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  • 3-2-1 Penguins! is created by Jeff Parker, Nathan Carlson and Phil Lollar. But while they are credited as such, the real driving force and creative input of the writing was done by some of the in house staff at Big Idea, such as Phil Vischer, Mike Nawrocki and Ron Smith as they worked a lot on the jokes and stories. Not helping that Ron Smith is interviewed a lot on the features and by the time the show came back in 2007/2008, Parker, Carlson and Lollar weren't credited as the creators anymore.
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  • Michael Dante Dimartino and Bryan Konietzko are the creators of Avatar: The Last Airbender, but a sizable Vocal Minority of fans (partly composed of those who disliked the Sequel Series The Legend of Korra) have come to see head writer Aaron Ehasz as the real driving force behind the first show, while Bryke are considered to be amazing at art direction and crafting concepts, but to have little skill as actual writers. This was fueled even more by a series of rumors claiming that Ehasz was constantly arguing with Bryke in the writers room during the original series, with there being several ideas that they rejected (most prominently making Fan-Preferred Couple Zuko and Katara canon). However, these claims were debunked by Ehasz himself, and exactly what in Avatar can be seen as solely his contributions (outside a greater number of female characters) is now much less clear.
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  • While The Incredible Hulk had many cartoon appearances before his staring role in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes!, it was the Avengers cartoon that more or less established how Hulk would be depicted in future cartoons. This Hulk, and the Hulks who followed him in animated depictions, were no longer green rage monsters who shared screentime with Banner. Banner took a back seat for a Hulk who was snarky, spoke in complete sentences, was surprisingly intelligent and caring, and was a valuable, if somewhat hard to deal with, teammate of the Avengers.
  • While Blazing Dragons is credited as the brainchild of Terry Jones, his involvement in its production amounted to little more than coming up with the basic concept of the show and then granting his approval to make it into a full cartoon. Instead, it would be Gavin Scott who would develop Jones' idea with a series bible and pilot script and the folks at Nelvana who would give it the humor and flare that fans of the show love so much about the final product seen on television.
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  • The original version of Walter Lantz character Chilly Willy, created by director Paul J. Smith, was a Palette Swap of Woody. It was Tex Avery who helped flesh out his character and concept along with creating a much more distinctive design.
  • Daria the TV show was headed by Glenn Eichler, though the character was originally created by Mike Judge for Beavis and Butt-Head, The Spin-Off tweaked her character a bit and, over the course of its five seasons, naturally explored her much more than her rare appearances on B&B could. The media even mistakes Eichler for Daria's creator fairly often.
  • Butch Hartman may have created Fairly OddParents and Danny Phantom, but most fans credit the best stories and moments of Character Development to head writer Steve Marmel, who wrote the basic outlines of the earlier seasons and contributed scripts to many of its episodes. Likewise, you can credit the art to Stephen Silver. After Hartman gained notoriety online for plagiarizing art and his haughty attitude (among other things…), many fans noticed that the decline in his shows' qualities correlated to Marmel and Hartman's split, as well as learning that Hartman was less involved in his shows' art and writing than previously believed.
  • Although Spike Brandt and Tony Cervone are the creators of the 2003 Duck Dodgers cartoon, many people think Paul Dini and Tom Minton are the true creative force, and their absence in Season 3 made the decline in quality noticeable.
  • While the bulk of the Felix the Cat franchise up to the TV shorts attributes Felix as a creation of cartoonist Pat Sullivan, almost everybody today recognizes Otto Messmer as the real person behind Felix's creation and success... especially once information came to light that Sullivan had virtually nothing to do with making the Felix cartoons and was barely ever present at his own studio. The credits for The Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat go as far as to credit both Otto Messmer and Joe Oriolo as the creators of Felix, but completely leaves out mentioning Pat Sullivan.
  • Hey Arnold!: Most of the kids in the series had multiple actors, but there would be one who fans would consider the actor;
    • Ben Diskin is usually remembered as the Eugene, despite having been the third actor to voice him. He lasted three seasons in the part, and was the only one of the four boys who played him to have continued with voice acting after hitting puberty (and one of the few child actors on the show in general to have done so), thus establishing Eugene as one of the "breakthrough" roles of Diskin's career.
    • Adam Wylie was so memorable as Curly that he was brought back to the role after having been replaced - twice. In fact, of the four actors to voice Curly, two of the others only lasted for one episode each, and the third (Michael Welch) appeared in only two.
    • Arnold himself is a bit unclear; There have been a total of seven Arnolds (counting the pilot, The Jungle Movie and his Time-Shifted Actor in flashbacks) note  but two of them have a pretty good claim to being the Arnold.
      • Lane Toran (then known and credited as Toran Caudell) was the first Arnold on the show proper note  and only lasted one season in the part (though he subbed in for Phillip Van Dyke in the Season 2 Musical Episode "What's Opera, Arnold?" because Van Dyke wasn't a confident singer). Even after his voice broke, he remained with the show for its entirety as the bully Wolfgang, a role created specifically for him. Due to First Installment Wins, he's often remembered as "the" Arnold by the media — in 2015, a widely reported story (with pictures!) noted how "the voice of Arnold" was all grown up. Toran is also frequently invited to fan conventions and panels reminiscing about his time on the show, alongside Francesca Marie Smith; he even appeared on the official Hey Arnold! panel at the 2017 SDCC alongside the current Arnold (Mason Vale Cotton), the only past Arnold to do so. He also returned to provide voice work for The Jungle Movie note  and is, once again, the only past Arnold who made an appearance even though both Phillip Van Dyke and Spencer Klein played the role for longer.
      • Spencer Klein, unlike both Toran and Van Dyke (who later voiced One Shot Characters Sandy and Ludwig), appeared only as Arnold (he was replaced very late into the show's run, so Craig Bartlett didn't have time to recast him as somebody else, as he had done for the other two), and made the most appearances as the Football Head. note  Each of the four voice actors portrayed Arnold slightly differently, but Klein's overtly romantic, serious, sensitive, and somewhat exaggerated goody-goody take on the character is how he is usually depicted in fanfiction.
  • Kim Possible: Though creators Bob Schooley and Mark McCorkle get a fair amount of Creator Worship, the show is generally considered to have Growing the Beard when Steve Loter began directing the series, expanding upon Ron's character and making Kim a bit more flawed.
  • Looney Tunes:
    • The series as a whole was created by Hugh Harman and Rudolph Ising as a competitor to Silly Symphonies, yet it was through the efforts of Friz Freleng, Tex Avery, Chuck Jones and the amazing voice of Mel Blanc that fleshed it out into a Zany Cartoon series well-known today.
    • Bugs Bunny. While an early version first appeared in "Porky's Hare Hunt" by Ben Hardaway and Cal Dalton, and his first "official" appearance was in "A Wild Hare" by Tex Avery (who went on to direct a number of early Bugs Bunny cartoons before moving to MGM), the directors who fleshed him out most were Bob Clampett, Friz Freleng, Robert McKimson and perhaps most notably Chuck Jones. To say nothing of the contributions of others at Termite Terrace, like writer Michael Maltese and voice actor Mel Blanc. In "The Bugs Bunny Road Runner Movie", Bugs commented that, "instead of having millions of children, like your ordinary run-of-the-mill rabbit, I have several fathers."
    • Daffy Duck has an even more complicated history and inheritance. He was originally made by Avery, though he himself only directed three appearances of the character. Clampett took to making Daffy a recurring star and foil for Porky Pig, while Freleng and Jones are often credited for creating the contemporary rendition of the character; the jealous egomaniacal Butt-Monkey rival to Bugs Bunny, with many other directors (especially Mckimson) credited for establishing loads of other nuances in-between that still made him feel like one same character.
    • Tweety was created by Bob Clampett. During his first few cartoons, he was pink (presumably featherless), a bit homely looking, and had a bit of a mean-streak about him. He quickly became a hit, but then Clampett left Warner Bros and Friz Freleng had his go with the character in the cartoon "Tweetie Pie" (which was one of Clampett's unfinished shorts), giving him a bright, yellow coat of feathers at a request of the Hayes Office, made him cuter, a little more innocent, as well as his first pairing with Sylvester, who would become his arch nemesis. The end result was another character to Freleng's roster, as well as the first Academy Award for the Warner Bros. animation studio.
    • Speedy Gonzales first appeared in a Robert Mckimson cartoon, though his design and some nuances of his character weren't fully realised yet. Friz Freleng once again cutened the character and paired him against Sylvester, making his contemporary rendition. Downplayed since Mckimson did continue making a large bulk of Speedy cartoons (and was responsible for the majority of his cartoons when Freleng took over as producer in the 60s), though these utilised Freleng's retool of the character.
    • Freleng himself created Porky Pig, however he only directed a sporadic amount of his appearances, later admitting he wasn't that fond of using him. As such it was Clampett and Mckimson's turn to refine one of Freleng's characters, and were largely responsible for defining his neurotic Straight Man role against Daffy Duck. Of course Clampett was still responsible for Porky solely through this trope alone, Freleng objected when he later tried to take credit for making Porky's original model sheet.
    • Henery Hawk was created in 1942 by Chuck Jones, who used him sparingly. It was Robert McKimson, however, who made him into a major character in the Foghorn Leghorn cartoons and shaped him into the version known today.
  • For the Marvel cartoons, Steve Blum is Wolverine, Fred Tatasciore is the Hulk, Nolan North is Deadpool, and Josh Keaton is Spider-Man. Unfortunately, Keaton got unceremoniously booted from his role earlier than those other actors did, with multiple voice actors replacing him, though he's gotten to reprise his role a couple times since.
  • As something of a stock Disney fact, some consider Ub Iwerks the true creator of Mickey Mouse as he originally drew and animated him. Yet others still attribute the character to Walt Disney, since he did give Mickey his personality. In the words of one Disney employee, "Ub designed Mickey's physical appearance, but Walt gave him his soul."
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic is an interesting (and a bit extreme) example. This installment of the franchise will always belong to Lauren Faust, who has been ascribed near-godly status by the fandom. While most fans still acknowledge showrunners Meghan McCarthy and Jayson Thiessen, she's still considered number one and the ultimate Word of God despite having no influence following the second season. Faust has frequently tried to invoke God Does Not Own This World, but the fans still regard her as the final word. Even Bonnie Zacherle, the creator of the My Little Pony franchise, gets phased out in comparison to Faust.
  • Popeye: Despite originally starting out as a comic strip character created by E. C. Segar, Max and Dave Fleischer made Popeye into one of the most popular cartoon characters of all time, at one point eclipsing even Mickey Mouse. In the original comic strips, Popeye wasn't even introduced until about ten years in; the focus of the first decade was Olive Oyl and her boyfriend at the time, Harold Hamgravy, with Olive's brother Castor and her parents Cole and Nana making frequent appearances. If you've ever heard of any of them (except Olive, of course), it wasn't from the cartoons.
  • The Ren & Stimpy Show: Even before John K. was ousted for his history of pedophilia and generally abusive behavior in 2018, people often credited Bob Camp & co. as the show's real creative force, pointing their involvement in many of the series' best episodes, the fact that Camp directed 80% of the series, and the poor reception to John K's solo projects.
  • Ruby Gloom, including most of her supporting characters, were created by illustrator Martin Hsu. And while his designs were excellent (except for his version of Misery), it was the writers working for Nelvana who turned Gloomsville's residents into well-defined, fleshed-out characters.
  • While Matt Groening and James L. Brooks get the bulk of credit for creating The Simpsons, John Ortved in his book The Simpsons: An Uncensored, Unauthorized History argues that co-developer, producer and writer Sam Simon deserves at least an equal share of the credit for making the series as good as it was. Simon worked on the series for only the first four seasons but for contractual reasons he kept receiving credit and royalties from the show until his death from cancer in March 2015. Fans also credit director and animator David Silverman, who has been involved with The Simpsons since the early The Tracey Ullman Show shorts, for establishing and refining the show's visual identity. Silverman has been responsible for handling some of the show's most unique and challenging scenes, such as Homer's chili-induced hallucinations.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars:
    • Creator and showrunner Dave Filoni is held in high regards for his treatment of Star Wars prequel era characters. While Asajj Ventress may have been created for Star Wars: Clone Wars and made numerous appearance in Star Wars comics, it wasn't until Season 3 of Star Wars: The Clone Wars where she became a compelling and interesting character. The Clone Wars depiction of Anakin Skywalker is seen by most as the best interpretation, given that he is at his most noble, sympathetic, and stable even as the series shows his fall to darkness.
    • For some fans, The Clone Wars was this for everyone and everything that was in the Prequels. Especially Darth Maul, but also including various Jedi, senators, species, and, yes, even Jar Jar Binks.
    • For some fans of Ahsoka and Barriss, writer Giancarlo Volpe is the best writer for those characters. Notably, he wrote "Weapons Factory" (when Ahsoka and Barriss first met) and "Lightsaber Lost" (a self-contained episode about Ahsoka looking for her stolen lightsaber). He's also stated on his Tumblr blog that he intentionally wrote Ahsoka and Barriss with Les Yay Ship Tease, making him especially well-liked in the LGBT Fanbase and Ahsoka and Barriss being LGBT being popular interpretations of their characters.
    • After Ahsoka's appearance in The Mandalorian, some fans who either dislike her portrayal and/or Rosario Dawson believe Ashley Eckstein is the Ahsoka Tano.
  • Though Star vs. the Forces of Evil was created by Daron Nefcy and has the same producers for the last three of its four seasons, there are those who credit the best era of the series as being the work of director Giancarlo Volpe. This is because the series is seen as having greatly improved in both comedy and drama when he joined at the start of Season 2, and his departure following Season 3's "Battle for Mewni" arc to work on The Dragon Prince coincided with the show's growing Broken Base surrounding a continuously divisive latter half.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles:
    • Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird created the franchise and made the original comic a Cult Classic. However, when the first animated series was being developed, it was writer David Wisenote  who turned the Turtles from grim and gritty crimefighters into the comical, pizza-loving heroes who made the franchise a smash hit. And Mirage staffers like Dan Berger and Steve Murphy (who both wrote many of the most beloved TMNT comics, both in the original gritty Mirage series and the kid-friendly cartoon-based Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures) and Jim Lawson and Ryan Brown (who respectively created the fan-favorite supporting characters the Rat King and Leatherhead) also put their own stamp on the franchise.
    • The 2003 animated series is undeniably this for Karai. Before this, the character was relegated almost exclusively to the Mirage comics, with said comics consistently portraying her as an ally to the Turtles. Post-2003, not only is it standard operating procedure for a new iteration of the franchise to have Karai in it (even the 2014 live-action film and its sequel included the character) but just about every single new iteration is directly based on the 2003 show's depiction of her as working directly under The Shredder (usually as his daughter or granddaughter), with most of them (the aforementioned live-action movies being the exception) being depicted as a conflicted character who varies between an enemy to the Turtles and an ally to them.
  • Thomas & Friends:
    • While nobody will deny that Wilbert Awdry is the true father of the franchise, Britt Allcroft and David Mitton are undeniably the ones who made Thomas and his friends accessible to a wider audience and into the worldwide pop cultural icons they are today.
    • In Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure, Ryan was voiced by Eddie Redmayne, most notable for playing Newt Scamander in the Fantastic Beasts series. In the regular episodes, he is voiced by Steven Kynman. When Redmayne came out in support of J. K. Rowling, who is notorious for her transphobic comments, many Thomas fans disowned him and think that Kynman is the true (and better) Ryan voice.
  • For Transformers, Peter Cullen is Optimus Prime (if he isn't available, then it should fall to Garry Chalk), Corey Burton is Shockwave, Chris Latta is definitely Starscream (his death prevented him from ever reprising the role, but his iconic voice for the character is mimicked by virtually every voice actor that succeeded him aside from a few minor exceptions), and Frank Welker is Megatron (otherwise, it's David Kaye).
  • Transformers Beast Wars: Garry Chalk is Optimus Primal, David Kaye is Predacon Megatron, and Scott McNeil is Waspinator.
  • Woody Woodpecker was conceived by Walter Lantz and Ben Hardaway, and designed by animation director Alex Lovy, yet many regard the cartoons that the trio worked on in the early-mid 1940s to be mediocre at best, and the subsequent directors Shamus Culhane and especially Dick Lundy under whom the series really got good.

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