Chowder
Chowder logo.png
Genre
Created byC. H. Greenblatt
Directed by
  • Juli Hashiguchi
  • Eddy Houchins
  • Kris Sherwood
  • Shaun Cashman
  • Majella Milne
  • Mike Milo
Creative directorWilliam Reiss
Voices of
Theme music composer
  • C. H. Greenblatt
  • Dan Boer
  • Zac Pike
Composers
  • Dan Boer
  • Zac Pike
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes49 (93 segments) (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producerC. H. Greenblatt
ProducerLouis J. Cuck
AnimatorHong Ying Animation
Running time22 minutes
Production companyCartoon Network Studios
DistributorWarner Bros. Television Distribution
Release
Original networkCartoon Network
Picture formatHDTV 1080i
Original releaseNovember 2, 2007 (2007-11-02) –
August 7, 2010 (2010-08-07)

Chowder is an American animated television series created by C. H. Greenblatt that premiered on Cartoon Network on November 2, 2007.[2] The series follows an aspiring young boy named Chowder and his day-to-day adventures as an apprentice in Chef Mung Daal's catering company. Although he means well, Chowder often finds himself in predicaments due to his perpetual appetite and his nature as a scatterbrain. Chowder's guidance in his goal to become a master chef is influenced by Mung's wife, Truffles; Mung's assistant, Shnitzel; Mung's rival, Endive; Endive's apprentice, who has a perpetual crush on Chowder, Panini; as well as other side characters.

Chowder ran for three seasons with a total of 49 episodes. It received mostly positive reviews, as well as one Primetime Emmy Award win, six Annie Award nominations, and two additional Emmy Award nominations during its run. The series finale, "Chowder Grows Up", aired on August 7, 2010.

Plot

The series plot revolves around the titular character Chowder, an aspiring young cook in Chef Mung Daal's catering company. Though he is lighthearted and carefree, Chowder's actions habitually land him in circumstances out of his control, partly due to his hunger and absent-mindedness. His caregivers, Mung and Truffles Daal, as well as Shnitzel, a rock monster who works for Mung, and Kimchi, Chowder's gaseous pet, try to aid Chowder in his ambitions to become a great chef, but they frequently find themselves undermined by the calamitous antics that ensue. Chowder is also undermined by Panini, a girl who has an unrequited love for Chowder, going so far as to say that he is her boyfriend despite the pair not dating.

Episodes

Main article: List of Chowder episodes

SeasonSegmentsEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
13820November 2, 2007 (2007-11-02)July 24, 2008 (2008-07-24)
23820October 2, 2008 (2008-10-02)October 8, 2009 (2009-10-08)
3179October 15, 2009 (2009-10-15)August 7, 2010 (2010-08-07)

A total of 49 episodes were aired in the series. Season 1, which consists of 20 episodes, started with the series premiere, entitled "Burple Nurples/Shnitzel Makes a Deposit", and ended with the special "The Apprentice Games". Season 2 also contains 20 episodes, debuting with "The Arborians/The Garage Sale", and ending with "A Faire to Remember/Tofu-Town Showdown". Season 3 consists of only nine episodes, premiering with "Hands on a Big Mixer/The Blast Raz", and ending with the series finale, entitled "Chowder Grows Up".

Characters

This section may be written from a fan's point of view, rather than a neutral point of view. Please clean it up to conform to a higher standard of quality, and to make it neutral in tone. (December 2019) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

"Mung Daal" redirects here. For the bean, see Mung bean.

Each character is named after a type of food or culinary dish.

Main

Recurring

Production

Development

The puppet versions of the characters Chowder (a Hand-Rod puppet) and Mung Daal
The puppet versions of the characters Chowder (a Hand-Rod puppet) and Mung Daal

During his time working on Nickelodeon's SpongeBob SquarePants, Greenblatt had been sketching various characters for his own animation series concept.[15] Greenblatt originally based the premise on the idea of the sorcerer's apprentice style of story, such as The Sword in the Stone. The plot devices were modified so that the story revolves around a master chef who teaches his young apprentice how to cook. Chowder himself was developed with no specific species in mind, but rather with the intentions of invoking the image of a child's soft squeeze toy.[18] Some of the inspiration comes from Dr. Seuss, with other inspiration from Saturday morning cartoons.[18][19]

Greenblatt pitched the concept to Cartoon Network in the mid-2000s when he began working as a writer and storyboard artist for The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, and two years later the series was approved with another year for production before the pilot episode aired. Greenblatt estimates he spent about seven years working on Chowder before the show made it to air in 2007.[15]

Format

Episodes are produced in seasons which consist of twenty 24-minute episodes. Each episode is produced with a 30-second puppet sequence that is meant to run over the ending credits.[20] Episodes can be purchased from the iTunes Store in the United States which are delivered with the sequences as are episodes which are available on Cartoon Network's VOD website also within the United States.[18][21]

One of the unusual design features of the show is the patterns used on the clothing or players. The patterns are developed as a full-screen image and then sent to the production house, where the characters are modified to fill the patterns in over the character clothing.[15][18][22] Using this technique, when a character moves, their patterns do not follow, but display as a "static" background. A similar technique was used in the Monkey Island video game series (particularly for the character Stan), the Nickelodeon series The Off-Beats, and the Mr. Bean animated series.[19]

The show is also known for the very wide variety of media used in various episodes. These include animation using watercolors and ink-and-paint in addition to the cartoon's classic pattern style. It also uses stop motion animation with real food, action figures, and clay; live-action scenes with the voice actors of the show and puppets; both marionette and hand-controlled. This was also sometimes used in Courage the Cowardly Dog. It boasts one of the most diverse varieties of mediums used in any single series.

Cancellation

Chowder was canceled by Cartoon Network in August 2009, as the network felt the show did not fit its new demographic of older boys, favoring shows such as the live-action Destroy, Build, Destroy instead.[23] On his blog, C. H. Greenblatt expressed relief about having his schedule freed up by the cancellation, saying: "I didn't really think there'd be this many upsides to having a show officially canceled by a network, but I'm feeling happier than I've been in a long time. Since we've only got post-production, my schedule finally eases up. I haven't had a break like this in a long, long time... Chowder has opened up a lot of awesome possibilities for me, and creatively I'm feeling more inspired than ever."[24]

Home media

Chowder home video releases
Season Episodes Volume Release dates Episode(s) include
United States Thailand[25]
1 2007–08 20 1 November 4, 2008[26] November 10, 2010 "The Froggy Apple Crumple Thumpkin" / "Chowder's Girlfriend" • "Grubble Gum" – "The Sing Beans" • "Mahjongg Night" – "The Flibber-Flabber Diet"
May 6, 2014
2 March 3, 2009[27] December 15, 2010 "Burple Nurples" / "Shnitzel Makes a Deposit" • "The Wrong Address" / "The Wrong Customer" • "Gazpacho Stands Up" – "Mung on the Rocks"
3 January 19, 2010 "The Heavy Sleeper" – "The Rat Sandwich"
4 February 15, 2011 "Chowder Loses His Hat" – "The Apprentice Games"
2 2008–09 20 5 March 15, 2011 "The Arborians" – "The Catch Phrase"
6 April 8, 2011 "The Hot Date" – "The Deadly Maze" • "The B.L.T.'s" – "The Dinner Theater"
7 May 10, 2011 "Kid Shnitzel" / "Gazpacho Fights Back" • "Big Ball" – "The Blackout"
8 June 14, 2011 "The Dice Cycle" – "The Grape Worm"
9 N/A July 26, 2011 "A Faire to Remember" – "The Birthday Suits"
3 2009–10 9
10 August 24, 2011 "The Heist" – "Chowder Grows Up"

The entire series has been released in ten Region 3 fullscreen DVD volumes in Thailand from MVD Company Limited. Every episode of Chowder is also available on the iTunes Store.

Reception

Critical response

Chowder received mostly positive reviews. Barry Garron of The Hollywood Reporter thought that the show would appeal to children and adults alike, using exotic artwork, unusual settings, and a zany cast of characters.[28] On Toon Zone, Ed Liu expands on the animation and crazy antics of the characters, pointing that "the humor is kid-friendly without being juvenile" and praising it for getting laughs, "without resorting to an excess of toilet humor, even if Chowder's pet happens to be a sentient fart cloud."[29] Aaron H. Bynum on Animation Insider wrote, "Featuring brightly colored environments, stylishly matted/fixed background artwork and humorously designed characters with unique personalities to boot, Chowder is one of the network's largest creative accomplishments in recent years."[30]

Awards and nominations

Year Association Category Recipient Result
2008 Annie Awards Best Animated Television Production for Children[31] Chowder Nominated
2008 Annie Awards Writing in an Animated Television Production[31] C. H. Greenblatt and William Reiss
for "Burple Nurples"
Nominated
2008 Emmy Awards Outstanding Special Class — Short-format Animated Programs[32] C. H. Greenblatt, Brian A. Miller, et al.
for "Burple Nurples"
Nominated
2009 Annie Awards Production Design in an Animated Television Production[33] Dan Krall
for "The Heavy Sleeper"
Nominated
2009 Annie Awards Voice Acting in an Animated Television Production[33] Dwight Schultz
as Mung Daal
Nominated
2009 Emmy Awards Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation[32] Joe Binggeli Won
2010 Annie Awards Voice Acting in a Television Production[34] Nicky Jones
as Chowder
Nominated
2010 Annie Awards Voice Acting in a Television Production[34] Dwight Schultz
as Mung Daal
Nominated
2010 Emmy Awards Outstanding Short-format Animated Program[32] Brian A. Miller, C. H. Greenblatt, et al.
for "The Toots"
Nominated

Cultural impact

In 2019, American rapper Lil Nas X released a song entitled "Panini", which was named after the Chowder character of the same name, and later made a music video for the remix of his song featuring characters from Chowder. Although Greenblatt was not involved in the production of the music video, he did praise the video on his Tumblr blog.[35]

In 2019, over 200 animators collaborated and reanimated the 22 minute Season 2 special "Hey Hey, it's Knishmas" in their own styles.[36][37] It was dedicated to CH Greenblatt and everyone who worked on the original show. The video has over 1 million views as of 2022.[38]

References

  1. ^ "Chowder". Metacritic. Archived from the original on October 3, 2015. Retrieved April 9, 2015.
  2. ^ Perlmutter, David (2018). The Encyclopedia of American Animated Television Shows. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 123–125. ISBN 978-1538103739.
  3. ^ "Character Facts of the Week: Chowder". March 20, 2012. Archived from the original on September 10, 2014. Chowder is a mix between a cat, bear, and rabbit.
  4. ^ "The Puckerberry Overlords". Chowder. January 18, 2008.
  5. ^ a b c Greenblatt, C.H. (January 1, 2008). "Shnitzel FAQ". Nerd Armada. Archived from the original on January 5, 2008. Retrieved April 7, 2008.
  6. ^ Greenblatt, C.H. (July 18, 2007). "Just Two Weeks Until Chowder Premiere". Nerd Armada. Archived from the original on November 18, 2007. Retrieved November 9, 2007.
  7. ^ a b c d Greenblatt, C.H. (June 15, 2009). "Early Endive & Panini Designs". Nerd Armada. Archived from the original on July 14, 2009. Retrieved June 22, 2009.
  8. ^ "Chowder". Cartoon Network. Archived from the original on April 29, 2013. Retrieved April 26, 2013.
  9. ^ "Certifrycation Class". Chowder. November 16, 2007.
  10. ^ "Won Ton Bombs". Chowder. June 1, 2009.
  11. ^ a b c d Greenblatt, C.H. (October 12, 2008). "Real World Food Counterparts". Nerd Armada. Archived from the original on February 1, 2009. Retrieved January 31, 2009.
  12. ^ Greenblatt, C.H. (November 28, 2007). "Mahjongg Night". Nerd Armada. Archived from the original on August 23, 2011. Retrieved September 14, 2008.
  13. ^ Brubaker, Charles (August 31, 2009). "Exit Interview with C.H. Greenblatt". Baking the Baker. Archived from the original on July 9, 2012. Retrieved September 15, 2009.
  14. ^ Greenblatt, C.H. (August 31, 2009). "We're Off!". Nerd Armada. Archived from the original on September 23, 2011. Retrieved September 15, 2009.
  15. ^ a b c d Liu, Ed (October 30, 2007). "Toon Zone Interviews C.H. Greenblatt on Crafting "Chowder"". Toon Zone. Archived from the original on July 3, 2013. Retrieved March 4, 2008.
  16. ^ Greenblatt, C.H. (July 18, 2007). "Gorgonzola". Nerd Armada. Archived from the original on November 7, 2007. Retrieved November 9, 2007.
  17. ^ Greenblatt, C.H. (April 19, 2007). "Ms. Endive". Nerd Armada. Archived from the original on November 18, 2007. Retrieved November 9, 2007.
  18. ^ a b c d Meyer, Joe (February 8, 2008). "Interview: C.H. Greenblatt". KittySneezes.com. Archived from the original on January 16, 2013. Retrieved March 4, 2008.
  19. ^ a b Fritz, Steve (December 12, 2007). "Meet the Master Chef – C.H. Greenblatt". Animated Shorts. Archived from the original on January 22, 2009. Retrieved April 26, 2013.
  20. ^ Greenblatt, C.H. (June 3, 2008). "Let the New Chowders Begin!!". Nerd Armada. Archived from the original on July 8, 2011. Retrieved June 4, 2008.
  21. ^ Greenblatt, C.H. (February 7, 2008). "More Puppets". Nerd Armada. Archived from the original on December 3, 2010. Retrieved March 4, 2008.
  22. ^ Greenblatt, C.H. (January 29, 2008). "Chowder Patterns". Nerd Armada. Archived from the original on May 16, 2008. Retrieved March 4, 2008.
  23. ^ "Tumblr". Archived from the original on November 16, 2016. Retrieved November 15, 2016.
  24. ^ Greenblatt, C.H. (August 13, 2009). "The Hot Girl". Nerd Armada. Archived from the original on March 11, 2012. Retrieved January 2, 2013.
  25. ^ "DVD releases from MVD in Thailand". Archived from the original on April 24, 2016. Retrieved April 24, 2016.
  26. ^ Chowder, Vol. 1 (2008), ASIN B001DSNFQ4
  27. ^ Chowder, Vol. 2 (2009), ASIN B001MEJYBY
  28. ^ Garron, Barry (November 2, 2007). "Chowder" (PDF). The Hollywood Reporter. Prometheus Global Media: 47. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 4, 2011. Retrieved April 26, 2013.
  29. ^ Liu, Ed (November 2, 2007). ""Chowder" is Satisfying Comfort Food". Toon Zone. Archived from the original on October 25, 2013. Retrieved February 18, 2009.
  30. ^ Bynum, Aaron H. (October 24, 2007). "New 'Chowder' Animation Ready to Serve". Animation Insider. Archived from the original on December 22, 2008. Retrieved February 18, 2009.
  31. ^ a b "35th Annual Annie Nominations and Awards Recipients". AnnieAwards.org. ASIFA-Hollywood. Archived from the original on December 4, 2008. Retrieved March 4, 2008.
  32. ^ a b c "Chowder". Emmys.com. Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Archived from the original on May 1, 2012. Retrieved July 9, 2012.
  33. ^ a b "36th Annual Annie Nominations and Awards Recipients". AnnieAwards.org. ASIFA-Hollywood. Archived from the original on February 14, 2012. Retrieved July 9, 2012.
  34. ^ a b "37th Annual Annie Nominations and Awards Recipients". AnnieAwards.org. ASIFA-Hollywood. Archived from the original on February 14, 2014. Retrieved July 9, 2012.
  35. ^ "Nerd Armada". Nerd Armada. September 13, 2019. Archived from the original on September 24, 2019. Retrieved October 9, 2019.
  36. ^ "Chowder Reanimated Credits". Google Docs. Retrieved October 6, 2022.
  37. ^ @c_reanimated (April 22, 2020). "Chowder Reanimated on Twitter" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  38. ^ Chowder Reanimated. Retrieved October 6, 2022 – via YouTube.