Unlike its main competitors Nickelodeon and The Disney Channel, Cartoon Network hasn’t had much success with preschool programming, though not for lack of trying. In the 1990s, CN aired two anthology programs for young children during the daytime: Big Bag, which was co-produced by the Children’s Television Workshop of Sesame Street fame, and Small World, which featured various international cartoons.
The 2000s saw several shows for preschoolers such as “Baby Looney Tunes” and the anime series “Hamtaro”, as well as an apparently unsuccessful attempt to create a complete programming block for preschoolers. Like Small World before it, Tickle U consisted entirely of imported shows. Unlike other preschool units that tried to include some element of educational content, Tickle U marketed itself for “developing a child’s sense of humor.” causes controversy among childcare professionals. The block only lasted one year, from 2005 to 2006, but one of its programs, Peppa Pig, became a hit for Nick Jr.
In 2021, a new preschool block was created for Cartoon Network and HBO Max: Cartoonito. Unlike CN’s previous attempts to create preschool units, this one features more exclusive original programming and greater attempts to work with educational value. Several shows on the block, including The Not Too Late Show with Elmo and Little Ellen, were the victims of HBO Max’s 2022 mass removals.