StarToons International, LLC was an American animation studio located in the Chicago, Illinois area. It was founded by Jon McClenahan, an animator who had previously worked for other studios like Hanna Barbera. While the initial founding of StarToons was in October 1988, the studio didn't start getting credit until 1991, when StarToons animated a full episode of Tiny Toon Adventures (it had previously done individual scenes outsourced to them by Kennedy Cartoons when Jon McClenahan worked alone). For the most part, StarToons provided animation exclusively for Warner Bros. shows, including the opening title sequence for Taz-Mania and animation of much of an unreleased Looney Tunes theatrical short entitled Little Go-Beep; however, it also created the popular character Dudley the Dinosaur for the American Dental Association, the Fat Cats pilot for Cartoon Network, and some direct-to-video films for the Christian market.
Before its demise in 2001, StarToons had a plethora of exciting projects lined up, such as pilots "Up With the Chickens", "Tuna Sammich", "The Kitchen Sink Gang", "The Neverland Gnomes", and M-7, a Japanese-style anime which was to be animated fully in Chicago.
Numerous factors contributed to StarToon's demise. The cost of paying American animators is far higher than for labor in foreign countries like South Korea and Taiwan. In addition, the steady rise in popularity of anime made network execs question the need to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on animating something domestically when it could simply import foreign programs. Also, network executives' temporary fascination with Macromedia Flash, which was thought to make animation faster and cheaper, didn't help. Though StarToons struck an alliance with Heart Animation Studios in India during the late 1990s so that they could combine the American experience with cheap Indian labor, it wasn't enough.
StarToons officially went out of business in August 2001. StarToons has provided animation for the following cartoons:
- Jetsons: The Movie (1990) - Additional scenes.
- Tiny Toon Adventures (1990-1992) - 3 half-hour episodes: Henry Youngman Day, Thirteensomething and It's a Wonderful Tiny Toons Christmas Special. Also several scenes in the Kennedy Cartoons episodes.
- Darkwing Duck (1991) - Several scenes in the Kennedy Cartoons episodes.
- Taz-Mania (1991-1992) - The intro and 2 half-hour episodes: Instant Replay/Taz and the Pterodactyl and Hypnotazed/Mum's n' Taz's.
- Animaniacs (1993-1998) - 1 half-hour episode and 27 segments: Bully for Skippy, Wakko's America, What Are We?, Be Careful What You Eat, Slappy Goes Walnuts, The Big Candy Store, Plane Pals, Meatballs and Consequences, Broadcast Nuisance, Guardin' the Garden, Bumbie's Mom, Wally Llama, Chairman of the Bored, Meet Minerva, And Justice for Slappy, Meet John Brain, Critical Condition, Frontier Slappy, MacBeth, Windsor Hassle, Scare-Happy Slappy, Ragamuffins, Karaoke-Dokie, Testimonials, Dot The Macademia Nut, Magic Time, The Brain's Apprentice and There's Only One of You. Also numerous bumpers.
- What-A-Cartoon! (1995) - 1 short: Drip Dry Drips.
- The Spooktacular New Adventures of Casper (Some Episodes)
- Histeria! (1998-1999) - 4 half-hour episodes: The Wild West, Around the World In a Daze, Writers of the Purple Prose and Dawn of Time.
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