Katbot: Disney Chanel's vaporware


Well-Known Member
Oct 23, 2014
In the mid-2000s, Disney Channel was increasing its investments in original animation in order to compete with its competitors, Nick and Cartoon Network. Among the shows slated for 2005, was a cartoon called Katbot. Katbot began life as a web short created by Angela Martini, centering on an uninvested, cynical cat alien named Katbot. One day, bored with her day job of pushing papers around, she volunteers for a mission to assess the threat levels of human teenagers on Earth. It's a sort of Daria meets Invader Zim, where Katbot would observe human behavior, and occasionally mock its stupidity. Disney saw something in this creation, and picked up the show, developing it into an animated series for Disney Channel. Only problem, was that Katbot was cancelled before it actually premiered.

According to Angela, she was not a fan of the way Disney was handling the show. The pilot sat on a shelf for a few years, then Disney brought a bunch of people in to retool the show into something more tailor-made for a younger audience, with Angela calling it "some horrid caricature of what it originally was". Katbot herself lost much of her cynicism and punk attitude, and became another happy-go-lucky Disney teenybopper, and much of the crew behind this version were making it without Angela's involvement. The entire premise of the Disney version was changed as well. Instead of being sent to observe the threat level of human teens, Katbot's mission was instead to observe and chronicle tween culture.

In all honestly, Katbot could've been a decent series had it gone to another network. Perhaps a more teen oriented one line MTV or The N. A similar situation happened with another Disney cartoon canned before its premiere, Super Cooper, which was originally going to be a pure comedy, but Disney meddling turned it into some Frankenstein with forced morals. Katbot should be a lesson to network execs. Let creators, create. Don't try and force it into some box that it inevitably will not fit in.

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