Category: CBBC; Scotland
Take a dash of Toy Story, a pinch of the magic and mystery of The Lord of the Rings, and mix with the wonder of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and you are some way to understanding the ingredients which make up the award-winning family drama Shoebox Zoo.
The CBBC Scotland, Blueprint Entertainment and Alberta Filmworks co-production returns for a second series to The CBBC Channel in October.
With big name actors including Peter Mullan and Jason Connery and featuring the voices of Alan Cumming, Rik Mayall, Siobhan Redmond and Simon Callow, the 13-part second series promises to be another popular hit.
Returning to the lead role of Marnie McBride is talented young Canadian actress Vivien Endicott-Douglas, who was nominated for a Scottish Bafta in 2004.
Joining the original cast are new North American cast members including Yudii Mercredi as Marnie's best friend and partner in crime Kyle, Gordon Tootoosis, Paul Coeur, Valerie Ann Pearson and Natascha Girgis.
Fusing state-of-the-art CGI (computer generated imagery) animation with classic family drama, the look and feel of Shoebox Zoo differentiates it from any other programme seen on British television.
Filmed in Alberta, Canada, its breathtaking scenery, quality cast and fascinating sense of adventure will appeal to children and adults alike.
Young Marnie McBride's life was turned upside down when she acquired a shoebox containing four beautifully carved animals that spring to life at her command.
Presented to her by a wizard, The Great Michael Scot (Mullan), whose power was on the wane, the Shoebox signified Marnie becoming The Chosen One.
The Chosen One's perilous quest to find the lost Book of Forbidden Knowledge now continues as she travels back across the ocean to her home in Denver, Colorado, complete with the Shoebox Zoo creatures and a magical torn page.
As she looks forward to spending the summer with her grandparents and native boy Kyle, Marnie is unaware that dangerous forces are already at work - forces which threaten to prevent her from completing the epic continuing quest for the book.
Helping her to continue the challenge are her carved friends who come to life - Ailsa the sly adder (Redmond), Bruno the kind hearted bear (Cumming) and Edwin the pompous eagle (Mayall).
Although he sadly came to his end in series one, wily Wolfgang the wolf (Simon Callow) makes an appearance, and a new member of the Zoo, Hunter the horse (also Callow), is introduced.
The Chosen One will face the greatest perils of all in this, the conclusion of the quest, including the terrifying resurrection of Toledo the Shapeshifter, whose aim remains to acquire the book for himself in the name of evil.
Should her mission fail, Marnie's Shoebox Zoo friends could remain lifeless carvings forever and never return to their human form.
Worse still, the book's evil magic could wreak havoc and seep into the world.
Shoebox Zoo was co-created by Showrunner and Executive Producer Claire Mundell, Series Director Justin Molotnikov and Lead Writer Brian Ward.
Notes to Editors
Shoebox Zoo won Best Children's and Youth Series at the Celtic Film Festival in 2004, and was shortlisted for the Royal Television Society Awards in the Best Children's Drama category.
Executive Producer Claire Mundell was awarded with a Scottish Bafta in 2004 for Shoebox Zoo and her contribution to Children's Programming.
Series one has been sold by BBC Worldwide to more than 20 territories including Australia, Canada, Bosnia, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Dubai, Estonia, Hong Kong, Iceland, India, Italy, Malaysia, Malta, New Zealand, Norway, Romania, Russia, Serbia, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Vietnam and USA.
Series two of Shoebox Zoo can be seen on The CBBC Channel from Sunday 16 October at 6.00pm.
Episodes will be shown as double bills every Sunday on The CBBC Channel at 6.00pm until Sunday 4 December when episode 13 will be shown alone.
Series one will be repeated on BBC ONE from 26 September at 4.30pm.
Following this, series two will be repeated on BBC ONE early in 2006.
A boxed DVD set of series one and two will be released by BBC Worldwide on 7 November.
Three Shoebox Zoo books are published by BBC Children's Books on 1 September - Shoebox Zoo: Marnie's Quest, Shoebox Zoo: Book of Knowledge and Shoebox Zoo: Sticker Guide.