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Chowder
Chowder title card
Genre Comedy
Animation
Created by C. H. Greenblatt
Written by Unknown
Starring Unknown
Country of origin United States Flag of the United States
No. of seasons 3
No. of episodes 49
Production
Running time 22 minutes
Broadcast
Original channel Cartoon Network
Original run November 2, 2007 – Present
Links
Official Website Cartoon Network.com
IMDb profile IMDb
TV.com summary TV.com summary
Chowder is an American animated television series that debuted on Cartoon Network on November 2, 2007. The show was created by C. H. Greenblatt, a former storyboard artist on SpongeBob SquarePants and The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy. The title character is a young child named Chowder, an apprentice to a chef named Mung Daal, who owns a catering company serving the fictional Marzipan City. The show combines traditional animation with stop motion animation and puppetry.

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'During his time working on SpongeBob SquarePants, Greenblatt had been sketching various characters for his own animation series concept. 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. Some of the inspiration comes from Richard Scarry, with other inspiration from Saturday morning cartoons. '

'Shnitzel was created originally as a personal character design exercise in the late 1990s.{|class="cquote" style="border-style: none; margin: auto; border-collapse: collapse; background-color: transparent;" |width="20" valign="top" style="padding: 10px; color: rgb(178, 183, 242); font-size: 35px; font-family: 'Times New Roman',serif; font-weight: bold; text-align: left;"|“ |valign="top" style="padding: 4px 10px;"|I was even going to try and animate him in Flash, so I did alternate pieces of him. Back then he was called "Tapiocaca". He was supposed to be sort of like a big rock tiki monster that was always on fire. I even made a cool logo for him. Well, I didn't really do anything with him after that, but I still liked the design. So when I was forming the world of Chowder, he seemed like a good fit. I like to think of him as a living menhir from the Asterix comics. |width="20" valign="bottom" style="padding: 10px; color: rgb(178, 183, 242); font-size: 36px; font-family: 'Times New Roman',serif; font-weight: bold; text-align: right;"|” |- |style="padding-right: 4%;" colspan="3"| —C. H. Greenblatt[5] |}Once Greenblatt pitched the concept to Cartoon Network, it was about two years before the series was approved for production with another year in production before the pilot episode aired. Greenblatt estimates he spent about seven years working on Chowder before the show made it to air.

'Episodes are produced in seasons which consist of 20 half-hour episodes. Each episode is produced with a 30 second puppet sequence that is meant to run over the ending credits. Cartoon Network chooses not to air these credit sequences for first-run episodes, but starting on June 5, 2008, rerun episodes began airing the puppet segments. 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. '

'One of the unique design features of the show is the patterns used on the characters' clothing or skin. 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. Using this technique, when a character moves, their patterns do not follow, but display as a "static" background. A similar technique was used in several anime, such as Sayonara Zetsubō Sensei and Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo. '

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'The first Chowder DVD was released on November 4, 2008 containing the first five production episodes consisting of ten 15 minute stories and the second DVD containing five more episodes was released on March 3, 2009. '

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'Chowder is set in the fictional Marzipan City. For the architectural style of the city, examples from Moroccan and Indian architecture were referenced. The inhabitants of Marzipan City, including the show's primary cast, are composed of various strange non-human creatures, ranging from anthropomorphic animals, humans to more abstract and surreal beings including fairies, robots, mammoths, owls, and many more creatures. '

'The show's humor features puns and meta-references, such as the characters and locations being named after various foods. Many food names are altered, like "grubble gum", "thrice cream" or "blutter". The show also breaks the fourth wall regularly. An example is found in the episode "Gazpacho Stands Up". Chowder, who is learning to write, scribbles on the television screen. Gazpacho erases this, leaving the Cartoon Network screen bug untouched. When Chowder points this out, Gazpacho comments "That one doesn't come off. I've tried." '

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'As of September 2009, there have been 40 half-hour episodes of Chowder aired. The second production season of 29 half-hour episodes premiered on November 6 with "Panini for President/Chowder's Babysitter" being the first official airing episode of a month long run. '

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'After its premiere, the show was given mixed reviews by most newspapers and online animation websites. Some of the reviews are positive, two raising questions as to whether Chowder can entertain with its occasional bathroom style humor, or sometimes recycled material. '

'Barry Garron of The Hollywood Reporter thinks that the show will appeal to both children and adults alike, using exotic artwork, unusual settings, and a zany cast of characters. On Toon Zone, Ed Liu expands on the animation and crazy antics of the characters, pointing that the humor of the show is kid-friendly without being juvenile. Liu reminds his readers that Chowder is still in its early phases, and with just a little more time to develop, he feels that the show will be successful. Aaron H. Bynum on Animation Insider also mentions the animation, settings and crazy characters of the show, ending with the comment that Chowder is one of the biggest projects Cartoon Network has undertaken in recent times. '

'''The New York Times agrees with the stylistic animation, but gives question to the physical humor of the show, using the character of Kimchi as an example. Mike Hale feels that the writing is bland. Robert Rich at The Daily Texan opines that some of the unoriginality of the show is due to Greenblatt's involvement with successful shows like The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy and SpongeBob SquarePants. Chowder's eating habits are a source of concern, given the social concerns of obesity in children. Rich also feels Chowder is unoriginal and full of cliché, with nothing to set it apart from the current generation of cartoons.

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Year Association Award Category Notes Result
2008 Annie Award Best Animated Television Production for Children,
Writing in an Animated Television Production
C. H. Greenblatt and William Reiss for the episode "Burple Nurples" Nominated
2008 Emmy Awards Outstanding Special Class — Short-format Animated Programs Episode: "Burple Nurples" Nominated
2009 Annie Award Production Design in an Animated Television Production or Short Form Dan Krall for the episode "The Heavy Sleeper" Nominated
2009 Annie Award Voice Acting in an Animated Television Production or Short Form Dwight Schultz for the role of Mung Daal Nominated