PuffRuff School is an American animated television series created by Trevor Jordan for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series is primarily set at the fictional PuffRuff Middle School in San Francisco, California, and follows the lives and adventures of four students: Emily "MJ" Jordan, Kirby Ableman, Pyro Rexton, and Andrew Anderson. The series premiered on Fox as its second primetime animated series on October 9, 1994, and ran until May 21, 2004, airing a total of 219 episodes over ten seasons.

PuffRuff School was originally conceived as a satire of teen sitcoms such as Saved by the Bell and The Wonder Years, and was the first series produced by T.J. Entertainment and Imperium Entertainment. The series' character designs are based on that of Whoopass Stew! A Sticky Situation, a 1992 short film made by Jordan's close friend Craig McCracken. The initial success of PuffRuff School convinced McCracken to eventually pitch his own show, titled The Powerpuff Girls, to Cartoon Network. Having used traditional ink-and-paint animation since Season 1, PuffRuff School switched to digital ink-and-paint starting with Season 7 in 2000.

During its run, the series spawned various spin-off media, including video games, comics, toys, and a feature film. The series has been praised for its humor, dialogue, characters, and writing, and earned two Primetime Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Animated Program during its run.

Premise

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Characters

Main characters

Supporting characters

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Recurring characters

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Production

Development

The original concept for PuffRuff School had existed as early as 1990, when creator Trevor Jordan was attending the California Institute of the Arts. Jordan initially conceived the series as a satire of teen sitcoms of the time, particularly Saved by the Bell and The Wonder Years. In 1992, he and three of his colleagues–Nicholas Pockes, Sean Andrews and Brashlynn Eticks–created what would become the four main characters of the series after watching Whoopass Stew! A Sticky Situation, a short film created by Jordan's colleague Craig McCracken, who would later go on to successfully pitch his series The Powerpuff Girls to Cartoon Network. Jordan said that the characters of PuffRuff School were drawn as such mainly because he wanted to pay tribute to McCracken for being a "mentor" to him, but also because they would be easier to draw.

After they graduated from CalArts, Jordan and Pockes began working on drafting a pilot for the series at Jordan's studio T.J. Entertainment, which had been founded a year earlier. Jordan and Pockes said they initially wanted to produce a full-length feature film under the working title Operation Blue as their first project, but they scrapped it in order to work on the television pilot instead, as it "seemed like a smaller workload". When they finished drafting the script, however, they were unsure what to do next, so Andrews (who had coincidentally founded his own company Imperium Entertainment around the same time) decided to call then-Fox Broadcasting Company president Sandy Grushow to help the two out by arranging a pilot pitch.

In January 1993, Jordan, Pockes and Andrews pitched PuffRuff School to a room of Fox network executives. Despite Jordan worrying they would reject it for being too similar to Fox's sitcom Beverly Hills, 90210, the trio was relieved to hear that the executives accepted the pitch because they admired their charisma and honesty.

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Executive producers

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Writing

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Voice cast

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Animation

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Music

When it came time to put together the series' opening title sequence, Jordan and Pockes decided they would be unable to write an original theme song for the show and decided to search for lesser-known music to use instead. In the end, they settled on Violent Femmes' 1983 song "Blister in the Sun", as Jordan said that it had "this folky, carefree Summer of Love vibe, even though it came out in the '80s. And since our show happens to be in San Francisco [where the Summer of Love mostly took place] we thought it just felt right to use that as the theme song [...] Well, the Femmes are from Wisconsin but I feel like they'd appreciate the compliment."

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Broadcast

Episodes

Main article: List of episodes
Season No. of
episodes
Originally aired
Season premiere Season finale
1 13 October 9, 1994 March 19, 1995
2 23 September 17, 1995 May 19, 1996
3 22 September 22, 1996 May 18, 1997
4 23 September 21, 1997 May 17, 1998
5 23 September 20, 1998 May 14, 1999
6 23 September 17, 1999 May 19, 2000
7 24 September 15, 2000 May 18, 2001
Film August 17, 2001
8 21 September 28, 2001 May 10, 2002
9 23 September 20, 2002 May 16, 2003
10 24 September 19, 2003 May 21, 2004

Syndication

Further information: PuffRuff School/International Broadcast

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Reception and legacy

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Other media

Comic books

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Film

Main article: PuffRuff School: The Movie

On August 17, 2001, a feature film based on the series, titled PuffRuff School: The Movie, was released in theaters.

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Video games

Two video games based on the series have been released: PuffRuff School: Class Wars (1998) and PuffRuff School: Super Mega City Mania (2002).

v - e - d
Puffruffschoollogo.png
Main characters
MJKirbyPyroAndrew
Supporting characters
Mr. WayneMr. ConstancePrincipal MichaelMrs. JordanMarcusMr. AblemanMrs. AblemanMr. RextonMr. AndersonMrs. Anderson
Recurring characters
MikeWestleyChristianHughRachelChloeAmyDarrenDennisJonathanBrittneyPhilWadeCindyStevenJimmyTravisFrancisEricDr. LightmanMr. EldoradoMrs. OpheliaLeigh ReaderMaxwell MarksonMrs. PetersonMr. ArtmanMr. GoodmanMr. SowseedMr. WilliamsMr. OaksMindyRex DangerfieldDonald ShmartanoggerDoormat DonnyBennyStacySister LeeSallyJohn Saint MartinWilliam J. JamesonLanaKellyKatieJeff HannemanIT-1
Locations
PuffRuff Middle SchoolAquarius DinerSan Francisco SupermallSan Francisco MegaplexThe Belt StoreSuper Land Amusement ParkSamCoMilkshake PalaceFlipTopStarlite ArcadeCorn KingdomRuffPuff Junior HighCoolCo Toy Company
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