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Cartoonito
Cartoonito 2018.png
Original United Kingdom & EMEA logo
Cartoonito - Logo 2021.svg
Current United States & International logo
Owner WarnerMedia International
Related brands
  • Tickle-U (block)
  • Tiny TV (brand)

Cartoonito is a brand name used by AT&T's WarnerMedia for a collection of television networks and programming blocks that target preschool-age children.

As of 2019, Cartoonito channels exist in the United Kingdom (its flagship service) and Italy, while branded blocks are currently broadcast on localized feeds of Cartoon Network in the Middle East and Turkey.

Background

Educational block (1996–2001)

In 1996, Cartoon Network decided to create a Sunday morning block of preschool programs. The series featured included Big Bag, a live-action/puppet television program created by the Children's Television Workshop (known for Sesame Street), Small World, a children's animated anthology show/variety show, and Cave Kids (a Hanna-Barbera cartoon produced spinoff starring Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm).

Small World aired in several countries (except Japan, China, and Korea) and syndicated many of their respective shows. Cave Kids only ran from September to November of that year. However, Big Bag ran until 1998, while Small World ran until c. 2002.

Early investments in preschool programming (2001–2005)

Creating original series

In 1997 (just the year after the merger of Turner Broadcasting System with Time Warner), Warner Bros. Animation announced Baby Looney Tunes, an original preschool series inspired by a line of pre-existing merchandise. Production had finished by January 2001, and the pilot aired on June 3 of that year. Once the pilot proved a success, work on Baby Looney Tunes resumed, and it officially premiered on July 28, 2001. The series also ran on the Kids' WB block from 2002 to 2005 while continuing its original run on Cartoon Network until October 16, 2006.

Tiny TV (International branding)

In 2003, Cartoon Network's Indian counterpart introduced Tiny TV, a weekday morning block of acquired preschool cartoons such as Bob the Builder, Kipper, Noddy, and Oswald. By 2006, the block had expanded to Cartoon Network channels Australia and Southeast Asia, as well as on Boomerang in the latter region and Latin America (where it was known as Mini TV). Each block carried their own lineup of programs, with only a few shared between feeds.

Tiny TV was discontinued in 2007, but was temporarily revived on POGO (a sister channel to Cartoon Network India) in 2010.

Tickle-U programming block (2005)

Tickle-U was Cartoon Network's first attempt at official weekday-morning preschool programming block, debuting on 22 August 2005 and airing from 9 to 11 a.m. Programs on the lineup included original series Gerald McBoing-Boing and Firehouse Tales, along with acquired fare such as Gordon the Garden Gnome, Little Robots, and Peppa Pig; the last three series were all of British origin, and were re-dubbed for American audiences. The block also featured two CGI characters as hosts: Pipoca (voiced by Ariel Winter) and Henderson (voiced by Tom Kenny).

However, Tickle-U came under fire by the Campaign for a Commerical-Free Childhood, who criticized Cartoon Network for advertising the block as a way to develop a child's sense of humor. As a result, the block was axed in January 2006, though the shows continued to air on the channel until 2007.

Versions

Central and Eastern Europe

In Central and Eastern Europe, Cartoonito was launched as a morning/afternoon block for the Central and Eastern European feed of Boomerang, broadcasting 7 days a week starting from 12 October 2011. It was cancelled in January 2014.

France

Cartoonito was launched as a morning block on Boing on 5 September 2011. The block last aired on 5 July 2013.

India and Pakistan

In India and Pakistan, Cartoonito was launched as a morning block for the Indian version of Cartoon Network, broadcasting seven days a week starting from 7 August 2013.

Italy

The Italian version of Cartoonito was launched on 22 August 2011. Unlike other versions of the channel, which are directly controlled by Turner/Warner, the Italian version is operated by Boing S.p.A., a joint venture between RTI (part of Fininvest's Mediaset) and Turner Broadcasting System Italia.

The channel is available on Italian digital terrestrial television on channel 46, as carried by Mediaset's Mediaset 2 DVB-T multiplex. It is also available on Tivù Sat on channel 41.

Middle East

In the Middle East, Cartoonito was launched as a morning block for Cartoon Network Arabic, broadcasting seven days a week beginning on 4 September 2011. Simultaneously, Cartoonito was also available in English in the Middle East via another morning block on the pan-European feed of Boomerang. Both blocks ended on 1 January 2014 (Boomerang) and on 1 April 2014 (Cartoon Network), though the Arabic Cartoon Network would re-introduce Cartoonito on 24 March 2019, now airing Sunday through Thursdays at 9:30 KSA Local Time.

Africa

In Africa, Cartoonito was launched as a morning block for the pan-European feed of Boomerang, broadcasting for seven days a week beginning on 12 October 2011. The block ended on 1 January 2014.

Southeast Asia

On 1 December 2012, Cartoonito launched in Asia Pacific in conjunction with its localized website. A key market upon launch is the Philippines, which began transmission initially in SD on the country's largest cable provider, SkyCable. Cartoonito is available as part of its Metropack and on an a la carte basis via Skycable Select. Cartoonito was replaced by Boomerang on 1 January 2015.

Spain

In Spain, Cartoonito was launched as a 24-hour channel on 1 September 2011, as part of Turner Broadcasting System EMEA plans to roll out the brand across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The move also increased Cartoonito's distribution to 125 million homes in 112 territories. On 30 June 2013, the channel was shut down alongside the Spanish feed of Cartoon Network.

Turkey

During the summer of 2019, Cartoonito was launched as an afternoon block on the Turkish feed of Cartoon Network, airing every day from 12:00 to 3:30 PM local time.

United Kingdom and Ireland

Cartoonito originally began on 4 September 2006 as a programming block on Cartoon Network Too, which timeshare with Turner Classic Movies 2. On 24 May 2007, Cartoonito expanded its broadcast hours by taking the whole daytime slot formerly given to Cartoon Network Too; Cartoon Network Too became a full 24-hour channel by taking over Toonami UK's former channel space. From September 2009 to March 2010, a morning Cartoonito block aired on Boomerang, until its launch on Virgin Media.

Cartoonito became a 24-hour channel on 15 January 2018.

United States

With the announcement of Batwheels on 6 October 2020, Warner Bros. Global Kids, Young Adults, and Classics president Tom Ascheim implied about plans for Cartoon Network to jump into preschool.

In a 5 February 2021 interview with Kidscreen, Ascheim revealed that Cartoon Network would be expanding its programming offerings to include series aimed at families, girls, and preschool children. The interview coincided with the acquisition of broadcast rights to Thomas & Friends: All Engines Go!, a reboot of the original Thomas & Friends series.

On 17 February, WarnerMedia announced that an official Cartoonito block would launch on Cartoon Network in the fall, with an additional streaming component for HBO Max. Launch programming includes 20 new series, including Batwheels, Bugs Bunny Builders, Little Ellen and Tom and Jerry Junior from Warner Bros. Animation; Bea's Block and Mecha Builders from Sesame Workshop; Jessica's Big Little World, a spin-off of the Cartoon Network original series Craig of the Creek; and acquired series Ladybird Lu, Lucas the Spider, and Mush-Mush & The Mushables.

Current programming

Original programming

Title Premiere date Current
season/series
Daisy & Ollie 1 November 2017 4
Fireman Sam 11 February 2008 11
MeteoHeroes 6 July 2020 (Italy only) 1

Acquired programming

Title Premiere date
Bob the Builder 25 January 2016
Curious George 6 August 2018
Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood 16 March 2016
Grizzy and the Lemmings 7 November 2016
Little People 11 April 2016
Masha and the Bear 20 June 2016
Molang 29 September 2018
Super Wings 6 February 2017
Thomas & Friends 6 March 2017
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