A great universal of animation is the chase. In general, you take two animals who are, for preference, natural enemies. You give them a reason to chase and be chased. You place them in something approaching their natural habitat—traditionally, the roadrunner doesn’t even leave the road, because he is after all the roadrunner—and set them after one another. It’s really simple. There are other options to work with, because of course there are, but those are the basics. To my mind, Zig & Sharko shows why some of the basics are the way they are, because things can get weird really fast.
You see, Zig is a hyena. Sharko, obviously, is a shark. So yeah. Zig, for reasons, wants to eat Marina, a mermaid. Sharko is in love with Marina. He doesn’t want Zig to eat her. Normally, you’d figure this is not a huge problem, because sharks and hyenas do not traditionally interact much. However, Sharko and Marina are both fully capable of being on land and therefore are constantly dealing with Zig and his . . . adoptive brother . . . Bernie the Hermit Crab.
Apparently, Zig was adopted by a female gorilla, because sure, why not. In short, this show does not notably make any sense whatsoever. Sharko and Marina both go wandering around on their tails, having no problem breathing air. Poseidon and Hades are characters—and both are mermen. Starting in the second season, Sharko is a lifeguard for the other aquatic animals, because obviously they require a lifeguard. There’s a human cargo plane pilot who has amnesia and sometimes but not always acts like a monkey. Again, sure, why not?
Wikipedia describes Marina as “good-natured but quite naive,” which is a charitable way of describing it. I might replace that with “too dense to live.” But, in the way of such things, she’s also too dense to die. She’s got Sharko keeping her safe, as is also a cartoon staple, and otherwise, Zig would’ve eaten her before even episode one, if you want my opinion. Pretty well every episode is her being chased by a hungry Zig and Sharko keeping her safe.
I mean, I guess I’m happy that Sharko is seen as a positive character? Like, we live in a culture where sharks are endangered because of Jaws, so I guess my kids are going to instead grow up . . . hating hyenas? They’ve got multiple shows telling them that hyenas are bad, and it’s only me and whatever nature documentaries I can find for them teaching them otherwise. We’ll keep working on it. At least they have positive role models showing them that women can be smarter than Marina.