After several years of successful reruns of the original series, Televisa launched simultaneously in Mexico, and the rest of Latin America, an animated version of the program made by Anima Studios on October 21, 2006 to capitalize on the nostalgia and popularity of the original series. The animated series was created using 3D computer models as backgrounds and 2D drawings for the main characters, animated with Flash. Along with the series, Televisa launched a huge marketing campaign that included merchandise tie-ins to capitalize on the expected success of the show. For the series launching event a full set was built imitating the computerized background, where a presentation showed how the animation was made. Many elements of the original series, including most of the original stories were included in the animated series.
The series aired in Kabillion On Demand as an English dub in North America and the show, like Pokémon and others, was Americanized and redubbed to air in North America for an English-speaking audience, since the series is difficult to translate to other foreign languages due to the common phrases said by the characters that lack translation. Despite appearing in the video-on-demand service, the series does not appear or mentioned in the official Kabillion website until April 2012 due to the website's relaunch in which the series finally gets placed.
In April 2012, two Youtube users "Renann64" and "elchavodel8" tend to upload full high-definition English dubbed episodes of El Chavo for the first time on a weekly basis, with a few exceptions. These episodes will usually feature a "English dub" tag on the videos and the episode is divided into two parts. The channel "elchavodel8"'s episodes are not available to be viewed in the United States, due to being blocked.
It is currently the most successful TV series and media project that Anima Studios ever produced.
The cartoon depicts the children in the right scale compared to the original live action series where the children were played by adults, and the feel was given to the character through their way of dressing, speaking, and mainly through giving them oversized toys.
But this was not the first attempt to animate the characters of the show. Previously, claymation sequences were created for the credits of the original series in the late 1970s. and 2D animations were used for a "submarinos marinela" commercial, and later for the credits of "Chespirito", the program that succeeded both "El Chavo" and its sister series El Chapulín Colorado.
In this animated series, La Chilindrina, one of the most popular characters of the original show, doesn't appear due to on-going disputes between María Antonieta de las Nieves and Roberto Gómez Bolaños on the copyrights of the character. At the time of production, De las Nieves had and still has the rights of the Chilindrina Character and didn't come to an agreement with the producer of the show, one of the sons of Gómez Bolaños and also a noted Televisa executive, over royalties. De las Nieves won the copyrights of the character on the basis that it was based on her persona and the traits of the character brought forth by her, and presented in previous characters she performed prior to the conception of the show. However the Gomez Bolaños estate claims that Roberto Gómez as the show writer, created the character and De las Nieves only portrayed it, and as such owns the rights to the character. Although the character was included on the original launching materials, it was removed from the final production.
The series was later dubbed into English and aired in Kabillion's video-on-demand which featured major changes to the basic style of the original El Chavo series:
- The theme song for the series was changed to a more upbeat theme song talking about the series' characters rather than just the instrumental music from the original dub.
- Most of the names were changed and Americanized (with the exception of El Chavo, Quico, and Patty), implying that the series takes place in America instead of Mexico. A couple of examples are Professor Jirafales becoming Professor Girafalde, Doña Florina to Ms. Worthmore, Don Ramón to Mr. Raymond and Doña Cleotilde to Miss Pinster.
- The title names were changed to more American phrases to fit the show's plot.
- The characters catchphrases were either different or slightly altered from the original Spanish phrases. One example is El Chavo's catchphrase "Eso, eso, eso" becoming "That's true, that's true, that's true" or "That's it, that's it, that's it", both of which are loosely equivalent to the original. A more significant change however, is Professor Jirafales' catchphrase being changed from "Ta-ta-ta-taaaaa-TAH!!!" to "No-no-no-nooooo-NO!!!". Also, "chusma", when said by either Doña Florinda or Quico in reference to Don Ramón, is rendered as "lowlife".
- The series features more comedy and many running gags that appeal more to American viewers.
- The original Spanish theme song can be heard in the credits on every episode.
Chavo, Gloria and Quico are the only character's who's names have not been Americanized or changed. Although Paty's name sounds the same, the American version adds another "t" to the name.
- Sr. Ramón - Mr. Raymond
- Doña Florinda - Mrs. Worthmore
- Professor Jirafales - Teacher Girafalde
- Doña Cleotilde/La bruja de 71 - Miss Pinster/The Witch of 71
- Senor Barriga - Mr. Beliarge
- Jaime el Cartero - James the Mailman
- La Popis - Phoebe
- Ñoño - Junior
- Godinez - Gordon
- Paty - Patty
- El Chapulin Colorado - Captain Hopper
- Señor Hurtado - Mr. Crookley
- Serafina - Stephanie
- El Justiciero Enmascarado - The Secret Masked Crusader
- Rubia Margot - Margo Blonde
- Vicente/Chente - Chova
|Name||Original Voice||English Voice|
|Chavo||Jesús Guzmán||Mona Marshall|
|Quico||Seabstián Llapur||Tom Kenny|
Kate Higgins (to Episode 52)
Erin Fitzgerald (Since Episode 53)
|Ñoño/Junior||Mario Castañeda||Yuri Lowenthal|
Kate Higgins (to Episode 52)
Erin Fitzgerald (Since Episode 53)
|Paty/Patty||Maggie Vera||Tara Platt|
|Don Ramón/Mr. Raymond||Mario Castañeda||Doug Erholtz|
|Sr. Barriga/Mr. Beliarge||
Victor Delgado (Season 1-Episode 107 for Season 5)
Sebastian Llapur (Episode 108 for Season 5-Season 7)
|Doña Florinda/Mrs. Worthmore||Erica Edwards||
Kate Higgins (to Episode 52)
Laura Post (Since Episode 53)
|Profesor Jirafales/Professor Girafalde||
Juan Carlos Tinoco (Season 1-2)
Moisés Suárez Aldana (Season 3-7)
Sebastian Llapur (1 Loop, Episode 9, Season 1)
|Doña Clotilde (La Bruja del 71)/Miss Pinster (The Witch of 71)||Erika Mireles||Mona Marshall|
|Jaime el Cartero/James the Mailman||
Leonardo García (Season 1-Episode 121 from season 6)
Héctor Miranda (Episode 122 from Season 6-Season 7
Challenges and differences with the original series
Being El Chavo a popular TV series that hold most of the fun in the severely repeated gags that takes the public to a simple story, there were at the beginning not much ideas to develop in the animated version. Also the Chilindrina character was pulled out due to the legal problems with Maria Antonieta de las Nieves, being this character "substituted" by Popis, that becomes one of the main characters (in the original series, Popis was a recurring character due to being performed by Florinda Meza and seldom appeared when Doña Florinda was present). When the story shows necessary to bring more girls, Paty, a guest character in the original series become a recurring character and later one of the main characters.
The first season chapters were animated adaptations of the most popular episodes of the original series even ending with the last episode that had the classic cast together (Vacaciones en Acapulco). From second season and beyond, the series became to show original stories and new guest characters. By example, instead of having El Chapulin Colorado as the main superhero, they also add El Justiciero Enmascarado, a luchador-esque superhero to the kids imagination. Also, the characters have adventures outside the neighborhood so they were able to visit museums, the zoo, entertainment parks and more.
Also, due to the orientation to child audience, the physical and spoken violence that normally rounds around the original series, were softened to show a more cartooned violence. Sometimes, the characters shows some Mexican popular culture themes inside the episodes (by example, Quico refers to a vacation where he fell out to a river, mirroring the Edgar se cae meme where he takes the part of Edgar and Ñoño the part of Edgar's cousin).
In the episode "La mascota de Quico" (Trial by Terror in English) was changed during the English version. In the Spanish and Portuguese versions, Quico's pet cat dies due to being run over by Chavo. The English version states that the cat ran way.
In the episode "Una mosca en el cafe" (Bread and Butterflies in English) featuring a dubbing change. In the Spanish and Portuguese versions, Chavo called flies "mosca" (fly in Spanish). The English version features Chavo calling them "what'cha ma call'ems" thinking that they are imaginary creatures in his head. Also in that episode, "Restaurante Dona Florinda" became "Mrs. Worthmore Cafe". To Americanize the series for American viewers, the Spanish cuisine such as soupa de tortilla, arroz con leche and caldo de pollo gets replaced with the American diet and cuisine such as hotdogs (with sauerkraut), hamburgers, pancakes, soups, chocolate cake, rice bowls and spaghetti and meatballs.
In the episode "El juego de beisbol" (Know Hitter's in English), Chavo pretends to be a goalkeeper from several countries mentioning Peru, Germany, Argentina and Mexico. When he said he's from Mexico, he is referencing to the fact that the original Spanish version, the vecinidad is from Mexico, meaning that the English version's localization is changed to the United States. Although Jesus Guzman (voice actor for Chavo in Spanish dub) says he's the goalkeeper of Mexico in Spanish, it could be a coincidence.
In the episode "Amar a los enemigos" (Love the Enemy in English), Professor Girafalde asks Chavo to explain from the beginning of why Quico's crying, Chavo mentions "Adam and Eve" in the English version (not the Spanish version) meaning that the series does take place in America in the English version and Chavo's religion is a Christian.
In the episode "Americano futbol" (Kickin It in English), the kids play American football but it wasen't called American football in the English version meaning it's another reference to the fact that the series takes place in America in the English version.
Spin-offs and merchandiseEdit
Televisa has released 6 episodes of El Chavo in Mexico in 2007. In Brazil the same collections are released by Universal Video Entertainment in 2008 under the title Chaves: O desenho. In 2004 were launched dolls in Mexico representing Quico, La Popis (Phoebe), Don Ramón(Mr. Raymond), Doña Florinda(Mrs. Worthmore) y Profesor Jirafales( Professor Girafalges). In 2006, McDonald's and Bimbo Products launches another six dolls, there's a new videogame of Nintendo DS that will be launch on Mexico but still doesn't have dates this premiere, will in Latin America with Spanish and Portugesse calls "El Chavo animado: El videojuego", and launchs a CD with soudtrack of El teatro del Chavo Animado, in Mexico, with songs basen in the original series and El Chapulin Colorado too.
A stage show based on the animated series, featuring actors in full body costumes with masks, and a music soundtrack based on updated versions of the songs used in the live show has toured several cities.
A Facebook game was released on March 2012 called La Vecindad del Chavo where the player designs his own neighborhood kid and shares missions with the other characters of the Vecindad in order to increase the friendship with them and also joins them in actions like clearing the neighborhood, playing some games in the vicinity or inside the imagination of the kids (like a Star Wars-esque game where the play must shut down Quico ships before they escape). The game was developed by Playful Play studios in Monterrey, Mexico.
A Wii game, called El Chavo was released on April 2012 and is a Mario Party like game where the players can do some mexican games in order to win points. The game was developed by Slang Studios, Televisa, and Kaxan Games. It is available in English, Spanish, and French languages.