|Theme music composer||Bill Burnett|
|Opening theme||"Rudy's Got the Chalk"|
|Ending theme||"Rudy's Got the Chalk"|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||4|
|No. of episodes||40 (list of episodes)|
|Producer(s)||Larry Leichliter (supervising)|
|Running time||22 minutes|
|Picture format||480i (SDTV)|
|Original release||March 22, 2002 –|
August 23, 2008
|Preceded by||Oh Yeah! Cartoons|
ChalkZone is an American animated television series created by Bill Burnett and Larry Huber for Nickelodeon that ran from 2002 until 2008. The series follows Rudy Tabootie, an elementary school student whose magic chalk allows him into the ChalkZone, an alternate dimension where everything drawn on a blackboard and erased becomes real. The show concentrates on the adventures of Rudy, his sidekick Snap, and classmate, Penny Sanchez, within the ChalkZone.
ChalkZone originally aired as part of Fred Seibert's Oh Yeah! Cartoons animated shorts showcase in 1998. The series ran on Nickelodeon from March 22, 2002, through August 23, 2008, with 40 episodes in total. It was produced by Frederator Studios and Nickelodeon Animation Studio.
Rudy Tabootie (voiced by E. G. Daily) is a 10-year-old fifth-grader who loves to draw, but Reggie Bullnerd (Candi Milo), the school bully, is always teasing him or getting him into trouble with Mr. Wilter (Robert Cait), Rudy's grumpy school teacher who strongly dislikes cartoons especially Rudy's passion for art. One day while in detention, Rudy discovers a piece of "White Lightning" chalk, which allows access to the ChalkZone, a place where everything and everyone that has ever been drawn in chalk and erased takes form as living or is tangible. He soon makes friends with Snap (Candi Milo), a small, blue, humanoid drawing made by Rudy when he was only eight. Snap wears a superhero uniform and is very adventurous and witty. Rudy only lets one other person know about ChalkZone, his best friend and crush Penny Sanchez (speaking voice, Hynden Walch; singing voice, Robbyn Kirmssè), who acts as the genius of the group.
While in ChalkZone, the trio are introduced to Cyclops (Rodger Bumpass), the kilt-wearing guardian of the magic chalk mines where Rudy obtains his magic chalk (Rudy later draws a second eye for him and renames him "Biclops"); Queen Rapsheeba (Rosslynn Taylor), ChalkZone's song artist whom Snap has a crush on; and Blocky (Candi Milo; Robert Cait), a light green block friend of Snap's and Rudy's first-ever drawing. They are also faced with villains such as Skrawl (Jim Cummings), a drawing who blames Rudy for being ugly and wants to destroy him; and the Craniacs (Rob Paulsen), a series of robot drawings obsessed with collecting futuristic devices.
|First aired||Last aired|
|Shorts||8||July 17, 1998||December 4, 1999|
|1||6||March 22, 2002||April 26, 2002|
|2||8||May 30, 2003||November 2, 2003|
|3||15||February 2, 2004||December 9, 2004|
|4||11||June 6, 2005||August 23, 2008|
- E.G. Daily - Rudy Tabootie
- Hynden Walch - Penny Sanchez
- Candi Milo - Snap, Reggie Bullnerd, Blocky (Early Episodes)
- Jess Harnell - Joe Tabootie, Chalk Dad, General Elvis, Betty Bombast, Thor Throat
- Miriam Flynn - Millie Tabootie
- Nika Futterman - Dr. Sanchez
- Jeff Bennett - Bruno Bullnerd
- Robert Cait - Mr. Wilter, Blocky
- Jim Cummings - Skrawl
- Rosslynn Taylor - Queen Rapsheeba
- Rodger Bumpass - Biclops
- Rob Paulsen - Craniacs, Vinnie
- Grey DeLisle - Terry Bouffant, Tilly McNally, Sophie McNally
- Frank Welker - Apple peeler, additional voices
- Kevin M. Richardson - Penguin, additional voices
- Tim Curry - Jacko
- Brian Cummings - Ranger McRanger
- Jeffrey Garcia - Jerry Rivera
- Dee Bradley Baker - Arvee
- Daran Norris - Odiferus, Tour Guide
- Joe Lala - Mean Santa, Toe Fu
- Lauren Tom - Robin
- Keone Young - Toe Fu Master
- Rudolph Bartholomew "Rudy" Tabootie (voiced by E.G. Daily): Rudy is the main protagonist. He is in fifth grade. He travels to ChalkZone with his best friends Penny and Snap. He has magic chalk that he can use to draw portals into ChalkZone and draw things out of thin air. He’s 10 years old.
- Snap (voiced by Candi Milo): is a small blue, humanoid drawing made by Rudy, and his best friend. Created by Rudy when he was 8 years old, Snap speaks with a New Jersey accent, and is adventurous and witty. Snap wears a superhero uniform.
- Penelope Victoria "Penny" Sanchez (voiced by Hynden Walch): Penelope is Rudy's best friend and crush, a genius who helps him, and is the only other human besides Rudy who knows about ChalkZone. She is also in fifth grade just like Rudy. It has been shown that she has a crush on Rudy. She’s the same age as Rudy.
- Reginald "Reggie" Bullnerd (voiced by Candi Milo): Reggie is the school bully. Gets stuck in a lot of things and his full name is shown in the unaired episode "Teachers' Lounge". He gets into trouble all the time and even has a school record with its own file drawer.
- Joseph Walter "Joe" Tabootie (voiced by Jess Harnell): Joe is Rudy's father, who runs a meat shop. His voice resembles that of Ned Flanders from The Simpsons, but in a high-disorted pitch.
- Mildred Trish "Millie" Tabootie (voiced by Miriam Flynn): Millie is Rudy's mother, who calls Rudy down in an opera singing-esque voice.
- Horace T. Wilter (voiced by Robert Cait): Horace is Rudy's cartoon-hating school teacher, despite that he once enjoyed cartoons as a child. He comes close to learning about ChalkZone in the episode "Secret Passages."
- Dr. Sanchez (voiced by Nika Futterman): Dr. Sanchez is Penny's mother, who is a doctor and scientist.
- Tilly McNally (voiced by Grey DeLisle): Tilly is Rudy's aunt and Millie's sister.
- Sophie McNally (voiced by Grey DeLisle): Sophie is Rudy's 2-year old cousin, Joe and Millie's niece and Tilly's only daughter.
- Biclops (voiced by Rodger Bumpass): Rodger is the guardian of the Magic Chalk Mines. He was originally named "Cyclops" until Rudy gave him a second eye. He wears a Scottish attire, including a kilt around his legs. His two eyes are drawn on top of each other. He speaks in a slight Scottish accent.
- Queen Rapsheeba (voiced by Rosslynn Taylor): Rapsheeba is ChalkZone's song artist. Snap has had a crush on her forever and Rapsheeba is pretty fond of him as well.
- Blocky (voiced by Robert Cait and Candi Milo in his earlier appearances): Blocky is one of Snap's closest friends. He is a light green block and is claimed to be Rudy's first-ever drawing.
- Skrawl (voiced by Jim Cummings): Skrawl was a drawing that was messed up by a bunch of kids at a birthday party Rudy had gone to. Skrawl blames Rudy for being ugly and wants to destroy him. Besides Reggie, Skrawl is one of the villains in the show. His most recent appearances are in "The Skrawl" and "Double Trouble."
- Granny in the Bathtub (voiced by Miriam Flynn): A drawing Rudy made, intended for humor.
- Chalk Dad (voiced by Jess Harnell): A drawing Rudy made, who resembles and sounds similar to Rudy's father.
- The Craniacs (voiced by Rob Paulsen): The Craniacs are a series of robot drawings obsessed with collecting futuristic devices. The current version is Craniac 4, drawn by Rudy to get rid of Craniac 3. The Craniacs are based on Brainiac from the Superman comics.
- Bruno Bullnerd (voiced by Jeff Bennett) is Reggie's father.
ChalkZone was the creation of Bill Burnett and Larry Huber, with Huber's idea of a boy with magic chalk and Burnett's idea of a world behind the chalkboard. The concept's origin dated back during the production of Hanna Barbera's What a Cartoon! where Seibert initially wanted Huber to develop a cartoon for the showcase and assigned him with Burnett, who was writing for Cow and Chicken at the time, to develop a pilot for a potential series. Development fell through at the last minute from the result of Warner Bros. Animation acquiring Hanna Barbera Cartoons. The concept came back when Seibert developed Frederator Studios and was pitched as a short on Nickelodeon's Oh Yeah! Cartoons before getting the greenlight in 1998. In 1999, ChalkZone became the first spin-off of Oh Yeah! Cartoons to enter production and be greenlit. Despite this, ChalkZone did not make it to the air until 2002, as the initial 13 green-light episodes were shortened to 6 due to executive reasons, all which were completed by 2000.  The show's air-date was up for debate until the lack of new programming and the US' critical situation at the time led the decision to air the series in 2002. Frederator Studios announced in 2005 that the series had been cancelled at 40 episodes.
The show is remembered for featuring one-minute music videos sung by Rudy and his friends at the end of each episode. Several songs Bill Burnett created prior to ChalkZone's production, i.e. Insect Aside and Dream Alotta Dreams, were implanted into the series. A popular rumor about the show is that it was based on Simon in the Land of Chalk Drawings. In fact, Bill Burnett debunked this in a 2013 interview, revealing that he was not even aware of the series' existence until after ChalkZone entered production. Although Burnett did mention that Harold and the Purple Crayon was an influence on Larry's idea for the "boy with magic chalk" concept. A one-hour special, "The Big Blow Up", premiered on August 6, 2004. The final season featured new character designs with a slimmer line quality and a zooming chalk transition as new artists and oversea studios were used for the remainder of the series.
The show had three different variations of the theme song released to the public, one from the 2001 Nickelodeon album, "The Newest Nicktoons", which used a synthesizer instead of a guitar and had an early version of Penny's voice which was a demo Bill Burnett created in order for the song to get the green-light, an early version of the final version from the album "ChalkZone: In The Zone", where the guitar was used and Penny's early voice was still used, and the final version which was shown on regular episodes. Bill Burnett's original idea for the concepts' score was something in akin to simplistic children's toy instrument melodies to fit the show's children's "chalk-drawing" theme, but the Nickelodeon crew suggested a more techno rock-based score to give the show a huge contrast from the premise. Steve Rucker was brought into the music composition team and some of his compositions were later re-written upon request by Burnett and Moon to fit the series better, much to his discourage.
The pilot for the series first aired on December 31, 1999, as part of Nickelodeon's annual New Year's Eve block, but due to being delayed by Nickelodeon for undisclosed reasons, the series made its official premiere on March 22, 2002, as the highest-rated premiere in Nickelodeon's history up to that point.
The show aired in reruns on "Nick on CBS" for more than a year from February 1, 2003, to September 11, 2004. In June 2005, following the announcement that the series had been cancelled, the fourth season of the series premiered. Of the season's eleven episodes, only five would be aired that year before Nickelodeon abruptly halted the broadcast of new episodes. The remaining six episodes would not air until three years later in June and August 2008. The final episode aired on August 23, 2008.
Since the series' cancellation, reruns aired on Nicktoons until October 28, 2013. ChalkZone reruns aired on NickSplat (then known as "The Splat") for two nights only on November 12 and 13, 2016 as part of a block that ran every weekend from August until December commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Nicktoons franchise. As of October 2018, NickSplat –including ChalkZone– has been a subscription channel based on VRV.
During the show's original run, there weren't any DVD releases specifically for ChalkZone. The episode "Future Zone" was released on the Nickstravaganza! VHS. Three episodes ("Gift Adrift", "French Fry Falls", and "Eschucha Mi Corazon") were released for the Nickstravaganza! 2 DVD (only "French Fry Falls" was included on the VHS). The Christmas episode, "When Santas Collide", was featured on the 2006 DVD Nick Picks Holiday. A Complete Series DVD set for ChalkZone was finally released through Amazon.com's CreateSpace manufacture-on-demand program on October 13, 2014; despite the title, however, it is missing the episode "The Smooch" due to music licensing issues. A soundtrack album In the Zone has also been released. The entire series is available on Amazon Video and the PlayStation Store.
|Title||Format||Season(s)||Episode count||Release date||Episodes|
|Nickstravaganza!||VHS||1||1||March 4, 2003||2c ("Future Zone")|
|Nickstravaganza! 2||Both DVD and VHS||1 (VHS)
|September 2, 2003||4a ("French Fry Falls") (VHS)|
4 ("French Fry Falls" / "Gift Adrift" / "Escucha Mi Corazon") (DVD)
|Nick Picks Holiday||DVD||3||1||September 26, 2006||29 ("When Santas Collide")|
|The Complete Series||DVD (CreateSpace release)||1–4||40||October 13, 2014 (Amazon exclusive)||All episodes
Excluded: "The Smooch" (due to music licensing issues.)
Joly Herman of Common Sense Media gave the series 3 out of 5 stars; saying that, "What makes this show interesting is that it acknowledges that worlds of imagination are available to all of us. But while it's true that we love to get lost in a story, for a young child, getting as lost in a world as Rudy does can be scary."
Awards and nominations
|2004||31st Annie Awards||Outstanding Achievement in an Animated Television Production Produced for Children||ChalkZone||Nominated|||
|Outstanding Storyboarding in an Animated Television Production||"Pumpkin Love"||Nominated|
- Perlmutter, David (2018). The Encyclopedia of American Animated Television Shows. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 120–121. ISBN 978-1538103739.
- Erickson, Hal (2005). Television Cartoon Shows: An Illustrated Encyclopedia, 1949 Through 2003 (2nd ed.). McFarland & Co. pp. 196–198. ISBN 978-1476665993.
- Keep on Chalkin' with Bill Burnett - Chatterbox 1/13/20 - YouTube
- Ellin, Harlene (July 18, 1998). "New Cartoon Show Will Honor Irreverence". Chicago Tribune. Tribune Company. Archived from the original on December 15, 2013. Retrieved 2012-12-12.
- Seibert, Fred. "ChalkZone. Postcards, Series 5". The Frederator Studios Blog. Archived from the original on 5 October 2016. Retrieved 19 August 2016.
- "The Skrawl/Pie Day/Secret Passages/In the Zone". ChalkZone. Season 1. Episode 6. April 5, 2002. 23:18 minutes in. Nickelodeon.
ChalkZone and all related logos, titles and characters are trademarks of Viacom International, Inc. © 2000 Viacom International, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
- "Old School Lane's Nickelodeon Tribute: Interview with Bill Burnett". Old School Lane. 2013-01-28. Archived from the original on 5 October 2016. Retrieved 19 August 2016.
- "The Rugrats Timeline". Rugratonline.com. Archived from the original on February 2, 2001. Retrieved 19 August 2016.
- Ball, Ryan (May 8, 2003). "Nickelodeon Chalks Up More ChalkZone". Animation Magazine. Archived from the original on December 15, 2013. Retrieved 2012-12-12.
- "Nickelodeon Draws Best Kid Ratings in Four Years, Ranks as Number-One Net for First Quarter '02, SpongeBob SquarePants and ChalkZone Etch Out Top-Rated Territory, Kids Find The Fairly OddParents Fairly Fascinating". Viacom. April 2, 2002. Archived from the original on August 17, 2002. Retrieved 2012-12-12.
- "Rudy & ChalkZone Gang: In the Zone [EP, Soundtrack]", Amazon.com, ASIN B000084U51
- Herman, Joly (22 March 2002). "Chalkzone review". Common Sense Media. Archived from the original on 2019-01-30. Retrieved 2019-01-30.
- "31st Annie Awards". annieawards.org. Archived from the original on 2019-04-04. Retrieved 2019-05-01.
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