Animated Hero Classics is a 1991–2004 educational Animated television series of programs co-produced by Nest Family Entertainment, Living History Productions, Warner-Nest Animation and Crest Animation Productions, Crest Communications, Inc., and Quasar Cartoons Ltd. The series of 20 half-hour specials, geared toward elementary school aged children, includes biographies of both female and male scientists, inventors, explorers, and social champions from around Europe, North America and the Middle East, including George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Florence Nightingale, Maccabees, Wright brothers, Galileo Galilei, Marco Polo, William Bradford, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, Ludwig van Beethoven, Harriet Tubman, Joan of Arc, Benjamin Franklin, Helen Keller, Marie Curie, Louis Pasteur and Pocahontas.
The Children's Television Act of 1990 required terrestrial television networks to devote time to Educational and Informative programming for children. Even though cable networks were not directly affected by these requirements, these programs were debuted on their HBO network's Saturday morning children's block as a show of good faith that the network was committed to quality educational programming for children. The dramatic biographies were meticulously researched by the producers and written to engage both children and adults, providing an entertaining and accessible way to learn about the positive impact that these women and men have had on our world.
In 1996, Nest Entertainment joined Warner Bros. Animation to formed the Warner-Nest Animation, and in the same year, Living History Productions was folded into Nest Entertainment.
After Animated Hero Classics videos from Christopher Columbus to Maccabees were re-released by Nest Entertainment and Warner/Nest Animation in 1996, and Animated Hero Classics videos from Alexander Graham Bell to Marie Curie were released by Nest Entertainment and Warner/Nest Animation from 1996 to 1997, the company Warner/Nest Animation was shutdown in 1997.
In 2004, the Animated Hero Classics video Beethoven was released by Nest Entertainment, and the series is complete.
After the initial limited cable television debut, the programs were released on VHS and DVD. Over the years supplementary learning materials have been added to the series designed to help develop core curriculum knowledge and skills, while building positive character traits. They are used in over 60,000 public schools and libraries, and by countless home educators as they research the heroes of history covered by the series. The series currently airs every Saturday on BYUtv.
Individual programs within the series have earned multiple awards and endorsements including the family approved seal from the Dove Foundation, The School Library Journal, The Parent's Choice Foundation award and the National Educational Media Association award, the "Award of Excellence" from the Film Advisory Board, the Director's Choice Award from Early Childhood News, KIDS FIRST!, and the highest rating from the Practical Homeschooling Magazine.
The series was directed by Richard Rich, the ex-Disney director who also directed The Swan Princess trilogy, and three faith-based animated educational series for the church, library and home educator market: Animated Stories from the Bible, Animated Stories from the New Testament and K10C: Kids' Ten Commandments.
The series composers were Lex de Azevedo, David Waters, Clive Romney and Kurt Bestor.