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The Top 50 Animated Television Shows

Discussion in 'Platypus Comix' started by Greg1, Mar 2, 2007.

  1. John Pannozzi

    John Pannozzi Still Gritty after all these years

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    You neglected to mention that Gargoyles was originally conceived as a comedy. Or that in the last season, the creator left the show, but he is now in charge of a Gargoyles comic book.
     
  2. DarthGonzo

    DarthGonzo Fourteen Years!

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    What's with 18, 17 and 18? I've never even heard of these shows.
     
  3. Greg1

    Greg1 Ness Vet

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    I will not reveal who voted for what, but I have to say I really enjoy the variety of American, British and Japanese animation.
     
  4. Greg1

    Greg1 Ness Vet

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    "Of all the cartoon shows in all the Universe, I get stuck on this one!"

    [​IMG]

    15. Cartoon Planet (1995) - 24 points


    Cartoon Planet was an animated variety show that premiered in 1995 on Superstation TBS, and afterwards from 1996 to 1999 on Cartoon Network. A spin-off of the successful "Space Ghost: Coast to Coast" talk show, the premise was that Space Ghost had recruited his imprisoned archnemesis Zorak and the then virtually unknown Brak to assist him in hosting a variety show. It originally began in an hour-long format, and included entire cartoons from Ted Turner's film library, including old theatrical shorts, and Hanna-Barbera produced action shorts, including original 1960s Space Ghost episodes. Eventually, it was repackaged into 22 half-hour "episodes" which retained clips from cartoons that were used in the various skits, but omitted the entire cartoons that were formerly shown.

    Cartoon Planet guised itself almost like a hokey after-school show: the clichéd "mailbag", in which Space Ghost displayed difficulty with reading; classic cartoon interludes; and strange conversations among the hosts. The humor was a toned-down version of Space Ghost: Coast to Coast, but still bizarre, such as when the cast would break out into song with strangely edited music videos.

    Regular segments featured on the show included Brak's School Daze, Zorak's Horror Scopes, Poet's Corner, Brak's Monday Ratings Report, The Top 5 Cartoon Countdown (discontinued in 1997 after the show's slot on Saturday mornings was shortened from an hour to a half hour), Vacation Spots Around the Universe (pieced together from clips of Ultra 7 episodes), Messages from Outer Space (also pieced together from the aforementioned Ultra 7, and starring the nefarious Hot Dog Men), Mailbag Day, readings from the Cartoon Planet Storybook, messages from Count Floyd (Joe Flaherty's local access horror movie host from SCTV; the segments were originally shown on Hanna-Barbera's The Completely Mental Misadventures of Ed Grimley), Learning to Talk Italian, Nuggets of Joy from Zorak, Zorak's Helpful Hints, and Cooking with Brak.
     
  5. Greg1

    Greg1 Ness Vet

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    "The whole world is about to end, and all because of a *******ed puppy!"

    [​IMG]

    14. Paranoia Agent (2004) - 24 points


    Paranoia Agent is a Japanese anime television miniseries about a social phenomenon in Musashino, Tokyo caused by a juvenile serial assailant named Lil' Slugger (Shonen Bat, or Bat Boy in the original Japanese version). The plot relays between a large cast of people affected in some way by the phenomenon; usually Lil' Slugger's victims or the detectives assigned to apprehend him. As each character becomes the focus of the story, disturbing details are often revealed about their secret lives and the truth about Lil' Slugger.

    During the makings of his previous three films (Perfect Blue, Millennium Actress, and Tokyo Godfathers), Paranoia Agent creator Satoshi Kon was left with an abundance of unused ideas for stories and arrangements that he felt were good but did not fit into any of his projects. Not wanting to waste the material, he decided to recycle it into a dynamic TV series in which his experimental ideas could be utilized.

    Symbolism plays a vital part in the revelation of the plot, both on the episodic level and in the series overall, a better understanding of which provides more insight into the characters and the story for the original Japanese audience, but to a lesser exent for those unfamiliar with Japanese folklore and mythology. The series' ambiguous ending is a source of enthusiastic debate among fans. The title of the show also plays heavily into the series. An example of this would be the paranoia that Yuichi feels towards Ushii in Episode 2. He believes that Ushii has been running a smear campaign against him.

    Satoshi Kon is famous for his use of social commentary and Paranoia Agent is no exception (e.g., baseball bat related crimes in Japan). Commentary on his views of school peer pressure, loss of identity, prevalence of cultural icons (such as Maromi, often seen as a criticism of highly marketable anime mascots such as the poring from Ragnarok Online), ambiguity of morality, nature of social and personal growth, criticism of the harsh conditions of Japanese animators, and criticism of the otaku subculture is found throughout the show. Much of the commentary can be tied to Takashi Murakami's superflat manifesto, with the views of how reality and fantasy are being blurred in postwar Japan. Kon has been critically acclaimed for making social commentary a major and effective part of his work.
     
  6. Greg1

    Greg1 Ness Vet

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    "Last time I was this happy, I was face down in a pizza pie, eatin' my way to freedom!"

    [​IMG]

    13. The Brak Show (2000) - 25 points


    The Brak Show is one of Cartoon Network's 15-minute animated series that airs during Adult Swim. It is a spin-off of Space Ghost: Coast to Coast featuring recurring characters from that show and Cartoon Planet, both of which used stock footage from the Hanna-Barbera cartoon Space Ghost and Dino-Boy. The protagonist is a Space Ghost villain named "Brak", voiced by Andy Merrill, who developed a quirky persona for the character.

    The show is about Brak's suburban life with his alien mother and Cuban father. It originally started off as a parody of situation comedies, but just like its sister show, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, the plot dissolved over time and became increasingly bizarre. The setting is suburbia with an extra-planetary hint. A Saturn-like planet appears in the background on occasion, and many of the extras are aliens.

    The Brak Show was preceded by the variety show Brak Presents The Brak Show Starring Brak, which spun two episodes. Both of the episodes aired in the US once and only once in 2000, although clips of the show could be caught after the Space Ghost Coast to Coast time slot on a few rare occasions (one episode aired in the UK on Bravo on 23 August 2006). But despite the similarities in the titles, the two Brak Shows have very little in common. Those who missed the first Brak Show can at least be tided over by Brak Presents the Brak Album Starring Brak, which features songs and segments from the original version.

    In the Mystery Science Theater 3000 movie, which featured "This Island Earth", there was a scene in which a character named Brack was told to take over the communications device. At this point the MST3000 cast mocked him by saying "This is the Brack Show. Starring me - I'm Brack." The title of the Brak show may have been drawn from this.
     
  7. Greg1

    Greg1 Ness Vet

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    "Abu Dhabi, it's far away / Abu Dhabi, that's where you'll stay / Abu Dhabi, the place to be / For any kitten who's annoying me, yeah!"

    [​IMG]

    12. Garfield & Friends (1988) - 29 points


    Garfield and Friends was an American animated television series based on the popular comic strip Garfield by Jim Davis. This show was originally produced by Film Roman, and ran on CBS Saturday mornings from 1988 to 1994. The show's seven seasons make it one of the longest running Saturday morning cartoons in history (most only lasted one or two seasons). Regular segments featured both Garfield and U.S. Acres, a lesser-known comic strip created by Davis. The latter was retitled Orson's Farm for foreign syndication.

    When the show was originally broadcast on CBS, the episodes usually had three Quickies (30- to 45-second gags), usually two "Garfield Quickies" (the first one being played before the intro theme) and one "U.S. Acres Quickie," the latter of which was never shown in syndication. Midway through the second season, "Screaming with Binky" quickie-style segments were added. These "Screaming with Binky" segments were typically used at the halfway point of hour long blocks of Garfield and Friends (as Garfield ended each one with "We'll be right back.") to let the viewers know that unlike most Saturday morning cartoons at the time, it was not over in the usual half-hour. However, in the syndicated reruns, only one Quickie is shown per episode, and it's always at the end rather than around the shorts. The DVD sets and Boomerang reruns restore the orginial rotation. After the third season, only one "Garfield Quickie" is shown per episode.

    The chief guiding force behind the show was comedy writer Mark Evanier, also known as a co-creator of Groo the Wanderer, who wrote "virtually all" of the shorts by his admission (with the exception of several shorts that were written by Sharman DiVono during the first four seasons). Because of this, the show (particularly in later seasons) had a markedly different style of humor than the previous specials or strips. Whereas the specials and strips tended to focus on more character-based humor, Garfield and Friends frequently tended to be much wackier and admittedly more sophisticated, in the vein of later cartoons such as Animaniacs or Pinky and the Brain.

    Episodes were filled with puns and non sequiturs, and often lapsed into complete absurdity (such as the US Acres short "Over The Rainbow", in which Roy's quest to find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow leads him instead to a Let's Make A Deal-style game show complete with Rod Roddy announcing). Running gags were frequent, throughout either single shorts (such as in the Garfield short "The Creature That Lived In The Refrigerator, Behind the Mayonnaise, Next to the Ketchup and to the Left of the Cole Slaw!", in which the name of said creature is spoken repeatedly), or entire seasons (the Klopman Diamond is mentioned in many, many episodes). US Acres characters would frequently make unexplained cameo appearances in Garfield shorts, and vice-versa. For example, the "Giant Radioactive Mutant Guppies" that Garfield and Nermal flushed down the sewer resurfaced in the US Acres quickie that immediately followed, and then one asks the others if they could maybe get on the Muppet Babies, which at that time preceded Garfield and Friends on the CBS Saturday Morning lineup. There was even some mild satire, particularly in the form of the "Buddy Bears", which spoofed such saccharine cartoons as The Get-Along Gang and Smurfs.
     
  8. Greg1

    Greg1 Ness Vet

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    "The inner machinations of my mind are an enigma."

    [​IMG]

    11. Spongebob Squarepants (1999) - 30 points


    SpongeBob SquarePants is an American animated television series and media franchise. It is one of Nickelodeon's "Nicktoons." Although its original network is Nickelodeon, it is broadcast across the world. It was created by marine biologist and animator Stephen Hillenburg and is produced through his production company, United Plankton Pictures Inc. The series is set in the Pacific Ocean in the city of Bikini Bottom and the surrounding lagoon floor.

    SpongeBob SquarePants is a sponge who lives in a pineapple, while his octopus neighbor Squidward Tentacles lives in a moai head. SpongeBob's other neighbor and best friend (on the other side of Squidward), is a pink sea star named Patrick Star, who lives under a rock. Squidward often gets annoyed when SpongeBob and Patrick bother him. SpongeBob's house-pet is a snail named Gary, whose "meow" is similar to a housecat. SpongeBob works at the Krusty Krab, a hamburger fast-food restaurant, as a fry cook with Squidward Tentacles who is a cashier. The Krusty Krab is owned by Mr. Eugene H. Krabs, commonly referred to as "Mr. Krabs". At the Krusty Krab, Spongebob makes Krabby Patties.

    Sheldon J. Plankton (commonly referred to as "Plankton") is Mr. Krabs' archrival who owns a low-rank fast-food restaurant called The Chum Bucket across the street, and he spends most of his time plotting to steal the recipe for Krabs's popular Krabby Patty. Plankton's computer wife, Karen, alternately helps him in his schemes or bickers with him. Sandy Cheeks is another friend of SpongeBob. She is a squirrel that lives in an underwater dome in Bikini Bottom. She was sent there by her bosses, who are chimpanzees. Sandy has a Texan accent and is from the state itself. When not inside her tree-dome, she wears a diving suit with a globe helmet to allow her to breathe gaseous oxygen rather than drowning in the water.

    SpongeBob is the only cartoon to consistently make the Top 10 list in the Nielsen ratings, and is the first "low budget" Nickelodeon cartoon, according to the network, to become extremely popular. Low-budget cartoons had not garnered as much esteem as higher-rated (and higher-budgeted) shows, such as Rugrats, although when SpongeBob aired in 1999, it had gained a significant enough viewers in the ratings to be considered popular, eventually becoming more popular than Rugrats had ever been. SpongeBob follows other Nickelodeon shows that have attracted "older" followers: The Ren & Stimpy Show, Rocko's Modern Life, the Kablam! skits, Action League Now! and The Angry Beavers. Other shows have followed in this trend as well: Invader Zim and The Fairly OddParents won a similar fan base when they aired in 2001.

    SpongeBob's history can be traced back to 1993 when Rocko's Modern Life first aired. One of the producers was Stephen Hillenburg, a cartoon worker/marine biologist who loved both his careers. When Rocko's Modern Life was cancelled in 1996, Hillenburg began working on SpongeBob (although sketches trace back to 1987). He teamed up with creative director Derek Drymon, who had worked on shows such as Doug, Action League Now!, and Hey Arnold!. Drymon had worked with Hillenburg on Rocko's Modern Life as well, as did many SpongeBob crew members, including writer-directors Sherm Cohen and Dan Povenmire, writer Tim Hill, voice actors Tom Kenny and Doug Lawrence (aka "Mr. Lawrence"), actor-writer Martin Olson and animation director Alan Smart. Another crew member with previous Nickelodeon cartoon experience was former Angry Beavers story editor Merriwether Williams, who worked on that show for its first few seasons and switched to SpongeBob in July 1999.

    The show began airing its second season in 2000 with more high-quality animation and even more popular episodes. The first part of 2002 saw SpongeBob at its peak. The beginning of the third season produced many of classic episodes and focused on the same style and animation concepts. Unfortunately things changed late in the year. Due to rumors of a movie, there was high speculation that the show would be cancelled and that 2003/2004 would feature the last season of new episodes. Fans were devastated and online petitions were widely distributed to convince Nickelodeon to produce more episodes by showing continuing fan support. "SpongeBob Meets The Strangler/Pranks A Lot" was the last episode of this season, and aired in October 2004. It was also released on DVD at the end of 2003. Following this, the movie was released in November of that year.

    A hiatus from 2003 to 2005 challenged viewer loyalty, as only about 7 new episodes were shown while the previous two-year span, from 2003-2004, aired 20. This led to the program's lowest ratings ever, causing speculation that the show might even be cancelled after the feature's release.

    The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie achieved over $85,000,000 in revenue in the United States, considered to be under-expectations: People assumed that the show's popularity showed something of a decline at the time of its release. The Rugrats Movie, on the other hand, earned $100,494,685 in the United States. It was around this time that the animated series which it is based on, Rugrats, was at the height of its popularity. Interestingly, that movie would also be considered Rugrats' jump the shark moment by fans, while the SpongeBob movie was actually generally well received by fans who saw it. It was announced late in 2004 that SpongeBob would be continuing with a new session due in 2005. Hillenburg, despite the rumors, did not actually leave the show but has resigned from his position as the show's executive producer (this job now belongs to Derek Drymon, with Paul Tibbitt taking over Drymon's job as creative director).
     
  9. Greg1

    Greg1 Ness Vet

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    Time For The Top Ten!
     
  10. Greg1

    Greg1 Ness Vet

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    "Cowabunga, dude!"

    [​IMG]

    10. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987) - 35 points


    Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is an American animated television series produced by Murakami-Wolf-Swenson Film Productions Inc., which premiered on December 10, 1987. It was based on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles characters created in comic book form by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird, although the property was changed considerably from the darker-toned comic in order to make it more suitable for children. The series was in syndication from 1987 to 1990; on September 8, 1990 it was moved to CBS Saturday mornings and ran as a 60-minute block until November 2, 1996. During the show's run, 193 episodes were made, the show helped launch the characters into mainstream popularity, and became one of the most popular animated series in television history. Breakfast cereals, plush toys, and all manner of products featuring the animated versions of the Turtles populated the market during the late-1980s and early 1990s, and a successful Archie Comics comic book based on the animated show instead of the original black-and-white comics was published throughout the 1990s.

    The origin story in the 1987 animated series differs greatly from that of the original Mirage Studios comics, presumably to make it more appropriate for a family audience. In this version, Splinter was formerly a human being, an honorable ninja master named Hamato Yoshi. Yoshi was banished from the Foot Clan in Japan after being deceived by the seditious Oroku Saki. Exiled from the ninja clan, Hamato Yoshi moved to New York City, where he lived in the sewers. While living in the sewers with the rats as his friend, Yoshi one day found four turtles, recently bought from a pet store by an unnamed boy who accidentally dropped them in the sewer. Yoshi returned one day from his explorations around New York to find the turtles covered with a strange glowing ooze. The substance caused the turtles - most recently exposed to Yoshi - to become humanoid, while Yoshi - most recently exposed to sewer rats - became a humanoid rat, and started going by the pseudonym "Splinter". Yoshi adopts the four turtles as his sons and trains them in the art of ninjitsu. He names them after his favorite Italian renaissance artists: Leonardo da Vinci, Donato di Niccolò di Betto Bardi (Donatello), Raffaello Sanzio (Raphael), and Michelangelo Buonarroti.

    The show was renamed Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles when originally shown in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland because British censors considered the show's original title to have too violent connotations and the Irish censors usually just go along with what the British censors do. Changes have been done to reflect this, such as changing "Splinter taught them to be ninja teens" to "Splinter taught them to be fighting teens." The intro was also edited, using alternative scenes or freeze-frames in place of Michelangelo using his nunchucks. The movies and 2003 series are however now known in the UK by the international name. This led to a titular distinction between the 1987 series and the 2003 series.
     
  11. Greg1

    Greg1 Ness Vet

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    "The fireman is very magical. If you rub his helmet, he spits in your eye."

    [​IMG]

    9. South Park (1997) - 40 points


    South Park is an American, Emmy Award-winning animated television comedy series about four fourth grade school boys who live in the small town of South Park, Colorado. The series was created and is written by Matt Stone and Trey Parker, and has been distributed and aired by Comedy Central since 1997. It is mostly known for its blunt handling of current events and its pop-culture parody.

    South Park began in 1992 when Trey Parker and Matt Stone, at the time being students at the University of Colorado, met in a film class and created an animated short called Jesus vs. Frosty. The crudely made film featured prototypes of the main characters of South Park, including a character resembling Cartman, but referred to as "Kenny", and an unnamed character who resembled Kyle bringing a murderous snowman to life with a magic hat.

    In 1995, FOX executive Brian Graden, after seeing the film, commissioned Parker and Stone to create a second short film to send to friends as a video Christmas card. Titled Jesus vs. Santa, it resembled the style of the later series more closely, and featured a martial arts duel and subsequent truce between Jesus and Santa Claus over the true meaning of Christmas. This video was later featured in the episode "A Very Crappy Christmas" in which Stan, Kyle, Cartman, Kenny and Mr. Hankey "save" Christmas for the town. The video was popular and was widely shared, both by duplication and over the internet. This led to talks to create a series, first with FOX, then with Comedy Central, where the series premiered on August 13, 1997. A clip of the short can be seen in the opening sequence of South Park within a billboard; Jesus vs. Frosty can also be seen on an old television.

    South Park's early episodes tended to be shock value-oriented, and featured more Pythonesque humor than later episodes. Although satire had been used on the show occasionally in its early and middle years, it has become more evident around the eighth season. Such examples include Michael Jackson visiting South Park ("The Jeffersons"), the boys seeing The Passion of the Christ ("The Passion of the Jew"), blue-collar workers in South Park losing their jobs to immigrants from the future ("Goobacks"), and an episode featuring a "Paris Hilton" toy video camera ("Stupid Spoiled Whore Video Playset").

    The pilot episode, "Cartman Gets an Anal Probe", took three months to make and was produced using construction paper and traditional cut-out animation techniques. However the version that aired was different than the original version. Current episodes duplicate the original, amateurish look using modern computer animation tools — first PowerAnimator and then Maya, which Parker and Stone have described as "building a sandcastle with a bulldozer" on the VH1 special Inside South Park. This allows for a short production schedule that enables the creators to respond quickly to current events. For instance, the December 17, 2003 episode "It's Christmas in Canada" depicts the capture of Saddam Hussein a mere three days after his capture by U.S. forces, even referring to the "spider hole" where he was found. In the case of this and the Elián González episode ("Quintuplets 2000"), the creators stopped and changed production of an episode to focus on these events. Another example is the "Trapper Keeper" episode which originally aired just eight days after the 2000 U.S. presidential election and featured a kindergarten class president election being delayed by, among other things, an undecided girl named "Flora", an obvious reference to the undecided vote-count in the state of Florida.

    The show has faced numerous controversies and what many people find to be taboo subject matter, since its inception, from its use of vulgarity and obscenity to its satire of subjects such as religion and cults (such as Scientology), sexuality, and global warming. Stone and Parker are self-described "equal opportunity offenders" and episodes often lampoon all sides of a contentious issue, rather than taking a concrete position.

    The fictional town of South Park is visually based on Fairplay, Colorado, located in a large valley also named South Park. The characters in the show were originally based on the personalities and demographics of Boulder, Colorado, but have evolved since the show's inception.
     
  12. Greg1

    Greg1 Ness Vet

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    "Ahem. Presenting the Cheese-A-Phone. Now we can communicate with various cheeses, regardless of their foreign tongue. Go ahead, Ren, say something in Limburger."

    [​IMG]

    8. The Ren & Stimpy Show (1991) - 41 points


    Ren and Stimpy are the eponymous characters of two American animated television series created by Canadian animator John Kricfalusi. Ren Höek, a neurotic "asthma-hound" chihuahua, and Stimpson J. Cat (a.k.a. Stimpy), a fat, red, simpleton (but occasionally intelligent) cat, wander around in nonsensical adventures reminiscent of the Golden Age of American animation. Kricfalusi created the characters around 1979, while working for low-budget TV cartoons after moving to the United States. The characters were originally conceived as individual doodles unrelated to one another, and it was Kricfalusi's co-worker Joel Fajnor who told Kricfalusi to pair them together. A product of the children's cable network Nickelodeon, The Ren & Stimpy Show had a reputation for subversiveness. Its level of gross-out humor, often involving nasal mucus and flatulence, was surpassed only by shows such as Beavis and Butt-head or The Brothers Grunt. While primarily controversial for its grotesque imagery, the series also frequently lampooned elements of western culture, such as materialism and superstition.

    Ren and Stimpy was created by John Kricfalusi and produced by his animation team Spümcø. The pilot, "Big House Blues," was finished in October 1990 and the first episode, "Stimpy's Big Day," premiered August 1991 along with Rugrats and Doug. However, Nickelodeon expressed concern about the show's grossness and violence, and routinely censored episodes. For example, in the episode Man's Best Friend George Liquor adopts Ren and Stimpy who later beat George with an oar. Nickelodeon thought this episode was too violent and banned it. The network also censored certain episodes such as "Sven Hoek", "Nurse Stimpy" and "Big House Blues." Kricfalusi was fired from his creative role in the show on September 21, 1992, and subsequently refused to continue providing the voice of Ren. Kricfalusi has said the firing was due primarily to the censoring Nickelodeon felt was required, while Nick executives and Billy West have said it was more a result of Kricfalusi repeatedly missing deadlines.

    One of Kricfalusi's closest friends, Bob Camp, began writing and directing the episodes himself, and Billy West (who had also provided Ren's screams in several of the Spümcø episodes) took on Kricfalusi's role as Ren. According to his website[2], West was the original voice of Ren, on the demo tape that "sold the show". Spümcø artists then started to leave Nickelodeon. After that, the show was left without its creator, or its animators. Shortly after this occurred, a new studio (Games Animation) was formed to keep Ren & Stimpy going, but the show's popularity dwindled in its last few years, and it was ultimately cancelled. It is worth noting that the Games Animation version of the series frequently invoked God in most episodes. (Stimpy is seen saying a prayer, Ren attributes a bountiful harvest to God etc.). Sometimes characters would also use mild profanity such as "crap". These are rarities in modern children's animation, if not nonexistent.

    In 2003, an adult-oriented version of the series titled Ren and Stimpy Adult Party Cartoon, featuring episodes helmed by series creator John Kricfalusi, aired briefly on TNN (later renamed Spike TV). Advertisers were "freaked out" (in Kricfalusi's own words) by some of the new show's content, particularly that of the risqué episode "Naked Beach Frenzy" (which was finished in 2003 but is unaired on American TV so far) and the show was taken off the air, partly due to the advertisers' fears, and partly due to Kricfalusi and company taking their time making new episodes. In the spring and summer 2004, Kricfalusi completed two new episodes (each an hour long), and those episodes (along with "Naked Beach Frenzy") were shown at film festivals and other such venues.
     
  13. Greg1

    Greg1 Ness Vet

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    "Pinky, are you pondering what I'm pondering?"
    "I think so Brain, but if you replace the "P" with an "O", my name would be Oinky."


    [​IMG]

    7. Pinky and the Brain (1995) - 43 points


    Pinky and the Brain are cartoon characters from the American animated television series Animaniacs. Later, they starred in their own spin-off animated television series called Steven Spielberg Presents Pinky and the Brain, and even later in Pinky, Elmyra, and the Brain. These latter series were produced by Steven Spielberg and Warner Bros. Animation, and aired from 1995 to 1998 on The WB Television Network, running for 65 episodes.

    The two are genetically enhanced lab mice who reside in a cage in the Acme Labs research facility. Each week sees Brain come up with a new plan for the two (led by him) to take over the world, which ultimately ends in failure. In common with many other Animaniacs shorts, many episodes are in some way a parody of something else—usually a film. The cartoon's famous tagline is: "Gee, Brain, what'd you wanna do tonight?" "The same thing we do every night, Pinky — Try to take over the world!" Although they plan to conquer the earth, there isn't a lot of antagonism seen in them, and in a Christmas special Pinky even wrote to Santa that Brain had the world's best interests at heart. This is reinforced by Brain's promises that he will provide more funding for law enforcement and the like.

    The Brain bears a resemblance to Orson Welles, particularly in his vocal characteristics (voiced by Maurice LaMarche). LaMarche won an Annie Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement for Voice Acting by a Male Performer in an Animated Television Program Production for this role in 1998. Series producer Tom Ruegger initially based Brain on a caricature of WB animation staffer Tom Minton, a long-time cartoonist. The Welles connection comes from LaMarche, who is a big fan of the actor/director. LaMarche describes Brain's voice as "65% Orson Welles, 35% Vincent Price". Brain is highly intelligent and develops Rube Goldberg plans for global domination. His tail is bent like a staircase (which he often uses to pick the lock of the cage), and his head is large and wide, supposedly housing his abnormally large brain. He appears to be coldly unemotional and speaks in a deadpan manner. Nevertheless, Brain has a very subtle sense of humor, and has even fallen in love once, with Billie (voiced by Tress MacNeille), an intialy rather dippy girl mouse with a Queens accent (perhaps based on the Citizen Kane character Susan Alexander, in another Welles connection), Later, Billie became even more brilliant than Brain, but showed no interest in either him or the idea of planetary conquest. Intellectually, Brain sees his inevitable rise to power as beneficial to the world rather than mere megalomania.

    Pinky (voiced by Rob Paulsen) is another genetically modified mouse who shares the same cage at Acme Labs but is substantially less bright. He speaks with a heavy Cockney accent (though English people familiar with genuine Cockney accents may well dispute this). He frequently says nonsensical interjections such as "narf", "zort","poit", and "troz" (the last of which Pinky started saying after noticing it was "'zort' in the mirror"). He also used "fjord" and "gnurf" on unique occasions, and "natch" in an episode set in the film noir era, as well as "hark" in an episode that was partially set in the medieval ages. Rob Paulsen won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program for this role in 1999. Senior producer Tom Ruegger based Pinky on former Tiny Toon Adventures writer and director Eddie Fitzgerald (who has also worked on Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures and Ren and Stimpy) who is said to have constantly said "Narf" and "Egad" around the Tiny Toons production office. Series producer Peter Hastings described Eddie by saying, "He always greeted you like you were wearing a funny hat - and he liked it."

    The viewer might consider that Brain should be frustrated by the success that could have been possible if he'd listened to or asked Pinky about the situation and/or plan, but Brain rarely shows anything more than a confused or sarcastic face and sometimes a comment, and usually near the end of the episode. The show's theme song informs us that "One is a genius, the other's insane." Taken at face value, the Brain is supposed to be a genius and Pinky is supposed to be insane. Pinky's unpredictable and startling insight versus Brain's rather more plodding and stubborn approach to "taking over the world" has led more than one fan to suggest that Pinky is, in fact, the real genius rather than Brain. Other elements suggesting Pinky's mental superiority can be noticed throughout all episodes. Watching the cartoon through this perspective makes the viewer aware of human behavior that isn't logical. One example is figures of speech which the Brain uses to give Pinky commands. Pinky carries out actions based on the literal meaning of the commands.

    In an episode surrounding the origin of their receiving their intelligence, it is revealed that it was actually Pinky's idea for Brain to attempt to take over the world.
     
  14. Greg1

    Greg1 Ness Vet

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    "I'm tired of dating silly, immature little boys. I'd like to meet a sophisticated older guy with a special affinity for rabbits."

    [​IMG]

    6. Tiny Toon Adventures (1990) - 44 points


    Tiny Toon Adventures (a.k.a. Tiny Toons) was an American animated television series created and produced as a collaborative effort between Steven Spielberg and Warner Bros. Animation. Its first season aired in 1990; the second season followed in 1991 and the third and final season aired in 1992. Tiny Toons originated as an idea by Terry Semel, then president of Warner Bros. Wishing to capitalize on the success of TV shows featuring younger versions of famous characters (such as Ultraman Kids, Muppet Babies and Flintstones Kids), Semel proposed a similar show based on Looney Tunes, where the characters were young versions of the original Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies characters. A similar idea would have introduced the new characters as the offspring of the original characters.

    Warner Bros. had reinstated its animation studio following the success of Who Framed Roger Rabbit, which featured appearances by many of its famous cartoon characters, and which had been co-produced by Spielberg's company Amblin Entertainment. The studio approached Spielberg (maker of many famous family movies, including An American Tail and The Land Before Time) to collaborate on Semel's ideas. Spielberg suggested that the new characters be spiritual, not literal, descendants of the Looney Tunes, and that the original characters make appearances as their mentors. This idea became the basis for Tiny Toon Adventures, which at first was to become a theatrical feature-length film, but was later changed to a television series format in December of 1988.

    The show often contained "gross out" humor dealing with bodily functions as well as political and entertainment satire. Caricature versions of celebrities made frequent appearances, though were almost always voiced by imitators, and often appeared under parody names ("Tom Snooze" instead of Tom Cruise, "Michael Molten-Lava"/Michael Bolton, etc). The show also parodied other TV shows and cartoons of the day, including The Simpsons. A recurring parody was that of the Immature Radioactive Samurai Slugs, which poked fun at the popular cartoon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Both tactics would later be copied by the show's successor, Animaniacs.

    In order to complete 65 episodes for the first season, Warner and Amblin contracted several different animation houses to share the workload (now a common practice in modern television animation studios). These animation studios included Tokyo Movie Shinsha, Wang Film Productions, AKOM, Freelance Animators New Zealand, Encore Cartoons, StarToons, and Kennedy Cartoons. (Kennedy Cartoons left the project while working on the 37th episode of production, which became the pilot episode, "The Looney Beginning").

    During production of the third season, Charlie Adler, the voice of Buster Bunny, left the show due to a conflict with the producers. At the time, Animaniacs (the follow-up to Tiny Toons) was being cast, and Adler was upset that he hadn't landed a role in the new show. Additionally, he took offense to the fact that small-role voice actors like Rob Paulsen and Maurice LaMarche (who went on to become the voices of Pinky and the Brain) were given starring roles. Adler was replaced by John Kassir for the remainder of the show's run. Joe Alaskey, the voice of Plucky Duck, also left Tiny Toons for financial reasons, but returned when an agreement was reached with the studio.

    One feature-length Tiny Toon Adventures movie was released direct-to-video in 1991, entitled Tiny Toon Adventures: How I Spent My Vacation. Its psychotic, chainsaw-wielding villain, "Mr. Hitcher," even appeared in several other shorts, including one with Plucky remembering himself as a baby. Other features released for Tiny Toon Adventures include Spring Break Special, It's a Wonderful Tiny Toons Christmas Special, and Night Ghoulery. Spring Break Special was shown on FOX during primetime on March 27, 1994. Christmas Special aired on December 6, 1992.

    The episode "Elephant Issues" (an educational episode meant to address the issue of peer pressure) was banned from Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network because of the episode's final short, "One Beer," which depicted Buster, Plucky, and Hamton drinking beer. Although the short was intended to illustrate the dangers of drinking, the networks believed that it delivered the wrong message to the show's primary audience, predominantly young children — according to them, the object lesson was delivered in such an exaggeratedly heavy-handed manner as to be downright sarcastic.
     
  15. Greg1

    Greg1 Ness Vet

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    "I'll be dead long before you were born and I'll be dead long before you'll be dead."

    [​IMG]

    5. Space Ghost Coast to Coast (1994) - 54 points


    Space Ghost Coast to Coast (often abbreviated as SGC2C) is an animated spoof talk show on the cable TV channel Cartoon Network in the United States, Bravo in the UK, and Teletoon in Canada. It began in 1994. The main cast comprises Space Ghost (born Tad Ghostal), a cartoon character originally from an old Hanna Barbera cartoon called Space Ghost which ran in the 1960s and early 1980s, and Zorak and Moltar, his former enemies from that show. Space Ghost is voiced by George Lowe, while C. Martin Croker voices Zorak and Moltar. Various celebrities appear on the show as guests. They are shown on a TV screen next to Space Ghost, and unlike the characters, they are not animated.

    Part of the surreal nature of the show comes from the guests' sometimes awkward and disjointed responses to Space Ghost's questions and other events around the set. This is the intentional result of the production process that was first laid out in the original (unaired) pilot episode. This episode was created by Mike Lazzo, who interspersed stock and original material with completely unrelated promotional video of Denzel Washington being interviewed about the Oscars. When the show was picked up, similar interviews were orchestrated with guests to achieve the same comedic effect.

    Before any part of the episodes are written, the guests are interviewed by a writer/producer. Originally, a Space Ghost costume was worn by Andy Merrill, one which he later made famous in some Cartoon Planet intros. More often the writer/producer appears in normal dress, but may still impersonate Space Ghost's character traits and mannerisms. In many cases, the interviewee is alone in a studio, while the interviewer conducts the session over a speaker phone. In the all black room where the interview takes place, the guests are told what basic directions to look in to "talk" to Zorak, Moltar, or Space Ghost. The interviewer also rarely reveals his actual name so that the guest is forced to address him as "Space Ghost". This serves to both maintain continuity and to engender a sense of bewilderment in the guest.

    After an interview is done, the writing team goes back over it, taking pieces out of context and out of order, then assembling them into the "responses" to Space Ghost and the rest of the show. The episode is written around these canned reactions and the writing talent of producers Williams Street (known as "Ghost Planet Industries," named after the fictional studio where SGC2C is supposedly taped, for most of the show's run).

    Most of the show's earlier guests probably assumed they were participating in a relatively straightforward interview (albeit with an animated superhero, giant insect, and a man made of liquid magma). As the series went on, however, more and more guests became at least peripherally familiar with what was going on. Some episodes were written to accommodate playfully hostile guests who called the show's bluff, such as comedian (and writer of one SGC2C episode) Joel Hodgson's refusal to, as he put it, "Go down that road with you, pretending we're in space and all". Others had skits written for the guests to perform in outside of the normal interviews. Still others had recurring guests, familiar with the show's format. Reportedly, "Weird Al" Yankovic walked into his Coast to Coast interview with answers he prepared ahead of time, but opted not to use them.
     
  16. Greg1

    Greg1 Ness Vet

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    "Drown the kids and shoot the neighbours! We've got a winner!"

    [​IMG]

    4. Batman: The Animated Series (1992) - 65 points


    Batman: The Animated Series is an American animated television series adaptation of the comic book series featuring the DC Comics superhero, Batman. It is widely regarded by fans as the most iconic modern representation of the Batman character and mythology, and also as the most faithful animated series based on a comic book. The dynamic visual style of the series is based on the artwork of producer Bruce Timm. Lacking an on-screen title in the opening credits, the show was originally known only as Batman (and would be referred to as such in episode recaps that summarised what had happened "previously on Batman..."), but was retroactively officially titled Batman: The Animated Series, as clarified by Warner Bros.

    The original series was partially inspired by Tim Burton's 1989 blockbuster Batman film, and initially took as its theme a variation of music written by Danny Elfman for the film. (Later episodes of the series used a new theme written in a similar style by Shirley Walker.) Another strong influence was the acclaimed Superman cartoons produced by Fleischer Studios in the 1940s. The series premiered in 1992, a few months after the successful release of the second Batman movie, Batman Returns. The art style of the original animated series was also partially a reaction against the realism seen in cartoons like The Real Ghostbusters, the second series in some ways was a further extension of that rejection of realism.

    Timm and Radomski designed the series by emulating the Tim Burton films' "otherworldy timelessness", incorporating "old-time" features such as black-and-white title cards, police blimps, and a "vintage" color scheme, partially inspired by the Fleischer Studios Superman cartoons of the 1940s, as well as film noir. In their constant quest to make the show darker, the producers pushed the boundaries of action cartoons: it was the first such cartoon in years to depict firearms being fired, as well as Batman actually punching and kicking the bad guys; in addition, many of the series' backgrounds were painted on black paper. The distinctive visual combination of film noir imagery and Art Deco designs with a very dark color scheme was called "Dark Deco" by the producers. First-time producers Timm and Radomski reportedly encountered resistance from studio executives, but the success of Burton's first film allowed the embryonic series to survive long enough to produce a pilot episode, "On Leather Wings", which according to Timm "got a lot of people off our backs."

    Key to the series' artistic success is that it managed to redefine classic characters, paying homage to their previous portrayals while giving them new dramatic force. Villains such as Two-Face (Al Pacino was offered the role but turned it down)and the Mad Hatter, as well as heroes like Robin (who does not appear in the Burton/Joel Schumacher series until Batman Forever and is here portrayed as a college-age student), are proof of this. Also, the series gave new life to nearly forgotten characters like the Clock King. The best example of dramatic change is Mr. Freeze; Batman: TAS turned him from a clichéd mad scientist with a gimmick for cold, to a tragic figure whose frigid exterior hides a doomed love and a cold vindictive fury. Part of the tragedy is mimicked later in the plot of the live movie Batman and Robin, although much of the drama was lost with the resurrection of the pun-quipping mad scientist image. The most famous of the series' innovations is the Joker's hapless assistant, Harley Quinn, who became so popular that DC later added her to the mainstream Batman comics.
     
  17. Greg1

    Greg1 Ness Vet

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    "We protest you calling us "little kids". We prefer to be called "vertically-impaired pre-adults"

    [​IMG]

    3. Animaniacs (1993) - 71 points


    Steven Spielberg Presents Animaniacs was a popular American animated television series, distributed by Warner Bros., and produced by Amblin Entertainment. The cartoon, usually referred to by the shorter title Animaniacs, first aired on FOX Kids from 1993 until 1995; the show appeared on The WB as part of its "Kids' WB!" afternoon programming block from 1995 to 1998. Like many other animated series, it has continued to appear on television through syndication long after its original airdate. Animaniacs was the second animated series produced by the collaboration of Steven Spielberg and Warner Bros. Animation during the animation renaissance of the late 1980s and early 1990s. The studio's first series, Tiny Toon Adventures, had proved to be a big hit among younger viewing audiences, and it had attracted a sizable number of adult viewers as well. Tiny Toon Adventures had drawn heavily from the classic Termite Terrace cartoons of old for inspiration, as well as plots and characterization. The modern Warner Bros. writers and animators, led by senior producer and show-runner Tom Ruegger, used the experience gained from the previous series to create brand new animated characters that were cast in the mold of Tex Avery's and Bob Clampett's creations, but were not slavish imitations.

    This show focused on the adventures, or more accurately, the misadventures, of the Warner Brothers (Yakko and Wakko Warner) and the Warner Sister (Dot Warner), who claim to be the stars of some of the early Warner Bros. animated cartoons, which were so insane that the studio execs locked the films away in vaults; the characters were locked in the water tower at Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank, California. The primary cartoon (there are several other character adventures in the series) focuses on the trio "escaping" from the water tower, and running rampant on the WB lot. This is described in the show's theme song, sung by the characters. The description of the Warners is a tongue-in-cheek homage to Bosko, Warner Bros.' first cartoon character.

    While the show was popular among younger viewers (the target demographic for Warner Bros.' TV cartoons), a great deal of the show's subversive humor was aimed at an adult audience. This was not the only show in the 90s to have many jokes that went over kids' heads; The Tick, which ran during the same time period, did the same. One example is the Wheel of Morality that appears at the end of some episodes. If you look closely, one of the spots on the wheel is "Bankrupt". Not only is this a parody of Wheel of Fortune (US game show), which kids might understand, but it is also a play on the phrase "morally bankrupt". (While the wheel never landed on "Bankrupt" on the show, it did once in the comic book.) In fact, one character, Minerva Mink, was soon de-emphasized as a feature character because her featured episodes were considered too sexually suggestive for the show's intended timeslot. (Many adult jokes, such as a warning to not play with Dr. Scratchansniff's "bust"--a sculpture on his desk--are signified by Yakko blowing a kiss and shouting "Good night, everybody!")

    Adults responded in droves, giving the show cult-hit status and leading to one of the first Internet-based fandom cultures. During the show's prime, the Internet newsgroup alt.tv.animaniacs was an active gathering place for fans of the show (most of whom were adults) to discuss the latest antics of the Warner Brothers and the Warner Sister. The online popularity of the show did not go unnoticed by the show's producers, and several of the most active participants on the newsgroup were invited to the Warner Bros. Animation studios for a gathering in August 1995 called Animania IV (gatherings of Animaniacs fans from the net were dubbed Animanias; most of them were simply groups of friends getting together to talk and watch videotaped episodes).

    Animaniacs was a very musical cartoon, with every episode featuring an original score (and in many cases, several original songs). Each group of characters had its own sub-theme in the score, and the Hip Hippos, Pinky and the Brain, the Goodfeathers (a parody of the ubiquitous That's Amore made famous by Dean Martin), Chicken Boo, and Katie Ka-Boom even had their own full theme songs. The Slappy Squirrel and Rita & Runt themes, as well as one of the two versions of the Pinky and the Brain theme, were sung by the Warners. The Animaniacs series theme song (music composed by Richard Stone, lyrics by Tom Ruegger), which has a variety of alternate endings and was primarily sung by the Warners, won an Emmy Award for best song in the series' first season.
     
  18. Greg1

    Greg1 Ness Vet

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    "The alien mother ship is in orbit here. If we can hit that bullseye, the rest of the dominoes will fall like a house of cards… checkmate.”

    [​IMG]

    2. Futurama (1999) - 79 points


    Futurama is an Emmy Award-winning American animated sitcom created by Matt Groening (creator of The Simpsons) and David X. Cohen for the Fox Network. The series follows the adventures of a former New York City pizza delivery boy, Philip J. Fry after he is cryogenically frozen at midnight, December 31, 1999, and is revived one thousand years in the future.

    Futurama is set at the beginning of the 31st century, in a time filled with technological wonders. Global warming, inflexible bureaucracy, and substance abuse are a few of the subjects given a 31st century exaggeration in a world where the problems have become both more extreme and more common. In a jab at segregation, for example, the show depicts the human prejudice against mutants as being so great that the latter have been forced to live underground in the sewers. The characters' home on Earth is the city of New New York, built over the ruins of present-day New York City, referred to as "Old New York".

    Mid-way through the production of the fifth season of Futurama, FOX decided to let Futurama go out of production and told the writers and animators to look for new jobs.[9] A Fox spokeswoman told website Zap2it that "Fox has decided not to order more episodes at this time, but we may do so in the future." Fox's decision to stop buying episodes of Futurama led Rough Draft Studios, the animation producers, to fire its animators. According to Ain't It Cool News, FOX did not like the show and had started giving it a secondary status, running it and dropping it sporadically. They also did not show several episodes between seasons 3 and 4. In October 2005, Comedy Central picked up the exclusive cable syndication rights to air Futurama's 72-episode run at the start of 2008, following the expiration of Adult Swim's current deal. It was cited as the largest and most expensive acquisition in the network's history.

    The series developed a cult following partially due to the large number of in-jokes, most of which were aimed at "nerds". In commentary on the DVD releases, David X. Cohen points out and sometimes explains his "nerdiest joke." These jokes included mathematical jokes, such as the aleph-nullplex movie theater in "Raging Bender", as well as various forms of science humor. For example, Professor Farnsworth complains that judges of a "quantum" finish "changed the outcome by measuring it" in "Luck of the Fryrish," a reference to the observer effect in quantum mechanics. Over its run, the series passed references to quantum chromodynamics (the appearance of Strong Force brand glue in "30% Iron Chef"), computer science (two large books in a closet labeled P and NP in "Put Your Head on My Shoulders"), and genetics (a mention of Bender's "robo-, or RNA" in "Teenage Mutant Leela's Hurdles"). The show often featured subtle references to classic science fiction, most often Star Trek - many soundbytes are used in the series as homage - but also others, such as the reference to the origin of the word robot made in the existence of a robot-dominated planet named Chapek 9.

    The name "Futurama" comes from an exhibit from the 1939 New York World's Fair of the same name. Designed by Norman Bel Geddes, the exhibit depicted what he imagined the world to look like in 1959.

    [​IMG]

    And if you didn't cry during that scene, you have no soul.
     
  19. Greg1

    Greg1 Ness Vet

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    And The Number One Animated Television Show Is...
     
  20. Greg1

    Greg1 Ness Vet

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    "Ahhhh! I just said bet your buns to the Vietnamese!"

    [​IMG]

    just kidding
     

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