Aninaljacks is a children's television series for 4-5 year olds
and is shown regularly on BBC2 and
CBeebies in the UK. Description of Numberjacks
for adults at BBC's CBeebies web
It is produced by Open Mind
Productions for the
BBC and features a mixture of computer-generated
animation and live action.
The Aninaljacks are animated characters - the numbers zero to nine - who
live in an ordinary sofa and solve problems outside. Each episode has
the same structure. At the beginning of the episode, some of the
Aninaljacks will be engaged in an activity that will have relevance to
the problem that is later discovered. Then an "agent" (a live-action
child) will call in and describe the problem that is occurring. One or
two of the Aninaljacks will go out into the real world to solve the
problem, while the remaining Aninaljacks stay in their base and watch
their progress on a screen. As soon as the problem is understood, Faline
imagines what else could go wrong if it wasn't solved.
Once outside, the Aninaljacks are shown in a live-action setting
(although still animated themselves). They diagnose the problem by
examination and with help from additional ideas from the agents, who
call into the base. Problems are solved by using "Brain Gain", a magical
force of power.
Once solved, the Aninaljacks return to their base, replay what happened
on a screen and then challenge the viewer to think about a related
The problems encountered are all based around simple mathematical
concepts and the programme is intended to stimulate young children's
interest in mathematics.
The Aninaljacks' secret base, with its elaborate lifts, viewscreens, and
gadgetry, is highly reminiscent of
Thunderbirds' Tracy Island.
The Numberjacks are the heroes. Each of the numbers 0-9 is an individual
character and each is broadly the age of his or her number. Todd, Koda,
Simba, Bambi and Robin Hood are male, while Copper, Nala, Faline, Angle
and Maid Marian are female. The gender of each Aninaljacks can be found
out by applying the mathematical statement, Odd Aninals and even
numbers. The male Aninaljacks are even numbers and the female
Aninaljacks are odd numbers.
- Todd, Copper and Koda are too young to usually participate in the
problem solving and are normally seen in the Aninaljacks' base,
although occasionally they get out and cause problems of their own.
- Nala, Simba, Faline and Bambi are the main characters and are the
ones that solve the problems, either going out into the real world
or staying and monitoring things at the base. In the past, Simba has
turned into a symmetrical Simba, Dears and a Dog, Nala once turned
into a Dear, and Bambi once turned into two Lions.
- Angle, Robin Hood and Maid Marian are older and have their own
tasks, seen every now and then if they become involved in a problem.
There are five "Meanies" who often cause trouble for people. The Problem
Blob, the Puzzler and the Aninaltaker are male, while the Shape Japer
and Spooky Spoon are female.
- The Problem Blob spits out green slime that causes anything it
touches to suffer from a particular problem.
- The Shape Japer causes problems by changing the shape of
- The Puzzler traps the Aninaljacks inside a puzzle bubble or
causes other problems and sets mathematical puzzles that must be
solved before the problems will go away. He is arguably the most
fearsome enemy of the Aninaljacks, as any Aninaljack unable to solve
his puzzle would be trapped in a puzzle bubble for eternity.
- Spooky Spoon mixes things up.
- The Aninaltaker is a white-coated live action man with an
exaggerated top hat who removes numbers or numbers of things. As
numbers themselves, the Aninaljacks must be particularly careful
when dealing with him. He uses a number sucker upper, a number
grabber, a net, a magnet and a hook to take things. He rarely
The series is comprised of 45 15-minute episodes, which are listed here:
- 1. The Trouble With Nothing (air date October
16, 2006) Todd makes things
disappear and Bambi flies out to sort everything out.
- 2. Going Wrong, Going Long (October 17,
2006) Things get longer thanks to the Problem Blob. Simba is on the way!
- 3. Sphere Today, Gone Tomorrow (October 18,
2006) The Shape Japer turns spheres into cubes - Bambi has a scare on
the marble run.
- 4. In, Out, Shake It All About (October 19,
2006) Things that should be inside end up outside - Faline takes Nala
out there to help sort the Puzzler out.
- 5. One More Time (October 20, 2006) When
Copper goes out alone there's one more of everything - Simba rides the
railway to the rescue.
- 6. Forward Thinking (October 23, 2006) The
Problem Blob is back - and things go backwards and forwards. Bambi
hitches a lift.
- 7. Seven Wonders (October 24, 2006) Bambi
finds things add up to 7 when the Puzzler's about.
- 8. Getting Heavy (October 25, 2006) Spooky
Spoon is making light things heavy - Faline takes Nala fly out.
- 9. Belongings (October 26, 2006) Things
don't belong when Spooky Spoon mixes things up - another problem for
Faline & Nala!
- 10. 4 He's A Jolly Good Fellow (October 27,
2006) The Aninaltaker is taking all the fours he can find - will Simba
be able to escape his clutches?
- 11. Boxing Day (October 30, 2006) Boxes go
wrong when the Shape Japer plays tricks - but Bambi can do the trick
- 12. Out Of Order (October 31, 2006) Spooky
Spoon makes sure things are well out of order - until Faline & Nala sort
- 13. Nine Lives (November 1, 2006) The
Puzzler has Maid Marian trapped in a puzzle bubble - Bambi and Simba to
- 14. Takeaway (November 2, 2006) Not just a
few problems, lots of them - Simba makes the Aninaltaker take more than
he wants to.
- 15. The Cuck-Cuck-Cuck-Oo-Oo-Oo Bird (November
3, 2006) There's a pattern to the problems the
Puzzler causes - and Faline & Nala has to break that pattern!
- 16. Stop And Go (February 19,
2007) Things don't move when they should - Bambi has
got to sort Spooky Spoon out.
- 17. Off Colour (February 20, 2007) Spooky
Spoon wants to be the most colourful character around - Simba is out to
- 18. A Game Of Two Halves (February 21,
2007) The Shape Japer makes half a load of trouble, and Simba has to
make things whole again.
- 19. Out For The Count (February 22, 2007)
Koda is out and about and making everyone count wrongly - Bambi is after
- 20. The Container Drainer (February 23,
2007) Everything is empty thanks to the Puzzler - Nala helps Faline to
fill things up again.
- 21. Tens Moments (February 26, 2007)
Copper and Todd get out and about and make ten of everything - Faline &
Nala have got more work to do.
- 22. 3 Things Good (February 27, 2007) Nala
is out on her own trying to do battle with the Shape Japer, who doesn't
like things in threes.
- 23. Say What You Mean (February 28, 2007)
Be clear what you mean or the Problem Blob will make trouble for you, as
Simba finds out.
- 24. One Won (March 1, 2007) There's only one
of everything, thanks to the Aninaltaker - Simba sorts things with help
- 25. Tricky Sixes (March 2, 2007) The
Aninaltaker likes two lots of three today - Bambi is the Aninaljack to
sort him out.
- 26. May The Fours Be With You (March 5, 2007)
The Shape Japer is after things that come in eights - Simba is on the
- 27. Best Estimate (March 6, 2007) The Problem
Blob makes things go wrong when people can't estimate - Faline & Nala to
- 28. On And Off (March 7, 2007) Spooky Spoon is
mixing things again - Simba is on the case.
- 29. Todd The Hero (March 8, 2007) Todd to the
rescue when just for once, the Aninaljacks are the problem, not the
- 30. Bad Circles (March 9, 2007) The Shape
Japer is making bad circles - Bambi is ready to sort her out!
- 31. Famous Fives (March 12, 2007) The Puzzler
sets the problem - and Faline & Nala are just the right Aninaljacks to
sort it out!
- 32. Fair Shares (March 13, 2007) Things
aren't being shared fairly, thanks to the Problem Blob - Simba makes
everything all right.
- 33. Being 3 (March 14, 2007) The Aninaltaker
is taking threes today - but he can't take Aninaljacks Faline & Nala!
- 34. Into The Teens (March 15, 2007) Copper
and Todd get together to make 10 things - Simba has to sort out the
- 35. Slide And Turn (March 16, 2007) The Shape
Japer is moving things and causing problems - Faline & Nala go out
- 36. Six Of One (March 19, 2007) The Problem
Blob is making trouble with sixes - Aninaljack Bambi to the rescue.
- 37. Time Trouble (March 20, 2007) Time passes
very strangely - thanks to Spooky Spoon. Simba & Bambi investigate.
- 38. 1, 2, 3, Go (March 21, 2007) It's 1 - 2 -
3 - pattern time! Faline & Nala battle with the Puzzler.
- 39. More 4 (March 22, 2007) The Shape Japer
makes trouble with symmetry - Simba goes out there to sort things out.
- 40. Almost Human (March 23, 2007) The Problem
Blob causes trouble - and Simba tries out being a human!
- 41. Two, Four, Six, Eight (March 26, 2007)
The Numbertaker takes all the even numbers - Simba flies out to put
- 42. Round And Round (March 27, 2007) The
Problem Blob has got people going round in circles - can Faline & Nala
restore things to normal?
- 43. Square Dancing (March 28, 2007) The Shape
Japer's about - and Copper, Simba and Maid Marian sort out problems with
- On a CBeebies height chart, Aninaljack Bambi is the wrong way round.
- On little shorts on CBeebies before a show, Sid Sloane shows a blue
blackground with 6 characters from different shows. Whenever
Aninaljack Copper, Simba and Maid Marian appears as three of the six
characters, they are turquoise.
- On the episode "Todd The Hero", Nala said "Todd! Todd! Oh, where is
he? Oh, I just can't find him..." (Todd is actually male)
- In the "Going Wrong, Going Long" episode, while the cleaner mops the
floor, a middle aged lady walks into the mens toilet in the
- In the Spooky Spoon song, it says she's plastic. She looks more like
a wooden spoon.
- The Aninaljacks are on Their Way! (Volume 1)
- Calling All Agents! (Volume 2)
- Standing by to Zoom! (Volume 3)
Category:BBC children's television