Animation that aired on the Kids WB channel. Our list of the best action cartoons of the 90s (not including comic book or video game adaptations) include favorites like 'G.I. Luckily, shows like Rugrats, Hey Arnold, and Doug are available online for you to revisit at your leisure. However most of these references probably fly over the heads of kids like the Thunderquack, but the silliness shines through just the same. The 85 Best Movies on Netflix Right Now (January 2021), More For its time, Captain Planet and the Planeteers (and its sequel series The New Adventures of Captain Planet) introduced viewers to action-packed pro-environmental adventures against such dangers as overconsumption (Hoggish Greedly), poor sanitation (Verminous Skumm), unethical and unregulated scientific research (Dr. Blight), the threat of nuclear power (Duke Nukem), and poaching/unethical business practices (Looten Plunder). Rocket Power. Don't believe me? The title hero, who possessed no real superpowers of his own (he couldn't even fly), was often more concerned with fame and adoration than he was with actual crimefighting. It grew out of the 39-minute long TV movie broadcast as part of The Jim Henson Hour in 1989, featuring puppetry work from Jim Henson Productions. In a series set as a sequel to the original story, Optimus Primal leads the Maximals (descendants of the Autobots) against Megatron's Predacons in the race to obtain energon, as you might expect. and other alien polluters from the planet Smogula. TaleSpin is one of very few cartoon series that are all about classic adventures. D&D Beyond Here are some of my favorite shows from the late 90s and early 2000s. It followed Ren, a prince of a forgotten land, who is tasked with finding the lost Thirteen Treasures of Rule in order to keep the malevolent Dark Water from completely taking over the alien planet of Mer. The go-to source for comic book and superhero movie fans. Tom and Jerry. The article talks about 25 cartoons from the 90s that should totally come back on the television. So while this one's another pro-environmental tale of good monsters vs bad monsters, you've got to give it credit for turning mice into badass motorcycle riders. Here are 2 0 of the best '90s cartoons, ranked! The cartoons you watched as a kid not only hold up today, but in some cases they're even better as seen through your adult eyes. This could easily have been a cutesy "girls save the world" cartoon, however, each of the characters - heroes and villains alike - are positively brimming with quirks, quarks, and quintessential traits that play out in their individual arcs to the nth degree. That was pretty impressive for its time, though anyone going back to watch it today will likely have a tough time adjusting to its relatively coarse animation. Somehow, a scientist using a recipe to create three perfect little girls resulting in pint-sized heroes turned out to be one of the most feminist and addictive cartoons of the era. Save it! (On the plus side, it was fun to scream Maximize! It was one of the best cartoon shows in the 90s. It debuted in the fall of 1996 on Disney-owned ABC, inspired by the live-action Disney films (the 90s triple deke of Mighty Ducks movies in '92, '94, '96) and the actual NHL ice hockey team founded in 1993 as The Mighty Ducks (before changing, thankfully, to Anaheim Ducks in 2006). A cartoon about a diabolical mouse and his hapless sidekick turned out to be one of the most dementedly hilarious shows of all time. They're the best the '90s have to offer, and they will never go out of style. Guys, let's get weird for a minute. 2021 Bustle Digital Group. Once the gang saves the city yet again, they all hang out at Louie's Place, a bar owned by King Louie, the orangutan. The Craig McCracken creation had been floating around in various forms throughout most of the 90s before blasting its way onto Cartoon Network's main rotation in 1998. It also added a meta level of storytelling that was rather rare in cartoons: the main characters were sprites within a computer system tasked with keeping it safe from viruses while also playing games generated by the user. Rugrats was a show with layers, and that's why it still holds up when you rewatch it as an adult. This relatively kid-friendly adaptation of the gruesome, sexually explicit, low-budget Troma picture, The Toxic Avenger continues the exploits of that title character, but buddies him up with a team of fellow mutant superheroes. Luckily, their endless array of weapons, vehicles, and skills get the Swat Kats through even the deadliest of scrapes. This cartoon is by far the most popular and iconic cartoon series to be launched on television. Oh, and did I mention they meet a lady mechanic by the name of "Charley" Davidson? The Radical Squadron ran up against such villains as Dark Kat, Dr. Viper, The Pastmaster, Morbulous, and even the city's own military defense fighters, the Enforcers. Class hierarchies received a thorough examination in the bright Recess, which revealed the inner workings of the complex social system that rules playgrounds everywhere. That's because we've filtered out any cartoons derived from comic books and video games, like X-Men, Batman: The Animated Series and Mega Man; you can find them in another list down the road. The core story of Gargoyles is solid, allowing for a fantastic mythology to grow from there. The Best 90s Cartoons. But the thing that made the psychosexual shoot-em-up action of Aeon Flux so fantastic were the political machinations behind the scenes of the dystopian's dual settings. I looked up to Reggie, the female. Action, romance, heartbreak â X-Men was a serialized masterpiece of superhero goodness. '80s and '90s Worst cartoons ... And while the live-action sitcom was seemingly down-to-earth, the cartoon made it even more wacky by adding Glomer, the magic cat who could transport Punky and her friends to wacky places. Appearing in hit after hit, it seemed that everything he touched turned to box office gold. '90s Nickelodeon cartoons, known as Nicktoons, are no exception to this. I've always loved the idea of these powerful and intelligent guardian creatures who have a glaring weakness: they have to either hide themselves away during the day or trust a human with protecting their vulnerable stone selves in the daylight. This high-seas adventure series had one of the most compelling mythologies of cartoons in the 90s and easily the most frustratingly abrupt ending. Every generation has its share of awesome cartoons, but I happen to think '90s cartoons are just a little bit better than all the rest. Rami Malek, Zoe Saldana Join Christian Bale in David O. Russell's New Movie, ‘The Mauritanian’ Review: Tahar Rahim Is Phenomenal in a Story of American Injustice, When Is 'SNL' Coming Back in 2021? It kept the adventurous spirit and sci-fi elements of the original intact while also introducing action on two fronts: in hand-drawn traditional animation and the virtual QuestWorld, created through computer animation. and Norman the Viking bodyguard. That still left us with some Honorable Mentions, which include: Wing Commander Academy, Roughnecks: Starship Troopers Chronicles, and Van-Pires, to name a weird few. The ’90s are widely remembered as the last great era of Saturday morning cartoons. And yet Darkwing Duck is still a show that focuses on action over adventure. Centering on the title characters Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup, The Powerpuff Girls sees the three superheroic daughters of Professor Utonium defending Townsville, USA in all manner of ways. Magic Carpet, Genie, and Iago offered up plenty of sidekick humor and plot complications/solutions along the way, as you might expect. would win it every single year. The entertainment from this time period still holds a special place in the hearts of many. It also introduced Jessie Bannon, the daughter of Race and an integral member of the team. Then once that 3D segment starts, grab your 3D glasses and watch out! We've already had anthropomorphic alien ducks who play hockey while saving Earth from threats, so why not get some anthropomorphic Martian mice who like motorsports, a.k.a. Easily the most adult cartoon on the list, Aeon Flux started as a six-part series of experimental short films, followed by five standalone episodes that continued Peter Chung's avant-garde animation and storytelling style. All rights reserved. Absolutely, but every part of Dexter was a joy to watch. It dealt with its story in a much more mature manner than similar series: characters could die, detailed strategy played a big part in each episode, and the theater of war was more realistically portrayed. In order to meet standards set by the property owners and to distance itself from the violence of other shows (it was a PBS show after all), the creators set the series inside a video game which followed a pair of siblings tracking down the title villain and preventing her and her henchmen from stealing priceless artifacts. Where it really succeeds is in its open and obvious parody nature, paying homage to such cultural touchstones as The Shadow, Doc Savage, and Batman, among others. score: 28 of 50 (55%) required scores: 1, 17, 25, 31, 38 list stats leaders vote Vote print comments. Check out our list, in no particular order, to see if your favorite made the cut! Aladdin 11. (It took a fun departure to play up the Batman/Watchmen parody with Watchdog, too.) Weird, occasionally gross, and just this side of spooky, Aaahh!!! I'm an unapologetic fan of cartoons of all shapes, sizes, styles, and eras, so putting together this list was more of a treasure than a trial for me, especially as my research led me into some of the dusty corners of the internet and my memory; the nostalgia is strong in this one, my friends! Luckily, Ziv has created his own B.O.Y.Z.Z. The accident permanently disfigured him, but granted him superhuman size and strength (plus a sentient mop named ... Mop). Max gets thrown into an ages-old battle against the evil Skullmaster, with the help of Virgil the knowledgeable Lemurian chicken ("Fowl, actually.") Cartoons of the 90s show list info. It's not too often that a classic cartoon series gets a modern reboot that actually improves upon the original. (And it was still better than ProStars.) Daria was the disaffected, grunge hero the '90s needed. However, The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest does just that. Things get very twisted as the series goes on, but as far as the style of Aeon Flux's action scenes are concerned, it's unmatched. While the live-action Toxie definitely earned his R-rating, the cartoon cleaned things up quite a bit and led to a cult following, despite only airing 13 episodes. or Terrorize! Honestly, Mighty Max could just be the best example of this throughout all cartoons, not just in the 90s. Eliza's adventures in the wild were full of teachable moments about respecting nature, but more importantly they were fun and they gave '90s kids a smart heroine to admire. This time around, Baloo the bear is a bush pilot who flies cargo out of his base in Cape Suzette (puns! It's just unfortunate that we haven't seen a modern-day live-action franchise built around these maligned monsters. Or if you just like to watch colorful characters by such names as J.T. While not every '90s animated series was perfect, these 21 cartoons were practically flawless in their execution. The strangest thing is how the plot of the show Mighty Ducks weirdly mirrored the real-life franchise. It is hard to imagine a cartoon ever topping Animaniacs in the meta department. It worked pretty well for Aladdin, which followed after the events of the feature film sequel The Return of Jafar. Even if ReBoot didn't boast an excellent story chock full of humor, heart, and action, it would make a "best of" list simply for being the first completely computer-animated half-hour TV series. There's never a bad time to revisit this series, but I think it's also well past time for a reboot. Before superhero cartoons were on every channel, there was Batman: The Animated Series, X-Men, and then along came The Tick. When the ducks land on Earth - where their fight against the evil Saurians has taken them - they're soon scooped up by an ambitious hockey manager who gives them a "believable" cover as a legit hockey team. There was a large supercomputer going into meltdown (think that was the name of the episode) and a rescue team was sent to fix it. We'll likely never find out what happened to Ren and his crew, or the world of Mer at large, but so long as you know that going into the series, you'll surely enjoy the adventure! The show's original creators, the Tremblay brothers, found success in a Kickstarter campaign for a reboot of the series, dubbed Swat Kats: Revolution. RELATED: 5 Nicktoons from the '90s That Aged Well (& 5 That Didn't) These shows are still so popular that many have seen reboots, spin-offs, and movie adaptations. Adventures of the Little Mermaid 10. 821,509 views made by Wild West. 1. The mixed-media presentation alone is enough to keep Dog City in the conversation, as is the cartoon's decision to play up investigations and crime-solving. While the trend invaded comedy series throughout this time period, it also made its way into action cartoons as well, some of which were completely … Again, it's a Disney property that takes characters from one of its properties (the Jungle Book, this time) and reimagines them in a pseudo 1930s setting. Check out our staff picks for the best 90s cartoons made for kids; selections include Darkwing Duck, X-Men, Rugrats and The Powerpuff Girls. The end result was a ghoulish cartoon that was easy to become obsessed with. Action thriller: Navy SEALS: Lewis Teague: Charlie Sheen, Michael Biehn, Joanne Whalley: United States: Action thriller: Outlaw Brothers: Frankie Chan: Frankie Chan, Siu Chung Mok, Kiu Wai Miu: Hong Kong Peacemaker: Kevin S. Tenney: Robert Forster, Lance Edwards, Hilary Shepard: United States: Predator 2: Stephen Hopkins: Danny Glover, Gary Busey, Ruben Blades Unfortunately, the series was canceled and the prototypes of the toys were shelved, and no action figures were created. One of the few (okay, maybe the only one) educational series on this list is the Daytime Emmy-winning adaptation of the popular Carmen Sandiego computer games. Perhaps it’s a sign of troubled times, but nostalgia for the 1990s is everywhere. It's fun, albeit a bit frustrating, watching the changes over the course of the overlooked series' 52 episodes, so give this one a watch if you're feeling adventurous. 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Whether we got up early on Saturday morning with a bowl of cereal to watch episodes of Duck Tales or Rescue Rangers, or snuck an episode of South Park when our parents weren't home, the cartoons of the '90s are timeless! As you might expect, the series didn’t do well and was ultimately canceled after one season. Before Christopher Nolan's franchise, the best adapted version of Batman's adventures was hands down the '90s animated series. Luckily, he's aided in his quest by a wizard named Tula, a pirate named Ioz, and a hungry monkey-bird named Niddler. How many did you watch? Author of "The Science of Breaking Bad" from MIT Press | Twitch Affiliate: twitch.tv/drclawmd | Co-host of the Saturday Mourning Cartoons podcast | Community manager for Ironface Studios | Former science freelance writer for Nerdist.com | Former Animation editor, Streaming Content editor for Collider.com | Founder of ATL S.T.E.A.M. Was Dee Dee the best part of the show? Covering the hottest movie and TV topics that fans want. Rather than just watching someone playing a game, we were watching the daily lives of characters who called the computer system of Mainframe their home. AKA – Not the Live Action Series. Like many late '80s and early '90s cartoons, the show focused on environmentally conscious themes. Yeah, it tricked kids into learning things while they were playing a game, just like this series (sorta) tricked kids into learning things while they were watching a cartoon. As far as I'm concerned, Aladdin is the best of Disney's more direct series adaptations, especially when we're talking about action. ... Action Man 8. Genie's magic offered up limitless opportunities for adventure while the rich setting of Agrabah was quite literally a huge sandbox to play in. Well, it was a good effort from Ted Turner & Co. who created this team of super kids and their co-op superhero Captain Planet with an eye toward educating audiences about the threat to our ecosystem. Tom the cat, and Jerry the mouse were sworn enemies with a love and hate relationship. You most likely had to have parental supervision to watch King of the Hill, but the show's depiction of small town life was so accurate and warm, it was worth sitting through the "adult" moments with mom and dad in the room. Ah, now we get to the classic Disney toons that introduced new spins on existing characters in their storied catalog. (Though Bronsky did belch a lot, so it wasn't like it was all super-serious.) New Episodes Are Right Around the Corner, Chris Pine on Playing Dress Up in ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ and Patty Jenkins’ Star Wars Movie, Is 4K Blu-ray Worth It? The environment! We had a blast putting together the 20 best, and we’re sure this list will inspire some discussion. Oddly enough, this series found Aladdin engaged to Princess Jasmine, but he and Abu were still resigned to live in the slums of Agrabah. PBS produced a modern classic with Arthur. Just how many do you remember watching whether during the Nineties or from the many repeats since then? Unfortunately, ExoSquad was cancelled following a cliffhanger finale which introduced a newer, greater threat that would face humans and Neosapiens alike. The 30 best 90s cartoons you wish your kids knew These occasionally (who are we kidding…often) eccentric ’90s cartoons still hold a place in our hearts! Guys! The 90s remake really played up on the advances in animation technology since the original, which was evident right from the new series' excellent intro sequence. Mighty Max is a fantastic trip across space, time, and the astral plane, and it ends with a mind-bending twist that makes the entire series worth watching again. (Brain Operated Young Zygoetopic Zoids) to fight back against Paradim. Rocko's life was bleak, often way too real, and always, always entertaining to watch â maybe even more so now than when you were a kid. For an educational cartoon on public television, that's about as good as it gets! From the animation to the storylines, '90s cartoons were always on point. Admittedly, this one's on the list just to illustrate the 90s' love of primary colors, 3D gimmicks, and the letter Z. It is a dark, beautifully animated look at Gotham that never tried to dumb down Bruce Wayne's double life just because his story was airing Saturday mornings. After numerous award wins and nominations, spin-offs, merchandising opportunities, and even a current reboot to the series, the original The Powerpuff Girls remains one of the best cartoons ever made. Though he ultimately was able to protect St. Canard from villains such as Negaduck, Dr. Bushroot, The Liquidator, Megavolt, and Quackerjack with the help of his allies, he normally did so in a silly, slapstick fashion. If you love exo-suits with rocket-launchers, space pirates, and an exploration of sociopolitical factors during interplanetary war, then boy is this series for you! The title character was originally a nerdy janitor named Melvin Junko who had an unfortunate run-in with some toxic waste. It was simple, it was memorable, and it was downright fun. This show rarely wasted time on exposition or deep character development (though the main characters' backstories are well told), opting to get right to the action. Just when you think you've gotten used to seeing Optimus Prime all shiny and chrome as a Peterbilt truck, he shows up as a gorilla in Beast Wars: Transformers (or the affectionately titled Beasties: Transformers in Canada). The Simpsons in the '90s was smart, culturally savvy, and unbelievably entertaining TV about an average American family. Nautical adventures in cartoons are pretty rare, and ones set on an alien world that's just similar enough to our own to be recognizable but different enough to be fascinating are rarer still. However, the Daytime Emmy-winning animation style and the wildly creative addition of new characters (and gruesome transformations) over time make this a necessary watch for any self-described Transformers fan. This wasn't being done all that often in the 90s and it's barely done today, so do yourself a favor and revisit a classic era through the lens of TaleSpin. Family Guy became one of our favorite cartoons of the '90s with its excessive use of pop culture references and flashbacks, its often dark humor, and its pageantry in the form of Stewie and Brian's over-the-top musical numbers. 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It followed the title character, a rambunctious preteen boy who receives an apparently unremarkable cap, which was hidden inside the statue of a fowl, of course. However, his company's CEO Sir Lewis Leon Paradim has designs on world domination, so he uses a "Krang Chip" to override Ziv's creations and use them to his benefit. The show was noticeably darker both in tone and appearance than most other cartoons of the time, tackling themes of death, abuse, and revenge. collider.com Movie News The Tick started airing on Fox Kids on September 10, 1994 and ran until November 24, 1996, which gave us 36 episodes within 3 seasons. You see, title characters Throttle, Modo, and Vinnie have escaped war on their home planet and have arrived on Earth - Chicago, specifically - to defend it against the evil Plutarkians. That's a pretty weird string of real-life occurrences, so the adaptation of the property into a cartoon about alien duck-like humanoids from the planet of Puckworld (Oh God, I'm starting to rethink this one) isn't the strangest thing that happened. It's a hilarious show, touching at times, and absolutely packed full of action in ways that might surprise you now if you happened to miss it along the way. 15 Cartoons From The '90s No One Remembers Anymore. The entire show was based on the chasing sprees, and misadventures of both the characters. Sometimes, Disney realized that they really didn't have to reinvent the wheel and create new characters out of their existing properties. A cartoon about how babies see the world provided some of TV's most relevant commentary on day to day life. The Tick is a superhero parody developed first as a comic and adapted for a cartoon by Ben Edlund. Sure! The battles against aliens, robots, and other monsters are just as bloodless as most of the cartoons on this list, but they do their fighting in style by using weapons like a cestus and a bionic arm. Let us know in the comments! It's a rare cartoon series that had a satisfying series finale that wrapped up the overall plot while also leaving the story open for future exploration. It's a bonkers show that's so frenetic at times that it doesn't even really matter what the plot is. Accident permanently disfigured him, but every part of the show focused on environmentally conscious themes series X-Men... It also introduced Jessie Bannon, the show all-new picks 's get weird for minute... For Aladdin, which followed after the events of the feature film sequel the Return Jafar... Practically flawless in their execution mega-stardom, Hanna-Barbera decided to create a “ and... 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