Cartoon Cartoons is a collective name that is used by Cartoon Network for their original series running from 1997 to 2003. The majority of them were produced by Hanna-Barbera and/or Cartoon Network Studios. The concept of Cartoon Cartoons was spearheaded by Fred Seibert, and originated from his animation anthology series, What a Cartoon! (later re-titled to The Cartoon Cartoon Show). Once their popularity had grown, the Cartoon Cartoons were featured on the network's Friday night programming block, Cartoon Cartoon Fridays.
The name was retired by the network in 2003. Since their heyday, re-runs of the Cartoon Cartoons have continued to air on The Cartoon Cartoon Show (2005 to 2008) and Cartoon Planet (2012 to 2014). Cartoon Network continues to produce new series under the "A Cartoon Network Original" banner.
Cartoon Cartoons first appeared as shorts on animation showcase series What a Cartoon! in 1995, under the name of World Premiere Toons. The series was produced by Hanna-Barbera and Cartoon Network Studios under the direction of Fred Seibert. Seibert had been a guiding force for Nickelodeon (having overseen the creation of Nicktoons shortly prior to his departure) prior to joining Hanna-Barbera and would establish Frederator Studios years later.
Through What a Cartoon!, Cartoon Network was able to assess the potential of certain shorts to serve as pilots for spin-off series and signed contracts with their creators to create ongoing series. Dexter's Laboratory was the most popular short series according to a vote held in 1995, and became the first Cartoon Cartoon in 1996. Three more series based on shorts debuted in 1997: Johnny Bravo, Cow and Chicken, and I Am Weasel (the latter two as segments of the same show; I Am Weasel was later spun off into a separate show). These are followed by The Powerpuff Girls in 1998. The related series Ed, Edd n Eddy premiered in 1999. and concluded with Mike, Lu & Og and Courage the Cowardly Dog in 1999, creating a lineup of critically acclaimed shows.
The Cartoon Cartoons aired prominently throughout the network's schedule and on the Friday night programming block, Cartoon Cartoon Fridays, which became the marquee night for premieres of new episodes and series beginning on June 11, 1999.
The Cartoon Cartoons were intended to appeal to a wider audience than the average Saturday morning cartoon. Linda Simensky, vice president of original animation, reminded adults and teenage girls that cartoons could appeal to them as well. Kevin Sandler's article on them claimed that these cartoons were both less "bawdy" than their counterparts at Comedy Central and less "socially responsible" than their counterparts at Nickelodeon. Sandler pointed to the whimsical rebelliousness, high rate of exaggeration and self-consciousness of the overall output which each individual series managed.
More shows premiered bearing the Cartoon Cartoons brand, airing throughout the network's schedule and prominently on "Cartoon Cartoon Fridays", which became the marquee night for premieres of new episodes and shows beginning June 11, 1999. In June 2003, the block was rebooted under an hybrid live-action format as "Fridays", hosted by Tommy Snider and Nzinga Blake, who was later replaced by later co-host Tara Sands. It aired shows outside the "Cartoon Cartoon" moniker, such as Samurai Jack, Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi, The Life and Times of Juniper Lee, Camp Lazlo, My Gym Partner's a Monkey and Squirrel Boy. The last airing of "Fridays" was on February 23, 2007.
As early as September 2005, the "Cartoon Cartoons" label was primarily used for The Cartoon Cartoon Show, a half-hour program featuring episodes of older Cartoon Cartoons that were no longer shown regularly on the network, and "Cartoon Cartoons The Top 5", an hour-long program featuring a countdown of the week's five "best" Cartoon Cartoons from the older lineup.
The block Cartoon Planet was revived on Cartoon Network on March 30, 2012, airing in a format similar to The Cartoon Cartoon Show. It features Cartoon Cartoons such as Dexter's Laboratory, Johnny Bravo, Cow and Chicken, I Am Weasel, The Powerpuff Girls, Courage the Cowardly Dog, Ed, Edd n Eddy, Codename: Kids Next Door, and other original Cartoon Network Studios series such as Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, Camp Lazlo, and Chowder. Cartoon Planet returned on October 5, 2012, for Cartoon Network's 20th anniversary.
List of series
|Title||Premiere date||Finale date(s)||Note(s)|
|What a Cartoon! / The What a Cartoon! Show / The Cartoon Cartoon Show||February 20, 1995|| November 28, 1997 (as main show)|
August 23, 2002 (as collective series)
|Title||Premiere date||Finale date||Note(s)|
|Dexter's Laboratory||April 28, 1996||November 20, 2003|
|Johnny Bravo||July 14, 1997||August 27, 2004|
|Cow and Chicken||July 15, 1997||July 24, 1999|
|I Am Weasel||July 15, 1997||March 2, 2000|
|The Powerpuff Girls (original series)||November 18, 1998||March 25, 2005|
|Ed, Edd n Eddy||January 4, 1999||November 8, 2009|
|Mike, Lu & Og||November 12, 1999||May 27, 2001|
|Courage the Cowardly Dog||November 12, 1999||November 22, 2002|
|Sheep in the Big City||November 17, 2000||April 7, 2002|
|Time Squad||June 8, 2001||November 26, 2003|
|Grim & Evil||August 24, 2001||October 18, 2002|
|Whatever Happened to... Robot Jones?||July 19, 2002||November 14, 2003|
|Codename: Kids Next Door||December 6, 2002||January 21, 2008|
|The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy||June 13, 2003||October 12, 2008|
|Evil Con Carne||July 11, 2003||October 22, 2004|
- Strike, Joe (July 15, 2003). "The Fred Seibert Interview — Part 1". Animation World Network. Archived from the original on June 12, 2011. Retrieved August 30, 2010.
- Mittell (2004), p. 82-83
- Strike, Joe (July 15, 2003). "The Fred Seibert Interview – Part 1". Animation World Network. Retrieved 2010-08-30.
- Mittell (2004), p. 80
- Stabile, Harrison (2003), p. 98-99
- "CN Schedule". tvschedulearchive.com. Retrieved September 11, 2014.