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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 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. Hilarity Ensues.

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. In 2016 there was the second season.

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Tropes:

  • 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.
  • Annoying Laugh: Zig has a high-pitched squeaking laugh whenever he's after Marina. Sharko has one that's less annoying and more "big dope".
  • 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.
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  • 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: "Rewind" has Zig succeed in eating Marina when Sharko is delayed by a highly improbable obstacle course. 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 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.
  • 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 sand castle 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 it.
  • Blowing a Raspberry: Marina does this to the audience in the opening credits.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Comedic Sociopathy: Almost all the humor revolves around one or more of the characters being in pain.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • "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).
  • 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.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: In "Fancy Footwork", Marina is initially bottomless when she wakes up and discovers that she now has legs. While she is only seen from the waist up when she falls out of bed and she stands behind a large clamshell before putting on a cloth as a makeshift skirt, a glimpse of her bare butt can be seen in a couple of frames when she first tries to get out of bed.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Magic Wand: Zig finds a wand that causes anything it touches to disappear and then reappear inside a top hat.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Bernie. Not helped by the fact that he has puppy dog eyes 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.
  • 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 emerges to challenge him, but they all end up as Bandage Mummies in the end.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 the daughter of King Neptune (it is not totally confirmed and he can just be a family member like her uncle or grandpa, though).
    • The King of the Sea himself is another big one. In the first season, he appears to be a very vain, muscled and narcissist 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 of the Sea, he is the protective father of Marina and he is represented as a 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.
  • 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.
  • 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").
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Unknown Rival: Marina doesn't know that Zig wants to eat her.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 

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