An animated series is a set of animated television works with a common title, usually related to one another. These episodes should typically share the same main heroes, some different secondary characters and a basic theme. Series can have either a finite number of episodes like a miniseries, a definite end, or be open-ended, without a predetermined number of episodes.[1] They can be broadcast on television, shown in movie theatres, released on the internet[1] or direct-to-video. Like other creative works, animated series can be of a wide variety of genres and can also have different target audiences: both males and females, both children and adults.[1]

Television edit

Animated television series are presented daily or on certain days of the week during a prescribed time slot, including for example saturday-morning cartoons, prime time cartoons, late night anime, and weekday cartoons; series broadcast only on weekends.[1]

The duration of an episode also varies. Traditionally, they are produced as complete half-hour or nearly half-hour programs; however, many are presented as animated shorts of 10—11 minutes, which can be combined for filling a set time period in "segments", including several such shorts. When advertising is taken into account, the cartoon itself may be only 15—20 minutes of the half hour, although Netflix and many other streaming companies do not show commercials. There are also series with a very short episodes lasting approximately five minutes; they have recently become more common in Japanese animation.

If a local station of a television network broadcasts an animated series as a part of its own programming, the time-slot will vary by region.

All early animated television series, the first being Crusader Rabbit (1950—1959), are comic cartoon series. However, later series include sports[1] (Speed Racer, Captain Tsubasa, Slam Dunk), action (Hajime no Ippo,[1] G.I. Joe), science fiction (Mobile Suit Gundam, Tenchi Muyo), drama (Neon Genesis Evangelion), adventure (Dragon Ball), martial arts (Baki the Grappler), and other genres.[1]

The first animated sitcom was The Flintstones[1] (1960—1966),[2] produced by Hanna-Barbera. It was followed by other sitcoms of this studio: Top Cat (1961—1962), Jonny Quest (1964—1965), The Jetsons[1] (1962—1987) and Wait Till Your Father Gets Home (1972—1974), an adult-oriented animated series[2] in the style of All in the Family. The Alvin Show from Ross Bagdasarian Sr. and Beany and Cecil from Bob Clampett are also sitcoms.[1]

Broadcast network edit

The 1980s and 1990s were a renaissance of the animated children and adult television series. Various broadcast networks and media companies began creating television channels and formats designed specifically for airing cartoon and anime series. Companies that already had these types of formats in place began to revamp their existing models during this time. Most of this animations were American-based or Japanese anime. Listed below are examples of television networks and channels that include animated programs.






Examples of animation-focused networks and channels are listed below; but some of them aired live-action programs occasionally.


South Korean



During the 1990s, more mature content than those of traditional cartoon series began to appear more widely, extending beyond a primary audience of children. These cartoon series included The Simpsons, South Park, Family Guy,[2] Futurama,[1] The Ren & Stimpy Show, Rocko's Modern Life, Beavis and Butt-Head, King of the Hill, and Duckman. Canadian computer-animated series ReBoot, which began as a child-friendly show, shifted its target group to ages 12 and up, resulting in a darker and more mature storyline.[3]

Film theatrical edit

Animated film theatrical series include all early animated series: The Newlyweds (1913—1915),[4] Doc Yak (1913—1915),[5] Colonel Heeza Liar (1913—1917, 1922—1924),[6] Kapten Grogg [sv] (1916—1922),[7] the Tom and Jerry cartoon short films released in movie theatres from 1940 to 1967, and many others.[1]

Direct-to-video edit

Direct-to-video animated series include most Japanese original video animations (OVAs). The first OVA series (and also the first overall OVA) was Dallos (1983—1985). Almost all hentai (pornographic) anime series are released as OVAs.

Web series edit

Animated web series are designed and produced for streaming services. Examples include Happy Tree Friends (1999—2023) and Eddsworld (2003—present).

They can also be released on YouTube, such as Asdfmovie, which debuted in 2008.

References edit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Федюшин, Владислав Валерьевич (2023-10-06). "Анимационный сериал" [Animated series]. Научно-образовательный портал «Большая российская энциклопедия» [Great Russian Encyclopedia Online] (in Russian). Retrieved 2024-03-23.
  2. ^ a b c Шпоть, Василиса Виталиевна (2023-10-18). "Ситком" [Sitcom]. Научно-образовательный портал «Большая российская энциклопедия» [Great Russian Encyclopedia Online] (in Russian). Retrieved 2024-03-27.
  3. ^ Hetherington, Janet L. "As Mainframe's technology reaches adolescence, there's a 'ReBoot' Renaissance". Animation Magazine #59. Vol. 11, Issue #8, September 1997.
  4. ^ Lenburg, Jeff (2009). The Encyclopedia of Animated Cartoons (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Facts On File. p. 38. ISBN 0-8160-6599-3.
  5. ^ Lenburg, Jeff (1999). The Encyclopedia of Animated Cartoons (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Checkmark Books. p. 26. ISBN 0-8160-3831-7. Retrieved 2024-03-30.
  6. ^ Lenburg, Jeff (1999). The Encyclopedia of Animated Cartoons (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Checkmark Books. pp. 24–25. ISBN 0-8160-3831-7. Retrieved 2024-04-01.
  7. ^ Giannalberto, Bendazzi (2015). Animation. Focal Press. p. 67. ISBN 9781138854529.