|Aaahh!!! Real Monsters|
|Created by|| Gábor Csupó|
|Starring|| Charlie Adler|
|Country of Origin||United States|
|No. of Seasons||4|
|No. of Episodes||52 (List of Episodes)|
|Running Time||22 minutes (approx.)|
|Production Company(s)|| Klasky Csupo|
Nickelodeon Animation Studio
|Original Run||October 30, 1994 – December 7, 1997|
The show focuses on three young monsters — Ickis, Oblina and Krumm — who attend an institute for monsters under a city dump and learn to frighten humans. Many of the episodes revolve around them making it to the surface in order to perform "scares" as class assignments.
The show is set in New York City, demonstrated throughout the series by the presences of the Empire State Building and "IND Subway". The dump the monsters inhabit is implied to be Fresh Kills Landfill, but never explicitly named in the series.
Ickis (voiced by Charlie Adler) — Ickis is a small red monster who, due to his large ears, is often confused with a rabbit. His method of scaring humans is the ability to grow bigger. Ickis tends to be on the nervous side and often has a lack of self-confidence, partly from trying to live up to the legacy of his father, Slickis, who was the academy's most renowned student. Ickis is room-mates with Oblina and Krumm, and he is also best friends with them.
Oblina (voiced by Christine Cavanaugh) — Oblina comes from a wealthy monster family, and is considered by The Gromble to be his best student. She is shaped like a black-and-white, upside-down candy cane, resembling a banded sea krait. One of her favorite methods of scaring humans is reaching within herself and pulling out her internal organs, and she has considerable talent for shapeshifting into various terrifying forms. She also has a talent for inducing nightmares in humans, by sticking her finger in their ear and tickling their brains while they sleep.
Krumm (voiced by David Eccles) — Like the rest of his family, his eyeballs are not attached to his body, and are usually seen carried in his hands; if he requires the use of both hands, he can carry them in his mouth. His most valuable tool in scaring is his overwhelming armpit stench as well as using his eyeballs.
The Gromble (voiced by Gregg Berger) — The Gromble is a tall, green-blue monster with two tufts of hair, a beard and a tail. He wears a belt around his waist and a red pump on each of his four feet. Along with Ickis, he is one of the few monsters who can hear the Pool of Elders — the source of monster existence that is made of the very substance of fears. The Gromble uses the Viewfinder which his students sit in so that he can view their scaring activities.
The Snorch (voiced by David Eccles) — The torturer/disciplinarian of the Monster Academy who works for The Gromble and is often seen with Zimbo. Though the Snorch just makes vocal effects, he once wore a voicebox translator (with the voice of it being provided by Brock Peters) in one episode.
Zimbo (voiced by Tim Curry) — Zimbo is a monster who resembles a bee with one mammal-like leg and a humanoid face with green hair. He is the Gromble's assistant in his class and is always seen on the head of The Snorch.
Simon the Monster Hunter (voiced by Jim Belushi) — The recurring antagonist of the series. Simon a human who is determined to prove that monsters exist. He wears a thick-collared jacket and glasses.
Aaahh!!! Real Monsters was created by Gábor Csupó and Peter Gaffney, and was produced by Csupó's company Klasky Csupo, which also created the animated shows Rugrats and Duckman. Before the final title was chosen, which took over 5 years, the series had the working titles Monsters and Real Monsters. The show was conceived after Csupó and his wife and creative partner Arlene Klasky were approached by the network Nickelodeon to create a follow-up series to Rugrats. Csupó was inspired to write a show about monsters because his own young children loved them. He also said he knew Nickelodeon would not want a series about human characters because everybody else was pitching shows about animals. Csupó drew some sketches of possible monsters on a piece of paper and successfully pitched the idea to the network: "I wanted them silly and not too skillful – and the idea worked."
Nickelodeon programming director Herb Scannell said the character design in Aaahh!!! Real Monsters was partially inspired by Yellow Submarine, a 1968 animated film inspired by The Beatles. The character Gromble, in particular, bore a close resemblance to the Blue Meanie characters from that film. Csupó said some elements of the show have a look similar to the film noir genre, and called the city dump where the monster characters reside reminiscent of the visual style from the films Blade Runner (1982) and Brazil (1985).
The characters guest-starred in the 1999 Rugrats episode #106 "Ghost Story". Before that, David Eccles, the voice of Krumm, provided the monster voice coming from under Chuckie's bed.
From October 1994 to around 2004, Aaahh!!! Real Monsters was on Nickelodeon. In 2002, it started airing on Nicktoons TV (now Nicktoons). In 2006, it was taken off Nicktoons and was shown occasionally on Sundays on Nickelodeon's "Nick Rewind." It often appears on Nick.com's Turbo Nick, an online programming broadcast. In July 2011, TeenNick debuted The '90s Are All That, a block of classic Nickelodeon programming from the 1990s, which included episodes of Aaahh!!! Real Monsters.
Aaahh!!! Real Monsters has a total of 52 episodes spread over 4 seasons that were produced from October 1994 to December 1997.