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Series: Zoboomafoo
Zoboomafoo is a 1999 educational children's show hosted by Chris and Martin Kratt (of Kratts' Creatures fame). The Kratt brothers hang out with Zoboomafoo (Zoboo for short), an anthropomorphic lemur (or rather, a normal lemur who turns anthropomorphic under certain conditions) and play with animals in a fantasy place called Animal Junction. Every episode focuses on a different theme, such as baby animals, pets vs. wild animals, or just a specific type of animal. The episodes are broken up by occasional claymation stories about a place called Zobooland, as well as expeditions where the Kratt brothers leave Animal Junction to see animals in the wild.

It was followed by an animated show called Wild Kratts.


Tropes

  • Acceptable Break from Reality: Often lampshaded by the brothers, who remind viewers that animals of different species that are shown on Zoboomafoo would never play together in Real Life, but it's possible in Animal Junction.
    • Also pointed out when a tadpole appears to metamorphosize to a frog in under a minute.
  • And the Adventure Continues: Every episode ends with Zoboo leaping back to Madagascar and the Kratts running off to visit some new environment.
  • Amusing Injuries: Usually they happen to the brothers, but sometimes they happen to Zoboo too.
  • Balloon Belly: In some of Zoboo's stories, this happens to Goobol whenever he eats a whole bunch of Goobolberries.
    • This also happens to Zoboo and both brothers after eating like a bear before hibernation
  • But This Is Ridiculous!: When one of the brothers see their sleeping bag moving because there's a kitten inside: "I know I haven't washed my sleeping bag in a while but this is ridiculous"!
  • Cartoon Creature: Most of the Zobooland creatures from Zoboo's stories fall into this trope.
  • Catchphrase: "Are you thinking what I'm thinking?"
    • "Mangatsika!"note 
    • "Leaping lemurs!"
    • "I meant to do that."
    • "Incoming— Duck!!" "That's not a duck..."
  • Character Title
  • Crash-Into Hello: This is the only way Zoboo seems to meet anybody in his Zobooland stories.
  • Cute Approaches Camera: In the opening sequence.
  • Don't Try This at Home: Viewers are reminded at the end of each episode that not all animals are friendly and to only touch them when an adult says it's OK.
  • Cute Kitten / Precious Puppies: Several episodes feature lynx or bobcat kittens, and puppies make many appearances as well.
  • Exploding Closet: Whenever the brothers want to go on an adventure to see the animals in the wild. On the few times they did prepare for the stuff falling out, the closet would respond by... not doing anything. Psych!
  • Fantastic Fruits and Vegetables: Goobolberries in Zoboo's stories.
  • Free-Range Children: The Animal Helpers
  • Medium Blending: The Zobooland stories, which are stop-motion animated with clay models.
    • As well as the "Who Could It Be" segments, which are hand-drawn animation.
  • Neologism: Once an Episode. "I feel _________ish!"
  • Once an Episode: Lots, such as The Closet, the Zobooland segments, and Who Could it Be?
  • Percussive Maintenance: Often used on the Snack Machine.
  • Not So Different: In the goodbye song: This animal is a friend of mine / From the tip of his nose to his funny behind / All the friends we've met today/ Are special in their own way / They've all got different names / But we're really all the same!
    • Thanks for dropping by, we're glad you caaaaame / This animal is a friend of mine / They jump and swim, crawl, fly, and climb / One more thing we have to say: Go make an animal friend today! Yeah!
  • Revenge: In one episode, the brothers try to top each other's pranks. After Martin drops ice down Chris's pants, for example, Chris responds by replacing Martin's chair with a block of ice.
  • Running Gag: The Snack Machine not working and then suddenly dumping tons of food on whoever was fixing it, one or both brothers taking a flying leap and landing in something unpleasant, The Closet exploding on everyone except the Animal Helpers, Zoboo crashing into his Zobooland friends, and "Duck!" "That's not a duck, that's -messenger bird of the day-!"
    • The last is occasionally subverted when the messenger bird does turn out to be a duck!
  • Seldom Seen Species: Zoboo is a Verreaux's Sifaka, an endangered species of lemur native to southwestern Madagascar.
  • Shout-Out: In the episode Cats: "There's a cat in the hat!"
    • Martin having to feel an elephant while blindfolded can bring to mind the story of the blind men and the elephant. He too initially mistakes its trunk for a snake, until he realizes he feels hair on it.
  • The Nicknamer: Zoboo gives a nickname to almost every animal he meets.
  • Talking Animal: Zoboo, but only after he's fed. Apparently his speech abilities wear off overnight. This gets reflected by him being represented by an actual lemur when he can't speak, and then a puppet when he can. The real lemur is then still used for shots of him leaping.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Both brothers have their own food slots in the Snack Machine. One slot dispenses spaghetti, the other pizza.
    • Also, in Zoboo's stories, Goobol, Zoboo's friend absolutely loves filling his Goobol belly with Goobolberries.
  • Unsound Effect: "I was leaping along— leap... leap... leap...
    • In the episode Animal Daycare: I was sleeping along— sleep... sleep... sleep...
  • Where The Hell Is Springfield?:
    • Animal Junction doesn't really seem to be anywhere. The theme song claims Zoboo and other animals led them to it, so it seems it's some kind of natural location they all migrate to, though then the question is who built the place.
    • Wherever the Kratts want to travel to also always appears to be right next door. Animal Junction just seems to be everywhere at once.
    • Zobooland might be in Madagascar, given Zoboo has once or twice expressed having to return to it, but its geography and wildlife certainly doesn't match it.
RedwallCreator/PBS KidsZOOM
Zinnia JonesEdutainment ShowZoom

alternative title(s): Zoboomafoo
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