Nostalgia Done Right: The Noozles
posted by B on 2/16/01
Back in 1988 I was a simple child. I enjoyed multiple trips to the movie theater to see "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure" and playing with my Masters of the Universe action figures in the bath tub.
Thankfully my parents weren't abusive or insane, because children's television of the day was trying to turn me into a psycho killer. Maybe it was Reaganomics. Wait, no, Reaganomics doesn't make you a killer, it makes you senile.
The Cold War was coming to a close when Nick, Jr., the daytime programming of newbie cable network Nickelodeon, hit it's peak. The Nick, Jr. of my day doesn't resemble the Nick, Jr. of today: Bland puppet shows, Steve from Blues Clues portraying a retarded man as a positive role model, and "Face," a bizarre creation that endorses either psychedelic drugs or communism, I haven't decided.
Long story short, Nick Jr. sucked monkey kong.
Everyone in my Nick generation loved old-school French anime "Special Delivery," but we had to sit through tripe like "Mia the Bee" or Happy Days' own Tom Bosley as "David the Gnome" for an hour to get to it. Not to even MENTION Sharon, Lois, and Bram, who's "skinnamarinky dinky dink" song and accompanying hand motions were phallic and uncalled for.
The best show in Nick, Jr. history is long gone from television...it lives in a squishy part of our grey matter, between old pro wrestling angles and lyrics to Flock of Seagulls songs. I'm sure most of you won't remember it, and those who DO will jump up at their computer and slam an index finger on the screen screaming "THAT'S WHAT IT WAS CALLED!" I'm talking, of course, about "The Noozles."
Deeper than it ever appeared to be, "The Noozles" debuted on Nickelodeon in 1988 and starred Sandy Brown, an inquisitive 12-year-old girl who lived with her grandmother while her father was away on archaeological digs. One day, Grandmother Brown (who probably practiced "Reaganomics") gave Sandy a package that'd been lost at sea for years: a volleyball with a big bloody handprint on it.
Scratch that. It was a stuffed koala bear.
Click HERE to hear the ROCKING Noozles theme song! (148KB, wav)
The koalas were most like in the cartoon as part of the backlash of the Yahoo Serious Era in American pop culture, the desire to exploit the Australians for whatever they were worth. Since the 80's we've learned that watching goofy animal show hosts and injecting drugs to improve swimming abilities are the best way to harness the essence of "Australia," but this was Nick, Jr.
Sandy discovered that by giving the koala bear a "noozle" (rubbing noses together, part of the Eskimo Kama Sutra) it would come alive, and get hungry and tired very easily. The dumpy grey bear's name was Blinky, and all he ever really did was get hungry and tired easily. He wore a watch that could stop time, and developed a Pikachu-like attachment to Sandy that would last throughout the series' 65 episodes.
Within minutes of Blinky's awakening a second koala showed up out of nowhere, a smaller, more rage-inducing pink koala named Pinky who had a special makeup compact that allowed her to open holes in space and time. As simple as it was, the show made about as much sense as Music Television without any music.
Hm. This article isn't really going like I'd planned. Anyway, the pink koala (with the same voice as Angelica from "Rugrats") had come over to our world to bring Blinky back to Koala Wala Land, their homeland. Koala Wala land was a cross between 2001: A Space Odyssey and every anime stereotype imaginable...star field backgrounds, giant crystal formations floating around, and naked lesbian schoolgirls koala bears that talk. Blinky didn't want to go back, because Koala Wala Land had turned into a police state, governed by "kangaroo cops" who could fly around. Everybody could fly in Koala Wala Land. Christopher Reeve could fly in Koala Wala Land, only he couldn't move his arms or legs.
The conflict of "should we go back or not" was the plot of basically every show, as Sandy would take the koalas on various adventures in our world and in Koala Wala Land. The big mystery of the show involved the location of Sandy's long lost father... Sandy's dad had sent Blinky to her for a very specific reason. He was trapped in a crystal jail in Koala Wala Land in a storyline and conclusion that held so much metaphor and human significance that I'm probably remembering it as much more than it was.
That's probably a lot of it. The show had horrible dubbing, so annoying that the smooth voice of Tom Bosley would've been an improvement. Other simple storylines followed Sandy's relationship with her best friend Mark, and "Franky and Spike," the Team Rocket of the 80's: two thugs who desperately wanted to steal Blinky and Pinky for poaching profits. This wasn't ever TOO intense, though, because after thirty minutes of "Mia the Bee" a Robert Frost poem would give you a nervous breakdown.
"The Noozles" is at the very least a pleasant memory, and thanks to this recent sadistic uprising of 80's nostalgia in the world several videos are available from Amazon.com. If anyone out there has any episodes on tape, I'll send you my panties for them. Because I'm in GINARATION X BRO!!!!!!!!!!1
I'm assuming that if they sell enough videos, all the remaining passable fashion in Gadzooks and Hot Topic will be replaced by fluorescent yellow shirts with a Kangaroo Cop iron-on on the front.
Remember this show fondly, and please, let's not screw this memory up.