Lovely animation and music but has a lot of stupidity and not enough laughs
Despite being a big animation fan, I am not a big fan of the Gabby cartoons or of the character himself(with the exceptions of Gulliver's Travels and his first and best cartoon King for a Day). Two for the Zoo is a long way from unwatchable but it never rises above mediocre and quite possibly the weakest of the eight Gabby cartoons.
Of there are a few good, even excellent, things in Two for the Zoo. The two big pluses are the animation and the music, the only outstanding assets and the ones that are consistently good in all the Gabby cartoons. The animation is crisply and smoothly drawn with warm and mellow colours and evident attention to detail in the storybook-picture-like background art. Wasn't so sure about the weird character designs for the kangos though. It's the music that provides the most energy and heart of Two for the Zoo, with the vibrant, lush way it's orchestrated and the bouncy, lively rhythms and tempos it's a real joy to listen to and adds so much to the cartoon. The main title theme It's a Hap-Hap-Happy Day is wonderfully upbeat, making one want to jump up and sing and dance along, while Gabby's "anthem" All's Well is very catchy with cheery lyrics. The baby kango is just adorable and the most likable character.
A number of things bring Two for the Zoo down however. The biggest issue is Gabby himself, here at his most annoying and unlikeable. His inept know-it-all attitude and the inability to be sorry for any trouble he causes anyone are already things to dislike about him, but here you can now add his mildly sadistic abuse of the baby kango and that he is unforgivably idiotic as further reasons. Pinto Colvig was a talented guy and always brought enthusiasm to everything he did, even to Gabby, but here he really overdoes it to the extent that Gabby's high-pitched rasping here is rather irritating, not helped by the fact that he never shuts up(Colvig's voice acting in the Gabby cartoons is mostly good though). Another major problem is that Two for the Zoo is just not funny, pretty laughter-free actually. The most memorable it gets is Gabby's failed attempts at curing the mother kango's hiccups, and that's really because some of the animation is quite clever, and even the gag's too over-stretched and bland to properly work. The story really struggles to sustain momentum for the whole 7 minute running time, it's very thin and parts are stretched to try and compensate but it just dulls things down. It is also very contrived(almost all Gabby's cartoons are, but not this much), the whole "Gabby thinking that the kango has the ability to change sizes in short periods of time" was a stupid idea to begin with and even more so in execution. The ending is rather rushed and predictable. The mother kango was alright, her angry facial expressions do bring a little amusement and you understand totally how she feels, but the material is weak and she is treated mostly as a "just there for the sake of it" character.
In conclusion, Two for the Zoo looks great and is even better in the music department, but the annoying title character, lack of laughs and dumb(even for a Gabby cartoon) story make it a mildly passable but generally weak cartoon. 4/10 Bethany Cox
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