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.
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!)