Nickelodeons newest Nicktoon, EL TIGRE: THE ADVENTURES OF MANNY RIVERA, premieres with two back-to-back all-new episodes on Saturday, March 3, 2007, 10:00-11:00 am, then will air regularly on Saturdays at 10:30-11:00 am. Nickelodeons first Flash animated comedy series comes from Mexican-born creators Jorge R. Gutierrez and Sandra Equihua.
EL TIGRE follows 13-year-old Manny (voiced by Alanna Ubach, MEET THE FOCKERS) who must choose whether to use his superpowers as El Tigre for good or evil. Manny is a well-meaning kid who lives with his father and grandfather in Miracle City, an urban melting pot full of colorful heroes and nefarious villains. A spin of his mystical belt buckle transforms him into the brave and powerful masked warrior, El Tigre. As El Tigre, he has the great spirit of a hero, as well as the potential to be a great villain. The storylines draw from the popular Latino telenovelas with exaggerated comedic situations and outrageous recurring characters.
EL TIGRE is laugh-out-loud adventure from the highly imaginative husband-and-wife team Jorge R. Gutierrez and Sandra Equihua, said Tom Ascheim, evp/gm, Nickelodeon Television. It is a gorgeous blend of animation, where the spaghetti western meets Day of the Dead Latino folk art, and brings a totally new look to our line-up of animated hits.
Sandra and I set out to create a world that is rich with Latino culture based on where we grew up in Mexico and the things we are passionate for and love about our heritage, said Gutierrez. So we decided to make Miracle City a magical place of beauty and excitement juxtaposed with a spicy underbelly of crime and villainy.
I did my college thesis on Flash animation, and when I discovered Jorge had a similar passion for it, we decided that our first collaborative series would be done in this medium, said Equihua. It gives the show more of a unique look and feel with a striking color palette and also complements the frenetic action of the stories.
Manny's father Rodolfo (voiced by Eric Bauza) is a semi-retired superhero, known as White Pantera, who wants Manny to grow up to be good and honorable just like him. His Granpapi (voiced by Carlos Alazraqui) is the retired supervillain Puma Loco who thinks Manny should join him on the dark side. While Manny remains undecided as to which path to choose, he enjoys life and has fun with his impulsive best friend Frida (voiced by Grey Delisle).
In the first part of the premiere episode, Sole of a Hero, Manny and Frida borrow Rodolfos super-charged Bronze Boots of Truth for a late-night spree of fun and end up wrecking the prized objects of power. They cover up the misdeed and no one is the wiser until Rodolfo tries to fight the villainous El Oso with the damaged boots and is beaten to a pulp. In the second half, Night of the Living Guacamole, Manny desperately wants his own laser tattoo maker, but Rodolfo wont buy it for him. Not letting this small obstacle get in his way, Manny decides to use the money Rodolfo gave him to buy the rare and delicious Guacamole de los Angeles for the tattoo maker instead. And he picks up some cheap knock-off guacamole in its place. Sadly, Manny unwittingly buys the substitute guacamole from the evil Dr. Chipotle Jr. and it turns both Rodolfo and Granpapi into horrible Guacamole Monsters bent on destroying Manny.
In Enter the Cuervo, (premieres 10:30 am) Mannys friendship with Frida is put to the test when he starts spending all his time wreaking havoc with Black Cuervo, a bad-girl super-villain. As Fridas birthday party nears, El Tigre must decide whether to remain true to his best friend or to embrace the dark side of his nature with the mischievous Black Cuervo. Then, in the second part of this episode, A Fistful of Collars, Manny and Frida want the pricey new must-have item LuxeSkates and stumble upon the idea of finding peoples lost pets for the reward money in order to pay for the skates. But soon, Manny and Frida want more money for more pricey treats. They wind up traveling to Calavera, an impossibly tough town of banditos, to retrieve Taco, the lost dog of one of Miracle Citys richest families.
Creator/exec producers Gutierrez and Equihua both grew up in Tijuana. Gutierrez, who designs all of the male characters in EL TIGRE, has created various films, cartoons, illustrations and paintings exhibiting his love affair with Mexican pop and folk culture. He received a BFA and a MFA in Experimental Animation from CalArts. There he created CARMELO, which won the 2001 Student Emmy Award in animation and has been screened at various festivals around the world. He has also done character design on many animated series, including Nickelodeons CHALKZONE, MUCHA LUCHA and THE BUZZ ON MAGGIE, for which he was nominated for an Annie Award in character design. Hes worked as a writer on MAYA & MIGUEL and BRANDY & MR. WHISKERS.
Equihua, who designs all of the female characters in EL TIGRE, received her BFA in graphic design at the IBERO University in Mexico. Then she discovered her true passion was in illustration. Her paintings have been exhibited in various galleries in both Mexico and the .S., including Roq la Rue, Gallery Bink, Anno Domini and Centro Cultural Tijuana. Equihua soon found herself in the animation industry working as an illustrator, voice actress and character designer on EL MACHO for Sony Pictures. She has done character design for WOW, WOW WUBZZY, MUCHA LUCHA and THE BUZZ ON MAGGIE.
EL TIGRE: THE ADVENTURES OF MANNY RIVERA is produced at the Nicktoons Studios in Burbank, California.
Nickelodeon (www.nick.com), in its 27th year, is the number-one entertainment brand for kids. It has built a diverse, global business by putting kids first in everything it does. The company includes television programming and production in the U.S. and around the world, plus consumer products, online, recreation, books, magazines and feature films. Nickelodeons U.S. television network is seen in almost 92 million households and has been the number-one-rated basic cable network for almost 12 consecutive years.