It’s no secret that I love cartoons and still watch the vast majority of the toons that I watched as a kid. In fact, I watch cartoons every. Single. Day. No, really. I mean, just take a look at my Tumblr tag
, which has over a hundred pages. That is how much I love cartoons. However, I didn’t really give much thought to what my favourites were as a kid, so I gave it some thought as a teenager and came up with this non-bookish top ten. So, bring out your inner child, put your nostalgia vision on and make sure that your internet is working properly because I made gifs to help me out.
Out of all the “classic” cartoon series, Looney Tunes
is my favourite. For me, it’s Bugs Bunny over Mickey Mouse every single time. Last year I set myself a goal to watch every single Looney Tunes
cartoon over the summer (there’s over a thousand, by the way). That never happened because I either couldn’t find every single one online, they weren’t aired on TV, or I just lost track of which ones I’d watched. Maybe it’s a combination of all three. But why so low on the list? Well, Looney Tunes
are technically short films and not a TV show. That doesn’t mean that I don’t like them any less though. I will get around to watching every single one of them in the future. Even if it takes an eternity.
- Favourite short – What’s Opera, Doc?
Rugrats was one of my favourite TV shows when I was a kid, mainly because it was so imaginative, and that’s why I still like it now. Watching it now, as a teenager, I can see that it really does show what goes through a kid’s head when they’re playing pretend and just how powerful the imagination is. That, and it’s pretty funny. However, I mainly remember the episodes now from playing the video game Rugrats: Search for Reptar (which I’m able to complete in about an hour), but the levels in the game changed the stories around a bit so when I came back to watching the show again, I remembered some of the episodes differently.
- Favourite episode – All Growed Up
Here’s something kooky: I barely remember watching Hey Arnold! as a kid. I really don’t. So when I started watching it again last year, it was like watching a series that I’d never seen before. Hey Arnold! is a very different cartoon in the sense that it doesn’t use slapstick or even blue humour, it’s much more clever than that and uses a lot more witty humour and has great characters. Apparently I went to see the movie in the cinema as a very small kid, but I honestly don’t remember that. It doesn’t really matter though because the series itself is better than the movie. Some cartoons don’t really make good movies, which is true with Hey Arnold! because the characters don’t really get into any spectacular adventures, and it’s more about being a normal kid (well, sort of normal in Arnold’s case) in a normal school in a normal city, which is what makes it the good kind of different.
Rocko’s Modern Life
- Favourite episode – Hey Harold!
I don’t know why I didn’t watch Rocko’s Modern Life earlier. Probably because it was either not aired anymore or only on past my bedtime. But I started watching this series very recently and it’s quickly become one of my favourites. It’s so dirty at times! If you don’t believe that a show for kids can be so dirty, watch this here video. This show is so obvious with its adult humour that I can’t help but find it hilarious. If I had watched this show as a kid, I wouldn’t have understood anything. And also, The B-52s sang the theme song, which is more than awesome. Why so low down? Easy: censorship. They changed the restaurant name “Chokey Chicken” to “Chewy Chicken” in later seasons which just isn’t as funny. I’m surprised they didn’t take the “spank the monkey” scene out of later airings (if you clicked on that link and watched the video you’ll know what I mean).
- Favourite episode – Seat to Stardom
When I was a wee bairn, I really wanted to be like Dexter (the boy genius, not the serial killer). The idea of being smart enough to conduct experiments and invent things at a young age really appealed to me. But that never happened though and I’m kind of glad that being as smart as Dexter just isn’t possible because I wouldn’t want to get into all the wacky adventures that he did (i.e. rapid aging, turning into bubble gum). This show is one of the reasons why I love science-fiction so much. I guess bizarre situations that kind of have explanations really appeal to me. However, I haven’t seen this show in a long time and only recently found it on Netflix, so I’ve been able to watch it again and relive all the nostalgia. Yay!
The Powerpuff Girls
- Favourite episode – The Big Cheese
Behold, my childhood in one cartoon series. As a kid, The Powerpuff Girls was my favourite TV show in the entire world. There was nothing better. In fact, my friends and I used to pretend to be the Powerpuff Girls at school during playtime almost every single day and I was always Bubbles. Bubbles is still my favourite Powerpuff Girl. The reason why I like this series so much is the fact that it’s girl superheroes. Is there anything better than that? I don’t think so. I am such a fan of the show that I still have the video games, and I even had tons of dolls when I was a kid. And even though Cartoon Network totally sucks at airing their old cartoons (Boomerang shows Hanna-Barbera cartoons at the crack of dawn and I’m not the kind of person to get up really early just to watch TV), I’m still able to watch the first two seasons on Netflix. Just like almost every other old Cartoon Network show.
Ren & Stimpy
- Favourite episode – The City of Clipsville
Now here is a weird show. I hadn’t seen a single episode of Ren & Stimpy until I was 17 and it’s already one of my favourites. I love Ren & Stimpy because of its weirdness and its hilarious sense of humour. You’d think that a show about a cat and a dog would be kind of like Tom & Jerry, with the dog trying to catch the cat in every episode, right? Well, this show isn’t like that at all. Ren and Stimpy are thrust into the most bizarre of situations in every single episode, from being constantly visited by the “Salve” salesman, to being trained for dog shows by George Liquor, American. However, this show has the same downside as the next two entires in this list: I like the earlier episodes more than the later ones. I preferred the episodes that were written by John K. (the creator and original voice of Ren) and I also liked his Ren voice more than Billy West’s (although it is impressive that he could sometimes be the only cast member). But that’s not going to stop me for saying “Oh, joy!” like Stimpy every single day. I also have a habit of saying “you eeeediot” too.
- Favourite episode – Black Hole
SpongeBob is a strange series (not as strange as Ren & Stimpy) in the sense that I laugh at it more now than I did when I was a kid. Why? Subtle adult humour, just like in Rocko’s Modern Life (a lot of the writer’s for Rocko went on to write for SpongeBob). A joke’s no fun when you don’t understand it! I remember spending most of my time as a kid watching SpongeBob and I even went to see the film in the cinema when it was released and I still have a copy of the DVD. However, the reason why SpongeBob isn’t higher up on this list is because I haven’t watched a single episode past Season 6 because the show has become near unwatchable after the film, which is such a shame because the first three seasons are pure gold (season 4 isn’t too bad). Oh well, at least they’re on Netflix.
- Favourite episode – Band Geeks
I couldn’t have a list about cartoons and not include The Simpsons! I have always watched The Simpsons, and at school I was the official Simpsons genius. I’d like to think that I still am, since I’m a total beast at Simpsons Scene It. Seriously, ask me anything about the show and I’ll probably get it. Like SpongeBob, this show has gone downhill since the movie was released, but unlike SpongeBob, The Simpsons is still watchable and has sort of increased in quality in recent years but there are bad episodes dotted around in every season. No TV show can run for over twenty years and remain perfect, but The Simpsons will always have a soft spot in my heart.
- Favourite episode – Homerpalooza
Well, here we have it: my favourite cartoon ever is Futurama. It’s funny, it’s exiting, and it makes me feel all the feels. When my brother and I were kids, we watched the reruns all the time and I still do watch the series. I was so excited when it was announced that the series was returning and then upset that it was being cancelled for a second time. Most of the random cartoon quotes that I say in my everyday life come from Futurama because it’s such a quotable show. And besides from providing me with tons of random crap to say, the show also introduced me to Beck, who is one of my favourite artists, and also to the Japanese band Pizzicato Five, who had two minutes of one of their songs in the episode ‘Leela’s Homeworld’. It’s also why I know that Star Trek exists. I just can’t get enough of this show, and that’s why it’s my ultimate favourite.
Some honourable mentions:
- Favourite episode – Bendin’ in the Wind
- American Dad
- The FairlyOdd Parents
- Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends
- The Flintstones
- Wacky Races
- Cow & Chicken
- Invader Zim
- Johnny Bravo
- The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy
- Tom & Jerry
What was your favourite cartoon as a child? Do you still watch any?