ChalkZone

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Rudy's got the chalk!

ChalkZone (2002-2004) is a Nickelodeon cartoon that, like fellow Nicktoon The Fairly Odd Parents, began as a series of shorts on Oh Yeah! Cartoons. It apparently finds its roots in an older cartoon with the same premise, Simon in the Land of Chalk Drawings, which coincidentally had also come on Nickelodeon at one time (as part of the network's earliest program, Pinwheel). Whether or not ChalkZone is plagiarized from an intentionally modernized version of Simon in the Land of Chalk Drawings, however, is unknown.

The show centers on a shy, daydreaming kid by the name of Rudy Tabootie, who one day discovers a world hidden beyond his teacher's chalkboard. In this world, ChalkZone, chalk drawings that have been erased from all chalkboards are now sentient beings; among them is a creation of Rudy's, a Kid Hero named Snap. Most episodes revolve around Rudy and Snap adventuring around ChalkZone, often accompanied by Rudy's best friend / love interest, Penny Sanchez; in some cases, Rudy, being the only person to know about ChalkZone and wield the Magic Chalk (with Penny being the only person he trusts with this information), has to keep the place safe from being found out by anyone else.

It's stated to be the sweetest and cutest non-Jr. Nick show ever made, however it receives a lot of criticism due to its sugary nature and over-the-top cuteness. Despite this, it has somewhat of a cult following (though not as much as other classic Nick shows), and finds the cuteness a charm.


Tropes used in ChalkZone include:
  • Actor Allusion: Vincent Van NoGo (voiced by a certain father) has a violent temper.
  • Adult Child: All the adults in Water Water, Everywhere. Justified in that Rudy accidentally drew a portal into the Wait N' See and the water somehow made the adults child-like.
  • Adults Are Useless: Evey single one.
  • Ambiguously Brown: Penny appears to be Latina as shown by her name, skin tone, and the fact she apparently knows Spanish. But it's never really stated or explicitly shown.
  • American Accents: Snap has a Bronx accent, howeva in some episodes it'z Brooklyn, or Joisey, and fuh no reazon, bucko, az no one elz in da show gots one.
  • Art Attacker: While in Chalk Zone Rudy can create anything he needs by drawing it with his magic chalk. Outside of Chalk Zone anything anyone draws with any chalk and erases becomes real inside Chalk Zone.
  • Art Evolution: Everything's cleaned up from the Oh Yeah Cartoons shorts to the actual show. Rudy's appearance changed, too, however this was because the original shorts take place two years before the show.
    • And the fourth season makes everything seemed as if was from a crayon book.
  • Art Initiates Life: (Only in the titular Chalk Zone, however.)
  • Ax Crazy: Reggie Bullnerd and Mr. Wilter
  • Badass Adorable: Oh, God, Snap!
    • And Rudy at some points.
    • Sometimes Penny shows this.
  • Berserk Button: Don't draw something in front of Mr. Wilter unless you want him to go on a tirade about how much he hates fictional....CARTOONS!!
  • Body Horror: In "Skrawl's Brain", Rudy's plan of saving the day involves giving said brain a body of it's own. However, to make it work, he has it's eyes, nose, ears, and mouth disconnected and, once the brain was inside, reconnected in the wrong spots. The end result is just as horrifying as you'd think.
  • Big Bad: Skrawl
  • Big Eater: Bruno Bullnerd
  • The Brute: Reggie
  • Butt Monkey: Reggie & Wilter
  • Catch Phrase: Snap's "Oy Coloy!" whenever something goes wrong.
    • Also: "RUDY! YOU GOTTA DRAW SOMETHING!" Usually Snap, sometimes Penny.
  • Chekhov's Gun: In "The Quicksand Man", the knowledge that scraping a chalkboard in the real world sounds LOUDER AND WORSE in Chalkzone is used to defeat the title character.
    • In "Gift Adrift", the safety pin bow tie for Rudy's birthday present for his dad (a vacuum) ended up preventing Chalkzone's destruction from said vacuum.
  • Christmas Episode: ("When Santas Collide")
  • Cloudcuckooland
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Reggie Bullnerd
  • Create Your Own Villain: Literally with Skrawl, who is a drawing that Rudy tried drawing for someone's birthday party only for it to be hijacked by a room full of kids and made into the mismatched creature he ultimately became.
  • Cross-Dressing Voices: E.G. Daily as Rudy. And since she also voices Tommy on Rugrats and All Grown Up!, Rudy's voice falls also under the Hey, It's That Voice! trope.
  • Cuteness Overload: Snap of all people often falls victim to this. Sometimes complete with Baby Talk.
  • Cyclops: Biclops was one before Rudy drew him another eye.
  • Darkest Hour: In "Gift Adrift", Penny and Rudy were forced to attempt to leave the remains of Chalkzone as a vacuum was sucking up the last remaining strip they were on. Luckily, Rudy got the idea to puncture the bag.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Penny and Snap, a lot of the time. Rudy has his moments as well.
  • Deranged Animation: DUH.
  • The Ditz: Joe Tabootie
  • Dual-Wielding: In "Skrawl's Brain", Rudy invokes this in his battle with Skrawl (and his giant (robot) brain) by snapping his piece of magic chalk in two.
  • Embarrassing First Name: According to a collectible e-card on Nick.com, Rudy's first name is short for Rudolph.
    • It has been noted that some people think Rudolph is significantly less embarrassing than Rudy, to say nothing of rhyming with your last name.. or the last name itself.
    • BEANIE BOYS, BEANIE BOYS, WE'RE THE BOYS THAT SKRAWL EMPLOYS. HA HA HA HA HEE HEE HEE HEE HO HO HO HO HA.
  • Embarrassing Middle Name: Reggie Bullnerd's full name is long and embarrassing. Rudy had to find a chalk creation of Reggie's in one episode that Reggie had created to frame Rudy, finding out Bullnerd's full name from it and using it to blackmail Reggie into admitting his guilt.
  • The Eeyore: Mr. Wilter
  • Feud Episode: Rudy and Penny in "Power Play".
    • Used in a sort of darker tone in "The Big Blow Up".
  • G-Rated Drug: Water Water, Everywhere
  • Gentle Giant: Biclops
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Not as much as some other Nicktoons that are probably worth mentioning, as this Nicktoon was geared toward a slightly younger audience. But yeah, it snuck in some innuendos, most common is how busty Penny is, and she's uh, ten.
  • Guilty Pleasure: The show is sugary-sweet and pretty cheesy. It still attracts fans.
  • Happily Married: Rudy's parents. In one episodes, he finds a drawing of them they did when they were young and just about to be engaged, and helps them get to a party together.
  • Hey, It's That Voice!: Besides the aforementioned Cross-Dressing Voices, Hynden Walch is Penny, Candi Milo is Snap, and Jim Cummings is Skrawl.
  • Idiot Hero: Rudy.
  • Image Song: "Skrawl's Song" (Skrawl), "Beanie Boys Theme" (The Beanie Boys), and "I'm Back and Bluer Than Ever" (Snap).
  • Jerkass: Joe, The Bullnerds & Wilter
  • Jess Harnell: Joe Tabootie, Butch, Drew yourface.
  • Jim Cummings: As the Big Bad, Skrawl. Gets many Villain Songs.
  • Kawaisa: The show's popularity in Japan is because of this.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: For a long time this show basically did not exist on the internet at all, with no torrents or episode downloads. Now as of June 2010 the whole series is downloadable, but does take some digging to find.
  • Kid Hero: Snap, who's supposed to look like a tough superhero... and ended up looking like Hello Kitty. Rudy also counts seeing as he's in 5th grade.
  • Kids Are Cruel: Reggie
  • Kill It with Water: Though not necessarily water, anything chalk related can be erased by something liquid.
    • A horrifying example comes from "Howdy Rudy": the titual character (a sentient chalk dummy) was licked to death by a dog.
      • Not really to death as the end reveals this sent him back to Chalkzone.
  • Kissing Discretion Shot: In "The Smooch".
  • Large Ham: Reggie Bullnerd
  • Let's Meet the Meat: In one episode Snap comes across a talking burger than begs to be eaten. Snap is understandably freaked out about it. Especially when it has lines like this:

Just as Snap is about to eat it: "Woo hoo! I'm headin' for Heaven!"

    • Throughout the episode Snap runs into a lot of other foods that also really want him to eat them.

Snap: "Doesn't anyone ever draw regular, non-talking food anymore?"

  • Line-of-Sight Name: How Snap receives his "last name": after Penny quickly notices a box of "White Lightning Chalk" in the school, she gives Snap's full name as "Snap White".
  • Long Runner: The show actually lasted seven years, though a lot of people think it was a Short Runner.
  • Meaningful Name: Skrawl's name comes from the fact that he was "scrawled" onto a chalkboard.
  • Mind Screw: Ms. Tweezer, when Rudy releases the inhabitants of Chalkzone against her, experiences one.
  • Mind Control Eyes: The weapon of choice of Skrawl's giant robotic brain. Not only does it brainwash all citizens of Chalkzone so they could go to a quarry to be covered in sugar free rice pudding (with rasins), but in order to get Rudy to draw it a body, it makes the citizens think they are chickens.
  • Mineral MacGuffin: An entire mine of it. Guarded by a 'biclops'.
    • In fact, a plot point in "Double Trouble" had Skrawl and Craniac 4 attempt to destroy it.
  • Mythology Gag: It may be unintentional, but Snap's color scheme in darker environments (as seen in "The Quicksand Man") is identical to his color scheme in the original "Oh Yeah!" shorts.
  • The Napoleon: Reggie Bullnerd
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: You know those examples under Sugar Apocalypse? Rudy caused them (by accident, but still).
    • Not to mention "Draw and Let Draw", where Rudy upsets a LOT of chalk drawings by "fixing" them before they were erased. Too be fair, he states that he had lots of experience where chalk drawings were erased that caused problems--unfortunately his claim of a 'sixth sense' wasn't that accurate in this case.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Rudy submits the idea of vampire cannibals to a comic, and doesn't understand why it got rejected because it's edgy. Penny says that vampire cannibals might be a little too edgy.
  • Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant: Joe Tabootie
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Queen Rapsheeba[1].
    • The "Haha" Men. (Their appearance is crowned by them actually singing one of their models' songs).
  • Only Sane Man: Biclops & The Indi...or rather "Native American" guy from "Water, Water Everywhere"
  • Phlebotinum-Induced Stupidity: The Smart Bomb that Craniac 3 attempts to send after Rudy in "Future Zone" refuses to let itself be blown up, so the robot opts for a Dumb Dart instead.
  • Parental Bonus: It's safe to say that this show can use this trope to a T. Such examples include:
    • During the battle between Rudy and the chalk robot in "Double Trouble", Rudy spawns a mirror to redirect a laser beam, while declaring "Here's looking at you, kid."
    • "Thor Throat" from "The Heist" is a Hulk Hogan expy.
    • Rudy makes a "This Is Your Brain On Drugs"-type refrence (specificly "This is your brainwave on chalk.") in "Skrawl's Brain". For added measure, he's holding up frying pans while saying it.
    • A brief sequence in the opening credits looks a lot like a famous bit from the A-ha video Take on Me.
    • The fireman that appears from time to time speaks like/acts like a particual cowboy.
    • "Howdy Rudy", anyone?
    • "Power Play" manages to work in a Robert Palmer reference with this line (directed to one Dr. Von Dockter):
  • Chalk Pirates, naturally.
  • Plot Hole: Where did the magic chalk come from?
  • Plucky Comic Relief: Snap, but do not tell him that.
  • Portal Picture
  • Punny Name: Most are combined with Visual Pun, but one other example is Queen Rapsheeba, whose name is a pun on the Biblical figure the Queen of Sheba.
  • Puppy Love: Rudy and Penny, though this is actually a Justified Trope because Rudy has a rather obvious crush on Penny.
  • Real Is Brown: Rudy and Penny's world consists mostly of brown and olive colors.
  • Running Gag: Every time someone asked where a citizen of Chalkzone came from? The answer was from Greenland.
  • Sadist Teacher: Mr. Wilter, who hates..."CARTOONS!!".
    • A season two episode shows that he apparently got it from his father.
    • And Ms. Tweezer, who hates anything "unreal".
  • Save the Villain: Rudy has had to bail out Reggie Bullnerd several times when he got the blame for something Rudy did.
  • Screwed by the Network: First off, the first episode of season one aired in late 1999. Then the show made it's true debut in 2002. New episodes didn't come until mid 2003, and the rest of the show aired on Nicktoons (exept for the Series Finale).
  • Screwy Squirrel: Reggie Bullnerd.
  • Secret Keeper: Penny
  • Series Continuity Error: A major factor of the plot for "Disarmed Rudy" (a season 4 episode) was that the arm Rudy draws with is broken, so he has to use his non-dominant arm (which draws poorly). However, a brief scene in "Skrawl's Brain" (a season 3 episode) showed that Rudy was ambidextrous (see Dual-Wielding).
    • The rate chalk creations dissolve in water varies WILDLY, ranging from instantaneous (Snap's hand in "Snap Out Of Water") to moderate (the bobble head machine in "Power Play") to very slow (the chalk version of Odin's helmet in "the Heist").
      • To drive the point home, both Snap's hand and the helmet were erased under the same conditions: rain.
  • Shallow Love Interest: Rapsheeba is more or less this to Snap.
    • In one episode, Rudy had Trina, the person who had originally drawn Rapsheeba.
  • Somewhere an Ornithologist Is Crying: In "Chalk Queen", Penny points to a drawing of a short, fuzzy brown owl with white eyes and claims that it is a Barn Owl. Though it obviously wasn't any real type of owl, it would have been acceptable if she claimed it to be a species that is vaguely similar to the drawing.
  • Sugar Apocalypse: Invoked in "Gift Adrift": Chalkzone plus a chalk dust targeting vacuum from the real world.
    • It got so bad that by the time Rudy got the idea to puncture the bag open (releasing Chalkzone), all that remained was a green strip and a blank, endless void.
    • Also kinda invoked in "Waste Mountain": Magic Chalk Mine plus 3 (ripped) real world garbage bags filled with cheezeburger smoothies.
    • This is always averted when concerning the secret of Chalkzone being threatened. The best example concerns "Hole In The Wall", where Rudy must get a construction manager, Vinnie Ritone out of Chalkzone before he turns it into a amusement park.
      • This turns into a 3 season arc of sorts because even though he got sent out, Ritone wants back in.
    • A rare non-Rudy involved example: In "Let's Twister Again", a little kid called Sonny keeps drawing and erasing tornados into Chalkzone (and then later thunder storms) due to being inspired by his mom's job as a weather reporter. However, by the end, he switches to rainbows after seeing Penny's prism. Guess how much better things got.
  • Sugar Bowl: The titular Chalkzone.
  • Summon Bigger Fish: When being kidnapped and harassed by Craniac 3, Rudy draws Craniac 4, making #3 obsolete and put into frozen suspension along with Craniacs 1 and 2. It seems to work well... until Craniac 4 starts chasing Rudy intending to get Rudy's "instant matter materializer"
  • Title Theme Tune
  • Took a Level In Badass: Drawing wise, Rudy's first ever drawing was Blocky in 1st grade. 2nd grade? He made an old woman in a bathtub and by fifth grade, his mom stated that it took him only four weeks for the newspaper to get his comics published whereas the mom took four years for a single article.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Reggie Bullnerd gets Fs all the time.
    • Now honestly... who thought creating Craniac 4 would solve Rudy's problems?
  • Those Two Guys: Reggie & Bruno Bullnerd
  • Three Shorts: Most episodes consist of this format: an 11-minute short, a 7-minute short, a 3-minute short starring Snap, and a 1-minute music video.
    • And sometimes, that Snap segment is ALSO a music video, so sometimes episodes are half plot, half song.
    • And in one case in season four, the music video was replaced with another short.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Mr. Wilter
  • Villain Song: "Skrawl's Song", which gets a few updates/reprises among various episode.
    • HEY! HEY! HEY!
  • Visual Pun: Considering this was Scribblenauts: The TV Show, it was rife with this. For example, to contact Biclops in one episode, Rudy draws up some "homing bacon". As in a piece of flying bacon with a robot voice.
  • Vocal Evolution: The Oh Yeah Cartoons shorts gave Rudy a higher pitched voice (justified, he was younger than he was in the actual show), and Snap's accent got heavier (he also had a higher voice in early episodes).
  • Voibal Tic: Right, bucko?
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Penny calls Rudy out when he uses Chalk Zone to get a passing grade in science fair, and in turn making it seem like he achieved perpetual motion (since he forgot to draw a power source).
  • Whole-Episode Flashback: The first two shorts from Oh Yeah Cartoons were turned into flashbacks in episodes of the series.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Joe Tabootie, Mr. Wilter & Both Bullnerds in "Water, Water Everywhere"
  • You Look Familiar: Rudy looks a lot like Timmy Turner or Disney's Christopher Robin from the Winnie the Pooh cartoons.
  • You Mean "Xmas": The Christmas Episode contains a song where the characters mash the names of all the winter holidays into one big name.
    • If I remember right, the lyrics included "Merry Chris-hanukkah-mas and a Happy Rama-Kwanzaa-dan."

Notes

  1. Possibly a reference to Queen Latifah