As Told By Ginger is an animated teen drama which ran from 2000-2003 on Nickelodeon, and a favourite for many of our generation. Melissa Disney voices Ginger Foutley, an angsty teenage girl who records her daily adventures in her journal. Other characters include Ginger’s best friends Macie, a green-haired and socially awkward girl who snorts a lot, and Dodie, a fast-talking reputation-obsessed gossip. The three are joined by Ginger’s neighbour and eventual boyfriend Darren, her wise mother Lois and her mischievous younger brother Karl.
Unlike most animated shows aimed at young people, especially on Nickelodeon, As Told By Ginger deals with serious issues like absentee fathers, caffeine addiction and mental illness. The episode ‘And She Was Gone’ is especially dark, since Ginger writes a poem which leads her friends and family to believe that she had depression. Other episodes see Ginger almost die of appendicitis, as well as the death of a major character. The characters also age and change outfits, which is highly unusual for a cartoon, adding a different dimension.
The most memorable episode of As Told By Ginger is probably ‘Come Back Little Seal Girl’ in which Macy insists on dressing up as a seal girl for the school talent show, singing “most folks think I’m not real, ‘cause I’m half girl and I’m half seal.”
Although As Told By Ginger is aimed at teenagers and young adults, its inclusion of adult problems means that it can be watched by any age group, whilst Karl and Hoodsey’s misadventures ensure that younger children can also relate to the programme.
As Told By Ginger ran for four seasons and four television films based on the show were made: Summer of Camp Caprice, Foutleys on Ice, Butterflies are Free and The Wedding Frame.