Happy Tree Friends logo
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Happy Tree Friends is an American Flash cartoon created and developed by Aubrey Ankrum, Rhode Montijo, Kenn Navarro and Warren Graff for Mondo Media. The show is cited as an early example of a popular Internet phenomenon achieving a cult following.
The cartoon is drawn in simple appearance and combines cute forest animals with extreme graphic violence. Each episode revolves around the characters enduring accidental events of bloodshed, pain, dismemberment and/or death. The episodes last from between 1 to 7 minutes. At one point, the warning “Cartoon Violence: Not recommended for small children, or big babies” was given on the official website.
The show is nearly free of dialogue, and when the characters do speak, it is mostly in gibberish with some simple English words. According to the website, the idea for Happy Tree Friends was conceived by Rhode Montijo when he drew a yellow rabbit slightly resembling the character Cuddles on a piece of paper and wrote “Resistance is futile” underneath it.
In 2006, a television series featuring longer episodes aired. A spin-off called Ka-Pow! premiered on September 2, 2008.