Soup2Nuts was an animation studio located in Watertown, Massachusetts. It was founded in 1993 as Tom Snyder Productions; at the time, studio founder Tom Snyder (no relation to the late night talk show host) had been working on various educational computer games, but he also branched out into television production with his various bumpers and Short Attention Span Theater shorts for Comedy Central. It was this venue that resulted in the studio's first animated series, Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist. Notably, it was the channel's first animated series, predating South Park by two years.
They followed this with Science Court, which married Snyder's educational roots with the animation and dialogue style of Dr. Katz; the short-lived The Dick And Paula Celebrity Special for FX; the initially short-lived Home Movies for UPN (which was rescued by then-new Adult Swim, finishing the first season and creating three more); and Hey Monie! for BET and Oxygen.
It was in 2007 that they created one of their bigger hits, WordGirl, another educational series that had enough clever writing to keep the adults interested as well. Other notable series during the '00s include O'Grady, Time Warp Trio, and Astroblast. Unfortunately, parent company Scholastic (who purchased them in 2001) shut down the studio in 2015, ending a run of over 20 years.
Soup2Nuts stood out in its earlier days due to its usage of Squiggle Vision, an animation technique where the outlines of characters constantly vibrated to create the illusion of more movement than there actually was. This perfectly complimented the often-improvised dialogue in its earlier shows, though it was also limiting for the animators and the program used to create the effect, Animator Pro, was archaic. As a result, starting with the second season of Home Movies, they switched to Adobe Flash and never looked back.
Tropes associated with Soup2Nuts:
- Domestic-Only Cartoon: Most of their shows were produced entirely in the Watertown studio, although Astroblast was outsourced to Top Draw.
- Instrumental Theme Tune: Dr. Katz, Science Court, Dick & Paula, Home Movies.
- Motifs: Dr. Katz and Home Movies both featured divorced protagonists. The main character in Hey Monie! is also single.