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Zig & Sharko is a French animated television series produced by animation studios Xilam, known for their animated series Space Goofs and Oggy and the Cockroaches (in fact, one could say Z&S is O&TC's younger brother/cousin). It is created and directed by Olivier Jean-Marie, who also worked as writer, storyboard artist and director of both series.

It revolves around an animal frequently on a tropical island — Zig the hyena — trying to capture Marina the mermaid, with the help of Bernie the hermit crab, so he can eat her. However, Sharko the shark is there to protect her. And that formula, where Zig is usually using various ways to try and devour Marina, most with the help of Bernie — but Sharko knows how to stop him, is what happens way often... Hilarity Ensues.

Then in the year 2016, a second season was released. Marina ends up arriving on the aforementioned island and calls for various sea creatures to arrive. That place becomes a beach-like paradise as a result. As for Zig and Bernie, they unintentionally see an abandoned plane in the forest, and meet its pilot... who can be best described as being "loony". Further hijinx still ensue in its third season (released in 2019), where various characters decide to get on a cruise ship.

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78 shorts of 7-minute length were produced for the first season, which is available on Netflix. Also, selected episodes are free to watch on Rovio's streaming site ToonsTV by agreement with Xilam. See Xilam's website for information.


Tropes:

  • Absurdly Bright Light
  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: Sharko's dorsal fin. Its so sharp that it can cut through metal with ease.
  • Adaptational Modesty: Well, not so much adaptational as evolutionary. Marina's bust is noticeably reduced in the second season.
  • All Animals Are Dogs: Sharko makes a lot of dog noises (whimpers, growls...).
  • Amusing Injuries: And to think this came from the same studio (and director) behind Oggy and the Cockroaches...
  • Anachronism Stew: A conquistador shows up on the island. One of the fish takes a picture of him with a smartphone, and the conquistador bites it, thinking it's a gold brick.
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  • Animation Bump: Not for specific moments, but this is inverted for the later 2 seasons — where the animation style is no longer loose and rubbery.
  • Antagonist in Mourning: When Zig goes to Africa to start a new life, Sharko spends the entire episode sulking on how much he misses chasing and beating up Zig.
  • Ash Face
  • Art Evolution: Used to look like a 90's toon, but in season 2, it's changed a lot. Even if it keeps the silly designs, the mostly-dynamic and wild shapes disappear in exchange for a more rounded, modern look. It's mostly kept in season 3.
  • Aside Glance: Marina does this in the first season's opening credits.
  • Badly Battered Babysitter: Averted in "Babysitting", where Marina is completely oblivious to the baby octopus' antics. Zig takes the damage but doesn't particularly care what happens to the baby.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: "Catch You on the Rewind" has Zig succeed in eating Marina when Sharko is delayed by a highly improbable obstacle course on the beach. Fortunately, he finds a time-rewinding remote shortly after that lets him repeat it until he gets it right.
  • Bag of Kidnapping: In "Birthday Party" Zig tricks Marina into having a sack race with him, at the start of the race when she's not looking he shoves her in her sack, ties it shut and runs off with her.
  • Bamboo Technology: Literally in one episode.
  • Banana Peel: One floating on the water somehow managed to trip up a ship.
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space:
    • And sea creatures, like Marina and Sharko, can breathe on dry land.
    • "Turbo Volcano" has Zig survive not only being sent into space but into the Sun.
  • Battle Discretion Shot: Oh, for God's sake, to the point of being Once an Episode. ALWAYS involving Zig. The focus place may vary from a shot of the island, a character showing the Curb-Stomp Battle, or a shot of the Earth. This is taken Up to Eleven with a shot of the Milky Way on the show's pilot.
  • Bears Are Bad News
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished:
    • In "The Tiny Tyrant" we see the effects of the muscle growth serum on the male characters, but when Marina uses it on herself we only see a bit of her right arm change before it cuts away.
    • In "Space Fruits" Marina is only one who stays untouched by the fruits' mutating juices. Even when the juices pollute the ocean she's already safe in her house calling for a clean-up crew.
    • The end of "The Were-yena" has Marina Hulking Out just like Zig has been doing the whole episode, but all we see is a shadow.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: "Fancy Footwork" has Marina wish that she had legs. When her wish comes true, she finds having legs to be more trouble than when she had a fish tail.
  • Be the Ball: Zig gets used as such when Sharko squishes him in a round shape.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: You don't want to make Marina or Bernie mad...
  • Big Badass Rig: Poseidon drives a giant-ass truck made of water. Oddly enough, he only uses it to leave the island, he's always introduced sitting on his throne as a tidal wave carries it ashore.
  • Bigger on the Inside: Marina's sandcastle in season 2.
  • Big "YES!": Zig's scream of triumph whenever he gets a shot at Marina, or actively starts abducting/attempting-to-eat her.
  • Birthday Episode: The episode "Birthday Party" with Marina's birthday. Unfortunatedly for Marina, Sharko forgot about it until he saw it on the calendar.
  • Blowing a Raspberry: Marina does this to the audience in the opening credits, followed by her laughing and swimming away.
  • Bodyguard Crush: Sharko has one on Marina.
  • Born Lucky: Marina.
  • Brick Joke: In "A Tale of Two Legs", Zig prepared a hole trap to capture Marina, who doesn't work on her. Later, Zig falls on the same hole.
  • Built With LEGO: "Silly Builders" is centered around this.
  • Butt Biter: Sharko does this to Zig at the end of "Lighthouse".
    • In "Sharko Hunting" Zig returns the favor to a hiding Sharko.
  • Butt-Monkey: Zig can't last an episode without getting the crap beaten out of him. However, half the reason for his suffering is his fault, plus no matter how hard he gets injured, Zig will be better like as if nothing happened!
  • Camera Abuse:
    • In at least one episode, Zig hits the camera after failing to capture Marina.
    • The episode "Toys Attack" shows a bouncing ball hitting the camera and cracking the lens.
  • Camping Episode
  • Captain Crash: The captain who wears glasses. It's a guarantee: It will always run aground his ship in the island Zig lives on, no matter what he tries to avoid it.
  • Cartoony Eyes: Sharko's eyes have yellow scleras.
  • Cats Hate Water: A cheetah in one episode is too scared to even touch water.
  • Cat Up a Tree: Bernie the Hermit Crab in this case.
  • The Chew Toy: Poor Zig but he does deserve it!
  • Christmas Episode: "Santa Zig".
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: The Crazy Dolphin and The Astronaut.
  • Cold Snap: In the episode of the same name and in "Frozen Island".
  • Comedic Sociopathy: Almost all the humor revolves around one or more of the characters being in pain.
  • Continuity Nod: In the first episode of Season 3, the anchor catches on the rock that Marina sings on in Season 1.
  • Contrived Coincidence: In season 2, every so often a certain cargo plane flies over the island and suffers some sort of unfortunate rear cargo door button malfunction (spilled coffee, etc), invariably causing several crates to be ejected in mid-flight, plummet to earth and land on a certain hyena's house, thus setting up wacky hijinks for the rest of the episode utilizing whatever happened to be in them.
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Zig is permanently hungry despite being repeatedly shown capturing small animals, but only to use their feathers or other useful parts instead of eating them.
    • Subverted in the episode "Castle Life", where Marina mistakes Zig for a visiting house guest and feeds him so many spaghetti dinners that he temporarily loses interest in eating her, much to Bernie's frustration.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: Sharko's fuse blows off whenever another guy hits on Marina. Oddly enough, he's perfectly fine with sea life gazing amorously at her, reserving his fury for Zig... who, to be fair, wants to eat her.
    • In one episode a human captain kisses Marina's hand. Sharko-vision shows it as Zig up to his usual antics.
  • Dark-Skinned Redhead: Marina.
  • Deserted Island: The island Zig lives on is devoid of humans, though wildlife is present.
  • Determinator: Zig. Nothing, I seriously mean, NOTHING will stop him to try to eat Marina.
  • Disney Acid Sequence: The dance numbers in "Disco in the Dark", which really bend the laws of physics.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: The gorilla from the island to Zig. Also, sometimes Sharko's revenges to Zig are taken too far.
  • Distant Reaction Shot: One of the most common gags is a plume of water rising from the surface as violence happens underneath. In one case, it's visible from outside the galaxy.
  • The Ditz: Sharko's Hammerhead Cousin.
  • Down the Rabbit Hole: Sort of happened in "Bottom's Bottom", where the titular characters fell down into an abyss and encountering a city of weird-looking things.
  • Dude Magnet: Marina.
  • Easy Amnesia: In "Lightning Love", Zig gets hit by lightning, which causes him to lose his memory, regress to the time when he was a baby, and mistake Sharko for his mother.
  • Eat the Bomb: Sharko on "The Return of The Crazy Dolphin".
  • Enemy Mine: Zig and Sharko often have to team up when someone new gets too close to Marina. This lasts only as long as the enemy is undefeated, at which point Zig instantly goes back to eating Marina.
  • Enthralling Siren:
    • How Marina saves Sharko from some shark hunters.
    • Marina does this to Zig and Bernie, too.
  • Episode Title Card
  • Everybody Dies: The endings of "Waterski Hit" and "The Return of the Crazy Dolphin"
  • Everything's Louder with Bagpipes:
    • Marina has been seen playing one.
    • The fisherman in "Fisherman's Catch" also has one.
  • Fantastic Racism: One episode has the very Asian-looking crew of a ship coloured a not-subtle shade of yellow.
  • Fluffy Cloud Heaven
  • "Freaky Friday" Flip: In "Me, Myself and I", after a mishap with an electric eel, Zig and Sharko exchange minds. Zig-in-Sharko naturally tries to take advantage of it to eat Marina, while Sharko-in-Zig attempts to stop him. Being now the physical underdog, he quickly opts for aiming at reverting the switch with the electric eel; several more mind exchanges happen before the eel is too drained to keep it on (at which point they're back in their respective bodies).
  • Friend to All Living Things: Marina
  • Fur Is Clothing: The Polar Bear's fur, which, after being unzipped, reveals his muscular human-like form equipped with a wrestling outfit.
  • Gag Haircut: In "Hair Story", Marina's hair was accidentally cut, so Sharko and Marina's octopus hairdresser are trying to fix it.
  • Genki Girl: Marina.
  • Ghost Pirate
  • Gratuitous Ninja: Zig spends an episode as one.
  • Hair Decorations: Marina wears a living starfish in her hair.
  • Hammerspace
  • Hartman Hips: Marina
  • Hawaiian-Shirted Tourist
  • Hiccup Hijinks: In "Boo... who"
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Sharko and Marina, although it's more Huge Shark Tiny Mermaid.
    • Marina will often let out a cute laugh when something amuses her.
  • Hyper-Competent Sidekick: Bernie.
  • Idea Bulb
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: Zig
  • Instant Ice: Just Add Cold!: In "Cold Snap", there are fish inside an ice cube swimming around the cold water.
  • Interspecies Adoption: Zig's "mother" is a female gorilla.
  • Interspecies Romance: Between Marina and Sharko and on a side note, Marina's mother was a mermaid and her father was a human sailor. Until it's retconned so her father is Poseidon.
  • Iris Out: Every episode ends by focusing on one character, usually Sharko beating up Zig or Zig being beaten up.
  • Jaw Drop
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Sharko and Marina all things considered. In Marina's case, it's usually that she doesn't realize when she's being mean. Even Zig at times can be this. He genuinely cares about Bernie as a friend.
  • Killer Gorilla: A particularly mean one lives on Zig's island and sometime beats him up.
  • Laser Hallway: In "Cop Duty", at some point, Zig has to pass through many lasers in open sea protecting Marina.
  • Lighthouse Point: In "Lighthouse", of course.
  • Lightning Can Do Anything: Even give Zig amnesia and regress to a baby.
  • Look Behind You
  • Love Potion: Bernie creates a deodorant for Zig that has this effect in the episode "The Scent of The Hyena". The intention was to use it to make Marina reject Sharko, allowing Zig to eat her without resistance. Unfortunately for zig, it wears off quickly, turns Marina into a obsessive stalker, and works on Sharko too.
  • Love Triangle: Sort of an aversion. Marina and Sharko both love each other, though the former has a bit of a crush on Zig. Zig however, couldn't care less, since all he really wants is to eat her.
  • Mad Bomber: The Crazy Dolphin. In the two episodes he stars in, he mistakes the island for a battleship and places a time bomb at the bottom of it, which kills everyone on the island, including himself.
  • Magic Wand: Zig finds a wand that causes anything it touches to disappear and then reappear inside a top hat.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: This is a Running Gag in the episode "Stuffed Animals". When the young dolphin starts crying, it's ridiculously powerful.
  • Manchild: Marina acts like a giddy little girl a lot of the time.
  • Matchlight Danger Revelation: "Digging Deep". Zig (using Bernie as a drill) suddenly stops digging because something is blocking his way. He lights a match, only discovering he perforated a gas pipeline. The result? BOOM.
  • Meaningful Name: Sharko, of course.
  • Meat-O-Vision: Just try to count all the times Zig sees Marina as: a fish nugget, a tailfin with just a bone, or accompanied with half a lemon.
  • Muscles Are Meaningless: King Neptune, despite having a muscular physique, would run away or beg for mercy to avoid a fight from an opponent who could take him whenever his Orcas couldn't back him up or if his Trident is taken from him.
  • Name and Name
  • No-Dialogue Episode: The whole series is this.
  • Ocular Gushers: The characters are often seen spraying huge fountains of tears when they cry.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: Characters can teleport seemingly at will no matter the distance or situation (in one case, Marina was rolled up inside a sandwich and was outside of it in the next scene. Zig didn't appear particularly fazed, presumably since he regularly does the same kind of thing himself.
  • Organic Technology: Sharko and Marina are often seen using various sea life as household devices, such as using a sea urchin as a ping pong ball, rays as paddles and a small octopus as a walkman.
  • Or Was It a Dream?: "Coral Reef Cowboys"
  • Our Mermaids Are Different: They apparently evolved from fish. They can also have kids with humans.
  • Pain-Powered Leap
  • Pass the Popcorn
  • Pec Flex: Sharko and the various other muscle bound characters do this frequently.
  • Pinch Me: When Zig sees Marina next to him, he pinches himself with a nearby crab just to be sure.
  • Pirate: Zig tried to join some pirates after they kidnap Marina.
  • P.O.V. Cam
  • Pressure Point: The shrimp does this to Marina so she falls asleep instantly à la Vulcan Nerve Pinch.
  • Prince Charmless: King Neptune.
  • Prongs of Poseidon: Neptune's trident, which acts like a taser. Poseidon's also controls the tides and is able to freeze water.
  • Pull a Rabbit out of My Hat: There was no rabbit, but pretty much every other animal ended up coming out of a top hat.
  • Redhead In Green: Marina.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Bernie. Not helped by the fact that he has puppy dog eyes (at least, only in season 1) and the occasional squeaking sound he makes.
    • Humorously, his non-threatening appearance was still enough to greatly frighten the manta ray — who previously had beaten Sharko — albeit through playing dirty, and was effortlessly beating the crap out of Zig, so much that said manta climbed up a coconut tree in terror.
    • In another episode, a Ghost Pirate was afraid of Bernie. Sharko uses this to his advantage.
  • The Rival: Marina gets one in "The Manic Mermaid"
    • Sharko and Bernie get ones in "The Challengers" and "Little Shrimp Buddy"
    • As well Zig in "A Lovesick Survivor"
  • Road Runner vs. Coyote: Or Shark vs. Hyena. The series is reminiscent of the Wile E. Coyote and Ralph the Sheepdog cartoons.
  • Robot Me: Bernie makes an army of robot Zigs in "War of the Clones".
  • Rugby Is Slaughter: Sharko finds a rugby ball. A team of orcas immediately emerge to challenge him, but they all end up as Bandage Mummies in the end.
  • Rule of Funny
  • Rule of Three: Zig was attacked by the Killer Gorilla on "A Tale of Two Legs" three times, the third one also double counts as a Brick Joke.
  • Running Gag:
    • Sea lions getting sheared in some way, that leads to them protesting loudly each time.
    • Both sea and land creatures getting exploited in creative ways.
    • A captain piloting his ship right into the island due to his eyesight or other misfortune.
    • In "Stuffed Animals", whenever a young dolphin doesn't get what he wants... he lets out an absurdly loud and booming wail.
  • Scooby-Dooby Doors
  • Seahorse Steed
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Sharko very wisely bails when a baby octopus is dropped off for the afternoon, spending his time watching sports on TV.
  • Selective Obliviousness: Quite often, Marina seems to have no immediate awareness that Zig is carrying her off, or slathering her in sauce that she's actually sitting in Zig's cookpot, or (at least once) that she's rammed halfway down Zig's throat.
  • Serial Escalation: In one episode, the splash of water resulting from Sharko hitting Zig is visible: from the island, from orbit, from OUTSIDE THE GALAXY.
  • Series Continuity Error:
    • In the first season, Marina is the daughter of a mermaid and of a stranded sailor man (there are pictures and the hut where her father was living). In the second season, Marina is apparently depicted as the daughter of King Neptune (it is not totally confirmed and he can just be a family member like her uncle or grandpa, though).
Note: the first example is removed as the episode where King Neptune debuts is called "Father In Law", so it isn't an error.
  • The king of the sea himself is another big one. In the first season, he appears to be a very vain, muscled and narcissistic young merman, with bodyguards, and he is an occasional suitor for Marina. In the second season, he is replaced by Poseidon, the traditionally white bearded king — and he is the protective father-in-law of Marina, also represented as a visual mix of the Disney character and of a macho truck driver.
    • Although Wikipedia explains it as the former being Neptune (hence the giant N on his doors).
  • Also in the first season: there are two different episodes where a kamikaze crazy dolphin is able to blow up the whole crew.
  • She's Got Legs: Marina in "Fancy Footwork", in which a fairy godmother turns her tail into legs. Subverted in that the only "male gaze" she gets is from Zig, whose Meat-O-Vision now sees her as a pair of chicken legs.
  • Shout-Out: The whole episode "The Island Tour" was one to Mario Kart.
    • As well as Super Mario Bros. in general. They've also done Video Game shout outs to Pitfall and Pacman.
    • The scream that Zig makes on the episode "Nurse Marina" is the scream Queen Grimhilde, from Disney's Snow White, makes as she falls to her death.
    • In "Goin' Home" Zig runs into a pair of elephants who closely resemble King Babar and Queen Celeste. Later in the same episode, Zig was hanged from a tree by a mandrill who closely resembles Rafiki.
    • In "Blown Up", one of the pool floats looks very familiar...
    • Some of the fish designs seem to have wandered in from the set of Spongebob Squarepants.
    • In "Hair Do's and Dont's", Sharko gets turned into a walking hairball and gives the Chewbacca roar. Zig also had a "no baldies" sign that clearly shows Krillin.
    • "The Invader" has an alien using pictograms looking for new species to collect, one of which is clearly a Xenomorph.
  • Slapstick Knows No Gender: Marina will occasionally be the victim of slapstick.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Marina.
  • Speaking Simlish: Any dialogue in the series. Most notorious by Marina, Zig and Sharko. Keeping in mind this is a Mime and Music-Only Cartoon, it's justified.
    • Averted in "Marina Superstar", where the backup singer's voice is audible (Marina only has to sing "Lalala").
  • Squashed Flat
  • Squee!: Marina does this often. Most noticeable when she sees Zig disguised as Santa.
  • Stockholm Syndrome: Marina (sometimes) has a crush on Zig, the hyena who is constantly kidnapping her because he wants to eat her.
  • Suddenly Voiced: The Hindi version of the show dubs over the silence, with voice actors for the characters.
  • Superhero Episode: "Super Zig"
  • Super Not-Drowning Skills: Inverted. Marina and Sharko can both survive out of water.
  • Super-Persistent Predator: Zig
  • Super Serum: Made by Bernie in both "The Tiny Tyrant" and "The Were-Yena."
  • Super Strength: Sharko frequently exhibits Superman-level strength, once moving the entire island.
  • Swallowed Whole: Zig spends an episode inside a whale's stomach.
  • Tailfin Walking: Marina (and sometimes Sharko) can walk on land using the tips of her tailfin (and in one episode, can go tightrope-walking around the world). Lampshaded in "Fancy Footwork", where she actually has a harder time standing and walking using her magically-granted legs than she normally does on her tailfin.
    • Now that the main cast are on the same tropical island Zig and Bernie usually would be in season 2, Marina and Sharko do this rather often.
  • Theme Tune Cameo: In "Cop Duty", Marina is listening to the show's theme while filing her nails.
    • Sharko's ringtone for Marina is the show's theme song.
  • The Thing That Would Not Leave: A Pirate ghost overstays his welcome, to Sharko anyway.
  • Threatening Shark: Averted with Sharko, who spends the entire series protecting Marina from Zig and other dangers. He generally leaves people alone unless provoked or if anyone attempts to do harm to Marina.
  • Three-Dimensional Episode: In some episodes Marina will put on 3D glasses during 3D scenes.
  • Throwing the Distraction
  • Transformation Sequence: Zig and Bernie get one when they go to clean Marina's sand castle.
  • Traumatic Haircut: Marina gets an AWFUL haircut in one episode. She does not take it well...
  • Toothy Bird
  • Uncomfortable Elevator Moment: "Marina's New Friend".
  • Unknown Rival: Marina doesn't know that Zig wants to eat her. Even when he attempts that in front of her very eyes...
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: A lot of people who see Marina don't bat an eye at the fact that she's a mermaid.
    • A Chinese sailor saw Marina and could not be any less interested. He and his crew were much more interested in catching Sharko so they could make shark fin soup.
    • In "Fisherman's Catch" when a fisherman accidentally catches King Neptune along with a bunch of other fish he just dumps the whole batch because he was looking for oysters.
    • In one episode, two tourists with camera-phones are far more interested in taking pictures with Sharko in a cat suit than with Marina. The only times they take pictures of Marina, it's either by accident or they're trying to blind her so she'll let go of their boat.
  • Villain Protagonist: Zig.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: "Magical Jellyfish".
  • Wacky Racing: "The Island Tour"
  • Walk on Water: Zig sometimes runs on water.
  • Water Is Air
  • The Wild West: "Coral Reef Cowboys"
  • Wingding Eyes:
    • Keeping in the show's country of origin, Neptune's eyes turn into Euro signs.
    • Excited about getting to be a nurse, Marina's eyes turn into first aid symbols.
  • Wink "Ding!"
  • Wham Shot: During Desert Island Drought, Bernie reveals a book to Zig. It has images of his several relatives, all of them were really good hunters.
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: Obviously, as the island's location is unknown.note 
  • X-Ray Sparks

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