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The Quest For Zhu is a Zhu Zhu Pets Maya CGI film. It is the first out of four Zhu Zhu movies, the next being the upcoming The Power of Zhu. It was released to DVD on September 27, 2011.
When Pipsqueak (Shannon Chan-Kent) stops feeling loved by her owner Katie, she is sent to the Zhu-niverse, where she meets Mr. Squiggles (played by our Lord, Ian James Corlett), Chunk (Sean Campbell), and Num Nums (Erin Mathews), who later become her new friends. Pipsqueak and friends, which includes Abby the Alligator, Elaria the Elephant, Julia the Jiraffe, Aashir the Armadillo, and Jess the Jaguar, must embark on a long and dangerous journey to the Palace of Zhu to get back home to her best friend (Joseph the Jorilla).
At the beginning of the movie, we see Katie in her room, making a best friend card for her friend Chris. She then gets a call on her phone from Chris, who is reminding her about her soccer game. Katie then says bye to Pipsqueak, and leaves the room. Pipsqueak then starts making a best friend card for Katie. Katie comes back in the room, saying she forgot her cleats, and sees Pipsqueak on her desk. Thinking she is making a mess, Katie yells, which startles Pip, and she ends up making a real mess. Katie then gets mad and starts scolding Pipsqueak, then angrily leaves the room. Pip then gets sad, and sings One Day. A shooting star then appears above Katie's house, which sucks Pip in and takes her to the Zhu-niverse.
After Pipsqueak arrives at the Zhu-niverse, all the hamsters welcome her, and sing Celebration by Kool & the Gang. She then meets Mr. Squiggles, Num Nums, and Chunk, whom Pipsqueak tells about her problem. Stinker then drops by and introduces himself. He starts telling everyone about the great wizard, ZhuFu, and stating to Pip that he can help her get back home. Stinker then tells the four how to get to the Palace of Zhu, where ZhuFu resides. The four then start their journey across the land.
The first place they visit is the carrot fields, where there are lots of carrots growing. Num Nums acknowledges this, and starts eating away. Chunk then asks about Pipsqueak's shoes, which she replies that she keeps her favorite stuff in them and she doesn't want them to smell like feet. Chunk then proceeds to smell his feet, and faints following the process. Chunk gets up, and then tells his backstory:
Chunk had used to have his own boy owner, with whom he used to travel and find the best beaches. One day, Chunk had went out surfing by himself, with which his off-screen owner replies to not be late. Chunk keeps surfing, until he sees his owner riding away in the car. Chunk then wipes out.
The four then continue their journey into the Amazhu Jungle. Stinker then appears, telling the four that the palace is on the other side of the snowy mountain. Pipsqueak then gets angry at Stinker for not telling her earlier, but she still decides to continue the journey. They are walking through the jungle, until a plant hits Mr. Squiggles. They come back to get him but find that he is watching a bunch of sleeping zebras. They gaze at the zebras, until they wake up and see the four. The zebras then stampede towards the Zhus, who run from them. Chunk then blocks most of the zebras with his surfboard, then they continue walking through the jungle.
Still in the jungle at night, the Zhus are roasting carrots around a fire. Num Nums states that she used to roast marshmallows with her owner where she lived. Mr. Squiggles then states that he had never had a home, which surprises everyone. Squiggles then tells his backstory:
Squiggles had no real home, and lived in a pet store, which he had dubbed as a "pet prison". But, using the objects around him, Squiggles set up and tried an escape plan, which worked. Squiggles then made his way out of the pet store, riding on his skateboard.
In the morning, the Zhus are still sleeping. All of a sudden, a Tarzan-like Zhu swings down from a vine, and catches Pipsqueak, who then wakes up and calls for help. The three other Zhus wake up and run to get her. In the trees, Pip is swinging from vines, trying to avoid the hamster trying to get her. She jumps onto another tree, but a small jaguar is walking towards her on the tree. The Tarzan-like Zhu jumps on and roars, scaring the jaguar and making it run away. The hamster introduces himself as Mangawanga, king of the jungle, and licks Pip, saying "Me like you!" This grosses out Pipsqueak, which causes her to run away from Mangawanga, chasing her once again. Mangawanga gets trapped in a web of vines, while Pip is hanging under. Mangawanga starts chewing on the vine Pip is hanging on, in an attempt to make her fall. The attempt succeeds, and Pip starts falling, until Mr. Squiggles catches her. The four then make their way out of the jungle, into the snowy mountain.
At the snowy mountain, Num Nums asks Pipsqueak how she ended up in the Zhu-niverse, which Pip then stated that she tried to do something special for her owner, but it didn't work out, so she ditched Katie. Num Nums does not approve of this, which causes the two to get into an argument, which Mr. Squiggles is able to stop before it gets worse. Squiggles tells Pipsqueak the reason why Num Nums was so mad was because she used to have an owner she was crazy about, who unfortunately moved to an apartment complex that allowed no pets. This made Num Nums so sad even her heart birthmark changed to an image of a broken heart.
Pipsqueak expresses sympathy for Num Nums, and reflects that she herself was luckier in her previous home than she realized. Soon the four hamsters reach a flimsy-looking rope bridge across a deep ravine. They are dubious about crossing it, until Mr. Squiggles' birthmark lights up at the same time as a similar "squiggle" mark on a nearby rock. Taking this as a sign that the bridge is safe, the hamsters start across. However, Num Nums is still on the bridge when it suddenly breaks. She manages to cling to the end as it falls into the ravine, and the others climb down to save her. After the rescue, Pipsqueak and Num Nums quickly resolve their argument.
Presently, Stinker shows up again, and receives more complaints from the annoyed hamsters. Suddenly, the group is attacked by three hungry Zhu-rassics, large creatures that look like saber-toothed tigers. Pipsqueak, Num Nums, Chunk, and Mr. Squiggles flee, but Mr. Squiggles tears his beloved cape while escaping.
Having escaped the Zhu-rassics, the four hamsters promptly run into Zhusquashya, an enormous creature something like a Yeti. The beast's jumping starts an avalanche, so the four hamsters jump on Chunk's surfboard and snow-surf to safety. Meanwhile Zhusquashya gets caught in the avalanche, but is unharmed, to Num Num's relief.
Now at the bottom of the mountain, the four hamsters realize they have reached the Palace of Zhu. As they approach, Num Nums hesitates. She tells Pipsqueak that she already had her wish (when she was with her owner) and then lost it. Pipsqueak comforts her and says it's time to move on to a new wish.
When they reach the Palace, Stinker is there again. The hamsters are still annoyed with him, and ask where all the "happy hams" he promised are. The yard around the Palace is entirely empty! Stinker, saying that the happy hams are all inside, promises a guided tour. However, even Chunk cannot open the enormous doors of the Palace. The doors are covered with carved birthmark symbols, which suddenly begin to glow and blink. The four symbols belonging to Pipsqueak, Num Nums, Chunk, and Mr. Squiggles remain lit, and the doors open on their own.
As soon as the hamsters step inside, Stinker disappears and the doors close on their own. The hamsters are very impressed by the Palace, and think they have found the great wizard Zhu Fu. However, when the wizard floats towards them, he suddenly transforms into a huge lizard-like creature called Mazhula. She has disguised herself as Zhu Fu, after capturing him and many other hamsters and forcing them to work as slaves for her. Pipsqueak, Num Nums, Chunk, and Mr. Squiggles see a huge contraption made of many hamster wheels and similar devices. Zhu Fu and the other captive hamsters are forced to run endlessly on these wheels to create magical energy for Mazhula. With this energy, she plans to take over the Zhu-niverse.
Meanwhile, Stinker shows up again from a secret passage, cackling. He has been working for Mazhula all this time, luring the hamsters to the palace to be new slaves. The four hamsters are furious. Zhusquashya is there too; like all of Mazhula's slaves, he has been forced to wear a collar that zaps him with magical energy if he does not obey. Num Nums feels horrible about the creature's plight.
When Stinker tries to put collars on the four new hamsters, they instead use Chunk's surfboard to catapault him at Mazhula. A furious Mazhula orders Zhusquashya to catch them, but he misses on purpose. Fleeing for their lives, the hamsters remember the secret passage under Mazhula's throne, and dive through it to safety.
Resurfacing outside the palace, the four hamsters realize they have to save all the trapped hamsters back inside. Mr. Squiggles and Chunk want to go alone, but Num Nums and Pipsqueak insist they will come along too.
While Mazhula is sleeping on her throne, the four hamsters sneak back into the Palace and go to see Zhu Fu. He and all the other trapped hamsters are being kept in a cage. He commends the foursome on their adventure, and they realize that they have learned a lot and become closer friends while trying to get to the Palace of Zhu.
Zhu Fu also explains that Mazhula draws her power through her tail. When the hamsters run on the wheels and create power, it goes to a large urn, into which Mazhula places her tail when she wants to charge up. Thanks to Chunk's wandering mind, the hamsters get the idea to fill the urn with a sticky substance so that Mazhula cannot draw power from it.
The hamsters get to work. Chunk wakes up Mazhula, and he, Pipsqueak, and Mr. Squiggles begin to run all over the palace, baiting Mazhula and keeping her chasing them. They hope to both distract her and drain her power, since she keeps firing beams of energy from her hands.
Meanwhile, Num Nums has emptied her supply of carrots into the urn, and is trying to crush them into a paste. She is a little frightened when Zhusquashya appears, but he only wants to help. While the other three hamsters continue to run all over the Palace with Mazhula, Num Nums and Zhusquashya are discovered by Stinker. An unamused Num Nums karate-fights the skunk and puts one of Mazhula's collars on him.
Back with the other hamsters, the battle with Mazhula has moved outside. The lizard-like creature succeeds in cornering the hamsters and is about to destroy them, but runs out of power at that exact moment. Furious, she goes back to her throne and tries to recharge, but finds her charging urn full of carrot paste. Zhusquashya has taken the hamsters' side, and Stinker is incapacitated. Also, all the captive hamsters have been released. Together they succeed in quickly overpowering Mazhula.
Despite Mazhula's protests that she meant no harm, the hamsters are determined to punish her. Mr. Squiggles whispers to Zhu Fu, and the wizard magically sends Mazhula to the same pet store where Mr. Squiggles was once kept.
Back in the Zhu-niverse, Pipsqueak has realized that she misses Katie very much, and asks to go home. Zhu Fu explains that all Pipsqueak ever had to do was call on the star that brought her there, and it would bring her home. After quickly saying goodbye to Num Nums, Mr. Squiggles, and Chunk, Pipsqueak is taken back home.
Back at home, Katie is worried sick about Pipsqueak's disappearance, and is busily searching and making "lost" posters. When Pipsqueak reappears, Katie is overjoyed. In the middle of Katie and Pipsqueak's reunion, Num Nums, Mr. Squiggles, and Chunk show up on the windowsill, having been sent after Pipsqueak by Zhu Fu. Katie is delighted to have three new pets, and goes to the kitchen to make them a snack.
While Katie is downstairs, Pipsqueak begins telling her friends how they'll love their new home. Num Nums is a little anxious about taking Katie's affections from Pipsqueak, but Pipsqueak promises there will be plenty enough love to go around. Content at last, Num Nums finds that her broken-heart birthmark has changed back into a full, unbroken heart.
Also, Mr. Squiggles realizes that he has finally found a home for good. The realization causes his torn cape to magically grow back. A delighted Pipsqueak sings the refrain to "One Day," realizing that the happy day she had hoped for is actually here.
- The main movie is immediately followed by a music video, in which the entire cast of the movie sings and performs the Jackson 5 song "ABC." The music video version is slightly different from the one on the soundtrack CD, being shorter and having some slight differences in lyrics.
- In the movie, most of the hamsters and other animals walk on two legs almost all of the time. However, Pipsqueak and the other hamsters walk on all fours whenever Katie is around, probably to keep up the image of being normal pet hamsters. (They also never speak when Katie is present.) Strangely, the captive hamsters that Mazhula was keeping as slaves always walk on all fours.
- Some of the background music for Mazhula's chase scene was taken from The Land Before Time, as a nod to another movie produced by Universal Pictures.
- It is possible that the movie contains slight hints of Mr. Squiggles having special feelings for Pipsqueak. The strongest hint is near the beginning of the movie, when Mr. Squiggles politely allows Pipsqueak to walk through a gate before him. He then looks surprised and slightly annoyed when Num Nums and Chunk also walk through before him, and Num Nums giggles as if amused that his attempt to be dashing went wrong. And Mr. Squiggles saves pip from falling.
- Of the four main hamsters, Chunk is the only one who does not get a specific "healing moment" in the last scene of the movie. While Pipsqueak, Num Nums, and Mr. Squiggles are shown to have moved beyond their past and accepted a new life, no mention is made of Chunk's former owner or whether he has fully forgotten him.
- There is a running joke throughout the movie involving Chunk accidentally hitting Mr. Squiggles with his surfboard, or otherwise clumsily inconveniencing him. Chunk invariably groans "sorry, dude!" after these incidents, to the point that Mr. Squiggles knows he will say it even before he does.
- There is a slight animation error in the scene where Mr. Squiggles is remembering his escape from the pet shop. Before he escaped his cage, he did not wear a cape; however, one shot shows the tied ends of the cape poking out from underneath his chin.
Main article: The Quest for Zhu: Music from the Motion Picture
Here are the songs that are featured in the movie:
More songs can be found at the "Main article" link above.