9 Awesome Things You Might Not Know About Cartoon Network Studios

By Liz Ohanesian in Cartoons, Daily Lists
Wednesday, May 7, 2014 at 6:00 am

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Liz Ohanesian
5. Regular Show's Color Palette Includes "My Mom" and "Slack and Blue."

Inside the Regular Show offices, there are large blocks of color on the walls. They're based on the actual color design of the show. "We hired someone who took the palettes and created these swatches," says Miller. "He came up with names that...silly names that are based on the show."

In the offices, the lightest green used for Muscle Man is known as "My Mom." Mordecai's darkest shade of blue is "Slack and Blue." The off-white used for Pops is "Fanciness." They may not be the colors' original names, but they're cooler than the names of anything found in a Crayola box.

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Liz Ohanesian
This is Cartoon Network's lobby.
4. Adventure Time Fans Would Freak Out Inside Cartoon Network's Studio.

The first thing you see when you walk inside Cartoon Network's Burbank offices is a living room. Actually, it's the lobby, but it looks like a living room. There's a room divider that resembles a fireplace, a big, comfy couch and a coffee table with an Atlas on it. There's also a book case stocked with Encyclopedia Britannica, loads of art books and a cuckoo clock. It could be your great-aunt's house, save for one thing. That's the portrait hanging on a wall of Jake the Dog. He's dressed more like a figure from a history book, but he's still definitely the canine pal from the Land of Ooo.

Outside of the living room, there are topiary in the shapes of Finn and Jake. They were made by a prop-maker for the studio. There's also a large flatscreen that showcases in-progress work. During my visit, I saw a lot from Adventure Time.

Certainly, the adventures of Finn, Jake, Princess Bubblegum and the rest have captivated audiences far beyond this studio. Inside here, though, they're inescapable.

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Liz Ohanesian
This is Cartoon Network's lobby, where you can play pool on your break.
3. Production for Cartoon Network Shows Is a Year-Long Thing.

Where TV shows might only spend part of a year in production, Cartoon Network shows keep going. The Adventure Time team have been in operation year-round since the show debuted in 2008. They aren't the longest inhabitants of the studio though. Ben 10, which is made in a building next door to Cartoon Network's headquarters, has been going strong for more than a decade. "It's had different iterations," explains Miller, "but it's always been the same franchise."

"We're fortunate that way," says Miller. The people who work on the shows can keep doing just that, where, on other series, there might be a long hiatus between seasons.

Not all of the shows that run on Cartoon Network are made here. Things like MAD, Looney Tunes and other series based on classic franchises are handled at Warner Bros. animation lot, also in Burbank.

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Liz Ohanesian
Even when they aren't drawing for work, Cartoon Network people are still drawing. This is on a wall in one of the kitchen areas.
2. There Are an Unfathomable Amount of Drawings Inside Cartoon Network.

There are 15,000 drawings in an 11-minute cartoon. That might seem like a mind-boggling number until you walk through the offices for Adventure Time or Regular Show or Steven Universe. There are drawings everywhere from scratchy, detailed notes to big, brightly colored print-outs of background art.

We're inside a room where the Regular Show team pitches episode ideas. There are large, white boards piled against a wall. Each board is covered with pieces of paper detailing the scenes of a potential story. Miller explains that there will be 300 scenes in one episode. The drawings are small, but still larger than what you'll see in the rest of the office. Elsewhere, there are "thumbnails," basically Post-It size works that might become part of something larger.

Cartoon Network sends episodes overseas for animation. There's still a lot of work to be done in the office. Aside from the storyboards, there are the character, prop and background designs. The voice acting and editing are done here as well. Mostly, though, what you'll notice inside the studio are the drawings, some so small that you can't tell what they are unless you walk right up to them. To think, those are the ones that are good enough to post on a wall. I want to know what their digital trashcans look like.

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Liz Ohanesian
1. The "Graffiti Stairwell" Essentially Contains the History of Cartoon Network's Original Programming.

Cartoon Network's Graffiti Stairwell goes back to when they moved into the building. That's when folks like Craig McCracken and Genndy Tartakovsky were working here. When the studio opened, the artists took spraycans to the walls. "We had a day where we all got in a stairwell and spraypainted and then found out that it was a safety hazard," says Miller. "We did wear masks, but we still got in trouble for that."

The spraypaint markings still remain. There might be some works from McCracken and Tartakovsky inside the stairwell. However, since the pieces aren't signed, we can't confirm that. Miller did point out a Batman that was left by Bruce Timm.

While the spraypaint days are over, artists continue their contributions to the wall. They tend to work in marker and few spots in the stairwell are left untouched. Cartoon Network characters old and new pop up frequently, but so do characters from influential series that are not affiliated with the studio. It's a secret treasure for animation nerds; enough art to fill a museum exhibition scrawled onto walls hidden inside an office building.

Previously by Liz Ohanesian

10 Surprising Facts about Titmouse Animation Studios

7 Reasons Why Marvel Superhero Movies Are Really Boring

The 8 Goth-Rockingest Episodes of The Venture Bros.

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