ChalkZone is an American animated television series created by Bill Burnett and Larry Huber for Nickelodeon. The series follows Rudy Tabootie, an elementary school student whose magic chalk allows him into the ChalkZone, an alternate dimension where everything drawn on a blackboard and erased becomes real. The show concentrates on the adventures of Rudy, his sidekick Snap, and classmate, Penny Sanchez, within the zone.
|Created by||Bill Burnett
|Voices of||E. G. Daily
|Opening theme||"Rudy's Got the Chalk" by Bill Burnett|
|Ending theme||"Rudy's Got the Chalk"|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||4|
|No. of episodes||40 (list of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||Bill Burnett
|Producer(s)||Larry Leichliter (supervising)|
|Running time||22 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Nickelodeon Animation Studio
|Distributor||Viacom Media Networks (U.S.)
|Original release||1998 (pilot)
March 22, 2002 – August 23, 2008
|Preceded by||Oh Yeah! Cartoons|
ChalkZone originally aired as part of Fred Seibert's Oh Yeah! Cartoons animated shorts showcase in 1998. The series ran on Nickelodeon from March 22, 2002 through August 23, 2008, with 40 episodes in total. It was produced by Frederator Studios and Nickelodeon Animation Studio.
Rudy Tabootie (voiced by E. G. Daily) is a 10-year-old fifth-grader who loves to draw, but Reggie Bullnerd (Candi Milo), the school bully, is always teasing him or getting him into trouble with Mr. Wilter (Robert Cait), Rudy's grumpy school teacher who strongly dislikes cartoons especially Rudy's passion for art. One day while in detention, Rudy discovers a piece of "White Lightning" chalk, which allows access to the ChalkZone, a place where everything and everyone that has ever been drawn in chalk and erased takes form as living or is tangible. He soon makes friends with Snap (Candi Milo), a small, blue, humanoid drawing made by Rudy when he was only eight. Snap wears a superhero uniform and is very adventurous and witty. Rudy only lets one other person know about ChalkZone, his best friend and crush Penny Sanchez (speaking voice, Hynden Walch; singing voice, Robbyn Kirmssè), who acts as the genius of the group.
While in ChalkZone, the trio are introduced to Cyclops (Rodger Bumpass), the kilt-wearing guardian of the magic chalk mines where Rudy obtains his magic chalk (Rudy later draws a second eye for him and renames him "Biclops"); Queen Rapsheeba (Rosslynn Taylor), ChalkZone's song artist whom Snap has a crush on; and Blocky (Candi Milo; Robert Cait), a light green block friend of Snap's and Rudy's first-ever drawing. They are also faced with villains such as Skrawl (Jim Cummings), a drawing who blames Rudy for being ugly and wants to destroy him; and the Craniacs (Rob Paulsen), a series of robot drawings obsessed with collecting futuristic devices.
|First aired||Last aired|
|Shorts||8||July 17, 1998||December 4, 1999|
|1||6||March 22, 2002||April 26, 2002|
|2||8||May 30, 2003||November 2, 2003|
|3||15||February 2, 2004||December 9, 2004|
|4||11||June 6, 2005||August 23, 2008|
ChalkZone was the creation of Bill Burnett and Larry Huber, with Huber's idea of a boy with magic chalk and Burnett's idea of a world behind the chalkboard. The concept was originally featured as a short on Nickelodeon's Oh Yeah! Cartoons in 1998. In 1999, ChalkZone became the first spin-off of Oh Yeah! Cartoons to enter production and be greenlit. Despite this, ChalkZone did not make it to the air until 2002, even though all six episodes of the first season had been completed by 2000. Frederator Studios announced in 2005 that the series had been cancelled at 40 episodes.
The show is remembered for featuring one-minute music videos sung by Rudy and his friends at the end of each episode. Several songs Bill Burnett created prior to ChalkZone's production, i.e. Insect Aside and Dream Alotta Dreams, were implanted into the series. A popular rumor about the show is that it was based on Simon in the Land of Chalk Drawings. In fact, Bill Burnett debunked this in a 2013 interview, revealing that he was not even aware of the series' existence until after ChalkZone entered production. A one-hour special, "The Big Blow Up", premiered on August 6, 2004. The final season featured new character designs with a slimmer lime quality and a zooming chalk transition as new artists and oversea studios were used for the remainder of the series.
The show had three different variations of the theme song released to the public, one from the 2001 Nickelodeon album, "The Newest Nicktoons", which used a synthesizer instead of a guitar and had an early version of Penny's voice which was a demo Bill Burnett created in order for the song to get the green-light, an early version of the final version from the album "ChalkZone: In The Zone", where the guitar was used and Penny's early voice was still used, and the final version which was shown on regular episodes.
The pilot for the series first aired on December 31, 1999 as part of Nickelodeon's annual New Year's Eve block, but due to being delayed by Nickelodeon for undisclosed reasons, the series made its official premiere on March 22, 2002, as the highest-rated premiere in Nickelodeon's history up to that point.
The show also aired on the block Nick on CBS from February 1, 2003 to September 11, 2004. In June 2005, following the announcement that the series had been cancelled, the fourth season of the series premiered. Of the season's eleven episodes, only five would be aired that year before Nickelodeon abruptly halted the broadcast of new episodes. The remaining six episodes would not air until three years later in June 2008. The series finale aired on August 23, 2008.
Since the series' cancellation, reruns aired on Nicktoons until October 28, 2013. ChalkZone reruns aired on NickSplat (then known as "The Splat") for two nights only on November 12 and 13, 2016 as part of a block that ran every weekend from August until December commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Nicktoons franchise.
During the show's original run, there weren't any DVD releases specifically for ChalkZone, the "Christmas" episode was featured on the 2006 DVD Nick Picks Holiday. Two episodes and a music video ("Gift Adrift", "French Fry Falls", and "Escucha Mi Corazón") were released for the Nickstravaganza! 2 DVD. On October 13, 2014, ChalkZone: The Complete Series was released on DVD as a manufacture-on-demand title on Amazon, however the episode "The Smooch" was excluded from the set due to music licensing issues. A soundtrack album In the Zone has also been released. The entire series is now available on Amazon Video and the PlayStation Store.
- Ellin, Harlene (July 18, 1998). "New Cartoon Show Will Honor Irreverence". Chicago Tribune. Tribune Company. Retrieved 2012-12-12.
- Seibert, Fred. "ChalkZone. Postcards, Series 5". The Frederator Studios Blog. Retrieved 19 August 2016.
- "The Skrawl/Pie Day/Secret Passages/In the Zone". ChalkZone. Season 1. Episode 6. April 5, 2002. 23:18 minutes in. Nickelodeon.
ChalkZone and all related logos, titles and characters are trademarks of Viacom International, Inc. © 2000 Viacom International, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
- "Old School Lane's Nickelodeon Tribute: Interview with Bill Burnett". Old School Lane. Retrieved 19 August 2016.
- "The Rugrats Timeline". Rugratonline.com. Archived from the original on February 2, 2001. Retrieved 19 August 2016.
- Ball, Ryan (May 8, 2003). "Nickelodeon Chalks Up More ChalkZone". Animation Magazine. Retrieved 2012-12-12.
- "Nickelodeon Draws Best Kid Ratings in Four Years, Ranks as Number-One Net for First Quarter '02, SpongeBob SquarePants and ChalkZone Etch Out Top-Rated Territory, Kids Find The Fairly OddParents Fairly Fascinating". Viacom. April 2, 2002. Archived from the original on August 17, 2002. Retrieved 2012-12-12.
- "Rudy & ChalkZone Gang: In the Zone [EP, Soundtrack]". Amazon.com. ASIN B000084U51.