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Western Animation / Animaland

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Animaland was the brainchild of David Hand, former Disney animator famous for directing Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. When Hand moved to Britain, he set up his own studio and tried to make shorts that would compete with Disney.

Unfortunately, Hand failed to find a US distributor and only nine shorts were ever produced.

The nine shorts of Animaland are:

  • The Cuckoo — About a cuckoo tormenting a sparrow's nest.
  • The Lion — An adolescent lion finds love on the plains.
  • The House-Cat — Similar to the aforementioned Lion, only with a housecat.
  • The Australian Platypus — A courtship between platypuses.
  • The Ostrich — A mother and son Ostrich explore the ruins of Egypt.
  • Ginger Nutt's Bee Brother — Making his first appearance, Animaland's mascot Ginger Nutt (a red squirrel) has a bit of bee problems when delivering flowers to his girlfriend Hazel.
  • Ginger Nutt in It's a Lovely Day — Ginger Nutt goes fishing, and Corny Crow wants to join in with zany results.
  • Ginger Nutt Christmas Circus — A Christmas Special and a crossover featuring all the characters from the series either as performers or spectators in a Circus.
  • Ginger Nutt in Forest Dragon — The last of the shorts; Corny and company antagonize Ginger disguised as a savage monster.

Not to be confused with the manga, Animal Land.

The shorts provide examples of:

  • All There in the Script: Before "Christmas Circus", almost none of the animals were named. Animals like Boko Parrot and Corny's accomplices (Loopy Hare and Dusty Mole) remain unnamed throughout.
    • See Toonhound for a list of names in the individual shorts.
  • Alliterative Name: Digger and Dinkum Platypus, Chester Cat, Willie Weasel, etc. It's not always played straight, but there are enough examples to be noticeable.
  • Artistic License Biology: The platypuses from The Australian Platypus have bills that resemble duck bills, being able to open and close, instead of gray bills that don't. This was necessary since part of the plot involves one of them mistaking a duck for another platypus. They also have furry arms and legs instead of webbed feet, so they can gesture more easily.
  • Black Comedy: The Cuckoo features some courtesy of Willie Weasel. The Ginger Nutt shorts don't shy away, but The Lion takes the cake here as The journalist tracking Zimmy Lion gets eaten at the end and is still using his typewriter from inside.
  • Christmas Special: Though "Christmas Circus" is only tangentally related to Christmas, it is set during the holiday season.
  • Crossover: "Christmas Circus" features every major character to have appeared in the shorts, effectively welding each distinct continuity together as one.
  • Darker and Edgier: The Cuckoo is probably the most disturbing of the shorts.
  • Go Kartingwith Bowser: Heroes and villains alike participate and watch the Christmas Circus.
  • Goldfish Poop Gang: Though not villains per se, Conry Crow and his accomplices Loopy Hare and Dusty Mole certainly act like a Goldfish Poop Gang.
  • Mockumentary: The Lion, The Australian Platypus, The House-Cat, The Ostrich, and The Cuckoo all are written like one.
  • Small Parent, Huge Child: The titular Cuckoo in the short "The Cuckoo" is enormous compared to his non-biological sparrow parents. Justified in that real cuckoos work similarly.
  • The Voiceless: Most characters in the mockumentary shorts, as well as Loopy Hare and Dusty Mole. Zimmy Lion in "Christmas Circus" has exactly one line of dialogue.