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Title: Zoboomafoo  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Wild Kratts, List of fictional primates, List of DHX Media programs, Fictional primates, Itchy
Collection: 1990S American Television Series, 1999 American Television Series Debuts, 2000S American Television Series, 2001 American Television Series Endings, American Children's Television Series, Canadian Children's Television Series, English-Language Television Programming, Fictional Primates, Pbs Network Shows, Preschool Education Television Series, Television Programs Featuring Anthropomorphic Characters, Television Programs Featuring Puppetry, Television Series About Animals, Television Series by Cookie Jar Entertainment, Television Series by Dhx Media, Television Series with Live Action and Animation
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Created by Martin Kratt
Chris Kratt
Leo Eaton
Presented by Chris Kratt
Martin Kratt
Starring Jovian
Gord Robertson (voice of Zoboo)
Samantha Tolkacz
Genevieve Farrell
Theme music composer Pure West
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of episodes 65 (List of episodes)
Executive producer(s) Leo Eaton
Peter Moss (2000-2001)
Chris Kratt
Martin Kratt
Producer(s) Kratt Brothers Company
Maryland Public Television
(Cookie Jar Group)
Original channel PBS
Original release January 25, 1999 (1999-01-25) – November 21, 2001 (2001-11-21)
Preceded by Kratts' Creatures (1996)
Followed by Wild Kratts (2011-present)
External links

Zoboomafoo is an American/Canadian children's television series that aired from January 25, 1999 to November 21, 2001 and is still shown today in syndication depending on the area and it is regularly shown on Sprout. A total of 65 episodes were aired. A creation of the Kratt brothers (Chris and Martin), it features a talking Coquerel's Sifaka lemur named Zoboomafoo (voiced by Toronto-born puppeteer Gord Robertson) and a collection of repeat animal guests. Every episode begins with the Kratt brothers in "Animal Junction," a peculiar place in which the rules of nature change and wild animals come to visit and play. After January 16, 2004, the show was pulled from its weekday airing on most PBS stations, though some continue to air the show. On November 10, 2014, at the age of 20, Jovian, the lemur who played Zoboomafoo in the show, died of kidney failure at the Duke Lemur Center.[1]


  • Premise and structure 1
  • Segments 2
  • Episodes 3
  • Running gags 4
    • Animal helpers 4.1
  • Production notes 5
  • Awards 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8

Premise and structure

Upon their arrival at Animal Junction, the Kratt brothers lean out the window and summon Zoboomafoo—or Zoboo for short—who is shown in a live-action segment as an actual lemur leaping across a field to reach them. When the lemur reaches Animal Junction, the Kratt brothers offer him a snack, generally some lemur-appropriate food like garbanzo beans, sweet potato or mango slices, whereupon the "real" lemur spins around on a turntable (yelling, "ZOBOOMAFOOOOOOOOO!!!") and becomes a talking lemur puppet. This change enables Zoboomafoo to lead into the main segment of the episode, which he begins by describing a "Mangatsika!" (a Malagasy word literally meaning "cold," but used in the show to mean "cool!") animal that he saw as he traveled to Animal Junction. As he describes the animal, a song is played wondering "Who Could It Be?" while a cartoon shows the characteristics of the "mystery animal". At the end of the song, Chris and Martin attempt to guess the animal Zoboomafoo has described and the mystery is solved when the animal or animals arrive at Animal Junction. Each episode has a theme, for example, baby animals, frightening animals, or the importance of play. The arrival of the "mystery animal," generally used as exposition, leads the Kratts and Zoboo into a conversation about various aspects of that particular animal. At least once every episode (sometimes twice), Zoboomafoo says that some event in Animal Junction reminds him of a time in Zobooland, where Zoboo tell stories about his friends in Zobooland, such as: Gooble (a purple animal that eats goobleberries), Narchi (an elephant-like creature), Sensit (a lemur-like creature with very acute hearing) and his three younger sisters, Wiggy Waxwing (a waxwing), Green Puppy, Slimantha (a salamander), Noggendrill (a burrowing animal that uses his drill-shaped horn to dig with), Snow Lemur (a lemur that lives on a snowy mountain called Mount Zoboomafoo), Baby and Mama Zoboomafoosaurus (two theropods that the animals often play on), Bugly (a large, flying insect), Fibby (a water creature with several parts including a tentacle and a crab leg) and Cy (a levitating, one-eyed squid with three tentacles introduced in season two). These segments are animated using clay animation and feature distinct voices for each character. After Zobooland, Martin, Chris and Zoboomafoo receive a letter from the animal helpers, who show kids how to help animals. At the end of each episode, Zoboo returns to his home in Madagascar and Chris and Martin also leave Animal Junction to better demonstrate the theme of the day, traveling to a region, often in South Asia or Africa to visit the creatures there.


  • The Mystery Animal (Theme song: "Who Could It Be?")
  • Zobooland Story #1
  • Animal Helpers
  • A Journey to Visit Animals (Theme song: "Going to the Closet")
  • Zobooland Story #2
  • Ending Theme: Animal Friends


Season Episodes Originally aired (U.S. dates)
Season premiere Season finale
1 40 January 25, 1999 (1999-01-25) April 27, 2000 (2000-04-27)
2 25 October 3, 2000 (2000-10-03) November 21, 2001 (2001-11-21)

Running gags

The show has some forms of slapstick and situation comedy as well. peregrine falcon named Sticky Feet or a female barn owl named Moon Face.

Animal helpers

Another segment of the show features a group of children known as the "Animal Helpers," who send messages to the Kratt brothers at Animal Junction via a series of birds: a barn owl, a vulture, a duck and several others. The letters lead into short stories illustrating the Animal Helpers' interactions with the animals in their environment, performing small tasks such as placing a baby bird back in its nest or leading a calf back to a mother cow. Samantha Tolkacz appeared on the series as Jackie from its debut in 1999 until May 2000, at which point Genevieve Farrell replaced her, appearing as Amy for the rest of the show's run. Zoboo would also give the animals interesting names that have to do with their appearance, behavior or personality. Examples: A baby Indian elephant was given the name "Toothbrush" because of his bristly hair; a young female chimp was named "Brainiac" because chimps are very intelligent; two sloths were named "Slow" and "Slower" because sloths are very slow; two grizzly bear cubs were Muscles and Muscly, because they are strong; a dog was given the name "Lost-n-found" because he was a lost dog when he was a puppy, but was then found; and a tiger was named "Popper" because she pops balls, along with her sister "Poppa"; a white-fronted capuchin monkey was named "Fling" because he likes to throw things around; a horse was named "Fuzz" because she's very soft; and 2 penguins named "Splish" and "Splash" because they splash in the water. Before the credits of each episode, a disclaimer is played telling the viewers that they should be careful with the animals they meet. Then the Kratt brothers mention animal facts that lead Zoboo to a joke. For example, "Knock-Knock. Who's there? Panther. Panther Who? Panther no pants, I'm going swimming."

Production notes

Partial filming for the show took place on location at the Lemur Center. Although the last new episode aired on PBS in November 2001, most PBS stations continued to rerun Zoboomafoo episodes in syndication until January 2004. In addition, Sprout airs reruns once every afternoon at 4:25pm and TVO kids airs reruns at 7:30am on Sunday mornings. The show can also be found on WNED-TV, the PBS affiliate in Buffalo, New York, every weekend at 6:30am. In 2003, the Kratt Brothers began a short-lived show Be the Creature on the National Geographic Channel, then began a new children's animated series Wild Kratts in January 2011, which is currently aired on PBS. Jovian, a captive Coquerel's sifaka housed at the Duke Lemur Center in Durham, North Carolina portrayed Zoboomafoo in the live-action segments. Jovian died of kidney failure on November 10, 2014, aged 20.5.[2]


Zoboomafoo received the 2001 Emmy for Outstanding Directing in a Children's Series[3] and a Parents' Choice award for Spring 2001 and Silver Honor for Fall 2001.[4][5]


  1. ^ Deutsch, Lindsay. "Internet mourns loss of celebrity lemur Zoboomafoo". USA Today. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ Williams, Donna (May 21, 2001). "PBS Wins Two More Daytime Emmys at Televised Ceremony". PBS News Archive (New York, NY). Retrieved April 17, 2013. 
  4. ^ Fries, Laura. "Zoboomafoo". Parents' Choice Awards: Television. Parents' Choice. Retrieved April 17, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Zoboomafoo". Parents' Choice Awards: Television. Parents' Choice. Retrieved April 17, 2013. 

External links

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