Created by Emily Kapnek
Final episode date 14 November 2006
Genre Comedy Teen drama
Directed by Mark Risley
Theme song I'm In Between
|Developed by Kate Boutilier
Starring Melissa Disney Kenny Blank Jeannie Elias Jackie Harris Laraine Newman Kathleen Freeman Aspen Miller Tress MacNeille Liz Georges Cree Summer Kath Soucie Adam Wylie Sandy Fox
Opening theme "I'm in Between" performed by Macy Gray Written by Jared Faber and Emily Kapnek
Characters Ginger Foutley, Courtney Gripling, Miranda Killgallen
Cast Melissa Disney, Cree Summer, Tress MacNeille, Jeannie Elias, Aspen Miller
As Told by Ginger (also known as As Told by Ginger Foutley) is an American animated television series aimed at teenagers, produced by Klasky-Csupo and aired on Nickelodeon. The series focuses on a middle schooler (and later a high schooler) girl named Ginger Foutley who, with her friends, tries to become more than a social geek.
- Continuity and themes
- Television films
- Show airings
- DVD and iTunes releases
- Theme song
- Closing credits
As Told by Ginger ended production in 2004, although some episodes remain unaired on U.S. television. It was nominated for three Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Animated Program (for Programming Less Than One Hour). The series was praised and noted for the fact that it had ongoing story arcs and characters who developed, aged and changed their clothes throughout the show, rare for an animated series. Reruns are currently airing on TeenNick's block The Splat since 2015.
The show focuses mainly on the life of junior high school student Ginger Foutley (Melissa Disney). She, along with her friends, Darren Patterson (Kenny Blank), Deidre Hortense "Dodie" Bishop (Aspen Miller), and Macie Lightfoot (Jackie Harris), try to rise from the position of school geeks as they solve many conflicts that come their way.
Luckily for Ginger, the most popular girl in school, Courtney Gripling (Liz Georges), has taken a liking to her and often includes her in her social plans. She is intrigued by her "gingerisms", as Courtney calls them. However, Miranda Killgallen (Cree Summer), Courtney's right-hand woman, makes sure that she is not bumped down from her position thanks to Ginger. At home, Ginger records her lively adventures in her diary. Her little brother, Carl (Jeannie Elias), is often scheming with Robert-Joseph "Hoodsey" Bishop (Tress MacNeille) in his own side plots, and her mother, Lois (Laraine Newman), is always there for advice to which Ginger is always open to listen.
The series takes place in the fictional town of Sheltered Shrubs, located in Connecticut. Sheltered Shrubs is based on the real town of Larchmont, New York. Other towns noted in the series are Protected Pines, a gated community in which Courtney lives, Brittle Branches, where Ginger's father resides, and Heathered Hills, the town of Ginger's summer camp crush, Sasha.
Continuity and themes
As Told by Ginger has been recognized by fans and Nickelodeon alike for its character development, most of which is unusual for a cartoon.
In the first season, Ginger's age group is hinted as being in seventh grade. By the second season, they move up to eighth grade rather than remaining the same age. They graduate junior high in the third season and move on to becoming freshmen in high school. Carl's age group works in a similar way, as they become junior high students by the third season. Also in the second season, Darren had his unwieldy orthodontia that he had been wearing for the entire first season removed, which resulted in rising popularity. Also, many episodes have references to previous episodes, giving the episodes a definite order.
One of the more noticeable developments is the fact that the characters change clothes each time a new day comes. Many cartoons have their characters remain in the same outfits to save time and money. The girls in Ginger's age group (Dodie, Courtney, Macie, Miranda and Ginger herself) and some of the adults were the only ones to do this at first. But after Darren got his orthodontia removed, he changed clothes as well. Carl's age group only changes clothes so often, most of the time with little changes. Hoodsey's coat rack has identical purple hooded-sweatshirts, mocking cartoons that always remain in the same outfits. Also, unlike most live-action shows, whose characters only wear an outfit once, As Told by Ginger characters wear their outfits in rotation, and new outfits are added every few episodes.
The series also deals with several deeper themes. In "Wicked Game", Ginger's two best friends betray her after feeling jealousy toward her new boyfriend, Darren. In "And She Was Gone", the staff and students at school think Ginger is depressed after she writes a disturbing poem which worries them because earlier in the school year another girl in Ginger's class committed suicide. In the episode "No Hope for Courtney", Carl's pranks cause his teacher to retire. After she agrees to come back, Mrs. Gordon passes on. In actuality, Mrs. Gordon's voice actress, Kathleen Freeman, died before the episode's completion, and the script was rewritten to be dedicated to her. "A Lesson in Tightropes" has Ginger going through an emotional break-up with Darren while, at the same time, having to get surgery for appendicitis. Furthermore, the episode "Stuff'll Kill Ya" shows Ginger dealing with what could be conceived as a caffeine addiction.
Unlike most other Nicktoons, the series was aired on the TEENick block.
Sixty episodes (not including the pilot episode) were produced for the show.The pilot was produced in 1999 and was officially completed on September 10 of that year. Season One was produced from 2000 to 2001. Season Two was produced from 2002 to 2003. Season Three was produced in 2003.
There were four television films that aired during the series' run.
Nickelodeon had originally asked for the ending of The Wedding Frame to be changed to something less conclusive in case they wished to order more episodes, however, perhaps due to that situation being very unlikely, the original ending was eventually retained. It was released directly to DVD in the United States in November 2004, but it was not broadcast in the US; also, the six episodes leading up to the film were not aired in the US either, resulting in some continuity problems.
In international airings, the films were divided in two (for Butterflies are Free) and three parts (for the other three films) in reruns.
The pilot for the show was completed in September 1999. The show premiered in October 2000 on Nickelodeon. The show was greatly popular at first, making its way into the teenager-aimed block TEENick. After the second season, the show's popularity began to decline, partially due to constant scheduling changes. Nickelodeon then took the show off the air after airing less than half the episodes of the third and final season. The show was a part of the Nicktoons channel since its inception in 2002, and started airing the remaining third season episodes in November 2004, when "Ten Chairs" premiered. The "high school" episodes were slated to premiere during November 2006, but only one, "Stuff'll Kill Ya", premiered. The aforementioned Season 3 episodes remain unaired, however, they instead aired on teen-oriented block The N on Saturday nights, on January 20, 2007.
DVD and iTunes releases
The opening theme, "I'm in Between", was written for the show by series composer, Jared Faber, and Emily Kapnek. The song was first recorded with vocals by Melissa Disney, in character as Ginger. But this version was replaced before initial North American broadcasts with another version performed by Cree Summer. This would be used for half of the first season before a third version, featuring vocals by R&B artist Macy Gray, which was used for the rest of the series' run.
In international English speaking broadcasts, the Melissa Disney and Cree Summer versions were used for seasons one and two broadcasts, while the Macy Gray version was used for season three. Internationally, the Macy Gray version is the more recognizable version.
The closing credits are generally designed backgrounds with the show's signature font. These backgrounds include the ice cream cones from Ginger's bedroom walls, ladybugs from Dodie's bedroom walls, pencils, lizards and more. In most episodes, the ending theme is an instrumental rock-based song, although there have been exceptions. "Piece of My Heart" ends with a different and softer instrumental melody. The episode "Never Can Say Goodbye" ended with a song called "Wrong", sung by voice actor Kenny Blank as Darren Patterson, and "And She Was Gone" ended with a musical version of Ginger's poem during the credits. The episode "Come Back, Little Seal Girl" featured the songs "Courtney's World" and "The Little Seal Girl" blended together. In "About Face", a song called "Diamonds Are Expensive", presumably sung by the engaged Lois and Dr. Dave, is played over the credits. "Next Question" ended with "The Teen Seal Girl" song. Finally, the episode "No Hope for Courtney" had no music during the credits, being dedicated to the memory of Kathleen Freeman.