The Animal Task Force
concept for an animation series

Illustration: Jens Rassmus

Main Characters  Secondary Characters  Storylines

Sliding down a telephone wire, travelling undercover inside a postal package, making one's way through air vents and down the drain: with dedication and clever tricks, two brave mice, assisted by a cool-headed Saint Bernard dog, enter the strongholds of human beings in order to help fellow animals in need. With fast paced action and smart talking, macho-mouse Bruce tries to gain ground on his missions. Unfortunately his tough female partner Cybel remains rather unimpressed by his attitude.

How it all began: Delmer Doobiggle inherited a pet shop but did not have a single clue about how to groom animals. He prefers to work on his invention, a fully automated kitchen. One day, Leo, the dog, could not stand it anymore. For Delmer always mixed up cat's and rodent's food or even tried to feed the animals on the failed results of his cooking experiments.
With the help of the house mouse Bruce, who settled down in the shop without Delmer ever noticing him, the Saint Bernard dog takes the animals' fate into his own hands, that is to say paws.
Soon, they are joined by Cybel, a white lab-mouse seeking refugee in the shop after escaping from a scientist's lab. Now the self-government of the animals is heading for new dimensions. For the white mouse - due to her deep rooted distrust in human beings - convinces Bruce and Leon to check on the well-being of the animals that were sold recently. Soon they free a hungry Canary from a cold cage and a guinea pig out of a dustbin. The Animal Task Force is born!

Their solemn oath reads as follows: Each and every animal has the right, upon disapproval of its new owner, to return to the shop and get another chance. Much to Cybel's surprise, all the animals at the shop want to live among humans who love them and care for them! And hence the members of the Animal Task Force are constantly on the lookout for nice potential pet-owners who by themselves would never think of keeping a warthog or a chipmunk at home.

Every evening, after the shop has closed, the gang goes on a mission to check on the new home of recently sold mates. Inside the keg of the brave Saint Bernard dog Leon, the two mice get almost everywhere: fast, save and, most important, incognito. The smallest member of the group is a cat flea who is now living on a dog (don't you dare to make jokes about this!). He is indispensable for difficult tasks inside security locks, fuse boxes and all sorts of gambits. And Bea the Hill Myna does not follow the team on its missions, but nonetheless provides valuable information to them since she is friends with all the sparrows on the block.

In most cases, the animals that were sold in the shop are quite happy with their new homes, in particular when they live together with children. Does this mean that there is not much work for our heroes to be done? By no means! Soon, animals from farms, zoos and circuses ask the Animal Task force for help.
Sometimes, our gang faces very special tasks: animals who lost their way and want to be returned to their owner, animals who fell in love and want to live together, and some pet owner simply needs to be taught a lesson in species-appropriate keeping and good manners. A little spook, for example, can cause a human to give up the disgusting habit of smoking once and for all.

And on one occasion, the gang searches all night long for the lost lottery ticket of an elderly women who would love to buy better food for her cats, if she was only able to afford it.

Pet shop owner Doobiggle does not have the slightest clue about what is going on at his shop. He is so absent-minded that he does not notice the stuffed-toys that replace his animals whilst they are on a mission. And he does not even wonder why there are often more animals at the shop in the morning than there were at the evening before. And if he ever starts to suspect something, the animals quickly hide his glasses, making him lind like a mole.

As in every group, there are sometimes tiffs and rivalries, as well as different opinions about how things are done in the right way. But when the going gets tough, the animal A-Team sticks together and accomplishes every mission impossible.

Main Characters

Steps on the gas! Together with Cybel, he leads the Animal Task Force. Bruce may be just a little grey mouse, but he is a capital fellow! Especially, when Cybel is watching. He is quick-witted and brave, up to the point of being boisterous. He likes to make things look worse than they actually are, for simple tasks are below his dignity. Secretly, he is very romantic, dreaming of having a family and Â… becoming a real pet.

Cybel Seven-of-Ninety
The white mouse with the pink nose and the tiny silver microchip on her right eye always makes Bruce wanting to protect her. But a mouse who managed to escape from a scientist's lab all by herself, does not need to be protected. Cybel used the time she spent at the lab to study human behavior. Now, she knows exactly how to manipulate those two-legged beings. Cybel pretends to be cold-hearted and cynical. But deep down inside, she has a real tender heart - with a pacemaker of steel.

He is a real professional. Since his early youth, this Saint Bernard dog was serving as a rescue-dog. Leon always shows a poker face. And he always appears to be sad and moody. But then you'll be surprised by his dry-witted humor, which he sometimes uses to end up Bruce's and Cybel's ongoing tiffs. He is as clever, faithful, nice and brave as a dog can be.

This cat flea is as quickly offended as he can jump! So, Bela is a man's name - got it! He does not like to bite humans and lives on a strict diet of red orange juice, because he is a vegetarian (which is why he is always in such a bad mood - says Cybel to tease him). He likes to be begged to do something. But in times of need, he bites himself through! Most of the times, you can only hear Bela, but he is out of sight. So to speak, he is the flea in Leon's ear.

Secondary Characters

Don Vito Cheek
He is a really fat, old hamster with chubby cheeks, who always mumbles because he has his mouth full. He thinks he is the brain behind the Animal Task Force, because he always plans each mission. But he never leaves the pet shop, not even his cage. And eventually, despite best laid plans, our heroes still need to improvise a lot during the missions.

This female Hill Myna is disguised as a crow and works undercover. She gathers information on the targets with a cell-phone that has a built-in camera and hangs around her neck. The display of this cell-phone shines brightly inside the hamsters den, just like a projector, during their briefings. It also serves as a computer for the master-planner Don Cheek, for it has internet-access. Bea can imitate human voices, ring tones and doorbells and even speak on the phone. But despite her talent for speech, she is known for her legendary short reports.

Delmer Doobiggle
He is the owner of the pet shop, but does not understand his animals at all. Being extremely absent-minded and near-sighted, he spends the entire day working on his invention, the cooking-machine. The ingredients are transported by a model train, which takes a wild track around and about various food processors. And this often leads to more or less tasty, but in any case interesting culinary catastrophes and head-on collisions.

Doc Lapin
The missions are usually very tough. And so, our heroes frequently end up in the hospital, which is, in our case, the rabbit's cage. The doctor is an albino rabbit. He recently gave up on exotic grass and prefers to stick to carrots. But sometimes, he just can't resistÂ… And then, one or the other tiny little medical malpractice happens. Somehow, always to Bruce...

Nurse Priscilla
She is a tender furry female Chinchilla on whom each and every rodent at the shop has a crush.


The Lottery Ticket
For years, an old lady spends her small pension on her cats. More than one hundred of them live in the old mansion that belongs to the lady. But now, the lady is bankrupt and the house is supposed to be auctioned off. This is a case for the Animal Task Force! Because the cats have noticed that the old lady possesses a winning lottery ticket. She just lost it and forgot all about it. Three cats pay a visit to Bruce, who just hates cats, because - well, you can imagine! They ask him for help in order to find the lottery ticket before they loose their home. Reluctantly, Bruce and Cybel agree to the mission. But once they are inside the old lady's house, they make an alarming discovery: the other 97 cats that live there have no idea that the two mice are on a mission to help them...

Free Willi - Not!
This time, it's animal protection gone wrong for the Animal Task Force. The local zoo plans to free its fat wale into the open sea. But the wale does not want to be free. He'd rather stay inside his aquarium, being lazy and getting all the food that he wants. Unfortunately, the Animal Task Forces messes-up the job completely. They arrive at the zoo far too late and can only observe how Willi is lowered into a water tank and brought back to the open sea. But the Animal Task Force does not give up easily. They follow Willi and help him to find his way back home. Meanwhile, the whale did so much swimming in the sea that he lost all his excess weight.

The Last Curtain
A small circus is almost bankrupt and its animals are starving. The only hope for the animals is that their show is acquired by a larger circus. But the ringmaster of the largest circus in town refused to see their show. Hence it is up to the Animal Task force to help. They trick the ringmaster to see the last show of the small circus. And this show is - due to the help of the Animal Task Force - the best in the world!

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