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. 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.
It turns out that Starblazers
director Noboru Ishiguro was involved in the program, which might help explain some things.
- 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.
- Bait-and-Switch Credits: The cheerful Ear Worm of a theme song that continues to play throughout
- Barefoot Cartoon Animals: 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.
- 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...
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Widget Series: Seems like a pretty straightforward "Kid has adventure with magical pet" series until the other world comes into play...