The 100 Greatest Cartoons Of All Time (60-51)

Animation is a storytelling medium unlike any other. It isn’t restricted by budget or bound by logic. The only imitations are that of the imagination. A child didn’t understand that Speed Racer was animated on 3’s, saving time and paper but giving it an unnatural motion that’s been parodied dozens of times. They didn’t give a shit because the car was cool and there was a monkey in it. No kid cares why Bugs Bunny can talk or why the Simpsons are yellow. They’ll accept it because it’s animated. Cartoons have to ability to suck us in but also present a world that we’ll instantly accept. Nothing taps into the imagination like cartoons, Whether it’s old school like The Ruff and Reddy Show (Not on the list) or brand new like The Happy Fun Times of Bojack Horseman (That’s not the title), animation has been here since the beginning and it shows no signs of going anywhere. Here’s my list of The 100 Greatest Animated Shows Of All Time.

Previous Installments: 100-91, 90-81, 80-71, 70-61.

 

60. Spawn

One of, if not the only cartoon HBO ever produced, Spawn is one of the most faithful adaptations ever created. With apologies to Michael Jai White but Keith David was born to play Al Simmons. His unmistakable growl adds a level of depth no other actor could duplicate.

Spawn is about a Vietnam commando who’s betrayed and murdered by another commando and he swears revenge. He makes a pact with the leader of one of the circles of hell named Malebogia and he becomes one of the top soldiers in his army-The hellspawn or spawn for short. He’s able to see his wife again but it comes at a terrible price. It’s exactly like that classic story called the scorpion king with the rock. Except with less scorpions.

 

 

59. The Huckleberry Hound Show

“Oh my darling, oh my darling, oh my darling clementine…” The blue hound dog had a particular penchant for singing this little diddy and it’s impossible not to have it stuck in your head for days after watching an episode.

Like many shows of the time, The Huckleberry Hound Show was made up of multiple segments. The first two have become animated legends but the third has kind of been lost to time. Huckleberry hound was an immediate hit and Yogi Bear proved so popular, he got his own show. Hokey wolf was there too. 2 outta 3 ain’t bad.

 

 

58. Tiny Toon Adventures

There was a time, where all you needed to be successful, was to have Spielberg’s name slapped on your cartoon and bam, instant classic. Where have you gone Spielberg? Why have you forsaken us? We got shit like Catdog when you left. I hate Catdog. How does it take a shit? Is it like the human centipede? Answer me Spielberg! How does he shit!!??

Tiny Toon Adventures is about the descendants of the original Looney Tunes going to school to learn how to become the next generation of Tunes. Three things: 1. I probably watched the made for tv movie “How I spent my summer vacation” about 30 times when I was a kid. 2. Remember the spin off The Plucky Duck Show? Of course you don’t. 3. Animaniacs literally killed this show. They cancelled Tiny Toon Adventures in favor of Animaniacs. Coldblooded.

 

 

57. Pinky and the Brain

Speaking of Animaniacs (Seriously, I’m straight up murdering these segues), Pinky and the Brain started life as a segment on that show but the kids loved these rats so much, that they got their own show.

Pinky and the Brain follow two rodents on their quest “To take over the world.” Pinky is simple like Forrest Gump and the Brain is an Orson Welles sounding genius that really just wants to rule the world. He’s a simple mouse. Every episode is a parody of whatever movie just came out (A lot of these cartoons automatically date themselves with these crazy old references)

Oh and skip the second show Pinky, Elmyra and the Brain. It ain’t good.

Narf.

 

 

56. Courage the Cowardly Dog

Starting life in the What a Cartoon! Show pilot showcase (Seriously, no other show launched more cartoons. It’s insane how many cartoons got their start from What a Cartoon!), Courage was quickly picked up and audiences everywhere were treated to 4 seasons of the craziest shit Cartoon Network ever aired.

In the middle of nowhere live an elderly couple, the man’s name is Eustace and his wife’s name is Muriel. They also own a pink pug named Courage that Eustace takes extreme pleasure in scaring half to death. But Eustace isn’t the only thing trying to scare Courage, the show also involves monsters, aliens, sexy French ducks, zombies and demons. It was the closest thing we’ve ever gotten to an animated horror cartoon for kids and it’s incredible.

Oh and the pilot was nominated for an Oscar but lost to Wallace and Gromit.

 

 

55. Hey Arnold

There’s no many cartoons that deal with what it’s like to be a kid. Recess comes kind of close and I’ve always related to Doug but Hey Arnold captures adolescence almost better than any other show. It shows what it’s like to be a kid, albeit with exaggerated character models but the spirit of childhood is the same. Most children’s shows try and focus on the fantastical like Phineas and Ferb or unbelievable like Steven Universe and even though those shows are great, they’re escapism. They’re not meant to be realistic. Besides the fact that he has a football head, every thing about Hey Arnold is realistic. I knew those kids. I had those problems. I never had a pet potbelly pig though.

Nickelodeon recently announced that they’re bringing Arnold back and I couldn’t be happier. Younger generations need some Arnold in their lives.

Can it football head.

 

 

54. Rugrats

Building off of the “What are babies thinking bout?” Premise started by Muppet Babies, Rugrats took that premise and ran with it. Generating three films, three spin off’s and is still the second longest running Nickelodeon cartoon behind Spongebob, Rugrats was a monumental success.

Starring Tommy Pickles and his baby cohorts Chuckie, Phil and Lil and of course Angelica, the show followed the babies misunderstanding of basic everyday things. Because as Angelica loved to remind them “They’re stupid babies.” She might’ve been an asshole but she was right, they dumbass babies. The show stayed constantly great until the first film came out. Then they introduced Dil (As in pickle. Oh the wit) and the show slowly started to decline but the good far outweigh the bad and the Rugrats are still beloved by generations to this day.

 

 

53. Astro boy

I’ve already commented on American audiences being first introduced to anime with either Speed Racer or Sailor Moon but neither world exist if it wasn’t for Astro boy. 

Created in 1959 by the “Godfather of manga” and “Japanese Walt Disney” Osamu Tezuka, Astro boy is set in a futuristic utopia where man and robot co-exist. It focuses on the adventures of a little robot boy who was created by Dr. Tenma after his son died in a tragic car accident. The manga was crazy popular in Japan and they quickly made it into a television series. Running just shy of 200 episodes, Astro boy was and still is incredibly influential on all aspects of pop culture.

Fun fact: Osamu Tezuka was so beloved by the people of Japan that when he died, more people attended his funeral than that of the emperor.

 

 

52. The Tick

Ben Edlund is a genius. He singlehandedly created the best superhero parody of all time when he debuted the comic in the mid 80’s and then did it again when he made the cartoon ten years later. The Tick is one of those properties like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles that started off obscure but once it went mainstream, it’s never left the public conscience.

The Tick is about about a big blue superhero and his sidekick named Arthur who dresses like a moth and they’re attempts to save “The City” by the cavalcade of evil that constantly wants to destroy it. Like El Seed or Chairface Chippendale who, as you may have guessed, has a chair for a face. It’s hilarious and the 2003 live action tv show was equally as great but just like the cartoon, it was cancelled for too soon.

“You can’t strike a good deal with evil. No matter how much you haggle!”

“Spooooooooon”

“Evil is a foot!”

 

 

51. Doug

Let me make this abundantly clear: this entry is for the Nickelodeon version only. I’m not covering the abomination that is Disney Doug. Because there’s nothing worse than Disney Doug. Socks for Christmas? Disney Doug is worse. Coming home from school to find out your dog, who’s just a puppy, died suddenly? Disney Doug is worse. Finding out that your mom is having sex with that teacher you hate? Disney Doug is worse. It’s the holocaust of cartoons.

Nickelodeon Doug on the other hand is a charming show about a kid named Doug Funnie and his day to day activities. Which involve trying to muster up the courage to talk to his crush Patty Mayonnaise, hanging out with his buddy Mosquito Valentine or trying to avoid the neighborhood bully Roger.

It’s a great show about a great kid but seriously, stay away from Disney Doug.

 

 

  • DontBeMeanInternet

    I approve of this list.

  • 1. Batman: TAS
    2. Batman Beyond
    3. Justice League
    4. Justice League Unlimited
    Need to watch STAS and TMNT (sorry @cap_n_jack:disqus)

  • I don’t call it protesting. I call it “bugging Sailor and giving him a hard time” 😛

  • That’s what happens why you try to save money. Yet, they basically used the same crap character designs for JL and Beyond yet they look way better. Maybe they tweaked them to look better idk

  • I own BTAS volumes 1-3 on DVD. Refuse to pick up volume 4 because of how god awful the character designs became.

    But actually BTAS and Batman Beyond viewed together would make one hell of a Batman series.

  • sailor monsoon

    Terrible character designs
    Which is weird considering they knocked them out of the park the first time.
    They took like 5 steps backwards

  • Indianamcclain

    I’m one of the people that doesn’t consider it a different show. The same goes for The New Batman Adventures even though that changed the character designs for the worst imo.

  • sailor monsoon

    I love beyond but I’m more of a brave and the bold man myself.

  • sailor monsoon

    I agree.
    Like how Batman turned into the adventures of Batman and robin.
    Technically it’s a different show but nobody considers it a different show.
    I also lumped the legend of korra with avatar.
    I don’t consider them different shows

  • Indianamcclain

    Beyond is a fun show but it doesn’t come close to Batman: TAS, or Justice League for me. It’s more on the level of Superman: TAS.

  • Indianamcclain

    I love Courage The Cowardly Dog. It’s still one of the most unique cartoons I’ve ever seen. For anyone that’s never watched the show I highly recommend checking out an episode called “The Mask”. The show also had a great soundtrack, still keeping my fingers crossed that the score will be released one day.

    For some reason I never connected with Doug. I always found the show to be boring. Having said that, Killer Tofu is amazing.

  • Perhaps more money or toy deals? I consider them one show as well.

  • So JL and Batman: TAS because leaving out Batman would be absurd.

    No Beyond tho :/

  • Indianamcclain

    They’re the same show as far as I’m concerned. Not sure why they decided to rebrand seasons 3 & 4 into Justice League Unlimited.

  • Joshua Martyniouk

    Hey Arnold should be way higher!
    Other than that great list!

  • It’s called Dangerous Curves. It’s from season 20. Man I really do like some of the newer episodes don’t I.

  • I also enjoy the episode where the family goes to some cabins they were at when they were younger. It’s got flashbacks to when Bart and Lisa were toddlers

  • Cap_N_Jack

    Well watching season 1-8 in order is well worth doing whether you’ve seen them before or not. You’re bound to have missed something and they’re all great.

  • Only in reruns I mean. I haven’t actually watched every episode in order. Although every time I watch a rerun I always seem to have seen it so maybe I have seen a lot of prime Simpsons and just don’t realize it.

  • sailor monsoon

    I bought the first 10.
    The only 10

  • Cap_N_Jack

    Wait, you haven’t seen prime Simpsons?!?!

  • Understandable. I should really consider picking up the first 13 seasons to watch what people consider prime Simpsons

  • Cap_N_Jack

    I watched it. I paid the two dollars for it on Youtube and everything. It was…fine. I dunno, never real funny, occasionally sweet. I’d give it a solid B rating and it wouldn’t crack my top twenty (topped out, by the way, by ‘Maggie Makes Three’)

  • Nope the grownup Christmas one. Holidays of Future Passed.

  • sailor monsoon

    I’ll take your word for it.
    Unless it’s the alan moore comic book one, which was legitimately amazing

  • sailor monsoon

    Oh I’m a huge fan of kids cartoons that don’t talk down to children.
    I used to watch it with my sister when she was younger.
    Tomorrow I’m posting the almost made its, so you’ll get a taste of the wide net i tried to throw.

  • I’m impressed with your vast knowledge of cartoons.

    And I was joking about PB&J. Although “Sherlock otter looking around for clues, expert spotters they know just what to do” has been stuck in my mind since I was a kid.

  • sailor monsoon

    It’s one of the best written shows on tv.
    Full stop

  • sailor monsoon

    poppity is a great name

  • sailor monsoon

    Cute show for kids but was never in contention

  • “Holidays of Future Passed” which was originally written as a potential series finale. Hunt it down. In my eyes, the best Simpsons episode every created (of course I am bias towards the episodes where they age them up)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holidays_of_Future_Passed

  • What about PB&J Otter?

  • Cap_N_Jack

    I’ll believe it when I see it…i.e. never.

  • DontBeMeanInternet

    Are you kidding me? DryButSoupy is one of my favorite names!

  • DryButSoupy

    Clever screen names always seem to elude me, too.

  • Poppity

    He was super nice but yes, it was indeed very strange.
    I call myself Poppy here just because it fits my username. I guess I should have come up with some more clever! 🙂

  • sailor monsoon

    That’s so bizarre that he would call you Beavis

  • sailor monsoon

    Yogi was going to be by himself but decided to go with huckleberry.
    Best of both worlds

  • Poppity

    Nooooooo!!!!!! Anything (within a reasonable limit) other than Beavis!

  • sailor monsoon

    Daria has aged far better

  • sailor monsoon

    Beavis eh?
    Someone is getting a new nickname

  • Cap_N_Jack

    I still haven’t watched Daria but my love for Beavis and Butthead knows no bounds, fart-knocker.

  • Poppity

    Good to see Huckleberry Hound! I have a Yogi Bear compilation and Yogi episodes are mixed with Snagglepuss and Yakky Doodle. It would have been nice to put Huck in with them.

  • Poppity

    Beavis and Butthead, perhaps Daria too? Old School greatness!
    I had a former colleague some years ago that called me Beavis all the time for no reason whatsoever. Nice guy but it was really random.

  • One of the series best episodes is in season 21

  • Exactly. Animation is really subpar as well.

  • N. E. V. E. R.

  • sailor monsoon

    Those DC shows are tricky because they all bleed into each other

  • DontBeMeanInternet

    Anything for you, Cap.

  • Cap_N_Jack
  • Cap_N_Jack

    Unlike many here, I will not protest certain of my favorites not being included. I’m more interested in seeing what you find to be the best cartoons. And I think Unlimited and JL are different enough in plot and style to be considered separate cartoons but that’s partly because I think the second one is so wildly superior to the first.

  • Cap_N_Jack

    I mean, you could do it for me…

  • DontBeMeanInternet

    Lol because I’ve never watched it? Can’t list something I’ve never watched.

  • DontBeMeanInternet

    That’s what I would have done.

  • sailor monsoon

    Watch. Rick. And. Morty.

  • sailor monsoon

    Never
    I did love it as a kid though

  • sailor monsoon

    Justice league and justice league unlimited are merged in one spot and only two of those are on the list.
    Didn’t want redundancy

  • Cap_N_Jack

    I don’t get it at all. It’s not well written or well-plotted. It’s just a very typical kid-friendly superhero show.

  • Cap_N_Jack

    The lack of Turtles 2003 makes your list invalid.

  • DontBeMeanInternet

    Man, love reading these. One question:

    When will Samurai Pizza Cats come?

  • DontBeMeanInternet

    You can’t knock Rick and Morty until you’ve watched it and given it a fair chance, Sir.

  • DontBeMeanInternet

    1. Batman: TAS
    2. JLU
    3. Batman Beyond
    4. Justice League
    5. Superman: TAS

  • sailor monsoon

    I would have to watch seasons 16-85
    And that ain’t happening

  • A fan of the DCAU I see. Batman: TAS and Batman Beyond are my favorites of the era with JL right behind. I also couldn’t get into the series you listed. Specifically Spectacular SM. For some to call it the best animated SM show is absurd.

  • Man Sailor could almost do a list ranking the seasons of the Simpsons. Now that I’d love to see.

  • My disagreement comes when I see where Rick and Morty is placed and what beloved cartoons are below it. So far everything has got a pass. Okay Spider-Man TAS is pretty low. But when the real heavy hitters I love start appearing, than the Mutiny begins.

  • I was more referring to Catdog. I’m well aware there is a huge love for Hey Arnold. Isn’t there supposed to be a TV movie coming out soon?

  • Cap_N_Jack

    Also, this feature has been the highlight of my mornings. I’m looking forward to the inevitable inclusion of some of my favorites (King of the Hill, Home Movies, Beavis and Butthead, Bob’s Burgers, Simpsons (seasons 1-8), etc.)

  • Cap_N_Jack

    I’m more well-versed in superhero stuff and excited to see where a lot of my favorites land:

    1. Justice League Unlimited
    2. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003)
    3. Batman: TAS
    4. Teen Titans
    5. Batman Beyond
    6. Justice League
    7. Superman: TAS

    I know many will balk at the lack of Avengers: EMH, Spectacular Spider-Man, and Young Justice but those ones never managed to hook me.

  • Kemosabe

    Some might call it trash.

  • Manuel Orozco

    I figured

  • sailor monsoon

    Hey Arnold wouldn’t be on that list.
    Because it’s great

  • sailor monsoon

    Agreed
    Trash. Tis trash it was
    And you only disagree because you haven’t seen the whole list!
    There’s still a lot of gems left

  • Catdog was not good. I don’t agree a lot with Sailor on this list but excluding Catdog is one of them
    @sailormonsoon:disqus

  • Kemosabe

    Both the shows in this discussion are actually good though.

  • Duke enjoyed the classics and shows with stellar animation. Although he does remember watching Catdog and wondering wtf it was and hating it.

    Perhaps Sailor should do a top 10 worst animated shows that have a cult following or something.

  • Oh I did as a kid. Was not my cup of tea

  • sailor monsoon

    Watch hey Arnold

  • sailor monsoon

    Disney bought Doug.
    And then destroyed it

  • Manuel Orozco

    I grew up with Doug, Rugrats, Tiny Toons, Pinky and the Brain, Courage and Hey Arnold. But I just don’t understand why Doug would transfer from Nick to Disney! As for Astro Boy, I only saw the 2009 CGI movie and I loved it. A completely underrated blend of stunning animation, genuine heart and spectacular action!

  • Kemosabe

    You have got to be kidding me with Hey Arnold! That show is incredible in every way.

  • Man Rugrats so low. Loved that show as a kid. As for Hey Arnold!, character designs made me say “no thanks”

  • King Alvarez

    I’ve never seen the Spawn animated. I remember it being on, just never watched it. Might have to look it up. Loved Tiny Toons.

  • Big Doug fan.
    Id love to rewatch Spawn – I was too young to understand the overall meaning of it