By sheer volume of production alone, the Fall '94 Television Season stands as a record animation year. There are so many new shows that these very pages are threatening to burst. Practically the only place on TV you won't see cartoon chararacters this year is C-SPAN. (Of course, we're talking about the inked-and-painted cartoon characters.)
But this season promises more than just quantity. There's a sense of excitement buzzing through the industry. People are getting jazzed about animation again and it's showing.
First, the time has come to stop using the term "Saturday Morning" as a perjorative. Things are starting to cook at the daytime divisions of the three participating networks: ABC, CBS and Fox (as with the prior season, NBC stands for "Not Broadcasting Cartoons").
The first tangible strike came last February, when Fox premiered Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego?. Offering a slick, multi-media look that combined cel animation, CGI and live animation, Carmen's premiere had to be postponed from last fall's line-up because of the prep work.
"It really took us a long time to gear up and do the research," notes Robby London, vice president of creative affairs for DIC, which produces the show. "We have more research in that show than anything I've ever worked on in my life." To ensure geographic and educational accuracy, the series employs a travel writer, a linguistics consultant and educational consultants from L.A. Schools and University of California, Los Angeles. Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego? has received an Emmy nomination for its trouble.
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