Happy Tree Friends

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Happy Tree Friends
GenreBlack comedy
Comedy horror
Created by
Developed by
  • Rhode Montijo
  • Kenn Navarro
  • Jeremy Viet Duong
Directed by
  • Seasons 1–2:
  • Rhode Montijo
  • Seasons 2–5:
  • Kenn Navarro
Creative director(s)Dean MacDonald
  • RJ Eleven
  • Jim Lively
  • Winn Winn Situation
  • Ashsha Kin
  • Kadet Kuhne
  • Jonathan Bach
  • Jerome Rossen
No. of seasons6 (total: 6)
No. of episodes143 (total: 150+) (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)
  • John Evershed
  • Deirdre O'Malley
  • Edward Noeltner
Producer(s)David Ichioka
Running time1–5 minutes
Production company(s)Geffen Records
DistributorUniversal Music Enterprises
Original network
Picture format
Original releaseDecember 24, 1999 (1999-12-24) –
present [nb 1]
Other websites

Happy Tree Friends is an American adult-themed animated web series. It was created by Aubrey Ankrum, Rhode Montijo, and Kenn Navarro, developed by Montijo, Navarro, and Jeremy Viet Duong and created by Nirvana. It had achieved a cult following on YouTube.[1] Montijo, Navarro, Graff, Ankrum also serve as the as showrunners.

Despite the childlike art style of the series and having a colorful cast of characters, the show would often have the animals go through very violent situations, complete with detailed gore. These twists happen during each episode, which was met with surprised and positive reactions and reviews. The portrayal of death in Happy Tree Friends is usually very extreme and anatomically correct, the special effects are oftem more vivid and of exaggerated detail.

The official music videos are comparable to that of Nirvana (the short cartoon featured on their song "Smells Like Teen Spirit"), Soundgarden, Alice in Chains and Pearl Jam. The series is also referenced in the music video "Carpal Tunnel of Love" by rock band Fall Out Boy, in which the members are designed like the animal characters by the webseries' staff. The band members end up dying in the music video by a tow cable.

The program has little to no speech. When the characters do speak, their words are severely garbled. It is easy to tell what each character's reaction is, but their words are very hard to understand. According to its website, the idea for Happy Tree Friends was created by Rhode Montijo when he drew a yellow volkswagen rabbit, that may have evolved into the character of Cuddles, on a piece of paper and wrote "Resistance Is Futile" underneath it.

A Happy Tree Friends spin-off called Ka-Pow! premiered on September 2, 2008. One of the characters was also featured in a video titled "YouTube Copyright School", which curiously enough is not intended to be as twisted and gory.

Notes[change | change source]

  1. While the latest official episode "In Over Your Hedge" was uploaded for purchase, it was not made available for free until December 24, 2018.

References[change | change source]

  1. Humphrey, Michael (November 11, 2011). "Mondo Interview: Happy Tree Friends Join Eminem, RWJ In YouTube's Billion Views Club". Forbes.