OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes

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OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes
OK KO! logo.png
GenreAction
Adventure
Comedy
Created byIan Jones-Quartey
Based onLakewood Plaza Turbo
by Ian Jones-Quartey
Story by
  • Ian Jones-Quartey
  • Toby Jones
  • Erin Shade
  • Dave Tennant
Voices of
Theme music composerMint Potion Studios
Opening theme"Let’s Watch the Show"
by Mint Potion Studios[1]
Ending theme"It's Only Magic"
by Rebecca Sugar
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes112 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producers
ProducerJanet Dimon
EditorMattaniah Adams
Running time
  • 1–2 minutes (shorts)
  • 11 minutes (series)
  • 22 minutes (specials)
Production companyCartoon Network Studios
DistributorWarner Bros. Television Distribution
Release
Original networkCartoon Network
Picture formatHDTV 1080i
Original releaseAugust 1, 2017 (2017-08-01) –
September 6, 2019 (2019-09-06)
External links
Website

OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes[2] is an American animated television series created by Ian Jones-Quartey for Cartoon Network. The show is based on Jones-Quartey's pilot Lakewood Plaza Turbo, which was released as part of Cartoon Network's 2013 Summer Shorts project. It was produced by Cartoon Network Studios. The web series premiered on Cartoon Network's YouTube channel and on Cartoon Network Video on February 4, 2016.[3][4]

On March 9, 2017, nearly four years after the original short's premiere, Cartoon Network announced that the television series had been greenlit, and it premiered on August 1, 2017.[5] The opening sequence was storyboarded by Japanese artist Hiroyuki Imaishi, co-founder of Studio Trigger.

On December 4, 2017, the series was confirmed to be renewed for a second season, which premiered on May 5, 2018.[6] A third and final season, which was announced on June 26, 2019,[7][8] premiered on July 7, 2019; the final episode aired on September 6, 2019.[9]

Premise[edit]

OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes is set in the retro-futuristic year of 201X. The series follows the titular character, K.O., and his efforts to become the world's greatest hero while working at Gar's Bodega (run by Mr. Gar), a hero supply shop in Lakewood Plaza. Alongside him are his best friends and co-workers Radicles, a narcissistic alien, and Enid, a levelheaded big sister–like ninja, as well as other heroes who work in the area.

Episodes[edit]

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
PilotMay 21, 2013 (2013-05-21)
152August 1, 2017 (2017-08-01)April 6, 2018 (2018-04-06)
240March 19, 2018 (2018-03-19)June 30, 2019 (2019-06-30)
320July 7, 2019 (2019-07-07)September 6, 2019 (2019-09-06)
Shorts13February 4, 2016 (2016-02-04)August 2, 2017 (2017-08-02)

Main voice cast[edit]

  • Courtenay Taylor as K.O., T.K.O., Blue Power, Whistle, Baby Shannon, Hon Dew
  • Ashly Burch as Enid (series and shorts), Gladys, Ms. Mummy, Foxy, Cherry, Ball Monster, Rippy Roo, Baby Teeth, Glitter Starlight, Tumbles, Plazamo ("Dark Plaza"), Hamster, Classmate 1 & 2 ("You're a Good Friend, KO!")
  • Ian Jones-Quartey as Radicles, Darrell, Crinkly Wrinkly, Cookie Man, Pird (episode 11), Frat Boy 2, Gregg, Point Trooper, Drone ("Mystery Sleepover"), URL, Gauntlet, Pickle, Nerd 2, Janner
  • David Herman as Mr. Gar, Brandon, Jethro, Mad Sam, Beardo, Rat, Steamborg Robot, Young Crinkly Wrinkly, Action News Narrator, Heroic Guy, Boxgar, Dragon
  • Kate Flannery as Carol, Gertie (in the pilot)
  • Jim Cummings[10] as Lord Boxman, Boxman Jr., Gar-Man, Mecha-Maw, Robbie
  • Melissa Fahn as Dendy, Mikayla, Krissa, Monkey, Genesis
  • Kari Wahlgren as Shannon, Chillcat, Tumbles, Mrs. Gnarlio, Vormulax, Kid, P.O.I.N.T. HQ, Barista Pup, Wavezilla, Grandma
  • Robbie Daymond as Raymond, Co-Bruh, Rex, Announcer ("Beach Episode")
  • Chris Niosi[11] as Nick Army, Pird, Ernesto, Neil, Face of Fear, Male Lead, Soloist, Anxious Ricky, Wistful Pete, Drone
  • Reshma Shetty as Elodie
  • Mary Elizabeth McGlynn as Dynamite Watkins, Miss Quantum, Snake
  • Cole Sanchez as Colewort, Topher, Driver, Plaque, Point Trooper
  • Melissa Villaseñor as Potato, Punching Judy, Drupe, Gertie, Ginger, Mega Football Baby, Shy Ninja, Biki, Phoebe, Punching Trudy

In addition, Stephanie Nadolny played K.O. and Gladys in the pilot and several episodes of the first season, and Mena Suvari portrayed Enid in the pilot.

Production[edit]

To promote OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes, Cartoon Network's Chief Content Officer Rob Sorcher hinted many times in an interview that it would become a full series.[12] Its multiple storyboard artists have also been seen on Twitter.[13][14][15][16] On March 9, 2017 on PlayStation's Blog, Chris Waldron VP of Games & Digital Products for Cartoon Network announced a series in the works, along with a video game.[17] The series was premiered by Cartoon Network on August 1, 2017. The first 6 episodes were released online on June 13, 2017.

The show was traditionally animated in South Korea by Digital eMation and Sunmin Image Pictures.[18] Unlike many animated programs, which are inked on paper and then scanned for coloring, OK K.O.! was drawn in pencil. The animators pencil each frame on paper using a light table, and then color them digitally on a layer beneath the transparent line work, to retain a hand-drawn quality. For Jones-Quartey, it was important for the audience to "never forget that these are drawings." This was partially inspired by the first season of The Simpsons, which had a loose, rough quality to its animation. In addition, the show's design sense is inspired by Yoshi's Island.[19]

In August 2021, Ian Jones-Quartey told Insider that in hiring people for the show, he avoided relying on a trusted network of people, prioritizing finding a diverse group of people, doing many open calls, with the studio having a database with which they "sort of cold emailed people," then asking people to come in after looking at what they had done in the past.[20]

LGBTQ representation[edit]

Series creator Ian Jones-Quartey hinted at this in an interview with Den of Geek published a day before the first episode aired, saying those watching it would "be delighted" by the LGBTQ representation in the series.[21] There were LGBTQ characters in the main cast, among supporting characters and other recurring characters. For instance, the series featured two married couples: Lord Boxman and Professor Venomous, two villains, and Joff and Nick Army, two recurring heroes.[22] The series was noted as portraying Boxman and Venomous romantically, and ending with a same-sex wedding between Joff and Army in the series finale "Thank You for Watching the Show" on September 6, 2019.[23][24] Before the episode aired, Jones-Quartey confirmed Army and Joff as a canon gay couple[25] and Gregg, a minor character, as non-binary,[26] while Bobo was implied to be agender. Enid, a bisexual ninja and witch,[27][28] and Red Action, a lesbian,[29] were recognized by GLAAD as a couple,[30] and kissed in the episode "Red Action 3: Grudgement Day".[24][23][31]

The series was later recognized by Philadelphia Gay News and Out for its LGBTQ representation.[32][33]

Cancellation[edit]

On August 6, 2019, Ian Jones-Quartey announced that Cartoon Network opted to not renew the show for a fourth season.[7][34] The series finale aired on September 6, 2019.[9]

Broadcast[edit]

OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes had its worldwide television premiere in the US on Cartoon Network on August 1, 2017, and aired on sister network Boomerang from August 7 to September 1, 2017.[35]

Home media[edit]

OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes home video releases
Season Episodes Release dates
United States Australia
1 2017–18 54 Volume 1: T.K.O.: July 17, 2018[36]
Episodes: "Let's Be Heroes" – "We Messed Up" • "We've Got Pests" – "We're Captured" • "T.K.O." – "We've Got Fleas" • "Glory Days" – "Parents' Day" • "Villains' Night Out" • "Villains' Night In" • "Let's Not Be Skeletons" • "Action News"
November 20, 2019

Streaming[edit]

Currently, all of the episodes are available on the iTunes Store, Apple TV, Amazon Prime Video and Hulu since June, August and October 2017, May 2018, May and July 2019 and March 2020 in HD and SD formats.

On September 1, 2020, the entire series became available on HBO Max in the United States. It is currently unknown if the series will become available on the service in other regions.

Video game[edit]

A mobile game, OK K.O.! Lakewood Plaza Turbo, was launched on Android[37] and iOS[38] on February 4, 2016 as a free game for those platforms. It is a beat 'em up developed by Double Stallion Games and published by Cartoon Network Games. The game's original score was composed by Mathieu Lavoie and FX Dupas at Vibe Avenue in Montreal, Canada.[39]

Capybara Games developed a video game based on the show for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows. Entitled OK K.O.! Let's Play Heroes, it was released on January 23, 2018,[6] and a Nintendo Switch port was released on October 30, 2018.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Let's Watch the Show by OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes". Apple Music. Retrieved September 6, 2019.
  2. ^ "OK K.O.! Lakewood Plaza Turbo". Cartoon Network. February 1, 2016. Archived from the original on February 13, 2016.
  3. ^ Cartoon Network (February 4, 2016). "KO – Lakewood Plaza Turbo – Minisode – Cartoon Network". Retrieved March 17, 2017 – via YouTube.
  4. ^ "Cartoon Network's Christina Miller Unveils New Digital Strategy, Wants You To Hack It". February 4, 2016. Retrieved March 17, 2017.
  5. ^ Bevan, Luke (March 9, 2017). "Cartoon Network Studios Greenlights OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes Animated Series". RegularCapital Website. RegularCapital (Luke Bevan). Archived from the original on March 12, 2017. Retrieved March 17, 2017.
  6. ^ a b Ramos, Dino-Ray (December 7, 2017). "'OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes' Set For Season 2 With New Console Video Game". Deadline. Archived from the original on December 8, 2017. Retrieved December 7, 2017.
  7. ^ a b Kelly, Shamus (August 6, 2019). "How the Sonic the Hedgehog OK K.O.! Team-up Happened". Den of Geek. Retrieved August 7, 2019.
  8. ^ Jones-Quartey, Ian (August 8, 2019). "Please don't spread the rumor that it was my choice to end OK KO! Let's Be Heroes. It wasn't. However, CN gave us the bad news early enough that we were able to spend this season doing our planned ending. I'm proud of what we're making and I can't wait for you to see it!". Twitter. Archived from the original on August 11, 2019. Retrieved November 3, 2020.
  9. ^ a b "OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes!". Zap2It. September 1, 2017. Archived from the original on November 3, 2020.
  10. ^ "Jim Cummings on Twitter". Retrieved March 26, 2018.
  11. ^ Chris Niosi [@Kirbopher] (March 9, 2017). "So...remember that CN show I've been teasing y'all that I've been involved with? ;) #OKKO" (Tweet). Retrieved March 17, 2017 – via Twitter.
  12. ^ Future of StoryTelling (July 7, 2016). "Rob Sorcher – Animate Your World (FoST 2016)". Retrieved March 17, 2017 – via YouTube.
  13. ^ Shannon, Ryann (2009). "gryann shanno (@Cuppatan)". Twitter. Archived from the original on June 8, 2017. Retrieved March 17, 2017.
  14. ^ Alegre, David (2009). "DDDDAAAAVVVVEEEE!!! (@scrotumnose)". Twitter. Archived from the original on December 8, 2012. Retrieved March 17, 2017.
  15. ^ Borbolla, Stevie (2011). "stevie borbolla (@stebvi)". Twitter. Archived from the original on October 9, 2017. Retrieved March 17, 2017.
  16. ^ Simmons, Parker (2016). "Parker Simmons (@parkerrsimmons)". Twitter. Archived from the original on May 25, 2019. Retrieved March 17, 2017.
  17. ^ "Battle Robots and Find Easter Eggs in OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes". PlayStation.Blog. Sony Interactive Entertainment. March 9, 2017. Archived from the original on August 8, 2020. Retrieved March 17, 2017.
  18. ^ "T.K.O.". OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes. Season 1. September 4, 2017. Cartoon Network.
  19. ^ "Talking Simpsons Interviews OK KO Creator Ian Jones-Quartey!". LaserTime Podcast (Podcast). October 24, 2017. Retrieved October 25, 2017.
  20. ^ White, Abbey; Chik, Kalai (August 31, 2021). "LGBTQ characters of color are making animation history — but creatives of color can't escape the industry's discriminatory past". Insider. Archived from the original on August 31, 2021.
  21. ^ "Why Steven Universe Fans Need To Watch OK K.O.!". Den of Geek. July 31, 2017. Archived from the original on April 5, 2020. Retrieved May 15, 2021.
  22. ^ "When Will Cartoons Put Gay Male Romances in the Spotlight?". CBR. May 31, 2020. Archived from the original on June 27, 2020. Retrieved May 15, 2021.
  23. ^ a b Pearce, Steven (September 17, 2019). "OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes". The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. Archived from the original on May 8, 2019. Retrieved August 14, 2020. SP in the entry stands for Steven Pearce
  24. ^ a b Richardson, Jack (September 11, 2020). "LGBTQ+ Representation In Children's Animation: An Ongoing Battle – Part 2/5". Archived from the original on November 5, 2020. Retrieved May 15, 2021.
  25. ^ Jones-Quartey, Ian [@ianjq] (August 30, 2019). "After several years of dating Joff and Nick live together. Surprisingly, Joff is kind of a slob and Nick doesn't mind cleaning up after him" (Tweet). Archived from the original on May 13, 2020. Retrieved December 24, 2019 – via Twitter.
  26. ^ Jones-Quartey, Ian [@ianjq] (August 30, 2019). "Gregg is NB for sure" (Tweet). Archived from the original on May 13, 2020. Retrieved March 13, 2020 – via Twitter. The question asked was: "Are Bobo and Gregg nonbinary?" While Bobo's gender identity is not outright confirmed, they are implied that they are not male nor female and uses they/them pronouns.
  27. ^ Jones, Toby [@tobytobyjones] (September 6, 2019). "Bi" (Tweet). Archived from the original on March 13, 2020. Retrieved March 13, 2020 – via Twitter. In response to the question "Is Enid gay or bi?"
  28. ^ "Enid". LezWatch.TV. Archived from the original on February 27, 2021. Retrieved May 15, 2021.
  29. ^ "Red Action". LezWatch.TV. Archived from the original on February 27, 2021. Retrieved May 15, 2021.
  30. ^ Where We Are on TV Report: 2019-2020 (PDF) (Report). GLAAD. 2019. p. 33. Archived (PDF) from the original on April 8, 2020. Retrieved May 15, 2021.
  31. ^ Cleal, Sam (June 17, 2020). "45 Times Cartoons Absolutely Killed It When It Comes To LGBTQ Representation". BuzzFeed. Archived from the original on February 9, 2021. Retrieved May 15, 2021.
  32. ^ Rudolph, Dana (March 4, 2020). "Needing More Than a Moment: LGBTQ Representation in Children's Media". Philadelphia Gay News. Archived from the original on May 12, 2020. Retrieved May 15, 2021.
  33. ^ Rude, Mey (November 12, 2019). "Where Are All the Gays on Disney+?". Out. Archived from the original on February 11, 2021. Retrieved May 15, 2021.
  34. ^ Pena, Jessica (August 12, 2019). "OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes: Cancelled, No Season Four for Cartoon Network Series". TV Series Finale. Retrieved August 16, 2019.
  35. ^ "TV Listings - Zap2it.com". Zap2It. September 1, 2017. Archived from the original on July 29, 2017. Retrieved July 29, 2017.
  36. ^ Trumbore, Dave (May 5, 2018). "This Week in Animation: 'OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes: T.K.O.' Arrives on DVD This Summer".
  37. ^ "OK K.O.! Lakewood Plaza Turbo". Google Play. January 5, 2017. Archived from the original on November 22, 2019. Retrieved March 17, 2017.
  38. ^ "OK K.O.! Lakewood Plaza Turbo". App Store. Apple. Archived from the original on October 18, 2016. Retrieved March 17, 2017.
  39. ^ "OK K.O.! Lakewood Plaza Turbo". Vibe Avenue. 2016. Archived from the original on September 7, 2017. Retrieved September 6, 2017.

External links[edit]