Life's a Zoo

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Life's a Zoo
Lifes a Zoo TV Logo.png
Life's a Zoo.tv Logo
Format Cartoon series
Created by Andrew Horne II
Written by Andrew Horne II
Kurt Firla
Ron Sparks
Teresa Pavlinek
Ralph Chapman
Sarah Glinski
Starring Kurt Firla
Stephanie Jung
Stephen Kishewitsch
Joseph Motiki
Bridget Ogundipe
Mike Rowland
Francisco Trujillo
Michael Lamport
Country of origin Canada
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 20
Production
Executive producer(s) Adam Shaheen
Producer(s) Morghan Fortier
Running time 20 minutes
Broadcast
Original channel Teletoon
Original run September 1, 2008 – November 21, 2008
External links
Website

Life's a Zoo is a Canadian stop motion sitcom created by Adam Shaheen and Andrew Horne II. It is directed by Alexander Gorelick. A co-production of Cuppa Coffee Studios and Teletoon, "Life's a Zoo.tv" was named Best Animated Program or Series at the 24th Annual Gemini Awards.[citation needed] It premiered on September 1, 2008 on Teletoon's late night programming block, "Teletoon At Night". It premiered on Smosh's Cartoon YouTube channel, Shut Up! Cartoons on June 23, 2013.

Premise[edit]

The show is a parody of the reality TV series Big Brother, with a similar plot. The seven very different contestants share a mansion "Somewhere in Saskatchewan..." where they compete in challenges to avoid extinction (the show's version of disqualification), supervised by the show's host, Claude the vulture in the first season, and later Bobbie the seal in the second. Despite being eliminated, characters always come back the next episode, as Life's a Zoo does not use continuity, although this changes in the second season. Additionally, each episode features a specially edited music video from a different artist. The show won Best Animated Series at the Canadian Gemini Awards in 2009.[citation needed]

Main characters[edit]

  • Ray (Mike Rowland) - A spastic orangutan who often commits acts of random stupidity. He is shown to be loud-mouthed and has bloodshot eyes. He is a stoner, evidenced by the fact that he owns a bong. He claims that his parents went out partying a lot when he was a child, which made him very lonely. He also once ate an action figure, which never came out. He ate several more in an attempt to rescue it, and had to be hospitalized. The action figure eventually did come out after Ray was force-fed coffee. He was the fifth one eliminated in the second season. He bet on Jake after he was eliminated, and used the money he won to rebuild the mansion after Jake blew it up, therefore feeling entitled to own it too.
  • Jake Oswalt (Kurt Firla) - A Canadian pig who constantly attempts schemes, believing himself to be a genius when it comes to reality show strategy. He joined Life's a Zoo by accidentally walking into the audition trailer thinking it was a sperm bank. In the episode "Welcome to the Jungle", it is implied that he still lives with his mother. In the episode "Scared Shirtless", it was also implied that he was bullied severely as a child. He has been shown to be egotistical and devious. He lusts after Minou, and constantly spies on her when she is showering. He also believes that she lusts after him just as much, and that they will have sex before the season ends, despite her disgust with him. He was the first one to be eliminated in the first season. In the second season, he began to lust after Bobbie. He was the sixth one eliminated in the second season, but won the house when Chi-Chi forfeited it. Unfortunately, he had rigged the house to explode when she won and couldn't prevent it from happening. He now works as Ray's servant in the rebuilt mansion.
  • Morreski (Stephen Kishewitsch) - An alcoholic Russian Brown bear who wears a fez. He is always holding or at least near a bottle of vodka. He has a thick Russian accent. He is heard talking about his homeland many times over the series, and mentioning his wife, who is presumably very manly for a woman. He is also very protective of his mother, as shown in two instances when he swears and beats up Dr. D for saying something about her. Even though he is very laid back and drunk, he is wise and has strength. In the second season, he was the third one eliminated. He made a special appearance in the next episode to marry Jake and Ray and also appeared in the final episode. He escaped the mansion before it exploded, but what happened to him next is unknown.
  • Dr. D (Joseph Motiki) - A rapping penguin who wears a lot of bling and has a no nonsense attitude. He usually gives his opinion without caring about the consequences. He also wears a cap and sunglasses. In the second season, it is revealed that he is actually just a poser, his real name is Dewey Dewson, and he worked at a shoe store for seven years, being named employee of the month for the better part of. He was the second one eliminated in the second season. After being found out he went back to being Dewson, but tends to slip into his Dr. D persona when angry. What happened to him after he escaped the mansion explosion is unknown.
  • Rico (Francisco Trujillo) - A homosexual American crocodile with a Latino swish. It is revealed in the episode "Truth or Consequences" that the producers actually asked him to play up his homosexual lifestyle, including his Latino accent, since they wanted him to be more camp and he has since grown used to and embraced as part of himself. When he was young, his father tricked him into believing it was okay for him to come out, an action which resulted in his father throwing a fit and beating him. His father is still disappointed in him, as revealed in the episode "Truth or Consequences" when he attempts to appear silhouette/anonymous during a live interview, though mishaps off-stage cause him to be bumped into the light for all to see. He once "experimented" with being married to women, however, it didn't work out. He was the fourth one eliminated in both the first and second season. What happened to him after he escaped the mansion explosion is unknown.
  • Minou (Bridget Ogundipe)- A Jamaican Black panther with a different hairstyle every episode (revealed in the episode "Self Helpless" to actually be from a collection of wigs). She is greedy and snotty, believing everyone else is beneath her, but the men are attracted to her nonetheless. She is revealed to be bulimic, once commenting that it's a great way to keep her tummy flat, and that bulimia came from sex. In the episode "Ray Against The Machine", it is revealed that she would have won the mansion before the original episode script was destroyed, despite the fact that she was eliminated in the episode "Live and Let Diet". She was the first one eliminated in the second season; she jumped out of a plane without a parachute in the first episode of season two, thinking it was just a "bravery test". She showed up later in the episode in a body cast only to be shoved out the front door. She appeared in the season finale, still in the body cast, and later escaped the mansion with the other characters. What happened to her after is unknown.
  • Chi-Chi (Stephanie Jung) - An overweight panda from China. She teaches the fifth grade. She was sick in the first episode, but is now merely gluttonous. She is goodhearted, but usually shunned. Since she was two years old, her mother made her play an erhu all the time, saying it was better for her than being out and making friends. Her mother is deceased. She was the second one eliminated in the first season, in the episode "It's Not Easy Being Chi", however she bought her way back in. It is implied she may love Dr. D. In season one, she has slept with all of the male cast except for Jake and Claude. In the second season, she made it all the way to the final episode before being drugged comatose and losing her memory. Bobbie made her watch the entirety of the first season to refresh her memory while the other disqualified characters voted on whether she or Jake should win the mansion. She won the house, but turned it down because she was ashamed and disgusted with what the show had made her into. What happened to her after the destruction of the mansion is unknown, but it is suggested she went back to her home in China to get in touch with the "real her".
  • Claude (Michael Lamport) - A vulture who hosts the "show within a show". He often makes witty comments on the plot before and after every commercial break, as well as refereeing all the challenges. He is shown to be usually reading, or commenting how he wants to get a better gig.
  • Bobbie (Stacey Depass)- The seal hostess of the second season, replacing Claude. Despite her sweet demeanour, she is much tougher than Claude, and far more determined to find a winner for the show. In the episode "Truth or Consequences" it is revealed that she is in her fifties, has had plastic surgery, and has been married and divorced several times. It is unknown if she escaped with the other characters or died in the explosion.

Episodes[edit]

Title Original air date Synopsis
Welcome to the Jungle September 1, 2008 The cast is introduced to their new home and get to know one another. Jake is immediately alienated by the group when he's locked out of the house and his attempts to break in create the primary plot. This episode's featured music video was "Made of Stone" by Spiral Beach.
You Snooze, You Lose It September 5, 2008 After succeeding in an event to stay awake longer than his house mates, Jake is awarded a papaya as a prize. As a result of sleep deprivation, Jake perceives the papaya as a trophy and locks himself in his room, leaving only to assert dominance over his opponents by playing pranks on them. Ray tricks Jake into thinking the papaya is alive by providing a voice for it and his obsession with it escalates to infatuation as a result. This episode's featured music video was "Young Leaves" by Attack in Black.
Rayland September 8, 2008 Fed up with the social hierarchy of the house, Ray stages a coup and asserts himself as a dictatorial leader. This episode's featured music video was "Spinning in My Grave" by The Beautiful Unknown.
It's Not Easy Being Chi September 19, 2008 Chi Chi becomes a flash in the pan celebrity after earning an immunity. Her house mates attempt to leech off of her fame. Both she and Ray make a pornographic film, Rico becomes her business manager, Dr. D becomes her bodyguard, Minou becomes her wardrobe advisor, and Jake sells items she has touched online. The episode's featured music video was "Mr. Therapy Man" by Justin Nozuka.
Live and Let Diet September 26, 2008 Following a week of binge eating, the cast is forced into a weight loss competition. Minou develops a binge eating disorder and Jake becomes hideously disfigured after having Ray and Morreski perform lipo suction on him. He wins the competition as a consequence, and Minou is extinguished for actually gaining weight. This episode's featured music video was "The Skinny" by The Tin Bangs.
Dr D Plays House October 3, 2008 The cast engages in a musical competition. Dr. D thinks he has it locked up and turns down a lucrative offer from a record label outside the mansion, only to be smacked down in a rap battle by Chi Chi. This episode's featured music video "Won More Time" by God Made Me Funky.
Teddy Bear's Picnic October 10, 2008 After Morreski earns a coupon for a free picnic, the cast's refrigerator becomes mysteriously sealed, forcing them to fight for Morreski's prize. The rightful owner of the coupon is finally decided with a To Tell the Truth style game show; "Morreski or No Morreski". This episode's featured music video was "Show Me" by Ripped.
Big Brother, Where Art Thou October 17, 2008 After being discretely drugged, the cast members wake to find themselves isolated in a large, white maze. As they attempt to find an exit, Chi Chi, who has been left in the mansion, assumes that her competitors have been extinguished and insinuates herself as the victor. This episode's featured music video was "Midnight Love" by Jason Kent.
Scared Shirtless October 24, 2008 The cast members struggle to stay alive while being pursued by a psychopathic killer, as well as find his fortune somewhere in the house. This episode's featured music video was "First Date" by Danko Jones.
Self Helpless October 31, 2008 The cast is abruptly deprived of their various addictive vices and forced to cope without, at the risk of being extinguished. Ray, deprived of video games, watches TV instead and converts to Christianity after obsessively watching a televangelist. Jake assumes ownership of his housemates' addicting items (while still abstaining from his own) and eventually hospitalises himself (momentarily causing the other contestants to believe he was dead), as a result of overindulgence. This episode's featured music video was "How Did You Get This Way?" by Trophy Band.
Acts of Random Niceness November 7, 2008 The entire cast attempts to refrain from directing anger at one another, with the winner being promised their weight in gold. Rico fattens himself up to warrant a larger prize (causing Morreski to come onto him, thinking that he is a woman after he starts to wear a mumu dress) and Jake takes advantage of the terms of the challenge by making repeated romantic passes on Minou, without the fear of any legitimate consequences. This episode's featured music video was "Roller Coaster" by Major Maker.
2D or not 2D November 14, 2008 Claude spends most of the show's budget on a flashy ad campaign, resulting in the show having to cut budgets, including redesigning it to a cheaper 2D format. Ray enjoys how he can hurt himself all he wants, Minou erases some of her torso to slim down, and Chi Chi gorges herself on living food. This episode's featured music video was "Sinners of St. Avenue" by SLAVE to the SQUAREwave.
Ray Against the Machine November 21, 2008 After discovering a secret surveillance room in the mansion, Ray uncovers a collection of scripts and storyboards, suggesting that the show is, in fact, scripted. The cast then plans an elaborate retaliation plot, only to fight over how each of them want to end the show.

Shut Up! Cartoons[edit]

The rights to the series were bought by Smosh to be aired on their Shut Up! Cartoons YouTube channel. Most of the show remains the same with the exception of the inclusion of Shut Up! Cartoons intros and outros and notably more censorship of profanity, drug references, and sexual content.[citation needed]

External links[edit]