|Happy Tree Friends|
|Created by||Aubrey Ankrum
|Developed by||Rhode Montijo
|Voices of||Kenn Navarro
Rhode Montijo (2000-2005)
Dana Belben (2000-2005)
Ellen Connell (2005-2009)
Lori Jee (2009-present)
Jeff Biancalana (2002-2005)
Michael "Lippy" Lipman
|Theme music composer||Jim Lively|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||Three (Internet)
One (TV series)
|No. of episodes||156
66 Internet shorts
39 TV series episodes
9 Irregular episodes
1 interactive YouTube video
1 Music video
1 Video game bonus cartoon
3 Ka-Pow! episodes
4 "Break" shorts
3 "Love Bites" cartoons
(List of episodes)
|Executive producer(s)||John Evershed|
|Running time||1 to 7 minutes (Internet)
21 minutes (TV)
|Picture format||Flash cartoon|
1999 – present
Television: October 2 – December 25, 2006
|Followed by||Ka-Pow ! (airing in same time as normal series)|
Happy Tree Friends is a Flash cartoon series by Mondo Mini Shows, created by Rhode Montijo, Kenn Navarro, Warren Graff, and Aubrey Ankrum. The show has become a popular internet phenomenon since its debut and has also won a cult following.
As indicated on the official site, it is "not recommended for small children". Despite its childish appearance, the show is extremely violent, with every episode featuring graphic deaths and/or pain. The portrayal of death in Happy Tree Friends is usually graphic and anatomically correct, depicting bloodshed and dismemberment in a vivid manner. The episodes last from between 1 to 2 minutes to 6 to 7 minutes. The show carries a TV-14 rating.
The show is nearly free of dialogue; however, when the characters do speak, their words are severely garbled. According to the website, the idea for Happy Tree Friends was conceived by Rhode Montijo when he drew a yellow rabbit slightly resembling the character Cuddles on a piece of paper and wrote "Resistance is futile" underneath it.
A spin-off called Ka-Pow! premiered on September 2, 2008.
While working on Mondo Mini Shows, Rhode Montijo drew on a little piece of scrap paper a character who would later become Cuddles. Then he drew on a spreadsheet poster a yellow rabbit that bore some resemblance to Cuddles and wrote "Resistance is futile" at the bottom. Montijo hung the poster in his workstation so others could see the idea, and eventually the idea was pitched to and accepted by the Mondo Media executives. In 1999, Mondo gave Aubrey Ankrum, Rhode Montijo and Kenn Navarro a chance to do a short for them. They came up with a short named Banjo Frenzy, which featured a dinosaur (an earlier version of Lumpy) killing three woodland animals (earlier versions of Cuddles, Giggles and Toothy) with a banjo. From there, Mondo gave them their own internet series, which they named Happy Tree Friends. They got new writers and animators to work on the show.
Only after its internet debut in 2000, Happy Tree Friends became an unexpected success, getting over 15 million hits each month, and being shown in film festivals. In some countries, the episodes can be seen on television. They can be seen on the French, Dutch, German, Polish, Swedish, Filipino, Brazilian, Lithuanian, Japanese, Italian, British, Australian, Mexican, Greek, and the Spanish TV channels, the Greek Mad Music Channel, channel C4 in New Zealand, the Russian 2×2 channel (though it was pulled from the station following a warning from a government group), the Canadian television channel Razer, the American television channel G4, the Czech musical channel Óčko, and on the Australian Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) network. The series has been reformed into its own show, rather than as a part of a compilation as before. Happy Tree Friends has also gained a collection of Audibles and an "IMVironment" for Yahoo!'s instant messenger. It is featured on many websites on which flash cartoons can be watched, such as YouTube, Atom Films, Purple Twinkie, Albino Black Sheep and the official Happy Tree Friends website. On select 2007 Ozzfests, some Happy Tree Friends episodes were shown on the big screen.
Encouraged by the show's success, its creators have released four DVDs (First Blood, Second Serving, Third Strike and Winter Break) containing the episodes shown on the website and others that have not been released. A collection consisting of the first three DVDs and five bonus episodes, Overkill, has also been released. Two episodes, "Stealing the Spotlight" and "Ski Ya, Wouldn't Wanna Be Ya!", are only available in the Happy Tree Friends: Winter Break DVD.
Happy Tree Friends was first shown at Comic-Con, 2006 and some of the segments were shown on the website a few weeks prior the show's premiere. The Happy Tree Friends TV series premiered on September 25, 2006 at midnight on G4. Each half hour episode of the TV series contains three 7 minute segments. So far 39 segments have been aired, making 13 full episodes for Season 1. Pictures of the first 6 episodes can be seen on G4's website. The Canadian channel Razer currently airs the show in syndication as do the Citytv stations throughout Canada. The show is also broadcast on MTV in Europe and Latin America and on Animax in South Africa. It was also shown on Paramount Comedy 1 in the UK from May 11, 2007 for a short time, with occasional reruns afterward with the Channel now branded to Comedy Central UK.
All the characters are anthropomorphic mammals, and many of them show two front large buckteeth when they smile. All the Happy Tree Friends except for Lumpy and Sniffles have the same pink heart-shaped noses. In early episodes, most characters played the roles of children doing childish games. However, as the series progressed the age concept was dropped, and now characters act variously like children, teenagers and adults in different episodes. The only characters who are unaffected by this concept are Pop and Cub, who always act like an adult and a child respectively, and characters whose roles usually are not affected by age, such as Splendid or Cro-Marmot.
At the beginning of each episode, the characters are typically found in everyday situations (also, they are often seen singing or humming the same tune). However, these situations always escalate into violence and the inevitable deaths of those involved and/or innocent bystanders, mostly because of very unfortunate, surprising accidents with otherwise harmless instruments. The show's characters sometimes appear not to notice other characters' deaths/injuries, despite clear indications (such as blood coming out of the latters' mouths), or they seem to overcome their fellows' deaths. Characters always reincarnate for the next episode.
Each episode starts with introduction credits resembling a children's book, which portrays the show's logo, the episode title (which is usually a pun) and the cast. Internet episodes have a typical duration of a maximum of four minutes. Usually only a few of the characters are used in a single episode, but occasionally larger episodes have been released where most of the characters appear. TV episodes last about half an hour,having three segments of about seven minutes.
Currently, new episodes are released once a month. An episode list can be seen on the official website, which contains a list of older episodes available on demand from the site. However, some of these episodes are only available for a limited time, as this list is exchanged with other episodes every other week.
Fall Out Boy's music video for "The Carpal Tunnel of Love" is an episode of Happy Tree Friends. All of them die the same type of graphic, bloody deaths that are featured in the series. Fall Out Boy band members appear as a special guest.
There are 20 (soon 21) main characters in the HTF And Friends series, all of whom have unique personalities and appearances. There have been many 'minor' characters that have appeared on the show, some appearing many times and some appearing only once. Recently, the creators of Happy Tree Friends announced that there will be more than one character added to Happy Tree Friends in the near future. Only one of them is planned to be in the show permanently.
A video game titled Happy Tree Friends: False Alarm was released on June 25, 2008. It was developed by Stainless Games and Sega for Xbox Live Arcade on the Xbox 360 and the PC. Writer Ken Pontac previously posted a blog on the Happy Tree Friends website telling fans about the adventures of the staff making the game, but it was ended before the game's first slated release date in Spring 2008.
Many parents have expressed concern about the graphic content of Happy Tree Friends. One parent even complained about the show in a letter to The Washington Post when she saw her 6-year-old son watching the show.
The warning "Cartoon Violence: Not recommended for small children or big babies)" is displayed in two places on the home page of the Happy Tree Friends website in very small type in the bottom left hand corner, and in larger, but subdued type on the right hand side under the bulletin board section. Neither the "About the Show" nor the FAQ page indicates that the show is not appropriate for young children. However, the episodes themselves contain the warning in large font before the cartoon begins.
In February 2008 Russian Media Culture Protection Department (Rossvyazohrankultura, a regulatory body for TV in Russia) banned Happy Tree Friends and The Adventures of Big Jeff, claiming that the shows "promote violence and brutality, harm the psychic health and moral development of children, attack social morality; all of this being a violation of license agreement". The department warned 2×2, which broadcasts the show, to remove it from air to avoid legal issue. The channel appealed to the evaluation ordered to Versia company, which denied the accusations. HTF also premiered a hate mail video, showing the concerns between parents and actors (Micheal "Lippy" Lipman, David Winn, Ellen Conell).
Three spin-off series have been aired as of September 2008. The series were about adventures of three popular characters, Flippy, Splendid and Buddhist Monkey. Series were called W.A.R Journal, Splendid's SSSSSuper Squad and Buddhist Monkey. To date, three episodes have been aired. Third episode was originally aired November 18th 2008 (instead of November 4th). After this the series will continue on the internet.
|Sound Engineer||Jim Lively||The music featured before, after, and during each and every episode of Happy Tree Friends is composed by Jim Lively, the sound engineer for Happy Tree Friends. Lively has been in the sound business since the age of 16. Lively primarily works in sound design and dialog editing, although he continues to mix music.|
|Foley Artist||Francis Carr||Foley artist Francis Carr joined the team later on in development. Usually working with sound engineer Jim Lively, he has been able to expand his career. Francis Carr is also noted for being the voice of Russell.|
|Kenn Navarro||Director, Animation Director, Writer, Voice Actor||1999 – present|
|Rhode Montijo||Director, Art Director, Writer, (former) Voice Actor||1999 – 2004|
|Aubrey Ankrum||Director, Writer, Storyboard artist, Voice Actor||1999 – 2006|
|Warren Graff||Story Editor, Writer, Voice Actor||2000 – present|
|Ken Pontac||Story Editor, Writer, (minor) Voice Actor||2004 – present|
|Ziad Natshe||Animator, Storyboard artist||2000 – 2002|
|Jeff Biancalana||Writer, Animator, Storyboard artist, (former) Voice Actor||2001 – 2005|
|David Winn||Writer, Animator, Voice Actor||2003 – present|
|Alan Lau||Animator, Writer, Director, Storyboard artist||2001 – present|
|Jason Sadler||Animator, Writer, Director||2001 – present|
|Mark Fiorenza||Writer||2000 – 2003|
|Brad Rau||Animator, Storyboard artist||2001 – present|
|Roque Bollestros||Writer, Animator, Director, Storyboard artist||2001 – present|
|Paul Allan||Writer, Animator, Director||2000 – present|
|Nica Lorber||Animator, Voice Actor||2000 – present|
|Michael "Lippy" Lipman||Storyboard artist, Animator, Director, Writer, Voice Actor||2000 – present|
|Peter Herrman||Storyboard artist, Voice Actor||2000 – present|
|Jim Lively||Sound Designer, Music||2000 – present|
|Francis Carr||Foley artist, Voice Actor||2004 – present|
|Jerome Rossen||Music Composer||2005 – present|
|John Evershed||Executive Producer||2000 – present|
|Liz Stuart||Producer, Voice Actor||2000 – present|
|Kenn Navarro||Cuddles, Flippy, Lifty & Shifty (present)|
|Rhode Montijo||Lumpy, Splendid (past)|
|Lori Jee||Giggles, Petunia, Cub, Giggles' mother, Panda Mom (present)|
|Warren Graff||Toothy, Handy|
|Michael "Lippy" Lipman||Nutty|
|Ellen Connell||Giggles, Petunia, Cub, Giggles' mother (past)|
|David Winn||Lumpy, Splendid (present)|
|Peter Herrman||Disco Bear|
|Jeff Biancalana||Russell (past), Buddhist Monkey|
|Francis Carr||Russell (present)|
|Mark Giambruno||Lifty & Shifty (past)|
|Aubrey Ankrum||Pop, flipped-out Flippy|
|Ken Pontac||additional voices|
|Annecy International Animated Film Festival||2003||Best Animated Short Film Made for the Internet||Eye Candy|
|2007||Best Animated Series For Adults||From Hero To Eternity|
|Ottawa International Animation Festival||2004||Best Animated Short Made For The Internet||Out On A Limb|
|2005||Mole in the City|
|2007||Best Television Series For Adults for the episode||Double Whammy Part 2|
Happy Tree Friends is a show created by Rhode Montijo, Kenn Navarro, Warren Graff, and Aubrey Ankrum. It is a flash cartoon, a cartoon made using Adobe Flash. Since its debut the show has become a popular internet phenomenon and has many fans.
Despite the child-like form of the series and having cute characters, the show is violent and not for Sgt. Frog
While the violence of these deaths is comparable to that of The Itchy & Scratchy Show (the short cartoon featured on The Simpsons), the portrayal of death in Happy Tree Friends is usually more graphic and anatomically correct, depicting bloodshed and dismemberment in more vivid and often exaggerated detail.
The show is nearly free of dialogue; however, when the characters do speak, their words are severely garbled. Though it is obvious what each character's reaction is, their words can hardly be understood at all. According to the website, the idea for Happy Tree Friends was created by Rhode Montijo when he drew a yellow rabbit, slightly resembling the character Cuddles, on a piece of paper and wrote "Resistance Is Futile" underneath it.
A HTF spin-off called Ka-Pow! premiered on September 2, 2008.