Nicktoons -- The Original Animation Revolution

The animation we have is very different. It is contemporary, not classic, not fairy tale. We look at what kids today want. We are not only kids-friendly, we are also safe. [For adults and children, Nickelodeon and Nicktoons are] for the kid in you.

-- Christine Leo-McKerrow, head of Nickelodeon's operations in Asia, in an article about Nick in Singapore's The Straits Times

When Rugrats signed on for the first time in 1991, it was part of a whole new line of animation made for Nick called Nicktoons -- produced for Nick by independent animation companies (and later, Nicktoon Studios after that opened up in 1998), Nicktoons tells plenty of stories, featuring characters and perspectives never before presented on television. And most importantly, Nicktoons are cartoons that the creators can call their own, alongside Nick. Those are the reasons why Nicktoons still click with many viewers -- beacuse it's different than what we normally seen on TV. And since then, many networks followed the same lead by imitating the Nicktoon formula -- examples include ABC's One Saturday Morning (later, ABC Kids) and Cartoon Network's Cartoon Cartoons.

In this section, I'll present to you the Nicktoons, and what they are.

(Left: The popular Nicktoons of 2002 -- SpongeBob, Rocket Power, Thornberrys and Hey Arnold; from Nick UK; ©2002 Viacom.)
(Above: More Nicktoons; based on a graphic from MundoNick; ©2002 Viacom.)

(Background: based on the one at the Nicktoons TV site at Nick.Com; ©2002 Viacom.)

For a complete look at the Nicktoons, click below:

Initial Reaction in 1991 First Renewal in 1991 Meet The Nicktoons
Reality TV -- Nicktoons Style Nicktoons Rejects Nickmas 2002

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