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Chowder is an American animated 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. The title character is a chubby young 12 year old child named Chowder (often referred to as a cat, bear, rabbit creature[1]), an apprentice to a chef named Mung Daal, who owns a catering company serving the fictional Marzipan City. The show combines traditional animation with stop motion animation and puppetry.[2]

Production

ChowderPuppets

The puppet versions of the characters Chowder and Mung Daal

During his time working on Nickelodeon's SpongeBob SquarePants, Greenblatt had been sketching various characters for his own animation series concept.[2] 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,[1] but rather with the intentions of invoking the image of a child's soft squeeze toy.[3] Some of the inspiration comes from Richard Scarry, with other inspiration from Saturday morning cartoons.[3][4]

Shnitzel was created originally as a personal character design exercise in the late 1990s.

Once Greenblatt pitched the concept to Cartoon Network, and after about two years, 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, from 2000 to 2007.[2]

Episodes are produced in seasons which consist of 20 half-hour episodes.[5] 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.[5] 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.[3][6]

One of the unusual design features of the show is the patterns used on the characters' clothing or skin. 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.[2][3][7] 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 and Mr. Bean: The Animated Series.[4]

The show is also known for the very wide variety of mediums used in various episodes. These include animation using watercolors and ink & 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.

Setting

Chowder is set in the country of Marzipan. For the architectural style of the city, examples from Monacan and Indian architecture were referenced.[4] The inhabitants of Marzipan City, including the show's primary cast, are composed of various strange non-human creatures, ranging from anthropomorphic animals and humanoids to more abstract and surreal beings including fairies, robots, mammoths, owls, and many more creatures.

The show's humor features pun and meta-reference, such as the characters and locations being named after various foods and dishes.[8] Ironically, many food names are altered, like "grubble gum", "thrice cream", "grapples" or "blutter," yet all the characters' names are actual food items and culinary dishes. The show also breaks the fourth wall regularly. An example is found in the episode "Gazpacho Stands Up." Chowder, who is learning to write, scribbles on the television screen. Gazpacho erases this, leaving the Cartoon Network screen bug untouched. When Chowder points this out, Gazpacho comments "Eh, that one doesn't come off. I've tried." Also, the characters are aware that they are fictional characters in a cartoon, often making references to the camera, the animators, and their fanbase. For example, during the episode "Brain Grub" chowder points out that the foods are fake, and then transports them to another food related Television program. "[9] In another episode, the actual, real-life Voice Actors of the series (Nicky Jones, Dwight Schultz, Tara Strong, and John DiMaggio) were "forced" to go out and wash cars to make money after the cartoon characters spent so much money at the mall that they bankrupted the entire show.[10]

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 Crumple Thumpkin/Chowder's Girlfriend", and ended on July 25, 2008 with the special, The Apprentice Games. Season Two also is 20 episodes long and started on October 3, 2008 with "The Arborians/ The Garage Sale" and ended out with "A Faire to Remember/Tofu-Tofu 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 16, 2009 with "Hands on a Big Mixer/The Spookiest House" in Marzipan. In 2010, the series had a confusing hiatus and only aired a new episode every month or two. Eventually, the last hiatus ended with the official series finale, "Chowder Grows Up", that saw broadcast on August 27, 2010.

Broadcast History

  • Cartoon Network (2007-2010, original run; 2011-2014, reruns)
  • Boomerang (2014-present)

DVD releases

The first Chowder DVD was released on November 4, 2008. It consisted of the first five episodes.[11] The second DVD containing five more episodes was released on March 3, 2009.[12] A volume three DVD had been confirmed for late 2010, but was cancelled due to the show ending.

DVD Title Region 1 Discs Episodes Extras
Chowder: Vol. 1 November 4, 2008 1 1-3-4-6-7 "Chowder's Girlfriend" pencil sketches, previews of Ben 10: Alien Force: Volume 1 and Bakugan: Volume 1
Chowder: Vol. 2 March 3, 2009 1 2-5-8-9-10 Chowder's Artwork

Awards and nominations

Year Association Award Category Notes Result
2008 Annie Awards Best Animated Television Production for Children,
Writing in an Animated Television Production[13]
C. H. Greenblatt and William Reiss for the episode "Burple Nurples" Nominated
2008 Emmy Awards Outstanding Special Class — Short-format Animated Programs[14] Episode: "Burple Nurples" Nominated
2009 Annie Awards Production Design in an Animated Television Production or Short Form[15] Dan Krall for the episode "The Heavy Sleeper" Nominated
2009 Annie Awards Voice Acting in an Animated Television Production or Short Form[15] Dwight Schultz for the role of Mung Daal Nominated
2009 Emmy Awards Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation[16] Joe Binggeli Won
2010 Annie Awards Voice Acting in a Television Production[17] Dwight Schultz, Nicky Jones Nominated

Trivia

  • All the characters of Chowder have names corresponding to real life food items.
    • Additionally, all the food in show has made up names, akin to their real ones.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 "What is Chowder?". . C.H Greenblatt. 2007-11-12. http://nerdarmada.blogspot.com/2007/11/what-is-chowder.html. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Ed Liu (2007-10-30). "Toon Zone Interviews C.H. Greenblatt and Steven Spielburg on Crafting "Chowder"". Toon Zone. http://news.toonzone.net/article.php?ID=19571. Retrieved on 2008-03-04. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 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 on 2008-03-04. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Steve Fritz. "Meet the Master Chef – C. H. Greenblatt". Animated Shorts. http://forum.newsarama.com/showthread.php?t=139420. Retrieved on 2007-12-19. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Nerd Armada:Let the New Chowders Begin!!". . C. H. Greenblatt. 2008-06-03. http://nerdarmada.blogspot.com/2008/06/let-new-chowders-begin.html. Retrieved on 2008-06-04. 
  6. "Nerd Armada: More Puppets.". . C.H Greenblatt. 2008-02-07. http://nerdarmada.blogspot.com/2008/02/more-puppets.html. Retrieved on 2008-03-04. 
  7. "Nerd Armada: Chowder Patterns". . C.H Greenblatt. 2008-01-29. http://nerdarmada.blogspot.com/2008/01/chowder-patterns.html. Retrieved on 2008-03-04. 
  8. Greenblatt, C. H. (October 12, 2008). "Real World Food Counterparts". . http://nerdarmada.blogspot.com/2008/10/real-world-food-counterparts.html. Retrieved on 2008-10-13. 
  9. Template:Cite episode
  10. Template:Cite episode
  11. Greenblatt, C.H. (November 6, 2008). "New Chowder Tonight". . http://nerdarmada.blogspot.com/2008/11/new-chowder-tonight.html. Retrieved on 2008-11-07. 
  12. Greenblatt, C.H. (May 5, 2009). "Chowder DVD Vol.2". . http://nerdarmada.blogspot.com/2009/03/chowder-dvd-vol2.html. Retrieved on 2009-05-05. Template:Sc
  13. "35th Annual Annie Award Nominees and Winners (2007)". ASIFA Hollywood. 2008-02-08. http://annieawards.org/35thwinners.html. Retrieved on 2008-03-04. 
  14. "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 on 2009-02-18. 
  15. 15.0 15.1 "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 on 2008-12-02. 
  16. "Nominations: Official 2009 Primetime Emmy Awards". . http://www.emmys.com/nominations?tid=462. Retrieved on 2010-05-30. 
  17. "Annie Awards 2010". . http://www.altfg.com/blog/awards/annie-awards-2010-123/. Retrieved on 2010-05-30. 

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