I’ve come to realize that I have grown up in a golden age. Whether it be video games, movies, TV shows, music, or cartoons, I was there through it all as some of the best stuff was ever created during that time period.
I love cartoons. You’ll often find me tweeting about them, which means I’m watching them. While they have gotten worse over the years, there are some that will always be awesome and that I will show to my kids…if I ever have any.
WOO-HOO! While this isn’t my favorite show, it probably has the best theme song of any cartoon ever created. It would be ranked higher if it wasn’t for the terrible character of Bubba Duck.
What I love about Ducktales is that it’s all about adventure. Uncle Scrooge takes his boys across the world all in search of treasure. They have lots of fun doing it and thwart everyone from the Beagle Boys, Magica the Spell and Flintheart Glomgold. My life has been relatively boring, but I would always imagine myself doing what they did.
And of course, there’s nothing like swimming in a huge bin of money!
I love Doug for a very similar reason that I love Ducktales. While both go on adventures, the key difference is that Doug’s adventures all take place in his mind.
Out of all the cartoons, I probably related with Doug the most. He never got the girl, his imagination worked overtime, he was the new kid, and he constantly talked to his pet. Even though he wasn’t an only child, it always felt like he was to me.
It also had some greatest fiction within a fiction in Quailman and The Beets!
3. GARFIELD AND FRIENDS
I’ve always been a huge fan of the fat cat. And I believe I started reading the comic strips before I ever watched the TV show. The show captured the comic brilliantly. So much so that I think in some ways it did a better job than the strip.
But what I love most about Garfield and Friends isn’t Garfield, Odie, or Jon. It’s Orson’s Farm! And that surprised me a bit. I had never read those comic strips and Orson’s Farm has such a great ensemble. They each have their own personality and bring something different to the table. I had wondered what it would have been like if they had their own cartoon.
2. BEAST WARS
I’ve always been a huge Transformers fan, but when I first heard of then watched Beast Wars, I was very confused. It had a bunch of smaller Transformers that turned into animals. The two main characters were Optimus Primal and Megatron but they weren’t the characters I had grown up with. It took place on a planet that looked like pre-historic Earth but it was seeded with energon and had two moons. It was all very weird.
Yet somehow, Beast Wars became the greatest Transformers show ever!
What made Beast Wars great is that unlike G1, there wasn’t a cast of characters constantly coming in just to sell toys. Because of that, they were able to have an over-arching plot and deep characterization. There were no annoying humans to save or help them. It also did an excellent job at balancing humor and seriousness.
1. JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED
When it comes to comics, I’ve never been a DC fan. There superheroes are all basically boring gods as opposed to Marvel’s more down to earth characters. Yet when it comes to their animation line, they’ve put out a far superior product over Marvel.
While the first two seasons of Justice League (most notably two) were good, JLU was great. One of the reasons that JLU was better was that it shortened the run time. While it still had overarching plots, because of its twenty minute run time, plots were tighter. They didn’t waste in time with dead air. However, I think the best thing it did was focus on the rest of the DCU.
Justice League focused on the heroes everyone knows–Batman, Superman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, Flash, Hawkgirl. JLU focused on a bunch of lesser known characters such as Huntress, Vixen, and my favorite, The Question. I learned a lot about the DCU and it made me more interested in it.
Now those are my favorite cartoons. What’s great is they all still hold up. Sadly, there’s a ton of great cartoons that just didn’t make my list.
I would love to hear what some of your favorite cartoons are.
Honorable Mentions: Batman the Animated Series, Batman Beyond, Dragonball Z, Gargoyles, Jackie Chan Adventures, Monster Rancher, Reboot, Rugrats, Transformers