Origami Sightings - Animated Cartoons (Part 2)

Compiled by Janet Hamilton

A Pokemon cartoon episode called "Tower of Terror" was shown on 12/22/99 . Three different ghost Pokemon were featured, the medium one was holding what looked like a paper banger (or cracker) and using it as a weapon.

The character Lokar from Cartoon Network's Space Ghost Coast to Coast had a web page in 1999 featuring his origami collection. There was a duck, a cat, some bunnies and a chameleon.

On an episode of Animaniacs that spoofed the Stars Wars movie, Dot replies to the line "We meet again, Princess!" with "That's Princess AngelinaContessaLouisaFrancescaBannanaFannaLayOnnaPileOfOrigami the Third. But you can call me Dot." If you want to hear it, you can find the sound file here.

Many sightings on The Simpsons:

The Disney television show called Goof Troop featured Goofy, his son Max and an assorted cast. There was one show where Goofy had been nominated as father of the year in their community and was being spied upon by the neighbors as he did his daily chores. In one scene he is ironing shirts into beautiful origami cranes, which he tosses into the air so they can gracefully glide across the room to land gently in the laundry basket. Upon landing they collapse into those perfectly folded shirt forms, with the sleeves tucked out of sight and the buttons all in a row.

Japanese Anime Cel from Tenchi Muyo Mihoshi with origami - Cel size: 10.5" x 9" Image size: 2" x 5.5"  Original Hand-painted Animation Production Cel, used to make the Japanese Cartoon.

The Nickelodeon Channel show SpongeBob Squarepants

The Cat-Dog cartoon on 2/4/2001 showed Cat-Dog making an “origami army”.

Origami was spotted on the cartoon show Johnny Bravo on 3/2/2001. Johnny tries out his martial arts "skills" on some big bruiser and gets folded into a crane.

A web cartoons from BitMagic:

A Jackie Chan Adventures episode #221 was called “Origami” an aired 12/2001 on the WB Kid’s Network.. A paper man steals an ancient Chinese painting from the Louvre, then changes into an eagle reminiscent of Lang's Eagle and takes flight. Jackie next appears at a famous art collectors house to offer to guard his collection. Viper is already there offering her service to Mr. Kasahara. The paper man appears and steals something of Mr. Kasahara's and Jackie again pursues the origami man. At one point, Jackie realizes that Kuniko Kasahara is the Origami thief. The climax starts with the origami man trying to steal a vase from the Louvre, but it is too heavy for the eagle to carry. There is a dramatic scene where Origami man has changed into a pterodactyl (Montroll-ish) and is chasing Jackie up the Eiffel Tower and his wing tips cut the steel cables supporting the stairs. The final scene shows Kasahara in jail folding little Jackie's and crushing them. http://www.sonypictures.com/tv/kids/jackiechan/query_episode2.php?episode=221  The character background states that Origami got his super powers because he found an enchanted square of paper with the power to transform. The paper…REMADE him. Now us has some kind of ‘folding power’ to transform into all kinds of shapes.  Some pictures here – http://members.fortunecity.com/mkjca/origami.html 

A card picturing two cartoon men. The first one is next to a toilet roll folded to a point with the caption "Nice Touch" with the second toilet roll end folded into a bird and captioned "Too Much".

An origami boat (and the hat it derives from ) was featured in an episode of Pingu. Pingu was helping entertain at a nursery by folding paper hats. Pingu and all the younger penguins then proceeded to wear them while dancing and singing. They then went out to a pond where Pingu took off his hat and folded into boat. Robbie the seal then popped his head out of pond and into the boat, ending with it resting on his head.

In an episode on 10/2002 Jimmy Neutron, Jimmy invents a nanochip which makes his pants automatically fold and hang themselves up. Jimmy's rival, Cindy, gives a class presentation on "Origami: the Japanese Art of Paper Folding". She announces that she is going to fold "the most difficult of origami scupltures: a snow monkey riding a flying dragon while drinking tea on a ladder in December." Jimmy interrupts to say that "paper folding actually originated in China in the 2nd century A.D. and was brought to Japan in the 6th century". Unfortunately, we never get to see the finished model because Jimmy's pants go haywire and mayhem ensues.

February 11, 2001: Hank and the Great Glass Elevator: Bill and former Texas governor Ann Richards hit it off after a chance meeting resulting from Hank's reluctant prank in an Austin hotel. At one point Ann Richards folds an origami boat and floats it in a fountain. When it floats away, Bill picks her up and carries her over the water to retrieve it.

Strong Bad, an online Macromedia Flash cartoon, featured Strong Bad explaining what he does with all the email that he gets and does not answer. One of the options was giving them to Strong Mad for origami. Strong Mad is shown with several origami boulders explaining that one is a lotus and another is a crane.  http://www.homestarrunner.com/sbemail65.html

The Disney Channel premiered the comedy series Disney's Dave the Barbarian in January 2004. Set in the Middle Ages, the Walt Disney Animation project follows the family of a gentle strongman whose brute strength is matched only by his interest in cultural activities like origami and gourmet cooking. Danny Cooksey ("Disney's Pepper Ann") provides the voice for the title character.

On 4/15/2004, PBS showed episode 29a of the Berenstain Bears called "Think of Those in Need".  In it, Sister bear was folding Origami.  She showed a fold to her mother, who reminded her she was supposed to be cleaning her room. She and brother bear found out they had too many things they didn't play with anymore and donated them to the Bear's Retirement Home. Sister bear then teaches Mrs. McElder to fold a flapping bird and a penguin, and wants to do a giraffe the next time she visits. Sister bear said to brother bear that it feels good of give of your time.

6/1/2004 - Korea and China are working on a joint prodution of “Origami Warriors”, scheduled to air at the end of 2004. Participating companies are SBS Production, Dongwoo Animation and Gangweon Information Media Center from Korea, and Perfect Media (PMI) and Animation International from China. The annual production budget was set at 6 billion (Korean Wons). “Origami Warriors” is based on the 22-part-comic series published by Taiwan’s Cheongmun, which tells the adventures of warriors who came to life from origami works. At the end of each comic book issue, there are several author-drawn origami diagrams related to the book theme. The origami models are collected periodically into diagram-only collections. (Volume I- ISBN 957-595-130-1; Volume II - ISBN 9575090845). http://tv.sbs.co.kr/warriors/ http://tv.sbs.co.kr/warriors/warriors_history.html 
Information on the TV series: http://www.kocca.or.kr/ctnews/eng/SITE/data/html_dir/2004/06/01/200406010006.html 
The book  cover of volume II:

Photos from the Origami Warriors booth at an anime convention in Korea http://www.wretch.cc/album/album.php?id=smaljohn&book=16 

The 7 foot dragon above was made by Won-Seon Seo, see his blog at http://blog.naver.com/origami21 

The show Fillmore had an episode called "The Shreds Fell Like Snowflakes" in which an origami window display get put through the paper shredder: "We got a serial shredder on our hands. Gina Abbott's origami window display -- viciously shredded last Monday for no obvious reason. Yesterday's attack confirms we're dealing with a serial shredder..."

From the Anime News Network, 4/30/2005, in a report on the Anime Boston 2005 convention - "FUNimation is currently trying to drum up a “grassroots movement” to try and get a second season of Fruits Basket made. Attendees stopping by their booth in the dealer room were welcome to make origami cranes, which would be shipped by the boxload to the Japanese production staff and manga creator." Funimation is a US company that dubs Japanese anime shows into English. Page 50 of the Anime Insider magazine (June or July 2005, issue 22?) had an article called The Crane Game about this activity. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/convention.php?id=222&p=1 

American Dragon: Jake Long on the Disney Channel, August 2005. Jake is a typical 13 year old who also happens to be a dragon. In one episode, a girl could folded 1000 cranes in five minutes in a talent show contest.

The 9/11/2005 episode of American Dad, "Bullocks to Stan", CIA agent Stan has his family folding napkins for the CIA Carnival. Most of the family folds swans, but Roger, their alien houseguest, folds "Metrosexual soccer icon David Beckham". The animators must have studied real origami - the models on the table are quite convincing!

Episodes three and four of the Wenchell Bogum cartoon series (by Ed Beals) contains some origami. Episode three is called "Know When to Fold 'Em". Macromedia Flash needed to view:

Sept 24, 2006 - Harry and His Bucket Full of Dinosaurs is airing an episode called "Origami". Animation about a boy whose toy dinosaurs come to life and transport him to a magical world. Harry goes to Dino-World to learn how to make origami animals. In Dino-Japan he  meets Tatsu the dragon who accidentally burns all of his origami creations every time he breathes. Harry makes a giant origami fan from some blueprint designs created by Tatsu, and the fan blows out Tatsu's fire thus enabling him to continue making origami  animals." http://www.collingwoodohare.com/harry/harry.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_and_His_Bucket_Full_of_Dinosaurs 

An article about Chris Ward (aka mc chris) in the Times-Standard is titled "Vocal Origami" (by Daniel Boatsman). The article talks about the varied  voices he provided for Adult Swim cartoons on Cartoon Network: Hesh from Sealab 2021 or the giant, diaper wearing spider from Aqua Teen Hunger Force, and his recent work on hip-hop albums 

In The Simpson's Season 16 Episode 14 Marge writes a letter to architect Frank Gehry asking him to design a concert hall for the town of Springfield. Gehry wads up the letter, and the call of paper inspires his design. http://blog.davidteoh.com/archives/2005/11/frank_gehry_in.html 

Shortcuts by Jeff Harris is a comic that presents information on a single topic in a kid-friendly and engaging way. The September 10, 2007 issue featured origami. The teaching guide can be found here - http://www.comics.com/shortcuts/index.html 

The Mighty B! is a Nickelodeon show created about Bessie Higgenbottom, who is determined to be the best Honeybee scout ever by collecting every single badge. The episode called "Dopplefinger" starts with the Honeybees trying to earn their origami badge. Bessie fails when she suffers a finger injury, and Bessie Fingere, Finger's evil cousin from France, shows up and seems to be a bad influence on Bessie. At one point Bessie refers to an origami book where you can see a few models. http://www.nick.com/turbonick/index.jhtml?extvideoid=95035 and search for Doppelfinger.

A short animation called Insects 9 on YouTube from Nicolas Gallet and Gilles Cazaux shows marching leaf-cutter ants encountering a chasm that must be crossed. After a stick spanning the chasm breaks, the ants come upon a newspaper, and attempt to fold something to help. The first attempt is a crumpled mess, the second a pajarita, then a bunny, an elephant, and finally a paper plane. The plane zooms around for a while with the ants on board, but what goes up must eventually come down, and the planes crashes into a rock. The ants then refold the paper into a boat and go sailing down the river. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rdXkLZ74NzI

4/5/2009 - The Simpson's episode called "Eeny Teeny Maya, Moe" finds Moe dating a little person he meets online. At one point he folds a napkin into a flower for her.

Copyright © Janet Hamilton 2009

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