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 »




Series cast summary:
Alan Cumming ...  Bruno the Bear 13 episodes, 2004
Rik Mayall ...  Edwin the Eagle 13 episodes, 2004
Siobhan Redmond ...  Ailsa the Adder 13 episodes, 2004
Bill Paterson ...  Storyteller 13 episodes, 2004
Vivien Endicott Douglas ...  Marnie McBride 13 episodes, 2004
Kelsey Collins Kelsey Collins ...  Becky 13 episodes, 2004
Sanjeev Kohli Sanjeev Kohli ...  Mr. Kasmani 13 episodes, 2004
Nathaniel Arcand ...  Cousin Henry 13 episodes, 2005
Paul Coeur Paul Coeur ...  Grandpa 13 episodes, 2005
Kyle Daly Kyle Daly ...  Kid #1 13 episodes, 2005
Forrest Eaglespeaker Forrest Eaglespeaker ...  Steve 13 episodes, 2005
Natascha Girgis ...  Aurora Dexter 13 episodes, 2005
Elisabeth Harmer Elisabeth Harmer ...  Kid #2 13 episodes, 2005
Vanessa Holmes Vanessa Holmes ...  Flight Attendant 13 episodes, 2005
Jessica Knights Jessica Knights ...  Carlie 13 episodes, 2005
Peter Strand Rumpel ...  Edinburgh Airport Security Officer 13 episodes, 2005
Sammy Simon Sammy Simon ...  Stone Bear 13 episodes, 2005
Gordon Tootoosis ...  Nathaniel 13 episodes, 2005
Cassidy Waring Cassidy Waring ...  Camp Girl 13 episodes, 2005
Peter Mullan ...  Michael Scot 12 episodes, 2004
Simon Callow ...  Wolfgang the Wolf 12 episodes, 2004
David McKay David McKay ...  McTaggart 11 episodes, 2004
Jason Connery ...  Dad 10 episodes, 2004
Tony Donaldson Tony Donaldson ...  Toledo 10 episodes, 2004
Krystina Coates Krystina Coates ...  Laura 10 episodes, 2004
Frances Low ...  Ms. MacKay 7 episodes, 2004
Sean Joseph Young Sean Joseph Young ...  Stewart 6 episodes, 2004


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) »


Awaken the magic. See more »


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Official Sites:



UK | Canada



Release Date:

1 September 2004 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Skokartongens hemlighet See more »

Filming Locations:

Edinburgh, Scotland, UK


Box Office


£8,500,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


(26 episodes)

Sound Mix:



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Did You Know?


Michael Scot was a medieval mathematician and astrologer who lived around (1175 -1232). Efforts have been made by the author Walter Scott to connect Scot with Sir Michael Scot of Balwearie, featured in Sir Walter Scott's The Lay of the Last Minstrel. See more »


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

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User Reviews

The animals are fantastic! The rest's hit & miss.
13 July 2005 | by GrowlytedSee all my reviews

Shoebox Zoo is an enjoyable, yet flawed fantasy series. The enchanted creatures are the stealers, thanks to the talented vocal cast & the animators. The villain, Toledo, provides menace & humour in equal measure. However Marnie is a hateful protagonist, throwing tantrums at the slightest provocation & often mistreating the "Zoo." She is impossible to sympathise with. I also dislike Michael Scott, who also abuses the animals. I thought John Roberts, arrogant & mysterious, was the best of the children involved. The episodes are at their best when the creatures are on screen. The school scenes (excepting those with John Roberts) only bog down the story. The narration is irritating and unnecessary. There are some parts that are predictable for older viewers, but also some genuine surprises. I was disappointed by the ending though. However I will definitely be watching Season Two, if only for the delight of seeing & hearing the fantastic, animated ensemble.

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