Western Animation: Jungle Junction
"Gotta zip, gotta zip, gotta spin our wheels / Because you know how great it feels / Gotta zip (gotta gotta gotta) gotta spin our wheels!"Jungle Junction
is a UK-produced CGI animated children's show that began airing in the United States and parts of Europe in 2009. It features anthropomorphic animals "with wheels instead of feet" who cruise around a hidden jungle with its own town square and highway system. Like other shows on the Disney Channel's weekday morning Playhouse Disney
(now Disney Junior
) segment, it is aimed at younger viewers and includes portions in which the characters ask the viewing audience to help them solve a simple problem.
An example would be, "which road takes me to the waterfall? ... The one marked by a sign with a picture of a waterfall on it? Yes, of course!"
As should probably be expected, there is no elaborate storyline to this show, and a new viewer does not need to know anything about the characters or setting beyond what is explained in the theme song. The animal-cars simply spend each episode cruising through the jungle, discovering new things and solving random problems they encounter along the way. In one episode, they find a special tree with a tap on it that produces bouncy balls, then forget to turn the tap off in their excitement, and must fight their way back up the now ball-covered road to fix their mistake. Sometimes these episodes include an Aesop
— in this case, a statement on conservation, as the bouncy ball tree wilts from overuse — but more often than not, they just highlight the importance of friendship and working together.
The characters who are most frequently seen include:
- Zooter, a two-wheeled sow who works as a messenger.
- Ellyvan, an elephant-van hybrid who delivers goods and is Zooter's best friend.
- Bungo, who is... um... an animal with a striped tail of some kind (The show calls him a "bunny", though). Anyway, he makes all of the jungle's road signs.
This show provides examples of:
- All-CGI Cartoon
- Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: The koala is orange instead of the usual grey. Also, Ellyvan is blue, Hippobus is yellow, the rhino is purple.
- Animation Bump: The CGI is noticeably improved in the second season.
- Cartoon Creature: Bungo the "bunny"
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Carla the koala vanishes after the first season.
- Lampshaded in "Lance in Love"; A picture of Carla with a "?" on it hangs on the wall of Bobby's police station.
- Forgotten Birthday: The rest of the animals in the jungle pull this trick on Zooter.
- Funny Animal: Really funny animals in this case, by virtue of their biology. Regardless, they all have jobs, talk and act like people.
- Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Ellyvan and Zooter (In a strictly platonic example).
- Incredible Shrinking Man: Ellyvan gets this when he touches the Shrinky Bush. The other animals have to Find the Cure before he disappears from existence.
- Lost World: The theme song describes the setting as, "deep inside the jungle, far from anywhere... a place that no one knows."
- Misplaced Wildlife: Boars may be native to jungles, but pink pigs like Zooter certainly aren't. The cast of characters also features a crab, which is generally an aquatic creature, and a koala, which is a species that doesn't share territory with rhinos or elephants.
- Mix-and-Match Critters: An abnormal example of this trope, in that there is no mixing of two different animals, just animals mixed with machinery.
- And, then there's Bungo. He's supposed to be some sort of rabbit, but, what rabbit has a long striped tail?
- Never Smile at a Crocodile: Averted with Crocker.
- Once per Episode: More like once a short but the "Gotta Zip" song.
- Sentient Vehicle: Mixed with Mix-and-Match Critters.
- Typical Cartoon Animal Colors: Crocker is a green crocodile, Zooter is a pink pig, Toadhog is a green toad, and Taxicrab the crab is red.
- Women Are Wiser: In "The Treasure of Jungle Junction", Zooter and Miss Jolly are the only ones who don't fight over the aforementioned treasure.