Remember Zazoo U?

  • PLEASE FOLLOW THE RETROIST

It’s bizzaro week at the Claymation Werewolf! Today, as a change of pace, I’m going to change things up a bit. Instead of reviewing a cartoon that I’ve never seen but everyone else in the world has; I’m going to tell you about a cartoon that I seem to be one of the only people in the world to remember!

I was a weird kid. It would be fair to say that I never actually outgrew that label. But it definitely all started when I was just a Claymation Werewolf Pup. Besides the fact that I’ve been trying to break into “showbiz” since I was about 10, there were plenty of other signs that should have made my parents worry. For Instance, I used to dress up in costume…when it wasn’t Halloween. I used to watch cartoons and route for the bad guys! And, I went directly from reading Scholastic books to reading Edgar Allen Poe.

Most of all though, I think the best evidence of my sheer weirdness were the things that I have always been drawn to. Madballs, Monster in my Pocket, and Wayside School Books. Then of course, there’s one of my favorite childhood cartoons. Zazoo U.

What is Zazoo U? boy, if I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard that in my life. Despite the fact that Zazoo U was part of Fox Kid’s Saturday Morning Cartoon’s Lineup (albeit, for only a year) No one seems to remember it! I would have thought that it would have been remembered for it’s sheer absurdity alone!

The whole thing took place at a school with weird, vague animal characters with a plotline that feels more like a Nyquil dream than a cartoon episode and some of the most off-beat characters in television history. An over the top artsy, art teacher poodle named Miss Devine (not actually so over the top if you went to art school) A skuzzy, and rough (but good natured) pig named Griz

and two Eastern European acrobats creatures named Slogo and Logan (that don‘t speak English) On a side note, I am absolutely convinced that Pixar ripped off this idea with Tuck and Roll in “A Bug’s Life”

My favorite character though was Bully Wolly Mammoth a giant, kind hearted clumsy wooly mammoth who played the piano (and normally destroyed the piano) I have distinct memories of playing on my swingset and reciting my favorite catchphrase from the show “I like it!” in Bully’s voice (did I mention he acted and talked like President Richard Millhouse Nixon? Picture me, doing my best Nixon: “Freshhhh Kool-Aid, I lllllike it!” Again, I was a weird kid…

There isn’t a lot to say about Zazoo U…it was great, nonsense themes, a message at the end (somehow made coherent from the chaotic plot) and intercut scenes of screaming school kids running down the halls which would inevitably crush some of the characters on the show. It had wonderfully weird music, a bizarre drawing style and catchphrases (at least I thought they were funny!)

I would suggest that you go online and track down some videos of this great show but, while trying to do research for this article I found nothing! (unless you want to watch a stupid commercial for some foreign condom company) I actually own a dvd of Zazzoo U. It’s two episodes and I think it originally came from England. They were released under the Jetix brand after Disney bought all of Sabaan’s properties.

I’ll be picking up more when I can find them. The dvd rounds off my enormous collection of Zazoo U merchandise (I think I’m the own more Zazoo U memorabilia than anyone else on the planet…three items!!) I also own a lunchbox (with thermos!)

and the crown jewel of my collection, one of the greatest finds I’ve ever made!! (okay, my wife was responsible)

We were at an anime convention and we came across a dealer of animation cells and original animation production art. I found a sketch of another weird cartoon I used to love (Family Dog) and my wife decided to throw caution to the wind about one of my biggest collecting white whales Zazoo U. To our amazement he had not only heard about it he actually had something from the show.

This!

An entire storyboard script for one of the episodes. He didn’t have it with him (apparently he had been trying for years to get rid of the thing but no one had ever heard of the show or had any interest in buying it!) This guy drove back to his house (30-40 minutes away) and brought it back! One of my (wife’s) greatest moments in collecting magic!

So, if by any chance you find yourself with the opportunity to watch some Zazoo U, (for instance, an invite to one of the Zazoo U parties that are currently sweeping the nation) I heartedly recommend it! And even better, If you are one of those collecting types and you come across some Zazoo U merchandise, give me a shoutout!! I’d love to take it off your hands and continue my quest to prove to my peers that it exists! That I’m not crazy! (my mother had me tested!)


16 Responses to Remember Zazoo U?

  1. Drahken says:

    Nope, don’t remember this at all. It does seem extremely minutely familiar though, so I suspect that I saw it included on some promo for fox kids. (It’s strange that there don’t even seem to be any promos for it on youtube, usually there’s a promo for anything & everything under the sun.)
    Looking at the schedule on wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1990%E2%80%931991_United_States_network_television_schedule_%28Saturday_morning%29 I think I know why. At that point in time, fox kids had nothing on their sat morn schedule except pure junk. The shows on their schedule that I’d seen any of, I hated. The ones that I hadn’t seen looked and/or sounded as bad as the ones that I had seen, so I just ignored the whole affair.
    At the same point, I was hugely into CBS’s programming at the time (especially garfield & friends, TMNT, and the short lived skeleton warriors & wildcats), so I watched CBS pretty exclusively on sat morns at that time.
    The time of day is also a factor. As I recall, 8.30~ish was about the time I usually woke up then (just early enough to not miss any of garfield). I would then put the TV on CBS, watch whatever portion of muppet babies remained, then watch garfield.

    That condom commercial is funny. “If you don’t use a condom, you’ll have an obnoxious screaming brat. Use a condom.”

  2. VicSage says:

    Fantastic post, CW! I have no recollection of this series, friend! Like Drahken already mentioned, this might have also hit aired during a part of the morning that I was asleep. Looks awesome though and who knows…maybe your post will get the ball rolling on it’s re-release? At the very least you should feel confident to go ahead and open up that Zazoo U Museum! ;)

  3. @CW Another superlative article my friend! I’m like the rest, I’ve never seen it either, yet the designs ring a few bells in a cobwebbed recess of my brain…

  4. @Drahken If YOU don’t remember it I feel like I should give up all hope! lol There were definitely some dark days in FOX programming but this was a beacon! a weird…weird beacon! Gotta check out wildcats and skeleton warriors….

  5. @Vic Haha! I might just do that! I was actually hoping this post would lead a bunch of people to go “Oh! that’s what all this weird crap that I don’t want is!! Here, CW, Why don’t you have it!!” Instead, as I feared, it just lead to a lot of people scratching their heads = )

  6. @D13 fuel those ringing cobwebs man! whip them up into a crescendo! Join the Zazoo U Minority!!

  7. Uncle JimmyPie says:

    Yes! I recall Zazoo U with great longing. As a weird grown-up kid, I used to watch it with my four-year-old son. I’ve been frustrated for years by the near-total absence of any record of its sublime goofiness.

  8. Esmeralda Gonzalez says:

    I do remember this cartoon. It was my favorite ate the time. Thanks for writing this.

  9. Kitty says:

    I remember this series! It was one of my favorites and I’m so bummed that not a lot of people remember and that there are no region 1 DVDs! Thank you for this page and bringing back great memories of all the oddball and hip cartoons I loved.

  10. Glenn_SC says:

    I remember Zazzoo and it was one of my absolute favorites! I think it was only the 2nd or 3rd year FOX even had a Saturday morning lineup.

  11. Joe Meyer says:

    DUDE. Zazoo U.
    Biggest fan. I loved that show, and I would watch it with my brother. Luckily, I managed to video tape a couple of episodes. Eventually I will transfer these to DVD and more than likely to youtube. I also have the lunchbox and thermos, and it is a treasure.
    I do have to tell you this: in 2001, I was trying to look up Zazoo U. on the internet, and although I did not find a thing, I did find the email address for Shane DeRolf, the creator of the series. I wrote him, asking if he had a lead about finding episodes. Instead of a lead, he sent me an animation cell of Grizzle. SIGNED.
    http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/65699_10150118590525993_7008557_n.jpg

  12. mathilde says:

    Hi Im from Norway and I remember this show! I loved it and still do. For half a year now I have been looking for it on the internett but it was hard to find and I also did not remember the name of the show, but some few days ago I found pictures with the name. It ws so much fun to find it again. I must say. I still love this show and I feel like I am the only only one who knows about it here, haha. Wel, fun to see that there are more people like me out there who feels like they are the only one who knows about this show.

  13. Ciroz says:

    I grew up in Romania and I used to watch this show on German tv (Pro 7, over fta satellite) as a kid. Obviously none of my friends remember it either but it somehow got stuck in my brain and I’ve been looking for some episodes for at least 10 years with no luck.

    Thanks for the pictures and if you should find any videos please post them as well.

    Cheers!

  14. Ned says:

    I remember one thing about the show: a promo that was on Fox 29 during afterschool cartoons. All I remember is the teacher you referred to as “Miss Divine” saying “Oh, stuuuu-dents!”, followed by the announcer saying “It’s the school with class!” and a crooner that was an alligator or similar creature singing “Zazoo U-U!”

  15. Arun says:

    I remember this show very well. I grew in in Zambia, where we more or less had no cable and only real old cartoons on VHS. The had a curious but compelling blend of arthouse imagery and good old-fashioned 80s moralizing storytelling. My favourite characters were the gold-hearted jerk Grizzle and the Slav acrobats, those were a treat to see.

    I really wish someone could put this cartoon on YouTube. It’s one of those cartoons that’s so interesting it deserves another glance.

  16. JulioAgua says:

    Well, I’m from Argentina and I also watched it…just a couple of episodes in the first all-cartoon CableTv signal from my country (The Big Channel). They aired it really late at night and only Saturdays IIRC. When internet became massive I tried to find some info, but therw wasn’t anything. Now there’s two episodes in YouTube and is not only nostalgia, that cartoon is AWESOME!!! The style, the crazyness… I hope that YT guy upload more!. Well, that’s all, you’re not crazy :D

Add Comment Register



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>