies Pinch. He replies that all the sounds he makes are nice.
Flick flies up to the window and starts singing. "Cuckoo!" Peanut tells him to keep going-- that you can tell when Walter's asleep when you hear him snoring. Flick continues singing, growing progressively more off-key. "Cuckoo! Cuckoo! I'm so cuckoo when I'm with you-you!" Jelly calls it a terrible racket and asks how Mr. Raccoon possibly sleep. Walter walks up behind the group and replies that he can't. He asks why Flick's doing that. Flick turns around, sees Walter and falls to the ground, landing in a garbage pail. "Uh, they told me you liked bird noises." "Sorry, my fault," says Scootch. Walter tells them not to make anymore noise.
Cradle and All
"Poor daddy," laments Pinch, saying that they need to do something for Walter. Jelly says that they sleep every night, so they must be experts on sleeping. "If we can't help him, nobody can." Peanut says that they just have to think about what puts them to sleep. He says that he falls asleep as soon as his head hits the pillow. Pinch says that she's out like a light as soon as she feels her soft flower blanket around her. She suggests that they could take Walter to a flower meadow because that's soft. A fantasy scene of him laying in a flower field is shown. "Cwadle, cozy!" suggests Baby Butter. Pinch says that they could put all that together. A pillow, a soft blanket and a cradle. Pinch notes that Walter wouldn't fit in a cradle and Peanut says they can build a dad-sized one. Jelly notes that they'll need a lot of supplies and Peanut suggests that their Dad could help. The kids are shown toting a wagon of supplies. Peanut thanks Ernest Otter for helping out and he says that it was his pleasure. The group returns to the Raccoons' yard and gets to work. Walter walks up and asks them to quiet down. They present the cradle. "We made it for you, Daddy, to help you sleep," says Pinch. Walter says that they outdid themselves. "What a sweet idea." He lays down and Pinch rocks him, asking him if it feels comfy. He agrees that it's very restful, but then the cradle collapses. "Oops, sorry, my fault," says Scootch. Walter tells them that it's great work, but apparently he's too big for a cradle.
Something We Haven't Tried
The scene changes and the group is standing around, sad, Jelly pushing Baby Butter on a tire swing. Jelly says that they've tried everything. "But nothing's worked," notes Peanut. Just then, Jelly realizes that there's something they haven't tried. "My super-hypnotic magic duck powers?" asks Flick. "No, the Noodle Dance!" says Jelly and the Noodle Dance sequence immediately begins. The group dances while Peanut stands off to the side with his arms crossed, but then Scootch dances over next to him and he starts dancing. The song ends and Jelly gets an idea. "I've got it!" she shouts and Pinch tells her to not be so loud. She replies that that's her idea. They'll blanket the whole of Lake Hoohaw in glue. That way everyone will get stuck and not be able to move, so they won't make any noise. Peanut points out that they don't have enough glue and Jelly says that they'll just pretend. "Nobody move!" she says and everyone tries to be as still as possible. A branch breaks off a tree and Peanut races to catch it before it hits the ground. Pinch starts humming and Jelly hushes her, asking her what she's doing. "Sorry," says Pinch. She explains that she's humming, but she'll hum softer. The song helps her think. Snoring can be heard and Baby Butter is shown sleeping. Jelly realizes that the song doesn't just help Pinch think, it also helps Butter sleep. "Just like your dad and the birds!" realizes Peanut. Pinch says that gives her an idea. The scene changes and the group walks up in front of Walter's window. They begin singing the song "Oodelee, Oodelay," all except Flick, whose beak is covered by Jelly at the beginning of the song. As they perform, the birds return and perch in a nearby tree. As the song continues, the birds fall asleep and snoring can be heard from inside the houseboat. "He's asleep!" realizes Pinch. "Close your eyes and sleep!"
All Tuckered Out
That evening, Walter accepts his reward for being Recycling Hero of the Year. He is shown finishing a speech- "And so, one person's trash is another's person's treasure. That's my motto." He says that the youngsters proved that a little imagination can help you think up the answer to any problem. Mayor Jeff rolls forward a birdbath containing the sleeping songbirds and Walter says that he presents these recycled things to the energetic and creative kids of Lake Hoohaw. Loud snoring can be heard and Walter winces. The kids are all shown sleeping. Walter asks if his speech put them to sleep and Wanda, tucking the kids into a blanket, replies that they're just worn out from trying to put him to sleep. Walter chuckles. "Can you imagine that?" he asks and as the adults all laugh, the shot pans out to show Lake Hoohaw at night and the story ends. The closing credits feature an instrumental of the theme of Sergeant Gravel, followed by an instrumental of "Oodelee, Oodelay." (Hear the Instrumental)
- Walter Raccoon
- Scootch Raccoon
- Pinch Raccoon
- Wanda Raccoon
- Peanut Otter
- Jelly Otter
- Baby Butter Otter
- Flick Duck
- Ernest Otter
- Executive Producers - Jim Jinkins
- Supervising Producer - Jack Spillum
- Produced By Bruce Knapp
- Directed By Jeff Buckland
- Writer - David Campbell
- Executive Story Editor - Reed Shelly
- Voice Director - Kent Meredith
- Line Producer - Linda Houston
- Production Manager - Masako Kanayama
- Production Supervisor Robert Askin
- Script Coordinator - Robert David
- Music by Dan Sawyer
- Songs By Ned Ginsburg, Lyrics and Music
- Storyboards by Enrico Casarosa
- Storyboard Slugging - My Chatterton
- Editor - Daniel J. Rosen
- Executive Consultant - Bill Gross
A full transcript of "Sleepyhead" can be found here.