Following up yesterday’s list of ‘toons for adults, here are ten shows you likely watched as a kid.
As a reminder, there are still two categories to go! I might not consider your favorite cartoon as a kid a kid’s cartoon, per se, so chill.
8. The Magic School Bus
Was learning ever this fun again?! Seriously, if my Math for the Modern World professor really wanted me to memorize the formula for a successful 401K plan, he should’ve had Valeria Frizzle drive TMSB through Wall Street for 23 minutes. Lesson learned.
7. The Wild Thornberrys
If you were into animal’s as a child–scratch that–when you were a child, and wicked into animals, talking to them was pretty much at the top of your to do list every day. That dream came true for Eliza, and the rest of us by proxy. All these years later the Thorberrys remain one of the most interested animated families of all time, with a tremendous voice cast to boot!
6. Rocket Power
Like #7, Rocket Power hovers between that “other” and “children’s” category line, what with Reggie being old and hipster enough to run her own e-zine! But I’ve decided it’s a kid’s show, for sure. Not only was this shot super XXTREME, it had the best cut scenes in Nickelodeon history, and also made me feel like the kid’s growing up in California were absolutely bat shit.
This spot on the list was reserved for either TailSpin, Duck Tales, Darkwing Duck or The Adventures of the Gummi Bears–all bona fide classics. However, only one of them recast The Jungle Book’s Baloo as a mildly alcoholic smuggler turned legit pilot. TailSpin for the win!
4. Spider-Man: The Animated Series
Again, Spider had to edge out fellow 90s superhero animated series Batman and Xmen, and it does so with relative ease. Peter Parker is at his smarmy best in this incarnation of the Marvel classic. Pair that with plenty of Venom, Carnage and symbiot story lines and you’ve got yourself a series any kid will watch for hours.
Kids being kids, what more need be said? No series better exemplifies how the lives of middle school children seem so much vaster than they are, grand and endless, especially when out on the unforgiving blacktops for half an hour after lunch. Whether it was an uprising of kindergarteners, an epic soccer tournament, or a mysterious hole dug by the diggers, something was always afoot at recess, and TJ and the gang were always more than up to the challenge.
Just babies being babies! Watching this as a seven year old, it was nice to feel “above” the infant stage of life, but secretly we all wished we could be back in the play pen, when the world was at once a thousand times bigger and infinitely smaller: a monster turned into a coat hanger with the blink of an eye; a cruel, tyrannical bullies rule is ended when his mother brings him home for nap time. There are too many classic episodes to recount, but let me say Tommy Pickles and Chuckie Finster = first TV bro mance of the 90s.
Here are the Animaniacs doing what they do best, that is, putting baloney in their slacks. This cast of psychopathic ne’er-do-wells, rounded out by Pinky and the Brain themselves, may challenge some parents to be either strict and moral or “cool” and dangerous more than Mickey’s Playhouse, but the reward is far greater: a catchy theme song, pop culture gags that will fly right over your youngster’s head, and Wacko. Lots and lots of Wack.