Nickelodeon and California State University, Fullerton’s Begovich Gallery present “Happy Happy Joy Joy: Art and Artifacts from 25 Years of Creator-Driven Cartoons,” an exhibit that goes behind the scenes and into the minds of the creators who ushered in a new era of groundbreaking animation on TV, beginning in 1991 with the launch of Doug, Rugrats, The Ren & Stimpy Show, and continuing on with landmark hits like Rocko’s Modern Life, Hey Arnold!, SpongeBob SquarePants and more. The public retrospective exhibition will be open from April 16 through May 22 at Begovich Gallery located on the Fullerton campus. Admission is free.
The “Happy Happy Joy Joy” exhibit documents Nickelodeon’s dedication to creator-driven animation through a trove of rarely seen original sketches, production art and video content. The exhibit will also convey the sense of play and creative spirit inherent to Nickelodeon animation through a number of specially commissioned, larger-than-life installations. Among them are a 6-foot SpongeBob SquarePants sculpture constructed from almost 6,500 pencils—the number of pencils used to storyboard an entire episode; an 8-foot-tall Rube Goldberg-inspired machine that represents the creative process, start to finish; and an immersive space outfitted with a jumbo-sized television and living room furniture created to give visitors the nostalgic feeling of being at home as children.
A Creators’ Talk panel discussion and Q&A will open the exhibit on April 16 (2:00p.m.-3:00p.m.) with landmark animation visionaries Arlene Klasky (Rugrats) andJim Jinkins (Doug), Nickelodeon animation pioneer Vanessa Coffey, and other creative talent. Moderated by Butch Hartman (The Fairly OddParents), the panel will dive into Nickelodeon’s history and its impact on television animation, and how these artists brought their stories to life. Located at Meng Hall on the Fullerton campus, the panel is open to the public; RSVPs must be made in advance on www.fullerton.edu/arts/tickets. The exhibit opens 4:00pm-8:00pm.
This August marks the 25 year anniversary of original creator-driven animation for Nickelodeon. Later in the year, Nickelodeon will open up a 190,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art complex in Burbank to serve as the West Coast hub for the network.