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Tutenstein logo.png
Created by Jay Stephens
Directed by Bob Richardson
Norton Virgien
Rob LaDuca
Starring Jeannie Elias
Maryke Hendrikse
David Lodge
Crystal Scales
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 3
No. of episodes 39 + 1 film (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s) William T. Bauman
Paul Cummins
Jessica Hanlon
Bruce D. Johnson
Running time 18-22 minutes per episode
Production company(s) PorchLight Entertainment
Discovery Kids Original Productions
Original network Discovery Kids
Original release November 1, 2003 (2003-11-01) – October 11, 2008 (2008-10-11)

Tutenstein is an American children's animated television series, produced by Porchlight Entertainment for Discovery Kids based on the comics by Jay Stephens. The half-hour series features young mummy Tutankhensetamun (based on real-life Tutankhamun and usually called "Tutenstein" as in the title) who is awakened about 3,000 years after his accidental death and now must face the fact that his kingdom is gone. The name is a portmanteau of Tutankhamun and Frankenstein. On October 11, 2008, a TV movie entitled Tutenstein: Clash of the Pharaohs aired on Discovery Kids.


ABN reported "with regard to the ongoing theme of ancient temples and history found in his animated shows Tutenstein and The Secret Saturdays, [Jay] Stephens quips, "I'm a nerd. I like reading about history and mythology. And the past is full of surprises."[1] Stephens spent many years developing the show for television, coming up with the new setting and cast of characters that diverged significantly from the original comics. Stephens became the creative consultant of the show, with character designer Fil Barlow reinterpreting the look of the entire series. Barlow was the production designer until his contracted 20 episodes expired and was fired. His successor was his student, Thomas Perkins.

The production company, PorchLight Entertainment, which is based in Los Angeles, California, has won Emmys for the first and second seasons of the series. Irish TV production company Telegael, which is based in An Spidéal, Co Galway, also won an Emmy Award for the second season.


Historical accuracy[edit]

Many of the gods portrayed in the series resemble their historical portrayals and all the Egyptian myths mentioned in the show are genuine.[citation needed] The Scepter of Was being portrayed as an all-purpose magic wand is fictional, though the Was itself is a genuine Egyptian symbol. Unlike Tutankhamun, who died at the age of 18, this Tut (Tutahnkensetamun) died when he was 10. On the other hand, Tutenstein is drawn with a cleft lip, just like the real Tutankhamun. The ancient game senet did exist, but as no precise rules for the game have been preserved, the rules as shown in the series are not accurate.[2] Egyptologist Dr. Kasia Szpakowska served as a consultant to the series.


SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
113November 1, 2003 (2003-11-01)March 6, 2004 (2004-03-06)
213September 4, 2004 (2004-09-04)November 19, 2005 (2005-11-19)
313September 9, 2006 (2006-09-09)January 13, 2007 (2007-01-13)
Special1October 11, 2008 (2008-10-11)

Critical reception[edit]

Common Sense Media gave the show a rating of 3 stars out of 5, saying "The character of Tut is amusing, with his combination of childishness and egotism, and his interaction with Cleo and Luxor can be quite funny. The resolutions of the stories are fairly predictable – Tut uses his powers for good to help his friends, and harmony is restored – but the situation is unusual enough to keep the show fresh."[3] DVD Verdict said "To be fair, as a product of the Discovery Channel, the producers have tried something slightly different with Tutenstein. Its educational children's programming, the attempt of an educational station to compete with more popular stations. Each episode incorporates some educational tidbits: explaining aspects of ancient Egyptian mythology and history. Unfortunately, the learning gets a bit mixed up with all the other nonsense."[4] The Sydney Morning Herald wrote "It's The Mummy for kids... There's no Brendan Fraser or Rachel Weisz here, but the humorous dialogue – and the inclusion of a talking cat – should be a winner among younger viewers."[5]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Nominee/work Award Result
2004 Tutenstein Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Special Class Animated Program Won
2006 Tutenstein Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Special Class Animated Program Nominated
2007 Tutenstein Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Special Class Animated Program Won


After the series ended, reruns continued to air until December 31, 2011. It also aired on the American Spanish network Azteca America from December 1, 2013 until June 1, 2014.

In 2004 the series had its British terrestrial television debut on ITV - first as part of the Saturday morning children's programme Ministry of Mayhem, and later in a weekday afternoon slot on CITV.

It also aired on Jetix in Europe, Nickelodeon and ABC in Australia, and Maxi TV in Turkey.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ http://www.awn.com/animationworld/secret-origins-secret-saturdays
  2. ^ Piccione, P. A. (1980), 'In search of the meaning of Senet', Archaeology, 33, 55-58.
  3. ^ https://www.commonsensemedia.org/tv-reviews/tutenstein
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-10-29. Retrieved 2014-10-29. 
  5. ^ http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2004/09/06/1094322699017.html

External links[edit]