Elmer Earl "Butch" Hartman IV (born January 10, 1965) is an American animator, director, producer, voice actor, writer, composer, and YouTuber best known for creating the Nickelodeon cartoons The Fairly OddParents, Danny Phantom, T.U.F.F. Puppy and Bunsen Is a Beast. Hartman also owns a production company, Billionfold Inc., which he uses primarily to produce his shows. Hartman was an executive producer on The Fairly OddParents from its series debut in 2001 until his departure from Nickelodeon Animation Studio in 2018.
Hartman's latest animated program, Bunsen Is a Beast, aired in 2017. On February 8, 2018, Hartman announced in a YouTube video that he had left Nickelodeon on February 2 after having worked at the studio since December 1997. He confirmed in the video that this resulted in the end of production on Bunsen Is a Beast after just one season.
Hartman was born in Highland Park, Michigan on January 10, 1965 to Elmer Earl Hartman III and Carol Davis, the eldest of four boys. He received the nickname Butch as a young boy and continued to use the name professionally as an adult. Hartman spent his childhood in Roseville, Michigan and his teenage years in New Baltimore, Michigan. He graduated from Anchor Bay High School in New Baltimore in 1983. He subsequently attended the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California.
While still attending CalArts, Hartman received the chance to intern as an in-between animator on the Don Bluth film An American Tail. Shortly after graduating from CalArts, Hartman was hired as a character designer and storyboard artist for an unidentified My Little Pony animated series. It was the first time he had worked with storyboards, and because of this, he was soon fired from the job. Afterwards, Hartman found work with Ruby-Spears, where he worked on It's Punky Brewster and Dink, the Little Dinosaur. He was also a member of the video reference crew for the Disney film Pocahontas.
In the early 1990s he was hired as an artist in the model department at Hanna-Barbera, and was eventually contacted by studio president Fred Seibert to make the shorts Pfish and Chip and Gramps for the What a Cartoon! Show. Eventually, he became a writer, director and storyboard artist for several of the early Cartoon Network shows, including Dexter's Laboratory, Johnny Bravo, Cow and Chicken and I Am Weasel. After his contract with Hanna-Barbera expired, he went to work with Seibert on the Oh Yeah! Cartoons show for Nickelodeon.
During his time working at Hanna-Barbera, he became friends with future Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane. The two would later go on to make the short Zoomates together for Oh Yeah! Cartoons. The character Dr. Elmer Hartman in Family Guy was named after Hartman. He also voiced various characters in the show's first few seasons.
His biggest success came in December 1997, when he created The Fairly OddParents. The series originally started out as a series of shorts on the anthology show, Oh Yeah! Cartoons. Eventually, Nickelodeon decided to pick the shorts up as a full series. Premiering in 2001, the adapted series ended up becoming a huge hit, second only in the ratings to SpongeBob SquarePants (and it briefly even passed SpongeBob's ratings). Following the Jimmy Neutron crossover The Jimmy-Timmy Power Hour, the series ceased production in 2006, but it was announced on Hartman's forum on February 2, 2007 that 20 more episodes would be produced; the 6th season of Fairly OddParents aired on February 18, 2008, starting with the 1-hour special Fairly OddBaby. From May 1, 2009 to May 3, 2009, the 3-part special Wishology aired; although that too was originally intended as a series finale, the series was renewed for another season, and new episodes continue to be produced to this day. A tenth season was eventually ordered in 2015. Fairly OddParents is Nickelodeon's second longest-running animated show behind SpongeBob.
Due to the success of The Fairly OddParents, Hartman was asked to create another show for Nickelodeon; Hartman says the President of Nickelodeon asked him if he had an idea, and before he could say the title he was given the greenlight. The show would later become Danny Phantom. To produce the show, in 2004, Hartman founded Billionfold Inc., which he also used, and still uses today, to produce his other projects. Danny Phantom received critical acclaim and is considered Hartman's best show, with Hartman himself acknowledging it as perhaps the best of his programs. Danny Phantom ended production in early 2007.
Around 2008–2009, Hartman began production his third show for Nickelodeon, T.U.F.F. Puppy, which premiered in 2010 alongside the Jimmy Neutron spin-off Planet Sheen. The series received mixed to positive reviews and ran for 3 seasons before being cancelled.
His fourth show, Bunsen Is a Beast, aired on Nickelodeon and Nicktoons from January 16, 2017 to February 10, 2018. On February 8, 2018, Hartman announced on his Twitter and YouTube accounts that he had left Nickelodeon as of February 2 after a 20-year run.
After Hartman announced that he was leaving Nickelodeon, he said in the same video that he was working new projects to be released in the future. He announced that he is working on a show called Elf Detective for his YouTube channel as well a secret project with Pocketwatch, Inc. In his "Why I Left Nickelodeon" questions video, Hartman announced that he was working on a show called Dynamice! for Cartoon Network as a pilot episode was produced by Cartoon Network Studios back in 2011.
His other TV work includes voicing various characters on the animated series Family Guy and playing the character Sean Masters on the short-lived series Generations in 1991. He also appeared on the NBC soap opera Days of Our Lives during the late 1980s. In 2012, it was announced that Hartman was set to serve as the director on the film adaptation of ALF for Sony Pictures Animation.
In 2015, Hartman launched a "kid safe network (app) of live shows and cartoons" called the Noog Network. In August 2016, Hartman showed on YouTube the short sequences of his Cartoon Network's pilot episode dating back to 2011, called Dynamice!. He's also working on a comic book called "The 3 O'Clock Club", as revealed on a YouTube live stream on his channel. A comic was released in 2017.
In 2005, Hartman, along with his wife, founded Hartman House, a non-profit organization that travels to developing nations and some of the most poverty stricken areas in the United States. Hartman House has built two homes for families in Guatemala, fed nearly 7,200 families with Thanksgiving meals in the U.S., and is in the midst of funding a school in Uganda. At Hartman House events, Hartman usually draws and autographs items related to his work for children.
|1986||An American Tail||In between artist|
|1992||California Hot Wax||Eddie|
|1994||Scooby-Doo! in Arabian Nights||Character designer|
|1995||Pocahontas||Video reference cast|
|1997||Annabelle's Wish||Storyboard artist
|1998||Adventures in Odyssey: Baby Daze||Storyboard artist|
|Adventures in Odyssey: A Stranger Among Us||Storyboard artist|
|2004||Channel Chasers||Co-writer, director, and animator for "Channel 297" scene|
|2005||Doogal||Writer: United States screenplay (later rewritten without his knowledge, only about 3% of his script remained)|
|2011||A Fairly Odd Movie: Grow Up, Timmy Turner!||Waiter||Writer: series and characters|
|2012||A Fairly Odd Christmas||Christmas Caroler||Story, screenplay, writer: series and characters|
|2014||A Fairly Odd Summer||Crazy Guy||Story, screenplay, writer: series and characters|
|1985||Body Language||Contestant||Appeared on 4 episodes (broadcast March 27–29 and April 1, 1985), winning a total of $17,650|
|1985–86||It's Punky Brewster||Models|
|1987||Growing Pains||Robert Jordan||Episode 3.5: "Michaelgate"|
|1988||Just the Ten of Us||Rod Grossman||Episode 1.4: "Close Encounters"|
|1988–89||Days of Our Lives||Henry
|1989||Dink, the Little Dinosaur||Storyboard artist|
|1990||Piggsburg Pigs!||Key model designer|
|1991–93||Tom & Jerry Kids||Character designer|
|1993||Droopy, Master Detective||Designer|
|1995||What a Cartoon!||Creator: "Pfish & Chip", & "Gramps"; writer/director "Hillbilly Blue"|
|1996–97||Dexter's Laboratory||Writer/storyboard artist/background designer/layout artist|
|1997–99||Johnny Bravo||Storyboard artist/writer: story/director|
|1997||Cow & Chicken||Models/storyboard artist|
|1997||I Am Weasel||Models/storyboard artist|
|1998–2001||Oh Yeah! Cartoons||Creator: "The Fairly OddParents" and "Dan Danger"; director/producer: "Terry and Chris"; director/storyboard artist: "Zoomates"|
|1999–2002||Family Guy||Jonathan Weed
|2001–17||The Fairly OddParents||Dr. Rip Studwell
Dr. Bender (Seasons 4–5)
Francis (episode: "Manic Mom Day")
|Creator, story, writer, director, storyboard artist, voice actor, theme music composer, and executive producer|
|2003||Pet Star||Judge||Episode 1.11|
|2004–07||Danny Phantom||Football Announcer 1
(episode: "What You Want")
|Creator, story, writer, storyboard artist, director, theme music composer, and executive producer|
|2010–15||T.U.F.F. Puppy||Agent Weaselman
|Creator, story, music composer, voice actor, executive producer, writer, storyboard artist, and director|
|2011||Dynamice!||Creator, writer, storyboard artist, and executive producer|
|2013||Big Time Rush||Himself||Guest star on "Big Time Cartoon",
guest animator on "Big Time Christmas"
|2017–18||Bunsen Is a Beast||Creator/writer/storyboard artist/executive producer/theme music composer|
|2018||Scratch||Creator/writer/storyboard artist/executive producer/theme music composer|
|2016–17||Nickelodeon Animation Podcast||Episode 10: Butch Hartman
Episode 36: Bunsen Is a Beast Cast & Creator
|2017||Sanders Sides||Episode 9: Becoming a Cartoon||Appears as himself and animates a cartoon sequence|