Dojo of Fame – Butch Hartman (Animation Week Day 2)

I first recognized Butch Hartman’s name as a writer for Cartoon Network’s “Cartoon Cartoon” shows such as Dexter’s Laboratory and Johnny Bravo.  No doubt his trademark humor was what helped make these shows so great, and he actually became the first behind the scenes guy I knew of in animation.

However, he became a big hit when he created “Fairly Odd Parents” for Nick.  The show features Timmy Turner, an average ten year old boy in a pink hat.  His life seems pretty miserable, due to his evil babysitter, Vicky, until the day when he received two fairy god-parents who grant his every wish.  Fairly Odd Parents quickly became Nick’s number 2 show (just under spongebob).  And all this fame is for good reason.  Fairly Odd Parents is a delightful show filled with some wonderful off-the-wall humor.

After the success of Fairly Oddparents, Nick asked Butch if he had any ideas for a new show.  Luckily, he did.  Danny Phantom and the Specter Detectors.  The original show featured a Johnny Quest, like teenage boy named danny fighting ghosts along with his sidekicks.  After some reworking, Butch decided to make Danny a half-ghost and give him superpowers and thus, Danny Phantom was Born.

Danny Phantom incorporated the screwball humor from Fairly oddparents, yet grounded it a little more by making Danny older, and giving the series a continuity unlike that of his previous shows.  Half action show and half comedy, Danny Phantom was a smash hit.  Personally, I think it did far better than Fairly Oddparents and represents some of Butch’s best work so far.

At one point, he tried to make a spin-off of Fairly Oddparents called “Crash Nebula” the resulting pilot felt like a rip-off of “Buzz Lightyear of Star Command” (but in high-school) to me and was not really that good.  It never made it to a full series.

And now it Butch has a new show coming out entitled T.U.F.F. Puppy set to air this saturday.  Wikipedia summarized the premise with the following:

The show’s central character is a dog named Dudley Puppy (voiced by Jerry Trainor), who works as a secret agent for an organization called T.U.F.F. (Turbo Undercover Fighting Force). His partner is a cat named Kitty Katswell (voiced by Grey DeLisle)

Below are a couple of trailers for the new series:

While it does not look like his best work…this trailers are enough to keep me interested. It does look decent, but there is not a lot to go on yet.  Will this be the next Fairly Oddparents, or the next Crash Nebula?  Only time will tell.  But I can tell you that I expect great things from this series and I can’t wait to watch the 1st episode.

Also, Butch does more than just make great cartoons.  He has set up a charity organization called the Hartman House Foundation.  According to wikipedia:

[the] Hartman House travels to developing nations and some of the most poverty stricken areas in the United States.  Hartman House has built two homes for families in Guatemala, fed nearly 7200 families with Thanksgiving meals in the U.S., and is in the midst of funding a school in Africa. Hartman uses his talent to draw and autograph pictures of his animated shows for hundreds of children at these events.

You can check out the official website here.

Butch Hartman is an amazingly talented man and he deserves a place in my Dojo of Fame.  Butch, I salute you!

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