The 1991–1994 logo
|Format||Animated television series|
|Created by||Japhet Asher|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||3|
|No. of episodes||22|
|Running time||30 minutes|
|Original channel||MTV (1989–1994 and 2011–present)
Google Video (2006–present)
|Original run||June 2, 1991 – March 6, 1994|
|Followed by||Liquid Television Online (2012+)|
Liquid Television is an animation showcase that appeared on MTV. The first season of Liquid Television also aired on BBC Two in co-production with MTV. Ultimately, MTV commissioned three seasons of the show, which was produced by Colossal Pictures. It has served as the launching point for several high-profile original cartoons, including Beavis and Butt-head and Æon Flux. The show was eventually succeeded by Cartoon Sushi. The bulk of Liquid Television's material was created by independent animators and artists specially for the show, and some previously produced segments were compiled from festivals such as Spike and Mike's Sick and Twisted Festival of Animation. Mark Mothersbaugh composed the show's theme music. It was broadcast in New Zealand on TV3 and in Australia on SBS.
There were also a large number of animation pieces adapted from the work of Art Spiegelman's comic compilation, RAW. RAW featured underground cartoonists such as Mark Beyer, Richard Sala, and Peter Bagge. In particular, Dog-Boy by Charles Burns was based on the artist's series from RAW.
Selected segments from the series, including the first appearances of Æon Flux, were released on two VHS tapes in the late 1990s as The Best of Liquid Television parts one and two. These tapes are long out-of-print. A collection volume, titled Wet Shorts (The Best of Liquid Television), comprising the two VHS tapes, was available on DVD but this too is out-of-print.
On October 13, 2011, MTVX, MTV's cross media group, announced the return of Liquid Television. It is now a network that is available on the Internet and social media. The first content to come out of the network is "F****** BEST SONG EVERR" by Wallpaper., available on the website. Full-length episodes featuring the online content and all-new material were released in 2013.
- Japhet Asher – Executive Producer/Creative Director
- Prudence Fenton – Executive Producer/Story Editor
- Mark Mothersbaugh – Composer, Theme Music
- XAOS – Theme Song & Transition Bumpers
- A BIG Pictures & Noyes & Laybourne Collaboration
- Produced by (Colossal) Pictures for MTV & BBC-TV
- Winter Steele – A puppet show about a biker chick searching for her long-lost love.
- Soap Opera – A parody of daytime soaps, with bars of soap as the actors.
- Cut-Up Camera – A parody of Candid Camera involving outrageous situations.
- Miss Lidia's Makeover to the Stars – A short about an unseen makeup artist (with live-action hands) who gives celebrities mock make-overs via her computer.
- Invisible Hands – About a turban-clad sleuth who solves murders.
- Buzz Box – A short with changing patterns set to rock music.
- Stick Figure Theatre – A series of shorts recreating scenes from popular movies using stick-figures drawn on 3 × 5 cards.
- Dangerous Puppets – About two puppets who violently destroy each other.
- The Art School Girls of Doom – A live-action short in the early 1990s starring 2 art school girls. Codie Field and Gina Varla Vetro, transgender actresses, played the girls in an animated environment.
- Footworks – Stories featuring footprints as the characters.
- Aeon Flux – About a scantily-clad female secret agent (later spun off into its own series; also adapted into a 2005 live-action film starring Charlize Theron).  The series later became part of Liquid Television's online version in 2012.
- Beavis and Butt-head – About two adolescent morons who cause their own trouble, twice it appeared on the show, later spun off into its own series.
- Psychogram – A series of stories using various postcards.
- The Specialists – A 10-episode series about three private detectives.
- Dog Boy – A live-action, comic book-style story about the adventures of a young man who received a dog's heart in a medical transplant.
- The Adventures of Thomas and Nardo – A computer animated series about a man and his anthropomorphic house done in a 3D paper-style, created by Mark Beyer. It had an original soundtrack composed by The Residents.
- Speedbump the Roadkill Possum – About a possum who often gets run over.
- Was (Not Was) – A series of fast-paced chalk animations to the tune of songs by the titular band.
- Uncle Louie – A series of comic book style cut out animations involving an older yet ecstatic uncle and his nephew in a miscellaneous adventures.
- Bobby & Billy – A series of cut-out animations, drawn similar to Norman Rockwell paintings, about two younger boys who display malevolence and immoral behavior in various situations. The cartoon often satirizes indecency set in the 1960s.
Winter Steele was a puppet television series created by Cintra Wilson that aired as a segment of Liquid Television during its first two seasons, 1991-1993. Wilson wrote the series, created the puppets, did the voice of the main character and even did some live action body double work.
Winter Steele is depicted as a female biker who is in hot pursuit of her childhood friend, lover and sometime nemesis David "Crow" Dickerson, himself a biker. The two met as children in a repressive orphanage and bonded. Separated, the two vowed to find each other, with Winter criss-crossing the land on a motorcycle. In this course Winter breaks many laws - robbing a crossdresser at gunpoint, credit card fraud, etc. As it transpires, Crow is also despreately looking for Winter, he has gotten a career as a stunt performer a la Evel Knievel and a cape he uses in his act bears the inscription "Winter, where are you?" At one point Winter even meets up with Crow's mother, who abandoned her son to an orphanage. Asked if she regretted sending Crow there, she tersely replies "Hell no!"
Winter eventually learns of Crow's career as a daredeveil, but despairs of reaching him when she can't get his attention at a show. Defeated, Winter attempts suicide by immolation, wrecking her motorcycle, tearing off her clothes and setting them on fire. She is stopped when a private detective hired by Crow recognizes her. But before he can bring her to Crow, he sees Winter's burnt belongings and assumes she has committed suicide. He attempts suicide himself by ramming his chopper into a brick wall, but though seriously injured he is not killed. Winter finally catches up with Crow at the intensive care unit at the hospital, but is taken away by the police on various charges before she can stay long. After the police have taken her away, we see Crow raise a thumb towards Winter.
Shows on LiquidTelevision.com
- The Head - Animated series about the adventures of a young man who has an alien hatch out of his head.
- The Maxx - Animated adaptation of comic book series The Maxx, the story follows the dual-reality adventures and struggles of the Maxx, and his social worker Julie. Aired on MTV's Oddities, which was a sub-category of Liquid Television in the 1990s.
- Daria - Focuses on Daria Morgendorffer, a smart, acerbic, and somewhat misanthropic teenage girl who observes the world around her. Spin-off of Beavis and Butt-head.
- Wonder Showzen - Live-action/animated sketch comedy series about a darkly perverse kids' show modeled after Sesame Street.
- Celebrity Deathmatch - Claymated series featuring overly violent boxing matches between celebrities. Originally part of LT's follow-up, Cartoon Sushi.
- Rushkoff, Douglas (1994). Media virus!: hidden agendas in popular culture. New York: Ballantine Books. p. 150. ISBN 9780345382764.
- "Top 100 animated series". IGN. Retrieved October 19, 2010.
- Svetkey, Benjamin (June 14, 1991). "What is Liquid Television". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved November 12, 2010.
- Lipton, Lauren (June 9, 1991). "High-Tech MTV `Liquid Television' shows what visual wizards can do with animation and pop culture". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 12, 2010.
- "mtv revives liquid-television". Cartoon Brew.
- "Wigging Out". Vanity Fair. November 1992.
- "Liquid Television". Entertainment Weekly. May 31, 1991. Retrieved November 12, 2010.