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From: Did anyone remember Discovery Kids' "Real Toons"?





Now that The Hub is now Discovery Family, I think its time to discuss the channels roots.... before Hasbro came into the picture. Discovery Kids once had a brand for its original animated shows called Real Toons. Hoping to compete with Nickelodeon's Nicktoons and Cartoon Network's Cartoon Cartoons. Real Toons were a series of original animated series produced by and for Discovery Kids. Mixing the style and humor from the cartoons on its competitors, with Discovery's trademark educational angle. Most of these weren't ratings blockbusters though, and were cancelled after only a few seasons. But I think we should discuss them anyway.


Kenny the Shark: The premise here is that a girl named Kat is looking for a pet, and stumbles accross a friendly fun-loving shark named Kenny. The two become best friends and get into zany situations. Because of her knowledge of sharks, Kat is the only one who can communicate with Kenny. The premise I'm not going to lie, sounds stupid. But I find a certain charm to this show, particularly with Kenny and Kat's chemistry. The show is like Sanjay and Craig, but replacing the annoying dude-bro farting humor with educational facts about sharks, sea life, and other animals. It's work a look if you like buddy comedies.




Tutenstien: Here we have a show based on historical events. The premise is kind of similar to Kenny, but has a more surreal take. The plot is that a girl named cleo and her cat awaken a kid version of King Tut, they then go on mystical adventures together based on ancient egyptian history. I remember the show being fun for its fantasy elements, but I never really learned anything from it. This is a common problem with a lot of these Real Toons, the educational aspect seems to kind of get lost in the humor and plot, thus, not making them truly educational. I haven't seen an actual episode in a while, but I remember it being alright.



Time Warp Trio: Another show based on History. The premise is that 3 guys get a magic book that warps them to different time periods. Early in the series, the book sort of forces them into these time periods, but later in the series they learn to control it. I'm not gonna lie, the animation in this show is awful. Everything is too stillted and jittery, and TBH, the show gets kind of repetitive after a while. That's another problem with Real Toons. Some of them weren't really memorable enough for me to give a full opinion on.



Growing up Creepie: Now we're on to bugs. It seems like Discovery is running out of things to teach kids. This show revolves around a girl named Creepie, a Jr. high goth kid who was raised entirely by insects, a secret that only her best friend seems to know. It's basically your typical animated tweencom with bug facts tacked on. But one thing that interested me was the show's title character. Think of her as Raven from Teen Titans mixed with Daria. That sort of cynical, deadpan snarker, who isn't mean, but isn't necessarily nice either. Her alone makes the show at least worth a look.



There are other shows like Grossology and Class of the Titans (the channel's attempts at action cartoons) but I haven't seen enough of them to give a full opinion on. As you can see, these shows weren't anything terrible, and were pretty decent. So why did Real Toons die? I think it's for several reasons.


1. They weren't popular enough to lay a finger on the Nicktoons. Granted, this was due to Nickelodeon being on basic cable as opposed to being a digital tier service like DK was.


2. Though the shows were not bad, they weren't anything spectacular either. DK didn't have anything that was amazing, revolutionary, or influential like Nick or CN.


3. Discovery Kids was dying in 2009, around time Hasbro approached them for The Hub. By the end of the network's life, most of its original series, including Real Toons were cancelled, and looped.


4. DK wasn't in that many countries, thus, limiting international exposure.


I appriciate Discovery Kids for trying to be a Nickelodeon with an educational slant, but I don't think they did that good of a job on it. We'll see what Discovery does with kidvid with DiscFam now that they have majority control over the channel again.



Source: Did anyone remember Discovery Kids' "Real Toons"?



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