SPLAT! (Lost TV Series; 1997-2000)
SPLAT! was a magazine TV series made in Canada that originally ran on Teletoon from 1997 to 2000. The show informed kids and families about the world of animation. About 52 half-hour episodes of the show were produced.
From Teletoon's website circa 1998: “Each week SPLAT! checks out new animated films. TV shows and computer generated special effects. We get the inside story on the world’s best animation schools and bring you the top student films. SPLAT! goes behind the scenes to meet the world’s most innovative independent animators and screen their work. SPLAT! is often the only place in the television universe that you will see these films. SPLAT! gets you into the studios that count, like ILM, Klasky Csupo and Hanna Barbera. WE bring home the latest and most innovative films from the world’s top animation festivals. Music videos, commercials, video games, theme park rides, you name it, if it’s animated and interesting you’ll find it on SPLAT!.”
Despite the fact that it was shown in over 100 countries on channels worldwide such as Canal+ and the Discovery Channel's international networks, only a few clips of the show can be found online. This is most likely due to rights issues, since the show used footage from content owned by other creators and companies. The show was produced by Red Giant Television (a now-defunct division of TOPIX/Mad Dog), and is currently owned by WowTV (formerly known as WSM Studios).
Season 1 (1997-1998)
|Episode No.||Title||Original Airdate|
|1||"THE NEW FACE OF CARTOONS/THE FLY: FERENC ROFUSZ AND THE GREAT OSCAR SWINDLE/MOTION CAPTURE"||October 17, 1997|
|THE NEW FACE OF CARTOONS: A look at how computer technology is used to combine realistic human characteristics with the qualities of classic animated characters. Computer animation is at the point in its evolution that the cel animation was when Walt Disney began his career. Includes footage from "Reboot", "Monster by Mistake" and "The Boxer" – all fully computer animated cartoons.
THE FLY: FERENC ROFUSZ AND THE GREAT OSCAR SWINDLE: Follows the story of Ferenc Rofusz, an animator from Hungary. Working from behind the Iron Curtain, Ferenc was nominated for an Oscar in 1981. Denied a visa to attend the ceremony, he had to be content with listening to the awards on a radio. When his animated short "The Fly" won the Oscar, a government official accepted the award for him. Features interview footage of the Oscar award winner and clips of his work.
MOTION CAPTURE: Details the technique of translating human movements to digitally animated figures. Dancers wear wire harnesses which feed information to computers, which "captures" the motion, over which inanimate objects can be superimposed. One example shown is the process of making a gas pump "dance". Includes behind the scenes interview footage.
|2||"SANTO BUGITO: KLASKY CSUPO AND THE GREAT BUG COVER-UP/HAND DRAWN AND INTERACTIVE/ANIMATION 101"||October 24, 1997|
|SANTO BUGITO: KLASKY CSUPO AND THE GREAT BUG COVER-UP: The story behind the Klasky-Csupo (pronounced Class-Key-Chew-Poe) animated series "Santo Bugito" which features a family of animated insects who run a roadhouse on the Tex Mex border. Interview footage of voice talent Cheech Marin and Klasky-Csupo co-founder Arlene Klasky. Behind the scenes footage of actors in voice-over sessions and animators at work.
HAND DRAWN AND INTERACTIVE: There is a new breed of computer game out there – one that combines the action of tradition computer technology and the story telling capabilities of hand-drawn animation.
ANIMATION 101: Once seen as a minor role in children’s features, animation is now seen as one of Hollywood’s most lucrative career paths. Buoyed by the success of recent animated features, animators are scrambling to get into the most popular schools. Features interview footage of students and instructors at Sheridan College, universally recognized as the leader in the field. Also featured are examples of student produced animation.
|3||"THE ART OF GOOFY/THE MAKING OF THE COCA COLA POLAR BEARS/BILL PLYMPTON – INDEPENDENT ANIMATOR"||October 31, 1997|
|THE ART OF GOOFY: Follows the career of Goofy as an animated star, from his first supporting role in 1932 to his recent starring role in "A Goofy Movie." Features the evolution of the character, complete with interview footage of Disney personnel. Portrays Goofy as the eternal optimist – despite his physical blunders, he always gets the job done.
THE MAKING OF THE COCA COLA POLAR BEARS: The animators behind the Coke bears reveal the tricks of the trade responsible for the creation of some of the most popular commercial characters ever. Behind the scenes footage is combined with interview and commentary to explain the complex process used to bring the bears to life.
BILL PLYMPTON – INDEPENDENT ANIMATOR: Profiles an award winning independent animator from New York City. Most of Bill’s animation stems from unpublished books.. "25 Ways to Quit Smoking" is one example. Bill’s animation is tradition line drawing. This segment includes interview footage and clips of his Oscar nominated piece "Your Face."
|4||"THE MAKING OF MOXY/ANIMATION SELLS/BEHIND THE SCENES AT CUPPA COFFEE"||November 7, 1997|
|THE MAKING OF MOXY: Colossal Pictures of San Francisco helped create "Moxy", the Cartoon Network’s animated dog. Moxy is a combination of traditional and computer animation, with the voice of Bobcat Goldthwaite. This segment details how the series evolved from conception to completion.
ANIMATION SELLS: Animation cels are the transparent pieces of celluloid on which characters are drawn. Once considered a useless by-product of a finished film, they were once regulated to the thumb-tacked walls of animators’ children. As those children grew up, however, the demand for these once discarded artworks has skyrocketed. SPLAT! visits an animation cel gallery and talks with the owner about this phenomenon.
BEHIND THE SCENES AT CUPPA COFFEE: SPLAT! visits Cuppa Coffee, a cutting edge animation production house. "Alternative animation" is the specialty here, and this segment show the creative talents behind various media which combine to produce unique effects. Contains behind the scenes footage interspersed with informal interviews.
|5||"ANIMATION IN ADVERTISING/MTV ANIMATION/BASEMENT BOY"||November 14, 1997|
|ANIMATION IN ADVERTISING: This segment shows the talent behind the creation of a thirty second pitch. To grab the viewer’s attention television advertising has always been faced with the task of producing something unusual. Various leaders in the
field talk about turning the client vision into an animated reality. Features plenty of eye-catching commercial clips.
MTV ANIMATION: MTV has striven to be at the cutting edge of popular culture since its creation back in the early 80’s. More than merely presenting music videos, MTV produces its own style of animation. John Andrews, executive producer of Beavis and Butthead, talks about the development of the counterculture duo as part of MTV’s overall campaign to push the envelope of animation. Also features clips of MTV series "The Head" and Aeon Flux."
BASEMENT BOY: This segment is the story of a very talented independent plasticine animator who works out of his suburban basement. Onscreen interview with the animator combined with the behind the scenes footage film "Rodent Stew." Among other things, Dave discusses the trials and tribulations of creating a plasticine dinner party for 10, one at a time.
|6||"CHARACTER DESIGN/INDUSTRIAL LIGHT AND MAGIC/UNICEF ANIMATION"||November 21, 1997|
|CHARACTER DESIGN: The cornerstone of any great piece of animation is the quality of the characters. Various animators talk about the process of bringing drawings to life. Bill Melendez, who animated the popular "Peanuts" characters, talks about the challenge of applying movement to a comic strip. Film Roman animators reveal the secrets behind the adaptation of Bruce Willis’ features for his new cartoon "Bruno the Kid."
INDUSTRIAL LIGHT AND MAGIC: SPLAT! goes behind the scenes at the company that George Lucas built from background operation to industry giant. The special effects masters who created the magic for the Star Wars trilogy talk about their experiences. The technique which gave the films their distinctive look is called "Go-Motion", illustrated with footage from "The Empire Strikes Back" and "Return of the Jedi."
UNICEF ANIMATION: SPLAT! shows how animation can truly make the world a better place. With the help of major animation studios, UNICEF has been producing animation for developing countries for years. Various animators talk about the challenges involved in making children identify with the animated characters who can teach them valuable lessons. Features footage of several UNICEF productions seen around the world.
|7||"THE RETURN OF 3D/FANTASY MEETS REALITY/THE ANATOMY OF A CARTOON: DEXTER’S LABORATORY"||November 28, 1997|
|THE RETURN OF 3D: Since the 50’s, movie audiences have thrilled to the experience of three dimensional film. SPLAT! visits two current 3D films: "T2 3D" in Universal Studios Florida and "EFX" at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Digital Domain animators demonstrate some of the technical wizardry involved in creating what is essentially a third "Terminator" movie. Rhythm and Hues, the creator of "EFX" take us behind the scenes to illustrate the making of their 3D extravaganza.
FANTASY MEETS REALITY: In the world of computer animation the line dividing fantasy and reality is becoming increasingly blurred. Silicon Graphics, producers of the world’s most advanced animation hardware take us on a tour of a "virtual set", where imagination is the only limit to the creation of the television set environment. Using similar technology, a herd of rhinos stampede through Manhattan as SPLAT! reveals the secrets behind a revolutionary Mercedes Benz commercial.
THE ANATOMY OF A CARTOON: DEXTER’S LABORATORY: The process behind creating an animated television show is revealed step by step, as SPLAT! goes behind the scenes at Hanna-Barbera. From storyboard to finished show and from character designer to producer, "Dexter’s Laboratory" show how cooperation of may talents is required to come up with an animated winner.
|8||"RENAISSANCE ANIMATOR/THE END/JOHN DILWORTH – INDEPENDENT ANIMATOR"||December 5, 1997|
|RENAISSANCE ANIMATOR: The renaissance artist of the middle ages has given way to the modern day renaissance animator – a master of many different media. A modern animator has to be an artist, a sculptor, a mathematician and a filmmaker. Various industry professionals discuss the advantages of marrying multiple techniques to produce innovative animation while we watch some very cool computer animation.
THE END: Animator Chris Landreth talks about his exciting Oscar-nominated piece "The End." This work is widely considered to offer the most realistic computer generated representation of human hair, moving the "virtual human" one step closer to completion.
JOHN DILWORTH – INDEPENDENT ANIMATOR: Dressed in a silver spacesuit, the very animated John Dillworth takes us on a tour of his work. Nominated for an Oscar for "Courage the Cowardly Dog in the Chicken from Outer Space", John muses on what it takes to become an animator. This segment covers all of his major films, including "Angry Cabaret" an as yet unreleased MTV cartoon.
|9||"ANIMATION IN EDUCATION/MERCHANTS OF ANIMATION/JOE BARBERA – ANIMATION PIONEER"||December 12, 1997|
|ANIMATION IN EDUCATION: The world of animation is often used as an effective teaching tool. SPLAT! learns the basics of educational animation from Candy Kugel, Sesame Street animator. Moving on to a more serious topic, animation aimed at solving the problems of third-world street kids is examined as veteran animator Derek Lamb talks about his "Karate Kids" series.
MERCHANTS OF ANIMATION: With the recent explosion in popularity of animation, a parallel industry has also come to the fore. While the marketing of animation figures have been around as long as Mickey Mouse, it is only now that animators have come to depend on marketing revenues to fund their animation productions. This begs the question: What comes first – the animation or the merchandise?
JOE BARBERA – ANIMATION PIONEER: SPLAT! visits the hallowed halls of Hanna-Barbera to take a retrospective look at one of the world’s most enduring studios. Joe Barbera talks about the ups and downs of starting out in the business, the transition to television and the use of his "limited animation" technique. Classic footage featured includes "The Flinstones", "The Jetsons", Scooby Doo" and "Huckleberry Hound."
|10||"CONTROVERSY IN ANIMATION/ANIJAM/SPIDERMAN"||December 19, 1997|
|CONTROVERSY IN ANIMATION: SPLAT! looks at a new breed of animators who aren’t afraid to produce "unconventional" material. Several of these artists share their views on animated violence, including MAD TV animator Corky Quakenbush and "James and the Giant Peach" veteran Webster Colcord. Includes many clips of "controversial" animation.
ANIJAM: This project is the brainchild of International Rocketship’s Marv Newland. He assembled an all-star cast of animators to create story segments based on a character called Foska. The catch? Each animator was given only the last frame of the previous work and instructed to "carry the ball" for 30 seconds. The result is a hilarious short film which brings together some very diverse talents.
SPIDERMAN: SPLAT! reveals the mysterious origins of one of the most enduring superheroes of all time. Spiderman creator Stan Lee talks about his inspiration for the character and the process involved in taking the webslinger from the pages of Marvel comic books to the fast pace of Saturday morning television. Includes behind the scenes production footage and clips of the latest Fox television animated series.
|11||"FLASH GORDON/PLAYING WITH DOLLS/OTTAWA ANIMATION FESTIVAL"||December 26, 1997|
|FLASH GORDON: In the 1930’s millions of people sat on the edges of their seats as Flash Gordon battled Ming the Merciless week after week. In the 1990’s, audiences watch Flash and his gang duke it out with the forces of evil on an animated battleground. Combining footage of the original black and white serial with the new action-packed animated series, this segment show how the strength of good character can keep a hero on his feet for seventy years!
PLAYING WITH DOLLS: Stop-motion animation involves the manual positioning of models, which are then shot one frame at a time and replayed at 24 frames a second to simulate normal movement. SPLAT! goes behind the scenes to show the fascinating process behind several pieces of stop-motion animation. Often taking weeks of painstaking work to create mere minutes of finished footage, the animators who coax life from inanimate objects prefer not to describe their work as "playing with dolls."
OTTAWA ANIMATION FESTIVAL: The Ottawa Animation Festival is the largest of its type in the world. Animators from every point on the globe congregate to share ideas, make contacts and hopefully win a prize. Many different animators talk about their many different reasons for attending. Clips of the grand prize winner and his film, plus coverage of the many gala events that keep animators coming back to Ottawa year after year.
|12||"INDEPENDENTS’ DAY/THE OZ KIDS/THE HUMAN FACTOR"||January 2, 1998|
|INDEPENDENTS’ DAY: In the age of every-increasing budgets and expensive special effects, some animators complain that their individual vision can get lost. In reaction, several large studios have rewarded top animators by providing sophisticated technology for them to use on their own projects. Several well-known animators talk about their experiences creating "independent" animation. Includes behind the scenes footage and clips of the work of these brave and mildly twisted souls.
THE OZ KIDS: This segment chronicles the creation of an animated series based on one of the most well-known films of all time: The Wizard of Oz. This new series capitalizes on the success of the phenomenally popular Land of Oz books, which have been translated into dozens of languages. Includes footage of voice-over sessions and a look at the process of adaptation which moves characters from print to animation.
THE HUMAN FACTOR: These days, animation is showing up on the live action scene in a big way. SPLAT! looks at the challenge of combining conventional actors and sets with spectacularly realistic animated effects. Experts in the field from Calibre Digital Design and Pacific Data Images take SPLAT! into the studios to show the secrets behind incredibly lifelike aliens and terrifying monsters which would have been impossible to create only a couple of years ago.
|13||"CHUCK JONES: ANIMATION LEGEND/THE ANIMATION 500/WORKING ANIMATION"||January 9, 1998|
|CHUCK JONES: ANIMATION LEGEND: It has been many decades since Bugs Bunny first sprang from the pencil of animator Chuck Jones, but everyone’s favorite rabbit just keeps on getting more popular. Considered one of the grand masters of animation, Chuck Jones holds forth on the evolution of his characters which include Bugs, The Roadrunner, Wile E. Coyote, Daffy Duck, Elmer Fudd and other far too numerous to mention. This segment includes clips of Chuck Jones animation, including rarely seen footage from the new theatrical short "Chariots of Fur."
THE ANIMATION 500: Once a year budding animators get the chance to work alongside industry professionals to produce cartoons. This event, designed to raise scholarship money, is put on by the Bridges Animation Training Center. Starting at 8:00am, professionals and amateurs alike race towards having a simple film completed by the end of the day. After dinner, thanks to the speed of computerized animation technology, the films are ready to watch.
WORKING ANIMATION: Animation is just not for fun any more! From flight simulators to archaeology, animation techniques are being used to simulate all types of structures and events. SPLAT! shows how animation is reshaping our lives by revolutionizing the often static design of everyday objects like buildings and bicycles. This new technology even manages to raise the standard of performance of Olympic athletes.
- "SPLAT!" homepage on Teletoon.com circa 1998 Last retrieved 23 Jan 2016.
- Look and Learn: TV on Animation (AWN article circa 1999, featuring "SPLAT!") Last retrieved 23 Jan 2016.
- Promotional video for the show, produced by WSM Studios Last retrieved 23 Jan 2016.