Total Drama Island
|Total Drama Island|
The Total Drama Island logo.
|Country of origin||Canada|
|No. of episodes||28 (including special and review)|
|Original release||July 8, 2007– November 29, 2008|
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 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, and censoring of sensitive body parts, 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.
Total Drama Island sets in a fictional titular reality show that follows the competition of 22 unsuspecting and unknowing teenagers at Camp Wawanakwa, the most rundown, bug-infested, disgusting island located in an unspecified area in Muskoka, Ontario. The campers participate in competitions and challenges which get more insane and dangerous each week to avoid being voted off the island by their fellow campers and teammates. At the end of the series, the winning contestant will win C$100,000. The competition is hosted by Chris McLean, who is assisted by the camp's chef, Chef Hatchet, who is also Chris McLean's best friend despite being mistreated at times. Egotistical and immoral to them, unless it affects him legally, Chris places the show's contestants in various life-threatening challenges.
At the beginning of the season, the twenty-two 16-year-old 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 that 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, so it is every camper for themselves, after which the challenges continue; the winner of each challenge then only receives invincibility for him or herself, whereupon the rest of the campers vote one camper without invincibility off the island. This process of elimination continued on until two players remain 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. 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".
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. 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 was initially "G" while current broadcasts are rated "PG".
|Season||Episodes||Country||Network||First air date||Last air date|
|1||28||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|
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. Depending on the country, Owen or Gwen win, with the other as the runner-up with Heather in third. However, no one really wins any money in this season, as the prize money was instead given up by the winner for an opportunity to win even more money (depending on the ending shown, Owen voluntarily gives up the money, while Gwen is forced to give it up by Chris and Chef), but at the same time giving everyone an equal chance to win again.
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, Geoff, Harold, Katie, Sadie, Ezekiel 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 fear of being separated from each other, so Katie and Izzy switched places.
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, Turkey, United Kingdom 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.
Total Drama Island was developed and produced by Fresh TV starting in 2006 with an early name for the series being Camp TV. The season was animated at Elliott Animation and was directed by Todd Kauffman and Mark Thornton. 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. McGillis says they used a "countrywide online research project" to determine this demographic's likes. Fresh TV Inc. partners McGillis, Pertsch, Elliott and Irving produced the series. The budget for the series was $8 million. It was animated in Flash, at Elliott Animation's studio in Toronto. Every cast and crew member on Total Drama Island had to sign a confidentiality agreement not to disclose who the winner was. All the characters were designed by Kauffman. 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. 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. 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.
Carole Bonneau, the Vice President of programming of Teletoon Canada stated that Total Drama Island, along with Fresh TV's 6teen were "consistently top performers" for audiences of ages 6–11, and also helped to bring in older viewers as well. 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." On December 11, 2008, Total Drama Island garnered 3.5 million viewers. 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. 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. As of 2011, Total Drama Island has aired in over 188 countries.
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", even though it also describes it as too intense for young children to watch. 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. Debi Enker of The Age gave a negative review of the season's last episode, calling the art, design and writing "lamentable."
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. 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. Mac McEntire of DVD Verdict praised the character development as well, but noted that the show sometimes sinks to "lowbrow gross-outs". Both Kauffman and McEntire recommended the series DVD.
Total Drama Island Interactive
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. The games were based on the challenges in the show. Total Drama Island Interactive was nominated for an Interactive Emmy Award in 2007. However, the website is currently no longer available, as it has been replaced by Total Drama Online and by the Teletoon official site.
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