Zig & Sharko is a French animated series of 156 episodes of 7 minutes that is created and directed by Olivier Jean-Marie and produced and executive produced by Xilam Animation, known for their animated series A Kind of Magic, Ratz, Space Goofs and Oggy and the Cockroaches. The series was broadcast from December 21, 2010 on Canal+, and is available in the United States of America on Netflix and was formerly on ToonsTV. As of September 1, 2017 it is no longer available on Netflix. On September 8, 2017 the show was revived on Netflix. In the series, none of the characters speak apart from unintelligible vocalizations, instead resorting to gestures and other forms of nonverbal communication, including the occasional use of pictograms in speech balloons. The exception is the Hindiversion broadcast in India, in which dialogue is dubbed over the original animation.
- Zig is a brown hyena living alone on a volcanic island who tries to capture and eat Marina. Often with the help of Bernie, Zig attempts to catch Marina using a number of overly complicated schemes reminiscent of Wile E. Coyote. However, Zig’s schemes routinely end in failure, foiled by Sharko, bad luck, or both, often with grievous bodily injury. Zig is the only main character apparently incapable of functioning both on land and in the water unassisted, as he needs some sort of breathing apparatus (usually a snorkel) if in the water for an extended period.
- Sharko is a large great white shark, Sharko is both Marina’s bodyguard and love interest, protecting her from Zig and other threats. Sharko despises Zig and generally pummels him every chance he gets, even in instances when Zig is not an imminent threat to Marina. Sharko is intensely loyal to Marina, routinely going out of his way to appease her and her sometimes frivolous requests. He is a fan of table tennis and is often seen playing it with Marina or a minor character (often an octopus).
- Marina is a beautiful mermaid with red hair and a green tail, who often sits on a rock in the lagoon near Zig’s island. Generally good-natured although quite naïve, Marina maintains a good relationship with most of the other characters, even Zig, as she seems to be oblivious to the fact he wants to eat her. Unlike almost many other mermaid characters, Marina is able to function out of the ocean without difficulty, using her flippers as feet. In addition to her rock Marina has a house presumably nearby on the seafloor, which she shares with Sharko. Marina enjoys singing, which Sharko dislikes. Nevertheless, her singing is popular with the local marine life and often has a siren effect on passing ships. In the episode “A Tale of Two Legs,” it is strongly implied Marina was born on Zig’s island to a mermaid mother and a human father; however in season 2, King Poseidon is her father.
- Bernie is an intelligent male hermit crab who lives on the island with Zig. Bernie and Zig are best friends, adoptive brothers and repeatedly collaborate in schemes to capture Marina. Despite this, Bernie doesn’t seem to hold any particular grudge against Marina or Sharko, and indeed even saves Marina on several occasions when she is threatened by someone other than Zig; in the episode “Catch A Falling Star” he had a crush on Marina’s sea star.