|It was a good day for animated cartoons when Hanna-Barbera president Fred Siebert and Cartoon Network president Betty Cohen got together and contemplated the future of the truly funny.
The result of their momentous meeting was a brief, but deadly hilarious ten-minute weekly series called World Premiere Toons. Premiering in 1995, the show featured some of the most original cartoon shorts seen on television in years.
The idea was to get some of the most talented and cutting-edge independent animators in the business to create animated shorts, a format that would give them the utmost autonomy. The animators included Craig McCracken of The PowerPuff Girls fame, David Feiss, who created Cow and Chicken, Johnny Bravo creator Van Partible, as well as Genndy Tartatovsky, responsible for the popular Dexter's Laboratory series. Each of these shows debuted on World Premiere Toons to enthusiastic acclaim, later spinning off into series of their own.
Other cartoons showcased on World Premiere Toons included "Short Orders," starring Yuckie Duck, the stressed-out duck waiter in a chi chi restaurant, "Out and About," featuring sledgehammer O'Possum, "Look Out Below" with Tex Avery bears George and Junior, "Hard Luck Duck," Hanna's tale about a duck and a Cajun fox, "Shake and Flick," about a dog terrified by a flea, "The Adventures of Captain Buzz Cheaply," about a would-be superhero whose laundry prevented him from helping his friends, "Rat in a Hot Tin Can", about a skid row rat and his pet fly, "Short Pfuse," about a bomb squad comprised of a "land" shark and a tabby cat, "Drip Dry Drips," about two cats who thought up get-rich-quick-schemes, and "Yoink of the Yukon," about a grizzly bear and his run-ins with the Canadian Mounties.
In the spring of 1996, World Premiere Toons was changed from its ten-minute format into a half-hour program called What A Cartoon! Show.
In the end, that fateful meeting of two top toon executives not only produced a great cartoon series, it allowed the spontaneous art of the independent animated short back into circulation.