North Springs is an American animated sitcom created by Don Grayman and Rob Farlane for TBS. It is set in the fictional titular town in the state of Florida, and revolves around the lives of ten-year-olds Philly Lyndon, Tommy Briggs, Cole Makowski, and Ben Sears. The show has become very popular to due its uniqueness.

The series is animated in-house using two-dimensional computer animation, which has been produced by various companies over the years of the show's production. Since 2009, the series has been animated by North Springs Studios.

The series premiere, "Ben Almost Dies", was originally broadcast on June 2, 1996. In 1998, it became the second most-watched television series on pay television in the U.S., and it reached first place in 1999. 375 episodes have been aired. The show has also been adapted into a feature film and three video games.

North Springs has been nominated for numerous awards, including Primetime Emmy Awards and Peabody Awards. However, it had a perceived decline in quality.

Premise

Setting and characters

The main characters of North Springs. Left to right: Philly, Tommy, Makowski, and Ben.

See also: List of North Springs characters

North Springs takes place during present time in North Springs, a fictional city in the U.S. state of Florida. According to a map shown in the season 3 episode "Put Your Money Where Your Ass Is", it is located close to the West Coast.

Tommy Briggs, Philly Lyndon, Cole Makowski, and Ben Sears are the protagonists of the show, who all debuted in the series premiere. Supporting characters include Michael Wendy, Katie Emery, and Robert Malabrovsky.

Style and themes

Don Grayman and Rob Farlane credited The Simpsons and the works of George Moon as inspiration for the humor in North Springs. Their idea was to have the show look like a "kiddie" cartoon while retaining its adult themes. As a result, they created the show's simplistic art style, often excluding noses on child characters and females and fingers.

Child characters curse frequently, which Grayman said was because he and Farlane know that children use strong language when adults are not present. The duo also included the element of young characters being interested in adult topics.

Development

Conception

In 1993, Don Grayman and Rob Farlane pitched an idea for an adult animated televidion series to the TBS television channel in 1994, who said they would come back to it "in a little bit."

Production

Crew and deadline

In 1994, work on the show began. The production team given a 5-day production deadline. This was done so that the writers could catch up to recent events.

The first season took about two months to complete. The characters were designed solely by Grayman and Farlane. The writers of the season alternated between Grayman, Farlane, Josh Kimm, Stephen Kessman, Kay Atolom, Nic Kawl, and Daniel A. Salisbury; after season one, each season had one writer, rotating between Grayman and Farlane.

Design and animation

The art and animation of North Springs were both heavily inspired by paper cutout animation. The show's animation begins with the characters. The art of a scene's characters is put into Toonwash, and after the characters are animated, a background is added.

The first two seasons were animated by Sequitur Studios. The seasons 3 and 4 were animated by Eye Identity Studios, seasons from 5 to 13 were animated by Paintcup Productions, and the show has been animated in-house by North Springs Studios since season 14.

The show is animated using EyeScope Animate and Wangong Axis 2D.

Episodes

Main article: List of North Springs episodes

375 episodes of North Springs have been distributed. "Ben Almost Dies", the first episode of the entire series, premiered on June 2, 1996.

Reception

Critical reception

The show was rated 8/10 by OGN, the online magazine writing, "Spectacular animated sitcom manages to keep its high quality to this day." It was also rated 8.2/10 by users on IMDb, with a B+ rating on ViewBox.

On June 29, 2010, Screen Heads named North Springs the Best Animated Comedy of the 2000s. On January 20, 2016, The OMG listed North Springs as the fourth Greatest Animated Series of All Time. On December 5, 2019, the show was ranked as #2 in Alpha.com's "Top 10 Best Animated Series of the 2010s".

Awards and nominations

Main article: Awards and nominations of North Springs

Footnotes

North Springs
Created by Don Grayman and Rob Farlane.
Characters Children Tommy Briggs · Philly Lyndon · Cole Makowski · Ben Sears · Robert Moleum · Katie Emery · Greg Wendy
Adults Chris and Lisa Briggs · Anna and Tyler Lyndon · Erica Charleston · Principal Beachel
Lists Families · North Springs Elementary (Students · Staff)
Seasons 1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · 6 · 7 · 8 · 9 · 10 · 11 · 12 · 13 · 14 · 15 · 16 · 17 · 18 · 19 · 20 · 21 · 22 · 23
Other Film · Awards and nominations · Subject matter
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