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The Misadventures of Gecko

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The Misadventures of Gecko
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The series logo from season three to seven
Also Known As "Gecko"
Genre Animated series
Satire
Comedy-drama
Slapstick
Action/adventure
Slice of life
Created By Ralf Hat
Written By Ralf Hat
Thatstuff
Directed By Ralf Hat
Thatstuff
Voices Of Billy West
Tom Kenny
Richard Steven Horvitz
Ralf Hat
Joe Alaskey
Theme Music Composer James L. Venable
Opening Theme "The Misadventures of Gecko Theme"
Ending Theme "The Misadventures of Gecko Theme"
Country Of Origin United States
Original Language(s) English
№ Of Seasons 7
№ Of Episodes 102
First Aired June 6, 1994
Last Aired December 4, 1999
Running Time 22 minutes
45 minutes (specials)
Production Company(s) Modern Media Entertainment
Related Shows "Instruments & Instruments"
"The Sherry Show"
Network Kingson
The Misadventures of Gecko (or simply Gecko) is an American television series developed by Ralf Hat. The show first premiered on Kingson on June 6, 1994, and is the first series to be produced by Modern Media Entertainment and the first to be created by Ralf Hat. The Misadventures of Gecko follows the titular character and his unusual friends who reside in a resident housing mansion in New York City. Each episode features the main characters often getting pulled into situations which can go from everyday social problems to unexplained abnormalities.

After the pilot was produced in 1992, the show premiered on the premium cable network Kingson in the United States on June 6, 1994, and ran its seven seasons with 102 episodes to December 4, 1999. Since its run, it has spawned two films "Gecko's Million Dollar Movie" (1998) and "Gecko" (2010), a video game, and a large amount of assorted merchandise.

The series then went through syndication and has been broadcast on Daniel Network in the United States and internationally. The Misadventures of Gecko was produced by Kingson/Modern Media Entertainment, Klasky Csupo, and Paramount Television.  

Development

In 1990 during Hat's final year at CalArts, he conceived the shows pilot episode. Using animation cels to animate, Hat managed to get the voices of the main cast of Billy West (Gecko), Tom Kenny (M-Bunny), and Richard Steven Horvitz (Fred). During the series mid-development, Hat pitched the series to Kingson, which helped animate, provide actors, help produce, etc.

Pitching the series was easy, especially since Kingson was founded and owned by Hat himself. The series was halfway finished development and a conception for the first few episodes had took nearly $100,500 to produce the first three episodes each. Gecko first appeared on Kingson in 1994. As a result, the show was financed as an independent production by Deadpan Productions (known as Modern Media Entertainment at the time).

Premise

The series revolves around Gecko McKek, a keen mischievous 12 year-old lizard who lives in a resident housing mansion in New York City. There he resides with his two close friends and roommates: M-Bunny, a superhero-wannabe rabbit and Fred, a playful and energetic but dimwitted monkey. Also living in the mansion is the human manager Daniel Manson (Dan the Man), the straight man of the group. Also, there's McTurtles and Greeny, two rich yet gullible turtles who are mainly kind and considerate to everyone around them, Squirmo Wormo, a pathologically insane worm, Jessica, a quite mouse and Gecko's crush, Crocks, a lean hardcore movie star crocodile, and plenty other characters: including: Yarnmam, Woof Woof, Babs, Snake n' Eyes, Octi, Bearo, Brandon, Bunny Blue, Super Male Human Being, Mr. Roach, Brownie, Pups, Flashlight, Anna, Sarah, and Benny.

The entire plots surrounding each episode involves a character or more (presumably Gecko or other main characters) getting into a certain situation. While most of the episodes center on satire and humor based on relatable life happenings, others may focus on science fiction, horror, and out of the box cartoon slapstick. Also morals are a big part of the series, impacting a deep change in a character's point of view.

Production

Writing

For season one, writing was simple. The six episodes were all written by Hat in the span of a couple days. Jokes and gags are added in to keep the episode seemingly more entertaining. Editing the episode is next, and later each character part is split up for the actors to act individually at certain scheduled times.

Beyond that, writing an episode of Gecko takes nearly three to four months to fully complete. The writers consist of the series creators as well as a couple minor writers. Writing for an episode begins with a full summary (usually expanding to one or more pages. The team then start on the storyboard outline and develops it into an entire episode punchlines, gags and more are always added in.

Animation

TBA

Cast

The main cast for the series include Billy West, Tom Kenny, Richard Steven Horvitz, Ralf Hat and Joe Alaskey. Other cast members include: Matt Hill, Keith Ferguson, Tara Strong, Carlos Alazraqui, Thatstuff, Frank Welker, Jim Cummings, Tom Kane, Dee Bradley Baker, and Grey DeLisle.

Music

James L. Venable, a composer best known for his work on shows such as The Powerpuff Girls and Samurai Jack, composed the theme song and additional music for the series.

Episodes

Main article(s): The Misadventures of Gecko/Episode Guide

# Season Episodes Years Originally aired DVD Release
Season premiere Season finale Region 1 Region 2
0 1 1992 February 17, 1992 November 10, 2001 November 11, 2001
1 6 1994 June 6, 1994 June 11, 1994
2 14 1995 May 13, 1995 August 12, 1995 December 23. 2001 December 24. 2001
3 12 1995-1996 October 21, 1995 January 7, 1996 TBA TBA
4 19 1996-1997 November 16, 1996 April 20, 1997 TBA TBA
5 19 1997-1998 November 15, 1997 March 21, 1998 TBA TBA
Film 1 1998 April 14, 1998 June 6, 1998, April 16, 2012 (rerelease)
6 19 1998-1999 October 10, 1998 February 13, 1999 TBA TBA
7 13 1999 August 7, 1999 December 4, 1999 TBA TBA
Film 1 2010 December 24, 2010 March 13, 2011

Notes

  • The series is well known to be the first original series on Kingson, as well as the first television show produced by Deadpan Productions and developed by Ralf Hat.
  • Most episodes are rated TV-G, while various others may be TV-Y7 or TV-Y7-FV.
  • Episodes can be purchased from the iTunes Store in the United States (since 2013) which are delivered with the sequences as are episodes which are available on Netflix, Hulu, and Kingson Classics website also within the United States.
  • A series of novels based on the mystery episodes and including more adventures were released in 2000, as a continuation to the original series. Production of the novels came to a stop in early 2005.

Reception

Viewings

The Misadventures of Gecko garnered high ratings on Kingson and was the network's top-rated show during its entire run. According to Nielsen, the first four seasons had an estimated American viewership of million per episode. The show experienced a wide diverse audience consisting of kids, teenagers and adults alike. Gecko was successful in receiving an average of 4.7 million viewers per episode: 2.5 million kids (2–11), 1.6 million teens (12–17), and 1.1 million adults (18 and over).

Critical reception

TBA

Cancellation

Kingson promptly cancelled the show which aired its final seventh season in 1999. According to Hat, the reasoning behind it was due to new shows like The Sherry Show rising in popularity and because of that, some programming had to be taken off Kingson's current episode schedule.

Media

Films

Main article(s): Gecko's Million Dollar Movie (1998), Gecko (2010)

Legacy

The show has been praised even after the last episodes in 1999 and has become amazingly popular worldwide. It is known to be a favorited 90's cartoon, having a large fandom, and the show is ranked 53rd on IGN's Top 100 Animated Series.

Two related series: "Instruments & Instruments" and "The Sherry Show" debut in 1996 and 1997. The two of them became just as well received as The Misadventures of Gecko, (The Sherry Show is the longest running Kingson original as to date).

The feature length film "Gecko" was a finalization to the franchise overall. It was well received and was noted as an "ultimate success" for Kingson.

During an interview in spring of 2016, Ralf Hat and Thatstuff were asked about any further work on any ended series from Deadpan Productions. Hat responded with "I mean, yeah. Me and Stuff were actually debating on developing revival of shows of Supervillains, The Misadventures of Gecko, or possibly even Instruments & Instruments". Ever since the interview no such talk about a revival for the series was stated.

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