Nicktoons is the brand name given to the television cartoon shows that are produced and aired by Nickelodeon.
The first three "Nicktoons" (Doug, Rugrats and The Ren & Stimpy Show) began production in 1989 before premiering as part of a 90-minute block 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 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 a large team of Nickelodeon veterans grouped to work on Winx Club. A series for a third acquired property, Garfield, is in development.
The Nicktoons brand also extends to other media, such as crossover games featuring the Nicktoon characters (including Nicktoons Unite! and the Nickelodeon Super Brawl series). Since 2001, the official slogan for the brand has been "[They're] Not just cartoons, they're Nicktoons".
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||Creator(s)||Co-productions|
|1||Doug||August 11, 1991||January 2, 1994||4[note 1]||52||Jim Jinkins||Jumbo Pictures|
|2||Rugrats||August 11, 1991||June 4, 2004||9||172||Arlene Klasky, Gábor Csupó, and Paul Germain||Klasky-Csupo|
|3||The Ren & Stimpy Show||August 11, 1991||October 20, 1996||5||52||John Kricfalusi||Spumco|
|4||Rocko's Modern Life||September 18, 1993||November 24, 1996||4||52||Joe Murray||Joe Murray Productions|
|5||Aaahh!!! Real Monsters||October 29, 1994||December 6, 1997||4||52||Gábor Csupó and Peter Gaffney||Klasky-Csupo|
|6||Hey Arnold!||October 7, 1996||June 8, 2004||5||100||Craig Bartlett||Snee-Oosh|
|7||The Angry Beavers||April 19, 1997||June 11, 2001||4||63||Mitch Schauer||Gunther-Wahl Productions|
|8||CatDog||April 4, 1998||June 15, 2005||4||68||Peter Hannan||Peter Hannan Productions|
|9||The Wild Thornberrys||September 1, 1998||June 11, 2004||5||91||Arlene Klasky, Gábor Csupó, Steve Pepoon, David Silverman, and Stephen Sustarsic||Klasky-Csupo|
|10||SpongeBob SquarePants||May 1, 1999||present||13||280||Stephen Hillenburg||United Plankton Pictures|
|11||Rocket Power||August 16, 1999||July 30, 2004||3||71||Arlene Klasky, Gábor Csupó, and Joe Smith||Anvision|
|12||As Told by Ginger||October 25, 2000||November 14, 2006||3||60||Emily Kapnek||Klasky-Csupo|
|13||The Fairly OddParents||March 30, 2001||July 26, 2017||10||172||Butch Hartman||Frederator Studios|
|14||Invader Zim||March 30, 2001||August 19, 2006||2||27||Jhonen Vasquez||N/A|
|15||ChalkZone||March 22, 2002||August 23, 2008||4||40||Bill Burnett and Larry Huber||Frederator Studios|
|16||The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius||July 20, 2002||November 25, 2006||3||64||John A. Davis and Steve Oedekerk||O Entertainment|
|17||All Grown Up!||April 12, 2003||August 17, 2008||5||55||Arlene Klasky, Gábor Csupó, and Paul Germain||Klasky-Csupo|
|18||My Life as a Teenage Robot||August 1, 2003||May 2, 2009||3||40||Rob Renzetti||Frederator Studios|
|19||Danny Phantom||April 3, 2004||August 24, 2007||3||53||Butch Hartman||Billionfold, Inc.|
|20||Avatar: The Last Airbender||February 21, 2005||July 19, 2008||3||61||Micheal Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko||N/A|
|21||Catscratch||July 9, 2005||February 10, 2007||1||20||Doug TenNapel||N/A|
|22||The X's||November 25, 2005||December 13, 2006||1||20||Carlos Ramos||N/A|
|23||El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera||February 19, 2007||September 13, 2008||1||26||Sandra Equihua and Jorge R. Gutierrez||Mexopolis, Inc.|
|24||Tak and the Power of Juju||August 31, 2007||January 24, 2009||1||26||Avalanche Software||THQ|
|25||Back at the Barnyard||September 29, 2007||November 12, 2011||2||52||Steve Oedekerk||O Entertainment|
|26||The Mighty B!||April 26, 2008||June 18, 2011||2||40||Cynthia True, Amy Poehler, and Erik Weise||Paper Kite Productions|
Polka Dot Pictures
|27||Fanboy & Chum Chum||October 12, 2009||July 12, 2014||2||52||Eric Robles||Frederator Studios|
|28||Planet Sheen||October 2, 2010||February 15, 2013||1||26||Keith Alcorn and Steve Oedekerk||O Entertainment|
|29||T.U.F.F. Puppy||October 2, 2010||April 4, 2015||3||60||Butch Hartman||Billionfold, Inc.|
|30||Winx Club||June 27, 2011||April 10, 2016||3[note 3]||78||Iginio Straffi||Rainbow SpA (co-owned by Viacom)|
|31||The Legend of Korra||April 14, 2012||December 19, 2014||4||52||Michael Dante Dimartino and Beyan Konietzko||Ginormous Madman Productions|
|32||Robot and Monster||August 4, 2012||February 14, 2015||1||26||Dave Pressler, Joshua Sternin, and J.R. Ventimilia||Smasho! Productions|
|33||Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles||September 28, 2012||November 12, 2017||5||124||Peter Laird and Kevin Eastman||Lowbar Productions|
|34||Sanjay and Craig||May 25, 2013||July 29, 2016||3||60||Jim Dirschberger, Andreas Trolf, and Jay Howell||Forest City Rockers|
|35||Breadwinners||February 17, 2014||September 12, 2016||2||40||Steve Borst and Gary Doodles||N/A|
|36||Harvey Beaks||March 28, 2015||December 29, 2017||2||52||C.H. Greenblatt||N/A|
|37||Pig Goat Banana Cricket||July 16, 2015||August 11, 2018||2||40||Dave Cooper and Johnny Ryan||N/A|
|38||The Loud House||May 2, 2016||present||6||130||Chris Savino||Jam Filled Entertainment|
|39||Bunsen Is a Beast||January 16, 2017||February 10, 2018||1||26||Butch Hartman||Billionfold, Inc.|
|40||Welcome to the Wayne||July 24, 2017||May 31, 2019||2||30||Billy Lopez||Yowza! Animation|
|41||The Adventures of Kid Danger||January 15, 2018||June 14, 2018||1||12||Dan Schneider||Powerhouse Animation|
|42||Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles||July 20, 2018||August 7, 2020||2||39||Peter Laird, Kevin Eastman, Andy Suriano, and Ant Ward||Flying Bark Productions|
|43||Pinky Malinky||January 1, 2019||July 17, 2019||3||60||Chris Garbutt and Rikke Asbjoern||Jam Filled Entertainment|
|44||The Casagrandes||October 14, 2019||2022||3||49||Chris Savino (characters only)||Jam Filled Entertainment|
|45||It's Pony||January 18, 2020||May 26, 2022||2||40||Ant Blades||Blue-Zoo Animation Studio|
|46||Glitch Techs||February 21, 2020||August 17, 2020||2||19||Eric Robles and Dan Milano||Top Draw Animation|
|47||Kamp Koral, SpongeBob's Under Years[note 6]||March 4, 2021||present||2||39||Stephen Hillenburg (characters only)||United Plankton Pictures|
|48||Rugrats (2021 TV series)[note 7]||May 27, 2021||present||2||24||Arlene Klasky, Gábor Csupó, and Paul Germain||Klasky Csupo|
|49||The Patrick Star Show||July 9, 2021||present||2||52||Stephen Hillenburg (characters only)||United Plankton Pictures|
|50||Middlemost Post||July 9, 2021||present||2||33||John Trabbic III||Mercury Filmworks|
|51||Star Trek: Prodigy[note 8]||October 28, 2021||present||1||10||Kevin Hageman and Dan Hageman||CBS Eye Animation Productions|
|52||Big Nate[note 8]||February 17, 2022||present||1||8||Lincoln Pierce (characters)||John Cohen Productions|
|Monster High||October 2022|||
|Transformers: Earth Spark||November 2022|||
|Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2023)||2023|
|Man of the House||2023|
|Adventures in Wonder Park||2023|||
|Meet the Voxels||TBA|
Real Pigeons Fight Crime
|Phoebe and Her Unicorn||TBA|||
|Max & the Midknights||TBA|||
|Rock, Paper, Scissors||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||Creator(s)||Co-productions|
|KaBlam!||October 11, 1996||January 22, 2000||4||48||Robert Mittenthal, Will McRobb and Chris Viscardi||Flying Mallet Inc.|
|Oh Yeah! Cartoons||July 19, 1998||2002||3||34||Fred Seibert||Frederator Studios|
|Random! Cartoons||December 6, 2008||December 20, 2009||1||13||Fred Seibert||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||Creator(s)|
|The Penguins of Madagascar||November 28, 2008||January 4, 2016||3||80||Tom McGarth and Eric Darnell|
|Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness||September 19, 2011||June 29, 2016||3||80||Jim Schumann|
|Monsters vs. Aliens||March 23, 2013||February 8, 2014||1||26||N/A|
The following miniseries were produced by Nick Animation, but they were never green-lit for full seasons.
|Logo||Title||Premiere date||End date||Episodes||Creator(s)||Co-productions|
|Making Fiends[note 9]||October 4, 2008||November 1, 2008||6||Amy Winfrey||N/A|
|Rugrats Pre-School Daze||November 16, 2008||December 7, 2008||4||Arlene Klasky, Gabor Csupo, and Paul Germain||Klasky Csupo|
|September 2, 2019||September 29, 2019||4||Gina Heitkamp and Jenae Heitkamp||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.
List of movies
|Image||Title||Release date||Based off of||Co-production|
|The Rugrats Movie||November 20, 1998||Rugrats||Paramount Pictures/Klasky Csupo|
|Rugrats in Paris: The Movie||November 17, 2000||Rugrats|
|Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius||December 21, 2001||The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius||Paramount Pictures/O Entertainment|
|Hey Arnold!: The Movie||June 28, 2002||Hey Arnold!||Paramount Pictures/Snee-Oosh/Nickelodeon Animation Studios|
|The Wild Thornberrys Movie||December 20, 2002||The Wild Thornberrys||Paramount Pictures/Klasky Csupo|
|Rugrats Go Wild||June 13, 2003||Rugrats|
The Wild Thornberrys
|The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie||November 19, 2004||SpongeBob SquarePants||Paramount Pictures/United Plankton Pictures|
|Barnyard||August 4, 2006||Back at the Barnyard||Paramount Pictures/O Entertainment|
|The Last Airbender||July 1, 2010||Avatar: The Last Airbender||Paramount Pictures/Blinding Edge Pictures|
|The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water||February 6, 2015||SpongeBob SquarePants||Paramount Pictures/Paramount Animation/United Plankton Pictures|
|Wonder Park||March 15, 2019||Adventures in Wonder Park||Paramount Animantion/Ilion Animation Studios|
|The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run||August 14, 2020||SpongeBob SquarePants||Paramount Pictures/Paramount Animation/United Plankton Pictures|
|Untitled animated Avatar movie||unknown||Avatar: The Last Airbender||Avatar Studios|
|Untitled forth SpongeBob SquarePants movie||unkown||SpongeBob SquarePants||Paramount Pictures/United Plankton Pictures|
|Untitled third SpongeBob spinoff movie||unkown||SpongeBob SquarePants||Paramount Pictures/United Plankton Pictures|
Direct-to-video and made-for-TV films
|Image||Title||Release date||Based off of||Co-production|
|Jimmy Timmy Power Hour||May 7, 2004||The Fairly OddParents
The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius
|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||Rugrats||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||The Fairly OddParents||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||Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles||Nickelodeon Animation Studios|
|Hey Arnold!: The Jungle Movie||November 24, 2017||Hey Arnold!||Snee-Oosh|
|A Loud House Christmas||November 26, 2021||The Loud House||N/A|
Upcoming direct-to-video and made-for-TV films
|Image||Title||Release date||Based off of||Co-production|
|Monster High: The Movie||Fall 2022||Monster High||Brightlight Pictures|
Dark Toy Productions
Television on net films
|Image||Title||Release date||Based off of||Co-production|
|Rocko's Modern Life: Static Cling||August 9, 2019||Rocko's Modern Life||Joe Murray Productions|
|Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus||August 16, 2019||Invader Zim||N/A|
|The Loud House Movie||August 20, 2021||The Loud House||Top Draw Animation|
Upcoming television on net films
|Image||Title||Release date||Based off of||Co-production||Source|
|Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie||2022||Rise of the TMNT||Flying Bark Productions|||
|Saving Bikini Bottom||2023||SpongeBob SquarePants||United Plankton Pictures|
|Plankton (movie)||TBA||SpongeBob SquarePants||United Plankton Pictures|
- 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.
- Doug, Rugrats, Winx Club, Harvey Beaks, and The Loud House aired on all four networks.
- 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. They also hold the video rights to The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius since June 2021.
- 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 (and the only Nickelodeon franchise in general, for that matter) to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
These are the official logos of the Nicktoons brand.
- "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!.
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- 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 first on Paramount+ in March 2021 before airing on Nickelodeon the following month.
- CGI reboot of the original 1991 series. Premiered on Paramount+ before airing on Nickelodeon on August 20.
- Premiered on Paramount+ before airing on Nickelodeon.
- Premiered exclusively on Nicktoons Network.