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  The Really, Really, REALLY Big Cartoon Database / Search Engine

Every now and again I run into a site that's so huge and interesting I think to myself, "How did I not manage to hear about this until now?" Such is the case with the Big Cartoon DataBase at http://www.bcdb.com/bcdb/page.cgi .

This site is a searchable subject index of cartoons. And when I say cartoons, I don't mean cartoon series; I mean cartoon episodes. Look up Charlie Brown TV Specials and you'll find 40 different listings ("It's Arbor Day, Charlie Brown" ??!) 91 episodes, Heaven help us, of She-Ra, Princess of Power. 427 episodes of Smurfs...

Okay, let's back up here. The front page will present you with a list of studios, and certain subdirectories. There are over 30,000 cartoon episodes here. Pick a subdirectory and you'll either be presented with a list of more cartoons or still more subdirectories. Each cartoon has its own directory. 

For some cartoons, that's enough; after all, there are only 13 episodes listed for "Laverne and Shirley in the Army." But then there's the aforementioned Smurfs, with over 400 episodes, or Warner Brothers/Merrie Melodies, with almost 500 episodes. How about some way to break them down further, perhaps by year of production? To be fair, there is some cross-referencing for Warner Brothers; a character category is available which allows you to search for character occurrences in cartoons. But there's still an overwhelming amount of material available in single categories. 

Information for each cartoon episode varies. Items include producer, director, voice talent, original air date and network, run time, synopsis, and production notes. For some series the synopsis is the same for all the episodes (in other words, it's series synopsis and not an episode synopsis.) For other series, notably Scooby Doo, Where Are You? each episode has its own annotation. Sometimes there are screen shots of the episode, but these vary in helpfulness. 

Each episode listing also has a section called "Featuring:" which lists all major characters who appear in that episode. This section is indexed by the site search engine. So if you wanted to -- for whatever reason -- find out which episodes in the database featured Aquaman, you could. A problem arises when a character has a common name. For example there's Gossamer the monster ("Monsters lead such IN-teresting lives") and Gossamer the character in the series Blackstar. 

In that case the answer is simple. Go to the directory of the series in which you're interested and look at the top left side of the page. You'll see that the search engine gives you the option to search just the series you're in or the entire site. Using this option helps a lot when you're searching for something general (don't believe me, do a search for "egg" in the Warner Brothers subdirectory, then do a full site search for it.) 

If you want an even more detailed search than that, check out the search at http://www.bcdb.com/bcdb/search.cgi . You can narrow your search to a variety of fields, including voice talent, writers, and production notes. 

If you spent as many hours mindlessly sitting in front of the TV as I did as a young person, this site is nostalgia cubed. You'll experience a great sense of relief to learn that there really was a show called "Peter Potamus and his Magic Flying Balloon" and it wasn't an imagined title brought about by some forgotten head injury. 

This site also has sections for the most popular and top-rated cartoons. Worth a look, but fair warning-- you could spend hours wandering around in here. 

 

 
All original material on ResearchBuzz.com copyright Tara Calishain unless otherwise noted.