Snorks

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The Snorks
Snorks.png
Genre Comedy
Fantasy
Adventure
Format Animated series
Created by Nic Broca
Starring Michael Bell
B.J. Ward
Barry Gordon
Frank Welker
Nancy Cartwright
Brian Cummings
Rob Paulsen
Roger DeWitt
Clive Revill
René Auberjonois
Fredricka Weber
Country of origin Belgium
United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 4
No. of episodes 65 (108 segments plus an unaired pilot)
Production
Executive producer(s) William Hanna
Joseph Barbera
Freddy Monnickendam
Producer(s) Gerard Baldwin (Season 1)
Berny Wolf (Seasons 2–4)
Running time 12 minutes per episode / 24 minutes per episode (later episodes)
Production company(s) Hanna-Barbera Productions
SEPP International S.A.
Distributor Warner Bros. Television
Broadcast
Original channel NBC (1982) (1984–1986)
Syndication (1986–1989)
USA Network (1990–1992)
First shown in 1982 (unaired three-minute demo pilot)
Original run September 15, 1984 – May 13, 1989

Snorks is an animated television series produced by Hanna-Barbera which ran on NBC from September 15, 1984, to May 13, 1989. Although not as popular as the animated series The Smurfs, the program continued to be available in syndication from 1986 to 1989 as part of The Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera's 3rd season, on USA Network in the late-1980s and early-1990s, on the BBC in the late 1990s, and from 2009–2011 and again from time to time on Cartoon Network's sister channel Boomerang.

Origins[edit]

Early years (1977-1981)[edit]

In 1977, Freddy Monnickendam, a Belgian businessman and artist, started his contact with the comics when he negotiated the rights of The Smurfs comics for Father Abraham.

He became later the head of SEPP, the branch of Dupuis, a editor responsible for the merchandising of Smurfs' comic series. He negotiated the contract between Peyo, NBC and Hanna-Barbera for the creation of a new Smurfs' cartoon series.

Peyo wanted the cartoon series more faithful as possible to his creation in the comics. But, Monnickendam wanted the cartoons more mainstream, and accessible.

These negotiations later would result on problems in the court between the two men due to the division of the rights and the money involved. As a final result, Monnickendam decided to compete with Smurfs' success, starting a new series of cartoons.

Development, concept and first comic book (1981-1984)[edit]

In June 1981, Nic Broca created the earlier character designs that were made for "Diskies", a very early iteration, made for the comic series Spirou et Fantasio. Soon, the debut Snorks comic book was published in January 1982 by Nicolas Broca.

Freddy Monnickendam, after having problems in the court with Peyo, searched as series that could rival the success of the Smurfs, as he tried to buy Smurfs rights since 1977. He acquired the Snorks' rights from Nicolas Broca, and both started a partnership with Hanna-Barbera for the creation of a new cartoon series.

After that, a three-minute Snorks pilot episode was then made for NBC, although this episode has not been seen by the public.

Premiere as cartoon series (1984-1989)[edit]

The Snorks cartoon series premiered in September 15, 1984 and ended in May 13, 1989. It aired for five years.

Unlike Monnickendam imaginated, he wasn't able to equal Snorks' success with Smurfs animated series, which resulted on the end of partnership with Nicolas Broca, and as final result, SEPP was disbanded, in other words, defunct.

Although the Snorks' success was limited, the cartoon show gained and still gains fans worldwide, thus, making appearances on popular culture and gaining various product lines.

In May 2011, the series was added to Hulu as a part of their Hulu Plus instant streaming for paying subscribers.

Synopsis[edit]

The Snorks are a race of small, colorful beings that live happily in the (saltwater) underwater world of Snorkland. They have snorkels on their heads, which are used to propel them swiftly through the water. As evidenced by the cartoon series, when a Snork becomes excited their tube makes a "snork" sound. They have much of the same technology as contemporary humans, adapted to their own aquatic environment. The Snorks use clams as currency ("clams" is also a slang term for money).

According to the Snork back-story, which was described in the show's first opening theme, a few ventured to the surface (which the Snorks believe is "outer space") in 1643, and watched a Royal Navyship of the Spanish Armada being attacked by pirates. The captain wound up in the water, and that was the first contact between the species when the Snorks saved his life, to which the captain then expressed his gratitude by writing a book about the Snorks, although very few humans believe in the existence of the Snorks. Since then, Snorks have adopted several human habits, such as wearing clothes.

There are a few episodes which have human encounters with the Snorks. In the episode "Allstar's Freshwater Adventure", the Snorks (who are saltwater snorks) meet freshwater snorks. Freshwater snorks have two snorkels on their head and a distinctive biochemistry from saltwater snorks.

Characters[edit]

Main Snorks[edit]

  • Allstar Seaworthy (voiced by Michael Bell) – An athletic, yellow-skinned, male Snork, generally considered to be the hero of the series. He is smart, brave and generous, usually serving as the leader of his gang during their various adventures. Allstar has a big interest, and excels, in science and inventions, much like his uncle, Dr. Galeo Seaworthy. Whenever AllStar reaches a "light bulb moment", his belt buckle would start to spin, giving him a "starbright idea". He is Casey's love interest, and used to be best friends with Junior when they were younger. He has a baby sister named Smallstar. Allstar has once joked that he will never understand female Snorks in the episode "Learn to Love Your Snork" when he fails to understand why Casey is upset.
  • Dimitris "Dimmy" Finster (voiced by Brian Cummings) – An athletic, orange-skinned, male Snork, Dimmy fancies himself to be a comedian as well as a fighter, but his attempts usually lead to awkward results. Has learned ballet from Daffney to improve his Snorkball skills. He also has a big appetite, and hates being called by his full name. He is Allstar's good friend and Daffney's love interest, although he is temporarily replaced by Jo-Jo as Daffney's date to the debutante ball and becomes jealous. Once had a crush on a little mermaid whom he saved from a storm and the evil Dr. Strangesnork. From the beginning of the season 3, he is written out of the storylines for unknown reasons, but he does make some cameo appearances.
  • Casey Kelp (voiced by B.J. Ward) – A light-pink-skinned, female Snork with reddish hair tied up into bunches by green hair bows. Usually wears a green midriff shirt and matching pants. Intelligent, brave, and kind-hearted. Casey will defend anyone, Snork or Sea Creature who she think that they are either getting picked on or who is in danger. Also pretty good at drawing. Once upset about her "giant" snork and goes out of her way to hide/shrink it. She is Allstar's love interest and Daffney's best friend. However, in season 4, in the episode "Snorkerella" Casey has a big crush on a star Snorkball player named Stevie and eventually becomes his date for the school prom, making her relationship with Allstar seem nonexistent; she also appears to have a crush on Junior that in the episode "The Day They Fixed Junior Wetworth" she kissed him.
  • Daffney Gillfin (voiced by Nancy Cartwright) – A pretty, coral-colored, dark-haired female Snork who wears a bob haircut and a red star-shaped hairpin. Always concerned with her looks, but has a good heart deep down. She won the title of Miss Junior Snorkland in a beauty pageant with the help of Yucky, a baby rainbow swamp fish (much like The Ugly Duckling). With a talent in fine arts, Daffney becomes star of the show as the understudy for Tallulah Bankfish (a famous Broadway theatre actress from New Snork City) in a play, and has entered a piece of sculpture for an art show. She is best friends with Casey and Dimmy's love interest before he is written out. Also has a good relationship with Jo-Jo (who once calls Daffney "Alberta Einsnork"), and Lil Seaweed, with whom she shares fashion tips and works as fellow trapeze artists in a circus once.
  • Wellington Wetworth, Jr. aka "Junior" (voiced by Barry Gordon) – An orange-skinned, male Snork with bluish hair who is a spoiled snob that takes after his parents, especially his Governor father. Before Bigweed becomes the villain in season 3, Junior is seen as minor villain-like, due to his rude snobbish attitude towards other Snorks, especially Allstar and his gang. He constantly seeks wealth, status, and to outperform Allstar, whom he frequently calls "Allwet", in everything. Usually learns his lesson at the end of the episode. Used to be best friends with Allstar when he was younger until standing up for himself went to his head. During the first two seasons (especially the fourth season), he appears to have a crush on Casey (that in season 4, she kissed him), but starting from season 3 he is often seen with Daffney, and hangs out more with Allstar's gang.
  • Tooter Shelby (vocal effects provided by Frank Welker) – A green-skinned, good-natured male Snork with dark green hair who is affected by aphasia and can "communicate" only through "tooting" and "beeping". His parents do not share this language disorder, although Tooter's mom has a lisp. Nevertheless, he is well loved by his friends who seem to have no problem understanding him. He has the ability to communicate with some of the sealife. Has once fallen in love with another tooting Snork named Tadah.
  • Corky (voiced by Rob Paulsen) – An orange-skinned, male Snork. He works as the Snork Patrol Officer, a dedicated defender of Snorkland and quite a workaholic. He drives a multi-functional submarine, and his home is filled with all kinds of medals he has won for heroic achievements. He is liked by all Snorks and gets along well with Allstar and his friends.

Minor Snorks[edit]

  • Occy (vocal effects provided by Frank Welker) – Allstar's red male pet octopus. He was once owned by Junior until the later abandoned him. Occy never gets along well with Junior and will go out of his way to embarrass and/or chase Junior. Conversely, Occy is very loyal to Allstar. A multi-instrumentalist, Occy has held a sold-out concert to help Allstar raise money for the heavily-in-debt Dr. Galeo.
  • Jo-Jo (voiced by Roger DeWitt) – A strong, fearless, tan-skinned male Snork who grew up and lives in the wild, the Snork equivalent of Tarzan. Unlike his friends in Snorkland, Jo-Jo has two snorks, making him faster and stronger than all others, but he does not like to be taken just as a "big, brave, simple-hearted hunk". He loves freedom and all the wild sealife, which he is able to communicate with and tame. He is sometimes a bit uncomfortable with the "civilization", which he thinks is "too much" for him. On the other hand, Jo-Jo seems to enjoy the prehisnorkic era quite a lot, and falls instantly in love with Daffnork (a prehisnorkic version of Daffney). He becomes Daffney's date to the debutante ball after saving her life. Also assists Corky in helping others from time to time.
    • Fengy – A dogfish and Jo-Jo's companion since he was a child.
  • Willie Wetworth (voiced by Fredricka Weber) – An orange-skinned boy Snork, younger brother of Junior, who often mistreats him yet is still someone Willie looks up to and whose words Willie often repeats. He is the opposite of Junior — nice, kind, warm-hearted, and well liked by all. He is friends with Smallstar.
  • Governor Wellington Wetworth (voiced by Frank Nelson in Season 1 and 2, Barry Gordon in Season 3) – An orange-skinned, male Snork with lavender colored hair. Vain and egocentric, Governor Wetworth is a stereotypical politician who generally evades blames and takes undue credit, thus disliked by the majority of Snorks. As Junior and Willie's father, he wants Junior to follow in his steps and often turns a blind eye to Junior's misbehavior until trouble arises. Dislikes Dr. Galeo, Allstar and his gang for stealing the spotlight. He is also a younger brother to Captain Long John, a kindly, old pirate who's friends with Allstar and Casey. Governor Wetworth often forgets and messes up his public speeches. Occasionally shows a good side of himself by donating to charity and encouraging Junior to earn his own money for buying a car.
  • Dr. Galeo Seaworthy (voiced by Clive Revill) – A purple-skinned, bespectacled male Snork with white hair and a moustache. A scientist and inventor, he has saved Snorktown numerous times from villains and disasters with his contraptions, whose occasional kinks also serve as a running gag throughout the series. He is Allstar's uncle, brother to Dr. Strangesnork, and a friend to Allstar's gang, often providing them with various devices for their adventures. He has successfully built a time machine which helps his prehisnorkic friend Ork get back home.

Supporting Snorks[edit]