MTV Animation Inc.
TypeDivision
IndustryAnimation
Founded1993
FoundersAbby Terkuhle
ProductsTelevision
Movies
ParentMTV Entertainment Studios
(Paramount Media Networks)
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MTV Animation is the animation department of the television network MTV.

History

In 1991, MTV debuted its first full-length animated series, Liquid Television, which helped launch Beavis and Butt-Head and Æon Flux. MTV established its own in-house animation studio in 1993 to work on Beavis and Butt-Head and other projects. While MTV department is often grouped with that of Nickelodeon's, the two entities are completely separate. Most of MTV's cartoons are known for their dark humor, sexual jokes, graphic violence, pop culture references, and irreverence.

In an interview for the Beavis and Butt-Head Do America DVD, Mike Judge described MTV Animation as being very ad hoc: Beavis and Butt-Head didn't have an art director until the film was made, so until the film they'd never considered colour palettes from scene to scene. In the same interview, art director Yvette Kaplan said "everything was overlapping... we never had the luxury of one part [episode] finished" before another episode was finished.[1]

Many MTV animation productions do not survive a single season and in some cases are canceled before completion. Productions including Undergrads, Downtown, Station Zero, 3-South, and Clone High have been highly acclaimed, yet none of them got renewed beyond their first season, usually due to lack of an audience or advertising. By 2001, the animation department was shut down, with the network's animated series now being outsourced to different studios. During the 2000s, MTV would phase out of producing original animation in favor of importing shows, usually reruns of shows from sister networks Comedy Central and Nickelodeon. The MTV Animation brand was briefly revived from 2006 to 2007 as part of a push to produce animated series for MTV2.

In 2011, MTV would return to adult animation. Its first production was a relaunch of Beavis and Butt-Head, which premiered in October 2011; this was quickly followed by Good Vibes, starting later in the same month. In November 2011, MTV said they plan a third cartoon, Worst Friends Forever by Thomas Middleditch, that Mike Judge would produce, about three teenage girls who hover on the outskirts of popularity and have to cope with cattiness and crushes; a pilot had been picked up and concept art of the characters was released.[2] The cartoons did not do as expected though. Good Vibes was cancelled in February 2012 due to low ratings, on the same day the DVD came out,[3] Beavis and Butt-Head was cancelled in December 2011, and Worst Friends Forever never aired. In a September 2012 interview on "Making It With Riki Lindhome", Middleditch said Worst Friends was "for all intents and purposes done" and "not in my hands anymore".[4] Mike Judge said in January 2014 that he might pitch Beavis and Butt-Head to another network.[5]

Future and possible resurgence

In August 2020, ViacomCBS's Entertainment & Youth Group launched a new strategy to expand its adult animation units.[6] This upcoming unit will produce various animated shows under the revitalized MTV Entertainment Group. Plans for Beavis and Butt-Head (reboot) and Daria (spinoff) have been announced for Comedy Central (and Paramount+).[7] MTV Animation Inc. remains a subsidiary of Paramount Global.

Productions

Television series

Title Creator/Developer(s) Premiere date Finale date Co-production with Network Note(s)
MTV Animation
1990s
Beavis and Butt-Head Mike Judge March 8, 1993;
October 27, 2011
November 28, 1997;
December 29, 2011
J. J. Sedelmaier Productions, Inc. (Season 1)
Ternion Pictures (Season 8)
Inbred Jed's Homemade Cartoons (Pilot only)
Film Roman (Season 8)
Judgemental Films
MTV Spun-off from Liquid Television.
Created by Mike Judge, creator of King of the Hill.
The Head Eric Fogel September 1, 1994 March 1, 1996
The Maxx Original character:
Sam Kieth
Series:
Sam Kieth
Bill Messner-Loebs
April 8, 1995 June 19, 1995 Based on the comic book series of the same name.
Æon Flux Peter Chung August 8, 1995 October 10, 1995 (Colossal) Pictures Spun-off from Liquid Television.
Daria Glenn Eichler
Susie Lewis
March 3, 1997 June 25, 2001 Heyday Media Spun-off from Beavis and Butt-Head.
Cartoon Sushi Danny Antonucci
Keith Alcorn
October 17, 1997 June 23, 1998 DNA Productions
a.k.a. Cartoon
Celebrity Deathmatch Eric Fogel May 14, 1998;
June 10, 2006
October 20, 2002;
March 30, 2007
TakToon Enterprise (1998–2002)
Cuppa Coffee Studios (2006–07)
MTV (1998–02)
MTV2 (2006–07)
Station Zero[8] Tramp Daly March 8, 1999 April 6, 1999 Possible Worlds
C-Traze Studios
Upfront Entertainment
MTV First MTV weekday cartoon
Phred on Your Head Show[9] Amy Friedman July 26, 1999 March 31, 2002 Noggin LLC
Tricky Pictures
Possible Worlds
Noggin Animated for MTV's sister channel, Noggin.
Downtown Chris Prynoski August 3, 1999 November 8, 1999 MTV
2000s
Shrimpton O'Small 2000 N/A Unaired pilot for Nickelodeon
Spy Groove Michael Gans
Richard Register
June 26, 2000 July 13, 2002 MTV
Fish 'N' Clips September 29, 2000 VH1 Pilot
Undergrads Pete Williams April 1, 2001 August 12, 2001 Decode Entertainment Teletoon
MTV
First MTV cartoon co-produced with Teletoon.
Clone High Phil Lord and Christopher Miller
Bill Lawerance
November 2, 2002 April 13, 2003 Doozer
Lord Miller Productions
Nelvana
Touchstone Television
Second MTV cartoon co-produced with Teletoon.
3-South Mark Hentemann
Steve Callaghan
November 7, 2002 January 3, 2003 Warner Bros. Animation MTV
Where My Dogs At? Aaron Matthew Lee
Jeff Ross
June 10, 2006 July 29, 2006 Enough With The Bread Already Productions
Six Point Harness
MTV2
The Adventures of Chico and Guapo Orlando Jones
P. J. Pesce
Paul D'Acri
June 10, 2006 July 29, 2006 One Red Room
Friday: The Animated Series Ice Cube June 24, 2007 July 8, 2007 New Line Television
Cube Vision
Adapted from the Friday film series.
MTV Entertainment Studios
2020s
South Park Trey Parker
Matt Stone
March 10, 2021 present South Park Studios Comedy Central
Fairview Stephen Colbert
R.J. Fried
March 9, 2022 present CBS Studios
Spartina Productions
Licht Media Solutions
RJ Fried Worldwide
Beavis and Butt-Head Mike Judge August 4, 2022 Judgemental Films
Titmouse, Inc.
3 Arts Entertainment
Paramount+
Clone High Phil Lord and Christopher Miller
Bill Lawerance
2023 Doozer
Lord Miller Productions
ShadowMachine
HBO Max
Jodie Grace Edwards TBA Awesome Inc. Comedy Central
Ren & Stimpy Original characters:
John Kricfalusi
TBA Awesome Inc.

Other MTV animated series

Title Creator/Developer(s) Premiere date Finale date Co-production with Network Note(s)
1980s
Stevie and Zoya Joe Horne 1987 1989 MTV
1990s
Liquid Television Japhet Asher June 2, 1991
May 15, 2014
March 6, 1994
June 12, 2014
Original series:
(Colossal) Pictures
BIG Pictures
Noyes & Laybourne Enterprises
BBC Enterprises
Revival series:
Titmouse, Inc.
MTV Revived for the internet in 2014.
The Brothers Grunt Danny Antonucci August 15, 1994 April 9, 1995 a.k.a. Cartoon Created by Danny Antonucci, creator of Ed, Edd n Eddy.
First MTV cartoon to features theme song vocalist.
2000s
Video Mods Tony Shiff September 16, 2004 July 22, 2005 Big Bear Entertainment
IBC Entertainment
MTV2 First animated show for MTV2
Wonder Showzen Vernon Chatman and John Lee March 11, 2005 May 19, 2006 PFFR
Augenblick Studios
DJ & the Fro Dave Jeser
Matt Silverstein
June 15, 2009 July 2, 2009 Double Hemm MTV Second MTV weekday cartoon
Popzilla R.J. Fried
Tim Hedrick
Jared Miller
Kevin Pedersen
Dave Thomas
September 27, 2009 October 16, 2009 Animax Entertainment
2010s
Good Vibes David Gordon Green
Brad Ableson
Mike Clements
October 27, 2011 December 29, 2011 Werner Entertainment
Rough House
Not the QB Pro.
Six Point Harness
Good Humor Television
MTV
Greatest Party Story Ever January 14, 2016 December 22, 2016 Four Peaks Media Group
Den of Thieves
ShadowMachine
Cartuna

Theatrical films

Title Director Release date Distributor Co-production with Note(s)
Beavis and Butt-Head Do America Mike Judge December 20, 1996 Paramount Pictures Geffen Pictures
Judgemental Films
MTV's first and only theatrically released animated feature to date.

Streaming service original films

Title Director Release date Distributor Co-production with Note(s)
South Park: Post Covid Trey Parker November 25, 2021 Paramount+ South Park Studios
South Park: Post Covid: The Return of Covid Trey Parker December 16, 2021
South Park: The Streaming Wars Trey Parker June 1, 2022
Beavis and Butt-Head Do the Universe John Rice
Albert Calleros
June 23, 2022 Judgemental Films
Titmouse, Inc.
3 Arts Entertainment
Sequel to Beavis and Butt-Head Do America.
South Park: The Streaming Wars Part 2 Trey Parker July 13, 2022 South Park Studios

Television films

Title Director Release date Distributor Co-production with Note(s)
Daria: Is It Fall Yet? Glenn Eichler
Peggy Nicoll
August 27, 2000 CBS Media Ventures Heyday Media Based on Daria.
Daria: Is It College Yet? Karen Disher

January 21, 2002

References

  1. ^ Beavis and Butt-head Do America DVD (2006 version): Making Of feature
  2. ^ TV Guide: "Exclusive: MTV Developing Another Animated Series with Beavis and Butt-head Producers"
  3. ^ Deadline: Animated Comedy ‘Good Vibes’ Cancelled By MTV After One Season
  4. ^ Making It #61: Thomas Middleditch, 58:25 to 59:09
  5. ^ "Mike Judge: 'Beavis and Butt-Head' Trapped in Limbo". CraveOnline. Archived from the original on January 11, 2014. Retrieved January 11, 2013.
  6. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (August 5, 2020). "Grant Gish to Oversee Adult Animation Unit at ViacomCBS". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 9, 2021.
  7. ^ "Are we ready for the big Generation X animation comeback?". the Guardian. August 10, 2020. Retrieved June 9, 2021.
  8. ^ "POP NOTES". The Washington Post. March 7, 1999. Retrieved February 25, 2022.
  9. ^ Kilmer, David. "DMA, Possible Worlds and MTV Animation put Phred on your head". Animation World Network. Archived from the original on March 28, 2002. ((cite magazine)): Cite magazine requires |magazine= (help)