Izzy's Quest for Olympic Gold (found animated TV special; 1995)
Promotional artwork for the special.
Date found: 18 Dec 2020
Found by: James C
Izzy's Quest for Olympic Gold is a 30-minute animated TV special on TNT. The short film was produced by ACOG and Film Roman to promote and provide a backstory for Izzy the Whatizit, the mascot of the Atlanta 1996 Summer Olympics.
Izzy debuted during the closing ceremony of the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games and was immediately met with a backlash. The Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games continued to promote the character over many media, including through the video game Izzy's Quest for the Olympic Rings for the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis game consoles. Amidst criticism and ridicule over the character's design, ACOG approached Film Roman to revamp Izzy's appearance, as well as produce a 30-minute animated TV special.
Izzy's Quest for Olympic Gold debuted Saturday, August 12th, 1995, on TNT. It aired at 5:30 PM EDT and again at 6:30 PM, and was repeated the following Sunday at 7:30 and 9:30 AM. Repeats also aired on Cartoon Network in the run up to the Summer Olympics in mid-July 1996.
Veteran voice actors Rob Paulsen, Tress MacNeille Jim Cummings feature in the cast, with Izzy himself being voiced by Justin Shenkarow.
The special has never re-aired since August 1996 and has no known home release. Claims that the special was distributed internationally have never been substantiated.
On July 4th, 2020, user SADLAD84 rediscovered a three second long clip of the special. This clip had originated from a 1996 CNN article about the character, and had remained undocumented up to that point in time.
On December 18th, 2020, James C uploaded the entire special to YouTube. He found a recording of it on an old VHS tape while helping his father clean out the garage.
- 1995 Associated Press article on Izzy's Quest for Olympic Gold. Retrieved 12 Feb '14
- Izzy's Quest for Olympic Gold - Cartoon Network Airings Retrieved 12 Oct '22
- Usenet post confirming the existence of the special being reran on the Cartoon Network. Retrieved 23 Sept '20
- Press photo for the special. Retrieved 23 Sept '20
- CNN article featuring initial upload of the clip. Retrieved 04 Jul '20