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Western Animation / Captain Zed and the Zee Zone

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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 is now called Collingwood & Co.) 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 & 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
  • Ambiguously Evil: He's not a Big Bad, but Nasty Norman could be, or couldn't be.
  • An Aesop: One of the major points of the show.
  • Benevolent Boss: The Commander.
  • Big Bad: Not one, but two - Mutter and Snort.
  • Boyish Short Hair: What P.J. had in the first season, a crew cut.
  • 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.
  • The Captain: Although, a very cheerful one - Captain Zed, that is.
  • Christmas Episode: "Christmas Nightmare".
  • Deadpan Snarker: Larry the sheep.
  • Dream Land: The Zee Zone.
  • Dreams vs. Nightmares: Captain Zed and the Dream Police spend their nights guarding the dreamscape of children against the Nightmares.
  • Early Installment Character-Design Difference: P.J. underwent a design change between seasons. In the first, she originally had a crew cut and was somewhat more masculine-looking. But in the second season, she was redesigned and now sported a bob hairstyle, and had fuller lips or wore lipstick as her most noticeable difference in features. This was done possibly because she initially didn't look feminine enough.
  • 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.
  • 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!"