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Television Cartoon Shows: An Illustrated Encyclopedia, 1949 Through 2003(2 Volume Set) 2nd Edition

4 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0786420995
ISBN-10: 0786420995
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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Approximately 10 years after the first edition of this major reference source, Erickson has provided a second edition to cover the prolific growth of made-for-television animation. From 1993 through 2003, almost 450 new cartoon series premiered on television, with the help of the cable television outlets. This reference describes them as well as earlier cartoons.

The encyclopedia covers all made-for-television cartoon series telecast in the U.S. between January 1, 1949, and December 31, 2003. Arranged alphabetically by title, entries provide network or cable affiliation, broadcast history, production and voice credits, synopsis, and often detailed commentary on characters, style, and the significance of the elements of each show. Entry length generally ranges from one-half page to nearly 10 pages for The Flintstones and its many derivatives. The historical essay in volume 1 covers 75 years of cartoons, starting with Disney's Steamboat Willie in 1928 (also the year that Radio Corporation of America began testing for long-range broadcasting on a television screen) up to the current landscape defined by improved production techniques, new FCC regulations regarding content, the growth of cable television, and the popularity of Japanese anime. Volume 2 concludes with an essay on cartoon voices, a selected bibliography, and an index to both volumes. The index provides access to programs, people, techniques, and organizations but not to cartoon characters, unless their names correspond to the titles of shows. We found a few errors; for example, the text contains a see reference from Heckle and Jeckle to CBS Cartoon Theatre, but there is no entry for the latter.

Whether a person wants to find information about a particular program or learn the history of television cartoons, this set will be useful and entertaining. It is recommended for public libraries and for academic libraries supporting studies in television and animation. Patricia Hogan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved


“An admirable reference...includes impressively researched details...a treasure trove of alphabetical show listings—each packed with production information” --Library Journal

“Well-written...comprehensive and readability characterize the book” --ARBA

“A major reference work on television history and highly recommended” --Classic Images

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 1054 pages
  • Publisher: McFarland & Company; 2nd edition (June 30, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786420995
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786420995
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 7.2 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #898,511 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By J. Smith on March 1, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This two volume encylopedia set is a valuable resource tool for fans of animated series (and yes, they're out there). You have to give the author, Hal Erickson, credit for all the work he did here. Sketching and writing reviews for hundreds if not thousands of television programs.

His commentary is quite enjoyable and brings life to some otherwise one-joke programs. When animated series started appearing in the late fifties, few could combine character, humor, and art well. However, since the 80's there have been a few successes over the decades, and Mr. Erickson points out the strengths of various series. He also doesn't denigrate everything on the airwaves, which many reviewers blanketly say, and does give credit where it's due.

Shows he gives high marks to include: The Mighty Heroes, The Gummi Bears (which in the 80's started the uphill trend battle for better story and characterization in animated shows), Disney's Recess and Weekenders which should be given credit for originality, characterization and humor.

The author's kind remarks concerning Dan Castellaneta's work as the substitute genie (filling in for Robin Williams)in the Aladdin cartoon were also appreciated, I also loved his comments on Dennis the Menace and its political correct watering down in the 90's.

There are some mistakes in the text: On the Richie Rich series, Mr. Erickson mistakenly points out that the robotic maid, Irona, was created for the animated series. Fans of the comic book know that she existed at least ten years prior in print. Another flaw: In The Wild Thornberry's entry, Lacy Chabert is erroneously credited as the voice to oldest daughter Debbie, instead of middle child Eliza.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Barat on July 22, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This new version of Erickson's 1995 tome rates an illustrated cover (the original had the generic McFarland "denim-ish" look) and, due to the proliferation of animated series of all types since 1993, a division into two volumes, covering over 1000 pages in all. Unfortunately, a number of the mistakes and oversights of the first edition are still present. A couple of the old entries have been updated, but only if a new version of the series has been produced (e.g., the entry for Superman now includes the 90s "Superman: the Animated Series") or if new information about a previously obscure project has come to light. (The lack of corrections may have something to do with the fact that McFarland is a reference publisher; as a result, many of the copies that were sold have been resting peacefully on college library shelves rather than circulating amongst animation fans.) The new entries are well-written, and most of them seem accurate, but Erickson seems less willing to pass judgment on the merits of the series of interest. "Superman: the Animated Series" was easily as ambitious an undertaking as the earlier "Batman" series, yet, while Erickson devotes a lot of space to analyzing what made the latter series so good and so groundbreaking, he contents himself with a bald summary of factual particulars when it comes to the former. I didn't always agree with what Erickson had to say about a series, but it was most entertaining to read through his reasoning. I still think quite highly of Erickson's work and appreciate the effort he put into this revamping, but this new edition falls a little short of what it could have been had the necessary changes been made.
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By WOLVERINE on April 27, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
These books are packed with every single cartoon you could image from 1949 through 2003. It offers a brief description of the plots, main cast and production credits, and even some behind-the-scenes information otherwise not available anywhere else, particularly on the DVD releases of these shows. Although, despite some obviously thoughtful research put into these books, sometimes some erroneous information manages to slip through. Particularly the kind from someone researching the shows who may have never actually SEEN them. Two instances that immediately come to mind are in The Real Ghostbusters entry, where Winston's last name is misspelled and Slimer's name is constantly spelled with an exclamation point, since his name in the title from the third season onward had one.

If you love cartoons and want to know a little more about them, or take a trip down memory lane, this book makes a good starting point.
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By Tim Hooper on April 26, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book contains loads of information about every aspect of each show. Not only did it provide everything I wanted to know - studio, voices, etc - but it brought back many fond memories.
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