There are only a handful of names that I recognize these days when it comes to quality animated series and Butch Hartman stands among them. The creator of shows like Danny Phantom, Fairly Oddparents and T.U.F.F. Puppy, Hartman has spent the past decade and a half pumping out family friendly entertainment for Nickelodeon. But like most artists who work for someone else, at the end of the day he doesn’t really own any of his creations… Nickelodeon does.
Enter: The Noog Network. A self-funded, kid safe network (app) of live shows and cartoons, there’s something about The Noog Network that harkens back to the mid-lates 90s when networks like Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network still had a wacky charm. This is most evident in characters like Noog Dude! (superhero correspondent for Noog News) and his co-anchor, Suzie McNoogle, who reminds me of live action hosts like Pick Boy and Candace Bailey (U-Pick Live).
Recently interviewed on Cartoon Brew, Hartman had this to say of his “side project:”
The Noog Network is entirely self-funded; I have no investors. I never even wanted one. This way, I am beholden to no one but me… No committees. No red tape. Just me.
I’ve poured my heart and soul into every aspect of this. Every live show, every script, every toon, every game, every character, even every building and cloud in the background. And yes, it’s a risk. But it’s my risk, and I am 100 percent fine with that. I’d rather aim high and miss, than aim low and hit every time.
I’ve had a fantastic relationship with Nickelodeon for many years now, and hope to always have one. They’ve treated me very well; we’ve had some amazing successes together and will continue to do so. Right now, the Noog Network is completely a side project that I work on during the weekends.