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... a long-eared animal with a striped tail of some kind (The show calls him a "bunny", though, and he loosely resembles a Sumatran striped rabbit). 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.
- Animal-Vehicle Hybrid: The characters of all possess wheels rather than feet. Ellyvan can also be used to store things in his back, Hippobus is... well, a bus, and Dozer has a bulldozer blade attached to his front.
- Animation Bump: The CGI is noticeably improved in the second season.
- Call a Smeerp a "Rabbit": 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.
- Fake Interactivity: The characters would ask the viewers to identify which sign leads to the place they need to go. Season 2 dropped this practice, though.
- 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.
- Green Gators: Crocker is a bright green crocodile car, much like the other brightly-colored Animal Vehicle Hybrids in the setting.
- 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."
- May It Never Happen Again: In "Elevan's Boing Boing Blues", Zooter annoys Elevan by making a "Boing!" noise (that she initially intended to make while making deliveries). At the end, she promises to only make the noise while making deliveries, so she won't annoy him again.
- Misophonia Gag: "Ellyvan's Boing-Boing Blues" revolves around Ellyvan becoming very annoyed after Zooter learns she can make a "boing" noise with her tail, to the point that he can't sleep.
- Misplaced Wildlife: Boars may be native to jungles, but pink pigs like Zooter certainly aren't. Some cattle, such as banteng, are native to jungles, but, for a children’s show, it’s a strange setting for a bull like Dozer. 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.
- Red Live Lobster: Taxicrab is a red crab.
- Sentient Vehicle: Mixed with Mix-and-Match Critters.
- 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.