There’s a highly obscure New Zealand cartoon called The Adventures of Voopa the Goolash that, if the Lost Media Wiki's article is any indication, had this in spades.
The show was under the control of Jeff Taylor, the same man who contributed to the success of Teletubbies. However, disputes between him and the original investors meant that the master tapes were held by the studio, who refused to let them go. The show's creator Craig Whyte had this to say about it:
Craig Whyte: This was way back in 2007. It created a shitstorm that was hard to grab onto. Before I knew it it was in the hands of Jeff Taylor who put the Teletubbies on the map for BBC Worldwide. And a few other avaricious bloodsuckers from the children's entertainment business. Sadly it ended up in a cataclysmic bunfight between the original investors and Jeff Taylor and his cronies. The big swinging dicks did their swinging and although there were 13 episodes in the can it never went to market as the studio withheld the masters at the time of broadcast due to a spat over monies due from the NZ film commission. It was an utter tragedy and ended up with me darn near taking my life. For real. It really was my way of putting back something to the world for all the blessings I had enjoyed despite my unbridled rampage through life - and I was crushed that it never got out to the little people!
The 1973 DePatie-Freleng show Bailey's Comets was a production nightmare due to the massive cast. The show was a Wacky Racesclone featuring 15 rollerskating teams, each with six members. Because everybody was rollerskating, this meant that dozens of characters had to be constantly moving, something hard to achieve with the tight television animation schedule. note (By contrast, Wacky Races was able to keep the animation costs down by having everybody inside a car, thus only having to animate the wheels and only animating the characters moving when the script called for it.) Even creating the stock animation of each team rollerskating was a headache on its own. In order to ensure they could finish the show in time, DePatie-Freleng had to hire a night crew (mostly people moonlighting from Hanna-Barbera and Filmation) to paint the cels. In the end, the show not only went overbudget, but received poor ratings, prompting CBS to move the show to Sunday mornings after a few months. One animator claimed that the series nearly broke the studio.
Bonkers: While not too much is known about the particulars of the show's production, it is known that Disney was unhappy with the original concept of the show, which resulted in a complete Retool mid-production, changing the producer, Bonkers' partner, the supporting cast, and the art style. One episode had to be produced to bridge the two radically different versions of the show for the purposes of a complete syndication package.
The first ever television series based on Curious George, a series of 104 four-minute shorts, had a very shaky production, as detailed in this video (starting at 14:02):
Co-Author of the Curious George books, H.A. Rey, had passed away in August 1977, and it wasn't long after this that TV producer Alan Shalleck approached H.A. Rey's wife and co-author Margaret Rey with the idea of producing an adaptation of Curious George for television. Margaret agreed, but asked for full creative control over the series and its production. With funding being secured from the Canadian firm Lafferty, Harwood, and Partners LTD, production began under the fledging animation company Milktrain Productions in 1977.
It was at this point that things began to fall apart. Once they started working together, it quickly turned out that Margaret and Shalleck did not get along well at all. Still reeling from her husband's passing, Margaret was very particular about how Shalleck and the crew wrote about her and H.A.'s curious little monkey, which quickly got on Shalleck's nerves and resulted in many heated arguments between the two to the point that Shalleck at one point publicly referred to Margaret as a "spoiled little child". The creative disagreements and constant bickering between Margaret and Shalleck gummed up production, and by 1979, the studio had run out of money with only 34 out of the planned 104 shorts completed. The crew came crawling back to Lafferty, Harwood, and Partners to ask for more funding, which only agreed to foot the bill if they could completely take over production. Milktrain Productions was dissolved and only LHP's name was on the credits of the end product. Luckily, from this point on, production on the shorts went much smoother and the shorts premiered on the then-new Nickelodeon as part of Pinwheel in 1984, later being given an early-morning half-hour slot after production on Pinwheel ended. Curious George would call this spot on Nick home until 1989, when the shorts Channel Hopped to Disney Channel and aired on its anthology program Lunchbox, later airing as an interstitial either by itself or as one of several short series featured on the channel's interstitial program Circle Time up until the early 2000s.
The story doesn't quite end there, however, as LHP later neglected to get Margaret and the Rey Family's permission when they began distributing the Curious George shorts on home media in 1993. Margaret successfully sued the firm for breach of contract and the Reys were properly compensated, while also allowing the shorts to continue to be distributed on home video.
DiC Entertainment have been known for doing this to many projects of theirs, but two shows were more impacted than others, due to being produced just as DIC was being bought out and rebranded as Cookie Jar Entertainment:
In July 2003, DIC formed a joint-venture with Stan Lee's company POW Entertainment to create an animated series titled Stan Lee's Secret Super Six. After a while, nothing else was heard from this partnership, and the show never materialized until 2010, after DIC co-founder Andy Heyward founded a new company called A Squared Entertainment (now Genius Brands International), who would start production on the project under the new name of Mighty 7. Since then, a comic book franchise and an animated TV movie have been made, but no TV show.
In February 2006, DIC announced a Direct-to-Video series featuring Warren Buffet, titled The Secret Millionaires Club. The series was meant to be released in fall 2006, but nothing else materialized until after Heyward founded A-Squared, where the idea was turned into a TV series that aired on The Hub as simply Secret Millionaires Club.
The Flintstones was a tough sell, sometimes requiring 5 pitches per day and requiring 8 months of pitching in total according to Joe Barbera. There was also June Foray getting dropped from the voice cast without warning at the beginning of production, which led her to be very bitter about working with Hanna-Barbera in her later years.
Video game-themed action-comedy Glitch Techs was announced in 2018 for Nickelodeon and set to premiere in mid-to-late 2019. However, on January 9, 2019, the crew walked into work only to discover that production had been "frozen" on the series right as they were producing a ten-episode second season, due to executives wanting to cut as many non-money-making productions as possible, and that anyone not required for post-production on the original 20-episode season one order was being immediately laid off. The series eventually premiered on Netflix in February 2020 as part of a deal with Viacom.
Downplayed with Gravity Falls. While the production had no more significant struggles than the average television animation production, the "troubled" aspect comes from creator Alex Hirsch's lack of experience in being a showrunner. By the time season one wrapped up, Hirsch was so burnt out from the experience that he wanted to end the series right there regardless of popularity and leave it forever on a Cliffhanger. He credits the existence of the show's second season to both Jon Stewart and Over the Garden Wall creator Patrick McHale, who were horrified at the notion and urged him to continue on (Stewart received a guest role in a season two episode as thanks). But even then, Hirsch would try (and fail) to argue for a shorter ten-episode order rather than a full season.
The show's erratic scheduling during its final season was partly the result of Disney wanting to stretch the show out longer in the hopes that Hirsch would eventually change his mind about ending their most popular animated series. It has since been reported that Disney had meddled with the show more than what was previously thought; in particular, it was reported that Sheriff Blubs and Deputy Durland were revealed as gay in the finale as a personal decision by Hirsch solely out of spite towards Disney not approving such a move earlier.
High Guardian Spice had a pretty hectic development, according to series' creator Raye Rodriguez in a Twitter thread. According to Rodriguez, the series was produced by a non-union studio, which resulted in the crew being forced to work with No Budget and tight scheduling. A lot of the animation errors and writing flaws were because the crew had no time or money to go back and fix them. In fact, storyboarding for the first episode began before the script was even finished. Making matters worse was Crunchyroll's disastrous marketing for the show. The cast and crew had interviews and storyboards used as a promo for the show, which the crew had no input on, were not told would be used to advertise it, and were unable to do anything about it once they found out. The talks about the diverse crew working on the show gave the impression that the show would be something it wasn't, which made the show's reputation sink before it was even out. Production on the show took so long that a change in upper management occurred midway through the first season; the new executives balked at the original family-friendly premise, and demanded that the writers include more "mature" content to appeal to Crunchyroll's usual audience of teenagers. Because this happened so late, the studio had no real choice but to slot in cursing, sex jokes, and blood "where appropriate." The rest of the show remained colorful and cutesy since there was no time or budget to rewrite the series with older viewers in mind, so this resulted in a heavily Uncertain Audience.
Jimmy Two-Shoes: Co-creator Edward Kay has admitted that he doesn't look back too fondly on his time working on the show due to this. More specifically, he admitted that Jimmy Two-Shoes fought a losing battle with Executive Meddling from Disney XD executives from the moment they entered the picture (Teletoon proved a lot easier to work with, being a lot more lax towards the show's tone), as they constantly rejected and objected to all of the darker ideas he and the writers tried to include in the show (and some of the lighter ones too, refusing to air one episode, "The Big Drip," solely for having Toilet Humor). This became especially prominent in Season 2, where the show's retool completely severed all traces of its Black Comedy origins for good.
Tom Ruegger of Animaniacs fame describedNBC's obscure Jokebook as "an unmitigated disaster". At the time, he was working at Hanna-Barbera, the studio that made it, and although he wasn't directly involved, he had a front-row seat to the whole debacle. Jokebook was an animated Sketch Comedy conceived by a close friend of HB co-founder Joe Barbera, and described by the network as "a seven-part series featuring animated humor". Problem was that this man, Harry Love, was a humorless old creep who lacked much experience or talent in stories. He rejected his peers' ideas for sketches, feeling that his own jokes were good enough, and flaunted his connections to Barbera. Additionally, the animation was originally so awful (even by the standards of that era) that NBC wouldn't touch it, but once much of the animation was fixed, it became clear that Love's Dirty Old Man tendencies crept into the gags, which Ruegger described as "wheezy, lame and ancient one-panel sex jokes rejected by Playboy and other publications at least a decade before". NBC found many of them far too crass and inappropriate, and HB had to fill the gaps left by the rejected sketches with student and independent animated films (among them being a bowdlerized version of Ted Petok's Academy Award winner The Crunch Bird). At any rate, NBC had lost all faith in the project by this point, and dumped it in the Friday Night Death Slot right in the middle of the 1981-82 season against The Dukes of Hazzard and Benson. The show performed so poorly that its second episode was dead last in ratings among all shows that week, prompting NBC to pull the plug after just three of the planned seven episodes. Ruegger doubts that it would've lasted much longer even with better ratings, as so much of the original content was removed that it was hard for HB to find enough outside material for the three broadcast episodes, let alone seven.
Fast forward a while, and the Lawrence/Takashi team had sunk $11 million over two and a half years, and there weren't any episodes ready to air yet. Compound that with the Galoob toys (based around Questworld) being ready to go and Cartoon Network setting airdates, it was clear that the show was sinking fast. Davis Doi (another veteran of SWAT Kats) was recruited to help bring the project back in line and hopefully make something airable out of the chaos.
As a result, four different crews were set to work on the show. Cos Anziolatti and John Eng would handle the task of trying to make sense of the scraps that Lawrence and Takashi had managed to make and turn those into episodes (huge amounts of stuff had to be trashed, rewritten and animated just to make some kind of sense).
Meanwhile, Doi and LarryHouston would be in charge of a new batch of 26 episodes far closer to the 1960s show, with the Questworld gimmick largely phased out, all the voice actors replaced, and the characterization and style being closer to the original. But both batches of episodes were mixed and matched at random when aired, creating a disjointed, confusing continuity. (Both batches were retroactively labeled as "season 1" and "season 2" thereafter, although HB technically saw them as one season.)
As a result of the chaos, 13 episodes were cut from the original order and the financial state resulted in the show not being renewed.
According to Word of God from Foofur creator and Star Street: The Adventures of the Star Kids producer Phil Mendez, his most notable work Kissyfur was plagued with Executive Meddling for its Saturday morning show. NBC wanted to call the show Paddlecab County, but Mendez refused, wanting to name the show after its titular character whose name his son Christopher accidentally came up with due to how he said his own name when he had a tooth missing.
According to artists and voice actor Bob Bergen, the Larry Doyle-produced Looney Tunes shorts greenlit as a tie-in to Looney Tunes: Back in Action went through a lot of trouble for what ultimately amounted to nothing. Production on the shorts was marked by in-fighting between the writers and artists, and Doyle's insistence on pitching up voices like the old days led to issues with voice actors (including Bergen, who was planning on quitting out of frustration, only to learn he was being fired anyway; the role of Porky Pig went to a voice-pitched Billy West). Warner Bros. executives were appalled at what was being made, especially with the overbearing amount of blatant Demographically Inappropriate Humor in the shorts. The studio fired Doyle, re-edited the six finished shorts, and shelved everything else, leaving most of them unreleased after the commercial failure of Looney Tunes: Back in Action. When they finally were released to the public (with Australia getting most of them long before the rest of the world), critics and fans took them to task for, among other things, simplifying the characters to a fault and relying too much on slapstick violence (including some of the family-unfriendly variety). Needless to say, those who worked on the shorts don't like talking about the experience.
For starters, when the company got the license from Andre Franquin, its future with original IP was far from certain despite the recent success of The Little Mermaid, so it seemed like a beneficial deal for both parties. However, Disney committed numerous acts of Loophole Abuse regarding the contract, such as convincing Franquin to accept a "roll-out strategy" that consisted of making shorts for Raw Toonage (which also included the aforementioned Bonkers), then debuting a half-hour series the following year, itself made up of both old and new Marsupilami shorts, with a middle segment alternating between shorts starring The Little Mermaid character Sebastian and Bill Kopp's Shnookums and Meat. The problem was that the contract demanded a series with full half-hour stories, a demand that this series clearly didn't meet. To say nothing of the fact that Disney's version barely qualified as an adaptation, using only a heavily-modified version of the title character and nothing else.
What's worse, by the time production started, the Disney Renaissance was in full swing, and lucrative homegrown properties like Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin made the idea of promoting an outside property seem redundant to Disney. Marketing responsibility was handed over to lower-rung executives, who screwed it up to the point that the only merchandise released for the property came out between the end of Raw Toonage and the beginning of the standalone Marsupilami series, a decision that even one of Disney's own experts thought was insane. On top of that, the show had to air on a network (meaning that The Disney Afternoon, successful as it was at the time, wouldn't suffice) - and Disney never even so much as attempted to sell half-hour Marsupilami episodes to networks, only airing the shorts series on CBS as a replacement for Raw Toonage, which Disney cancelled after 12 episodes.
The series ended after 13 episodes, and Disney had the contract nullified - without the necessary 180-day notice. This was the final straw, and Franquin successfully sued Disney over their mishandling of the property. From there, the series faded into obscurity, with the only thing coming out of it post-cancellation being a spin-off of the Shnookums and Meat segments into its own similarly short-lived series for The Disney Afternoon.
Not as bad as some, but according to an ASIFA interview with Kurt Anderson (one of two directors on the series), Quack Pack was a stressful show to work on. Part of the reason was because there were too many cooks in the kitchen, so things took longer than they should have on a TV production schedule (the show was in production as early as 1993, which explains why a brief clip appears in an early episode of Gargoyles). As this was Kurt's first directorial job, it was definitely a learning experience.
3D Choreographer, the software used in animating the special, was never meant for film and television production. Described by the developers as "an animation program designed for non-artists", it was a way to create simple animation using pre-designed models for use in PowerPoint presentations and '90s internet webpages. Because of this, the software's functions proved to be very limited. The animators found out that it doesn't allow modeling new character designs, forcing them to send the concept art to the software developers so they could create custom models specifically for the special. The animators were horrified when the resulting models came back.
Another setback with the software was its pre-programmed animation trajectory, which couldn't be changed or altered. This is why there are strange edits and scene continuity errors throughout; it was the only way they could cut out the unwanted parts of the animation.
One of the animators grew increasingly frustrated with the poor graphics and the limited functions with the software, to the point that he told the investors who financially backed the special that they were being ripped off (up to this point they haven't seen any footage of the special). When Colin Slater found out he promptly fired him, forcing the remaining animators to work overtime as the deadline was just days away.
The animators only had four months to work on the special. It was such a tight deadline that there was no time to storyboard at all. Surprisingly, they were able to deliver the special to The WB on time and on budget.
Despite getting screen credit for directing, Slater was very hands-off during production, to the point where the animators didn't get any direction at all. Making it worse was that, aside from the very basic instructions, he was not an expert on how the animation software worked, forcing the animators to figure it out themselves since there was no one they could ask for help. As an inside joke, when "Directed by Colin Slater" came up during the closing credits, they animated a snowman winking in response.
The Ren & Stimpy Show was, in its original run, one of the most talked-about shows on television, and one of the biggest hits for the then-fledgling Nickelodeon network. It's now counted alongside The Simpsons, Beavis And Butthead and South Park as a revolution in TV cartoons, and one of the key shows of The Renaissance Age of Animation. However, right from the start, it was fraught with production troubles that ultimately destroyed it. Years later, Bob Camp summed it up as "the best of times, the worst of times" and that "the whole thing was fucked from the beginning."
Nickelodeon green-lighting their first original show from a studio that had never produced animation (up until this time, Spumco had been an illustration company) turned out to be the blind leading the blind. According to Bob Camp, there was poor communication regarding creative control from then-network head Linda Simensky, who outright told the crew that they had carte blanche on content under the incorrect assumption that they shared a consensus of just how far "too far" was. The result was constant disagreement and confusion between both parties on an issue-to-issue basis. The executives also didn't understand the show's particular brand of absurdist humor, like jump cuts or gross up close ups, when shown the storyboards, forcing the crew to overexplain most of the more bizarre gags (this obviously didn't help the network's faith). Because of John Kricfalusi's insistence that the show not use scripts, only storyboards, he had to fly to New York every time the network needed to approve stories. Each storyboard took two months to complete and be approved. Bob Camp admitted that the crew had too much of a "shitty 'fuck you' attitude" that the network wasn't prepared to deal with.
Many of the season 1 episodes were massacred by bad outsourcing, due in part to work from Fil-Cartoons, a literal sweatshop studio in the Philippines with poor working conditions and such dismal pay that employees were forced to sleep there. The studio handled ink-and-paint work for the entire first season, and more often than not, heavily ruined many scenes due to their all-around cheap Xeroxing, ugly colors, and habit of "reworking" drawings or whole scenes of animation without Spumco's consent. There were even some unintentional (rather than purposeful) Off-Model moments, such as Stimpy's eyes inexplicably turning black in the "Stimpy's Breakfast Tips" note It was supposed to be a placeholder for a separate level of animation photographed in front of it, specifically of Stimpy's actual eyes, but that bit of animation was thrown out, and John K found it funny upon seeing it and decided to Throw It In. and Ren accidentally having two elephant trunks on him instead of one in "Black Hole". note specifically, Ren's trunk is supposed to shift off to the side when he looks at his watch, but a mistake left the animated part of his trunk moving, but with a top drawing of his trunk kept still above it, making it seem like he now has two trunks. Carbunkle director Bob Jacques had to fight tooth and nail to get the studio to turn in acceptable work for episodes like "Stimpy's Invention" (and even then, the sporadic error slipped in, such as Stimpy's eyes floating off his face when he's showing Ren his new socks), and described the experience of working with them as "all damage control" and called them "the cheapest shithole studio [he's] ever had the displeasure to work at". The second season switched to digital ink and paint, presumably to avoid further problems like this, which came with its own set of problems, being such a new and still very rudimentary form of technology.
One of the biggest sources of friction was over censorship. Nickelodeon was always uneasy with the show's gross-out humor, and sent constant revisions for every single episode. "Nurse Stimpy" had a good chunk of footage axed before it got to air (specifically a gag involving a leech being used on Ren), and they even kept one finished episode, "Man's Best Friend", off the air due to its violent and scatological content. As a general rule, anything that had to do with religion, politics, alcohol, or tobacco was put under a microscope by Standards & Practices. In particular, the character George Liquor had his last name removed from one episode, and made only sporadic appearances due to opposition from the network, right down to axing a scene with him from "Rubber Nipple Salesman", forcing Spumco to change a Liquor cameo in "Haunted House" into a parody of Doug Funnie (which was edited out in reruns anyway) and rejecting an episode idea starring him (which prompted the crew to improvise the story for "Fire Dogs" in an afternoon). Meanwhile, "Powdered Toast Man", featuring the Pope, removed a cross from his hat and credited the character simply as "the Man with the Pointy Hat", and the ending scene of Toast Man carelessly using the Constitution and Bill of Rights as kindling for a fire was edited out after its initial airing, which ironically ruined the episode's satirical message of how easily authority and power are abused.
In addition to his general unprofessionalism, John K.'s perfectionism was out of control. Spumco was largely understaffed due to his refusal to hire anyone who didn't meet the standards of the studio's founders (himself, Camp and Naylor). Not only did this mean that the show had to be done by an incredibly small crew, but what few staff members were hired regularly had their drawings torn up if they didn't meet John K.'s exact expectations, despite his directions often being vague. One scene of Stimpy shaking his butt in "Stimpy's Invention" was re-animated sixteen times until it met John K.'s approval. Historian Jerry Beck distinctly remembers visiting the studio and finding out that John K. was so obsessed with finding the right color for the present that Stimpy hands Ren that the walls were lined with over 50 different cels of the same present in different colors, likening it to a scene out of The Shining (ironically, John K. ended up working with one of the initial color choices).
Through a combination of the crew's perfectionism and the constant battles over what was acceptable to air, the show suffered from severe Schedule Slip almost from the start. Nickelodeon only ordered six episodes when the show was green-lit and they still had to rerun the pilot episode in order to have something to show in what should've been the second episode's time slot; this helped the show build an audience but killed any hope for syndication. The second season was planned to have twenty episodes before getting cut down to thirteen. Only eleven were completed, with two held over for season three.
Feuding between John K. and Nickelodeon over how long and expensive the production of each episode was reached its apex September '92, in the middle of the second season, when John K. told them point blank that episodes would "cost what they cost and take as long as they needed." Having had enough, Nickelodeon fired him and his studio from the series and continued it through their new in-house production facility Games Animation (John K. continues to insist that content was the deciding factor, specifically that in "Man's Best Friend," but nearly all sources say otherwise).
The remainder of the series was finished by half of its original staff (those who weren't loyal to John K.) plus some newcomers. Despite their efforts to conform to the more traditional structure of TV animation production, deadlines were still missed. Both fans and much of the staff agree that there were more bad episodes of this era than good ones. Nevertheless, the show ended up running for three more seasons until 1995, at which point Nickelodeon put it on "indefinite hiatus."
In 2003, John K. relaunched the show as Ren & Stimpy "Adult Party Cartoon", part of an adult animation block on Spike TV. The censorship fights at Nickelodeon were inverted at Spike TV - John K. maintains that Spike TV pressured him to turn up the adult content farther than he was willing to go, though other crew members have disputed this. At any rate, Spike TV made the mistake of giving John K. complete Auteur License and the result was a combination of the usual production delays and excessive spending that had gotten him fired from Nickelodeon back in the 90s and the newfound license to refuse criticism from anyone and everyone over anything to an even worse degree than before. By August 2004, when Spike TV cancelled all of its animated projects, only three episodes were fully completed, after which John K. had to beg people for money in order to finish the last three episodes.
Following Justin Roiland's firing after Season 6 over felony assault and false imprisonment charges, it was revealed in The Hollywood Reporter that relations between Roiland and the rest of the writing staff had been fraught since Season 2, necessitating mediation between him and Harmon at one point. Roiland rarely came to the writers room, and when he did he either kept to himself with his toys or invited controversial figures like Kanye West and a high-profile porn star for impromptu tours. By the time of his firing, Roiland hadn't been on speaking terms with Harmon in years and hadn't corresponded with any of the writers, even over Zoom, since Season 3.
While the first season of Robotboy went well production-wise, the same can't be said for the second one. Alphanim (now Gaumont Animation) felt the stories needed better pacing, so they hired Bob Camp of The Ren and Stimpy Show to work on the show for money, evident in how the season feels rather different from the first in style and tone. There were apparently clashes between several of the people at Alphanim, including the higher-ups, who didn't like Bob Camp's way of directing. Series creator Jan Van Rijsselberge had stated that he felt Bob "didn't get" the show during his time on it. He was ultimately fired from the series, likely near the end of production, while Heath Kenny tried to save what he could of the series.
The show was already in production when Bakshi joined producer Steve Krantz's company. Krantz was having trouble with the studio in Toronto that was producing the show, run by Al Guest. There were communications problems with the animators because Guest has hired artists from all over the world, but not all could speak English. On top of that, Krantz discovered that Guest was embezzling money earmarked for the production by investing it in other projects that he wanted to produce himself.
As a result of all this, deadlines were not being met and the footage that did come out were deemed unacceptable, so Krantz sent Bakshi to Toronto to straighten things out.
Realizing much of the artists in the Toronto studio couldn't draw, Bakshi hired artists (many of whom worked in comic books) in New York to do layouts, which were sent to the Canadian studio for production. Krantz decided that it would be cheaper to produce everything in New York at this point, so he told Bakshi to pick up model charts from the Toronto studio back to the States so they could do that.
Al Guest (who, at this point, was suing Steve Krantz over the show, with Krantz countersuing) was delirious when he found out and called the Canadian police on Bakshi over the "theft". When Bakshi realized the police were waiting for him at the airport, where he was commuting every weekend, he told his background artist Johnny Vita to go to the airport to distract them while Bakshi would drive to the border (which was a two-hour drive). The police nabbed Vita, but since they had no arrest warrant for him they were forced to let him go after two days. Meanwhile, Bakshi safely made it back into the US.
By 1979, The Scooby-Doo Show was on the verge of cancelation by ABC, and Joe Barbera came up with the new character to help save it. None of the on-staff writers at Hanna-Barbera could write a satisfactory pilot script, and Evanier, the editor of their comic book division, was chosen. Barbera and Evanier worked together to finalize the character, and Evanier eventually turned in a satisfactory pilot script, and the show was picked up for a full season and made it on the air following endless salary and billing disputes, conflicts with Standards & Practices, and muchExecutive Meddling.
Casting the character's voice was difficult in its own right, and the pilot was recorded at least five different times. Mel Blanc was Barbara's first choice to voice Scrappy, but he turned the role down over salary disagreements. Then Frank Welker was considered before Don Messick was cast, and the pilot script recorded with the entire cast. Then ABC decided they didn't like Don's version, so Daws Butler was cast and the script re-recorded. Then they didn't like his version, and Marilyn Schreffler was cast and the script re-recorded once again before Welker was cast, and the script recorded a fourth time. Then Paul Winchell and Dick Beals were cast at different points, though production was halted while Barbera once again attempted to strike a deal with Blanc. Ultimately, Lennie Weinrib was cast in the role simply because he was the first choice the network wouldn't veto. Even he would end up leaving the role at the end of the season over a salary dispute, along with a personality dispute with the voice director, and Messick became Scrappy's permanent voice afterward.
The original designs chosen by the executives were apparently butt-ugly* (and considering that the art-style the final series has is still significantly divisive, that's saying a lot), and the crew had to fight tooth-and-nail to get designs that were more appealing.
The executives seemingly didn't know what kind of show they wanted to see: a subversive self-parody of the Scooby-Doo franchise with the characters' personalities exaggerated, or something more traditional for the series. They ended up forcing the first several episodes to be rewritten from scratch over even the slightest of issues they had with the characters, delaying the show's premiere date and wasting several hundred thousand dollars in the process. The execs then blamed their losses on the writers.
The execs arbitrarily replaced the show creator and the main writer with an inexperienced writer in the middle of Season 2 and gave the former two no credit for what they actually did during said season. The show creator eventually gave up and left the show due to how nasty things were getting behind the scenes and how the execs were treating him.
The pilot episode of The Simpsons, "Some Enchanted Evening", went so badly wrong that it nearly killed the show before it even began. The big problem was that the key members of the production team didn't appear to be talking to each other. Matt Groening and James L. Brooks imagined a show with unique designs and color schemes, but characters who were animated in a realistic way. Animation director Kent Butterworth (and apparently the people at Klasky-Csupo) on the other hand thought it should be animated in a whacked-out, over-the-top style with little regard paid to keeping the characters on model. And nobody appeared to have told the Korean animators anything at all, meaning they were let loose on the episode with wildly inconsistent results. The end product, while sometimes defended by animation enthusiasts as how the show should have been animated, wasn't what the producers or Fox wanted at all, and the plug nearly got pulled on the series. Fortunately the second episode, "Bart the Genius", did fit what the producers were looking for, and so they reshuffled the episode order and kicked off the series with "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire", while "Some Enchanted Evening" got substantially re-animated and booted to the end of the season.
There is a notorious story surrounding the first time the staff saw "Some Enchanted Evening". In one scene, Bart and Lisa watch a Happy Little Elves cartoon. For some reason still unknown to this day, Butterworth had decided to have a bear tear off one of the elves' heads and drink its blood. Needless to say, this did not go over well with the production crew.
South Park has had this happen a few times, as a consequence of its famously fast production process:
Splitting focus also led to 2004 being described by Parker as "the year from hell," given by the time they worked on the latter part season 8 the duo was creatively and physically exhausted from having just wrapped Team America: World Police. It is often highlighted in the DVD commentary for that season, with one episode being described as "a very special time in South Park history, because, this was the first time that we were officially... out of ideas."
"A Million Little Fibers" stands out in that the episode ended up being massively rewritten midway through production. Initially the plot revolved around the townspeople helping Towelie get over his drug habit, but Parker decided it wasn't working and scrapped everything (the opening scene with Towelie losing his job working at P.F. Chang's is the only footage to survive from the original version), and instead went with a storyline satirizing the then-recent controversy over A Million Little Pieces turning out to be mostly fictional despite being promoted as autobiographical. Production of the final version was so rushed that much of the finished product noticeably consists of just static artwork while characters talk in voiceover.
"Goth Kids 3: Dawn of the Posers" became the first episode in the show's history to miss a deadline due to a power outage hitting the studio a day before the episode was set to air. The episode was unable to be edited and shipped out on time, and was rescheduled to air the following week.
Whereas Barack Obama's two elections were considered safe enough that the show was able to reference the results in the next episode without any trouble note (for Obama's first election in 2008 it was obvious to most people by the week of election that rival candidate John McCain didn't have a prayer of winning, and while 2012 rival Mitt Romney's chances were considered better enough that they did at least storyboard an alternate ending in case he won, by election week they were confident enough in an Obama victory that they never bothered animating it), Season 20's intended story arc was derailed by Donald Trump unexpectedly defeating Hillary Clinton. Ironically, the episode scheduled for the following day was the one least affected, since Parker and Stone had at least taken the possibility of a Trump victory seriously enough that the episode was written in such a way that it could be quickly retooled in just such an event. However, since the remaining episodes of the season were written under the assumption of a Clinton victory, they had to be largely scrapped and rewritten from scratch.
Season 1 of Tiny Toon Adventures, while still acclaimed overall, had a hectic production schedule that was hampered by animation studios turning in less-than-stellar results:
Several early-run episodes, specifically "Strange Tales of Weird Science", "Lonniversity Daze", and "Hero Hamton", were outsourced to a domestic animation studio based in Nevada called Encore Cartoons. However, Encore turned in results that were far below the standards the crew was looking for, with sloppy character designs, continuity errors (one of the most infamous ones was in "Looniversity Daze" wherein Plucky was inserted into a classroom scene when he was supposed to be sitting just outside the classroom, resulting in the duplicate Plucky being colored purple with a blue tank top instead of green with a white tank top in the final product to hide this as the production crew was out of time), and extremely Limited Animation out the wazoo ("Strange Tales" features points where the characters' mouths barely even move as they speak). When the crew sent for retakes, they ended up with results that were just as bad if not even worse. The crew eventually ran out of time to get better animation (by which point the episodes, meant to be the third, sixth, and tenth episodes of the season respectively, had ended up being pushed back to the middle of the season) and had no choice but to either use the best Encore takes in the final episodes or have other studios such as Kennedy Cartoons or Startoons replace some of the worst animation. Even with the best takes, these three episodes still ended up with some of the worst animation and Off-Model moments of the entire series. The episodes' troubled production was lampshaded numerously in "Strange Tales" (via self-deprecating dialogue that was added in during its production and the obligatory Credits Gag: "Number of Retakes: Don't Ask"), which also notably had Alan Smithee credits for two of the included shorts. Needless to say, the crew never worked with Encore again after the disastrous production of these three episodes.
The aforementioned Kennedy Cartoons itself had very inconsistent animation quality (going from fluid and energetic animation to horrendously sloppy Off-Model animation and character designs at the drop of a hat) and the company didn't always concern themselves with emulating the classic Looney Tunes style that Steven Spielberg (whom company founder Glen Kennedy reportedly argued with over the vision for the series' animation) and the show's crew were aiming for, instead emulating the type of animation they used in shows such as A Pup Named Scooby-Doo. The inconsistent animation and squabbles between Steven and Glen resulted in a few episodes being held up in productionnotably... "Hare Today, Gone Tomorrow, which was the first episode in production order (but became the 18th episode) and also threw shade at itself in its Credits Gag ("Moral of the Story: We Need More Animators") and "High Toon", which ended up being held up until more than a month after the intended season finale "K-ACME TV" and/or having the worse animation being filled in by Jon McClenahan's crew, much like with Encore, and, also like Encore, Kennedy Cartoons was shown the door at the season's end.
One major problem during production was that they couldn't make up their mind what kind of cartoon this was supposed to be - studio head Phil Roman was most comfortable with the plot-and-dialogue-driven approach used in his commercial successes Garfield and Friends and The Simpsons, and had given this series what seemed like a guarded blessing -there was one group who wanted a Felix like the Otto Messmer shorts, one group who wanted Max and Dave Fleischer surreality, Don Oriolo, the current owner of Felix, wanting it to be like his dad's made-for-TV Felix cartoons (which most of the staff working on the show were against; they ultimately, but begrudgingly, added certain elements from it into Twisted Tales, like the Magic Bag), one group who wanted the show to be Ren & Stimpy-esque (understandable, since some of the artists on the show were former Ren & Stimpy artists), and one director who wanted a Robert Crumb influence! With so many cooks in the kitchen, the direction of the show tended to be all over the place, with Felix himself often getting swamped in importance by a large cast of supporting characters and his chaotic world. On top of that, per word of Mark Evanier, the studio had a terrible time finding a voice for Felix, saying they may have set a new industry record for most actors auditioned for one role (to where even staff of the studio were trying to audition for the role), and they wound up recording the show with a "scratch" (temporary) voice and animating to that. The final voice was only selected a few weeks before an episode aired and was dubbed in.
Another problem was that in addition to having a month to storyboard, design, and do layout work on each short, they could not learn from their mistakes, because by the time film began to come in, the season had been wrapped up. Some directors could handle writing and boarding a good cartoon, while some couldn't. The artists had no say on retakes in animation either, which was left to Phil Roman to decide - and unfortunately, the overseas animation on the show tended to be rather sluggish. This only got worse for Season 2, with Korean company Plus One having to rush episodes through, resulting in sloppy artwork and very bad animation timing (with "Nightmare on Oak Street" being one of the worst examples in the second season). On top of that, they were behind schedule, so they couldn't order retakes to correct any mistakes.
Eventually, Phil Roman and Don Oriolo found the "Cartoonist Driven" approach of the first season to be too taxing on them, and not even worth the trouble since, despite being one of the most expensive shows that Phil Roman's studio had made, the first season turned out to be a flop in the ratings, due in part to a terrible time slot - it was sandwiched right between sports shows and then-ratings giant X-Men: The Animated Series, making it very hard to establish an audience for the show. On top of that, Don was just unhappy with the weird direction of Season 1 having almost nothing in common with Joe Oriolo's Felix, so the second season went through an extensive retool - while the first season was storyboarded while working from a basic outline, and was absurdly surreal in its premises and animation, the second season decided to take the series into a direction more in vogue with the Joe Oriolo Felix cartoons and shift production to make the show a more standard TV cartoon, with scripts replacing the all-storyboard approach (usually provided by the writer of Garfield and Friends, Mark Evanier, who has remained silent on the series ever since), resulting in much more linear plotting and less surreal humor and more emphasis on wordplay and one-liners, as well as bringing back some of the Oriolo-era characters like Poindexter, Master Cylinder, and The Professor while forcing most of the new side characters to be scrapped in turn. This move was met with outright hostile reception from the shows staff, particularly the producer of the first season, who knew Don's meddling would only make things worse and bailed on the show just two weeks into the second season's production. They even tried to have the writers voice direct the actors instead of the directors, but after a couple weeks of trying that, the results were so disastrous that the studio was forced to drop that and hand voice direction back to the cartoon directors. The staff retaliated by writing whole episodes that took jabs at the second season's toned-down retool, such as "Attack of the Robot Rat" (which infuriated Don Oriolo for being a ruthless parody of his dad's made-for-TV Felix the Cat cartoons), "Phoney Phelix", and "The Fuzzy Bunny Show". The first few scripts they received were followed closely, but the shows new producer finally fought for the artists to have more storytelling and creative control on the show, and they were able to completely scrap the scripts and write their own shows, ironically giving the crew more freedom than they had in the first season. Some episodes were tightly scripted and some were not. Unfortunately for them, the VP of Children's Programming, Judy Price, who wanted the show picked up in the first place, got fired, and Felix the Cat Inc. was so unhappy with the show in general that they refused to renew the license for Phil Roman to continue using Felix, guaranteeing a third season wouldn't happen. To make matters worse, the second season turned to be an evenbiggerflop in the ratings, and it ultimately got the show canned, with Season 2 ending after just 8 episodes. The second season was considered a disaster in the eyes of everyone involved in it (especially Don Oriolo, who is barely willing to acknowledge the existence of Twisted Tales these days) and the show's failure ultimately put the Felix the Cat cartoons on ice yet again (having already gone through it with the 1991 movie, which was a box office bomb), with only low-key revivals coming of the series after the fact and the character's 100th birthday in 2019 passing by with little to no fanfare; the show itself didn't even see a full DVD release, forcing fans to Keep Circulating the Tapes until it was added to streaming service Peacock upon it's launch in July 2020.
This happened to the Teen Titans Go! episode "Serious Business". According to this article, the creative executive for the show said that the original opening of the episode would not get past the censors, so a new song was written for it. It's quite possible that there were a few more things they objected to before it hit the airwaves, as said song's instrumental appears in "Waffles", which aired eight months before "Serious Business".
The show was created via an animated pitch by Williams for a contest held by MTV... of which he won only because he was one of 15 competitors who entered, and the only one who followed the instructions. The show, at that time titled The Click, was stuck in years of focus testing, with Williams working for MTV during the meantime. Williams created a low-budget pilot for The Click three years after the contest, but it did so poorly with the focus group that it killed any chance of the show getting greenlit. Williams hated the pilot so much, he refused to show it in its entirety.
So Williams tried again during his time in college. After pitching some other shows to MTV that didn't make it, he ended up befriending a producer working for the Sci Fi Channel, who accepted his newly-animated pitch for The Click. The show looked to be heading forward... only for Williams to realize that MTV still owned the rights to the show's characters, meaning that if he were to get the show made, it would have to be through MTV. This resulted in him having to create yet another low-budget pilot. Thankfully, the pilot was accepted, and the show was finally going to get made. But since there was already a game show called Click, it had to be renamed to Undergrads, which finally started airing in April 2001.
But not before getting Screwed by the Network. MTV ended up leaving the show to die after one season, barely giving it enough advertisement or a consistent schedule before ordering its cancellation. Williams spent years getting the rights to the show and its characters back, finally acquiring them in 2018.
The first video, Where's God When I'm S-s-scared?!, was reportedly a nightmare to make. It began with Phil Vischer animating the entire thing himself, only to hire two more animators on the fly when it was clear he couldn't achieve the level of animation quality he was aiming for alone. The three animators then moved into a rented storefront for extra space, which stretched the already minuscule budget. The project was funded by a Christian mail-order service, with customers ordering the video while it was still in production, meaning that the creators were legally required to finish the project on a stone-set date, lest they be charged with mail fraud.
Rack, Shack, and Benny, while not nightmarish to the same degree, still reportedly had everyone suffering from exhaustion by the end of it due to the ambitious nature of the episode, and only 10 employees armed with four computers. Many of the original workers still say it was the hardest project they ever took on; it was only natural that the next episode, Dave and the Giant Pickle, was much smaller scale.
The Toy That Saved Christmas also had a troubled production, due to being another ambitious episode and having a very set-in-stone deadline (since you can't ship a Christmas special late). Not only did the episode end up Christmas Rushed, the air conditioning broke at the headquarters just in the wake of a heat wave hitting Chicago. Phil Vischer was bed-ridden afterwards for almost two months as well due to bacteria in his heart. It was so close to the deadline once production of the show had wrapped that one of the employees had to be flown down to Dallas, TX with a copy of the show in-hand to give to the tape duplicator because (in Robert Ellis' own words) "FedEx wasn't fast enough!". This was one of the few cases where the team was unsatisfied with the episode's original end result, and the following year they went back and re-animated a lot of the scenes, creating a second version of the show that was overall much cleaner than the original.
Towards the end of the production of "Esther...the Girl Who Became Queen", there was a server crash at Big Idea leading to two weeks worth of work on the show being lost. Most of the animators were forced to work overtime, up to and including sleeping at the studio, to make up for it.