Chowder (TV series)


Chowder (TV series)
Chowder
Chowder logo.png
Off-Screen Logo
Genre Comedy
Surreal humor
Satire
Farce
Format Animation
Comedy
Stop motion
Created by C. H. Greenblatt
Written by C. H. Greenblatt
William Reiss
Alex Almaguer
Darick Bachman
Kevin A. Kramer
Brett Varon
Directed by Juli Hashiguchi
Kris Sherwood
Eddy Houchins
Shaun Cashman
Mike Milo
Majella Milne
Voices of Nicky Jones
Dwight Schultz
John DiMaggio
Tara Strong
Liliana Mumy
Mindy Sterling
Country of origin United States
Language(s) English
No. of seasons 3
No. of episodes 49 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) C. H. Greenblatt
Producer(s) Louis J. Cuck
Running time 22 minutes
Production company(s) Cartoon Network Studios
Broadcast
Original channel Cartoon Network
Original run November 2, 2007 (2007-11-02) – August 7, 2010 (2010-08-07)
External links
Website

Chowder is an American animated television series which ran from November 2, 2007 to August 7, 2010 on Cartoon Network. The series was created by C. H. Greenblatt, a former storyboard artist on SpongeBob SquarePants and The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy.

Contents

Production

The puppet versions of the characters Chowder (a Hand-Rod puppet) and Mung Daal

During his time working on Nickelodeon's SpongeBob SquarePants, Greenblatt had been sketching various characters for his own animation series concept.[1] Greenblatt originally based the premise on the idea of the sorcerer's apprentice style of story, such as The Sword in the Stone. The plot devices were modified so that the story revolves around a master chef who teaches his young apprentice how to cook. Chowder himself was developed with no specific species in mind, but rather with the intentions of invoking the image of a child's soft squeeze toy.[2] Some of the inspiration comes from Richard Scarry, with other inspiration from Saturday morning cartoons.[2][3]

Once Greenblatt pitched the concept to Cartoon Network, it was about two years before the series was approved for production with another year in production before the pilot episode aired. Greenblatt estimates he spent about seven years working on Chowder before the show made it to air.[1]

Episodes are produced in seasons which consist of 20 24-Minute episodes.[4] Each episode is produced with a 30-second puppet sequence that is meant to run over the ending credits. Cartoon Network chooses not to air the puppet credit sequences, but starting on September 3, 2007, episodes have aired the puppet segments.[4] Episodes can be purchased from the iTunes store in the United States which are delivered with the sequences as are episodes which are available on Cartoon Network's VOD website also within the United States.[2][5]

One of the unusual design features of the show is the patterns used on the clothing or players. The patterns are developed as a full screen image and then sent to the production house where the characters are modified to fill the patterns in over the character clothing.[1][2][6] Using this technique, when a character moves, their patterns do not follow, but display as a "static" background. A similar technique was used in the Monkey Island video game series (particulary for the Stan) and the Mr. Bean animated series.[3]

The show is also known for the very wide variety of media used in various episodes. These include animation using watercolors and ink-and-paint in addition to the cartoon's classic pattern style. It also uses stop motion animation with real food, action figures and clay; live-action scenes with the voice actors of the show and puppets; both marionette and hand-controlled. This was also sometimes used in Courage the Cowardly Dog. It boasts one of the most diverse varieties of mediums used in any single series.

Characters

The main characters of Chowder (left to right) Shnitzel (voiced by John DiMaggio), Mung Daal (voiced by Dwight Schultz), Chowder (voiced by Nicky Jones), and Truffles (voiced by Tara Strong) shown in a typical city scene.

Main characters

  • Chowder (voiced by Nicky Jones): A 11-year-old eccentric Catbearrabbit who serves as a chef's apprentice under Mung Daal, Chowder lives with Mung Daal and his wife, Truffles, in a room at the top of the catering business. Chowder wants to become a great chef, but he is very impulsive, and often gives in to his urges. He is always hungry and eats anything, even a customer's order. He seems to already know that he is in his own series. Chowder can also regurgitate objects, and is used as a storage container by the other characters. Chowder is purple in color. According to Greenblatt, he is a composite of a cat, a bear and a rabbit,[citation needed] and his species was verified in at least one episode.[7] C.H. Greenblatt voiced his adult self in the last episode.
  • Mung Daal (voiced by Dwight Schultz): The elderly Human chef who runs the catering company at which Chowder works.[8] Although his exact age has not been stated, he has mentioned that he has cooked for at least 386 years,[9] and he celebrated 450 years of marriage to Truffles (see below).[10] He is a blue-colored humanoid of indeterminate species. Mung is named after the Indian dish mung daal; Greenblatt had originally planned to give Mung an Indian accent, but later decided against it.[11]
  • Shnitzel (voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson in "The Froggy Apple Crumble Thumpkin", and John DiMaggio afterward): A gray-colored rock monster and professional chef who works at Mung Daal's Catering Company. His vocabulary consists almost entirely of "Radda", although he sometimes says other simple words.[12] He talks in episode 'The Problem with Truffles' because he finally gets calm enough. Shnitzel is the "straight man" to the other more excitable characters, and is frequently agitated. He gets stuck with menial labor or cleanup duty, as well as the heavy lifting, because he is extremely strong. In the episode "The Lead Farfel"Shnitzel is shown to have carried him the farthest and plans to move him farther. Although usually angered by Chowder's antics, Shnitzel really has a soft spot for Chowder, as he cries when it was thought that Chowder has vanished forever.[12][13] Kevin Michael Richardson voiced Shnitzel for the debut episode "The Froggy Apple Crumple Thumpkin", and was replaced at the last moment by DiMaggio due to Richardson being busy with other projects at the time.[12] He also works part-time as a comedian.
  • Truffles (voiced by Tara Strong): Mung Daal's wife, who handles the business side of Mung's catering business. She is a mushroom pixie. She is practical, but has a foul temper and easily loses patience with her husband, his staff and their customers. Greenblatt said that he based Truffles on his mother.[14] Greenblatt said that he initially found difficulty in working on any story with Truffles since the character could be "so abrasive" that the Chowder staff had to be "a little more sensitive about finding her softer side." Greenblatt said that the staff eventually decided that "a little Truffles goes a long way." Therefore she would appear occasionally in Chowder in a manner similar to how Oscar the Grouch appears in Sesame Street.[15][16]

Recurring characters

  • Gazpacho (voiced by Dana Snyder): A woolly mammoth storekeeper who sells strange produce and ingredients at the farmers market. He does his best to offer advice to Chowder when needed. He lives with his overbearing mother, who never appears. Gazpacho shows no interest in moving out and improving his own life. Gazpacho's worst enemies are ninjas. Greenblatt named him after the cold soup gazpacho; Greenblatt said that he did not know why the name suited the character, but that the name suited the character immediately.[11]
  • Panini (voiced by Liliana Mumy): A 11-year-old girl who has a crush on Chowder, and lets him know this at every opportunity. Chowder does not return the feelings, and responds with "I'm not your boyfriend!" whenever she greets him. Panini is an apprentice to Ms. Endive, and is also over-protective of Chowder. Panini was first seen in the second episode: Chowder's Girlfriend. According to Greenblatt, she is of the same composite species as Chowder,[citation needed] although she is pink and has large ears. Originally Panini, who was named Borlotti, had pointed ears and an outfit in which only her face was visible. Her original character concept had her bully Chowder in a manner described by Greenblatt as similar to Angelica Pickles from Rugrats.[17] Greenblatt removed the pointy ears since he felt this did not fit in with the rounded shapes in Chowder. Greenblatt did not like characters similar to Angelica and believed that he needed to make Panini "cuter and sweeter."[17] Greenblatt said that the details of Panini formed when the creator decided that Panini had a crush on Chowder; since Chowder is not old enough to fall in love with females, according to Greenblatt this aspect would frustrate Chowder "in a more fun way."[17]
  • Ms. Endive (voiced by Mindy Sterling): An obese female chef who teaches cooking to Panini with strict discipline. She's also occasionally portrayed as the show's main antagonist or villain. She is usually depicted as gargantuan. She regularly berates Mung Daal, whom she considers a rival. In the episode "Chowder's Girlfriend", it is revealed she despises boys and boyfriends because her fiancé did not show up on their wedding day. Ms. Endive is first seen in the second episode with Panini, "Chowder's Girlfriend". The creator describes her as Martha Stewart with Oompa-Loompa colors.[18] Greenblatt chose to name her after the endive since endive is bitter and Belgian endive is fancy; hence the character is bitter and fancy.[11] Endive's character stayed constant throughout the initial development. The long nose, which changed from a rectangular shape to a triangle shape for the final version, represents how Endive looks down at other characters. Greenblatt said that he felt that her evolution throughout the series was fun to observe, especially when William Reiss wrote plots involving Endive.[17]
  • Kiwi (voiced by C. H. Greenblatt) is a photorealistic pink creature who always gives advice to Chowder and his friends. His name is only pronounced in the episode "Brain Grub", where it is known that after Chowder alterates the animated universe, Kiwi is reduced to selling used cars.
  • Kimchi (voiced by C. H. Greenblatt): Chowder's pet, who lives in a cage next to his bed. Kimchi is a brown-colored cloud (an anthropomorphized flatus). He likes things with odors unpleasant for the other characters, and he "talks" by making flatulent sounds. Kimchi was first seen in the episode "Stinky Love". Kimchi is usually shown with a blank personality but in an episode were he gets married it is shown he has an opinion.[1]
  • Gorgonzola (voiced by Will Shadley): A young green mouse apprentice candle holder with a surly attitude. He resents Chowder due to Chowder having a better job than him.[19] He will occasionally use Chowder, and if forced, will partner with him in games. Since blue cheese was one of the few foods Greenblatt disliked, he decided to use the name "gorgonzola" for a character who did not get along with Chowder. Gorgonzola resembles a green opossum. He wears tattered brown clothes and no shoes, and has a partially-melted candle on his head (for traditional reasons). He is desperate to get cash, and will do almost anything to get it. Gorgonzola also loves to play Sniffleball, where he meets Chowder in an episode. Gorgonzola is an apprentice to Stilton, who is a candle holder, hence why both characters have burning candles on their heads.[11]
  • Ceviche (voiced by Elan Garfias): The goat apprentice to Paté and Panini's best friend, Ceviche was introduced in the episode "The Apprentice Games". Ceviche was framed for stealing Chowder's dice cycle and is revealed to be a boy instead of a girl, which is shocking to some viewers. Ceviche also helps old people and donates to the poor. He practices aerobic-style dancing and is very charitable and kind to others. He is good friends with Panini and will make unwanted advances upon her, which are either refused or unnoticed. He speaks in a monotonous voice and serves as deadpan humor for the show.
  • Chestnut (originally voiced by Tone Loc, then John DiMaggio): Like the food, Chestnut is small and tough. He is a tiny, blue horned devil-like creature with a deep, gravelly voice and, to many character's surprise, is physically very strong. Because of his size, he uses everyday objects as other things (e.g. using a briefcase for a hydrofoil, or a hat as a vacation home). He sings small songs to himself, usually consisting of his catchphrase of "Dinky lee dinka loo." He is teacher of the BLTs, a parody of the SATs. He always refers to himself in the third person when speaking.
  • Reuben (voiced by Paul Reubens): A pig who is a conman and steals from others. He was Mung's "Inspector" when he needed to renew his cooking license but he just used that to fail Mung and pass Endive. He later made the group, minus Truffles, used his boat for their fishing trip but just spent the trip annoying Mung and keeping the other passengers on board so he can get more money out of them. At the end of the episode, it turned out that the ship was stolen and Reuben abandoned ship when the real owners came and left the group to be arrested.

Episodes

A total of 49 episodes were aired in the series. Season One, which consists of 20 episodes, started on November 2, 2007, with "The Froggy Apple Crumble Thumpkin/Chowder's Girlfriend", and ended on July 24, 2008 with the special "The Apprentice Games". Season Two also is 20 episodes long and started on October 1, 2008, with "The Arborians/The Garage Sale", and ended out with "A Faire to Remember/Tofu-Town Showdown" on September 29, 2009 and October 6, 2009. Season Three, which is the final season, consists of only 9 episodes and began on October 12, 2009 with "The Blast Raz". The series finale aired August 7, 2010. It was entitled "Chowder Grows Up". It was a double-length episode.

Reviews

After its premiere, the show was given mixed reviews by most newspapers and online animation websites. Some of the reviews were positive,[20][21][22] two raising questions as to whether Chowder can entertain with its occasional bathroom style humor,[23] or sometimes recycled material.[24]

Barry Garron of The Hollywood Reporter thinks that the show will appeal to both children and adults alike, using exotic artwork, unusual settings, and a zany cast of characters.[20] On Toon Zone, Ed Liu expands on the animation and crazy antics of the characters, pointing that the humor of the show is kid-friendly without being juvenile. Liu reminds his readers that Chowder is still in its early phases, and with just a little more time to develop, he feels that the show will be successful.[21] Aaron H. Bynum on Animation Insider also mentions the animation, settings and crazy characters of the show, ending with the comment that Chowder is one of the biggest projects Cartoon Network has undertaken in recent times.[22]

Awards and nominations

Year Association Award Category Notes Result
2008 Annie Awards Best Animated Television Production for Children,
Writing in an Animated Television Production[25]
C. H. Greenblatt and William Reiss for the episode "Burple Nurples" Nominated
2008 Emmy Awards Outstanding Special Class — Short-format Animated Programs[26] Episode: "Burple Nurples" Nominated
2009 Annie Awards Production Design in an Animated Television Production or Short Form[27] Dan Krall for the episode "The Heavy Sleeper" Nominated
2009 Annie Awards Voice Acting in an Animated Television Production or Short Form[27] Dwight Schultz for the role of Mung Daal Nominated
2009 Emmy Awards Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation[28] Joe Binggeli Won
2010 Annie Awards Voice Acting in a Television Production[29] Dwight Schultz, Nicky Jones Nominated

References

  1. ^ a b c d Ed Liu (2007-10-30). "Toon Zone Interviews C. H. Greenblatt on Crafting "Chowder"". Toon Zone. http://news.toonzone.net/article.php?ID=19571. Retrieved 2008-03-04. 
  2. ^ a b c d Joe Meyer (08-02-2008). "Interview: C. H. Greenblatt". Kitty Sneezes.com. http://www.kittysneezes.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=207:interview-ch-greenblatt&catid=20:interviews&Itemid=29. Retrieved 2008-03-04. 
  3. ^ a b Steve Fritz. "Meet the Master Chef – C. H. Greenblatt". Animated Shorts. http://forum.newsarama.com/showthread.php?t=139420. Retrieved 2007-12-19. 
  4. ^ a b "Nerd Armada:Let the New Chowders Begin!!". Nerd Armada. C. H. Greenblatt. 2008-06-03. http://nerdarmada.blogspot.com/2008/06/let-new-chowders-begin.html. Retrieved 2008-06-04. 
  5. ^ "Nerd Armada: More Puppets". Nerd Armada. C. H. Greenblatt. 2008-02-07. http://nerdarmada.blogspot.com/2008/02/more-puppets.html. Retrieved 2008-03-04. 
  6. ^ "Nerd Armada: Chowder Patterns". Nerd Armada. C.H Greenblatt. 2008-01-29. http://nerdarmada.blogspot.com/2008/01/chowder-patterns.html. Retrieved 2008-03-04. 
  7. ^ "The Puckerberry Overlords". Chowder. 2008-01-18.
  8. ^ "Chowder". Cartoon Network. http://www.cartoonnetwork.com/tv_shows/chowder/index.html. 
  9. ^ "Certifrycation Class". Chowder. 2007-11-16.
  10. ^ "Mung on the Rocks". Chowder. 2008-03-06.
  11. ^ a b c d "Real World Food Counterparts." Nerd Armada. Sunday October 12, 2008. Retrieved on January 31, 2009.
  12. ^ a b c "Nerd Armada: Shnitzel FAQ". Nerd Armada. C.H. Greenblatt. 2008-01-01. http://nerdarmada.blogspot.com/2008/01/shnitzel-faq.html. Retrieved 2008-04-07. 
  13. ^ "Nerd Armada: Just Two Weeks Until Chowder Premiere". Nerd Armada. C.H. Greenblatt. 2007-07-18. http://nerdarmada.blogspot.com/2007/10/just-two-weeks-until-chowder-premiere.html. Retrieved 2007-11-09. 
  14. ^ "Mahjongg Night." Nerd Armada. November 28, 2007. Accessed on September 14, 2008.
  15. ^ "Exit interview with C.H. Greenblatt." Baking the Baker. Monday August 31, 2009. Retrieved on September 15, 2009.
  16. ^ "We're Off!." Nerd Armada (C.H. Greeblatt's Blog). Monday August 31, 2009. Retrieved on September 15, 2009.
  17. ^ a b c d "Early Endive & Panini Designs." C. H. Greenblatt. Retrieved on June 22, 2009.
  18. ^ "Nerd Armada: Ms. Endive". Nerd Armada. C. H. Greenblatt. 2007-04-19. http://nerdarmada.blogspot.com/2007/04/endive.html. Retrieved 2007-11-09. 
  19. ^ "Nerd Armada: Gorgonzola". Nerd Armada. C. H. Greenblatt. 2007-07-18. http://nerdarmada.blogspot.com/2007/07/gorgonzola.html. Retrieved 2007-11-09. 
  20. ^ a b Barry Garron. "Chowder". The Hollywood Reporter. http://208.115.47.50/cartoonnetwork/article_images/NXE913120_1_H.pdf. Retrieved 2009-02-18. 
  21. ^ a b Ed Liu (2007-11-02). ""Chowder" is Satisfying Comfort Food". Toon Zone. http://news.toonzone.net/article.php?ID=19635. Retrieved 2009-02-18. 
  22. ^ a b Aaron H. Bynum (2007-10-24). "New 'Chowder' Animation Ready to Serve". Animation Insider. http://www.animationinsider.net/article.php?articleID=1529. Retrieved 2009-02-18. 
  23. ^ Mike Hale (2007-11-02). "In the Kitchen With Blobs and a Cloud". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/02/arts/television/02chow.html?_r=2&adxnnl=1&oref=slogin&ref=television&adxnnlx=1194519873-QsKca7Sw25xuoI2xOan3uA. Retrieved 2009-02-18. 
  24. ^ Robert Rich (2007-11-05). "'Chowder' debuts on TV". The Daily Texan. http://www.dailytexanonline.com/life_arts/1.953169-1.953169. 
  25. ^ "35th Annual Annie Award Nominees and Winners (2007)". ASIFA Hollywood. 2008-02-08. http://annieawards.org/35thwinners.html. Retrieved 2008-03-04. 
  26. ^ "The 60th Primetime Emmy Awards and Creative Arts Emmy Awards Nominees are..". Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. 2008. http://cdn.emmys.tv/awards/2008pte/60thpte_noms.php. Retrieved 2009-02-18. 
  27. ^ a b "2008 Annie Award nominations by category". ASIFA Hollywood. 2008-12-01. http://www.asifa-hollywood.org/2008/12/2008-annie-award-nominations-by.html. Retrieved 2008-12-02. 
  28. ^ "Nominations: Official 2009 Primetime Emmy Awards". Emmys. http://www.emmys.com/nominations?tid=462. Retrieved 2010-05-30. 
  29. ^ "Annie Awards 2010". Alt Film Guide. http://www.altfg.com/blog/awards/annie-awards-2010-123/. Retrieved 2010-05-30. 

External links


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