|Somewhere in the official handbook of creating cute and cuddly cartoon critters, there’s an old rule: “When in doubt, use koalas.” For some reason, kids have always loved those round-eared marsupials, and cartoon makers have been more than willing to give them their fill of cuddlers from Down Under. Koala siblings Blinky and Pinky jumped on the bandwagon in 1988, bringing joy and adventure to Nickelodeon viewers on their own animated series, Noozles.
In addition to the two koalas, Noozles starred young 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 gave Sandy a package containing what looked like a stuffed toy koala. In reality, the “toy” was Blinky himself, a refugee from Koalawalla Land. Sandy discovered that by “noozling” noses with the wee creature, Blinky would come alive.
Within minutes of Blinky’s first appearance to Sandy, another koala arrived on the scene: Blinky’s little pink sister, Pinky. The latter koala had a special makeup compact that allowed her to open holes in space and time, and she had come over to our world to bring Blinky back. Blinky wasn’t too keen on that idea, since Koalawalla Land was a none-too-friendly place patrolled by kangaroo cops (though on the plus side, everyone could fly). Luckily, Blinky had a magical device of his own: a watch that could stop time.
Over the course of the show’s 65 episodes, Sandy, Blinky and Pinky went on countless adventures both in our world and in Koalawalla Land. The criminal twosome Frankie and Spike provided most of the show’s menace, always trying to catch the koala siblings for poaching profits. But despite the danger, Noozles was never too intense for very young viewers, who made the show a long-running hit on Nickelodeon’s “Nick Jr.” lineup.