Retro-style animation mixed with futuristic adventures make for an odd match in Nicktoons' mostly uninspired "The Secret Show." BBC-commissioned tyke fare attempts to humor kids by letting on that secret agents are less James Bond and more Maxwell Smart; a 5-year-old, obviously, won't know either.

Retro-style animation mixed with futuristic adventures make for an odd match in Nicktoons’ mostly uninspired “The Secret Show.” BBC-commissioned tyke fare attempts to humor kids by letting on that secret agents are less James Bond and more Maxwell Smart; a 5-year-old, obviously, won’t know either.

Under the guise of “The Fluffy Bunny Show,” Victor and Anita work for the U.Z.Z. and receive their mission in each episode. They must somehow stop the bad guys from creating havoc by any means necessary. They get their orders from a boss, similar to Bond’s M, who changes his name every day to keep his identity safe.

When an imposter breaks into the home office and steals the “secret thing” under their nose, everyone — including egghead gadget guy Professor Professor — tries to get it back. The mission seems more perfunctory than entertaining.  Part two of the first episode is a bit more imaginative, as Martian thieves — tired of floating in space — have taken away the Earth’s gravity for their own falling-down parties. With no gravity in place, entire countries are now moving freely in the atmosphere and the world map has turned into a unsolvable jigsaw puzzle.

 Before the planets collide, Victor and Anita do their best to restore order. The creatures from Mars add some levity to their prank and make this 12-minute segment more kid-friendly than the first.

 Still, that’s not enough to fulfill the ever-expanding thirst for top-notch pre-school entertainment. When it comes to figuring out what it takes to produce winning programming for the junior set, nobody filled these guys in on the secret ingredient.

The Secret Show

Nicktoons, Jan. 20, 8:30 p.m.

Production

Produced by Collingwood Entertainment, in association with the BBC Worldwide. Exec producer, Christopher O'Hare; director, Tony Collingwood; co-director, O'Hare.

Crew

Production designer, Mike Zarb; music, Roger Jackson. Running time: 30 MIN.

Cast

Voices: Alan Marriott, Kate Harbour, Rob Rackstraw, Keith Wickham, Martin Hyder.
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