Wednesday, November 11, 2020

The Orange Years: The Nickelodeon Story Review: A Nostalgic Walk Through My Childhood

Christine Taylor		 Danny Cooksey	Danny Cooksey	...	Self Melissa Joan Hart	Melissa Joan Hart	...	Self Larisa Oleynik	Larisa Oleynik	...	Self Kenan Thompson	Kenan Thompson	...	Self Kel Mitchell	Kel Mitchell	...	Self Drake Bell	Drake Bell	...	Self Lori Beth Denberg	Lori Beth Denberg	...	Self Danny Tamberelli	Danny Tamberelli	...	Self Michael Bower	Michael Bower	...	Self Michael C. Maronna	Michael C. Maronna	...	Self Graham Yost	Graham Yost	...	Self Josh Server	Josh Server	...	Self Venus DeMilo Thomas	Venus DeMilo Thomas	...	Self (as Venus DeMilo) Coolio	Coolio	...	Self Alisa Reyes	Alisa Reyes	...	Self Marc Summers	Marc Summers	...	Self Jason Alisharan	Jason Alisharan	...	Self Kirk Fogg	Kirk Fogg	...	Self Lisa Melamed	Lisa Melamed	...	Self Phil Moore	Phil Moore	...	Self Frederick King Keller	Frederick King Keller	...	Self Steve Slavkin	Steve Slavkin	...	Self Mitchell Kriegman	Mitchell Kriegman	...	Self

Release date: November 20, 2020
Running time: 102 minutes
Stars: Christine Taylor, Melissa Joan Hart, Larisa Oleynik, Kenan Thompson, Kel Mitchell
Written and Directed: Scott Barber, Adam Sweeney

The Orange Years: The Nickelodeon Story is a documentary film about the Nickelodeon Network, telling the story of its humble origins deep into the SNICK years.  The film goes through the history of Nickelodeon during its heyday (or Hey Dude! Day), and gives you a look into each of the amazing shows that made Nickelodeon so special.  It also highlights some of the leadership that created this wonderful environment for kids programing to flourish.  

Directed by  Scott Barber	 Adam Sweeney   Scott Barber	...	producer Nicholas Calabro	...	associate producer Shawn Cauthen	...	producer Aisha Farhoud	...	associate producer Jarod Frank	...	associate producer Adam F. Goldberg	...	executive producer James Hawthorn	...	co-producer Lee Leshen	...	executive producer Brian MacGillivray	...	co-producer Bill Parks	...	producer Lance Paul	...	associate producer Alisa Reyes	...	producer Suzanne Scudder	...	producer Adam Sweeney	...	producer
The Orange Years is just an amazing encapsulation of my childhood.  Nickelodeon was definitely a huge part of my life growing up, and the Orange Years lets me relive all those memories.  The film does a fantastic job of going through the origins of Nickelodeon, what it hoped to achieve, and the various leaders that turned it into the force that it was.  I loved all the history here, learning how the distinctive orange color came about, where the signature slime came from, and reliving some of the early shows that made this such a special place to spend your days watching.  I especially liked learning about some of the personalities that took a risk and brought the signature shows to the network.  One of the hallmarks for Nick shows was that they were for kids, but didn't feel like a lot of the manufactured shows that were being marketed for kids at the time.  They were edgier and dealt more with issues that kids might be going through.  It was a refreshing take on children's programming and one that paid off big time.  And it was great to get this perspective at this stage in my life.  I don't remember thinking those things specifically, I just remembered that I love the programming and seeing that perspective now is eye opening. 

And you wouldn't have a good documentary about Nickelodeon without going through the amazing programming that this network created.  From You Can't Do That On Television, to Hey Dude!, to the Doug, Rugrats, Ren & Stimpy triumvirate, and my first scary show Are You Afraid of the Dark, Nick had some of the most iconic programming from my childhood.  And this film goes through those programs one-by-one, with insights into the show itself, interviews with stars and creators, and some secrets that you have definitely been wondering about!  Do you want to know what it feels like to get slimed?  They discuss that.  Do you want to know what was in the special powder that the Midnight Society threw into their fire?  The secret is revealed in the documentary!  Do you want to know how being on a variety show changed the performers of All That's lives?  Again, it's on there.  And do you want to see what all your favorite stars look like now?  Yes yes please!  I really loved hearing the stories from these cast members and seeing how much had changed and what they remembered most from that time.  This documentary has so much information crammed into an hour and a half that I was pretty much smiling, learning, and reminiscing the entire time.  Seriously, this is a documentary you don't want to miss!  I think it could have been a mini series with an episode on each show, and would have loved to see that.  But I will take what I can get to have a nostalgic walk through everything that made me smile as a kid!

The Orange Years: The Nickelodeon Story had me revisiting my childhood, with plenty of clips, insights, information, and enough slime to remind me why this network played such an important part of my young life!

Watch it.

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The Orange Years: The Nickelodeon Story will be available digitally, and on demand November 17
Nickelodeon Nick SNICK Rugrats Doug All That You Can't Do That On Television Ren & Stimpy Rocko's Modern Life Rocko Cartoons Slime Orange Guts Agrocrag
For additional information about the film and to rent / buy it, check it out at the links below.

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Make sure to check out our interview with Scott Barber and Adam Sweeney, the writers and directors of The Orange Years: The Nickelodeon Story! 

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