The years of my childhood still linger in my mind even as an adult, since then I've moved on to bigger and better things, but not matter what I nor anyone can do is forget about the fun times we experienced growing up(and the bad times) and one of those happens to be the cartoons we watched while growing up. Now the 1980s had some incredible cartoons which may have set the tone for saturday morning greatness, but the 90's also had a few cartoons to offer that left some fond memories that stay with no matter how old and crusty you get. So here is the list of my favorite cartoons from that decade:
#10 Bucky 'O Hare and the Toad Wars
What do you get when you have a rabbit, a psychic cat, a four armed duck, a boy genius, and and melo-dramatic robot, well you get an awesome space opera cartoon known as Bucky O'Hare. This short lived cartoon series lasted only 13 episodes but despite it's demise, it spawned popularity like you wouldn't believe. Never heard of it? Well that's not too surprising because the popularity lasted a couple of years, eventually fading in obscurity thanks to the damn power rangers, X:(...but while it's short run, it basically told the story of Bucky and his crew fighting off the evil hordes of the Toad empire in space called the aniverse(animal universe). In a Star Wars esque style of story telling, Bucky constantly becomes a thorn in the side of the Air Marshall the leader of the Toad fleet using guerrilla warfare tactics. With no help from the inept bureaucratic council of mammals, Bucky it goes alone along with a young human boy Willy that was transported to Bucky's dimension via photon accelerator(which was built by him) as they take on the forces of evil!! Despite it's short run it managed to live on by getting a well made but difficult NES game as well as an arcade game that continued the stories from the cartoon which were both developed by Konami.
But more importantly it was remembered for it's sensationable catchy theme song!
Ah, now here's another show that had a great theme song as well, but more importantly a great cartoon that not very many people seem to talk about. Like Bucky, this cartoon fell into obscurity mainly due to the fact that it was overshadowed by the legacy of Ducktales, but that didn't stop me from watching it. This cartoon tells the story of Baloo the bear, that's right from The Jungle Book, and in this cartoon he is portrayed as a pilot for hire or "higher for hire". The setting seems to take place in the 1930s to give it more of a "romantic raiders of the lost ark feel." Baloo and his navigator Kit Cloudkicker(trying saying that five times fast) take jobs from clients that are willing to pay them money for their services. In the beginning, Baloo has his own company but becomes bought out by the new owner and later friend Rebecca due to overdue bills. The re-occuring villains tend to be Don Karnage leader of the dreaded air pirates, and the Thembrians, representing a Nazi-Communist like regime. And of course the tiger Shere Khan, also from the Jungle Book who plays a cruel business tycoon. The show lasted 65 episodes and the first four episodes were also a two hour special before being converted into actual episodes. For it's time it was a landmark in entertainment and even being nominated for an Emmy award in 1990. Fun, high flying, and always good for laughs Talespin definitely deserves the number 9 spot on this list.
#8 The Ren and Stimpy show
Well what I can say? I'm sucker for toliet, surreal humor, and make no mistake not only does this great show make use of said scat-bizzare humor, it lives, breathes, walks and straight up runs this concept into the ground and still manages to stay fresh after all these years. Ren and Stimpy stars a chihuahua named Ren and a (insert breed of cat here) cat named Stimpy. Their story was uhh...well, depending on what the writers were smoking that day(and I know they were) anything from dancing to records about being "happy and joy-joy", to exploring space or escaping rabid infested baboons. To tell you the truth there was no real plot or continuity so basically the duo just made shit up as they went along. And we loved it!! The show was an instant hit, it was different then what we were used to at that time. All cartoons in the late 80's were reruns of previous cartoons so when ren ans stimpy came along is was a breath of fresh air, but even though it was a new sensation that didn't stop it from being controversial with angry parents calling about the crudeness of the show, but seeing how some shows nowadays are compared to ren and stimpy, this is relatively tame where the worst of the show is hairballs and farting, but it just made us watch even more and that's why it takes number 8.
here's some insanity
here's some wackiness
I don't really need to go into detail about this series because ever since the movies came out I think everybody pretty much knows about spider-man, they know about mary jane, they know about Dr. Octopus, they know Peter Parker's life story. In this series it's just told in a little different way.The thing is though is that they nearly included every single villain that spiderman encountered in the comics. I didn't read the comics that much when I was younger so I'm no expert, but I am an expert on this show and I can say it's what started the idea to make this series into a live action movie, or so I believe. Either way, this cartoon had the amazing spiderman swing his way into our living rooms every saturday morning!
#6 Goof Troop
Another great underated show of the 90's, this time it stars Goofy in a contemporary setting where he plays a widowed father to his only son Maxx, while avoiding schemes created by his next door neighbor Pete. The story focuses mostly on Goofy and Pete, but at the same time includes his son along with Pete's son P.J., as they go on adventures like camping, getting chased by a yetti, getting lost in the city and getting freaked out by a deranged alley cat(yes that was in an episode). This was near the last of the Disney afternoon series and it although it was on it's last leg this show managed to keep the segment afloat and this show stayed popular enough to spawn a movie(which was good and successful) and a sequel,which wasn't successful at all...and terrible. However this show wasn't terrible, it was hilarious, fun and actually had style. Seriously, this showed screamed 90's attitude, well the theme song did. I guess it was a gimmick to make Goofy look more hip, well he still didn't but his son took care of that part. Just listen to the theme song and tell me it doesn't sound like 90's house music.
#5 Courage the Cowardly dog
Remember when I said that I like surealism? Well this show almost made me afraid and dirty to even actually like it because this show was nothing but Surreal I mean it. This story stars a dog by the name of Courage who is looked after by an elderly couple that live in the middle of nowhere(probably Kansas) and I mean nowhere, like a barren dust bowl world. While courage seems to found a loving home in the arms of the old woman Muriel, he is detested by the old man Eustace who torments him to no end by scaring the living crap of him by putting on a green frightining mask and always berating him with verbal abuse "Stupid dog" is his favorite. While dodging nasty remarks from Eustace he finds himself battling aliens, zombies, deranged cats and vampire salesmen that'll make Van Helsing piss his pants. While being afraid of mudane things(i.e the mask) he seems to overcome even more sacrier looking threats with sometimes ease or difficutly(mostly difficult). Instead of possessing strength and ninja skills he simply uses his brain or by playing games with the villain or referring to his computer to look up info. on the monster, where his computer even gives him a hard time by saying sarcastic things or by pretending to crash, ~sigh~ as if courage didn't have enough problems. But by the end of the show he usually keeps Muriel, eustace and himself safe and the monsters end up leaving...until another episode. For courage it's just another day in Nowhere.
#4 Batman-The Animated Series
Need I say more, no I didn't think so. This video will explain all. :P Oh all right, Gotham CIty is under siege by forces of evil and the people look to someone who change and save the city that is plagued by utter scum. Yes the dark knight, watch as he battles the Joker (and Harley), the penguin, riddler, Harvey "Two Face" Dent, Mr. Freeze and all sorts of crazy madmen bent on destroying and ruiling Gotham, sheesh, ya think they would of tried going for the world, but I guess that was too hard.
#3 Sonic the Hedgehog(Satam)
Back in the early 90's, there was a certain blue dude wit da 'tude that made his debut on the overhyped sega console the Sega Mega Drive or the Sega Genesis. Despite the idiocy of the marketing, one thing was certain, this little hedgehog was the talk of the town as the game became a major hit! As with Mario and Zelda, a cartoon seemed ineviatble, but what wasn't expected is to how great this cartoon actually turned out to be! And it did. Sonic the Hedgehog was an epic story told from beggning to end...even though it didn't end. Sadly this tale of epic proportions lasted two seasons and left the end wide open and to this day there is a huge demand by the fans(me included) that it be released. For those unfamilar, this story tells the tale of Sonic the leader of a group of freedom fighters who try to overthrow a ruthless dictator named Dr. Ivo "eggman" Robotnik, that has taken their homeworld from them as the fighters try win back their land and bring peace to the planet of Mobius. Robotnik's schtick was capture all the woodland critters of Mobius and "robotize" them into his slaves. In other words he turns them into freaking robots! All in all this was a great cartoon series and maybe one day us fans hope to see the conclusion of this great saga.
The Animaniacs were the epitome of comedy, right when Disney was gaining ground in the afternoon block, Warner Bros. came out with their own cartoon orignals, and one of them happened to be Animaniacs. The premise is the story of the Yakko and Wakko and their sister Dot who just run around the Warner Bros. studio lot and caused mayhem while spouting catcthphrases like "Hello Nurse!" and "Good night everyone!" whilst getting away with double entredre jokes that children missed but adults caught. You can pretty much get away with anything if you're subtle I guess! I'll never forget the "finger prints" joke HA! Besides these three dog characters, there were also other characters that had their segements in conjunction with the warner brothers( and sister), like Chicken Boo, Slappy the squirrel, and the infamous Pinky and the Brain. The tv shows were mostly segmented, in which the cartoons lasted 5-10 minutes. On rare occasions you would see a whole half hour show containing just the three main characters, but like I said it was rare. Animany, totally insaney, this show had you thinking here's a show that's zaney!
#1 Tiny Toons Adventures
You probably wondering why I put this show first, right? Well it's simple, Tiny Toons started the whole after school trend for the Warner Bros. side and for me I chose this cartoon mainly because it was more personal to me. I was there at the beggning and didn't get into Animaniacs until later on, I was stuck on this show and wasn't going to leave it for anything. Tiny Toons started the whole new craze for putting looney tunes style in contemporary setting and Animaniacs took the same concept and made it even better, but Tiny Toons gets points for featuring the original Loony Toons as well. It was awesome to see the Loony Toons do something different for a change instead of seeing the same old stuff you saw back in the 50's, and what could be better than teaching a new generation of toons. I mean both shows presented kick ass humor with memorable characters and memorable scenes. But for me this is the reason why I kept watching more and more cartoons as I grew up in the 90's. They're tiny, they're toony, they're all the little loony!
And that is all she wrote, hope you enjoyed the trip down memory lane!
Also don't forget to comment. Thanks!
mts1098 on June 01, 2012:
Boy cartoons certainly have changed since Felix the Cat, Speedracer and Underdog...interesting list though...my favorite of the 90's goes to Beastwars...cheers
Adam on November 01, 2010:
Yeah, it's too bad. I think cartoons aren't what they used to be as well as other entertainment.
I think you made an entertaining article and I agree with a lot of your picks. I remember the Tailspins theme too; it was really catchy. AS for Ren and Stimpy, that was definitely a surreal and unique cartoon.
Anyway, thanks for the list. I'm sorry almost no one seems to have commented on your hubs. Also read the Silent Hill one- Silent Hill's a great story. Take care.
RobGems.ca on October 10, 2010:
John Kricfalusi wasn't smoking anything when he dreamed up "Ren & stimpy". Maybe his staff was, but Mr. Kricfalusi had a Strong (And Stubborn) agenda with him since trekking to the American animation studios from his hometown in Canada in 1979. He wanted to change the (in his frame of mind) Sad state of animation from what it was for a whole decade since they were toned down by a certain Mrs. Peggy Charren for being too violent. He struggled for a long time, until 1986 when he & Ralph Bakshi Developed The "New Adventures Of Mighty Mouse" Show & set a new trend in free-wheeling Animation aimed for adults as well as kids. He finally Succeded with Ren & Stimpy in 1991, but the Victory was short-lived. Censors &TV Executives at Nickelodeon were absolutely terrified of his Questionable (to them) Approaches of humor, & Had him fired on the spot. Disgruntled, but not defeated, Mr. Kricfalusi has gone onto more success with Other Developments, such as his Archie Bunker-like George Liquor & Jimmy The Idiot Boy On the web-site, in commercials (popular in Europe & Japan), & even comic books (Deals with Marvel, then Dark Horse Comics were poular in1994-1996).however, he Claims in blogs that he hates "Animaniacs" & :Tiny Toon Adventures". These are both Steven Speilberg productions, & He's longed to claim he Loathes Mr. Speilberg;He always considerd him a lousy cartoonist; "Animaniacs'" To me is now memorable For a sultry Toon That eventually was pulled off the air for awhile, then Re-instated As A less-threatening Persona: Minerva Mink, A Contribution by writer Paul Dini;"Goof Troop" Had The sexy mother Peg, Also Known as Pete as "the Pegster", who always kept Pete in line whenever he got out-of control,especially at the Goofs.She Disapointingly Did not appear in the two movies, though;Supposidly,there might have been a "divorce" Not mentioned in the 2nd movie from 2001 between Pete & Peg; Pete was raising PJ alone as a Single Father at this point. The 1st movie's most memorable character was the lovely Roxxanne; The 2nd film,while not as successful, had Beret Girl & Sylvia, an attempt to give Goofy A Girlfriend. Both characters were better Than the Movie as a whole.
Glimmer515 from Never Never Land on May 06, 2010:
Tiny toons!!!! Woohoo!! I watched the video and I still remember every word to that theme song! great show and great hub