is a live-action show for children produced by DIC Entertainment as one of their few live-action productions. It was set in a land called Zoobilee Zoo, and followed the adventures of the inhabitants of said... Zoo
? The show is based on characters created by Hallmark Cards (of Rainbow Brite
, and Shirt Tales
fame), who also co-produced and co-funded.
The cast consisted of anthropomorphic animals
("Zoobles") played by actors in elaborate make-up and costumes. Reoccuring characters included:
- Mayor Ben — Played by Ben Vereen. A leopard who serves as the mayor of the Zoobles, though he barely ever interacts with them. He watches out for them and serves as the series narrator.
- Van Go Lion — A lion who loves painting and art.
- Talkatoo Cockatoo — A parrot who enjoys talkingnote and passing herself as a know-it-all. Can sing in an opera-style voice.
- Bill Der Beaver — A Bob Vila-esque handyman beaver. He also likes to invent things, as well.
- Whazzat Kangaroo — A pink kangaroo who loved to sing, dance and play music.
- Bravo Fox — A flamboyant vulpine showman actornote .
- Lookout Bear — The explorer/boy scout type who loves adventure.
Zoobilee Zoo provides examples of the following tropes:
- Animal Stereotypes: The personalities of the various characters, though the artistic lion is different. Also, Whazzat is noticeably lacking an Australian accent.
- Be Yourself: The episode "Lady Whazzat".
- Busy Beaver: Bill, who is the Zooble's handyman and fix-it guy, as well as occasional inventor.
- Catch Phrase: Wazzat Kangaroo was named after the way she asks, "Wazzat?" every so often.
- The Danza: Ben Vereen as Mayor Ben.
- Deliberately Monochrome: One of the "Tunnel of Surprise" episodes involved a land that was completely in greyscale. There was even a colored border to indicate that this trope was in effect.
- Furry Confusion: And how! It rivals Arthur! There are parts of the show that only make sense if you imagine it taking place in an Anthrocon that can never end, and where nobody can remove their costumes.
- Kangaroos Represent Australia: Averted with Whazzat Kangaroo, who lacks an Austrailian accent; and there's actually no reference made to Austrailia in the show.
- Van Go Lion, the artist, is named after Vincent van Gogh. (Sadly, not a Shout-Out to Voltron.)
- Combined with Actor Allusion, Whazzat has a similar laugh to Party Popple, another role played by Louise Vallance.
- Theme Naming: Some of the character's names are a pun on their occupation.
- Variety Show: At least two episodes were dedicated to these being performed on Bravo's stage.
- Very Special Episode: One episode dealt with a visiting Zooble who had to use a wheelchair. Moreover, the girl who played her really was disabled. The episode is even dedicated to her, and anyone and everyone who has to use a wheelchair. Another episode featured a deaf Zooble.