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Camp Lazlo

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Camp Lazlo

Camp Lazlo
Genre Adventure
Created by Joe Murray
Written by Joe Murray
Mike Roth
John Infantino
Cosmo Segurson
Clayton McKenzie Morrow
Mark O'Hare
Kent Osborne
J. G. Quintel
Antoine Guilbaud
Thurop Van Orman
Steve Little (story)
Martin Olson (story)
Merriwether Williams (story)
Directed by Sue Mondt (art)
Brian Sheesley (supervising)
Creative director(s) Mark O'Hare
Voices of Carlos Alazraqui
Jeff Bennett
Tom Kenny
Mr. Lawrence
Jodi Benson
Jill Talley
Steve Little
Theme music composer Terry Scott Taylor
Opening theme "Camp Lazlo"
Composer(s) Andy Paley
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 5
No. of episodes 61 (total)
120 (segments)
2 (specials)
14 (shorts) (List of episodes)
Executive producer(s) Joe Murray
Producer(s) Shareena Carlson (Season 1)
Janet Dimon (Season 2–5)
Mark O'Hare (supervising producer)
Running time 22 minutes
Production company(s) Joe Murray Productions
Cartoon Network Studios
Original channel Cartoon Network
Original run July 8, 2005 (2005-07-08) – March 27, 2008 (2008-03-27)
External links

Camp Lazlo is an American animated television series created by Joe Murray and produced by his company Joe Murray Productions with Cartoon Network Studios. The series premiered on Cartoon Network on July 8, 2005. The show revolves around Lazlo, a spider monkey who attends a Boy Scout-like summer camp with a cast of anthropomorphic animal characters. The series has a style of humor similar to Murray's previous series, Rocko's Modern Life.[1]

The series won three Emmy Awards and three Pulcinella Awards, and was also nominated for another Emmy and an Annie Award. The series ended its three year run on Cartoon Network on March 27, 2008 after 5 seasons, 61 episodes, and an hour long television special.


After the end of the production of Rocko's Modern Life, Murray kept a notebook of ideas for television shows and books. Murray attributes some of his most fond memories to days at summer camp; Murray said that he attended summer camp every summer for "4 or 5 years in a row" and that he "couldn't really get the scouting thing down". He also described cartoons with pastoral settings such as the Bugs Bunny cartoons of the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies series and Yogi Bear as having a "calming" effect due to the tree-filled backgrounds. At the time he believed that too many futuristic themes appeared in media and literature, so he wished to create a series that would "get back to nature".[2] Camp Lazlo originated from a camp-related children's book series concept by Murray that, according to him, "outgrew its medium". As Murray developed the concept, he felt that his "lunatic characters wanted to live" and decided that a simple story could not sufficiently house his characters. Murray desired to create a series about a group of children without "high tech stimulus" and "in nature".[3]

Linda Simensky, who had previously worked with Murray on Rocko, had since moved to Cartoon Network and called Murray to solicit a new series. After an initial hesitation, Murray sent Simensky[4] the idea for a show with a working title of 3 Beans. Simensky "thought it sounded too much like a salad", so Murray changed the name to Camp Lazlo. When approval was given, Murray decided to produce the show at Cartoon Network Studios and brought Mark O'Hare on as co-producer.[5]

According to Murray, the "green light" to start Lazlo had been initially given and later revoked, leaving Murray and Mark O'Hare "pissed" and "depressed". Murray believed that an executive was not "completely sold" with starting production for Camp Lazlo. Murray worked to have the series receive its final, definite approval.[6]

Production of Camp Lazlo began in 2004 and ended in 2007.[3] November 2007 saw the beginning of the final production run of Camp Lazlo.[7][8]


Murray felt that Camp Lazlo successfully appealed to younger children because his prior experiences with his own children helped him determine details that children found humorous. Murray said that he resisted the urge inside of him to micromanage the production and instead approved aspects and contributions related to the show. He said that he had "a lot of pre-production time" and therefore details became established before the show aired on television.[2] His main philosophies expressed in the show include the phrase "be who you are" and that one should question authority unless the issue is "a safety issue." Murray said that he avoids sending "messages" to children and that he hoped that his television show did not contain "too many messages."[2]

Murray said that he likes storybook art and the works of Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse; the styles influenced the visual style of Camp Lazlo. He also describes "great comic book artists" as important to himself and Mark O'Hare.[2] The team created some backgrounds using "Acryl Gouache," a mixture of acrylic paint and gouache.[9] Rough Draft Studios,[10] a South Korean studio, produced the Camp Lazlo footage.[11]

Murray asked many staff members who participated in creating Rocko's Modern Life to return and perform duties for Camp Lazlo, describing his main tactic to attract the crew as "coercion." Murray wanted the Rocko's Modern Life crew as it "knows my sensibilities" and gained ten years of experience. Crew members of Rocko's Modern Life, such as Robert Scull or Peter Burns, have worked on this show.[2]

For season one, Murray hired among others comedy writer Martin Olson, who had collaborated with Murray on some of the most successful stories for Rocko's Modern Life. Murray asked Tom Kenny to voice characters because Murray felt that Kenny "adds writing to his roles" and "brings so much." Murray looked for "comedic timing" in his voice actors, and therefore he used many stand-up comics and sketch actors.[2]

The music score for the show was composed by Andy Paley, and features original camp songs, bluegrass and cowboy swing. Joe Murray explained that the team often used "strange instruments" such as washboards, and the musical saw.[2] In addition to Paley's music score, the show also utilized many tracks from the Associated Production Music library.


The cartoon is set in a universe inhabited solely by anthropomorphic animals of many species and focuses on a trio of campers attending a poorly-run summer camp known as Camp Kidney; Lazlo the eccentric, optimistic monkey, Raj the timid Indian elephant, and Clam, the quiet albino pygmy rhinoceros, and their multiple surreal misadventures. Other characters include the selfish, ill-tempered moose Scoutmaster Lumpus and his mild-mannered assistant Slinkman the banana slug, the boys' assortment of fellow campers including the disgruntled, surly platypus Edward and the klutzy, accident-prone, geeky Guinea pig Samson. The program also features a rival summer camp attended solely by girls, primarily focusing on Lazlo, Raj, and Clam's respective female counterparts attending that camp; Patsy the adventurous mongoose who has a crush on Lazlo, Gretchen the short-tempered alligator, and Nina the wise giraffe, along with the object of Scoutmaster Lumpus's affections, Miss Doe, the head of the all-girl camp, Acorn Flats. Some episodes may involve the Bean Scouts' attempts at unveiling the truth behind camp legends or clowning around, infuriating their peers or placing themselves in a variety of odd situations commonly based around traditional or fictionalized, bizarre camp activities.


The setting of the show was designed to deliberately bring a nostalgic feeling of childhood summer camps and "evoke a comfortable place to visit." The colors instill the feeling of summer camp, rather than basing color schemes on real-life colors; Murray and Sue Mondt, the art director, chose the colors. In Camp Lazlo, the sky can be yellow, and trees are not always green and brown. For the architecture and objects, books with cabins, camps and Native American artifacts were consulted. Ultimately, Murray wanted to create a place where nature prevails, and the hustle and bustle of real-life is left behind, with no technology to distract from the impressions of camp life. He describes the camp as having a "retro" feel. Murray likes 1950s and early 1960s designs of objects like advertising art, lamps, and old vacation brochures, and he said that the "brushy quality that developed at that time" heavily influenced the setting.[2]

The exact geographical locations of these settings is unknown.

  • Camp Kidney, set in the Pimpleback Mountains next to Leakey Lake, is the camp where most of the show takes place. This is a summer camp attended by a group of boy scout-like campers called The Bean Scouts. In keeping the theme of the name of the camp, the campers are allowed to name their cabins after various types of beans: Jelly Cabin, Pinto Cabin, Fava Cabin, and so on. The camp is known for a low standard of quality, and has been threatened with closure more than once. The camp is led by Scoutmaster Lumpus, with most of the administrative details assigned to his assistant, Mr. Slinkman. A full staff complements the camp, including a nurse and a chef.
  • Acorn Flats is across the lake from Camp Kidney, attended by girls of similar age, called the Squirrel Scouts. Acorn Flats has higher quality facilities than Camp Kidney, a point of contention between the two respective camps, with Acorn Flats being the more dominant in the rivalry. The leader of the Squirrel Scouts is Jane Doe, and her assistant, Ms. Rubella Mucus. Both Camp Kidney and Acorn Flats are part a larger hierarchical organization, under the direct command of Commander Hoo-ha, with "The Big Bean" as the head of all scout chapters, which includes Beans and Squirrels and (possibly) Tomato Scouts.
  • Prickly Pines is a town near both camps with full commercial facilities: a post office, several restaurants, a laundromat, and other sundry stores.


Murray said that, as he did in Rocko's Modern Life, he matched the personalities of characters to various animals.[2]


The series had 5 seasons. The first episode of the first season of the show first premiered on 8 July 2005. The show's last season's finale date is 27 March 2008.

Season Episodes Originally
Premiere Date Finale Date
1 13 2005 July 8, 2005 September 16, 2005
2 13 2005–2006 October 1, 2005 June 29, 2006
3 13 2006–2007 July 4, 2006 February 23, 2007
4 11 2007 May 25, 2007 August 29, 2007
5 8 2007–2008 September 3, 2007 March 27, 2008
TV movies/Specials 2 2007 February 18, 2007 December 7, 2007
Shorts 14 2006–2008 November 9, 2006 January 7, 2008


Ray Richmond of The Hollywood Reporter posted his review of the series on 7 July 2005. Richmond said that his child enjoyed the show but did not ask to see it again. Richmond said that the show forms "plenty lively and a nice, safe way for a child viewer to spend a half-hour." Richmond said that the show has too much "self-consciously precious" humor; the reviewer said that the trait may not factor for children and described children as "demanding and non-discriminating at the same time."[12]

Ginia Bellafante of The New York Times said that if she became "socio-analytical about the Lazlo enterprise," Camp Kidney appears to be a stand-in for "our culture of obsessive parenting."[13]

Kathie Huddleston, a reporter for the Science Fiction Weekly, created a favorable review of Camp Lazlo.[14]

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reviewed the series and gave it an "A."[15]

Joly Herman of Common Sense Media posted a review of Camp Lazlo on Herman describes the humor used in the Camp Lazlo as making it an "unpredictable show for younger viewers." Herman gave the show two stars out of five.[16]

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Nominee Result
2006 Emmy Awards Outstanding Animated Program (For Programming Less Than One Hour)[17] "Hello Dolly/Overcooked Beans" Nominated
Pulcinella Awards Best Animated Series For Children[18] Joe Murray Won
Pulcinella Awards Best Animated Series For All Ages[18] Won
Pulcinella Awards Best Character (Lazlo)[18] Won
2007 Annie Awards Best Production Design in an Animated Television Production[19] Sue Mondt
for "Hard Days Samson"
Emmy Awards Outstanding Animated Program (For Programming One Hour or More) Where's Lazlo? Won
Emmy Awards Individual Achievement in Animation Sue Mondt
for "Squirrel Secrets"
2008 Emmy Awards Outstanding Short-format Animated Programs[20] "Lazlo's First Crush" Won

Other media

DVD releases

Camp Lazlo Press Kit with DVD

Prior to Camp Lazlo's premier on Cartoon Network, a Press Kit for the show was given away as a promotional item, containing fact sheets on the show and a DVD with four episodes (2 half-hour episodes): "Gone Fishin' (Sort Of) / Beans Are From Mars" and "Parasitic Pal / It's No Picnic". This item is only available through a second-hand market.

On July 18, 2007, Madman Entertainment of Australia released a set of two DVDs encoded for Region 4 of season one episodes. No further information is available about a Region 1 release or additional seasons.

Two episodes have also appeared on Cartoon Network themed DVDs. "Hello Dolly" appeared on the Cartoon Network Fridays - Volume 1 DVD, released on September 19, 2006. "Snow Beans", a winter-themed episode of the show, was released on the Cartoon Network Christmas: Volume Three DVD on October 3, 2006.[21]

The entire series can now be purchased on iTunes.

Video game

Camp Lazlo: Leaky Lake Games

Cover art for Camp Lazlo: Leaky Lake Games

Developer(s) Collision Studios
Publisher(s) Crave Entertainment
Distributor(s) Cartoon Network Interactive
Platform(s) Game Boy Advance
Release date(s)
  • NA November 6, 2006
Mode(s) Single-player

A video game for the Nintendo Game Boy Advance called Camp Lazlo: Leaky Lake Games was released on November 6, 2006, as a tie-in to the show. The game is published by Crave Entertainment and developed by Collision Studios. The player plays as the three main characters (Lazlo, Clam and Raj) to compete in a series of game challenges and earn merit badges in the Leaky Lake Games event. That will allow them to compete against the Squirrel Scouts in a final tournament. In the game, the player meets characters, such as Scoutmaster Lumpus, Slinkman, Edward, and many others to receive hints and directions in achieving goals in the game. They trigger some of the mini-games, which are all timed. The game received generally mixed reviews.[22]


Camp Lazlo characters appeared in a commercial for McDonald's and in Happy Meals. Murray did not want for the series to be used in Happy Meals; the only action he could take was refusing to appear in the television commercials. Murray stated on his website that he will not explain his opposition to Happy Meals due to his respect for the effort placed by Cartoon Network "marketing people." Murray stated that his opinions are his alone and do not reflect the opinions of Cartoon Network. He said that he appreciates Cartoon Network's "campaign for healthier eating habits for kids." "C" Raggio, a character designer, appeared in the commercials instead.[23][24]

See also


  1. ^ Walters, Josh. "Camp Lazlo: Series Info". Retrieved 1-11-2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Q & A with Joe Murray, Cartoon Network Pressroom
  3. ^ a b "Camp Lazlo," Joe Murray Studio
  4. ^ "Bio," Joe Murray Studio
  5. ^ Murray, Joe (2008). Crafting A Cartoon. Garden Box Media Group. 
  6. ^ "June 28, 2008." Joe Murray Studio.
  7. ^ "September 8, 2007: Holy crap we won!," Joe Murray Studio
  8. ^ "October 31, 2007," Joe Murray Studio
  9. ^ "January 24, 2008," Joe Murray Studio
  10. ^ "Production Credits," Turner Pressroom
  11. ^ "Camp Lazlo Archives," Joe Murray Studio
  12. ^ "Camp Lazlo," The Hollywood Reporter
  13. ^ Bellafante, Gina. "Monkey Business at a Strict Summer Camp.(The Arts/Cultural Desk)(TELEVISION REVIEW)(Television program review)." The New York Times. February 17, 2007.
  14. ^ "Camp Lazlo," Science Fiction Weekly
  15. ^ "Off to camp with brats, silly critters." Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 7 July 2005.
  16. ^ "TV Review: Camp Lazlo," Common Sense Media on
  17. ^ Baisley, Sarah (July 6, 2006). "2005-2006 Primetime Emmy Award Nominations".  
  18. ^ a b c Ball, Ryan (April 10, 2006). Emerges as Champ on the Bay"Lazlo".  
  19. ^ "2007 Annie Awards nominations".  
  20. ^ "Camp Lazlo".  
  21. ^ CN's Early Christmas
  22. ^ Camp Lazlo: Leaky Lake Games for Game Boy Advance Reviews - Game Boy Advance Camp Lazlo: Leaky Lake Games Reviews
  23. ^ "Answers to Frequently Asked Questions," Joe Murray Studio
  24. ^ "Studio News: July 5, 2007," Joe Murray Studio

Further reading

  • Television Review: Camp Lazlo | Entertainment | Disney
  • Common Sense Media: Camp Lazlo - Television Review

External links

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