Top Cartoons of the 90’s
Cartoons have come a long way since Steamboat Willie, the first of Walt Disney’s animated projects. Children of all ages have been introduced to cartoons in some form or another and use the animated shows to learn life lessons (that may or may not be a good thing).
Cartoons have become so become so ingrained in society that they no longer are exclusive to children; there are networks geared toward adult audiences that feature mature themes. Whatever your case for watching animated shows, be it for entertainment or educational purposes, they have revolutionized the way Americans watch television. The era of cartoons and animation that we live in today are great, but they pale in comparison to the shows of the 90’s—as do most things compared to Clinton era. Cartoons made nearly two decades ago where imaginative, creative and artistic. These traits are lost on most of the flashy, expensive and repetitive cartoons of the 2000’s and beyond. Below is a list of shows to remind you why the 90’s were so great—as if you needed to be reminded.
Pinky and the Brain: It’s hard to forget about the two iconic mice that made taking over the world a daily task. Brain the mouse wasthe big-headed (literally) genius and Pinky was… Pinky, the unquestioning muscle. Although the duo rarely left their cage insideof a laboratory, their adventures were always much bigger than their environment but never as big as Brain intended.
Doug: One of the first shows to depict the American teenage condition well. Everybody who watched the show wanted to see Doug come out on top in the situations he got himself into—although he rarely did. He was such a relatable character because nothing about him was uniquely special, but the people around him were all characters. Some of my favorite episodes were the ones dedicated to Doug’s alter ego and created persona, Quailman the master of the ability to duck, dodge and bob danger.
Johnny Bravo: Although he was the animated embodiment of a juiced up Elvis wannabe, Johnny B was one of the most well liked cartoon icons of the 90’s. He was a muscle bound guy with large blonde hair, sunglasses and a black tee shirt but it was his gullibility that made him so lovable. Most of his crazy adventures stemmed from his lack “of knowing any better.” In reality, he was just a remedial meat-head who lived with his mom.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Everything about this show screamed 90’s culture; from the pizza loving teenage heroes to the popularity of martial arts the show portrayed. The premise of the show—mutated turtles who were mentored and taught karate by a mutated rat— wasn’t the brightest idea of the decade, but it worked because fighting ninja turtles kick ass! Even their main nemesis, Shredder, was a cool looking Samurai-warlord-demon. The newer adaptations don’t equal half the greatness of the 90’s rendition.
Dragon Ball Z: No cartoon ruled the attention span of young boys like DBZ did in the late 90’s. Japan tried multiple times in the 90’s to introduce the American public to anime but it had only relative success. That is until Goku and his friends arrived on the scenes. The hyper-action and over the top antics drew many over sugared youths to the show. When little kids horse around, no one ever dies and each time they get close to being defeated they find a way to get stronger. This idea was pretty much the premise of the show; Goku’s race (the Saiyans) only grew more powerful as they got close to defeat. I’m surprised that the flashing lights and speeding objects didn’t cause more kids to have seizures, but the show did increase violence among grade school kids.