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
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“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