An American student living and studying in Edinburgh is given a mysterious box of toy animals for her birthday, toys that come alive during the night in their quest to find an ancient magical book.
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2   1  
2005   2004  
1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
...
 Bruno the Bear (13 episodes, 2004)
...
 Edwin the Eagle (13 episodes, 2004)
...
 Ailsa the Adder (13 episodes, 2004)
...
 Storyteller (13 episodes, 2004)
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 Marnie McBride (13 episodes, 2004)
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 Michael Scot (12 episodes, 2004)
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 Wolfgang the Wolf (12 episodes, 2004)
David McKay ...
 McTaggart (11 episodes, 2004)
...
 Dad (10 episodes, 2004)
Tony Donaldson ...
 Toledo (10 episodes, 2004)
Krystina Coates ...
 Laura (10 episodes, 2004)
Frances Low ...
 Ms. MacKay (7 episodes, 2004)
Sean Joseph Young ...
 Stewart (6 episodes, 2004)
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Storyline

Colorado-born eleven year old Marnie McBride is mourning the loss of her beloved mother as she settles into her new home in Scotland with her widowed father, who takes her to a run-down junk shop on her eleventh birthday. There, she is given a box of toy animals by a mysterious old man, which spring to life the next morning. She soon learns from these creatures that they are on an important quest to find an ancient book that holds a dark magical power within its pages, and need to find it before the evil shape shifter, Toledo does first. Marnie reluctantly offers to help, but finds she has her own fair share of problems to deal with, as she tries to make some friends at her new school, as well as put up with the classroom bullies. Written by Extraordinary Machine

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

quest | book | birthday | scotland | bully | See All (47) »

Taglines:

Awaken the magic. See more »


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Details

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Release Date:

1 September 2004 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Skokartongens hemlighet  »

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Box Office

Budget:

£8,500,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(26 episodes)

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The BBC were so impressed by the quality of the series that a second season was in production before the first had even aired. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Son of the Mask (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

intriguing but flat series
6 January 2005 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Season 1 of 'Shoebox Zoo' (I assume there's more to come after the disappointing end episode) started with an interesting premise - Canadian kid Marnie (played by the inanimate Vivien Endicott Douglas, a young actress of limited range and irritating accent) inherits a zoo of toy animals who actually prove to be alive and representative of human souls trapped in time.

This all has something to do with her mother, who has now passed, and a mystic named Michael Scot (Peter Mullan, playing the role with too much sincerity). There's a devil representative - the reptile-like Toledo (Tony Donaldson, overacting badly), and there's a starry cast voicing the animals (Rik Mayall, Siobhan Redmond - superior voice talent as the snake, Simon Callow, and Alan Cumming).

Why it doesn't all come together is a mystery. The special effects are basic and the lead role is all wrong, but there's a much better show trying to get out of this one. It tries to be all encompassing, deadly serious, and indicative of Celtic myth, but all the talk of a mysterious book, 'The Chosen One', and the disparate accents (lots of Scots alongside the Canadian drawl) makes it more of a miss than a hit.

I really wanted this show to work. It does have appeal beyond its target audience on children's TV, but it doesn't quite hit the spot.


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