As Told by Ginger

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As Told by Ginger
As Told By Ginger Title.jpg
Intertitle
Genre Comedy
Teen drama
Created by Emily Kapnek[1]
Directed by Mark Risley
Starring Melissa Disney
Kenny Blank
Jeannie Elias
Liz Georges
Jackie Harris
Aspen Miller
Tress MacNeille
Cree Summer
Laraine Newman
Kath Soucie
Adam Wylie
Sandy Fox
Opening theme "I'm in Between" performed by Macy Gray[2]
Written by Jared Faber and Emily Kapnek
Composer(s) Jared Faber
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 3
No. of episodes 60 (List of episodes)
Production
Running time 24 minutes
Production company(s) Anivision
Klasky-Csupo
Nickelodeon Productions
Broadcast
Original channel Nickelodeon
Nicktoons Network[3]
Original run October 25, 2000 (2000-10-25) – November 14, 2006 (2006-11-14)

As Told by Ginger is an American animated series aimed at preteens and teenagers that was produced by Klasky-Csupo and aired on Nickelodeon. The series focuses on a middle schooler (and later a high schooler) girl named Ginger Foutley who, with her friends, tries to become more than a social geek.[4][5][6] Most episodes also feature a subplot focused on Carl Foutley, Ginger's brother. The series was noted for the fact that it had ongoing story arcs and characters who developed and aged throughout the show.

As Told by Ginger ended production in 2003, although some episodes remain unaired on U.S. television. However, the complete series is available on iTunes.

Overview[edit]

Characters[edit]

The show focuses mainly on the life of junior high school student Ginger Foutley (Melissa Disney).[7] She, along with her friends, Darren Patterson (Kenny Blank; Kenn Michael), Dodie Bishop (Aspen Miller), and Macie Lightfoot (Jackie Harris), try to rise from the position of school geeks as they solve many conflicts that come their way.[8]

Luckily for Ginger, the most popular girl in school, Courtney Gripling (Liz Georges), has taken a liking to her and often includes her in her social plans.[9] She is intrigued by her "gingerisms", as Courtney calls them. However, Miranda Killgallen (Cree Summer), Courtney's right-hand woman, makes sure that she is not bumped down from her position thanks to Ginger.

At home, Ginger records her lively adventures in her diary. Her little brother, Carl (Jeannie Elias), is often scheming with Robert-Joseph "Hoodsey" Bishop (Tress MacNeille) in his own side plots, and her mother, Lois (Laraine Newman), is always there for advice to which Ginger is always open to listen.

Setting[edit]

The series takes place in the fictional town of Sheltered Shrubs, located in Connecticut. It is very rare for a children's program, especially an animated one, to be set in a specific area of the country. Sheltered Shrubs is based on the real town of Larchmont, New York. Other towns noted in the series are Protected Pines, a gated community in which Courtney lives, Brittle Branches, where Ginger's father resides, and Heathered Hills, the town of Ginger's summer camp crush, Sasha.

Development and continuity[edit]

As Told by Ginger has been recognized by fans and Nickelodeon alike for its character development, most of which is unusual for a cartoon.[1]

In the first season, Ginger's age group is hinted as being in seventh grade. By the second season, they move up to eighth grade rather than remaining the same age. They graduate junior high in the third season and move on to becoming freshmen in high school. Carl's age group works in a similar way, as they become junior high students by the third season. Also in the second season, Darren had his unwieldy orthodontia that he had been wearing for the entire first season removed, which resulted in rising popularity. Also, many episodes (mostly seasons two/three, although season one did this too) have references to previous episodes, giving the episodes a definite order.

One of the more noticeable developments is the fact that the characters change clothes each time a new day comes. Many cartoons have their characters remain in the same outfits to save time and money. The girls in Ginger's age group (Dodie, Courtney, Macie, Miranda and Ginger herself) and some of the adults were the only ones to do this at first. But after Darren got his orthodontia removed, he changed clothes as well. Carl's age group only changes clothes so often, most of the time with little changes. Hoodsey's coat rack has identical purple hooded-sweatshirts, mocking cartoons that always remain in the same outfits. Also, unlike live-action shows, whose characters only wear an outfit once, As Told by Ginger characters wear their outfits in rotation, and new outfits are added every few episodes.

The series also deals with several deeper themes.[10] In "Wicked Game", Ginger's two best friends betray her after feeling jealousy toward her new boyfriend, Darren. In "And She Was Gone", the staff and students at school think Ginger is depressed after she writes a disturbing poem. In the episode "No Hope for Courtney", Carl's pranks cause his teacher to retire. After she agrees to come back, Mrs. Gordon passes on. In actuality, Mrs. Gordon's voice actress, Kathleen Freeman, died before the episode's completion, and the script was rewritten to be dedicated to her. "A Lesson in Tightropes" has Ginger going through an emotional break-up with Darren while, at the same time, having to get surgery for appendicitis. Furthermore, the episode "Stuff'll Kill Ya" shows Ginger dealing with what could be conceived as a caffeine addiction.

  • In the TV film The Wedding Frame, when the Foutleys are driving to their soon-to-be home, they pass a cemetery park. One tombstone reads "ATBG" while the other reads "RIP". ATBG is short for As Told by Ginger and RIP is short for "Rest in Peace". This is a nod to the fact that this film is the series finale.
  • A girl named Leandra, who had a bone marrow illness and was a Make-A-Wish patient, was a fan of the series and watched it during her treatments. Her wish was to be a character on the show, so she appeared and voiced a character named after her in a scene of the episode "Butterflies are Free", where Ginger, Macie and Dodie greet her by name.[11]

Unlike most other Nicktoons, the series was a rare exception that a Nicktoon was aired on the TEENick block.[12] This was because the show was aimed at preteens and teenagers.

Episodes[edit]

Sixty episodes (not including the pilot episode) were produced for the show.

The pilot was produced in 1999 and was officially completed on September 10 of that year.
Season One was produced from 2000 to 2001.
Season Two was produced from 2002 to 2003.
Season Three was produced from 2003 to 2006.

Television films[edit]

There were four television films that aired during the series' run.

  • Summer of Camp Caprice (also titled Season of Caprice) had Ginger, Dodie, Macie and Courtney heading to summer camp, with Darren and Miranda going to military camp (where, as it happens, Miranda's father works) and Carl and Hoodsey on the trail of dog nappers.[13]
  • Foutleys on Ice (aired in the US as Far From Home), following up on the Emmy-nominated episode "And She Was Gone", dealt with Ginger winning a scholarship to an arts school, and Carl and Hoodsey making friends with a new character, the telekinetic Noelle Sussman (voiced by Emily Kapnek).[14] This episode was released on DVD.
  • Butterflies are Free follows Ginger and her friends graduating junior high.
  • The Wedding Frame closed out the third season and the series as a whole, and features Lois marrying one of the doctors at her hospital.

Nickelodeon had originally asked for the ending of The Wedding Frame to be changed to something less conclusive in case they wished to order more episodes, however, perhaps due to that situation being very unlikely, the original ending was eventually retained. It was released directly to DVD in the United States in November 2004, but it wasn't broadcast in US; also, the six episodes leading up to the film were not aired on the US either, resulting in some continuity problems.

In international airings, the films were divided in two (for Butterflies are Free) and three parts (for the other three films) in reruns.

Production[edit]

The pilot for the show was completed in September 1999. The show premiered in October 2000 on Nickelodeon.[15] The show was greatly popular at first, making its way into the teenager-aimed block TEENick.[12] After the second season, the show's popularity began to decline, partially due to constant scheduling changes. Nickelodeon then took the show off the air after airing less than half the episodes of the third and final season. The show was a part of the Nicktoons channel since its inception in 2002, and started airing the remaining third season episodes in November 2004, when "Ten Chairs" premiered. The "high school" episodes were slated to premiere during November 2006, but only one, "Stuff'll Kill Ya", premiered. The aforementioned Season 3 episodes remain unaired.

Show Airings[edit]

Network Time In effect
Nickelodeon Wednesdays at 8 pm October 2000 – January 2001
Nickelodeon Sundays 7:30 pm January 2001 – June 2003
Nickelodeon on CBS Saturday mornings September 2002 – January 2003
Nickelodeon Selected Weekday Mornings November 2005
Nicktoons Weekday mornings November 2006 – May 2007
Nicktoons Sunday and Monday mornings May 2007 – July 2007
Nickelodeon Monday mornings August 2007
Nicktoons Monday – Saturday mornings October 2007 – March 2008
Nickelodeon 6am Tuesdays March 2008
Nicktoons 4:00am Monday – Friday mornings March 2008 – January or February 2009
Four (New Zealand TV Channel) Every Morning 7.30am and later Sunday – Friday Mornings 7.30am 7 February 2011 – 13 April 2011
Indus Vision Daily 5.30pm August 2003 – November 2004
Nickelodeon Canada Weekdays at 4 & 4:30pm Fall 2014-
  • The episodes "I Spy a Witch", "Déjà Who?", "An "Even Steven" Holiday Special", and "Piece of My Heart" were all made for the first season line-up, but aired during the second season in the U.S.
  • "Never Can Say Goodbye", "Gym Class Confidential", "Fast Reputation", and "The Nurses' Strike" all premiered in the same week during the TEENick block. They aired February 11–14, 2002 (which were the days between Monday and Thursday.)
  • The episodes "Detention", "Kiss Today Good-bye", "A Lesson In Tightropes", "Dodie's Big Break", and "Battle of the Bands" are all high school episodes that were unaired in the United States until 2008–2009. They were at one time scheduled to air during the second week of November 2006, but were immediately removed from the schedule after the first high school episode, "Stuff'll Kill Ya" was aired. In most other countries, especially in the United Kingdom, they are part of the common reruns.

DVD and iTunes releases[edit]

  • The TV films Far From Home and The Wedding Frame are available in the USA on Region 1 DVDs. Far From Home comes with the bonus episodes "Ginger The Juvey" and "The Pilot". The Wedding Frame includes "Stealing First" and "Dare I, Darren".
  • The complete series is available on iTunes; the 60 episodes are divided into six volumes.[16]
  • The episode "An Even Steven Holiday Special" is available on Holly Jolly Holiday Specials '07.[17]
  • The episodes 1 through 45 are available on Russian DVD sets with each DVD containing 5 episodes. The As Speaks Ginger DVDs as they are known in Russia (Cyrillic: Как говорит Джинджер) are produced and distributed by Russobit-M and are only available with a Russian soundtrack.

Theme song[edit]

Originally, Melissa Disney, who voices Ginger, sang the theme song, before the show's first airing. The theme song was switched to a version sung by Cree Summer, the voice of Miranda, for the first half of the first season. After that, all episodes used a new version sung by R&B artist Macy Gray, which is the more known version of the song used on all international airings of the series.

Although the Melissa Disney version has never been used in American airings, all three versions are featured regularly in other English-speaking countries, with Melissa Disney and Cree Summer being used for most of the first and second series.

Closing credits[edit]

The closing credits are generally designed backgrounds with the show's signature font. These backgrounds include the ice cream cones from Ginger's bedroom walls, ladybugs from Dodie's bedroom walls, pencils, lizards and more. In most episodes, the ending theme is an instrumental rock-based song, although there have been exceptions. "Piece of My Heart" ends with a different and softer instrumental melody. The episode "Never Can Say Goodbye" ended with a song called "Wrong", sung by voice actor Kenny Blank as Darren Patterson, and "And She Was Gone" ended with a musical version of Ginger's poem during the credits. The episode "Come Back, Little Seal Girl" featured the songs "Courtney's World" and "The Little Seal Girl" blended together. In "About Face", a song called "Diamonds Are Expensive", presumably sung by the engaged Lois and Dr. Dave, is played over the credits. "Next Question" ended with "The Teen Seal Girl" song. Finally, the episode "No Hope for Courtney" had no music during the credits, being dedicated to the memory of Kathleen Freeman.

Awards[edit]

  • Three Emmy nominations for "Hello Stranger" (in 2001), "Lunatic Lake" (in 2002), and "And She Was Gone" (in 2003) (all three times As Told By Ginger were beaten by Fox shows). All three were nominated in the Outstanding Animated Program (Less than One Hour) category.[18]
  • "Best Cartoon" at Nickelodeon Netherlands Kids Choice Awards in 2005.
  • Two episodes of As Told By Ginger were ranked in Nickelodeon's "100 Greatest Moments in Nicktoons History", a special presented by Nickelodeon in November 2007. The episodes "Gym Class Confidential" and "Stealing First" were ranked at 97 and 95.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Villarreal, Yvonne (February 17, 2012). "Creative Minds: Emily Kapnek, mayor of 'Suburgatory'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 30, 2013. 
  2. ^ Rutenberg, Jim (February 14, 2001). "Nickelodeon's Tweens". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved September 30, 2013. 
  3. ^ Eller, Claudia (November 17, 2000). "Rugrats Duo Draws on Shared Vision". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 30, 2013. 
  4. ^ Weiss, Tara (March 12, 2001). "Tween Scene". Hartford Courant. Retrieved September 30, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Nickelodeon's 'Ginger' Spices Up Tonight's Lineup". Orlando Sentinel. October 25, 2000. Retrieved September 30, 2013. 
  6. ^ Shattuck, Kathryn (August 3, 2003). "Leaving Larchmont, Again". The New York Times. Retrieved September 30, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Family Fare". The Tuscaloosa News. November 1, 2000. Retrieved October 1, 2013. 
  8. ^ Levine, Evan (March 6, 2001). "Junior high angst told by Ginger". Rome News-Tribune. Retrieved October 1, 2013. 
  9. ^ Jaafar, Julia (September 4, 2001). "TV News". New Straits Times. Retrieved October 1, 2013. 
  10. ^ Salamon, Julie (February 15, 2002). "Grabbing Viewers 'Tween 8 and 14". The New York Times. Retrieved September 30, 2013. 
  11. ^ Waite, Matthew (June 1, 2002). "Girl gains health, other wishes". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved September 30, 2013. 
  12. ^ a b "Sunday Bests". The New York Times. March 4, 2001. Retrieved September 30, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Campers' Crush". The New York Times. July 1, 2001. Retrieved September 30, 2013. 
  14. ^ "Saturday & Sunday on TV". Deseret News. August 9, 2003. Retrieved October 1, 2013. 
  15. ^ "Life After 'Rugrats': It's Not Easy Being Cool". The New York Times. October 22, 2000. Retrieved September 30, 2013. 
  16. ^ Weprin, Alex (July 29, 2008). "Nickelodeon Adding Classics to iTunes". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved October 1, 2013. 
  17. ^ "Holly Jolly Holiday Specials '07". iTunes. Apple Inc. Retrieved October 1, 2013. 
  18. ^ "As Told By Ginger". Emmys. Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved September 30, 2013. 

External links[edit]