The Moxy Show (partially found episodes of CGI anthology series; 1993-2000)
The Moxy Show, also known as The Moxy Pirate Show and The Moxy & Flea Show, was a CGI animated anthology series developed by Colossal Pictures and produced by Hanna-Barbera for Cartoon Network. It began airing under the title of The Moxy Pirate Show on December 5th, 1993 and ended on January 2nd, 2000, with all reruns ending on April 1st, 2000. It was an anthology series of classic cartoons that Cartoon Network would commonly air back in the 1990s and in between contained interstitials of Moxy, a goofing off, fun-loving dog voiced by Bobcat Goldthwait who has a crush on Melody from Josie and the Pussycats, and Flea, a flea who likes to hang out and watch TV with Moxy who was originally voiced by Penn Jillette and later Chris Rock in the 1995 "Moxy & Flea" pilot.
According to the website NickandMore, the show was a "whimsical mesh" of retro pop culture and comedy (from wacky jokes to Moxy's crush on Josie from Josie and the Pussycats). USA Today described it as "Again acting as host, Moxy presents his favorite cartoons, giving reviews, editorial comments and cartoon trivia". "The premise is that Moxy's the toon who didn't quite make it, so we gave him a job as a janitor at the Cartoon Network" says Betty Cohen, going on to add that for The Moxy Pirate Show, "he jams our signal once a week". A New York Times article from 1993 can also be found online, which further explains the motion capture CGI process that was used for the series.
The format was originally motion capture CGI from 1993-1998 but then traditional hand-drawn animation with CGI and live-action effects from 1998-2000, which may have had something to do with how Colossal Pictures stopped working on it by that point, which in itself could have been because of something to do with Chapter 11 bankruptcy in their company in Winter 1997. It is considered the very first Cartoon Network original series barring the fact that it was an anthology series based around re-existing cartoon shorts; the first fully produced Cartoon Network original series was Space Ghost Coast to Coast.
As mentioned earlier, the series originally began as The Moxy Pirate Show and only featured Moxy before adding Flea in 1994. Then it was retitled The Moxy Show in 1995 and The Moxy & Flea Show in 1998 with changes like:
- Moxy's design changing into green/black striped shirt, black jeans and non palette-swapped shoes and having no whiskers or freckles, a black nose and smaller eyes.
- Flea's design changing into a blue fez, yellow eyes with red pupils and growth in size to half the height of Moxy, as well as now being voiced by Chris Rock.
- The opening sequence widely changed from the original sequence, as seen in the video below.
- The shortening of the timeslot from an hour to thirty minutes.
The show (at least during its CGI run) is considered to be the first "real-time" or "live" cartoon, though it was never broadcast directly live. Through motion capture, a puppeteer would act out Moxy's motions while Goldthwait provided the voice and a technician would control the facial expressions.
In a 2003 online IGN interview, Andy Merrill (who worked on the show) talked about how Moxy (incorrectly spelt "Moxie") was apparently unpopular and unsuccessful with audiences despite being on the air for seven years. Reruns stopped on April 1st, 2000, which was the same day where all of the classic cartoon programmings was moved from Cartoon Network to Boomerang except for this series, and it hasn't been seen on Cartoon Network, Boomerang or home media releases of any kind since, and not even during Cartoon Network's 20th anniversary.
Frank Gresham's directing reel and website contain more footage of the episode featured in Ben Friedman's reel and what may be enough to be a full episode. His reel can be found here and the longer version of the footage can be downloaded here.
According to Frank Gresham, no other Moxy & Flea episodes were produced.
Playlist of available airings and The Moxy & Flea Show pilot: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLZQ1gdKtWk1HmqSo1fOQcUhQiB5HAOGsl
Playlist of available footage: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLZQ1gdKtWk1EYOlcDVN-1cBJyKwlvbR34
Playlist of available Great International Toon-In segments: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLZQ1gdKtWk1GYGifw5OKQdCgpV70EgJTL
- Nickandmore.com page on The Moxy Show (now-defunct). Retrieved 24 Aug '13.
- 1993 USA Today article on the show. Retrieved 24 Aug '13.
- 1993 New York Times article on the show, further explaining how motion capture CGI was implemented into the series. Retrieved 24 Aug '13.
- 2003 online IGN interview with Andy Merrill (page 6). Retrieved 24 Aug '13.