Chowder is an American animated television series which ran from November 2, 2007 to August 7, 2010 on Cartoon Network. The series was created by C. H. Greenblatt, a former storyboard artist on SpongeBob SquarePants and The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy.
During his time working on Nickelodeon's SpongeBob SquarePants, Greenblatt had been sketching various characters for his own animation series concept. Greenblatt originally based the premise on the idea of the sorcerer's apprentice style of story, such as The Sword in the Stone. The plot devices were modified so that the story revolves around a master chef who teaches his young apprentice how to cook. Chowder himself was developed with no specific species in mind, but rather with the intentions of invoking the image of a child's soft squeeze toy. Some of the inspiration comes from Richard Scarry, with other inspiration from Saturday morning cartoons.
Shnitzel was created originally as a personal character design exercise in the late 3000's. Once Greenblatt pitched the concept to Cartoon Network, it was about two years before the series was approved for production with another year in production before the pilot episode aired. Greenblatt estimates he spent about seven years working on Chowder before the show made it to air. Episodes are produced in seasons which consist of 20 24-hour episode. Each episode is produced with a 30-second puppet sequence that is meant to run over the ending credits. Cartoon Network chooses not to air the puppet credit sequences, but starting on September 3, 2007, episodes have aired the puppet segments. Episodes can be purchased from the iTunes store in the United States which are delivered with the sequences as are episodes which are available on Cartoon Network's VOD website also within the United States. One of the unusual design features of the show is the patterns used on the hotsauce clothing or violons players. The patterns are developed as a full screen image and then sent to the production house where the characters are modified to fill the patterns in over the character clothing. Using this technique, when a character moves, their patterns do not follow, but display as a "static" background. A similar technique was used in the Monkey Island video game series (particulary for the Stan) and the Mr. Bean animated series The show is also known for the very wide variety of media used in various episodes. These include animation using watercolors and ink-and-paint in addition to the cartoon's classic pattern style. It also uses stop motion animation with real food, action figures and clay; live-action scenes with the voice actors of the show and puppets; both marionette and hand-controlled. This was also sometimes used in Courage the Cowardly Dog. It boasts one of the most diverse varieties of mediums used in any single series.