Science Court

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Science Court
Science Court.jpg
Also known asSquigglevision
Genreanimation/nontraditional court show
Created byTom Snyder
Developed byTom Snyder
Written byBill Braudis
David Dockterman
Tom Snyder
Directed byLoren Bouchard
Tom Snyder
Voices ofBill Braudis
Paula Plum
H. Jon Benjamin
Paula Poundstone
Fred Stoller
Dee Bradley Baker
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes29
Executive producer(s)Bonnie Burns
Tom Snyder
Niki Herbert
(coordinating producer)
Producer(s)Loren Bouchard
Tom Snyder
CinematographyIvan Rhudick
(post-production director)
Editor(s)Loren Bouchard
(audio editor)
Justin Montanino
(assistant editor)
Running time30 minutes
Production company(s)Burns & Burns Productions
Tom Snyder Productions
DistributorDisney–ABC Domestic Television
Original networkABC
Original releaseSeptember 13, 1997 (1997-09-13) –
January 22, 2000 (2000-01-22)

Science Court (retitled Squigglevision in 1998)[1] is an educational entertainment, animation/non-traditional court show from Tom Snyder Productions, which was aired on ABC's Disney's One Saturday Morning block from 1997 to 2000. The cartoon was "filmed" in Squigglevision.[2]


Science Court utilized the limited-animation Squigglevision as its style of animation.[3] In 1998, Science Court was renamed to Squigglevision in its second to third seasons. Tom Snyder Productions has released twelve of the episodes into a series of educational CD-ROMs with accompanying workbooks and experiment kits for schools.[4] On December 2, 2004, Snyder, founder and former CEO of Tom Snyder Productions, was inducted into the Association of Educational Publishers Hall of Fame to honor his extraordinary contribution to educational publishing.[5] So far, no season 3 episodes have surfaced online.

Plot and characters[edit]

"The half-hour program mixed courtroom drama, science experiments, and humor to teach fundamental concepts in elementary and middle school science such as the water cycle, work, matter, gravity, flight, and energy. As each case unfolded, the characters in the trial used humor to highlight scientific misconceptions and model good scientific practice".[6] In a typical episode, a lawsuit or criminal action would take place based around some scientific point. Humor and musical numbers were used to break down scientific concepts.[7]

The primary characters of Science Court were the trial lawyers Alison Krempel and Doug Savage. Alison Krempel, voiced by Paula Plum, was modest, intelligent and kind. Her logical and articulate arguments always lead to the explanations of the scientific points. Doug Savage, voiced by Bill Braudis, was ignorant, arrogant and unscrupulous.

Both Doug and Allison called on a variety of expert witnesses to prove their case. Doug, often to his detriment, called upon child academics Dr. Julie Bean and Dr. Henry Fullerghast to testify. Their scientific testimony usually disproved Doug’s case. Professor Nick Parsons, voiced by H. Jon Benjamin served as an expert for Alison Krempel. He used science to successfully refute Doug Savage's ludicrous and ill-informed claims. Often Micaela and Tim, Miss Krempel's assistant, helped to break down scientific concepts. Comedians Paula Poundstone and Fred Stoller rounded out the cast playing Judge Stone and court stenographer Fred respectively.


Season 1 (1997–98)[edit]

No. in
No. in
Title Original air date
11"Water Cycle"September 13, 1997 (1997-09-13)
22"Work and Simple Machines"September 20, 1997 (1997-09-20)
33"Gravity"September 27, 1997 (1997-09-27)
44"Inertia"October 4, 1997 (1997-10-04)
55"Sound"October 11, 1997 (1997-10-11)
66"Data & Statistics"October 18, 1997 (1997-10-18)
77"Particles"October 25, 1997 (1997-10-25)
88"Heat Absorption"November 1, 1997 (1997-11-01)
99"Electric Current"November 8, 1997 (1997-11-08)
1010"Soil"December 13, 1997 (1997-12-13)
1111"Living Things"December 27, 1997 (1997-12-27)
1212"Seasons"January 10, 1998 (1998-01-10)
1313"Fossils"January 17, 1998 (1998-01-17)

Season 2 (1998–99)[edit]

No. in
No. in
Title Original air date
141"Rockets"September 12, 1998 (1998-09-12)
152"Pendulums"September 19, 1998 (1998-09-19)
163"Lightning"September 26, 1998 (1998-09-26)
174"Friction"October 3, 1998 (1998-10-03)
185"Flight"October 10, 1998 (1998-10-10)
196"Planets"October 17, 1998 (1998-10-17)
207"Reflection"January 2, 1999 (1999-01-02)
218"Magnets"January 16, 1999 (1999-01-16)

Season 3 (1999–2000)[edit]

No. in
No. in
Title Original air date
221"Acid Rain"September 11, 1999 (1999-09-11)
232"Barn Fire"September 18, 1999 (1999-09-18)
243"Hang Time"September 25, 1999 (1999-09-25)
254"Siphon"October 2, 1999 (1999-10-02)
265"Rocks"October 30, 1999 (1999-10-30)
276"Depth Perception"November 6, 1999 (1999-11-06)
287"Compass"January 15, 2000 (2000-01-15)
298"Density"January 22, 2000 (2000-01-22)

Critical reception[edit]

Science Court earned top television awards for Tom Snyder.[5]

Variety thought that the TV series tried too hard to make science entertaining, and that it would come across as too complicated for its target audience.[8]


  1. ^ Staff (September 13, 1998). "'Science Court' changes into 'Squigglevision' to charm the kids". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. St. Louis, Missouri, USA: Kevin Mowbray. ISSN 1930-9600. OCLC 1764810. Retrieved August 2, 2012.(subscription required)
  2. ^ Rosenberg, Ronald; Ackerman, Jerry (May 7, 1997). "Television Software creator hopes science series catches on". The Boston Globe. Boston, Massachusetts, USA: Christopher M. Mayer. p. D.4. ISSN 0743-1791. OCLC 66652431. Retrieved August 2, 2012.(subscription required)
  3. ^ Perlmutter, David (2018). The Encyclopedia of American Animated Television Shows. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 533. ISBN 978-1538103739.
  4. ^ De Nike, Kristina (October 1, 2001). "Science Court: Gravity". Macworld. San Francisco, California, USA: David Bunnell. ISSN 0741-8647. OCLC 607262846. Retrieved August 2, 2012.
  5. ^ a b Hodin, Debbie (December 3, 2004). "Tom Snyder Inducted into Hall of Fame" (Press release). Tom Snyder Productions. Archived from the original on October 25, 2005. Retrieved April 11, 2011.
  6. ^ "(unknown)". HighBeam Research. Retrieved March 21, 2009.[dead link][dead link]
  7. ^ Erickson, Hal (2005). Television Cartoon Shows: An Illustrated Encyclopedia, 1949 Through 2003 (2nd ed.). McFarland & Co. pp. 717–718. ISBN 978-1476665993.
  8. ^ Everett, Todd (1997-09-05). "Review: 'Science Court'". Variety. Retrieved 2017-09-20.

External links[edit]