|Developed by||Bill Braudis|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||40 (77 segments) (list of episodes)|
|Running time||22 minutes|
|Production companies||Titmouse, Inc.|
Nickelodeon Animation Studio
|Original network||Nickelodeon (2014–2015)|
|Picture format||HDTV 1080i|
|Audio format||5.1 surround sound|
|Original release||February 17, 2014 –|
September 12, 2016
Breadwinners is an American animated television series created by Gary "Doodles" DiRaffaele and Steve Borst and developed by Bill Braudis for Nickelodeon.
The series was originally conceived as an animated short from DiRaffaele's efficiency apartment in Studio City, Los Angeles along with Borst. The two had previously met in Burbank while working on an animated series, Mad, in 2013. Originally a one-off short, Breadwinners premiered at a short film festival held at a bar in New York City, and later was linked to the network, where they were contacted and the show was developed into a full-fledged series, which premiered on February 17, 2014. After the series was cancelled in 2016, the show continued to air reruns on Nicktoons until December 3, 2020. The series is about two anthropomorphic flightless green ducks named SwaySway and Buhdeuce.
Two anthropomorphic, flightless green ducks named SwaySway (Robbie Daymond) and Buhdeuce (Eric Bauza), who are best friends, fly around the water-based planet Pondgea in a rocket-powered van delivering bread to the citizens. SwaySway, tall, thin and green, is the leader of the duo, and although he does not always use the best judgment, he is quite skilled at flying the van. Buhdeuce, short, round and green, is klutzier, but is also an enthusiastic and a loyal assistant to SwaySway. Often, when they get in over their heads, they will "level up," or transform (in a similar vein to video game characters) into a variety of forms they need to solve their problems.
Main article: List of Breadwinners episodes
Breadwinners was created by Gary "Doodles" DiRaffaele and Steve Borst. It was conceived as a four-and-a-half-minute animated short from DiRaffaele's efficiency apartment in Studio City, Los Angeles (dubbed the "Doodle Chamber").: 1 The two had previously met in Burbank while working on an animated series, Mad, in 2012.: 2 The protagonists, originally unnamed, were drawn by DiRaffaele as part of a collaboration with Borst. Both were drawn tossing a piece of bread up in the air; DiRaffaele explained that the premise came as an extension of his appetite for bread, a staple of meals from his Italian-American upbringing,: 2 with friends sometimes calling him a "duck". The latter responded positively to the drawing, saying that he could produce something from it.
The short was written by Borst and produced by DiRaffaele in Adobe Flash Professional over the course of two months. Daymond, who provides the voice of SwaySway, was found on a casting call website and invited into the apartment of DiRaffaele to audition.: 2 Originally a one-off, Breadwinners premiered at the Midsummer Night Toons short film festival in New York City,[a] where they wanted to entertain their colleagues.: 1 The short was uploaded to YouTube with positive reception, and after obtaining 10,000 to 15,000 views on its first week, Borst explained, "it just took on a life of its own." The creators sent it to Nickelodeon after users expressed wanting more. Upon receiving an inquiry from a Nickelodeon executive, DiRaffaele was doubtful of the offer, joking that he "thought it was spam".: 1 After several months, the creators were hired to expand the short into a full-fledged series.: 1
Actions in the series play out metronomically—that is, episodes are built around an underlying soundtrack, scored by Tommy Sica (who used to play in a band with DiRaffaele) and recorded before the animation phase. This process entails events in the show unfolding at a faster rate than most animated series like it. Test audiences composed of children were shown to "bounce" accordingly to the beat.: 2 Animation is outsourced to Canada through a Titmouse, Inc. studio in Vancouver; like the short, it is also produced in Adobe Animate.[b] A cartoony look was explicitly chosen as the art style, DiRaffaele noted, which gave way to elements such as dark, heavy outlines around the characters. In addition, retro-style video games were the inspiration for the art direction, with a pixel texture applied to backgrounds and the character's shadows.
The series premiered on February 17, 2014, as a "sneak beak" on Nickelodeon, followed by a regular broadcast on February 22, 2014. It had been ordered for a 20-episode first season a year prior. Its original broadcast garnered roughly 2.8 million viewers, ranking 81st of the top 100 cable shows for adults aged 18 to 49. The network announced a month later in a press release that the show had risen as the top-rated show for kids aged two to eleven, averaging 1.7 million viewers and a Nielsen rating of 5.3. A second season, also consisting of 20 episodes, was announced in May 2014. Episodes that premiered after 2015 were broadcast on Nicktoons.
In Canada, the series premiered on YTV on March 8, 2014. In the United Kingdom and Ireland, Nicktoons started airing it on September 22, 2014. In Australia, Nickelodeon premiered the series on November 1, 2014.
Upon its series premiere, Breadwinners received negative reviews from critics and audiences alike; common criticisms included the show's extensive usage of toilet humor, poor visual style, and dull episode plots.
Emily Ashby of Common Sense Media assessed its reliance on toilet humor as questionable while giving credit to the strength of the protagonists' friendship. She enjoyed the bread-related puns sometimes uttered by characters but acknowledged that "they're not likely to strike the same chord of hilarity with your kids." New York Daily News writer David Hinckley linked its style of humor as enticing to its target demographic. He ultimately stated that it "sprinkles in a few grownup jokes, particularly bread-related puns, but it aims mostly at the younger set."
Writing for the Los Angeles Times, Robert Lloyd found its visual style oddly pleasant and identified a slew of potential influences and references. While he saw the humor as "loud and often gross," the result was "basically genial." Tori Michel of About.com dubbed its use of mixed media interesting, yet headache-inducing for parents. While she called the concept and the characters "definitely original," she stressed that its crude humor may call for avoiding it altogether for some parents. Tom Conroy of Media Life Magazine wrote poorly of the show, finding it unfunny throughout. He specified its "noisy and violent" content as too much for little kids as well as being "too stupid for big kids."
|DVD title||Series(s)||Aspect ratio||Episode count||Total running time||Release date(s)|
|Season 1||1||16:9||20||450 minutes||August 6, 2015|