Cartoonito

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Cartoonito
Cartoonito logo.svg
Original logo, used since 2006.
Cartoonito - Logo 2021.svg
Second logo, used in the United States since 2021.
Product type
OwnerWarnerMedia International
CountryUnited Kingdom
Republic of Ireland
Italy
Middle East
Turkey
United States (as a programming block)
Southeast Asia (Former) (2012–2015)
Related brands

Cartoonito is a brand name used by AT&T's WarnerMedia for a collection of television networks and programming blocks that target preschool-age children.

As of 2021, Cartoonito-branded channels exist in the United Kingdom (its flagship service) and Italy, while branded blocks are currently broadcast on Cartoon Network in the Middle East, Turkey, and the United States, with a possible launch of these branded blocks in Asia starting 29 November 2021.

History

Precursors (1996–2006)

Educational block

In 1996, Cartoon Network decided to create a Sunday morning block of preschool programs. The series featured included Big Bag, a live-action/puppet television program created by the Children's Television Workshop (known for Sesame Street), Small World, a children's animated anthology show/variety show, and Cave Kids (a Hanna-Barbera-produced cartoon spin-off starring Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm).[citation needed]

Small World aired in several countries (except Japan, China, and Korea) and syndicated many of their respective shows. Cave Kids only ran from September to November of that year. However, Big Bag ran until 1998, while Small World ran until c. 2002.[citation needed]

In 1997 (just the year after the merger of Turner Broadcasting System with Time Warner), Warner Bros. Animation announced Baby Looney Tunes, an original preschool series inspired by a line of pre-existing merchandise. Production had finished by January 2001, and the pilot aired on June 3 of that year. Once the pilot proved a success, work on Baby Looney Tunes resumed, and it officially premiered on July 28, 2001. The series also ran on the Kids' WB block from 2002 to 2005 while continuing its original run on Cartoon Network until October 16, 2006. In 2003, Cartoon Network's Indian counterpart introduced Tiny TV, a weekday morning block of acquired preschool cartoons such as Bob the Builder, Kipper, Noddy, and Oswald. By 2006, the block had expanded to Cartoon Network channels Australia and Southeast Asia, as well as on Boomerang in the latter region and Latin America (where it was known as Mini TV). Each block carried their own lineup of programs, with only a few shared between feeds. Tiny TV was discontinued in 2007, but was temporarily revived on POGO (a sister channel to Cartoon Network India) in 2010.

Tiny TV

In 2003, Cartoon Network's Indian counterpart introduced Tiny TV, a weekday morning block of acquired preschool cartoons such as Bob the Builder, Kipper, Noddy, and Oswald. By 2006, the block had expanded to Cartoon Network channels Australia and Southeast Asia, as well as on Boomerang in the latter region and Latin America (where it was known as Mini TV). Each block carried their own lineup of programs, with only a few shared between feeds. Tiny TV was discontinued in 2007, but was temporarily revived on POGO (a sister channel to Cartoon Network India) in 2010.

Tickle-U

On 22 August 2005, Cartoon Network USA debuted Tickle-U, the network's first full attempt at weekday-morning preschool programming. The block aired from 9 to 11 a.m EST. Programs on the lineup included only one original series Firehouse Tales, along with acquired fare such as Gordon the Garden Gnome, Little Robots, and Peppa Pig; the last three series were all of British origin, and were re-dubbed for American audiences. The block also featured two CGI characters as hosts: Pipoca (voiced by Ariel Winter) and Henderson (voiced by Tom Kenny).

The block came under fire by the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, which criticized Cartoon Network for advertising the block as a way to develop a child's sense of humor.

Launch

On 4 September 2006, Cartoon Network Too debuted a new programming block called Cartoonito, running from 6:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. daily. Series featured in Cartoonito were acquired from countries around the world, and were available in both English and French. The block was later spun-off into its own channel on 24 May 2007, as Cartoonito expanded its broadcast hours by taking the whole daytime slot formerly given to Cartoon Network Too. In turn, Cartoon Network Too became a full 24-hour channel by taking over Toonami UK's former channel space. From September 2009 to March 2010, a morning Cartoonito block aired on Boomerang, until its launch on Virgin Media.[citation needed] On 15 January 2018, Cartoonito UK relaunched as a 24-hour channel.

International rollout

In May 2011, Turner Broadcasting System Europe announced a rollout of the Cartoonito brand across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa; under the arrangement, programming blocks would launch on Cartoon Network or Boomerang channels in that region.

Cartoonito launched as a morning block on Cartoon Network Arabic in the Middle East on 4 September 2011, broadcasting seven days a week. Simultaneously, Cartoonito was also available in English in the Middle East via another morning block on the pan-European feed of Boomerang. Both blocks ended on 1 January 2014 (Boomerang) and on 1 April 2014 (Cartoon Network), though the Arabic Cartoon Network would re-introduce Cartoonito on 24 March 2019, now airing Sunday through Thursdays at 9:30 KSA Local Time.

On 1 December 2012, Cartoonito launched in Asia Pacific and the Philippines through SkyCable. Cartoonito is available as part of its Metropack and on an a la carte basis via Skycable Select. Cartoonito was replaced by Boomerang on 1 January 2015. The brand reenters the market later in 29 November 2021, with an additional of this programming block on its streaming service HBO GO.

In Spain, Cartoonito was launched as a 24-hour channel on 1 September 2011, as part of Turner Broadcasting System EMEA plans to roll out the brand across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The move also increased Cartoonito's distribution to 125 million homes in 112 territories. On 30 June 2013, the channel was shut down alongside the Spanish feed of Cartoon Network.

In May 2021, WarnerMedia UK and EMEA announced plans to relaunching Cartoonito within their region. Through a promo, it was confirmed that the brand will launch in Latin America in 2022.

United States

With the announcement of Batwheels on 6 October 2020, Warner Bros. Global Kids, Young Adults and Classics president Tom Ascheim implied about plans for Cartoon Network to attract a preschool audience. In a 5 February 2021 interview with Kidscreen, Ascheim revealed that Cartoon Network would be expanding its programming offerings to include series aimed at families, girls, and preschool children. The interview coincided with the acquisition of broadcast rights to Thomas & Friends: All Engines Go, a reboot of the original Thomas & Friends series.

On 17 February, WarnerMedia announced that Cartoonito would officially launch in the United States on Cartoon Network and streaming service HBO Max, with the brand to encompass a programming block on the former and an additional streaming component for the latter. Launch programming includes 20 new series, including Bugs Bunny Builders, Little Ellen and Tom and Jerry Junior from Warner Bros. Animation; Bea's Block and Mecha Builders from Sesame Workshop; Jessica's Big Little World (a spin-off of the Cartoon Network original series Craig of the Creek); and acquired series Ladybird Lu, Lucas the Spider, and Mush-Mush & The Mushables.

See also

  • Cartoon Network
    • Boomerang - A cable network, streaming service, and former Cartoon Network programming block originally dedicated to classic cartoons. In 2015, the brand was relaunched to focus on contemporary, family-oriented programming.
    • Tickle-U - Former preschool block on Cartoon Network U.S..
  • Tiny TV - Former international brand block for Turner Europe.
  • HBO Kids - Block on HBO Family.