MTV Animation

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MTV Animation
Subsidiary
IndustryAnimation
Founded1986
ProductsTelevision
Movies
OwnerNational Amusements
Paramount Pictures (feature films)
ParentViacom Media Networks
(Viacom)

MTV Animation is the animation department of the television network MTV.

History[edit]

MTV's animation department was established in the late 1980s, when it made several of the animated shorts that aired as bumpers for the network. While MTV department is often grouped with that of Nickelodeon's,the two entities are completely separate. Most of MTV's cartoons are known for their dark humor, sexual jokes, graphic violence, pop culture references, and irreverence.

In an interview for the Beavis and Butt-Head Do America DVD, Mike Judge described MTV Animation as being very ad hoc: Beavis and Butt-Head didn't have an art director until the film was made, so until the film they'd never considered colour palettes from scene to scene. In the same interview, art director Yvette Kaplan said "everything was overlapping... we never had the luxury of one part [episode] finished" before another episode was finished.[1]

Many MTV animation productions do not survive a single season and in some cases are canceled before completion. Productions including Undergrads, Downtown, and Clone High have been highly acclaimed, yet none of them got renewed beyond their first season, usually due to lack of an audience or advertising. By 2001, the animation department was shut down, with the network's animated series now being outsourced to different studios. During the 2000s, MTV would phase out of producing original animation in favor of importing shows, usually reruns of shows from sister networks Comedy Central and Nickelodeon.

In 2011, MTV would return to adult animation. Its first production was a relaunch of Beavis and Butt-head, which premiered in October 2011; this was quickly followed by Good Vibes, starting later in the same month. In November 2011, MTV said they plan a third cartoon, Worst Friends Forever by Thomas Middleditch, that Mike Judge would produce, about three teenage girls who hover on the outskirts of popularity and have to cope with cattiness and crushes; a pilot had been picked up and concept art of the characters was released.[2] The cartoons did not do as expected though. Good Vibes was cancelled in February 2012 due to low ratings, on the same day the DVD came out,[3] Beavis and Butt-head was cancelled in December 2011, and Worst Friends Forever never aired. In a September 2012 interview on "Making It With Riki Lindhome", Middleditch said Worst Friends was "for all intents and purposes done" and "not in my hands anymore". [4] Mike Judge said in January 2014 that he might pitch Beavis and Butt-head to another network.[5]

Productions[edit]

1980s[edit]

Title Creator/Developer(s) Premiere date Finale date Co-production with Note(s)
Stevie and Zoya Joe Horne 1987 1989

1990s[edit]

Title Creator/Developer(s) Premiere date Finale date Co-production with Note(s)
Liquid Television Japhet Asher June 2, 1991
May 15, 2014
March 6, 1994
June 12, 2014
Original series:
(Colossal) Pictures
BIG Pictures
Noyes & Laybourne Enterprises
BBC Enterprises
Revival series:
Titmouse, Inc.
Revived for the internet in 2014.
Æon Flux Peter Chung September 1991 October 10, 1995 (Colossal) Pictures Spun-off from Liquid Television.
Beavis and Butt-Head Mike Judge March 8, 1993;
October 27, 2011
November 28, 1997;
December 29, 2011
J. J. Sedelmaier Productions, Inc. (Season 1)
Tenth Annual Industries (Season 2–7)
Ternion Pictures (Season 8)
Inbred Jed's Homemade Cartoons (Pilot only)
Film Roman (Season 8)
Judgemental Films
Spun-off from Liquid Television.
Created by Mike Judge, creator of King of the Hill.
The Brothers Grunt Danny Antonucci August 15, 1994 April 9, 1995 a.k.a. Cartoon Created by Danny Antonucci, creator of Ed, Edd n Eddy.
The Head Eric Fogel September 1, 1994 March 1, 1996
The Maxx Original character:
Sam Kieth
Series:
Sam Kieth
Bill Messner-Loebs
April 8, 1995 June 19, 1995 Based on the comic book series of the same name.
Daria Glenn Eichler
Susie Lewis
March 3, 1997 January 21, 2002 Tenth Annual Industries Spun-off from Beavis and Butt-Head.
Cartoon Sushi Danny Antonucci
Keith Alcorn
1997 1998 DNA Productions
a.k.a. Cartoon
Celebrity Deathmatch Eric Fogel May 14, 1998;
June 10, 2006
October 20, 2002;
March 30, 2007
Cuppa Coffee Studios (2006–07)
Station Zero 1999
Downtown Chris Prynoski
George Krstic
Anne D. Berstein
August 3, 1999 November 8, 1999

2000s[edit]

Title Creator/Developer(s) Premiere date Finale date Co-production with Note(s)
Spy Groove Michael Gans
Richard Register
June 26, 2000 July 13, 2002
Undergrads Pete Williams April 1, 2001 August 12, 2001 Click Productions
Decode Entertainment
Helix Animation
Teletoon Original Production
First MTV cartoon co-produced with Teletoon.
Clone High Phil Lord and Christopher Miller
Bill Lawerance
November 2, 2002 April 13, 2003 Doozer
Lord Miller Productions
Nelvana
Touchstone Television
Teletoon Original Production
Second MTV cartoon co-produced with Teletoon.
3 South Mark Hentemann
Steve Callaghan
November 7, 2002 January 16, 2003 Warner Bros. Animation First and only MTV show made by Warner Bros. Animation.
Video Mods Tony Shiff September 16, 2004 July 22, 2005 Big Bear Entertainment
IBC Entertainment
First MTV Animation show for MTV2.
Wonder Showzen Vernon Chatman and John Lee March 11, 2005 May 19, 2006 PFFR
Augenblick Studios
First live-action/animation hybrid series produced for MTV under MTV2.
Where My Dogs At? Aaron Matthew Lee and Jeff Ross June 10, 2006 July 29, 2006 Enough With The Bread Already Productions
Six Point Harness
The Adventures of Chico and Guapo Orlando Jones, P. J. Pesce, and Paul D'Acri June 10, 2006 July 29, 2006 One Red Room
Alejo & Valentina Alejandro Szykula 2006 2010
Friday: The Animated Series Ice Cube June 24, 2007 July 8, 2007 New Line Television
Cubevision
Adapted from the Friday film series.
DJ & the Fro Dave Jeser
Matt Silverstein
June 15, 2009 July 2, 2009 Double Hemm
Popzilla R.J. Fried
Tim Hedrick
Jared Miller
Kevin Pedersen
Dave Thomas
September 27, 2009 October 16, 2009 Animax Entertainment

2010s[edit]

Title Creator/Developer(s) Premiere date Finale date Co-production with Note(s)
Good Vibes David Gordon Green
Brad Ableson
Mike Clements
October 27, 2011 December 29, 2011 Werner Entertainment
Rough House
Not the QB Pro.
Six Point Harness
Good Humor Television
Greatest Party Story Ever January 14, 2016 December 22, 2016 Four Peaks Media Group
Den of Thieves
ShadowMachine

References[edit]

  1. ^ Beavis and Butt-head Do America DVD (2006 version): Making Of feature
  2. ^ TV Guide: "Exclusive: MTV Developing Another Animated Series with Beavis and Butt-head Producers"
  3. ^ Deadline: Animated Comedy ‘Good Vibes’ Cancelled By MTV After One Season
  4. ^ Making It #61: Thomas Middleditch, 58:25 to 59:09
  5. ^ "Mike Judge: 'Beavis and Butt-Head' Trapped in Limbo". CraveOnline. Retrieved 11 January 2013.