Captain Zed and the Zee Zone
(1991) is a British Series
that is Western Animation
. A co-production between DIC Entertainment
(they just animated the show), Collingwood O'Hare Productions (at the time the company was named "Tony Collingwood Productions") and HIT Entertainment
(Back in time, when they distributed and produced not only kids programming, but also even distributed programs from TVNZ outside of New Zealand). It mainly delivers An Aesop
to its audience but is known for using Nightmare Fuel
to get the point across sometimes.
The premise of the series is that the dreams of children are vulnerable to nightmares. Snort and Mutter, respectively the main villain and his henchman, shape-shift and enter these dreams. Using the scary scenarios to take over the dreams. The dreaming children are defended by the Dream Patrol. While there are several members seen, the regular heroes are Captain Zed and his partner P. J.
Compare Potsworth And Company
and The Dreamstone
, both contemporary shows dealing with similar themes.
- The Ace: In at least one episode Captain Flannel is presented as this (or at least viewed as it by others)—this may be intended to be Miles Gloriosus.
- Affectionate Parody: Of the Royal Air Force as presented in old war films about the Battle of Britain.
- All Just a Dream
- An Aesop: One of the major points of the show.
- Benevolent Boss: The Commander.
- Big Bad: Not one, but two - Mutter and Snort.
- Break Out the Museum Piece: In one episode all the Captains are unavailable so the Commander goes on a mission himself, getting his old First World War biplane-style ship out of storage.
- British Accents: Captain Zed, at least according the bible (as in the document that describes rules of this cartoon) by one of show's creators.
- The Captain: Although, a very cheerful one - Captain Zed, that is.
- Deadpan Snarker: Larry the sheep.
- Dream World: The Zee Zone.
- A Form You Are Comfortable With: This is what Mutter and Snort take on, as an attempt to give the children nightmares.
- Funny Foreigner: Captain Valance Duvet.
- His Name Really Is Barkeep: The Commander, apparently. In one episode where he temporarily demotes himself to Captain to go on a mission as no others are available, he refers to himself as 'Captain Commander'.
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: P.J.
- Keep Circulating the Tapes: Unlikely to be released on DVD, sadly, despite its Cult Classic status. However, it's certainly an entertaining way to discuss nightmares/dreams with your children.
- Lady Looks Like a Dude: PJ (who is sometimes mistaken for a Butch Lesbian).
- Minion with an F in Evil: Mutter, often.
- Mooks: Averted; the villains Snort and Mutter are two (or 'one and a half' as Snort claims) against an army of Dream Base personnel. In one episode he recognises this and tries cloning an army from himself and Mutter.
- Parental Bonus
- Platform Hell: One episode has Zed and P.J. take a kid through a dream of a computer game he's imagined up called "Zedmen", but Snort interferes and manages to turn it into this.
- Retired Badass: The Commander.
- Separated by a Common Language: The show's title carefully uses both the British and American pronunciations of 'Z' for different things, in a (failed) attempt to try and sell the show to American networks.
- Shapeshifting: Mutter and Snort, the Big Bad.
- Space Whale Aesop: Virtually, the whole point of the show.
- Stealth Pun: Dream Base is crewed by anthropomorphic sheep, as a reference to the old idea about lulling yourself to sleep by Counting Sheep.
- Super Mode: The pillow-shaped ships are capable of going to a super mode consisting of swelling up and the back bursting open to allow much greater feather thrust to come out. However, this uses up power very rapidly, and in the computer game episode the ship actually drains its power dry while escaping from Snort's traps.
- Tethercat Principle: When the Commander gets his old ship out of storage (see Break Out the Museum Piece above) he finds his 'old ground crew' of two sheep (now with long white beards) still there.
- Theme Naming: Most of the Dream Patrol personnel are named after things to do with beds, appropriately enough.
- This Is My Human: One episode sees Zed's cat able to talk and he refers to Zed as his pet.
- Translation: Yes: Zed's cat gives one 'meow' to another which he then translates as a long speech.
- Twofer Token Minority: P.J., who is both Ambiguously Brown, female, and American-accented (according to the show's bible, constituting a failed attempt to try and sell the show to American networks).
Captain Zed: "Have a nice dream!"