Total Drama Island

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This article is about the first season. For the entire series, see Total Drama.
Total Drama Island
TDIlogo.png
The Total Drama Island logo.
Country of origin Canada
No. of episodes 28 (including special and review)
Broadcast
Original channel Teletoon
Original run July 8, 2007 (2007-07-08) – November 29, 2008 (2008-11-29)[1][2]
Season chronology
← Previous
N/A
Next →
Total Drama Action
TDA
First season of the Total Drama series.
List of Total Drama episodes
Winners: Gwen or Owen / Grand Prize: $100,000

Total Drama Island (sometimes shortened to TDI) is a Canadian animated television series which premiered in Canada on Teletoon on July 8, 2007 and on June 5, 2008 in the U.S. on Cartoon Network. This is the first season of the Total Drama series and has 27 episodes, each 22 minutes in duration[3] with a special 44 minute episode at the end. The season is mostly a parody of the series Survivor, which consists of twenty-two campers in an elimination-based competition. On the Cartoon Network airing in the United States, some content has been removed from the episodes by censors in order to keep the rating open to a younger audience; for example, putting in words instead of long bleeps, for the episodes "That's Off the Chain" and "Trial by Tri-Armed Triathlon". The fourth season, Total Drama: Revenge of the Island, also takes place on the same island as this season, but with an all new cast. Total Drama Island was created by Tom McGillis and Jennifer Pertsch with their production studio, Fresh TV, which also created their previous animated series, 6teen.

Plot[edit]

A grand view of the main island used in this season (which is artificially recreated in the next season). The island is also used in the fourth and fifth seasons (which leads to its destruction).

Total Drama Island sets in a fictional titular reality show that follows the competition of 22 teenagers at Camp Wawanakwa, a fictional island located in an unspecified area in Muskoka, Ontario. The campers participate in competitions to avoid being voted off the island by their fellow campers. At the end of the series, the winning contestant will win CA$100,000. The competition is hosted by Chris McLean, who is assisted by the camp's chef, Chef Hatchet.

At the beginning of the season, the twenty-two teen campers are placed into two groups of eleven, the "Screaming Gophers" and the "Killer Bass". In each episode, the teams participate in a challenge, in which one or more campers can win invincibility for their team. The losing team is called to the campfire at night, where they vote one of their members off the island. The camper with the most votes is eliminated from the competition. At this campfire, McLean passes out marshmallows to the campers who have not been voted off, while the one who does not get a marshmallow must walk down the Dock of Shame to the Boat of Losers, which will take them away from the island and they will "never, never, never, ever, ever, ever, come back, ever" according to Chris (this was proved a lie in "No Pain, No Game", when he brought Eva and Izzy back into the game).

About halfway through the season, the teams are disbanded, after which the challenges continue; the winner of each challenge then only receives invincibility for him or herself, whereupon a camper without invincibility is voted off the island. This process of elimination continued on until two players remains on the island. These two players, Gwen and Owen, were then subject to a final contest. At the end of the season, Owen wins the competition, while Gwen ends up being the runner-up. Total Drama Island is a parody of the reality show Survivor. Host Chris McLean is very similar to Survivor host Jeff Probst.[4] This is the first season in which the winner does not get to keep the money, due to it being eaten by a shark in the episode "Total Drama Drama Drama Drama Island".

Episodes[edit]

Total Drama Island is a Canadian animated television series which premiered on July 8, 2007, on the Teletoon channel. This season has 26 episodes, each 22 minutes in duration, and two special episodes.[5] It was the third Cartoon Network show outside of Adult Swim and Toonami to have the U.S. rating of either "TV-PG" or "TV-PG-D", and a parental-guidance warning after every commercial break and at the beginning of the show (the first two being Sunday Pants and IGPX; its rating in Canada for most episodes is "G", or else "PG").

Season Episodes Country Network First air date Last air date
1 28[6] Canada Teletoon July 8, 2007 November 29, 2008
United States Cartoon Network June 5, 2008 December 18, 2008
United Kingdom Jetix April 1, 2009 May 6, 2009

Characters[edit]

The primary cast of Total Drama Island.

Top: DJ, Duncan, Tyler, Harold, Geoff, and Heather
Middle: Lindsay, Leshawna, Eva, Justin, Owen, Noah, Trent, Gwen, and Cody
Sitting: Izzy, Bridgette, Courtney, Katie, Sadie, Ezekiel, and Beth

There are 22 original contestants who competed in Total Drama Island. They are Beth, Bridgette, Cody, Courtney, DJ, Duncan, Eva, Ezekiel, Geoff, Gwen, Harold, Heather, Izzy, Justin, Katie, Leshawna, Lindsay, Noah, Owen, Sadie, Trent, and Tyler. Owen won first place, Gwen second place, and Heather in third. However, no one really wins any money in this season, as the prize money was instead gambled by the winner into an opportunity to win more money, but in the same time giving everyone an equal chance to win again.

Teams[edit]

There are teams in every season of the show. The teams in this season are the Screaming Gophers and the Killer Bass. Here are the members of each team after the first team switch:

  • Screaming Gophers: Beth, Cody, Gwen, Heather, Izzy, Justin, Leshawna, Lindsay, Noah, Owen and Trent.
  • Killer Bass: Bridgette, Courtney, DJ, Duncan, Eva, Ezekiel, Geoff, Harold, Katie, Sadie and Tyler.

At the start of the series, Katie was on the Screaming Gophers, and Izzy was on the Killer Bass, but Katie and Sadie refused to be on opposite teams due to their hatred of being separated from each other, so Katie and Izzy switched places.

Winners[edit]

For every season, the show's producers create two alternate endings for the final episode, such that the winner seen in one country's broadcasts is the runner-up in other countries (and vice-versa) where the show airs. Owen is the original winner in Canada, but he is also shown as the winner in Australia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, France, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Latin America, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the Philippines, Portugal, Russia, Serbia, Singapore, Spain, South Africa, and in the United States. Gwen is the original runner-up in Canada, but she is also the winner in Finland, Norway, Poland, Romania and in Sweden.

Production[edit]

Total Drama Island was developed and produced by Fresh TV starting in 2006 with an early name for the series being Camp TV.[7] The season was animated at Elliott Animation and was directed by Todd Kauffman and Mark Thornton.[8] It is primarily targeted at twelve- to eighteen-year-olds, and the creators, Tom McGillis and Jennifer Pertsch, studied what teenagers liked and disliked about reality television shows in the writing process.[9] McGillis says they used a "countrywide online research project" to determine this demographic's likes.[10] Fresh TV Inc. partners McGillis, Pertsch, Elliott and Irving produced the series.[11] The budget for the series was $8 million.[12] It was animated in Flash,[8] at Elliott Animation's studio in Toronto.[11] Every cast and crew member on Total Drama Island had to sign a confidentiality agreement not to disclose who the winner was.[13] All the characters were designed by Kauffman.[14] Voice actors from the FreshTV series 6teen have lent their voices for Total Drama Island: Christian Potenza, who played the character Jude on 6teen, played the role of host Chris McLean. Potenza said that the best part of the job was that his character could not be voted off the show.[15] Emilie-Claire Barlow plays a recurring role as Chrissy on 6teen and plays Courtney on Total Drama Island. Barlow stated that Courtney was her favorite character that she had ever played.[16] Other voice actors from 6teen include Julia Chantrey as Eva; Drew Nelson (Kai) as Duncan; Megan Fahlenbock (Jen) as Gwen; Adam Reid (Wayne) as Justin; Stephanie Anne Mills (Kirsten) as Lindsay and Katie; and Rachel Wilson (Melinda Wilson) as Heather.

Reception[edit]

Ratings[edit]

Carole Bonneau, the Vice President of programming of Teletoon Canada stated that Total Drama Island, along with FreshTV's 6TEEN were "consistently top performers" for audiences of ages 6–11, and also helped to bring in older viewers as well.[17] When Total Drama Island aired on the American Cartoon Network, it performed very well; The Toronto Star reported that, "in some ages groups [Total Drama Island showed] a 500 per cent ratings increase in [its] time slot."[10] On December 11, 2008, Total Drama Island garnered 3.5 million viewers.[18] That year, the series was the top "regularly scheduled Thursday night program at 9 p.m. on all television throughout third quarter among boys 2-11, 6-11 and 9-14," according to the Animation World Network.[19] On Memorial Day weekend of 2009, a marathon of Total Drama Island increased viewership in age groups 2-11, 6-11, and 9-14, each by 20% or more compared to the same week in 2008.[20] As of 2011, Total Drama Island has aired in over 188 countries.[21]

Critical reaction[edit]

Total Drama Island has received critical acclaim. Common Sense Media gave the show 4 out of 5 stars, calling it a "[c]lever cartoon reality show spoof".[22] The series was nominated for a Gemini Award for "Best Animated Program or Series", shared by Tom McGillis, Jennifer Pertsch, George Elliott and Brian Irving.[23] Debi Enker of The Age gave a negative review of the season's last episode, calling the art and design and writing "lamentable."[24]

Public reaction[edit]

Total Drama Island received a score of 8.2 on Metacritic from fans, which indicates "universal acclaim". Many of the fans viewed the show as one of the best cartoons of its time.[25]

Media[edit]

DVD releases[edit]

A DVD was released by Cartoon Network on August 18, 2009 in the United States. It contains all of the 27 episodes (including TDI Rundown) of season one of this series in a 4 disc set, for a total of 594 minutes long. In addition, its bonus features (entitled as X-tras) are the audition tapes of twenty two campers, as well as Izzy's second audition tape and her exclusive interview with Chris. In Australia, Total Drama Island is on Region 4 DVD as separate volumes. This series of discs contains the widescreen version with uncut scenes and original dialogue, as seen on Teletoon and ABC3. In reviewing the DVD for season, Matthew Price of The Oklahoman wrote that while the show started out "unbelievably slowly," the series became more interesting as campers began getting voted off. Price also praised the parody of reality shows.[26] In another review of the DVD, Jeffrey Kauffman of DVD Talk wrote that the character development was compelling and that the parody of reality shows were very funny.[27] Mac McEntire of DVD Verdict praised the character development as well, but noted that the show sometimes sinks to "lowbrow gross-outs".[28] Both Kauffman and McEntire recommended the series DVD.

Total Drama Island Interactive[edit]

Total Drama Island Interactive was an online game in Canada marketed in conjunction with the television series. It was produced by Xenophile Media. By registering a free account, the player could play games using a customizable avatar to earn points for marshmallows. Marshmallows are used as money in the game so the player can buy in-game items. The player who earned the most points had their avatar make a cameo appearance in the season finale.[29] The games were based on the challenges in the show.[30] Total Drama Island Interactive was nominated for an Interactive Emmy Award in 2007.[29] However, the website is currently no longer available, as it has been replaced by Total Drama Online and by the Teletoon official site.[31]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Elliott Animation – Productions – Total Drama Island". [dead link]
  2. ^ "Total Drama Island: GOPHERS vs. BASS". [dead link]
  3. ^ "Elliott Animation - Productions - Total Drama Island". 
  4. ^ Aaron Sagers (September 1, 2009), "Pop 20: If Facebook were a dinner party", The Monitor 
  5. ^ "Elliott Animation – Productions – Total Drama Island". 
  6. ^ http://www.tv.com/shows/total-drama-island/episodes/
  7. ^ admin (March 27, 2006), "Neptoon’s Promo Washes Ashore", Cold Hard Flash, retrieved December 25, 2010 
  8. ^ a b admin (June 29, 2007), "Title Drama Island", Cold Hard Flash, retrieved December 25, 2010 
  9. ^ Playback Staff (May 15, 2006), "Total Drama Island ribs reality TV", Playback, retrieved December 25, 2010 
  10. ^ a b Raju Mudhar (January 11, 2009), "Canadian cartoon show sucking 'em all back in", The Toronto Star, retrieved December 25, 2010 
  11. ^ a b Playback Staff (May 15, 2006), Total Drama Island: And So It Begins, retrieved December 25, 2010 
  12. ^ Annalisa D'Aprile, "L’Isola di cartone che prende in giro i reality", Kata Web (in Italian), retrieved December 25, 2010 
  13. ^ Teletoon (Jun 24, 2007), "From the creators of the award winning series 6teen, the number one show on Teletoon, comes a truly unique reality show for kids", Channel Canada, retrieved December 25, 2010 
  14. ^ Total Drama Island: Final 4[dead link]
  15. ^ Krissie Rutherford (November 3, 2006), "Newest role is 'every guy's dream' – Gemini-nominated Oakville actor has written his own dream role", Oakville Beaver 
  16. ^ Asma Khaliq (March 1, 2007), "Up close with a familiar voice: From Sailor Mars to Timmy's ads, Emilie-Claire Barlow is someone you've definitely heard", The Toronto Star, retrieved December 25, 2010 
  17. ^ "Teletoon orders new series for fall", Media in Canada, retrieved December 22, 2010 
  18. ^ Gary Levin (December 18, 2008), "Nielsens: Dallas, 'Boston' score key ratings wins", USA Today, retrieved December 25, 2010 
  19. ^ Annemarie Moody (October 2, 2008), "Ratings Highlights For Cartoon Network, Disney Channel, Nickelodeon", Animation World Network, retrieved December 26, 2010 
  20. ^ Bill Gorman, "Cartoon Network's Total Drama Island Earns Double Digit Increases", TV by the Numbers, retrieved December 25, 2010 
  21. ^ Stinson, Scott (13 October 2011). "Stinson: CanCon on the Croisette at Mipcom". The Globe and Mail (Toronto ON). Retrieved 14 October 2011. 
  22. ^ "Total Drama Island", Common Sense Media, retrieved December 22, 2010 
  23. ^ "Fresh TV Inc. Celebrates Three Gemini Nominations for Top Rated Shows", www.channelcanada.com (ChannelCanada.com), 2008-08-27, retrieved 2009-03-21 
  24. ^ Debi Enker (June 10, 2010), "Total Drama Island", The Age: 36 
  25. ^ http://www.metacritic.com/tv/total-drama-island/user-reviews
  26. ^ Matthew Price (September 25, 2009), "DVD Reviews", The Oklahoman 
  27. ^ Jeffrey Kauffman (August 18, 2009), "Total Drama Island: The Complete Series", DVD Talk, retrieved December 25, 2010 
  28. ^ Mac McEntire (August 19, 2009), "Total Drama Island: The Complete Series", DVD Verdict, retrieved December 26, 2010 
  29. ^ a b "Xenophile Media and Fresh TV Receive International Interactive Emmy(R) Award Nomination for Total Drama Island – Totally Interactive!", Canada Newswire, March 6, 2008 
  30. ^ "BellFund Annual Report: 2006", BellFund, 2006, retrieved December 26, 2010 
  31. ^ http://www.totaldramaonline.com/

External links[edit]