Nicktoons is a franchise of television cartoon shows that are produced and aired by Nickelodeon.
Prior to 1991, Nickelodeon had aired foreign-made animated films since its inception. It first experimented with its own animated programming in 1980, when the channel's first president Geraldine Laybourne commissioned a series with animated elements, Video Comic Book, and produced a fully-animated show titled Video Dream Theatre. The second series was left unaired, and throughout the next decade, animated fare on Nickelodeon comprised mostly of reruns of other companies' cartoons.
The idea for another attempt at original animated shows on the network began in the late 1980s. Starting in 1989, profits from other programs funded "Nicktoons", with the first three cartoons (Doug, Rugrats and The Ren & Stimpy Show) premiering on Sunday, August 11, 1991. This format was repeated every Sunday, eventually leading to the production of more Nicktoons at Nickelodeon Animation Studio's first facility in California.
1999 marked the premiere of SpongeBob SquarePants, which would later become the longest-running Nicktoon. During the same year, Nickelodeon opened a second animation facility in New York City. A spin-off channel named after Nicktoons was established on May 1, 2002.
In the early 2010s, Nickelodeon Animation Studio began to produce Nicktoons based on pre-existing franchises that had been purchased by Viacom: Winx Club (in 2011) and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (in 2012). Both shows had unprecedentedly high budgets for Nicktoons, and an extensive team of Nickelodeon veterans grouped to work on Winx Club.
The Nicktoons brand also extends to other media, such as video games featuring the Nicktoon characters (including the Nicktoons Unite! series). Since 2001, the official slogan for the brand has been "[They're] Not just cartoons, they're Nicktoons".
- 1 History
- 2 List of Nicktoons
- 3 Acquired shows
- 4 Movies based on Nicktoons
- 5 Trivia
- 6 Brand logos
- 7 See also
- 8 References
Pinwheel, the first Nickelodeon series which began in 1977, was formatted as an hour-long program with two forms of segments: original content with its cast of puppet and human characters, and showcases of foreign-made short films. Many of these films were animated cartoons dating back to the 1950s. These were the first form of animated content on what would become Nickelodeon.
For its first years, Nickelodeon continued to play foreign-made cartoons in a similar fashion as part of two anthology series called First Row Features and Special Delivery. In 1980, the channel aired its first original series that was not live-action: Video Comic Book. It could best be described as a "motion comic" that consisted of illustrated scenes with animated elements, like speech bubbles and moving backgrounds.
Nickelodeon's first attempt at a fully-animated show occurred later in 1980, when Geraldine Laybourne produced test pilots for Video Dream Theatre. It holds the title of Nickelodeon's first true cartoon. However, it was left unaired when test audiences did not give the reactions Laybourne wanted.
Throughout the 1980s, the amount of acquired animated shows on Nickelodeon increased, with reruns of cartoons and anime such as Bananaman, Danger Mouse, The Little Prince, and The Mysterious Cities of Gold. Blocks dedicated to animated programming such as Looney Tunes on Nickelodeon ran from the mid-1980s well into the late 1990s. When Nick Jr. premiered on Nickelodeon as a block in January 1988, much of its shows were imported cartoons.
Profits from Nickelodeon's expanding audience at the time helped it fund its own original cartoons: the first three "Nicktoons", Doug, Rugrats and The Ren & Stimpy Show. Nickelodeon executive Vanessa Coffey discovered all three of these programs after traveling to Los Angeles in 1988. Her goal was to find "three projects that looked completely different" in order to counter the homogeneous, toy-centric cartoons of the 1980s.
Nickelodeon's animation production studio was originally known as Games Animation, located in Studio City, California. In 1993, Nickelodeon approached Joe Murray to create its first fully original in-house series: Rocko's Modern Life. In March 1998, the then-new Nickelodeon Animation Studio was opened in Burbank, California. In September 1999, Nickelodeon opened a digital animation studio in Manhattan, which took over animation of Nick Jr. series such as Blue's Clues.
Throughout the 1990s, Nickelodeon continued with its "experimental" approach to animation. Hey Arnold! creator Craig Bartlett explained that the network gradually shifted away from creator-driven content during the later years of Herb Scannell's tenure as Nick president. In his opinion, the animation department "grew more and more corporate, and less like you had a personal touch".
In 2016, Nickelodeon moved its animation facilities to a different building in Burbank that houses both animated and live-action properties.
List of Nicktoons
|No.||Image||Title||Premiere date||End date||Seasons||Episodes||Co-productions|
|1||Doug||August 11, 1991||January 2, 1994||4[note 1]||52||Jumbo Pictures|
|2||Rugrats||August 11, 1991||August 1, 2004||9||172||Klasky-Csupo|
|3||The Ren & Stimpy Show||August 11, 1991||October 20, 1996||5||52||Spumco|
|4||Rocko's Modern Life||September 18, 1993||November 24, 1996||4||52||Joe Murray Productions|
|5||Aaahh!!! Real Monsters||October 29, 1994||December 6, 1997||4||52||Klasky-Csupo|
|6||Hey Arnold!||October 7, 1996||June 8, 2004||5||100||Snee-Oosh|
|7||The Angry Beavers||April 19, 1997||August 27, 2006||4||63||Gunther-Wahl Productions|
|8||CatDog||April 4, 1998||June 15, 2005||4||68||Peter Hannan Productions|
|9||The Wild Thornberrys||September 1, 1998||June 11, 2004||5||91||Klasky-Csupo|
|10||SpongeBob SquarePants||May 1, 1999||present||13||280||United Plankton Pictures|
|11||Rocket Power||August 16, 1999||July 30, 2004||3||71||Anvision|
|12||As Told by Ginger||October 25, 2000||November 14, 2006||3||60||Klasky-Csupo|
|13||The Fairly OddParents||March 30, 2001||July 26, 2017||10||172||Frederator Studios|
|14||Invader Zim||March 30, 2001||August 19, 2006||2||27||N/A|
|15||ChalkZone||March 22, 2002||August 23, 2008||4||40||Frederator Studios|
|16||The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius||July 20, 2002||November 25, 2006||3||64||O Entertainment|
|17||All Grown Up!||April 12, 2003||August 17, 2008||5||55||Klasky-Csupo|
|18||My Life as a Teenage Robot||August 1, 2003||May 2, 2009||3||40||Frederator Studios|
|19||Danny Phantom||April 3, 2004||August 24, 2007||3||53||Billionfold, Inc.|
|20||Avatar: The Last Airbender||February 21, 2005||July 19, 2008||3||61||N/A|
|21||Catscratch||July 9, 2005||February 10, 2007||1||20||N/A|
|22||The X's||November 25, 2005||December 13, 2006||1||20||N/A|
|23||El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera||February 19, 2007||September 13, 2008||1||26||Mexopolis, Inc.|
|24||Tak and the Power of Juju||August 31, 2007||January 24, 2009||1||26||THQ|
|25||Back at the Barnyard||September 29, 2007||November 12, 2011||2||52||O Entertainment|
|26||The Mighty B!||April 26, 2008||June 18, 2011||2||40||Paper Kite Productions|
Polka Dot Pictures
|27||Fanboy & Chum Chum||October 12, 2009||July 12, 2014||2||52||Frederator Studios|
|28||Planet Sheen||October 2, 2010||February 15, 2013||1||26||O Entertainment|
|29||T.U.F.F. Puppy||October 2, 2010||April 4, 2015||3||60||Billionfold, Inc.|
|30||Winx Club||June 27, 2011||April 10, 2016||3[note 3]||78||Rainbow SpA (co-owned by Viacom)|
|31||The Legend of Korra||April 14, 2012||December 19, 2014||4||52||Ginormous Madman Productions|
|32||Robot and Monster||August 4, 2012||February 14, 2015||1||26||Smasho! Productions|
|33||Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles||September 28, 2012||November 12, 2017||5||124||Lowbar Productions|
|34||Sanjay and Craig||May 25, 2013||July 29, 2016||3||60||Forest City Rockers|
|35||Breadwinners||February 17, 2014||September 12, 2016||2||40||N/A|
|36||Harvey Beaks||March 28, 2015||December 29, 2017||2||52||N/A|
|37||Pig Goat Banana Cricket||July 16, 2015||August 11, 2018||2||40||N/A|
|38||The Loud House||May 2, 2016||present||6||130||Jam Filled Entertainment|
|39||Bunsen Is a Beast||January 16, 2017||February 10, 2018||1||26||Billionfold, Inc.|
|40||Welcome to the Wayne||July 24, 2017||May 31, 2019||2||30||Yowza! Animation|
|41||The Adventures of Kid Danger||January 15, 2018||June 14, 2018||1||12||Powerhouse Animation|
|42||Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles||July 20, 2018||August 7, 2020||2||39||Flying Bark Productions|
|43||Pinky Malinky||January 1, 2019||July 17, 2019||3||60||Jam Filled Entertainment|
|44||The Casagrandes||October 14, 2019||present||2||40||Jam Filled Entertainment|
|45||It's Pony||January 18, 2020||present||2||40||Blue-Zoo Animation Studio|
|46||Glitch Techs||February 21, 2020||present||2||19||Top Draw Animation|
|47||Kamp Koral, SpongeBob's Under Years[note 6]||March 4, 2021||present||1||13||United Plankton Pictures|
|Rugrats (2021 TV series)[note 7]||May 27, 2021|||
|Middlemost Post||July 2021|||
|The Patrick Star Show||July 2021|||
|Big Nate||September 2021|
|Star Trek: Prodigy[note 6]||2021|||
|Adventures in Wonder Park||TBA|||
|Man of the House||TBA|
|Meet the Voxels||TBA|
|Real Pigeons Fight Crime||TBA|||
|Phoebe and Her Unicorn||TBA|||
The following three shows are sometimes excluded from Nickelodeon's lists of Nicktoons. Some shows that were spawned from these showcases were picked up by other networks, such as the KaBlam! segment Angela Anaconda (greenlit by Teletoon and Fox Kids) and the Random! Cartoons pilot "Adventure Time" (greenlit by Cartoon Network).
|Image||Title||Premiere date||End date||Seasons||Episodes||Co-productions|
|KaBlam!||October 11, 1996||January 22, 2000||4||48||Flying Mallet Inc.|
|Oh Yeah! Cartoons||July 19, 1998||2002||3||34||Frederator Studios|
|Random! Cartoons||December 6, 2008||December 20, 2009||1||13||Frederator Studios|
The following shows were spun off from DreamWorks Animation's film franchises. While they were co-produced by Nickelodeon Animation Studio and Viacom owns half of each show's copyright, Nickelodeon has excluded them from their Nicktoon compilations since 2016, when DreamWorks was purchased by NBCUniversal and stopped licensing their characters to Nick.
|Logo||Title||Premiere date||End date||Seasons||Episodes|
|The Penguins of Madagascar||November 28, 2008||January 4, 2016||3||80|
|Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness||September 19, 2011||June 29, 2016||3||80|
|Monsters vs. Aliens||March 23, 2013||February 8, 2014||1||26|
The following miniseries were produced by Nick Animation, but they were never green-lit for full seasons.
|Logo||Title||Premiere date||End date||Episodes||Co-productions|
|Making Fiends[note 8]||October 4, 2008||November 1, 2008||6||N/A|
|Rugrats Pre-School Daze||November 16, 2008||December 7, 2008||4||Klasky Csupo|
|Middle School Moguls||September 2, 2019||September 29, 2019||4||Gengirl Media, Inc.|
Please see Non-original shows broadcast by Nickelodeon for a list of cartoons that have aired on a Nick channel but were not produced by Nickelodeon.
Movies based on Nicktoons
|The Rugrats Movie||November 20, 1998||Paramount Pictures/Klasky Csupo|
|Rugrats in Paris: The Movie||November 17, 2000|
|Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius||December 21, 2001||Paramount Pictures/O Entertainment|
|Hey Arnold!: The Movie||June 28, 2002||Paramount Pictures/Snee-Oosh/Nickelodeon Animation Studios|
|The Wild Thornberrys Movie||December 20, 2002||Paramount Pictures/Klasky Csupo|
|Rugrats Go Wild||June 13, 2003|
|The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie||November 19, 2004||Paramount Pictures/United Plankton Pictures|
|Barnyard||August 4, 2006||Paramount Pictures/O Entertainment|
|The Last Airbender||July 1, 2010||Paramount Pictures/Blinding Edge Pictures|
|The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water||February 6, 2015||Paramount Pictures/Paramount Animation/United Plankton Pictures|
|Wonder Park||March 15, 2019||Paramount Animantion/Ilion Animation Studios|
|The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run||August 14, 2020||Paramount Pictures/Paramount Animation/United Plankton Pictures|
|Untitled animated Avatar movie||unknown||Avatar Studios|
Direct-to-video and made-for-TV films
|Jimmy Timmy Power Hour||May 7, 2004||O Entertainment/DNA Productions/Frederator Studios|
|Jimmy Timmy Power Hour 2: When Nerds Collide!||January 16, 2006|
|Jimmy Timmy Power Hour 3: The Jerkinators!||July 21, 2006|
|Rugrats Tales from the Crib: Snow White||September 17, 2005||Paramount Home Entertainment/Klasky Csupo|
|Rugrats Tales from the Crib: Three Jacks and a Beanstalk||September 5, 2006|
|A Fairly Odd Movie: Grow Up, Timmy Turner!||July 9, 2011||Pacific Bay Entertainment/Frederator Studios/Billionfold, Inc.|
|A Fairly Odd Christmas||November 29, 2012|
|A Fairly Odd Summer||August 2, 2014|
|Half-Shell Heroes: Blast to the Past||November 22, 2015||Nickelodeon Animation Studios|
|Hey Arnold!: The Jungle Movie||November 24, 2017||Snee-Oosh|
Television on net films
|Rocko's Modern Life: Static Cling||August 9, 2019||Joe Murray Productions|
|Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus||August 16, 2019||N/A|
Upcoming direct-to-video and made-for-TV films
|The Loud House: A Very Loud Christmas!||November 2021||N/A|||
Upcoming television on net films
|The Loud House Movie||2021||Jam Filled Entertainment|||
|Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie||2021||Flying Bark Productions|||
- Since 2004, new Nicktoons have often been moved from the main Nick channel to a sister network after getting cancelled. 2017 holds the record for the most shows being moved to the Nicktoons channel, with four: The Fairly OddParents, Harvey Beaks, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Bunsen is a Beast.
- Not including preschool shows, Winx Club is the only Viacom-copyrighted show to move to the Nick Jr. Channel instead of NickToons.
- Many episodes of the fifth season of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were burned off on NickToons in mid-2017, but the show returned to Nick to premiere its three-part finale on November 12, 2017.
- SpongeBob SquarePants holds the record for longest-running Nicktoon, both in number of episodes and years running.
- The Rugrats Pre-School Daze miniseries holds the record for shortest-lived Nicktoon (18 days in the U.S. and just 5 in the United Kingdom).
- The Fairly OddParents was the first Nicktoon to reach ten seasons, even before SpongeBob SquarePants.
- The ninth season of SpongeBob SquarePants took almost five years to air all 26 episodes, lasting from July 21, 2012 to February 20, 2017. This is the longest time a single Nicktoon season has lasted on the main Nickelodeon channel.
- Several Nicktoons have never finished airing on the main Nickelodeon network. As an example, two episodes of As Told by Ginger remain unaired in the United States as of 2019.
- In North America, almost all Nicktoons are distributed on home video by Paramount, which has been a subsidiary of Nickelodeon's parent company Viacom since 1994.
- From August 1993 to October 1996, all Nicktoon videotapes (and all Nickelodeon videotapes in general) were distributed by Sony Wonder.
- Shout! Factory has held the home video distribution rights to Aaahh!!! Real Monsters, The Angry Beavers, CatDog, The Wild Thornberrys and Danny Phantom since May 2011. Shout! also had the video rights for Hey Arnold! and Rocko's Modern Life from then until 2018, at which point their rights reverted to Paramount.
- After DreamWorks Animation ended all partnerships with Viacom, distribution rights for their three Nicktoon co-productions (The Penguins of Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness, and Monsters vs. Aliens) transferred to 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, who released all of the Legends of Awesomeness and Monsters vs. Aliens DVDs.
- Most Nicktoons are majority-produced in the United States with their final animation processes outsourced to service companies in South Korea. Exceptions include:
- The Nickelodeon episodes of Doug, co-produced with the French studio Ellipse Programmé (or Ellipsanime).
- The Nickelodeon episodes of Winx Club, co-produced by Nickelodeon Animation Studio and their Italian sister company (through Viacom), Rainbow Group. Nick Animation handled script writing, voice recording, animation approval, and some of the music production while coordinating with the Italian team.
- As it is technically a live-action show, Mr. Meaty has not been recognized as an official Nicktoon. It is still a ViacomCBS-owned production.
- When Nickelodeon repackaged the Action League Now! shorts into a half-hour block, the "new" show was occasionally advertised among the full-fledged Nicktoons. The package show is otherwise excluded from all of Nick's Nicktoon lists, and it was not produced by Nick Animation.
- To date, Rugrats is the only Nicktoon (or Nickelodeon franchise, for that matter) to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
- "Finding Ni Hao" (Pinwheel excerpt) (April 2008).
- Nickelodeon Nation: The History, Politics, and Economics of America's Only TV Channel for Kids (February 2004).
- The Washington Post: The kids' channel that 'Double Dares' to be different (September 25, 1988).
- Nickelodeon and Consumer Citizenship (2007).
- Nicktoons 25th anniversary oral history of Rugrats, Doug, Ren & Stimpy (August 11, 2016).
- Makin' Toons: Inside the Most Popular Animated TV Shows and Movies (2003).
- Studio Tour: Nicktoons (April 1998).
- David Kilmer (September 22, 1999). Nickelodeon opens animation studio in New York. Animation World Network.
- Nickelodeon grew up and blew up in 1996 (August 9, 2016).
- TheFutonCritic: Robot and Monster.
- Welcome to our new series of crew profiles (November 18, 2015).
- Nick Greenlights ‘Welcome to the Wayne,’ First TV Series Based On Digital Series (April 23, 2015).
- Nickelodeon Upfront 2017 – Nickandmore!.
- 'Rugrats' Revived at Viacom With New Nickelodeon Series, Feature Film (July 16, 2018).
- Nickelodeon's 'Middlemost Post' Gets Greenlight, Starts Production as Studio's Artists Work From Home Due to Pandemic.
- 'SpongeBob' Prequel, Live-Action 'Loud House' Movie Set at Nickelodeon.
- Nickelodeon Sets 'Loud House', 'Ninja Turtles' Animated Films at Netflix.
- 'Loud House' Ratings Drive Graphic Novel Sales
- Nickelodeon produced seasons 1–4. In 1996, Disney acquired the series and produced three additional seasons.
- Nickelodeon Animation Studio produced the Winx Club revival series, made up of seasons 5–7, in co-development with Rainbow. ViacomCBS owns the copyright to these seasons and co-owns the Rainbow studio itself.
- Seasons 5–7 (three seasons in total) were produced at Nickelodeon Animation Studio.
- Nickelodeon acquired the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise in 2009. ViacomCBS owns the copyright to both the 2012 series and Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but not the original 1987 series or The Next Mutation.
- Premiered exclusively on Netflix.
- Premiered on Paramount+. Cite error: Invalid
<ref>tag; name "paramount+" defined multiple times with different content
- Premiering on Paramount+.
- Premiered exclusively on Nicktoons Network.