Anime / The Noozles

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Also known as The Wonderous Koala Blinky, The Noozles was a 26-episode series by Nippon Animation Company that was originally released in Japan in 1984 and aired on the Fuji TV network. In Japan, it was the result of a brief Koala fad that swept the country after the birth of a Koala within the Tama Zoo in Tokyo and the later addition of several more koalas as a gift from the Australian government (Adventures of the Little Koala has a similar history). Noozles was dubbed by Saban International and got its greatest prominence in English when it was endlessly rerun on the young Nickelodeon from 1988 through 1993.

The show starts out as a simple story about 12-year-old Sandy, who receives a package from her long-lost grandfather that was recently recovered from a shipwreck. The package contains a stuffed Koala. Upon Sandy giving the Koala a "Noozle" (also known as an Eskimo Kiss), the toy comes to life and introduces himself as Blinky. She soon also meets his sister, Pinky, who just wants Blinky to go home with her to Koalawala land, though Blinky always refuses. Pinky can fly and summon magic portals using a tube of lipstick, leading to the trio going on many whacky adventures. Even Sandy's grandmother gets in on the act.

About halfway through the series, the show suddenly got more serious as Sandy visited Koalawala Land, the dimension where her friends and many other anthromorphic Australian creatures live and the show's plot grew so dark that by the end of the series, the fate of both worlds were at stake and the mystery of Sandy's grandfather's disappearance is the key to saving them. Oh, and the Koalas of Koalawala are basically human-hating Nazis that arrest and condemn humans to eternal imprisonment on sight.


Tropes:

  • Adventurer Archaeologist: Both Sandy's father and grandfather are one.
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song: That explains the Bait-and-Switch Credits.
  • And I Must Scream: The fate of Sandy's grandfather in the Crystal Palace.
  • Apocalypse How: Blinky's here to prevent a multiversal apocalypse. Seismic testing has damaged the axis connecting his universe to ours, resulting in them separating off balance and far too fast; without careful control of the separation, this will result in the two universes ripping themselves apart.
  • Bait-and-Switch Credits: The cheerful Ear Worm of a theme song that continues to play throughout
  • Barefoot Cartoon Animal: None of the Koalas wear shoes.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Blinky and Pinky must save the universe by safely separating Koalawala Land and our world before they shatter each other apart. This means that Sandy will never see them again. She doesn't get her grandfather back either, since he's still trapped forever. On the other hand, the mysteries are solved, her father is home seemingly for good, and her mother reminds her that as hard as the separation is, she'll always have the memories of the time she had with Blinky and Pinky.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: You'd be forgiven for thinking the second half of this series was a completely different show. Or a fever dream.
  • Cool Old Lady: Grandma Brown, who proved to be quite useful throughout the series, and was the only other person besides Sandy who knew that Blinky was alive.
  • Cosmetic Catastrophe: In the episode "Like Father, Like Daughter," Sandy decides to try some of her mother's makeup, and, having no idea how to apply it correctly, comes out looking something like the love child of Dee Snider and Cyndi Lauper. Instead of being angry, Sandy's mother begins laughing hysterically when she sees - as does Grandma - and a hurt Sandy flees in tears.
  • Crapsaccharine World: Koalawalaland is rather dark, as the inhabitants are not so much "born" as incubated and they're rabidly anti-human.
  • Creepy Doll: Blinky, sort of. He enters something called "Magic Sleepytime" to pose as a stuffed animal, which means he "sleeps" with his eyes open...
  • Dub Name Change: Surprisingly (for a 1980s English dub of a children's anime series) averted in the English dub, where the only name changed is Printy to Pinky.
  • Eldritch Location: The Crystal Place is an unimaginably complicated maze contained within crystal spheres that draws people's spirits in and traps them so that they must wander forever seeking and never finding the exit.
  • Fantastic Racism: Against humans in Koalawala Land.
  • I Thought That Was: People's memories have a tendency to cross this show with that other koala anime, Adventures of the Little Koala, which also aired on Nickelodeon at the time (indeed, it usually aired right before this show), also starred pastel colored koalas, and also took place in a fantasy version of Australia. It wasn't nearly as weird, though.
  • Lethal Chef: Narrowly averted in the episode "The Magic Vacation," when Sandy is helping prepare dinner for her father's homecoming and is so distracted she nearly sifts salt into the cake she is baking instead of sugar. Thankfully her mother stops her in time.
  • Literal-Minded: Sandy sometimes displays a surprising amount of naivete for a girl who is supposed to be 12 years old. In the episode "Like Father, Like Daughter" (aka "I Am Beautiful"), Sandy overhears her grandmother and mother talking about how much she is like her father, and immediately takes this to mean she's going to look exactly like her father when she grows up - beard and all. After Sandy angsts about this for the entire episode, Grandma finally explains that she was referring to Sandy and her father having similar personalities.
  • Magic Skirt: Sandy in an episode where she gets caught in a kiwi's snare.
  • Mood Whiplash: When the more serious parts of the plot kick into gear.
  • Names to Know in Anime: Series director Taku Sugiyama was involved in some of Toei Animation's classic feature-length films of the '50s and '60s and worked with Osamu Tezuka and Hayao Miyazaki. Another illustrious name showing up in the credits is episode director/storyboard artist Noboru Ishiguro, known for his work on Space Battleship Yamato and Macross among others.
  • Not-So-Imaginary Friend: Sandy initially tries to tell her mother about Blinky and Pinky, but she doesn't believe her. Blinky repeatedly going back to sleep when she tried to show him to her didn't help. She eventually decides it's better not to tell her and keeps it a secret until the end of the series. When her mother finally finds out the truth she asks Sandy why she didn't tell her. Sandy reminds her that she didn't believe her when she did.
  • Panty Shot: Sandy in a couple of episodes.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Sandy's koala disguise, which you can see in the opening is just a koala hat and partial face mask...and nothing else.
  • Rich Bitch: Sandy's friend (or should that be frenemy?) Olivia, in the episode "Sandy's TV Debut."
  • Small Taxonomy Pools: Averted - despite the name "Koalawala Land", the dimension is actually filled with many different sentient species based on animals native to the Australian outback. Not just koalas, but also kangaroos, dingoes, platypus and the like, in that one of the species to inhabit Koala-Walla Land was the cassowary, a large flightless bird native to Australia that very rarely ever appears in fiction.
  • Team Rocket: Franky and Spike, two poachers who occasionally went after Blinky and Pinky. They are eventually trapped in The Crystal Place.
  • We Do the Impossible: Blinky boasts of being able to do just that in the pilot.
    Sandy: You mean you can make the impossible possible?
    Blinky: (takes a bow) That happens to be my specialty.
  • Widget Series: Seems like a pretty straightforward "Kid has adventure with magical pet" series until the other world comes into play...

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Anime/TheNoozles