Animalia (TV series)

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Created byGraeme Base (book)
Based onAnimalia
by illustrator Graeme Base
Developed byGraeme Base
Tom Ruegger
Ewan Burnett
Doug MacLeod
Robyn Base
Bruce D. Johnson
Written bySherri Stoner
John P. McCann
Deanna Oliver
Tom Ruegger
Nicholas Hollander
Mark Seidenberg
John K. Ludin
John Loy
Directed byDavid Scott
Voices ofBrooke Anderson
Katie Leigh
Robert Mark Klein
Kate Higgins
Dean O'Gorman
Christopher Hobbs
Peta Johnson
Theme music composerGraeme Base
Yuri Worontschak
Composer(s)Christopher Elves
Country of originAustralia
United Kingdom
United States
Original language(s)English
No. of series1
No. of episodes13 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)Graeme Base
Tom Ruegger
Ewan Burnett
Murray Pope
Bruce D. Johnson
Producer(s)Ewan Burnett
Murray Pope
Editor(s)Tom Ruegger
Running time24 minutes
Production company(s)Burberry Productions
Animalia Productions
PorchLight Entertainment
Lux Animation
DistributorCyber Group Studios
Original networkNetwork Ten (Australia)
CBBC (United Kingdom)
PBS Kids GO! (United States)
Kids CBC (Canada)
Picture formatNTSC (480i)
1080i (HDTV)
Audio formatStereo
Original release11 November 2007 –
2 May 2008

Animalia is an animated children's television series based on the 1986 picture book of the same name by illustrator Graeme Base. The series premiered on Network Ten in Australia on 11 November 2007, airing one series before ending on 2 May 2008.


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.[1]



  • Alex (Brooke 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.
  • Zoe (Katie Leigh) – A sassy, smart-mouthed, and 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 a very good story teller, as evidenced in "Over and Beyond".
  • Stanley – Stanley is the Librarian of the Metro Library. He made his appearances in "Hello, We must be Going", "Goodbye, We Must Be Staying", 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". She often doesn't believe Zoe that Animalia exists.


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

  • G'Bubu (Christopher 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!").
  • Iggy (Robert Mark 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. In "Don Iguana", he tries to prove his bravery to Zoe by disguising himself as Don Iguana, D'Avenger of Animalia. He can camouflage and change the color of his body.
  • Livingstone T. Lion (Christopher 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.
  • 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.
  • Allegra (Kate Higgins) – A teenage Crocodile 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 "dang-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.
  • Fuchsia (Katie Leigh) – Fuchsia is a French Red Fox with pink fur 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. 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 & Christopher 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.
  • Herry & Horble (Dean O'Gorman and Robert Mark Klein) – Herry 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.
  • Melba & Melford – 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.
  • Zee & Zed (Peta Johnson and Robert Mark 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.
  • Bitsy & Snitzy – Bitzy and Snitzy are Allegra's two female friends who do whatever she says. They're the only ones who respect Allegra's singing before Zoe taught her how.
  • Victor & Verbal – Introduced in "Forget Me Not", 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 (Robert Mark Klein) – Rombolt is a Black Rhino and the head boss of the Fluttervision Office. Rombolt made his first appearance in "Animalia's Talent-O-Topia".
  • The Giraffe - A giraffe has appeared as a character in several episodes of Animalia. However the Giraffes appearances are all background and brief with no speaking lines at all, it is currently unknown what gender the Giraffe is.
  • The Toucans (Robert Mark 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".
  • 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".
  • Peter Applebottom (Christopher 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.
  • Dagmont Dragon – A protagonist who first appears in the episode "Over and Beyond" who captured Zee and Zed Zebra.
  • 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.


The series is computer-animated, and 13 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]


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.[3]

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 lose its meaning if the program were dubbed into other languages.


One series, consisting of 13 episodes, have been made, and were first broadcast in 11 November 2007 to 2 May 2008, UK in 19 November 2007 to 5 December 2007 and PBS Kids Go! on 5 January 2008 to 29 March 2008.

Season 1 (2007)[edit]

  1. "Hello, We Must Be Going" (11 November 2007)
  2. "Goodbye, We Must Be Staying" (18 November 2007)
  3. "The Mist of Time" (25 November 2007)
  4. "Catcher in the Rhyme" (2 December 2007)
  5. "Forget Me Not" (16 December 2007)
  6. "Long Story Short" (23 December 2007)
  7. "Righting The Writing" (30 December 2007)
  8. "Butterfly Winter" (21 March 2008)
  9. "Speechless in Animalia" (4 April 2008)
  10. "Don Iguana" (11 April 2008)
  11. "Over & Beyond" (18 April 2008)
  12. "Being Peter Applebottom" (25 April 2008)
  13. "Animalia's Talent -O-Topia" (2 May 2008)

BBC UK[edit]

  1. "Hello, We Must Be Going" (19 November 2007)
  2. "Goodbye, We Must Be Staying" (20 November 2007)
  3. "The Mist of Time" (21 November 2007)
  4. "Catcher in the Rhyme" (22 November 2007)
  5. "Forget Me Not" (23 November 2007)
  6. "Long Story Short" (26 November 2007)
  7. "Righting The Writing" (27 November 2007)
  8. "Butterfly Winter" (28 November 2007)
  9. "Speechless in Animalia" (29 November 2007)
  10. "Don Iguana" (30 November 2007)
  11. "Over & Beyond" (3 December 2007)
  12. "Being Peter Applebottom" (4 December 2007)
  13. "Animalia's Talent -O-Topia" (5 December 2007)

PBS Kids Go! version[edit]

  1. "Hello, We Must Be Going" (5 January 2008)
  2. "Goodbye, We Must Be Staying" (12 January 2008)
  3. "The Mist of Time" (19 January 2008)
  4. "Catcher in the Rhyme" (26 January 2008)
  5. "Forget Me Not" (2 February 2008)
  6. "Long Story Short" (9 February 2008)
  7. "Righting The Writing" (16 February 2008)
  8. "Butterfly Winter" (23 February 2008)
  9. "Speechless in Animalia" (1 March 2008)
  10. "Don Iguana" (8 March 2008)
  11. "Over & Beyond" (15 March 2008)
  12. "Being Peter Applebottom" (22 March 2008)
  13. "Animalia's Talent -O-Topia" (29 March 2008)

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. Symbolized by a compass.
  • Rhyme spore: This makes all Animalians have to speak in rhyme. Seen in Catcher in the Rhyme. Symbolized by a ring.
  • Time spore: Causes time to either loop, slow down, or stop. Seen in The Mist of Time. Symbolized by a pocket watch. A recurring gag in that episode is the sweet aroma in the past.
  • Nature spore: Causes all nature to slowly dry up and get rotten. Seen in Iggy's Quest. Symbolized by a shell. The Nature Spirits flew all around Animalia because that spore caused Mother Nature to be trapped in a portal, so the Nature Spirits couldn't get home.
  • Cooperation spore: Causes Animalians to become uncooperative towards one another. Seen in The Call to Action. Symbolized by gears.
  • Generosity spore: Causes Animalians to become greedy. Seen in Alex's Treasure Island. Symbolized by a rainbow. The only Corespore that wasn't figured out until the very end (as generosity is the opposite of greed).
  • Truth spore: Causes Animalians to lie and written truth to disappear. Seen in Nothing But The Truth. Symbolized by a snowflake.
  • Writing spore: This makes all the writing in Animalia disappear. Seen in Righting The Writing. Symbolized by a bill of rights book.
  • Deep thought spore: This corespore causes all Animalians to not think clearly. It is seen in The Ballad of the Creeper, and is symbolized by an orange light bulb. This is the only corespore to be corrupted by the Creeper's Corespore Contaminator, which made a fake blue light bulb (which is a rock and vines). According to Peter Applebottom it can be changed in many ways like making everyone yodel, non-stopping hopping around, or turn animalia into babbling ninnies including Alex and Zoe and even the Creeper (except G'bubu's species).
  • Hope spore: Causes Animalians to lose hope. Appears in Whistling in the Dark. Symbolized by seeds of hope.
  • Portal spore: A spore lost long ago that lets all Animalians see the portals. Mentioned in Tunnel Vision.
  • Word spore: This makes all Animalians forget words. It appears in From A-Z. Symbolized by the sounds of words.
  • Origin spore: This gives all Animalians the ability to talk all animal languages. Appears in Alex's Secret Code. Symbolized by a chain.
  • Speech spore: Causes Animalians to lose their ability to speak. Appears in Speechless In Animalia. Symbolized by a mouth that switches people's voices.
  • Stability spore: This causes earthquakes. Appears in Being Peter Applebottom. Symbolized by measuring scales.
  • Peace spore: This causes turmoil amongst Animalians. Appears in What's The Good Word. The only spore symbolized by something other than what was found in it (Zoe's apology letter to Tyrannicus, which she wrote with a pen that was found in the spore).
  • Agreement spore: Causes Animalians to disagree with each other. Appears in The Dragon and The Night. Symbolized by an agreement contract.
  • Intelligence spore: This causes Livingston and Allegra to switch intelligence. Appears in Brain Drain. Symbolized by tiny orbs.


The series began running on U.S. cable channel Animania HD on 2 November 2007.[4] In Australia it aired on Network Ten at noon on Sundays beginning on 11 November 2007; also on Nickelodeon since the start of May 2008. In the United Kingdom it aired on CBBC on BBC One beginning on 19 November 2007. The series also aired on PBS Kids Go! 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.[5] 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,[6] Al Jazeera and in Israel.[3]


DVD releases[edit]

  • On 30 June 2008, the first seven episodes of the series were released on DVD in the UK by 2Entertain, entitled Animalia: Where Animals Rule!.
  • Four episodes from season one were released in the US by PorchLight Home Entertainment on 23 September 2008.[7]
  • On 8 September 2009, the first season was released on DVD by Imavision in Canada.[8]


Critical response[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."[9]


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.[10]

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.[11]

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.


  1. ^ Animalia prepares to launch on-air on Ten Archived 2 November 2007 at the Wayback Machine, Digital Media World.
  2. ^ Animalia Animation Series To Be Made Archived 15 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine, Photon VFX, 2 October 2006
  3. ^ a b Kalina, Paul: Series that (almost) never was, The Age, 8 November 2007
  4. ^ Ball, Ryan: Animania HD Acquires Three Toons, Animation Magazine, 22 October 2007
  5. ^
  6. ^ TVSA Mini-Site
  7. ^ Lambert, David. "Animalia DVD news: Press Release". PorchLight Home Entertainment. Archived from the original on 8 February 2012. Retrieved 7 June 2013.
  8. ^
  9. ^ NY Times staff (4 January 2008). "Boy and Girl Meet Beasts, Armadillo to Zany Zebra". The New York Times. Retrieved 7 June 2013.
  10. ^ Hurst, Brian: Qld composer hits the big time with Animalia score, Brisbane Times, 30 August 2009.
  11. ^ "2008 Winners – Screen Music Awards". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Archived from the original on 8 March 2011. Retrieved 29 April 2010.

External links[edit]