Nicktoons is a franchise of television cartoon shows that are produced by and aired on Nickelodeon.
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 when Laybourne did not receive the reaction she wanted from test audiences. Throughout the next decade, animated fare on Nickelodeon comprised mostly of reruns of older cartoons or more foreign series.
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) aired on Sunday, August 11, 1991. This format was repeated every Sunday, eventually leading to the production of more Nicktoons at Nickelodeon Animation Studios. A separate channel named after Nicktoons was established on May 1, 2002.
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 increased on Nickelodeon, 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 like Looney Tunes on Nickelodeon ran from the mid-1980s well into the late 1990s. When Nick Jr. premiered 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.
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."
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. In May 2002, a sister channel named after Nicktoons was created. In 2016, Nickelodeon moved its animation facilities to a different building in Burbank that houses both animated and live-action properties.
List of Nicktoons
The following Nicktoons are still in production.
|SpongeBob SquarePants||May 1, 1999||11||234||United Plankton Pictures|
|The Loud House||May 2, 2016||3||56||Jam Filled Entertainment|
|Welcome to the Wayne||July 24, 2017||2||20||Yowza! Animation|
|The Adventures of Kid Danger||January 19, 2018||1||12||Powerhouse Animation|
|Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles||July 20, 2018||1||26||Flying Bark Productions|
|Pinky Malinky||January 1, 2019||2||28||Jam Filled Entertainment|
The following Nicktoons are no longer in production, although some of them may still air on some other channels.
|Logo||Title||Premiere date||End date||Season(s)||Episodes||Co-productions|
|Doug||August 11, 1991||January 2, 1994||4||52|| Jumbo Pictures|
|Rugrats||August 11, 1991||June 8, 2004||9||172||Klasky-Csupo|
|The Ren & Stimpy Show||August 11, 1991||November 14, 1996||5||52||SpumcoGames Animations|
|Rocko's Modern Life||September 18, 1993||November 24, 1996||4||52||Joe Murray Productions|
|Aaahh!!! Real Monsters||October 29, 1994||December 6, 1997||4||52||Klasky-Csupo|
|KaBlam!||October 7, 1996||January 22, 2000||4||48||Flying Mallet Inc.|
|Hey Arnold!||October 7, 1996||June 8, 2004||5||100||Snee-Oosh|
|The Angry Beavers||April 19, 1997||November 11, 2001||4||63||Gunther-Wahl Productions|
|CatDog||April 4, 1998||June 15, 2005||4||66||Peter Hannan Productions|
|Oh Yeah! Cartoons||July 17, 1998||May 26, 2001||3||101||Frederator Studios|
|The Wild Thornberrys||September 1, 1998||June 11, 2004||5||92||Klasky-Csupo|
|Rocket Power||August 16, 1999||July 30, 2004||3||71|| Anvision|
|As Told by Ginger||October 25, 2000||October 23, 2016||3||60||Klasky-Csupo|
|The Fairly OddParents||March 30, 2001||July 26, 2017||10||172|| Frederator Studios|
|Invader Zim||March 30, 2001||August 19, 2006||2||27||Maven Animation Studio|
|Action League Now!||November 25, 2001||February 10, 2002||1||12|| Chuckimation|
Flying Mallet Inc.
|ChalkZone||March 22, 2002||August 23, 2008||4||40||Frederator Studios|
|The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius||July 20, 2002||November 25, 2006||3||61|| O Entertainment|
|All Grown Up!||April 12, 2003||August 17, 2008||5||55||Klasky-Csupo|
|My Life as a Teenage Robot||August 1, 2003||May 2, 2009||3||40||Frederator Studios|
|Danny Phantom||April 3, 2004||August 24, 2007||3||53||Billionfold, Inc.|
|Avatar: The Last Airbender||February 21, 2005||July 19, 2008||3||61||Studio Mir|
|Catscratch||July 9, 2005||February 10, 2007||1||20||N/A|
|The X's||November 25, 2005||December 13, 2006||1||20||N/A|
|Mr. Meaty||September 22, 2006||May 23, 2009||2||20||3J's Productions|
|El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera||March 3, 2007||September 13, 2008||1||26||Mexopolis, Inc.|
|Tak and the Power of Juju||August 31, 2007||January 24, 2009||1||26||THQ|
|Back at the Barnyard||September 29, 2007||November 12, 2011||2||52||O Entertainment|
|The Mighty B!||April 26, 2008||June 18, 2011||2||40|| Paper Kite Productions|
Polka Dot Pictures
|Making Fiends||October 4, 2008||November 1, 2008||1||6||N/A|
|Rugrats Pre-School Daze||November 16, 2008||December 4, 2008||1||4||Klasky-Csupo|
|The Penguins of Madagascar||November 29, 2008||December 19, 2015||3||149||DreamWorks Animation|
|Random! Cartoons||December 6, 2008||August 14, 2009||1||13||Frederator Studios|
|Fanboy & Chum Chum||October 12, 2009||July 12, 2014||2||52||Frederator Studios|
|Planet Sheen||October 2, 2010||February 15, 2013||1||26||O Entertainment|
|T.U.F.F. Puppy||October 2, 2010||April 4, 2015||3||60||Billionfold, Inc.|
|Winx Club||June 27, 2011||April 10, 2016||7||182||Rainbow S.r.l.|
|Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness||September 19, 2011||June 29, 2016||3||80||DreamWorks Animation|
|The Legend of Korra||April 14, 2012||December 19, 2014||4||52|| Ginormous Madman Productions|
|Robot and Monster||August 4, 2012||February 14, 2015 ||1||26|| Smasho! Productions|
|Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles||September 29, 2012||November 12, 2017||5||124||Lowbar Productions|
|Monsters vs. Aliens||March 23, 2013||February 8, 2014||1||26||DreamWorks Animation|
|Sanjay and Craig||May 25, 2013||July 29, 2016||3||60||Forest City Rockers|
|Rabbids Invasion||August 3, 2013||June 23, 2017||3||69|| Ubisoft Motion Pictures|
|Breadwinners||February 17, 2014||September 12, 2016||2||40||N/A|
|Harvey Beaks||March 28, 2015||December 29, 2017||2||52||N/A|
|Pig Goat Banana Cricket||July 16, 2015||August 11, 2018||2||40||N/A|
|Bunsen Is a Beast||January 16, 2017||February 10, 2018||1||26||Billionfold, Inc.|
|Los Casagrandes||April-June 2019|
|Man of the House||2019|
|The Swashbuckling Adventures of Capitán Calavera||2019|
|Corn & Peg||2019|
|Rugrats (2020 TV series)||2020|||
The following animated programs are shown on Nickelodeon, but are not actually made by the network itself and are not official Nicktoons.
|Logo||Title||Nick Premiere date||Country||Season(s)||Episodes||Production companies||Source(s)|
|ALVINNN!!! and the Chipmunks||August 3, 2015||United States|
|Regal Academy**||August 13, 2016||Italy||2||52||Rainbow S.r.l.|
**Now airing on the network's sister channel, Nick Jr.
***Now airing on the network's sister channel, Nicktoons.
|Logo||Title||Premiere date||End date||Country||Season(s)||Episodes||Production companies||Source(s)|
|Pelswick||October 2, 2000||November 15, 2002||2||26||Canada|| Hong Kong Animation|
|Wayside||June 25, 2007||September 1, 2008||2||26||Canada|| Teletoon|
|Rocket Monkeys||March 4, 2013||May 2, 2014||Canada||1||26 (aired in U.S.)||Teletoon|
|Oggy and the Cockroaches||February 23, 2015||March 2016||France||1||26 (aired in U.S.)||Xilam|
|Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir||December 6, 2015||October 2016||France||1||26 (aired in U.S.)||ZAG Entertainment|
|Kuu Kuu Harajuku||October 3, 2016||February 2, 2018||Australia|
Moody Street Productions
Red Flags Fly
|Mysticons||August 28, 2017||September 15, 2018||United States|
|2||40 (aired in U.S.)||Topps Animation|
Movies based on Nicktoons
|Image||Title||Release date||Co-production||Based on|
|The Rugrats Movie||November 20, 1998||Paramount Pictures / Klasky Csupo||Rugrats|
|Rugrats in Paris: The Movie||November 17, 2000|
|Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius||December 21, 2001||Paramount Pictures / O Entertainment||Jimmy Neutron|
|Hey Arnold!: The Movie||June 28, 2002||Paramount Pictures / Snee-Oosh / Nickelodeon Animation Studios||Hey Arnold!|
|The Wild Thornberrys Movie||December 20, 2002||Paramount Pictures / Klasky Csupo||The Wild Thornberrys|
|Rugrats Go Wild||June 13, 2003||Rugrats|
The Wild Thornberrys
|The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie||November 19, 2004||Paramount Pictures / United Plankton Pictures||SpongeBob SquarePants|
|Barnyard||August 4, 2006||Paramount Pictures / O Entertainment||Back at the Barnyard|
|The Last Airbender||July 1, 2010||Paramount Pictures / Blinding Edge Pictures||Avatar: The Last Airbender|
|The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water||February 6, 2015||Paramount Pictures / Paramount Animation / United Plankton Pictures||SpongeBob SquarePants|
Upcoming theatrical films
|Image||Title||Release date||Co-production||Based on||Source|
|The SpongeBob Movie: It's a Wonderful Sponge||July 22, 2020||Paramount Pictures / Paramount Animation / United Plankton Pictures||SpongeBob SquarePants|||
|Rugrats||November 13, 2020||Paramount Pictures|
Direct-to-video and made-for-TV films
|Image||Title||Release date||Co-production||Based on|
|Jimmy Timmy Power Hour||May 7, 2004||O Entertainment / DNA Productions / Frederator Incoperated.||Jimmy Neutron and The Fairly OddParents|
|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|
|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.||The Fairly OddParents|
|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||Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles|
|Hey Arnold!: The Jungle Movie||November 24, 2017||Snee-Oosh||Hey Arnold!|
Upcoming television and direct to video films
|Image||Title||Release date||Co-production||Based on||Source|
|Rocko's Modern Life: Static Cling||November 2018||Joe Murray Productions||Rocko's Modern Life|||
|Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus!||2019||Maven Animation Studio||Invader Zim|||
- SpongeBob SquarePants currently holds the record for longest-running Nicktoon, which had previously been held by Rugrats, surpassing that show's run (in terms of number of episodes) when SpongeBob aired its 172nd episode on April 10, 2012. However, with two spin-offs, Rugrats still has the most shows featuring its characters.
- Rugrats Pre-School Daze holds the record for short-lived Nicktoon (18 days or 5 in the United Kingdom) and the least amount of episodes (4).
- The Fairly OddParents was the first Nicktoon to ever reach its 10th season, even before SpongeBob SquarePants, which was still in its ninth season, when the first episode of Season 10, "The Big Fairy Share Scare!" premiered.
- ↑ "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).
- ↑ Nickelodeon grew up and blew up in 1996 (August 9, 2016).
- ↑ Makin' Toons: Inside the Most Popular Animated TV Shows and Movies (2003).
- ↑ Studio Tour: Nicktoons (April 1998).
- ↑ Welcome to our new series of crew profiles (November 18, 2015).
- ↑ Nick Greenlights ‘Welcome to the Wayne,’ First TV Series Based On Digital Series (March 23, 2015).
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 NickAndMore: Nickelodeon Upfront 2017.
- ↑ Nickelodeon Press Release 6/14/2011. “Winx Club is a co-production with Rainbow S.p.A. and Nickelodeon.”
- ↑ TheFutonCritic: Robot and Monster.
- ↑ https://www.instagram.com/p/BnMrhhjhZjJ/?hl=en&taken-by=rrrrobles
- ↑ Nickelodeon Picks Up Season Two of “The Loud House” & New Series “Glitch Techs”.
- ↑ 'Rugrats' Revived at Viacom With New Nickelodeon Series, Feature Film (July 16, 2018).
- ↑ Alvin and the Chipmunks.
- ↑ Rocket Monkeys.
- ↑ Kuu Kuu Harajuku.
- ↑ Mysticons.
- ↑ Paramount Sets ‘SpongeBob 3’ for 2019, Delays ‘Monster Trucks’ to 2017 (November 10, 2015).
- ↑ Rocko’s Modern Life TV Special Coming to Nickelodeon.
- ↑ ‘Invader Zim’ Aims to Conquer Earth Again in Nickelodeon Animated TV Movie.