An American student living and studying in Edinburgh is given a mysterious box of toy animals for her birthday, toys that come alive during the night in their quest to find an ancient magical book.




2   1  
2005   2004  
1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »


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Series cast summary:
Alan Cumming ...  Bruno the Bear 13 episodes, 2004
Rik Mayall ...  Edwin the Eagle 13 episodes, 2004
Siobhan Redmond ...  Ailsa the Adder 13 episodes, 2004
Bill Paterson ...  Storyteller 13 episodes, 2004
Vivien Endicott Douglas ...  Marnie McBride 13 episodes, 2004
Kelsey Collins Kelsey Collins ...  Becky 13 episodes, 2004
Sanjeev Kohli ...  Mr. Kasmani 13 episodes, 2004
Nathaniel Arcand ...  Cousin Henry 13 episodes, 2005
Paul Coeur Paul Coeur ...  Grandpa 13 episodes, 2005
Kyle Daly Kyle Daly ...  Kid #1 13 episodes, 2005
Forrest Eaglespeaker Forrest Eaglespeaker ...  Steve 13 episodes, 2005
Natascha Girgis ...  Aurora Dexter 13 episodes, 2005
Elisabeth Harmer Elisabeth Harmer ...  Kid #2 13 episodes, 2005
Vanessa Holmes Vanessa Holmes ...  Flight Attendant 13 episodes, 2005
Jessica Knights Jessica Knights ...  Carlie 13 episodes, 2005
Peter Strand Rumpel ...  Edinburgh Airport Security Officer 13 episodes, 2005
Sammy Simon Sammy Simon ...  Stone Bear 13 episodes, 2005
Gordon Tootoosis ...  Nathaniel 13 episodes, 2005
Cassidy Waring Cassidy Waring ...  Camp Girl 13 episodes, 2005
Peter Mullan ...  Michael Scot 12 episodes, 2004
Simon Callow ...  Wolfgang the Wolf 12 episodes, 2004
David McKay David McKay ...  McTaggart 11 episodes, 2004
Jason Connery ...  Dad 10 episodes, 2004
Tony Donaldson Tony Donaldson ...  Toledo 10 episodes, 2004
Krystina Coates Krystina Coates ...  Laura 10 episodes, 2004
Frances Low ...  Ms. MacKay 7 episodes, 2004
Sean Joseph Young Sean Joseph Young ...  Stewart 6 episodes, 2004


Colorado-born eleven year old Marnie McBride is mourning the loss of her beloved mother as she settles into her new home in Scotland with her widowed father, who takes her to a run-down junk shop on her eleventh birthday. There, she is given a box of toy animals by a mysterious old man, which spring to life the next morning. She soon learns from these creatures that they are on an important quest to find an ancient book that holds a dark magical power within its pages, and need to find it before the evil shape shifter, Toledo does first. Marnie reluctantly offers to help, but finds she has her own fair share of problems to deal with, as she tries to make some friends at her new school, as well as put up with the classroom bullies. Written by Extraordinary Machine

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Plot Keywords:

quest | book | birthday | scotland | bully | See All (47) »


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Did You Know?


The BBC were so impressed by the quality of the series that a second season was in production before the first had even aired. See more »


Referenced in Son of the Mask (2005) See more »

User Reviews

intriguing but flat series
6 January 2005 | by didi-5See all my reviews

Season 1 of 'Shoebox Zoo' (I assume there's more to come after the disappointing end episode) started with an interesting premise - Canadian kid Marnie (played by the inanimate Vivien Endicott Douglas, a young actress of limited range and irritating accent) inherits a zoo of toy animals who actually prove to be alive and representative of human souls trapped in time.

This all has something to do with her mother, who has now passed, and a mystic named Michael Scot (Peter Mullan, playing the role with too much sincerity). There's a devil representative - the reptile-like Toledo (Tony Donaldson, overacting badly), and there's a starry cast voicing the animals (Rik Mayall, Siobhan Redmond - superior voice talent as the snake, Simon Callow, and Alan Cumming).

Why it doesn't all come together is a mystery. The special effects are basic and the lead role is all wrong, but there's a much better show trying to get out of this one. It tries to be all encompassing, deadly serious, and indicative of Celtic myth, but all the talk of a mysterious book, 'The Chosen One', and the disparate accents (lots of Scots alongside the Canadian drawl) makes it more of a miss than a hit.

I really wanted this show to work. It does have appeal beyond its target audience on children's TV, but it doesn't quite hit the spot.

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Official Sites:



UK | Canada



Release Date:

1 September 2004 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Skokartongens hemlighet See more »

Filming Locations:

Edinburgh, Scotland, UK


Box Office


GBP8,500,000 (estimated)
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Technical Specs


(26 episodes)

Sound Mix:



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