64 Zoo Lane (DVD Review)22 Jun, 2008 By: Rachel Cericola
Prebook 6/25/08; Street 7/29/08
In today's world of short-attention span computer-generated cartoons, it's nice to see the old-school animation of “64 Zoo Lane.”
Based on a series of children's books by An Vrombaut, the show features 9-year-old Lucy, who lives next door to a zoo. However, this doe-eyed cutie doesn't just have a nice view. Every night, she slides down the neck of her friend Georgina the giraffe and is treated to a bedtime story by the zoo's inhabitants.
Characters include Nelson the elephant, Adam the armadillo, Herbert the warthog, Wally the wombat, Pauline the pelican, Gary the dromedary and many more. Each has a lesson to learn and share, through a variety of cartoon shorts.
One thing the cast does not share: Anything about their role in the animal kingdom. While sharing, responsibility, friendship and other lessons are nice, it seems like an obvious wildlife lesson was overlooked. A bit about the actual animals (do kids know dromedary?) could have kept older kids entertained. However, with an animation style that mirrors Vrombaut's books, there's little for adults and children past the age of preschool.
“64 Zoo Lane” originally aired in the United Kingdom as part of BBC's CBeebies lineup. The show currently airs Stateside on Nickelodeon's Noggin network.
One interesting note is that the U.S. version has received a bit of a makeover, so that little Lucy has an American accent; however, all of her animal counterparts still boast their British roots.