Follow TV Tropes


Western Animation / Animal Crackers

Go To

Animal Crackers is a Franco-Canadian animated series produced by Canada's Cinar and the French studio Alphanim that aired on Teletoon in 1997. It is the Animated Adaptation of a comic strip created by the late American cartoonist Roger Bollen that began in 1967 and is still running in newspapers today (although Bollen himself stopped working on the strip in 1994 and moved on to working in television, creating Handy Manny in 2006).

Set in the Freeborn Wildlife Preserve somewhere on the plains of Africa, the series follows the lives of Freeborn's animal inhabitants. The main cast is composed of:

The show also adds multiple new characters into the fold. The cartoon ran from September 7, 1997, to September 12, 1999, and had three seasons, with a total of 39 episodes.

Not to be confused with the 1930 musical comedy starring The Marx Brothers, or the 2017 animated film released on Netflix.

Animal Crackers contains the following tropes:

  • Adaptational Dye-Job: If you count the shape of one's hair as this. Lana's hair was straight in the comics. In the cartoon, it's all curly.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: Lyle has a huge crush on Lana, who wants nothing to do with him.
  • Brainy Baby: Louie is only a lion cub still in diapers and not able to speak yet. But the audience can hear his thoughts, which show he's more intelligent than his uncle Lyle.
  • The Bully: Eugene. He hogs the waterhole for long periods of time, and will beat up anyone who stands up to him.
  • Butt-Monkey: Tito is constantly being stepped on or knocked aside by the other characters due to his small size. Just as often getting painful misfortune is Elmo, who frequently has other characters land onto his head whenever they take a dive into the pool.
  • Canon Foreigner: Multiple characters were added to the cartoon. These include...
  • Carnivore Confusion: Despite the animals being anthropomorphic, they're still animals and therefore there's still predator-prey relationships. And yet, the carnivores can go vegetarian.
  • Cruel Elephant: Eugene, as noted in The Bully above.
  • A Dog Named "Dog": Gnu and Dodo are named after their respective species. As are Snake, Frog, and Toad from the TV series.
  • Doofy Dodo: Dodo is not as dumb as he is too stubborn to realize his species are flightless.
  • The Dreaded: No one in Freeborn would stand up to Eugene, due to the fact he's a bull African elephant.
  • Elephants Are Scared of Mice: Eugene has a morbid fear of mice.
  • Fish Eyes: Tito tends to have unfocused eyes, due to being a chameleon.
  • Furry Female Mane: Lana's mane, which looks more like a human woman's than a lion's. Also an odd example considering lions are usually exempt from this trope.
  • He Who Must Not Be Heard: Tito never really said a word throughout the show's run.
  • Hollywood Chameleons: Tito would change colors every now and then.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Eugene, despite his reputation, is friends with the other main characters.
  • The Leader: Gnu leads a local heard, but that's the only way that he's a leader.
  • Lovable Lizard: Tito is completely harmless, to the point he doesn't resent being a Butt-Monkey.
  • Malingering Romance Ploy: In one episode, Lyle gets bitten by a snake. Neither he nor Dodo are sure if the snake is poisonous, so Lyle is convinced he's doomed. However, he soon realizes that Lana might take care of him if she finds this out, and tells her after saving her from being trampled by Gnu's herd. She proceeds to take him home and wait on him hand and paw. Later, the snake gets washed and Dodo discovers she isn't poisonous. Lana gets angry at Lyle for his ignorance and storms out.
  • Misplaced Wildlife: Somehow a dodo ended up in Africa.
  • Mouthy Bird: Dodo and all other birds that appear have their beak as a nose, with a "normal" mouth under it.
  • Never Smile at a Crocodile: Subverted with Elmo, who is usually laid-back and friendly to the other characters. That said, he is still a Nile crocodile and will indulge in his predatory instincts every now and then.
  • Non-Standard Character Design: Realistic-looking animals will appear in the TV series alongside the cartoony animal cast, particularly the opening.
  • Only Sane Man: Lana is the most levelheaded of the cast. Tito comes a close second.
  • Stock Animal Diet: The sole reason why peanuts (and peanut butter) are Eugene's Trademark Favourite Food.
  • Those Two Guys: Frog and Toad.
  • Token Human: Bud and Edna, a pair of tourists.