Helen, an animal rights activist, protests that keeping animals locked up in the zoo is cruel and unusual. The zookeeper allows her to take three animals of the zoo to see if they fair better in public on their own.

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Zookeeper / Vendor / Guy #2 (voice)
S. Scott Bullock ...
Paul, Lawyer (voice)
...
Helen (voice)
...
Warren / Solicitor / Guy #1 (voice)
...
Mark (voice)
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Helen, an animal rights activist, protests that keeping animals locked up in the zoo is cruel and unusual. The zookeeper allows her to take three animals of the zoo to see if they fair better in public on their own.

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September 1998 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Because Seth MacFarlane sold Family Guy to FOX, after writing and sketching the basic characters, he got his friend Butch Hartman to complete and direct the short. See more »

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Bland and not very funny
23 September 2015 | by See all my reviews

This short was one of those animations aired on Nickelodeon's "Oh Yeah! Cartoons" (Which Honestly I never liked very much. Most of the time, it feel like a poor man's version of "The What a Cartoon! Show") The most interesting fact about is was a collaboration of two popular animators Butch Hartman ("The Fairly OddParents", "Danny Phantom") and Seth MacFarlane ("Family Guy", "American Dad")

To be completely honest, I don't like the works of those two. Frankly, I consider their most famous works to be vastly overrated, and in many ways their influence had a negative effect in the overall quality of the animated shows from the previous decade, both aesthetically and thematically: "Family Guy" started well as a wackier version of the Simpsons, but after the show was renewed from cancellation, it came back far worse until it became completely unwatchable.

"The Fairly OddParents" on the other side, showed some potential at the beginning, but (Like it tends to happen with similar shows) it quickly became repetitive and forced, and the characters became dumber and more unlikeable with each season. "Danny Phantom" was a better series, but sadly never reached its full potential and ended being canceled perhaps too soon, having a rushed and disappointing finale.

Now, on this short: I have to say I didn't find it to be terrible, but it wasn't anything special either. Actually, it was boring. Obviously, this was some kind of throwback to those Hanna-Barbera cartoons that used laugh tracks, but a bit more self aware and with some subtle hints of adult humor in order to make more enjoyable for the family viewing.

Sadly, the overall result is just unconvincing, mostly due the bland and uninteresting characters (Which felt generic, despite their forced "wackiness") and the dry humor, with jokes that are simply not that funny.

In better hands (Maybe Genndy Tartakovsky or Craig McCracken) this short would have been far more enjoyable and would have enough potential to become a full series, but in this case, is quite obvious why neither Seth or Hartman tried to do more "Zoomates" stuff despite the open-ending that seemed to indicate the possibility of a continuation: It was simply not worth it.

But who knows, this might have been a much better than the atrocious "T.U.F.F. Puppy". At least the designs of this short aren't as ugly and unappealing as those from that show, and the characters aren't screaming all the time.


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