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Cartoon Network's Dive-In Theater: A Floating Cinema

Cartoon Network explains why they chose to promote their new World Premier Toons in pools around the U.S.

How do you introduce new television shows and cartoon characters in a way that will excite and entertain kids? Throw a party, of course. And for the past three summers, Cartoon Network has done just that by traveling to several cities across the United States to host Dive-In Theater, the ultimate pool party for kids.

Cartoon Network's marketing department came up with the concept of Dive-In Theater in 1995 to showcase the 48 cartoon shorts from its World Premiere Toons project. This year, the tour focused on the World Premiere Toons graduating class: three cartoons that have been upgraded to half-hour series on the network Johnny Bravo, Cow and Chicken and Dexter's Laboratory. Dive-In Theater premiered the series at water parks and large municipal swimming pools, treating kids and their parents to exclusive poolside screenings on 9' x 12' movie screens.

© 1997 The Cartoon Network, Inc. All characters and related elements depicted herein are trademarks of and copyrighted by Hanna-Barbera Cartoons, Inc.

New Shows Debut

The first of the three new series featured at the Dive-In Theater, Johnny Bravo, tells the story of a free-spirit with bulging biceps who believes he is a gift from God to the women of earth. The second show to debut, Cow & Chicken, follows a bizarre storyline that spotlights the misadventures of a surreal pair of siblings, whose relationship is underscored by their identity little sister is a Cow and big brother is a Chicken. The senior representative of the trio is Dexter's Laboratory, which was Cartoon Network's highest rated show in 1996. Dexter's Laboratory chronicles the life of a boy genius who creates world-changing inventions in his beloved, but off-limits, bedroom laboratory despite the pesky interference of his sister Dee Dee. All three break out stars from the World Premiere Toons project debuted as series on Cartoon Network in mid-July and are currently playing on Cartoon Network channels worldwide.

This year's U.S. Dive-In Theater tour visited eleven markets, including Arlington, Texas, Los Angeles, California, Arlington Heights, Illinois, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Riverhead, New York, and Atlanta, Georgia. In each market, Cartoon Network partnered with a local radio station and a local cable operator to give away an estimated 2,000 tickets per venue.

Those in attendance enjoyed the show while floating in a "Cow raft," "Dexter submarine" or by treading water in a "Johnny Bravo inner tube" that is complete with an inflated blond pompadour. In addition, costumed characters were on hand for photo opportunities, including Dexter, his sister Dee Dee, Johnny Bravo, and Cow & Chicken. Other poolside activities included two prize wheels that rewarded winners with Cartoon Network merchandise and other sponsored prizes. After the show, Cartoon Network surprised the kids by inviting them to take home the inflatable rafts.