Animal Crackers (TV series)

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Animal Crackers
Genre Animated series
Directed by Nadja Cozic
Louis Piche
Pascal Pinon
Voices of Mark Camacho
Teddy Lee Dillon
Kate Hutchison
Marc Montgomery
Terrence Scammell
Dawn Ford
Composer(s) Jeff Fisher
Country of origin Canada
France
Original language(s) English
Production
Executive producer(s) Micheline Charest
Christian Davin
Ronald A. Weinberg
Producer(s) Cassandra Schafhausen
Running time 30 min.
Broadcast
Original channel Teletoon (Canada)
Fox Family (U.S.)
This TV (Cookie Jar Toons)
Original run September 7, 1997 – September 12, 1999

The Animal Crackers is a 1997 French/Canadian animated television series produced by Cinar, and association with Alphanim, about a group of animals that live in a fictional jungle called Freeborn. It is based on the comic strip Animal Crackers. The show aired in the United States on Fox Family in 1998 and the Cookie Jar Toons block on This TV from November 2008 to August 2009.

Characters[edit]

Major characters[edit]

  • Lyle Lion: Passive, insecure, and a momma's boy, Lyle is not what one might call "King of the Jungle". He's more intent on talking philosophy and ordering a pizza (preferably vegetarian) than be the dominant predator. His number one goal in life is to date Lana, being very persistent about it despite the multiple failed attempts; outside of that, his other goal is to be an astronomer. From the show, it is believed that he is left-handed.
  • Dodo: He is the last remaining dodo alive, and is Lyle's best friend. Rash, impatient, and slightly self-centred, he is extremely hot-headed and refuses to believe that he lacks the ability to fly. This leads to multiple failed attempts to take flight, sometimes using some very innovative yet unusual techniques (all of which fail).
  • Eugene: Despite his size and nature, this pachyderm is really an "overgrown baby" who craves for attention. He is rather arrogant and obnoxious and is not afraid to bully others with his size and strength to get what he wants (including the entire watering hole all to himself). Some of his secret pleasures include inhaling loads of peanut butter and stomping petunias, but the sight of a tiny mouse will usually freak him out.
  • Gnu: For a "supposed" leader of a herd, Gnu lacks any leadership qualities; rather, his traits show the exact opposite of a leader: lazy, timid, no sense of direction. Despite his nature, Gnu does mean well and is very dedicated to his herd, even though his presence there will hinder rather than help. He is also a caring parent, as he is a single father who has one son that he loves very much.
  • Lana: She is smart, attractive, strong minded, and the object of Lyle's affection. Lana is quite caring towards her fellow inhabitants of Freeborn, and will put the group ahead of herself. She is also an avid book lover, often found with her nose in a novel. Despite showing little to no interest in Lyle's pursuits, it has been hinted that perhaps she does have a crush on him; but only Lana knows the answer to that question, and her lips are sealed.

Supporting characters[edit]

  • Tito the chameleon.
  • Lance: Another lion who competes with Lyle for Lana's attention
  • Louie: Lyle's nephew.
  • Bud and Edna: Two recurring human tourists.
  • Gnu's son and herd
  • Elmo the Crocodile
  • Lamont the Hippopotamus
  • Roxanne the Ostrich
  • Grandpa Tortoise and his grandchildren
  • Sergeant Rhino
  • Snake

Episode list[edit]

Season one[edit]

No. Cartoon 1 Cartoon 2 Airdate
1 High Gnu'n Eu-genial 7 September 1997
2 Dino-Sore-As-Heck Wilderness Training 101 14 September 1997
3 Treasure Of The Preserva Freeborna Call Waiting 21 September 1997
4 For Goodness Snakes Meat The Folks 28 September 1997
5 If You Can't Be'em, Join'em Spring Fever 3 October 1997
6 Pachyderm Epidemic Herd Mentality 10 October 1997
7 Going Quakers Blockbusted 17 October 1997
8 Pachy My Bags Mommy Dearest 24 October 1997
9 Sherlock Dodo Poultrygeist 7 November 1997
10 Lyle's Psychic Alliance Snowed Inn 14 November 1997
11 Svelte Veldt All The Preserve's A Stage 21 November 1997
12 It's A Date Bully For Woolly 28 November 1997
13 Lights, Camera, Lyle! Bud And Edna's Excellent Adventure! 3 December 1997

Season two[edit]

No. Cartoon 1 Cartoon 2 Airdate
14 Sleepover Classified Casanova 5 February 1998
15 Eight Hooves Out My Brother's Keeper 6 February 1998
16 Lyle's Ark How To Be A Millionaire 7 February 1998
17 Lyle Files The Butler Did It 8 February 1998
18 Lyle In The Fast Lane A Wing and A Prayer 9 February 1998
19 Schooldays Call Of The Wild 9 February 1998
20 The Cold Scholder The Last Dodo Egg 10 February 1998
21 Lana Tuner Overdrive Trust Me 11 February 1998
22 Birthday Palooza Tito In Love 12 February 1998
23 Downsizing Gnus In Canoes 13 February 1998
24 Beauty and Eugene Freeborn For Rent 14 February 1998
25 Horrorscope Lights! Camera! Gnu! 15 February 1998
26 Loony Bin That's What Friends Are For 16 February 1998

Season three[edit]

No. Cartoon 1 Cartoon 2 Airdate
27 Look Who's Not Talking Paris, Freeborn 17 February 1999
28 Eugenius Citizen Eugene 18 February 1999
29 Dial-A-Phobia Time Flies But Dodo Doesn't 19 February 1999
30 Rumor Of Her Own Prime Time Crime 20 February 1999
31 Dustbusters Freeborn Online 21 February 1999
32 Stop In The Name Of Lana Starstruck 5 September 1999
33 Volcano Madness Love Is Blind 6 September 1999
34 Wishing Well Eu've Got Mail 7 September 1999
35 Message In A Bottle Fame, Fortune, Madness 8 September 1999
36 Storyteller Animal Court 9 September 1999
37 Boo Fountain Of Youth 10 September 1999
38 Brand New Gnu Boyz Night Out 11 September 1999
39 Fool's Gold Near Myths 12 September 1999

Allusions[edit]

Animal Crackers is known to spoof many famous things, people, or events, sometimes having the characters actually act out certain sequences.

  • Once, Gnu's leadership of his herd was challenged, and the challenger demanded for a head-butting contest at High Noon.
  • Lyle, Dodo, and Tito once went treasure hunting, and Lyle was nearly ran over by a boulder similar to Indiana Jones.
  • After hitting his head, Dodo believes he can woo Lana. The costume he wears and the way he behaves at this time is similar to The Phantom of the Opera.
  • Gnu's leadership skills were questioned again from within, as two teenage gnus sought to replace him as leader. One candidate they interviewed was an ice carver making the Pietà statue, except the two characters in the statue were two gnus.
  • Throughout the entire series, Sergeant Rhino dresses and behaves like Douglas MacArthur.
  • Lamont the hippopotamus was experiencing an attack from gnats, causing him to itch unbearably. In his attempts to find comfort, he jumps and rolls all over the place, in which Gnu observed: "This must be one of your new Hippo-Hop things". This is a reference to Hip hop music and dances in general.
  • Lyle was missing from Freeborn and Dodo went to great lengths to find out what happened to him. The costume he wears and the way he behaves at this time is similar to Sherlock Holmes. It turns out that Lyle only went out for pizza without telling anyone!
  • A mysterious being appeared into Freeborn and began stealing things, causing everyone to declare a Poltergeist is at hand. When they were on the "witch hunt" to find out who the poltergeist was, their actions and behaviour were similar to the characters from The Crucible.
  • For Freeborn's anniversary, Lana proposes to do Romeo and Juliet in celebration with Lyle to play Romeo. Lana was Juliet until she encountered larynghitis, and Eugene was asked to take her place instead!
  • Both Lyle and Gnu have auditioned in Hollywood movies before. Some scenes they auditioned for include the "flying scene" from Titanic, the "White House destruction" scene from Independence Day, and the "stomped by a T Rex" scene from The Lost World: Jurassic Park.
  • Bud and Edna, the human toursists, were stranded in Freeborn and everyone secretly tried to help them leave. Fittingly, that episode is name Bud and Edna's Excellent Adventure, after Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure.
  • Lyle tried to save everyone from a monsoon by building an ark, similar to Noah's Ark.
  • A firefly crossing the lens of Lyle's telescope caused a widespread panic that Freebron was invaded by aliens. Lyle and Lana dressed up as Mulder and Scully from The X Files to investigate. Meanwhile, Tito found an actual alien baby and sought to bring it back to its parents. He borrowed Dodo's new invention, a flying bicycle and pedalled across the sky with his silhouette across the moon to chase down the flying saucer, a homage to E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. Independence Day is spoofed again as after the baby was returned, the flying saucer shot out a beam of laser and cooked Tito to a crisp.
  • A female chameleon moved to Freeborn and Tito wanted to impress her. One of the dates they went on was to a dance, and Tito danced to Saturday Night Fever.
  • Eugene's girlfriend from Hollywood, Ella, once came to visit him. When she was to leave for Hollywood again, Eugene cried at the train station shouting "Ella! Ella!" like Stanley from A Streetcar Named Desire.
  • Louie, Lyle's nephew, wisecracks and comments on the actions of the adults in a way similar to Mikey from Look Who's Talking. Lyle's relationship to Louie is also similar to Uncle Buck's relationship to his nephew and nieces, an uncle who is generally not ready to tackle more "parental-like" duties.
  • Eugene was struck by lightning and turned into a genius. However, it also made Eugene magnetic, causing everyone's metal goods to stick onto him. When the gang used a kite with a metal key to attract another lightning bolt to strike Eugene to turn him back to normal, he was attempting to figure out the meaning of life. Also, the key tied to a kite technique is an experiment that Benjamin Franklin once tried to study electricity and lightning.
  • Dodo was the one who started the internet shopping craze in Freeborn, mirroring the popularity of E-Bay in real life. Likewise, Eugene was the first in Freeborn to receive a chain email.
  • One episode features the threat of a nearby volcano erupting, causing widespread panic and strange plans by Freeborn's inhabitants to prevent the eruption. This is similar to the situation in the movie Dante's Peak.
  • Once, Lyle was reading Louie a bedtime story, in which he ended up falling asleep and turning into that story's protagonist, Robin Hood.
  • When Lyle dropped Louie off at Dodo's place once, Dodo was doing some welding, with a flamed torch and a mask on, resembling Darth Vader. Dodo even said to Louie the now famous line in a low, machine-like voice: "Louie, I am your father!"
  • Two incidents involving Gnu being knocked out became spoofs of famous pop culture icons. The first time had Gnu waking up thinking he is Super Gnu, his son's favourte comic hero. This is a reference to most comic book superheroes, such as those from Marvel Comics or DC Comics. Another time had Gnu being hypnotized by Lyle to try to figure out what Gnu saw before fainting. Lyle told Gnu to think way back, in which Gnu replied: "Frankly my dear, I don't give a hoot!" When Gnu snapped out of hypnosis and asked Lyle what he found out, Lyle said: "You were Clark Gable in a former life."

Cast and crew[edit]

Cast[edit]

  • Mark Camacho - Lyle / Additional Voices
  • Teddy Lee Dillon - Dodo
  • Terrence Scammell - Eugene
  • Marc Montgomery - Gnu
  • Kate Hutchinson - Lana
  • Thor Bishopric - Additional Voices
  • Eramelinda Boquer - Additional Voices
  • Terence Bowman - Additional Voices
  • Richard R. Dagenais - Additional Voices
  • Ellen David - Additional Voices
  • Richard Dumont - Additional Voices
  • Dawn Ford - Roxanne the Ostrich
  • Craig Francis - Additional Voices
  • A.J. Henderson - Additional Voices
  • Rick Jones - Additional Voices
  • Roc LaFortune - Additional Voices
  • Bronwen Mantel - Additional Voices
  • George Morris - Additional Voices
  • James O'Regan - Additional Voices
  • Simon Peacock - Additional Voices
  • Jim Pidgeon - Additional Voices
  • Michael Rudder - Additional Voices
  • Mark Trafford - Additional Voices
  • Terry Simpson - Additional Voices
  • Rob Wreford - Additional Voices

Crew[edit]

  • Micheline Charest - Executive Producer
  • Ronald A. Weinberg - Executive Producer
  • Christian Davin - Co-Executive Producer
  • Cassandra Schafhausen - Producer
  • Nadja Cozic - Director
  • Louis Piche - Director
  • Pascal Pinon - Director
  • Katell Lardeux - Line Producer
  • Justine Hyun Van Phong - Line Producer
  • Lesley Taylor - Line Producer
  • Natalie Dumoulin - Associate Producer
  • Jan Van Rijsselberge - Animation Supervisor
  • Heidi Blomkvist - Timing Director
  • Sebastian Grunsta - Timing Director
  • Alan Jeffery - Timing Director
  • Jean Pilotte - Timing Director
  • Pascal Pinon - Co-director
  • Greg Bailey - Supervising Director
  • Andrew Gryn - Talent Coordinator
  • Eric Theriault - Background Design

Writing Credits[edit]

  • Roger Bollen - Comic strip
  • Joseph Mallozzi - Writer
  • Wayne Millett - Writer
  • Jennifer Kierans - Writer
  • Pierre Colin-Tiebert - Writer
  • Thomas LaPierre - Writer
  • Jacques Bouchard - Writer
  • Jacques Daviault - Writer
  • Patrick Granleese - Writer
  • Hugh Neilson - Writer
  • Maureen Neilson - Writer
  • Michael Palmeter - Writer
  • Gerard Lewis - Writer
  • John Handforth - Writer
  • Ken Ross - Writer
  • Amy Jo Cooper - Writer
  • Greg Van Riel - Writer
  • Kim Segal - Writer
  • Rick Jones - Writer
  • Natalie Dumoulin - Writer
  • Heidi Foss - Writer
  • Lynn Mason - Writer
  • Brian Cameron Fuld - Writer
  • Rowby Goren - Writer
  • David Acer - Writer
  • Michael Leo Donovan - Writer
  • Bryan Michael Stoller - Writer
  • Anne-Marie Perrotta - Writer
  • Daniel Baldassi - Writer
  • Michael F. Hamill - Writer
  • Barry Julian - Writer
  • Tean Schultz - Writer
  • Thor Bishopric - Writer
  • Todd Swift - Writer
  • Vigeland Rubin - Writer

External links[edit]