MTV Animation is the animation department of the television network MTV. It was created in the late 1980s where it made several of the animated shorts that aired as bumpers for the network. It is often grouped with its Nickelodeon Animation Studios but they are completely separate departments. During the 2000s MTV Animation productions have decreased as MTV began importing more cartoons from their sister networks Comedy Central and Nickelodeon. Most of MTV 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.
Many MTV animation productions do not survive a single season and in some cases are canceled before completion. Productions including Undergrads, Downtown, Aeon Flux and Clone High have been highly acclaimed but none of them got renewed beyond their first season usually due to lack of an audience, proper advertising and bad scheduling on MTV's part. However, some of the better promoted and watched MTV productions such as Beavis and Butt-head, Daria and Celebrity Deathmatch survived beyond their first seasons.
By 2001, the animation department was shut down and the animated series have been animated by different studios.
In 2011, MTV relaunched its animation department and combined with its comedy department as well. 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 were planning 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. 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, Beavis and Butt-head finished its run in December 2011 and was not renewed (Mike Judge said in January 2014 that he might pitch the show to another network), and Worst Friends Forever never ran. 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".
- Stevie and Zoya (c. 1987-1989)
- Liquid Television (1991–1994; in association with the BBC)
- Æon Flux (1991–1995)
- Beavis and Butt-Head (1993–1997; 2011)
- Jean-Claude LeThargic (1994–1995)
- The Brothers Grunt (1994–1995)
- The Head (1994–1996)
- MTV's Oddities (1994–1995)
- The Maxx (1995)
- Daria (1997–2002)
- Cartoon Sushi (1997–1998)
- Celebrity Deathmatch (1998–2002; 2006-2007) (production for 2006-2007 season was done by Cuppa Coffee Studio)
- Station Zero (1999)
- Downtown (1999)
- Head Trip (1999-2000)
- Phred on Your Head Show (1999-2002; in association with Noggin and DMA Animation)
- Spy Groove (2000)
- Undergrads (2001)
- Clone High USA (2002–2003; in association with Nelvana, Doozer, Lord Miller Productions, Teletoon and Touchstone Television)
- 3 South (2002–2003; in association with Warner Bros. Animation)
- DJ & the Fro (2009)
- Popzilla (2009)
- Good Vibes (2011)
- Liquid TV (2013-2014; in association with Titmouse, Inc.)
- Greatest Party Story Ever (2016-present; in association with ShadowMachine)
- Worst Friends Forever (TBA)
|Title||Release Date||Production Company(s)||Budget||Gross|
|Beavis and Butt-Head Do America||December 20, 1996||Paramount / MTV Films / Geffen Pictures (under Warner Bros.) / Judgemental Films||$12 million||$63,118,386|
- Beavis and Butt-head Do America DVD (2006 version): Making Of feature
- TV Guide: "Exclusive: MTV Developing Another Animated Series with Beavis and Butt-head Producers"
- Deadline: Animated Comedy ‘Good Vibes’ Cancelled By MTV After One Season
- "Mike Judge: 'Beavis and Butt-Head' Trapped in Limbo". CraveOnline. Retrieved 11 January 2013.
- Making It #61: Thomas Middleditch, 58:25 to 59:09