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File:Noozles 9630.jpg

Also known as The Wonderous Koala Blinky, The Noozles was a 26-episode series by Nippon Animation Company that was originally released in Japan in 1984. It was dubbed and shown in English beginning in 1988. It's mainly remembered today for being shown in seemingly endless reruns in the early days of Nickelodeon, who would often eagerly snap up whatever animated series from around the world they could afford the rights to.

It is also known for starting out as just your average cute cartoon about a girl and her koala buddy -- and then suddenly taking a turn for the very very strange. It turns out that Star Blazers and Macross director Noboru Ishiguro was involved in the program, which might help explain some things.

Here's the story. A little girl named Sandy lives with her oblivious mother and kindly grandmother. Out of the blue she receives a crate from her grandfather, who was believed to be lost at sea many years ago. The crate contains Blinky, who initially appears to be a magical stuffed toy that comes to life whenever Sandy rubs noses (or "Noozles") with him.

Soon Blinky's sister Pinky shows up. Pinky is a little pink koala who can fly and has magical powers. For much of the series, she gets in and out of trouble and / or causes Sandy and Blinky to get in and out of trouble with her powers. She insists that Blinky return with her to a place called "Koalawalla Land".

Do whatever you have to do to prepare, because this is where things get weird.

The characters eventually make their way to Koalawalla Land around the middle of the series. It tuns out to be an alternate universe populated entirely by anthropomorphic Australian animals, who each live on tiny planets floating in a psychedelic space. Koalawalla Land has heard of your Earth-physics and wants nothing to do with them; the residents float free of gravity and are able to travel from planet to planet simply by flying.

Sandy quickly learns two unsettling things about Koalawalla Land. First off, apparently, the residents are all Designer Babies. We learn this when Blinky proudly introduces Sandy to his "momma" -- and she's an artificial incubator a la Splice. Except in the shape of a giant pink koala.

Secondly, there is the High Dingy Doo. Sandy must wear an animal mask whenever she visits Koalawalla Land. This is because the High Dingy Doo despises humans. Humans are arrested and jailed on sight just for being in his domain. Some humans are trapped within The Crystal Place, which helps hold the universe together but will trap your soul forever if you touch it. And the way he enforces this law is with his air force of -- we promise you we are not kidding -- Nazi Koalas.

It should be noted that this show had a small but loyal cult following among older Anime fans, simply because of these... unexpected plot elements. But what effect did all of this have on all the little kids who just wanted a cartoon about magic koalas?

Anyway, eventually the High Dingy Doo has no choice but to ask the humans who have stumbled upon the secret of Koalawalla Land (this mostly means Sandy's family) for help. It seems that the bond between the human world and the Koala world is breaking, and unless the separation is guided by the Wiseman Stones, both worlds could be torn asunder. Fortunately, Sandy's father and grandfather (who was actually trapped in The Crystal Place all this time) have found the stones, and that means that Blinky and Pinky must travel to Ayers Rock to oversee the separation of the two worlds. They succeed. Humans and koalas are forever isolated from each other, and Sandy and her magical Noozle friends never see each other again.



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