1 9 8 6 (USA)
65 x 30 minute episodes
Seven Zooberrific animals came together for stories, songs and important life lessons on TV’s Zoobilee Zoo. With a cast headed by Tony Award winner Ben Vereen, the show was a vibrant, whimsical, musical extravaganza, filled with bright, colourful images and Emmy-winning costumes.
Vereen played Mayor Ben, the kind-hearted leopard leader of the Zoobilee Zoo gang.
With infinite patience, Mayor Ben helped the other Zoobles learn to solve their own problems, encouraging them to work together as a team.
Not that the Zoobles faced any life-threatening crises – This was a show for pre-schoolers, and most problems had more to do with mischief and misunderstanding than any actual danger.
The rest of Zoobilee Zoo‘s inhabitants represented a wide range of arts, crafts and other interests.
Lookout Bear was the group’s adventurer, always eager to start his next trip to explore the world. Bill Der Beaver was constantly building and inventing new gadgets. Talkatoo Cockatoo served as the Zoo’s official storyteller, entertaining with thrilling tales and good advice.
Inquisitive marsupial Whazzat Kangaroo (pictured below) balanced her natural curiosity with a mastery of music and composition.
Van Go Lion, not surprisingly, was an accomplished painter, but he also dabbled in sculpture. And rounding out the menagerie was Bravo Fox, an exuberant Ed Wynn-style stage impresario.
The seven Zoobles chased their dreams of artistic glory with a little help from their friends. Over the course of the syndicated show’s lengthy run, the Zoobles learned about creativity, honesty, kindness and so much more.
But the pro-social messages never got in the way of the fun. Zoobilee Zoo‘s stories were always magical, spinning tales of genies, invisibility machines, robots and backwards lands. Kids were enchanted.
Zoobilee Zoo was a preschool favourite, continuing to entertain and educate for years after the original episodes were filmed.
In response to the show’s continuing popularity, Hallmark produced a new string of Zoobilee Zoo episodes, bringing the colour and joy to a whole new generation.
Bill Der Beaver
Louise Vallance (1)
Stacey Scotte (2)
Van Go Lion