Liquid Television is an Emmy award-winning anthology animation program, produced by Colossal Pictures, that ran on MTV from 1991 to 1994, with the first season also running on BBC Two concurrently with MTV. It has served as the launching point for a number of original series that later became popular on their own, such as Beavis and Butt-Head, Æon Flux, and The Head. The bulk of Liquid Television's material was created by independent animators and artists specially for the show, and some previously produced segments were compiled from festivals such as Spike And Mikes Sick And Twisted Festival Of Animation. Mark Mothersbaugh composed the show's theme music. There were also a large number of animation pieces adapted from the work of Art Spiegelman's comic compilation, RAW. RAW featured underground cartoonists such as Mark Beyer, Richard Sala, and Peter Bagge. In particular, Dog-Boy by Charles Burns was based on the artist's series from RAW.
Selected segments from the series, including the first appearances of Æon Flux, were released on two VHS tapes in the late 1990s as The Best of Liquid Television parts one and two. These tapes are long out-of-print . A collection volume, titled Wet Shorts (The Best of Liquid Television), comprising the two VHS tapes, was available on DVD but this too is out-of-print.
Shorts from the series are now being officially uploaded onto http://liquidtelevision.com
- The Adventures of Thomas and Nardo
- Æon Flux
- The Art School Girls Of Doom
- Buzz Box
- Crazy Daisy Ed
- Cut-Up Camera
- Dangerous Puppets
- Invisible Hands
- Joe's Apartment
- Miss Lidia's Makeover To The Stars
- Soap Opera
- The Specialists
- Speedbump the Roadkill Possum
- Stick-Figure Theatre
- Winter Steele
This series contains examples of:
- Antimatter: In one series, The Specialists, the heroes meet up with their antimatter counterparts, who were chromatically opposite but otherwise identical.
- Badass Longcoat: The guy with the gun that shoots colors in the "The End" short.
- Butt-Monkey/They Killed Kenny Again: Speedbump the Roadkill Possum.
- Cool Shades: The guy in "The End".
- A Date with Rosie Palms: In one "Crazy Daisy Ed" short, he starts jamming his friend's guitar and sings that the landlord masturbates on the rooftop. The nervous landlord begs him not to sing that, he offers Ed's friend years-free rent.
- Deranged Animation: Frequently.
- Fake-Out Opening: Most of the first season episodes started with a music video playing, only for it to gradually morph into the Liquid Television.
- Jerkass: Raisin's brother Malcolm.Malcolm: Yeah... right!
- Kick the Dog: Malcolm again, as he constantly insults Raisin's dog.
- Negative Continuity: Æon Flux died at the end of every short.
- The same thing goes to Speedbump the Roadkill Possum.
- Nipple and Dimed: The Æon Flux shorts.
- Plant Person: Crazy Daisy Ed is literally a walking, talking flower.
- Seinfeldian Conversation: "This Is Not Frank's Planet" features a spaceship flying through various surreal landscapes while the two (unseen) occupants argue about whether or not they're lost.
- Spiritual Successor: Stickin' Around, at least for Stick Figure Theatre.
- Cartoon Sushi for Liquid Television.
- KaBlam!, which aired on fellow MTV Networks station Nickelodeon, premiered three years after Liquid Television ended. Like Liquid Television, it was an animated anthology consisting of various shorts from independent animators (with one short, Life With Loopy, sharing a studio with Joe Normal), however aimed at a preteen audience.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: The first "Crazy Daisy Ed" short begins with him being on the ground like a normal flower. He gets tired of just looking at the city and wants to actually be there.Ed: Okay, I'm bored!