Zoobilee Zoo is a 1986 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. The main cast included:
- Mayor Ben (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 (Forrest Gardner): A lion who loves painting and art.
- Talkatoo Cockatoo (Karen Hartman): A parrot who enjoys talkingnote and passing herself as a know-it-all. Is the Zoo's resident newswoman. Can sing in an opera-style voice.
- Bill Der Beaver (Sandey Grinn): A Bob Vila-esque handyman beaver. He also likes to invent things, as well.
- Whazzat Kangaroo (Louise Vallance): A pink kangaroo who loved to sing, dance and play music.
- Bravo Fox (Gary Schwartz): A flamboyant vulpine showman actornote .
- Lookout Bear (Michael B. Moynahan): The explorer/boy scout type who loves adventure and traveling.
Zoobilee Zoo provides examples of the following tropes:
- Alliterative Title: Zoobilee Zoo
- 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".
- Bungling Inventor: Bill Der Beaver.
- Catchphrase: Wazzat Kangaroo was named after the way she asks, "Wazzat?" every so often.
- 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.
- Drunk with Power: The episode "Bear Behind the Badge" followed this trope when Lookout was chosen to be the Zoo's first policebear. His personality changes so much that his friends become police officers themselves in order to teach him the ultimate lesson.
- 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 Australia in the show.
- Meaningful Name: Much of the cast. Bravo Fox's thing is theater, for example, and Bill Der Beaver is the Mr. Fixit of the show.
- Shout-Out: Van Go Lion, the artist, is named after Vincent van Gogh. (Sadly, not a Shout-Out to Voltron.)
- 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, the final episode "Without a Sound", featured a deaf Zooble named Vince.
- World of Ham: It's a scenery-chewing festival for basically everyone involved. Special mention goes to Bravo Fox, being the resident theater nerd, and Talkatoo Cockatoo, in all her squawking, chatty glory.