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Western Animation / Nickelodeon Shorts and Interstitials

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Along with their many anthology programs such as Oh Yeah! Cartoons and KaBlam!, both Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. have aired many different types of shorts between their programs by a variety of young people, in-house, and even by kids over their 20+ year history. The shorts have had premises revolving around everything from singing food, turning inside out, the alphabet, and lots more. A number of shorts based on their beloved Nicktoons have also been made.

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Some notable shorts and interstitials on Nickelodeon include:

  • Short Films by Short People: A series showcasing shorts created by kids, and included interviews with the kids who created them and behind the scenes looks at their shorts. Among these shorts are Foil Man and Attack of the Giant Vulture.
  • Inside Out Boy: Stop-motion. A series of shorts about a boy who swung all the way around the swing-set one day and gained the ability to turn himself inside out as a result. Four shorts were spread across the first two Rugrats VHS releases (Tales From The Crib and A Baby's Gotta Do What A Baby's Gotta Do) in 1993 in-between episodes on the tapes.
  • The Non-Adventures Of Safety Queen: Traditional animation. A kid who is having a problem accomplishing a difficult or possibly hardest task gets visited by a strange girl known only as the Safety Queen. The Safety Queen sarcastically discourages the kid from finishing the task at hand, citing a number of absurd or outlandish outcomes of going through with it. Invariably, the kid goes through with it anyway and finds that what they were trying to do wasn't so difficult after all. One example. Three shorts were included on the 1996 Rugrats VHS Phil And Lil: Double Trouble, playing in-between episodes.
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  • The Off-Beats: Traditional animation. Originally played during commercial breaks in late 1995 to early 1996 before it became part of KaBlam!'s lineup in Fall 1996 and aired on the show for the first two seasons (the original pre-KaBlam! shorts would continue to play until late 1997). It eventually got it's own Valentine's Day special in 1999. Thee shorts were included on the 1996 Rugrats VHS Tommy Troubles, playing in-between episodes.
  • CatDog: Traditional animation. Originated as a series of pilot shorts before the series premiered. One short, "Fetch!", was also attached to The Rugrats Movie as a sneak peek (a another short, "Winslow's Documentary", was attached to the movie's VHS and DVD)
  • The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius: 3D Computer-generated animation. Originated as a series of shorts made to hype his movie. Later became a series as well.
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  • Mr. Meaty: Puppets. This originated exclusively as shorts airing between shows on the channel before becoming greenlit for a full-on series.
  • Astrology with Squidward: Squidward Tentacles from SpongeBob SquarePants explains the Western Zodiac during different times of the year. He describes the behaviors of people of each symbol, and he predicts their future lives. The zodiac symbols are based off of other SpongeBob SquarePants characters.

Shorts from the various anthology shows often aired between shows during normal Nickelodeon programming as well.


Some notable shorts and interstitials that aired on Nick Jr. include:

  • Face: From 1994 to 2004, the Nick Jr. block was hosted by a smiley face on a color-changing background, who engaged in humorous antics before announcing the next show or ad break. Face was given a revamp in his later years that didn't last for very long before he was phased out. Voiced in most of his appearances by Chris Phillips.
  • Amby & Dexter: Traditional animation. A pair of hands doing something boring such as playing the piano or going out the door turn into two small people who accomplish the task in a way that two dwarf-sized people would do it. One short featuring the two painting a picture.
  • Countin' Carl: Live-action. A strange man in a superhero outfit rides a bicycle around the neighborhood and helps kids with their counting skills.
  • Joey's Lunch: Stop-motion. Talking food come out of the unseen Joey's lunchbox and do silly things or sing a song. Usually ended with one of the food characters asking the viewer if they had ingested a certain food today.
  • Maggie and the Ferocious Beast: Traditional animation. A little girl's adventures with the eponymous Ferocious Beast (who isn't really that ferocious at all). Later became a full-on series.
  • Max And His Alphabet Adventures: Traditional animation. Before going to bed, young Max talks about the oddly alliterative adventures he goes on with 26 letters of the alphabet. Every short ended with the adventure suddenly being interrupted by Max's dad reminding Max to go to sleep. An example with Max visiting the letter T.
  • Nanalan': Puppets. A Canadian import series detailing the antics of 3-year-old Mona as she spends the day at her Nana's house.
  • Winky Love: Traditional animation. A girl talks about what it's like living in the big city and what she does there. Notable for having an African-American female protagonist.
  • Muppet Time: Puppets. Shorts and music videos made by Jim Henson Studios.
  • Deko Boko Friends: An Japanese import anime series. Various characters come out of a red door and join in different activities. This show aired on the Nickelodeon-owned Noggin channel, which eventually became a Nick Jr. channel.
  • Ni Hao, Kai-Lan: Began as an interstitial show called Downward Doghouse.

Songs from The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss and various Nick Jr. shows often aired between shows as well.


These shorts provide examples of:

  • Abandoned Mascot: Face was the mascot of Nick Jr. from 1994 to 2004 before being pulled.
  • Ascended Extra: The shorts that eventually wound up getting their own series.
  • Added Alliterative Appeal: Many of the characters Max meets during his alphabet adventures happen to start with the letter that Max is traveling with. (For example, Max sails out to sea on a sailboat with the letter S and get stranded on a sandbar. They sing to pass the time until they are rescued by a smelly skunk named Silas riding a submarine.)
  • Advice Backfire: Played with in the "Safety Queen" shorts. Safety Queen's wild, sarcastic advice leads to the person solving their problem easier than they thought they would.
  • An Aesop: Par for the course with the Nick Jr. shorts, though some were just plain fun for the sake of being fun.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Well, not fifty-foot, but still larger than normal, there's the vulture in the Short People short "Attack Of The Giant Vulture".
  • Big Applesauce: The city that Winky Love lives in strongly resembles New York City, but it's never stated that it is New York.
  • Birthday Episode: The Max episode revolving around the letter B revolved around Max's birthday. Technically it would be a "Night-Before-Birthday-Episode" as Max's dad reminds Max that tomorrow is his birthday after reminding him to go to sleep.
  • Black Best Friend: Inverted in one of the Winky Love shorts, where the African-American Winky talks about her white friend Gill.
  • Body Horror: Inside Out Boy has turned himself inside out. However, it doesn't seem to hurt him. In fact, he actually has a lot of fun with it.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: In the Astrology with Squidward short "Cancer", Squidward tells people not to eat animated seafood. This means he knows he's an animated character.
  • By the Lights of Their Eyes: In one of the Nick Jr. Face segments, Face notices that it's dark. While the lights are off, the only part of his, uh, face that's visible is his eyes.
  • Captain Obvious: Most of the "predictions" made by Squidward in Astrology with Squidward are facts that were inevitably going to happen anyway. For example, in one segment he "predicts" that in the year ahead, everyone you know is going to turn one year older... of course, everyone turns a year older every year.
  • Cursed with Awesome: Inside Out Boy has a ton of fun freaking people out with his inside-out...ness and becomes the most popular kid at school following his accident at the swing set.
  • Disaster Dominoes: In "The Non-Adventures of Safety Queen", Safety Queen always spins some absurd worst-case scenario that starts with something like pulling off a loose band-aid or jumping off the high-dive at the public pool.
  • Every Episode Ending:
    • Joey's Lunch: "Have you had some (insert food here) today?"
    • Max And His Alphabet Adventures:
      Dad: (as Max makes an Oh, Crap! expression) Max!
      Max: Uh oh...
      Dad: Go to sleep, Max.
      Max: Good night, Dad!
      Dad: Good night, son.
  • Excited Kids' Show Host: Face, quite obviously.
  • Gentle Giant: The Ferocious Beast in the Maggie shorts (and subsequent series).
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: In the "W" themed Max and His Alphabet Adventures short, the premise is that the wedding of Wadworth Walrus and Wilma Woodpecker has come to a halt because the wizard officiating the wedding only shouts "what??". It turns out that a whole entire whale named Walter somehow wound up in the wizard's ear and causing the wizard to be unable to hear. Wilma and Walter seem to know each other, prompting Wadworth to indignantly ask Wilma who the whale is, prompting Walter to quickly explain that he's only there for the waffles at the wedding party afterward and not Wilma. It's not outright spelled out (it's a preschool show after all), but it's heavily implied that Walter was an old boyfriend of Wilma's and Wadworth was worried that his betrothed was planning to run out on him with her old flame.
  • Gross-Out Show: With the premise being about a character who can turn himself inside out, Inside Out Boy would have to be this.
  • Interspecies Romance: The Max "W" short is centered around a wedding between a walrus and a woodpecker (the latter of whom also apparently having used to date a whale).
  • The Klutz: Countin' Carl, who sometimes crashed into things while on his bicycle and exited one of his shorts by falling down the stairs.
  • Mad Libs Dialogue: It's present in the Face bumpers if you listen closely...or sometimes not quite as closely.
    "Perfect! And just in time because...Rupert...is next! Right here on Nick Jr! Brr brr brrr!"
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: One of the "Inside Out Boy" shorts features a hip-hop musician named MC Mallet.
  • Random Events Plot: As the Max shorts involve many people, animals, and things all starting with the same letter crossing paths with Max, several shorts wind up bouncing from one subject to the other.
  • Same Language Dub: Face has a British V/O in the bumpers made for the UK's version of Nick Jr. channel, Max on the same feed's dub of Max and His Alphabet Adventures.
  • Spin-Off: Astrology with Squidward is a spin-off of SpongeBob SquarePants focusing on Squidward.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Upon first turning inside out, the first thing Inside Out Boy says after seeing what happened to him is: "Where are my pants?"
  • Uranus Is Showing: In the Astrology with Squidward segment on Gemini, Squidward makes a joke that "this month, Gemini's moon is in Uranus, so you smell funny".
  • We Are Experiencing Technical Difficulties: One Face bumper involves Face suddenly glitching out and going bonkers. He's relieved upon returning to normal. ...And then he goes to static.
  • Western Zodiac: Astrology with Squidward is about Squidward explaining the zodiac symbols.

Alternative Title(s): Astrology With Squidward

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