Animalia (TV series)

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Animalia
Animalia-0.jpg
Created by Graeme Base (book)
Developed by Graeme Base
Tom Ruegger
Jim Eldridge
Doug MacLeod
Robyn Base
Bruce D. Johnson
Written by Sherri Stoner
John P. McCann
Deanna Oliver
Tom Ruegger
Nicholas Hollander
Mark Seidenberg
John K. Ludin
John Loy
Directed by David Scott
Voices of Brooke Mikey Anderson
Katie Leigh
R. Martin Klein
Kate Higgins
Dean O'Gorman
Chris Hobbs
Peta Johnson
Theme music composer Graeme Base
Yuri Worontschak
Composer(s) Christopher Elves
Country of origin Australia
United Kingdom
Canada
United States
Original language(s) English
No. of episodes 40 (2 seasons [20 episodes each]) (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Graeme Base
Tom Ruegger
Ewan Burnett
Murray Pope
Bruce D. Johnson
Producer(s) Ewan Burnett
Murray Pope
Running time 23 minutes (on average)
Production company(s) PorchLight Entertainment
CBC Television
Network Ten
BBC One
Animalia Productions
iVL Animation
Blink Films
Distributor Cyber Group Studios
Broadcast
Original channel Network Ten
ABC3
PBS
Picture format NTSC (480i)
720p
1080i (HDTV)
Audio format Stereo
First shown in 2007 - 2008
Original run 11 November 2007 – 7 November 2008
External links
Website

Animalia is an Australian children's television series based on the 1986 picture book of the same name by illustrator Graeme Base in 2012 being distributed by Cyber Group Studios.

Development[edit]

The series was first conceived in 1999 when Australian producer Ewan Burnett met with Base, and obtained the rights to an adaptation of the best-selling book. In early 2002, Burnett finalised the funding arrangements with Australian and international broadcast partners and investors, but the project was delayed when the British government revised the United Kingdom's taxation laws so that projects claiming special tax status had to be delivered in the financial year they were claimed. After three years of re-financing, Animalia began production in 2005.[1]

The book on which the series was based is a picture book with each spread depicting an elaborate illustration in which every animal and object begins with a particular letter of the alphabet. As there was no coherent narrative or central characters, these were developed with the concept of a fantasy world where animals of all kinds intermingled and interacted becoming the central theme.

As the series was to be broadcast internationally, the alphabetical theme central to the book was dropped, as it was based on the English language alphabet, and would make no sense if the program was dubbed into another language.

Production[edit]

The series is computer-animated, and 40 half-hour episodes were produced by Animalia Productions, based at Village Roadshow Studios in Queensland, and Australian visual effects companies Photon VFX, and Iloura Digital Pictures.[2]

Plot[edit]

Animalia tells the story of two human children, Alex and his friend Zoe, who stumble into the magical library which transports them to the animal-inhabited world of Animalia. Strange events have undermined the Animalian civilization, and Alex and Zoe join forces with their new friends G'Bubu the gorilla and Iggy the iguana to save Animalia from evil and comical villains.[3]

Episodes[edit]

Two series, each consisting of 20 episodes, have been made, and were first broadcast in 2007–2008.

Season 1[edit]

  1. "Hello, We Must Be Going"
  2. "Goodbye, We Must Be Staying"
  3. "The Mist of Time"
  4. "Catcher In The Rhyme"
  5. "Forget Me Not"
  6. "Long Story Short"
  7. "Righting The Writing"
  8. "Butterfly Winter"
  9. "Speechless In Animalia"
  10. "Don Iguana"
  11. "Over & Beyond"
  12. "Being Peter Applebottom"
  13. "Animalia's Talent -O-Topia"
  14. "Brain Drain"
  15. "Save Our Swamp"
  16. "Tunnel Vision"
  17. "Iggy's Quest"
  18. "What's the Good Word?"
  19. "Alex's Secret Code"
  20. "Whistling in the Dark"

Season 2[edit]

  1. "The Call to Action"
  2. "The World According to Iggy"
  3. "Nothing But the Truth"
  4. "The Dream Weavers"
  5. "Getting Over the Glums"
  6. "Tunnel King"
  7. "The Day Zoe Listened"
  8. "Alex's Treasure Island"
  9. "Taking a Guilt Trip"
  10. "The Animal Within"
  11. "The Mystery of the Missing Melba"
  12. "Scary Story Go Round"
  13. "The Ballad of the Creeper"
  14. "From 'A' to 'Z'"
  15. "The Dragon and the Night"
  16. "Tomorrow"
  17. "Guardians of the Core"
  18. "Paradise Found"
  19. "Back to the Present"
  20. "What the World Needs Now"

Characters[edit]

Humans[edit]

Alex (Brooke Mikey Anderson) – Alex is a natural artist and is hardly ever seen without a sketchbook and pencil. He keeps a cool level head and is rather enthusiastic with a sense of adventure; he's also athletic and can jump very well. His ability to see forgotten portals that can transport anyone anywhere in Animalia is what makes him special. He is seen to be the only character to have a birthday, as seen in "The Mystery of the Missing Melba". In "Tunnel Vision", he helped a weasel out of the tunnels named the Creeper, but didn't know he was a villain. He and The Creeper are the only characters that can see through tunnels, but in "Taking a Guilt Trip", The Creeper said he couldn't see the portal the kids used to escape from the giant frogs, so this means Alex had developed better Tunnel Vision.

Zoe (Katie Leigh) – A sassy and smart-mouthed Hispanic girl, Zoe met Alex by accident where she followed him to the world of Animalia. Despite a few grudges, she manages to find a friend in Alex, who she refers to as "Sketch Boy". She is high-spirited, plucky and can be a schemer when she needs to be, although she can be a bit arrogant at times. She is also careless in her actions, as in "What's The Good Word?", she incited Tyrannicus' wrath. She is a very good story teller, as evidenced in "Over and Beyond". Between herself and Alex, she wants to get back to the human world, either through purpose or guilt. In "The Day Zoe Listened", she learned to nature speak, but throughout the series, she's the only one who does. In "What The World Needs Now",she managed to summon butterflies to revive Livingston.

Stanely (Chris Hobbs) – Stanely is the Librarian of the Metro Library. He made his appearances in "Hello, We must be Going", "Whistling in the Dark", "Paradise Found", "Back to the Present" and "What the World Needs Now". He is like Livingstone's human counterpart.

Emma (Voiceover) – Emma is Zoe's friend. Although she's not shown on-screen, she is heard in Zoe's PDA when she's calling her. Emma is heard in "Goodbye, We Must Be Staying" and "Back to the Present". She often doesn't believe Zoe that Animalia exists.

Animalians[edit]

Note: In a nod to the book, the names of all the Animalians begin with the first letter of their species name.

G'Bubu (Chris Hobbs) – G'Bubu is a large, green American gorilla who lives in his tree house home with his best friend Iggy. Still a teenager himself, G'Bubu is fun-loving and enjoys monkeying around. Despite this, he still has a sense of acumen, be it about Animalia or his family tree. He was shown to have a fear of frogs in "The Mists of Time", but conquered it when Alex, Zoe and Iggy were eaten by giant frogs (saying that "sometimes, you can't let the fear get in the way of what you've got to do!"). In "The Ballad of the Creeper", it is revealed that gorillas are unaffected by the core spore of Deep Thoughts and he's a gorilla.

Iggy (R. Martin Klein) – Iggy D'Iguana is a Castilian iguana with a slightly excitable personality. He thinks himself to be bigger than anyone else, but always gets ahead of himself. He and G'Bubu were the first to befriend Alex and Zoe when they first arrived and are always on hand to help their new friends with any problem. He also has romantic feelings for Zoe. Later in the series, his voice has been changed. Iggy finally knew that he's a clueless loser in "The World According to Iggy", but he finally had a chance to show his worthy by saving Echo. In "Don Iguana", he tries to prove his bravery to Zoe by disguising himself as Don Iguana, D'Avenger of Animalia. Don Iguana reappeared in "Paradise Found". In "Iggy's Quest", it is revealed he is part chameleon. He can camouflage and change the color of his body.

Livingstone T. Lion (Chris Hobbs) – Livingstone T. Lion is the youthful leader of Animalia and the Keeper of the Core. He is one of the main protagonists of the TV series. He has a vast knowledge of the Core itself and just about everything and everyone in Animalia. He can be gentle, helpful and is always up for a game, but sometimes he is rather self-deprecating, wondering whether he can manage to bring Animalia back on track with its unstable Core. In "Brain Drain", it is revealed whether he's smart or not, he's afraid of swamp water. Livingstone appeared in "Back to the Present", but only said a few words in the end. He was brought back in Animalia by G'Bubu and Iggy in "What the World Needs Now".

Reenie (Peta Johnson) – Reenie Rhino is a Scottish Black Rhino. She works at Animalia's Great Library and helps Livingstone with keeping the Core stable whenever something goes wrong. Almost as smart as Livingstone and just as friendly, Reenie has a big heart with room for everyone, but also claims to have a "love friend" named Rumble. In "The Call to Action", she took control in the Library while Livingstone is gone.

Allegra (Kate Higgins) – A teenage alligator who lives in the swamps, Allegra is a self-loving and snappy creature who is very protective of her land. Sometimes, she is a villainess of the TV show. She dreams of being a singer, but the others find that unlikely due to her terrible voice, except for her two gal pals, Bitzy and Snitzy, who constantly follow Allegra and admire her thoughts. Her singing improved when Zoe taught her in "Animalia's Talent-o-Topia" and she's been better ever since. Her catch phrase is "bang-a-lang!", which she utters at some point in almost every episode.

Tyrannicus (Dean O'Gorman) – A sly smooth-talking tiger who serves as the main antagonist, Tyrannicus feels he should be ruler of Animalia rather than Livingstone. He finds ways of getting ahead by the use of various get-rich-quick schemes. He despises Alex and Zoe, who he refers to as "stink bugs" and especially wants to get rid of them. He is known also trying to get G'Bubu and Iggy out of Animalia. He is assisted by Fuchsia the fox. Later in the series, he formed an short-lived alliance with the Creeper. "Ah, my public; they love me!" Later in the series, he reunited with his assistant, Fuchsia (right after his ex-assistant The Creeper was arrested and jailed). He also has four stray dogs as his minions.

Fuchsia (Katie Leigh) – Fuchsia is a French Red fox and Tyrannicus's assistant; always sent to help him arrange or develop plans, she is very intelligent. She serves as a secondary antagonist in the TV series. Fuchsia is often reluctant to help Tyrannicus carry out his plans. In the episode "Whistling in the Dark" when she discovered that her boss and the Creeper are working together, she abandoned Tyrannicus and worked briefly as a double agent to pass on the Creeper's plans to Livingstone. She was reunited with her boss, thus The Creeper was sent away to the Wind of No Return. In "The Call To Action", however, she was found out, and she might have been replaced by the Creeper, since he escaped from jail. It was revealed in the episode "Taking the Guilt Trip" that Fuchsia has a crush on Tyrannicus. Fuchsia only a main character in "Whistling in the Dark", "The Call to Action", "Taking a Guilt Trip" and "What the World Needs Now". She respects her boss, even though she often seems amused by Tyrannicus' actions, she also gets slightly annoyed at him. "Sorry Tyrannicus, but there's nothing illegal about eating bananas."

Elni & Erno (Peta Johnson & Chris Hobbs) – The two friendly Australian elephants who run the Elephants Eatery, the local restaurant for all Animalians. Elni's warm personality makes her lovable by all, while Erno's cooking is something worth trying, despite his tendency to panic. Later in the series, Elni gives birth for a baby girl called Echo. They were shown as main characters in "The World According to Iggy".

Harry & Horble (Dean O'Gorman and R. Martin Klein) – Harry and Horble (known as the "Horrible Hogs") are Cockney Warthogs who are a little crass at times. They are a duo of criminals. They are mostly seen riding on their large motorcycles, specially equipped with loud speakers that play music (usually Wagner) wherever they go. Most of the time, they normally did deeds or followed orders for either Allegra or Tyrannicus. Sometimes, they were arrested and jailed. They were main characters in "The Animal Within" and "Tomorrow."

Melba and Melford (Kate Higgins and Chris Hobbs) – Melba and Melford Mouse are the main news reporters on Animalia News, broadcasting all of the current news and happenings on Fluttervision. Melba is more level-headed and calm, whereas Melford is slightly more neurotic and rather slow thinking. Melba is seen as a main character in "The Mystery of the Missing Melba". Melford is shown as a main character in "The Dragon in the Night". They're both main characters in "Scary Story-Go-Round".

Zee & Zed (Peta Johnson and R. Martin Klein) – Zee and Zed are Texan Zebras who ride in their large zeppelin-like balloon, giving the low-down on Animalia from a bird's eye view. While Zed has a level head on his shoulders, Zee is very excitable and sometimes can't stop herself talking excitedly. They were main characters in "From A to Z".

Bitsy and Snitzy (Peta Johnson and Katie Leigh) – Bitzy and Snitzy are Allegra's two female friends who do whatever she says. In "The Call to Action", Snitzy found the Superspore, but didn't know what it was. In "Paradise Found", she left it after Bitzy rejects to have it. They're the only ones who respect Allegra's singing before Zoe taught her how. They're main characters in "From A to Z".

Victor and Verbal (R. Martin Klein) – Introduced in "Getting Over the Glums", they are a Vulture Comedy Double Act: Victor, a Jewish sounding comedian, and his wise-cracking partner, Verbal, who acts as his ventriloquist dummy for the bit. They're hugely popular not for the fact that they're vegetarians, unlike normal vultures, but for the fact that their years of hilarious stand-ups have made them an unforgettable duo.

Rombolt (R. Martin Klein) – Rombolt is a black rhino and the head boss of the Fluttervision Office. Rombolt made his first appearance in "Tunnel Vision". Later in the series, he finally exposed his feelings to love Reenie in "Tomorrow". He joined Reenie in the library in "The Guardians of the Core." Rombolt is known for saying his catchphrase, "Charge!" several times.

The Toucans (Peta Johnson, R. Martin Klein) – A colorful band of birds who, whenever they talk, speak only one word in every sentence (the reason behind this is never revealed or discussed). Sometimes they get the words mixed up and confuse their sentences, sometimes having disastrous results; this was especially evident in "Long Story Short". They were also shown as main characters in "Tomorrow".

Butterflies – In the world of Animalia, rather than television sets, the residents watch Fluttervision. Large beautiful butterflies fly from home to home and arrange themselves as a large screen where the Animalians can watch the latest happenings from the Animalian news. They only do this for a short time as they do get worn out if watched for too long. They were seized by Tyrannicus Tiger in the episode "Butterfly Winter". One butterfly stayed with Dagmont in "The Dragon and the Night," just to be a night light for him.

The Creeper (Joey Lotsko) – An antagonist who was once part of the Community Team until he was banished for using the secret portals to steal from the Animalians' homes. During the series' run, the form of the Creeper turns out to be a long-tailed weasel, who ended up lost in his own portals. Alex comes across him one day and, masquerading as "TC", the Creeper is freed without Alex realizing who he is. Now, the Creeper plans to overthrow Animalia by taking control over the Core. The Creeper is a main character in all of his appearances, except "Iggy's Quest" because he only appeared in Iggy's nightmare. At the end of the series, he is defeated when Livingstone touches the Core, which the Creeper was still inside of, causing him to be shot out like a Core-spore, into the Wind of No Return. He was an assoiciate of Tyrannicus (who often refers to him as Wheez) early in the series.

Peter Applebottom – (Chris Hobbs) Peter Applebottom is a mad gorilla scientist. He is mentioned in "Righting the Writing" by G'Bubu. He made his first appearance is "Being Peter Applebottom". Unfortunately for G'Bubu, Applebottom is from the past, and because G'Bubu got hit on the head by a bongo berry nut, he was brainwashed into thinking he's Peter Applebottom (through "Bongobeania", an amnesia-like condition in which not only do you forget who you are, you think you are someone else) so it's true that it's his first appearance. He reappeared in "The Ballad of the Creeper", but he was only in a Fluttervision screen showing the Creeper how he can corrupt a core spore. G'Bubu being Peter Applebottom reappeared in "What the World Needs Now".

Dagmont Dragon (R. Martin Klein) – a protagonist who first appears in the episode "Over and Beyond" who captured Zee and Zed Zebra. Later in the series, he has a son who is also an antagonist like his dad. His son's name is Dimitri, although he appears infrequently. He was a protagonist in "Dream Weavers" and was again an antagonist in "The Dragon in the Night" where it is revealed he's afraid of the dark, so he's rewarded a butterfly by Livingstone to be his night light.

Carmine Chameleon (Joey Lotsko) – Iggy's grandfather. He first appeared in "Iggy's Quest" and told his grandson that he, like Iggy, is part chameleon. Later in the series, he often encourages his grandson and tells him to never give up.

Echo Elephant (Katie Leigh) – Echo is Elni and Erno's daughter. She was first seen in "Whistling in the Dark" and shown as a main character in "The World According to Iggy". Later in series, she is shown with her parents, and is seen as a Jungle Scout with G'Bubu, Iggy and the Blue-cap Mice.

Whim Unicorn – (Peta Johnson) Whim is a unicorn in Over and Beyond. She made her first appearance in "Over and Beyond". When Zoe and Iggy touched her horn, they got transferred back to Animalia, which she didn't know. She made her final appearance in "Alex's Treasure Island" where she's a main character, but not quite much.

Hope & Harmony Hogs – (Peta Johnson) Hope and Harmony are Cockney Warthogs. They are the love interests of Harry & Horble Hogs.

Blue Cap Mice – These little mice are only helpless little blue mice wearing blue coconuts on their heads. They made their first appearance in "Scary Story-Go-Round". They were chased out from the jungle by Harry and Horble so Tyrannicus can build his theme park. Later in the series, they found the Super Spore after Bitzy and Snitzy left it.

Core spore types[edit]

There are many different types of Corespore, each causing different adverse effects on the Animalians when they blast off from the Core. Here are a few of them:

  • Memory spore: This makes all Animalians lose their memories. Seen in Forget Me Not. Symbolised by a compass.
  • Rhyme spore: This makes all Animalians have to speak in rhyme. Seen in Catcher in the Rhyme. Symbolised by a ring.
  • Time spore: Causes time to either loop or stop. Seen in The Mist of Time. Symbolised by a pocket watch. A recurring gag in that episode is the sweet aroma in the past.
  • Nature spore: Symbolised by a shell.
  • Co-operation spore: Causes Animalians to become uncooperative towards one another. Symbolised by gears.
  • Generosity spore: Seen in Alex's Treasure Island. Symbolised by a rainbow. The only Corespore that wasn't figured out until the very end (as generosity is the opposite of greed).
  • Portal spore: A spore lost long ago that lets all Animalians see the portals.
  • The word corespore: This makes all Animalian forget words. It appears in From A-Z.
  • Origin Core Spore: This gives all Animalians the ability to talk all animal languages. Appears in Alex's Secret Code. Symbolised by a chain.
  • Stability spore: This causes earthquakes. Appears in Being Peter Applebottom. Symbolised by measuring scales.
  • Intelligence spore: This causes Livingston's and Allegra's intelligence to switch. Appears in Brain Drain.
  • Peace Spore: Causes turmoil among all Animalians. Appears in What's the Good Word? Though a pen was to be found in it, the spore is actually symbolised by the letter Zoe wrote it with.
  • Speech Spore: Causes Animalians to lose speech. Appears in Speechless in Animalia symbolised by a mouth that can cause pairs of characters to speak in each other's voices.
  • Superspore (AKA the corespore of miracles): A brown core spore that can heal the core.

Broadcast details[edit]

The series began running on U.S. cable channel Animania HD on 2 November 2007.;[4] in Australia on Network Ten at noon on Sundays beginning on 11 November 2007 also on Nickelodeon since the start of May 2008; and in the United Kingdom on CBBC on BBC One on 19 November 2007. The series also aired on PBS in the United States on 5 January 2008. As of 3 November 2008, the show is also running on NRK in Norway. In Latinoamerica, the series began running on Animal Planet and later in Venezuela on Tves [1]. In India, the shows is broadcast on Cartoon Network India

The other broadcast partners and investors in the series have not yet announced their broadcast schedules. The international networks involved in the production are: the BBC in the United Kingdom and CBC in Canada. The series will also be broadcast by SABC 2 in South Africa,[5] Al Jazeera and in Israel.[1]

DVD releases[edit]

  • On 30 June 2008, the first seven episodes of the series were released on DVD in the UK, entitled Animalia: Where Animals Rule!.
  • Four episodes from season one were released in the US by PorchLight Home Entertainment on 23 September 2008.[6]
  • On 8 September 2009, the first season was released on DVD by Imavision in Canada.[7]

Other Merchandise[edit]

  • In 2008, BBC Children's Books and the Penguin Group published four books by Mandy Archer based on the series: the Animalia Colouring Book, the Animalia Sticker Activity Book, plus two storybooks, Animalia: Hello, we must be going and Animalia: Goodbye, we must be staying which were based upon the first and second episodes of the same name and adapted from the scripts by Tom Ruegger. All four books have text and design by Children's Character Books and all but the colouring book are heavily illustrated with colour screenshots from the series.

Critical reaction[edit]

A New York Times reviewer commented that the phrase "'based on the book by' may never have been stretched so far" in the creation of this TV series, while characterizing it as "weird" and "intermittently interesting."[8]

Awards[edit]

In 2008 Animalia was nominated for BAFTA Children's Kids Vote Award. (BAFTA Children's Kids Vote 2008 nominees)

In 2009, composer Christopher Elves won a Daytime Emmy award for Outstanding Achievement in Music Direction and Composition for his work on Animalia's musical score.[9]

APRA-AGSC Awards[edit]

The annual Screen Music Awards are presented by Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) and Australian Guild of Screen Composers (AGSC).

  • 2008 Best Music for Children's Television win for Animalia – "Butterfly Winter" composed by Christopher Elves.[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Kalina, Paul: Series that (almost) never was, The Age, 8 November 2007
  2. ^ Animalia Animation Series To Be Made, Photon VFX, 2 October 2006
  3. ^ Animalia prepares to launch on-air on Ten, Digital Media World.
  4. ^ Ball, Ryan: Animania HD Acquires Three Toons, Animation Magazine, 22 October 2007
  5. ^ TVSA Mini-Site
  6. ^ Lambert, David. "Animalia DVD news: Press Release". PorchLight Home Entertainment. Retrieved 7 June 2013. 
  7. ^ http://www.amazon.ca/dp/B002GJBRXC/
  8. ^ NY Times staff (4 January 2008). "Boy and Girl Meet Beasts, Armadillo to Zany Zebra". New York Times. Retrieved 7 June 2013. 
  9. ^ Hurst, Brian: Qld composer hits the big time with Animalia score, Brisbane Times, 30 August 2009.
  10. ^ "2008 Winners – Screen Music Awards". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Retrieved 29 April 2010. 

External links[edit]