Hey Arnold!

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Hey Arnold!
Hey Arnold title card.jpg
Title card
GenreComedy-drama
FormatAnimated series
Created byCraig Bartlett
Developed byCraig Bartlett
Joe Ansolabehere
Steve Viksten
StarringToran Caudell
Phillip Van Dyke
Spencer Klein
Jamil W. Smith
Francesca Marie Smith
Justin Shenkarow
Christopher P. Walberg
Christopher Castile
Jarrett Lennon
Benjamin Diskin
Sam Gifaldi
Anndi McAfee
Olivia Hack
Dan Castellaneta
Tress MacNeille
Craig Bartlett
Maurice LaMarche
Country of originUnited States
No. of seasons5
No. of episodes100 (List of episodes)
Production
Running timeapprox. 22-23 minutes
Production company(s)Snee-Oosh, Inc.
Nickelodeon Animation Studios
Broadcast
Original channelNickelodeon (US)
YTV (Canada)
Canal J (France)
Original runOctober 7, 1996 (1996-10-07) – June 8, 2004 (2004-06-08)
 
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Hey Arnold!
Hey Arnold title card.jpg
Title card
GenreComedy-drama
FormatAnimated series
Created byCraig Bartlett
Developed byCraig Bartlett
Joe Ansolabehere
Steve Viksten
StarringToran Caudell
Phillip Van Dyke
Spencer Klein
Jamil W. Smith
Francesca Marie Smith
Justin Shenkarow
Christopher P. Walberg
Christopher Castile
Jarrett Lennon
Benjamin Diskin
Sam Gifaldi
Anndi McAfee
Olivia Hack
Dan Castellaneta
Tress MacNeille
Craig Bartlett
Maurice LaMarche
Country of originUnited States
No. of seasons5
No. of episodes100 (List of episodes)
Production
Running timeapprox. 22-23 minutes
Production company(s)Snee-Oosh, Inc.
Nickelodeon Animation Studios
Broadcast
Original channelNickelodeon (US)
YTV (Canada)
Canal J (France)
Original runOctober 7, 1996 (1996-10-07) – June 8, 2004 (2004-06-08)

Hey Arnold! is an American animated television series created by Craig Bartlett for Nickelodeon. The show's premise focuses on a fourth grader named Arnold who lives with his grandparents. Episodes center on his experiences navigating big city life while dealing with the problems he and his friends encounter, including several urban legends. Certain episodes focus on the lives of supporting characters, such as the tenants of the boarding house that Arnold's grandparents own.

Bartlett came up with the idea for the show based on a minor character named Arnold whom he created while working on Pee-wee's Playhouse. The executives enjoyed the character, and Bartlett completed the cast of characters by drawing inspiration from people he grew up with in Portland, Oregon. He created the first episode in his living room in 1993, and official production for the show began in 1994. The animators worked to transform Arnold from clay animation to cel animation.

The series aired on Nickelodeon from October 7, 1996 until June 8, 2004. Hey Arnold! received generally positive reviews from critics,[citation needed] with many praising the show for its character development and the quality of its animation. Over the course of its eight year run, the series aired one hundred episodes. A feature film based on the series, Hey Arnold!: The Movie, was released in 2002 to generally negative reviews.[citation needed] After the show's run finished, Bartlett created the show Dinosaur Train for PBS. Hey Arnold! is currently being released on DVD and rerun on the TeenNick block The '90s Are All That.

Contents

History

Hey Arnold! was created by animator Craig Bartlett (who also voice directed the series). He graduated from Anacortes High School and obtained a degree in communications from Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington.[1] During high school and college, he studied painting and sculpture at the Museum Art School in Portland, and his first job after college was at Will Vinton Productions, a clay-animation house.[1] Originally, Bartlett intended to become a painter "in the 19th-century sense", but became interested in animated films during a trip to Italy.[2] In 1987, he began working on Pee-wee's Playhouse, creating claymation clips about a character named Penny and her friend Arnold. Six years later, Bartlett was teamed up with five writers from Rugrats to develop animation projects for Nickelodeon.[1] These meetings were generally difficult and the writers became frustrated; Bartlett recalled: "Our ideas were OK, but such a large and motley group couldn't get far at pitch meetings. Network execs got migraines just counting us coming in the door."[1] As a last resort, Bartlett played some of the "Penny" tapes, intending to highlight the Penny character. However, the executives were more impressed by Arnold, despite him being a minor character.[1]

After the meeting, the group began developing Arnold, creating his personality and evolving him from claymation to cel animation. Bartlett stated: "We did a lot of talking about who Arnold is. We came up with a reluctant hero who keeps finding himself responsible for solving something, making the right choices, doing the right thing."[1] After creating ideas for Arnold, Bartlett began work on the supporting characters, drawing influence from his childhood: "A lot of the characters are an amalgam of people I knew when I was a kid. The girls in Hey Arnold! are girls that either liked or didn't like me when I was in school."[2] He created the first episode of Hey Arnold! in his living room, and showed it to producers at Nickelodeon. A year later, the network decided to begin work on the series.[2] The character was previously featured in a trilogy of clay animation shorts from 1988 to 1991, Arnold Escapes from Church (1988), The Arnold Waltz (1990) and Arnold Rides a Chair (1991), a latter having been aired as a filler short on Sesame Street in 1991, as well as an eight-minute short, titled Arnold (1996), shown in theaters before Nickelodeon's first feature-length film, Harriet the Spy.[1]

Production

Apart from the animation style, Nick's Arnold now wears a sweater, with his plaid shirt untucked (resembling a kilt). Only Arnold's cap remains from his original clay-animation wardrobe. Arnold comic strips also appeared in Simpsons Illustrated magazine. (Matt Groening, the creator of The Simpsons, is Craig Bartlett's brother-in-law.) Hey Arnold! was pitched to Nickelodeon in the fall of 1993, a pilot was produced in the spring of 1994, and the series was greenlit in January 1995. Hey Arnold! was in production continuously from 1995 to 2000, culminating in a TV movie originally titled "Arnold Saves the Neighborhood", which ended up being released theatrically as Hey Arnold!: The Movie in June 2002. Production of Hey Arnold! wrapped in May 2001.[3]

The show aired in reruns on "Nick on CBS" from 2002 until September 2004. In 2011, the Canadian Nickelodeon channel starting airing episodes of Hey Arnold!. In September 2011, TeenNick brought Hey Arnold reruns to the The 90's Are All That programming block. The entire series is currently available via Netflix instant streaming.

Plot

The show stars fourth grader Arnold, a boy who lives with his paternal grandparents, Phil and Gertrude, proprietors of the Sunset Arms boarding house. In each episode, Arnold often helps a schoolmate solve a personal problem, or encounters a predicament of his own. The show also focuses on Arnold's classmate, Helga, who often treats Arnold cruelly and bullies him constantly. However, a recurring theme of the show is the fact that Helga only pretends to dislike Arnold to hide the fact that she has been secretly in love with him for years. Meanwhile, she is stalked by another boy during the moments she thinks fondly of Arnold and responds to "Brainy" by quickly assaulting him.

Many episodes involve urban legends, often told by Arnold's best friend, Gerald. These episodes often feature over-the-top events such as those that involve superheroes or headless horsemen.

Characters and cast

Clockwise from top left: Arnold, Gerald, Sid, Helga, Harold, Eugene, Stinky, Phoebe, Rhonda.

Hey Arnold! stars nine-year-old Arnold and his neighborhood friends. Bartlett drew inspiration from people he grew up with when creating the characters for the show.[2] Arnold's best friend is Gerald, a street-smart character who generally serves as the leader of the group. Many episodes detail Arnold's relationship with Helga Pataki, a girl who acts cruelly towards Arnold in order to cover up her secret crush on him. He lives with his eccentric but loving grandparents, who own a boarding house called Sunset Arms; several storylines involve Arnold's interactions with the house's tenants. Other characters include teachers at P.S. 118, parents, and citizens of the town.

Main cast

Recurring

Setting

Hey Arnold! takes place in the fictional American city of Hillwood. Craig Bartlett stated in an interview that the city on the show is based on large northern cities, which includes Seattle (his hometown), Portland, Oregon (where he went to art school) and New York City (from which many landmarks were borrowed), also with references to Nashville, TN Grand Ole Opry;[4] as well as Hawk Mountain near Allentown, PA, as mentioned in the Sally's Comet Episode. Bartlett, having grown up in Seattle, bases many of the show's events on his own experience growing up in the city. The Pig War mentioned in the episode with the same title took place on the boundary between what is now the State of Washington and British Columbia. Evan Levine of the Houston Chronicle commented "With its backdrop of dark streets, nighttime adventures and run-down buildings, all seen from a child's point of view, the series combines a street-smart attitude with a dark comic edge."[5]

Episodes

Feature film

In this 2002 theatrical feature film, Arnold, Helga, and Gerald set out on their quest to save their old neighborhood from a greedy developer who plans on converting it into a huge shopping mall. This film was directed by Tuck Tucker, and features the voice talents of Jennifer Jason Leigh, Paul Sorvino, and Christopher Lloyd.

DVD and digital releases

Amazon.com released the first two seasons on DVD through its CreateSpace program in August 2008. All of the CreateSpace DVDs are now out of print and are not sold anymore.[6][7] The remaining seasons were released in later months. The DVDs are sold as "burn on demand" items.[7] The episodes are arranged in production order, rather than the order in which the episodes aired. Some episodes have also been released on iTunes as well as Netflix.[8]

Production of the CreateSpace sets ended following the announcement of Shout! Factory releasing their own DVD sets. They released Season 1 in a 4 disc set on August 9, 2011.[9] Season 2: Part 1 was released in a 2 disc set on March 20, 2012.[10] Season 2: Part 2 was released on July 24, 2012.[11]

Shout! Factory ReleasesRelease DateDiscsEpisodes
Season 1August 9, 2011420
Season 2: Part 1March 20, 2012210
Season 2: Part 2July 24, 2012210
Season 3: Part 1TBA 2013213
Season 3: Part 2TBA 2013213
Season 4: Part 1TBA210
Season 4: Part 2TBA210
Season 5TBA214
CreateSpace ReleasesRelease DateDiscsEpisodes
Season 1 (1996–97)August 21, 2008420
Season 2 (1997)August 21, 2008419
Season 3 (1998–99)December 7, 2009627
Season 4 (1999–2000)November 27, 2009419
Season 5 (2001–2004)December 4, 2009415

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Levesque, John (October 7, 1996). "'HEY, ARNOLD!' TOONS IN TO NICK'S FAMILY HOUR SEATTLE NATIVE'S ANIMATED 9-YEAR-OLD DEBUTS TONIGHT ON NICKELODEON". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Hearst Corporation. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Here's How They Make a Cartoon Series". The Christian Science Monitor. Christian Science Publishing Society. November 2, 1999. 
  3. ^ http://www.dstv.com/Pages/News/731/Nickelodeon's-five-best-animated-shows
  4. ^ Interview with Craig Bartlett by Kim Burk, 1998-11-04
  5. ^ Levine, Evan (April 27, 1997). "'Arnold' deals with life in the big city". Houston Chronicle. Hearst Corporation. 
  6. ^ "Nickelodeon Brings Some of Its Most Popular Series to DVD for First Time, Exclusively on Amazon.com". WebWire. 2008-08-25. http://www.webwire.com/ViewPressRel.asp?aId=73216. Retrieved 2009-07-30. 
  7. ^ a b "Site News - Doug? Jimmy Neutron? Danny Phantom? Rocko's? What's With All These Nick Shows at Amazon?". 2008-08-21. http://tvshowsondvd.com/news/Site-News-Nickelodeon-Amazon-CreateSpace/10375. Retrieved 2008-08-21. 
  8. ^ Wilson, Mark (2009-07-28). "Classic Nickelodeon Creeps into iTunes". Gizmodo. http://gizmodo.com/5030578/classic-nickelodeon-creeps-into-itunes. Retrieved 2009-07-30. 
  9. ^ [1]
  10. ^ [2]
  11. ^ http://www.tvshowsondvd.com/news/Hey-Arnold-Season-2-Part-2/16777

External links