Pepper Ann is an American animated series created by Sue Rose and aired on ABC. It debuted on September 13, 1997. Pepper Ann starred cartoon adolescents and charted their ups and downs at Hazelnut Middle School. It aired as part of the Disney's One Saturday Morning block. The character originated in a comic strip published in YM magazine.
The show centers on the titular character, Pepper Ann Pearson, a 12-year-old girl whose emotions come out in fantasies. The show was designed to be a "different sort" of girl's cartoon, and features many strong-willed female characters who aggressively reject the idea of passive femininity.
Pepper Ann's best friends are Milo Kamalani, a very eccentric, highly dramatic artist; and Nicky Little, a soft-spoken, overachieving aspiring violinist. Other fellow students at Hazelnut Middle School include rich and spoiled Trinket St. Blair, German boy Dieter Lederhosen, popular airhead Cissy Rooney, gossipy twins Tessa and Vanessa James, Nicky's boyfriend, the RC car-racing "nerd" Stewart Waldinger, and the cool 8th-grader, Craig Bean. Pepper Ann has no real enemies except Principal Hickey, a tough disciplinarian with zero tolerance for Pepper Ann's shenanigans, Wayne Macabre, an annoying radio DJ, and Alice Kane, an uppity snob who refers to her as "P. Ann". As well, Pepper Ann usually receives advice from her conscience in the form of her reflection. She gets into mild vocal quarrels with her reflection and her feminist mother, Lydia, although Lydia usually gives the moral at the end.
Pepper Ann's father is seen only in a few episodes in his entirety. We know, however, that he was English, and divorced Lydia (although the two remain on good terms) when the girls were young. Lydia, in turn, embraces her divorcée single-mom identity with great gusto, and encourages Pepper Ann to be as proudly independent as she is, although she does keep a curfew on Pepper Ann. Further support is given by Lydia's sister, Janie Diggety an ex-Green Beret, and Pepper Ann's tomboyish deep-voiced younger sister, Moose.
At the end of the opening sequence, she always finds something different under her desk (similar to The Simpsons' couch gag), such as a mood ring or maracas (also the letter Q in the episode "Vanessa Less Tessa", a glowing green stick in the episode "Hazelnut's Finest", a singing Dieter doll in the episode "Presenting Stewart Waldinger", Mardi Gras beads, and her [Pepper Ann's] remote control in the episode "Radio Freak Hazelnut"); in season one, she always finds "five bucks". One of the original segments of "One Saturday Morning", Pepper Ann was a hit with audiences.
Pepper Ann and Lydia make a cameo appearance at the House of Mouse episode The Stolen Cartoons. They are the only Walt Disney Television Animation characters to ever appear on House of Mouse, who only used characters from Disney's features and classic shorts (and sometimes comics). Lydia says "Don't touch the villain, dear," to Pepper Ann after Pete falls out of the sky after being kicked out of the club.
- Kathleen Wilhoite: Pepper Ann Pearson, Pepper Ann's reflection
- Clea Lewis: Nicky Little, Pepper Ann's best friend
- Danny Cooksey: Milo Kamalani, the other best friend of Pepper Ann
- April Winchell: Lydia Pearson / Grandma Lilly / Abriola Stark
- Pamela Segall: Margaret Rose "Moose" Pearson, Pepper Ann's younger sister
- Don Adams: Principal Hickey
- Paddi Edwards: Vera Groober-Schwartz
- Susan Tolsky: Aunt Janie Lilly Diggety
- Tino Insana: Uncle JoJo Diggety
- Jeff Bennett: Dieter Lederhosen / Pink-Eyed Pete / Shelf McClain / Craig Bean
- Kath Soucie: Cissy Rooney / Mrs. Little / Supermodel Mindy / Chloe Lombardi III
- Jenna von Oÿ: Trinket St. Blair
- Cree Summer: Tessa & Vanessa James
- Tara Charendoff-Strong: Brenda
- Cam Clarke: Stewart Waldinger
- Kimmy Robertson: Gwen Mezzrow
- Candi Milo: Constance Goldman
- Adam Wylie: Crash
- Karen Duffy: Sketch
- Jim Cummings: Roland Carter
- Don Lake: Mr. Finky
- Kathy Najimy: Coach Doogan
- James Avery: Mr. Clapper
- Maurice LaMarche: Chuck Pearson
- Brittany Murphy: Tank the Eighth grader
After appearing on Disney's One Saturday Morning, Pepper Ann was syndicated on UPN's Disney's One Too programming block in 2000. It then moved to the Disney Channel, and eventually moved to Toon Disney. This was the last time Pepper Ann has been seen on any cable channel in the US. It returned to Disney Channel Portugal on April 11, 2011. It is unknown at this time if it will return in the US. Disney currently has no intention to release Pepper Ann on DVD, and unlike Doug and Recess, it was never available on home video.