64 Zoo Lane is a British-French children's cartoon created by An Vrombaut. It was shown on CBBC and many other channels. It is produced by the company Millimages in association with Zoo Lane Productions.
This cartoon features a 7 year-old girl named Lucy who lives at 64 Zoo Lane, next door to a zoo. Each night, Lucy is told a story by the animals present there. The animals include Georgina the Giraffe, Nelson the Elephant, Tickles and Giggles the Monkeys, Boris the Bear, and Molly the Hippopotamus.
In other episodes, Lucy is greeted by other animals in the zoo besides the other six. They range from Victor (the first visitor), Ribbit, and other animals from other regions (such as Carrie, Herbert, Gunnar, etc.).
The cartoon emphasises friendship, responsibility, and other social skills (such as science, morals, respect, etc.). At the end of each story, the animals give out morals to Lucy. When bedtime is declared, Georgina deposits Lucy into bed via the bedroom window. Later episodes show Lucy yawning then sleeping soundly in bed. Sometimes, Lucy would be lulled to sleep by the storytelling itself. Each episode featuring Lucy ready for bed is different.
- Lucy, a human girl who lives in a house near the zoo. She is seven years old and has many friends far from her house. Voiced by Ciara Janson (Season 1-2), Alice Hearing (Season 3), and Lara Wollington (Season 4). In the US re-dub, Ciara Janson voiced Lucy, but with an American accent.
- Lucy's mother, as her name suggests, is the mother of Lucy. Though we never see her appearance, we only hear her voice in the starting of every episode. Voiced by Anna Bentinck in UK and Dian Perry in US.
- Georgina, a giraffe considered to be the last neighbor to have a tall height. She is seen knocking on the window of Lucy's house in almost every episode. In Season 2, it is revealed that Georgina has a grandmother. Voiced by Adrienne Posta in the UK and Dian Perry in the US.
- Boris, a brown bear who is the wisest neighbor from North America. In North America, his bed is made out of grass. He also uses honey for his tea. He speaks with a Scottish accent. Voiced by Lewis McLeod in Season 1-2 and Matt Wilkinson in Season 3-4.
- Tickles and Giggles, two very silly monkeys known for mischief. They also can be very curious. Voiced by Adrienne Posta and Anna Bentinck in the UK, re-dubbed by Emma Tate and Lorelei King (uncredited) in the US.
- Molly, a blue hippo and the wisest friend of Lucy. She has a cousin named Henrietta. Voiced by Anna Bentinck.
- Nelson, a green elephant and a wise storyteller. Voiced by Keith Wickham.
- Narrators, who tell the story. The narrators who tell many stories are all animals. Voiced by various actors (Keith Wickham, Anna Bentinck, etc.).
Other Residents of 64 Zoo Lane
- Mr. Spider, a spider that scared Lucy.
- Toy Box, a box that cannot tell any stories. It is Lucy's favourite toy.
- Lola, Lucy's doll who was to be a princess.
Residents of Africa
- Nathalie, an antelope fulfilled with the attitudes of being curious. She is a gazelle. Voiced by Adrienne Posta in the UK, re-dubbed by Megg Nicol (impersonating Fran Brill) in the US.
- Audrey, an agony ostrich known to be a mother. She is the mother of two baby ostriches. Voiced by Anna Bentinck in the UK, re-dubbed by Megg Nicol in the US.
- Reginald, a lion which seems to be very grumpy. He is known for disliking animals disturbing his nap. Voiced by Lewis McLeod in Season 1-2 and Matt Wilkinson in Season 3-4.
- The Snip-Snip Bird, a green stork-like bird (or secretary bird) who is a major resident of Africa. Voiced by Lewis McLeod in Season 1-2 and Matt Wilkinson in Season 3-4.
- Victor, a green crocodile known for being mean and nasty to other animals. He is considered the true antagonist of Africa while Reginald is the false antagonist. Voiced by Keith Wickham (impersonating Tim Curry).
- Kevin, another green crocodile. He is always seen alongside Toby and Doris. Voiced by Anna Bentinck in the UK, re-dubbed by Dan Russell in the US.
- Toby, a turquoise turtle who lives alongside Doris. Voiced by Bob Saker.
- Doris, a typical yellow duck whose attitude is a bit cheeky. Voiced by Adrienne Posta.
- Henrietta, Molly's hairy cousin who got taunted by the other hippos. Voiced by Anna Bentinck.
- Dennis, a dromedary camel who lives in the desert. He has a nephew named Gary. Voiced by Keith Wickham.
- "Fuzzy", a red spider who tries to eat Henrietta. He thinks Henrietta is a housefly. Voiced by Keith Wickham.
- Zed, a zebra and the fastest runner of Africa. His stripes are black and purple. Voiced by Lewis McLeod in Season 1-2 and Matt Wilkinson in Season 3-4.
- Herbert, a warthog who likes to play on a set of musical rocks. He lives in a muddy burrow and loves to eat watermelons and potatoes with worms. Voiced by Keith Wickham.
- Harry, a hyena and the husband of Edna. He is the father of two hyena pups. Voiced by Lewis McLeod in Season 1-2 and Matt Wilkinson in Season 3.
- Ronald, a black rhinoceros whose love interest is Rosie. He always has a bird on his back (just like what a real rhino does). Voiced by Keith Wickham.
- The Tic-Tic Bird, an oxpecker and the best friend of Ronald. Voiced by Bob Saker (speaking) and Dan Russell (singing).
- Doctor Gordon, the most famous doctor in Africa. He is a gorilla and the uncle of the two monkeys. Voiced by Keith Wickham.
- Alan, an aardvark whose occupation is eating ants. He is also capable of using his snout as a trumpet. Voiced by Keith Wickham.
- Seamus, a white stork and an expert fish hunter. He flies in the sky to imitate the sounds of an aeroplane. He is a brave animal rescuer. Voiced by Dan Russell (impersonating Jonathan Guy Lewis).
- Pauline, a pelican who likes to pick on the flamingos. She is a bit impatient, but she learns how to figure out what is wrong. She has a friend named Isabel. Voiced by Adrienne Posta.
- William, a weaver bird and the majordomo of Africa. Voiced by Bob Saker (speaking) and Dan Russell (humming and scatting).
- King Snake, a purple snake who is very hard to spot. One can tell his voice in other episodes is actually him. Voiced by Keith Wickham (impersonating Tim Curry).
- Isabel, a pink flamingo who speaks with an Italian accent. Voiced by Adrienne Posta.
- Esmeralda, a snake whose diet is watermelons. Not only she is a homemaker in her burrow, but also has amnesia as revealed in Season 3. Voiced by Adrienne Posta.
- Eddie, a blue hippo and the nephew of Molly. Voiced by Lewis McLeod.
- "Slide", a python that acts hostile to those who slide on his head. Voiced by Keith Wickham.
- Mirabelle and Annabelle, two pink flamingos and students of the marsh. They, like Isabel, speak with Italian accents. Voiced by Anna Bentinck.
- Patsy, also known as Cleopatra. She is a visitor whose residency is from the Blue Mountain. She is thought to be a lioness, but instead, is a porcupine. Voiced by Anna Bentinck.
- Rosie, Ronald's love interest. She also has a bird on her back. Voiced by Anna Bentinck.
- Edna, the wife of Harry. She is the mother of two hyena pups. Voiced by Anna Bentinck.
- Holly and Johnnie, two hyena pups who love frolicking around Africa. Voiced by Adrienne Posta and Anna Bentinck.
- Casper, a chameleon who is known to do mischief in changing colours. His grandfather warns him that this skill is not a game. Voiced by Lewis McLeod.
- Granddad Chameleon, Casper's granddad. Voiced by Keith Wickham.
- Chuckles, the cousin of Giggles and Tickles. He doesn't like jokes much like Giggles and Tickles. Voiced by Lewis McLeod.
- Petula, a green parrot who resembles one of the Australian parrots. Voiced by Adrienne Posta.
- Nigel, the nephew of Nelson. He is a bit naughty. Voiced by Anna Bentinck.
- Lily, the daughter of Audrey. Voiced by Adrienne Posta.
- Doogal, the brother of Lily. Voiced by Anna Bentinck.
Residents of Australia
- Ribbit, a green frog who speaks with an Australian accent. Voiced by Dan Russell.
- Joey, a typical kangaroo. As his name suggests, he is a young kangaroo. Voiced by Keith Wickham.
- Janet and Elvis, the parents of Joey. Voiced by Adrienne Posta (Janet) and Bob Saker (Elvis).
- Julie, the mother of Jimmy. She is pale grey. Voiced by Anna Bentinck.
- Jimmy, the son of Julie. Voiced by Lewis McLeod.
- Janice, the son of three nameless triplets. Voiced by Adrienne Posta.
- Mr. Platypus, as his name suggests, is a brown platypus. Voiced by Keith Wickham.
- Wally, an elderly shaman. He is a wombat. Voiced by Keith Wickham.
- Phoebe, a koala and an unlucky resident. Voiced by Adrienne Posta.
- Carrie, a cockatoo that lives in Australia. Voiced by Adrienne Posta.
- Koala Mama, the mother of Phoebe. Voiced by Anna Bentinck.
Residents of the North Pole
- Snowbert, the Arctic cousin of Boris. He is a polar bear that used to be lonely. He is friends with Sidney. Voiced by Bob Saker (impersonating Peter Cullen).
- Sidney, a nearby friend of Snowbert. He is a harp seal. Voiced by Keith Wickham.
- Mr. Icy Flipper, a motionless sculpture that looks like Sidney.
Residents of South America
- Adam, an armadillo whose home is native to the mountains. It is revealed he has a mother in Season 1. He likes to roll into a ball. Voiced by Lewis McLeod in Season 1-2 and Matt Wilkinson in Season 3-4.
- Jazz, a snooty jaguar who likes to pick on Adam. His most famous relationship is with Leopoldo the llama. He speaks with a Hispanic accent. Voiced by Dan Russell (impersonating Jerry Nelson and Matt Vogel).
- Leopoldo, a South American llama and the goofiest of Jazz's group. Voiced by Lewis McLeod in Season 1-2 and Matt Wilkinson in Season 3-4.
- Duddley, a two-toed sloth who has been shown only once. Voiced by Bob Saker.
- Taco, a Toco toucan who likes to pick on Adam. The name has no use to the food. Voiced by Dan Russell (impersonating Bruce Lanoil).
- Annie, an anaconda who is thought to be a monster of the forest. Voiced by Anna Bentinck.
- The Mysterious Mountain, the only mountain who is able to speak. He has a treasure on the top, which can only be accessed for those who share his treasure. Voiced by Bob Saker.
- Tallulah, a very friendly toucan who lives in a tree full of red flowers. Voiced by Adrienne Posta.
Residents of North America
- Melanie, the only female moose with antlers. Voiced by Adrienne Posta.
- Beverley, a beaver who is overprotective on her beaver dam for ages. She speaks with an American accent. Voiced by Anna Bentinck.
- Randolph, a raccoon and a mushroom farmer. He speaks with a Southern drawl accent. Voiced by Bob Saker.
- Alfie and Charlie, two chipmunks who are very different. The chipmunks are not named until Season 3. Voiced by Matt Wilkinson and Dan Russell in Season 3. Alfie is voiced by Keith Wickham in Season 4.
- Barbara, a young calf who is separated from her family. She is a bison calf. Voiced by Anna Bentinck.
- Mr. and Mrs. Bison, two adult bison who live with Barbara. Voiced by Laurence Bouvard (uncredited) and Dan Russell.
Residents of Mossy Bay Island
- Hercule Mustache, a very large walrus who migrated from the North Pole. He speaks with a French accent. Voiced by Dan Russell (impersonating Jim Cummings).
- Gunnar, a seagull who soars around the island. He is the coach of the football matches. Voiced by Dan Russell.
- Thomas, Sharon, Lewis, and Jamie, four puffins who live in Mossy Bay. Thomas is the leader, Sharon is the bravest, Lewis is the youngest, and Jamie is the smallest. Voiced by Lewis McCleod (Thomas, Season 2), Bob Saker (Lewis, Season 2-4), and Anna Bentinck (Sharon and Jamie, Season 2-4). Thomas is voiced by Keith Wickham in Season 3-4.
- Thelma, a sperm whale who is used for transportation. She didn't speak until Season 3. Voiced by Anna Bentinck.
- Jack, a red crab who has a large claw. He and the other crabs did not speak.
Residents of Asia
- Cassandra, a red-crowned crane who is the master of cooking. Voiced by Adrienne Posta.
- Bao Bao, a very friendly panda who has a fond of hugging. Voiced by Dan Russell.
- Gertie, a wild mountain goat who eats grass in the mountains. Voiced by Anna Bentinck.
- Horace, a wild hare who is always busy. Voiced by Keith Wickham.
- Confuse-us, a Chinese carp who lives in the pond. He is summoned when the gong is hit. Voiced by Keith Wickham.
Production began in 1993 after Vrombaut won an award for her first two shorts. The reason why she picked this series is because of Vrombaut in her interest in animals and zoos. The Antwerp zoo in Belgium was the inspiration of Vrombaut in her childhood.
While in production, Vrombaut decided to inspire the series by traditional stories. The stories were researched on Aesop's Fables. Other researches range from traditional folk stories, and of course, "Just So Stories" by Rudyard Kipling. They range from the raven from Inuit legends, followed by Anansi and Nogwaja in African legends. This also includes the story of a flying tortoise in her research.
The books were not only the inspirations to create the series. Some films (such as "The Jungle Book" and "the Lion King") were an inspiration for development. Vrombaut, however, was tired of those traditional stories. She decided to make her own stories instead.
Each series featured a house with the number "64" on its door near a zoo. The house featured a little girl named Lucy. Vrombaut, however, couldn't write the stories with just one writer. She was at Millimages with a small team of artists, animators, and scriptwriters.
Vrombaut decided to write many stories of animals. These stories range from: a kangaroo that can't jump, a very fast zebra, and many others. Some of these episodes were inspired from cultural folk stories. An example includes a stork with its feathers lost and getting them back (inspired from African stories).
When Vrombaut was ready to animate her giraffe artwork, development for the series has begun. The development was done in Millimages in France. When development was done, the series had its premiere in CBBC. The series was renewed for a second season in 2002 and ended in 2003. When the second series ended, the series continued its reruns on CBeebies.
After the series continued its reruns, the series is revived in Adobe Flash in 2009. Production began in 2008 and aired on 2010. The main difference is that some characters have different tones. The third series was dedicated for the loss of John Grace and Jill McGreal who died during production. The revival of the series began in 2010 and the series ended in 2013.
The animation used for the third and fourth series is Adobe Flash. The opening song is different than the original one. Some characters are given major redesigns in Adobe Flash (for example, Alfie and Charlie). This series introduces new characters from a new region: Asia. The first resident from Asia to appear is Cassandra.
The series is also shown in the United States. The series had its first U.S. premiere in the former preschool channel in Noggin in September 2005. Some characters are given American accents. In addition, all words pronounced by British people are given American pronouncing. The first and second series were only broadcast in the U.S. When its run ended on Nick Jr. on 2010, the series was moved to Sprout on Monday, August 27, 2012. Sprout aired reruns from Season 1 and 2. However, the series ended its broadcast on Sunday, September 2, 2013.
The American voice editing was done by Lobster Films. The difference is that Kevin was voiced by Dan Russell in order to make him sound like an actual male voice. Ciara Janson gave Lucy an American accent. Megg Nicol and Dian Perry lent their voices on three characters: Georgina Audrey, and Nathalie. Lucy's mother also has an American accent (voiced by Dian Perry). Emma Tate and Lorelei King (uncredited voice actresses) did the voices of Giggles and Tickles in the US version.
- During its first broadcast on CBBC, the TV show has become a popular hit for best animation, best character designs, and best original animations.
- It was nominated for the best pre-school series animated in Britain.
- In 2010, it became the winner of TV France International. It has many viewers during its broadcast in Europe and Australia. The highest-grossing number of viewers is in Poland on the children's channel in MiniMini. It also became a winner of many views all across Britain from Cbeebies, BBC 2, and Disney Playhouse. It also had a positive response in RTÉ 2 in Ireland and Australia in ABC 1 and ABC 2.
The series received positive reviews from some viewers all across United Kingdom, France, Ireland, Poland, Spain, United States, Latin America, and Brazil.
- This is the first Millimages series to have an Adobe Flash revival.
- This is the first Millimages series to have a separate English version (UK and US). The second is Archibald the Koala (which was shown on Sprout, exclusively on demand).
- This is the first animated series by Vrombaut.