5 TV Shows Using Toon Boom Harmony

Established in Quebec, Canada in 1994, Toon Boom remains at the forefront of all 2D animated content around the world – utilized by virtually every modern animated TV show.

If you’ve ever wanted to see exactly how these shows are animated in Toon Boom Harmony – you’re in luck!

We’ve put together some great behind-the-scenes snippets of five TV shows (with completely unique styles) that demonstrate the extended abilities of what can be done in Toon Boom Harmony.

1. Rise of the TMNT

Rise of the TMNT aired for two seasons on Nickelodeon and Nicktoons from 2018 to 2020. It features the adventures of the famous mutant turtle brothers Raphael, Donatello, Leonardo, and Michelangelo as they master their ninja skills while fighting crime (and eating pizza) in New York City.

The series uses mostly traditional frame-by-frame animation, with extended poses, while only heads or mouths are animated – a style easily accomplished within Toon Boom.

Frank Summers, who worked on the series as a freelance Senior Rough Animator, offers a rare look at how this type of animation was accomplished on his YouTube channel.

In the video below, you can follow along as he showcases his rough work animating the characters. You can even see his timing charts at the 29-second mark and follow through frame-by-frame to see how he animated April O’Neil’s head tilt with them.

2. Bob’s Burgers

Now in its 14th season, Bob’s Burgers has become a staple of adult comedy animation. The series follows Bob Belcher, his wife Linda, and their children Tina, Gene, and Louise, who manage a hamburger restaurant in New Jersey.

Bob’s Burgers is a great example of a show that takes full advantage of how economical Toon Boom’s puppet animation tools can be, as it has used the technique to pump out over 250 episodes (and counting).

While most animation in Bob’s Burgers is done with rigged puppets, there is still frequent use of frame-by-frame animation within the series. 

Erin Humiston, a current Retake Director on Bob’s Burgers, showcases what the entire process of creating Bob’s Burgers looks like in Toon Boom on his YouTube channel.

In his video below, he demonstrates the step-by-step process of transforming reference footage into the final approved shot. This includes puppet and frame-by-frame animation, tie-downs, and color.

3. Rick and Morty

Beginning in 2013 and now in its seventh season, Rick and Morty is another great example of a show using Toon Boom to its full capabilities.

The show follows the adventures of scientist Rick Sanchez and his grandson Morty Smith as they balance family drama and interdimensional hijinks. 

Each season, Rick and Morty animators aim to push the boundaries of animated storytelling with shots that involve complicated special effects, 3D elements, and sometimes hundreds of characters. 

In the short Adult Swim documentary below, David Marshall, Technical Director, Brian Newton, Director, and James McDermott, Art Director discuss the challenges and animation techniques they employed within Toon Boom to keep upping the stakes of the show.

4. Lackadaisy

If you haven’t heard of Lackadaisy, it’s a new show that sprung up through YouTube after a crowd-funded pilot received over two million dollars to produce a 5-episode series.

The series follows the adventures of anthropomorphic cat characters who run a speakeasy during the 1920s prohibition era and is based on a popular web series produced by Tracy J Butler between 2006 to 2020.

Lackadaisy is a great example of how independent animators use Toon Boom’s capabilities to produce their own TV shows.

In the video below, Compositing Supervisor and Technical Director, Sara ‘Serval’ Fisher, shares how she used Toon Boom to add highlights to the finished animation of the pilot.

5. The Cuphead Show!

Last, but not least is The Cuphead Show!

Based on the 2017 video game Cuphead by Studio MDHR, The Cuphead Show! saw a three-season release on Netflix in 2022.

The series follows brothers Cuphead and Mugman, a pair of anthropomorphic drinkware, who go on various adventures, often thwarting the plans of the devil, who wants to capture Cuphead’s soul.

The Cuphead Show! is a fantastic example of a mainstream TV show using Toon Boom to create its frame-by-frame rubber-hose style of animation. Even most of the special effects in the show were hand drawn as well. This is showcased by Arvin Andrew Villarin, who was a 2D Special Effects Animator on the series.

In his video below, you can see his entire step-by-step process of building special effects onto a shot until it is approved.

Toon Boom is Used in More than Just TV

While Toon Boom is mostly known for its television production capabilities, it’s been used for anything 2D-animated including feature films like Klaus, short films like the Oscar-winning Hair Love, student thesis films like Fueled, and even video games like Speed Brawl. This makes it an essential program for any animator looking to work in any part of the industry.

Want to learn more? Check out our Toon Boom Harmony Animation course

If you want to unlock your 2D potential, we’ve put together a complete course on animating in Toon Boom Harmony. With over 80 training videos, it covers everything you need to know for creating portfolio-ready frame-by-frame and puppet animation.

Get the course