In the 90’s, whenever a company wanted to rebrand their image, they would simply slap the word “extreme” (usually spelled x-treme) somewhere on the cover and boom, instant success. Consider this the X-treme rebranding of a list you’ve already read but now 73% slightly different. The more observant amongst you will tell that the order is shuffled around a bit. Don’t be alarmed, you’re not going crazy. It is, in fact, “shuffled around a bit.” But that’s not all! I’ve also cut some of the chaff and added some cartoons that almost made the cut originally. Oh and now it’s all on one page for a more streamlined experience.
Here’s my list of The 100 Greatest Animated Shows Of All Time: X-treme Edition
100. What a Cartoon! Show
Just like Liquid Television and to a lesser extent Kablam!, What a Cartoon Show! served as a launch pad for numerous other shows and the results were staggering. Because of this show, we got: The Powerpuff Girls, Dexter’s Laboratory, Johnny Bravo, Courage the Cowardly Dog, Sheep in the Big City, Codename: Kids next Door, Cow and Chicken, Mike, Lu and Og, Whatever Happened to Robot Jones?, Grim and Evil, Megas XLR and showed the precursor to what will eventually become Family Guy.
No other show has contributed this much comedy outside of Saturday Night Live.
99. Danger mouse
Like Underdog, Danger mouse is a cartoon parody but instead of superheroes, it’s lampooning spy films instead, like James Bond and the Danger Man series. But unlike Underdog, Danger mouse is a badass who speaks 34 languages and has an eye patch. The show is about Danger mouse and his partner, Penfold and their attempts to foil whatever treachery their nemesis Baron Greenback has concocted. It ran for 10 seasons and Netflix even rebooted it a couple years back but you can skip that one. Oh and it also created a spin-off called Count Duckula, which is about a Dracula duck. It’s also awesome.
98. The Twisted World of Felix the Cat
Originally created in the beginning of the 20’s, Felix the Cat was a huge star of the silent era but with the advent of the talkies, which coincidentally brought with it a certain cartoon mouse, Felix’s popularity was beginning to wane.
There was multiple attempts to resurrect the animated cat beginning in the late 30’s, in the 50’s and more famously in the 80’s. Each attempt was moderately successful and the 90’s one is no different, but where they differ is the style.
All the other versions were simple cartoons about a rambunctious cat who owned a magic bag but the Twisted World of Felix the Cat was anything but simple.
It’s pure, uncut anarchy. Cranking the original silent film sensibilities all the way up to 11, this adaptation is what happens when you put Ralph Bakshi, Hieronymus Bosch and Mark Ryden in a room together and make them collaborate on a cartoon. It’s insanity.
97. Schoolhouse Rock!
Remember the days (usually Mondays) when your teacher would be nursing such a terrible hang over, that he’d wheel in a TV to act as a substitute teacher? If you were lucky, you’d get to learn all about why amendments are made to the constitution and how bills are passed by the incredibly entertaining glorified teachers aid that was Schoolhouse Rock!
Playing on and off for over 30 years, Schoolhouse Rock! taught three generations of children the fundamental building blocks of education with the power of catchy ass music. The music was so good, the lyrics to at least four of the songs are still in your head.
96. Dungeons and Dragons
Whenever there’s a story where a kid or a group of kids get sucked into a book or a game and have to complete a certain challenge or retrieve some Macguffin in order to get home, they’re ripping off Dungeons and Dragons.
Taking the basic premise of the board game while copy and pasting the Land of the Lost’s theme song as the inciting incident, the show is about six friends who go to a local amusement park to ride the new Dungeons and Dragons ride but because of unclear plot magic, they’re sucked into the game world.
But this ain’t your pappy’s Dungeons and Dragons. There’s blood, violence and murder. People die and spoiler alert for a show that’s older than you and that you’ll never watch: they never make it home. The final episode that was going to wrap everything up was written but never made. So those kids are stuck in that world forever. So it’s Jumanji, if Robin Williams never got out. Which is the most depressing thing I can think of.
95. Shaun the Sheep
Based on the incredibly popular stop motion shorts of Wallace and Gromit, (which, if they counted, would be extremely high on the list) Shaun the Sheep is about a bored as fuck sheep trying to kill the monotony of his life by creating as much harmless chaos and good natured shenanigans as possible without getting caught by either the farmer or his dog.
It’s a delightful children’s program that’s filled with that patented Aardman charm and as you know, Aardman charm is the most charming thing in the world.
94. Frisky Dingo
Hey you. Guy* with the face. You like Archer? Of course you do. It’s hilarious. Well before Archer, Matt Thompson and Adam Reed created another show and that show is the show we’re talking about right now. Whiskey Tango. No. That’s not right. Frisky Dingo. What’s Frisky Tango you ask? Well buddy, you came to the right place.
Slappy Frisco is about a billionaire named Xander Crews and his Xticles and an alien named Murderface and his down syndrome son who might just be British and not down syndrome and ant farm keyboards.
Something like that.
*Or Gals. Sailor don’t discriminate baby.
93. Sailor Moon
Debuting in 1992, this Japanese cartoon was many North Americans first introduction to the insane world that is anime. The series follows Usagi, a middle school (middle school! I, Umm, let’s just say I thought she was a high schooler…), student who’s gifted with the ability to turn into a crime fighting heroine named Sailor Moon. She’s eventually joined by other Sailor Scouts (Sailor Mars used to be my favorite, not anymore…), to defend the planet against demons and shit. Oh and there’s a talking cat. It’s a essentially the female equivalent of Dragon Ball Z. And no, I did not get my name from this show. Stop asking.
92. Wacky Races
Kids today have billion dollar movies starring bald actors driving fast and furious to keep them entertained but back in the day, we had Wacky Races. The plot? Just like the Fast and Furious films, there is no plot. Just a group of racers driving fast, each more wacky than the last. You had:
Dick Dastardly and Muttley–The mustache twirlin’ villain and his snickering dog
Penelope Pitstop–The wouldn’t be damsel in distress, this female driver is a force to be reckoned with in her compact pussycat
The Gruesome Twosome–These two Adams Family inspired ghouls drive the Creeping Coupe
The Slag Brothers–Inspired by Captain Caveman? Or maybe the other way round, these two drive the Boulder Mobile
The Ant hill Mob–Gangsters driving around in a bomb
And many more. Each car had a gimmick and each character had personality. Eat your heart out Speed Racer.
In the early 90’s, MTV launched Liquid Television (more on that later), which I guess proved popular enough that Nickelodeon wanted a piece of the action. Which is why they reconfigured the premise to be more kid friendly and Kablam! was born. A cartoon sketch show hosted by Henry and June, some of the segments include: Prometheus and Bob, Skizz and Fondue, Action League Now! And Life with Loopy. It was a grab bag of different animations and comedy styles. It was the most 90’s show ever and I miss it immensely.
90. Harvey Birbman: Attorney at Law
In 94, long before there was an Adult Swim, Mike Lazzo decided to raid the Hanna-Barbera vault for an obscure character to use and decided on the Superman inspired Space Ghost. He naturally decided the best use of the 70’s relic was hosting a late night talk show. It was an odd gamble but it paid off. Space Ghost-Coast to Coast was one of the longest running shows on Cartoon Network.
After the network created Adult Swim, Lazzo once again decided “Hey, that really ridiculous idea I had like 5 years ago, with the old cartoon characters that no one’s ever heard of being brought together in a contemporary setting? How bout we do that with that bird fellow as a lawyer? How’s that sound? Rhetorical question, make it happen.”
And in the year 2000, the world was graced with the greatest lawyer (animated, that is) television screens have ever seen. Lasting 4 hilarious seasons and including almost every character that was ever made by Hanna-Barbera, Harvey Birdman-Attorney at Law was and still is, one of the funniest shows on Adult Swim.
Habeas Corpus motherfuckers.
Imagine a world who’s entire financial structure is linked to the selling of your favorite rock band. The heavy metal band Dethklok is so successful, they’re the 7th largest economy on earth. If they endorse a product, that products competitors are driven out of business.
They have their own money, their own army and even have the attention of a shadowy Illuminati type organization. They’re literally the Vatican but without the silly hats and way more metal.
The show follows the five members causing as much wanton destruction and chaos as they can manage. They run afoul of hit men, crazy fans and coked up insane clowns.
Oh and they rock. They rock so fucking hard, that they’re a band in real life. They awesomeness couldn’t be contained to a cartoon. I saw them open for Mastodon and it’s still one of the best concerts I’ve ever seen. Did Josie and the Pussycats ever shred some ass in real life? I didn’t think so.
88. Alvin and the Chipmunks
Fun fact: Did you know that when Jim Davis created Garfield, he was never interested in building a funny character but instead, coming up with a calculated attempt at creating a marketable character. He filled the character with self loathing, apathy and laziness and repeated the punchline ad nauseam till you remembered what Garfield is but nothing funny he ever does.
It was a system to generate fat stacks of cash and it worked like gangbusters. But let’s just pretend he didn’t create the character solely to sell out (He did) and let’s look at the one consistent “funny” thing Garfield does: fuck with Jon.
Pets fucking with their owners is a comedy staple and Davis probably lifted it straight from the source-Alvin and the Chipmunks.
Starting as novelty albums back in the late 50’s, the Chipmunks quickly exploded in popularity thanks to their “catchy” Christmas “songs.” The world couldn’t get enough of the singing rodents and then about 30 years later, we got a cartoon.
And then 30 years later, it ended up on this list.
What do you get when you combine the minds behind Batman the animated series with the genius who directed 1941, Lincoln and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull?
You get the greatest superhero spoof of all time. (That is till we get to The Tick)
Freakazoid! starts off like any other superhero origin: a mild mannered teen gets into a freak accident and now every time he utters the phrase “Freak Out” he turns into the nigh invincible Freakazoid. Imagine Shazam but on acid and you get the point.
The show had all of the Spielberg charm but ten times the laughs. Crazier than Animaniacs and funnier than Schindler’s List, It’s the perfect amalgamation of everything that makes Spielberg great.
Before the Power Rangers assembled to defend the universe (and a little after Battle of the Planets, which missed the list by *this* much), Voltron defended it first. And cooler. It defended it way fucking cooler.
Created in 1984, Voltron, like all anime at the time, was a mish mash of different cartoons frankensteined together with a new plot and a dub added to appeal to American audiences. They did it with Robotech, Gundam Wing and probably a dozen others. It sounds like it should be a disaster but it worked. Kids fucking loved it. It was the highest rated children’s show for the 2 years it was on the air.
The plot is about 5 teenage pilots all controlling robotic Panthers and when the inevitable 3rd act shit goes down, they form the ass destroying mega robot, Voltron. It was awesome.
Hey Hollywood, don’t fucking touch it.
85. The Woody Woodpecker Show
Like Bugs Bunny and Mickey Mouse before him, Woody Woodpecker started his life in theatrical shorts dating all the way back to the 40’s. In fact, he was huge with soldiers in WW2. They would paint him on their bombers or even their helmets. There was something about his mischievous behavior that really clicked with them that I can definitely see.
Bugs was a trouble maker but he was too kid friendly and nobody thinks Mickey is tough. Woody though, he’s right in the middle. Stanely Kubrick loved him so much, he wanted to put him in every one of his films and David Lynch has four stuffed Woodpeckers that he refers to as family. There’s something about that bird that connects to people.
Or maybe they all love the word pecker? Who knows.
84. Bravest Warriors
Is this cartoon on the list because of my insane love for Adventure Time? Maybe. Is this cartoon on the list because it’s side splitting hilarious? Possibly. Is this cartoon on the list solely on the adorableness of Catbug? Definitely.
Created as a web series in the mid 00’s by Adventure Time creator Pendleton Ward, Bravest Warriors is set in the far future where a group of teenagers use weaponized emotions to save the galaxy and catbug. Catbug.
Catbug. Look at him. He’s the definition of adorable. I’m not afraid of throwing around hyperbole and superlatives, so I’m just going to come out and say it: Catbug is the greatest creation of the 21st century. The world would be an infinitely better place if we were all like Catbug. Be like Catbug.
83. Jem and the Holograms
Cartoons are usually a boys only affair. We have tons of shows specifically catered to us. There’s M.A.S.K for the kid who loves trucks, G.J Joe for the action obsessed and Thundercats for the ones who knew they’d eventually grow up to be furries. There’s something for everyone. But when you’re a girl, the options are incredibly low.
You can root for Velma to eventually solve the mystery, jam out with and then watch the Pussycats solve a mystery (Hanna-Barbera had a serious obsession with crime solving) or watch Gargamel kidnap Smurfette again. Or if you were really cool, you’d hang out with Jem and her Holograms.
Jem is excitement!
Jem is adventure!
Glamour and glitter,
Fashion and fame!
Jem is truly outrageous
Truly, truly, truly outrageous
Woo ooo Jem…
the music’s contagious (outrageous)
Jem is my name
No one else is the same
Jem is my name
But we’re the misfits
Our songs are bitter
We are the misfits (the misfits)
and we’re gunna get her
But we’re the misfits
Our songs are bitter
We are the misfits (the misfits)
and we’re gunna get her
The music’s contagious (outrageous)
Jem is my name
No one else is the same
Jem is my name
Jem was truly, truly outrageous. And if you’re not singing along to those lyrics, get the fuck outta here.
82. The Maxx
There was a time, a long, long time ago, when MTV was cool. I mean the coolest place in the fucking world. Not only did they play, you know, music but they had some of the most surreal, interesting content out there. There was Aeon Flux and The Head and obviously Beavis and Butt-head but the most thought provoking of the bunch was The Maxx.
The Maxx was based on a fairly obscure comic by Sam Keith about a homeless man who may or may not be traveling back and forth to an intergalactic planet where he and his queen rule.
Is it real? Is he really the key to peace on “the jungle” or is he just another paranoid schizophrenic? The show dealt with heavy themes of homelessness in America and mental illness along with substance abuse and prostitution.
Unfortunately, MTV pulled the plug after the first season but man, what a hell of a season.
81. Paranoia Agent
Hayao Miyazaki is the unquestionable king of anime. No one sits higher on the throne than him but there have been contenders. Mamoru Hosoda and Makoto Shinkai have put up a legitimate fight lately with masterpieces like The Boy and the Beast and Your Name respectfully but it’s Satoshi Kon that’s come the closest.
He only made four films with his short time on this earth but when those four films are Perfect Blue, Millennium Actress, Tokyo Godfather and Paprika, the man clearly had the goods. Each film was perfect and was somehow better than the last. He left an enormous footprint in the world of cinema but that’s not all he did.
He also made a little show called Paranoia Agent.
A darkly, subversive thriller about a kid killing people with a broken aluminum baseball bat. But it’s about much more than that.
Satoshi Kon will never be forgotten in the world of anime film but his work in television should also be revered.
It’s a masterpiece.
80. Fat Albert and the Cosby kids
“Hey Hey Hey…It’s Faaaat Albert!” Based on the stand up routines of comedian Bill Cosby (who also produced and voiced the main character), Fat Albert was first and foremost a comedy but it occasionally dealt with serious issues such as racism, homelessness, stealing, substance abuse and child abuse.
Look, Bill Cosby is a piece of shit. I’m not going to defend him as a person but he did create an amazing cartoon that was far ahead of it’s time. Just don’t judge the cartoon based on who the creator is because seriously, fuck that guy.
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.
78. Chip and Dale: Rescue Rangers
Chip and Dale have always been fairly obscure Disney characters. They weren’t the household names like Mickey and Donald but they were cute and had their fans.
And then someone had the brilliant idea to take them and dress them up like Indiana Jones and Magnum P.I and then make them detectives. Fucking genius.
Joining them in their detective agency is the cheese obsessed Monterey Jack and the oddly attractive Gadget. (Yes. I had a crush on a cartoon mouse. Don’t judge me) Oh and there was a fly for some reason. Gotta sell them fly toys I guess.
My only gripe with the show would be the villains. They’re lackluster compared to Tailspin and Darkwing Duck. Fat Cat isn’t exactly memorable next to heavyweights like Nega duck and Shere Khan but they’re not bad enough to ruin the enjoyment.
Foxglove 4 lyfe.
77. He-Man and the Masters of the universe
The cynic in me would call this cartoon nothing more than a glorified toy commercial but when the toys were as badass as He-man and his buddies, that’s not exactly an insult. I mean who didn’t have the castle greyskull playset growing up?
Anywho, He-man is about the power struggle between the monarchy and the would be zombie usurper for the fictional land of Eternia. Prince Adam is caught in the middle and every time he yelled out “By the power of greyskull” he would magically transform into the almighty He-man.
On his quest to vanquish evil, he’s joined by an annoying flying wizard and a man that has arms and probably a couple of other toys i’m forgetting and they make up the Masters of the universe.
It’s a toy commercial.
76. Dr. Katz Professional Therapist
At first glance, you’d be forgiven to pass this gem up. It was animated in Squigglevision, which made everything shake harder than Michael J. Fox after being locked in a meat locker for 5 hours. It’s an extremely crude animation style but it was chosen because it was extremely inexpensive to use and they wanted to spend the money animating stand up routines and not the animation itself.
So it’s a trade off really. On one hand, you get ugly as sin animation but on the other hand, you get the funniest routines from the best comedians working at the time. From Dave Chappelle, Mitch Hedberg, Ray Romano and the list goes on and on.
It’s a murderers’ row of comedy and more importantly, it’s the first taste the world will get of the comedic legend that is H. Jon Benjamin.
75. Darkwing Duck
Before I dive into everybody’s favorite protector of St. Canard, pull up a seat and let me talk at’cha for a minute. How amazing would it be if the sequel to Zootopia finally connected all of your favorite Disney cartoons? They could literally combine DuckTales, Tailspin and Darkwing Duck all in the same universe. How incredible would that be?
Ok, back to the main mallard. Darkwing Duck was Disney’s first animated parody and it worked because you could tell the creators had a deep love and respect for the genre. They made references to golden age comics such as The Shadow, The Sandman and obviously Batman. It was a brilliant love letter to the genre and it still has some of the most inventive and creative villains to grace the screen.
I mean who doesn’t love Megavolt and Quackerjack? They’re amazing.
74. Speed Racer
I’m really tempted to just copy and paste the theme song lyrics like I did for Jem and the Holograms but you can only get away with a shameless gimmick like that once. But goddamn am I tempted.
If you were to make a list of the greatest cars in all of fiction, the Mach 5 would have to tie with the batmobile for number 1. It’s that’s fucking awesome. If this was a live action show, it would do for the car genre what Knight Rider and Dukes of Hazard did. It would be easily as influential but instead, the younger generation got the first taste of anime.
Even though they had no idea at the time. They just the animation was a but stunted and the voice acting was a bit wonky but no kid watching this at the time would’ve complained or even realized it wasn’t American. All they cared about was that rad ass car beating every son of a bitch on that track. And it did. Because when the odds are against him and there’s dangerous work, you bet your life Speed Racer will see it through.
Go Speed Racer
Go Speed Racer
Go Speed Racer Gooooooooooo
73. Clone High
From the brilliant wunderkinds that brought you 21 and 22 Jump Street, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and The Lego Movie, Clone High was a one season comedy that instantly became a cult hit among fans.
The show is about a high school that consists of nothing but the clones of famous historical figures like Cleopatra (Now a cheerleader), Joan of Arc (Now a goth), Gandhi (Now a party animal), JFK (Another party monster), and Abraham Lincoln (The main character who is in love Joan).
The show was unfortunately cancelled over complaints of the shows depiction of Gandhi. MTV needed those India numbers apparently. If you’re a fan of Lord and Miller’s distinct brand of comedy or 80’s high school comedies (Not only does Teen Wolf cameo in every episode, Michael J. Fox himself voices Gandhi’s liver), Clone High might be your new favorite show.
72. Jonny Quest
In the days between Disney and Warner Bros controlling the airwaves with Mickey and Bugs cartoons, I was always the rebel who went with Hanna and his main bro Barbera. They taught me the real lessons of the street.
You want to learn out to steal? Boom. Yogi Bear and Top Cat got you.
You want to learn how to solve mysteries like a private dick? Quadruple Wham. Josie and the Pussycats, Jabberjaw, Speed Buggy, Fangface, Scooby-Doo, and the funky phantom have so many episodes, it’s a legally accredited course on sleuthing.
Wanna kick ass like a ninja? Pow Zap Kapow. They got Hong Kong Phooey and Frankenstein Jr to show your flabby ass the moves.
What I’m trying to say is, Hanna-Barbera taught me how to live on the streets after my mother and me got evicted because my pops went out for smokes one day and I guess got lost because I haven’t seen him since. Where are you pappy? Your boy misses you. It’s been 20 years.
Oh and Jonny Quest is great.
71. Regular Show
Every generation has that cartoon made specifically for them and about them. Regular Show is the cartoon for the “Millennial” (that term gets thrown around so much, it doesn’t even mean the same thing anymore), and it’s a vast departure from the cartoons that were aimed at me when I was younger.
The main characters are still lay about bums like Beavis and Butt-head but unlike almost every other show about teenagers, these two have jobs. They have lives. They go on dates and get into relationships. It’s still as silly as anything can be that has a yeti and high five ghost as supporting characters but after awhile, the silly fades to the background and your left with a real portrait of friendship and that transcends generations.
Based on a comic of the same name, Duckman is coincidentally, (or maybe it’s not. Maybe I’m a segue fucking master) another cartoon about a private investigator but the two couldn’t be further apart if they tried.
One is G rated romp for the entire family and the other is about a foul mouthed, sex addicted private dick (emphasis on the dick) that’s terrible at his job. The only reason he gets any work is because of his partner, who’s the real brains behind the operation. Cornfed pig is a Joe Friday talkin’, just the facts type operator that gets results. Duckman is his polar opposite. But together, they get results.
But the show is barely about detective work, it’s mostly a family comedy about Duckman’s home life and it’s hilarious. The show used to be part of USA’s up all night Saturday morning block and let me just say, man. I fucking miss USA up all night. Memories.
69. Star Wars: The Clone Wars
Star Wars was inevitably going to make the cut but since I chose to only do one per franchise, the question was, which one do I pick? Clone Wars or Rebels? After weighing the pros and cons of both, I decided the logical answer was neither.
I clearly went with the Genndy Tartakovsy version, which blows the other two completely out of the water. There’s not many good things about the prequel trilogy but one positive is that it gave us this cartoon.
Originally airing as 5 minute episodes, the entire series was eventually shown in one unedited chunk and you really get to see the brilliance of Tartakovsky. The man is a genius and I would argue that this not only is this some of his best work but it rivals the best of Star Wars. It’s that good.
Before we go any further, Pokemon is the 3rd longest running cartoon broadcast in America. That’s insane. Hasn’t he caught them all yet? How do you not catch them all? I caught like 50% of them when I played Pokemon Go and I played Pokemon Go for like an hour. He’s terrible at his hobby.
Pokemon follows Ash and his chubby pocket monster slave name Pikachu and they go around beating up other defenseless animals and then, right before they die, Ash chucks a metal ball at their heads that magically imprisons them.
And then he uses his new found slave to fight other animals and the process repeats over and over till everyone dies and there’s nothing left but Pokemon episodes and cockroaches. Arthur is the second longest running cartoon. Isn’t that crazy?
The 90’s were a godsend for comic book lovers. We may not have had the glut of superhero movies like today’s kids have but we had Batman, X-Men and Spider-Man on television at the same time. That may not sound like a big deal but for a kid desperately wanting to see his childhood idols on the big screen, this was as good as it gets for a long time.
And that’s not to say belittle the quality of these cartoons. Whether we got movies or not, these cartoons were still fucking great and hold up today. Spider-Man played more like a soap opera than the other two, in so far as it having dramatic episodes that would connect to form a larger narrative. They still had the one off episodes where Spider-Man would stop the Rhino or what have you but it’s adherence to a comic book structure set apart from the pack.
66. Top Cat
Taking inspiration from Phil Silvers and The East Side Kids; Top Cat is a street hustlin’ rogue that sticks it to the man every chance he gets. He and his gang consisting of Fancy Fancy, Benny the Ball, Spook, Brain and Choo Choo are all about them money making schemes. Because at its core, it’s a cartoon about the disenfranchised. About the working man getting fucked over by the “man.” (the “man” in this case being officer Dibble)
These poor cats are doing whatever they need to to survive. So what that they pull they ol’ “tie a string to a quarter trick to earn a free soda.” They’re poor. They’ve been let down by the system.
Maybe I’m overthinking it or maybe I’m just romanticising the idea of a thief supporting his friends by any means. Maybe it’s just about a wise ass cat and his buddies. Who knows. Oh and across the pond, this is still more popular than The Simpsons.
65. Invader Zim
It’s easy to criticize Nickelodeon’s to prematurely cancel this show but we should get on our hands and knees praising them for picking it up in the first place. Jhonen Vasquez is a comic book writer who’s primarily known for creating Johnny the Homicidal Maniac. And Nickelodeon gave him a show.
That’s insane. What’s even more insane, is that it’s amazing.
The show is about an alien who is unknowingly banished to earth on a “mission” to infiltrate the humans for an eventual take over. He enrolls in “Skool” and the show follows his misadventures in trying to blend in and a fellow student named Dib’s efforts in trying to expose him.
Ride the pig.
64. Family Guy
There was a time where this would’ve been a strong contender for the top ten. Its insane pop culture references mixed with its irreverent humor made the perfect cocktail of funny in the early 00’s. It was so beloved by fans that it was actually cancelled twice but brought back every time because of the adoration of its die hard fans.
But that feels like a lifetime ago. The once fresh comedy stylings of Peter Griffin and the rest of the residents of quahog have become stale, lifeless. A pale imitation of its former self but no matter how terrible it gets, we’ll always have the great seasons. Just stop watching after season 8.
There was a time when Disney was taking chances with properties they owned by taking their established characters and putting them in new scenarios. They made Goofy and single father in Goof Troop, made Donald Duck’s cousin a nighttime vigilante in Darkwing Duck (they’re related goddamn it), made Chip and Dale private investigators in Chip and Dale: Rescue Rangers, they renamed and changed the appearance of Roger Rabbit and made him a cop in Bonkers and made Aladdin….well, they didn’t really change that one too much.
The biggest change from the source material was definitely TailSpin. Taking the characters from the Jungle Book and merging them with Raiders of the Lost Ark with shades of Casablanca, TailSpin was a gamble that undoubtedly paid off.
King Louie is a fucking night club owner for god sakes. That’s the definition of brilliance.
Another toy commercial. This entire section is either toy commercials or private dicks. Who the hell ordered this list?
I was honestly going to be controversial by placing Beast Wars in this slot but then I went back and watched some Beast Wars and let’s just say, time has not been kind to mid 90’s CGI. It’s probably still well written but man, it ain’t pretty to look at.
Transformers on the hand, has aged like a fine wine. Yes, Starscream is still annoying and it’s still bizarre to me that Megatron keeps his ass on the payroll but whatever. That’s the 80’s I guess. It’s biggest contribution is actually the film it spawned. The Transformers movie was a huge deal and the fact that they killed Optimus Prime (It’s not a spoiler if the film is older than you and it doesn’t matter, he comes back), showed some huge balls. Speaking of a huge ball, Orson Welles was in the film as Omicron. I don’t really have anything to follow that up with, I just really wanted to use that segue.
61. Fullmetal Alchemist
The best anime, or at least the anime that appeals to me, are the ones that have substance, that deal with things beyond robots punching other robots or sexy teenagers with huge Astro Boy eyes.
Fullmetal Alchemist starts off with two brothers trying to resurrect their dead mother and immediately things go catastrophically bad for them. One loses an arm and the other dies but the elder brother manages to contain his younger brothers soul in a suit of armor.
Not exactly light stuff. The rest of the series follows the two brothers on their quest to retrieve the fabled Philosopher’s Stone.
Most anime last forever, like animated soap operas but there’s some that get in and out and tell an incredibly engaging story without the fluff. Fullmetal Alchemist is one of them.
60. 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.
59. The Real Ghostbusters
Before I get into how amazing this cartoon is, I have two fun facts to fuck your brain with.
1. In the original 1989 film, the role of Winston was written and intended for Eddie Murphy to play. When he declined due to scheduling problems, they drastically rewrote the part taking out a lot of his jokes. Then they just gave it to Ernie Hudson. Who didn’t even make it onto most of the posters. Cut to two years later when the cartoon was announced. Hudson wanting to replay his most famous character, decided to audition. They then preceded to give it to Arsenio Hall. Poor Ernie. Can’t catch a break.
2. For some unknown reason, Bill Murray really fucking hated Lorenzo Music’s portrayal of his character of Venkman. It’s never been officially confirmed but the popular theory is that he had him fired from the show. They replaced him with the guy from the “You outta know” song. Years later, Bill Murray would would voice Garfield in the live action film adaptation. He never really gave a reason why but I suspect it was to get back at Music who’s most famous role was, you guessed it, Garfield.
Ok, on to The Real Ghostbusters. It’s Great.
58. 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.
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.
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.
55. 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.
54. 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.
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!”
“Evil is a foot!”
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.
50. Æon Flux
Starting as a series of shorts airing originally on Liquid Television, Æon Flux proved so popular with viewers that MTV decided to turn it into a series.
And what a weird fucking series it was. MTV was years before and leagues ahead of the edgy programming Adult Swim would be known for. I already talked about some of the diverse content when I covered The Maxx but it bares repeating, old MTV was at the forefront of the avant garde and Æon Flux was the most interesting of the bunch.
Set in a dystopian world where the line between science fiction and fantasy are blurred, The title character is a assassin/mercenary that continuously butts heads with her lover/enemy Trevor Goodchild.
If you’re looking for a coherent story or even satisfactory answers to the many questions the show presents the viewer, you will no doubt be let down but if you give yourself over to the unique world Peter Chung has created, you’ll find a cartoon like none other.
49. Steven Universe
While researching this show for this list, I found out that, apparently, unbeknownst to me, it has one of the most incredibly toxic fanbases around. I’m talking about worse than the slime that primarily hangs around 4chan bad. I have no idea why so many douche bags gravitate to this show but if you manage to steer clear of the filth, Steven Universe is a delightfully charming and deceptively deep show about friendship, family and love.
Bridging the gap between My Little Pony and Adventure Time, Steven Universe mixes a little from column A and a little from column B to create a wholly original show that promotes LGBTQ rights and has a strong emphasis on world building.
The world Steven and the three lady gems he hangs out with is has expansive and intricate as they get. The storylines are deep and the characters are extremely well written. It’s a real Gem of a show. (Get it? Because it’s all about Gems)
48. Robot Chicken
Back when print media was still a thing, there was an entire magazine dedicated to toys. ToyFare was dedicated to nothing but toys, how much they’re worth and when the new ones were coming out. It was glorious and the crown jewel was definitely the “Twisted ToyFare Theater.” A five page comic in the middle of the magazine that was made using old 70’s superhero toys posed in hilarious situations. It was a real knee slapper.
It must have made quite the impression on Seth Green and Matthew Senreich because they decided to take that comic strip and turn it into what would eventually be Robot Chicken.
A rapid fire sketch show made up of stop motion animation, Robot Chicken is the television equivalent of ADHD somehow getting addicted to crack. Segments can last from five minutes to five seconds and can be about literally anything. I’m pretty sure the writers get high on old bottles of Surge and write down every idea they have and the show uses all of them. It’s most definitely hit or miss but the ratio skews in favor of hit more often than not.
The Disney cartoon department was a money printing machine in the late 80’s-early 90’s. They were cranking out hit after hit but they always based on a pre-existing property the company owned. They usually didn’t roll the dice on any new IP but thankfully someone decided to take a chance on Gargoyles.
Gargoyles was more akin to Batman: The Animated Series than to anything in the Disney stable at the time. It was far darker in tone and was one of the only cartoons at the time that was serialized. It told a continuous story that involved mature characters and a rich mythology. It was far ahead of it’s time and I wish Disney took more chances like this.
46. The Smurfs
Measuring three apples high and living in the mushroom infected forest of our childhoods, The Smurfs are one of those properties that feel like they’ve always been there. Whether it’s in comics or cartoons or terrible live action movies, The Smurfs are a constant anchor in all our lives.
Admittedly, the constant use of the word ‘Smurf’ to describe everything is annoying and Donnie Darko kinda ruined Smurfette forever but you can’t deny you loved these little blue assholes when you where younger.
They’re still a million times better than the Snorks, that’s for damn sure.
45. Rocko’s Modern Life
How could a show about a wallaby, a gluttonous cow and a timid turtle be one of the most controversial kid’s shows of all time? Well, the fact that every episode has more double entendres, innuendo and visual jokes that were laden with adult humor than Beavis and Butt-head and Ren and Stimpy combined doesn’t hurt.
Rocko was one of those shows that felt like the creators were purposely hiding as many naughty things in every episode just to see what they could get away with. They named a chicken restaurant after a masturbation joke and Rocko even works as a phone sex operator one time. They sure don’t make cartoons like this anymore.
There’s two kinds of people in this world, people that love He-Man and people that love Thundercats and the latter is the only correct option. This would be much higher if it wasn’t for whatever the fuck snarf is but even with that annoying, floating sack of shit, it’s still clearly the better show.
Lion-O would kick the shit out of He-Man and Mumm-ra is way cooler than Skeletor. These are facts. What’s also a fact is that Cheetara was hot and this never felt like a glorified toy commercial, unlike some cartoons *Cough* He-Man *Cough* but it also never got as a cool a toy line as He-Man, so I guess they’re even.
Did I mention that Cheetara was hot?
43. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Speaking of a glorified toy commercial, this cartoon was specifically made to sell toys. They actually came up with the toys before the show but no one thought they would sell without name recognition, so they greenlit a show. But again, the toy line was so badass, that’s not really a complaint against the show.
Based on an extremely graphic underground comic, the cartoon is a complete 180′ from its source material. Instead of brutal gang violence and explicit sex scenes, the show was all about catch phrases like “Cowabunga” and “Shell Shocked” and eating pizza. The only controversial thing about the show was the title. Apparently, ninjas are so controversial in Britain, that they ordered the show to be renamed Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles and I hate it. It doesn’t roll off the tongue properly. Ninjas don’t even exist anymore. Get it together Britain.
42. American Dad!
Starting off as “the other” Seth MacFarlane show, American Dad! quickly grew out of Family Guy’s shadow and actually far surpassed in quality. Family Guy started strong and eventually became shit and in a complete role reversal, American Dad! started weak by relying far too heavily on Bush era political humor but switched gears to focus more on character based humor and that’s when it hit pay dirt.
The show also removed the cut away jokes that Family Guy considers comedy and replaced them with actual scripts that contain characters and stories. And jokes that consist of set up’s and pay off’s. It’s an actual show is what I’m saying.
And Roger the Alien’s alter ego Ricky Spanish is funnier than almost anything else on TV.
41. Muppet Babies
Born from a sequence in the film Muppets Take Manhattan, the idea of seeing those adorable ass puppets as babies proved to be such a hit among fans, that a show was inevitable.
Aimed at younger audiences like Rugrats, Muppet Babies is like that show in the sense that it focuses on the wild imaginations of babies but unlike Rugrats, it’s more pop culture oriented. Lil Kermie will fly an X-wing or be Indiana Jones. It’s reliance on movie references is why it’s endured but also why it’s never been released on home media. Disney bought both the Muppets and LucasArts. What’s the damn hold up?
A spin-off of Beavis and Butt-head, Daria focused on the (mis)adventures of a cynical, highly intelligent teen trying to survive not only the hell that is high school but the drudgery that is her family.
“I don’t have low self esteem, I have low esteem for everyone else.”
Daria was one of the first cartoons to truly understand the “outsider.” Other characters realized immediately that she was intelligent but nobody ever bullied her or insulted her because she was introverted. They accepted that she was different and it wasn’t a big deal. Her sister and her vapid friends are the only ones that have a problem with it but the show goes out of its way to show that they’re the true “outsider” because they have nothing to offer anyone. They’re all just fashion mannequins that can talk.
Daria was a mature look at the teenage experience and when it ended, MTV officially died.
Archer is a spy parody created by Adam Reed, the genius that brought you Sealab 2021 and Frisky Dingo and is about a drunken man child named Sterling Archer who is the biggest douche on the planet but who also happens to be the greatest spy alive. Is it some innate “spy sense” he’s developed over the many years on the field or is it just drunken luck? It’s probably definitely the latter considering Archer bungles as many missions as he successfully completes but god damn can the man pull off a turtleneck sweater.
It’s kind of two different shows in one. The first is the typical spy set up: Archer and his fellow agents work for a spy agency run by his overbearing mother named Mallory. Every episode followed the agent on a mission set up. They get some details on a thing and Mallory sends Archer and maybe some other agents to go do that thing. It was a solid set up.
But then everything changed after season 4. Without going into spoiler territory for those of you who haven’t watched it yet, the format is completely different. The seasons are all serialized now and they’re usually a theme– Miami Vice, film noir, detective agency, Etc. It’s a radical departure from the beginning of the show but one thing stayed constant: The humor. No matter the storylines, Archer is still side splittingly hilarious.
38. G.I Joe
One of the things you’ll notice about this list is the amount of TV shows made to sell toys. They were either designed specifically to sell toys or they toys to begin with that needed a glorified commercial to sell more. G.I Joe was a toy line a good 30 years before the animated series premiered but nobody gives a fuck about the shit your grandfather played with when he was a tyke.
This was the 80’s, which meant more action, more ninjas and more American asskickery than the 50’s ever thought of. This was a decade built on cocaine and explosions and in the middle of that Venn diagram was G.I Joe.
Every kid had a favorite character (it was always Snake Eyes) because they were all lean, mean cobra kicking badasses that usually had punny codename. And there was always a message because the joes cared about the kids as much as they cared about kicking ass.
Go America. Go Joe.
The live action X-Men movies have been pretty hit or miss in terms of quality. They’re usually amazing or shit with no middle ground but the one thing they all have in common is the fact that they’re not as good as this show.
And the reason they’re not as good is the fucking theme song. If this was a list of the greatest cartoon theme songs, this would be in the top 5 easy. That’s how amazing it is.
But a show can’t be a theme song alone (unless it’s Friends), and X-Men ain’t no one trick pony. It’s one of the best written superhero shows ever created. The storylines were pulled from the comics or created wholesale by a team of amazing writers. If the superhero craze never kicked off in the beginning of the 00’s, it would’ve sucked but at least we still had this show and it’s incredible theme song.
To the outsider, anime looks like nothing but big eyed girls with physically impossible busts running away from monsters with the occasional robot thrown in and while that describes about half of them, the other half are usually some of the deepest, well written shows on TV.
Based on the third best selling manga of all time, Naruto is huge, sprawling epic that would cripple my fingers if I tried to explain in detail but the cliff notes version is: Naruto is Pokemon if you replaced all the Pokemon with ninjas and made Ash a ninja. It’s a little bit more complicated than that but that’s essentially the gist. There’s a ninja that wants to be the best ninja and there’s a whole bunch of other ninjas. It’s pretty much just ninja porn.
But good ninja porn.
35. Gravity Falls
If you were to judge a show based on how fanatical it’s fanbase was, Gravity Falls would be right behind My Little Pony in terms of devotion and adoration. Fans of this show really connected to it and it’s not hard to see why. It’s built like a less weird Twin Peaks but with way more mysteries and targeted more towards children. Not to say Twin Peaks isn’t for children (God knows I loved that log lady when I was younger), but, actually no, that is what I’m saying. Don’t show your children Twin Peaks. It’ll fuck em up.
The show is about Dipper and his younger sister Mabel who are sent to stay the summer with their great-uncle Stan in a town filled with nothing but paranormal oddities. It’s a regular ‘ol hotbed of weird, so much so that their great-uncle runs a tourist trap called “The Mystery Shack”, which sells nothing but bizarre knick knacks. The bulk of the show is about the two investigating the spooky shit that happens in the town and it’s fantastic.
Oh and it’s in the same universe as Rick and Morty, so automatically it’s good.
34. The Jetsons
I don’t know what’s harder to believe, that there was a time where cartoons were played during primetime or that The Jetsons became a worldwide sensation with only one season. That’s right, before the 80’s movie renewed interest in the show, the original run lasted less than 30 episodes. Isn’t that crazy? It feels like it lasted for decades but that’s the power of creating instantly iconic characters such as The Jetsons, it’s impact outweighs it’s quantity.
There’s a reason why there been a remake in the works for the last 20 years and that’s because people still love the wildly imaginative future the show created and the characters that inhabit it. Or maybe it’s the treadmills. Audiences love a good treadmill joke.
33. Home Movies
Before he melted faces with the power of rock as the lead singer of Dethklok, Brendon Small teamed up with the creator of Bob’s Burgers to create one of the first hits of Adult Swim.
Home Movies is about a movie obsessed kid named Brendon and his two pals making short films after school or during school or whenever they have time. He lives with his mother and has a odd father/son relationship with the coach of his soccer team named McGuirk.
It’s a delightful show about childhood obsession but the real reason it’s on the list and the reason it’s a hit among fans is 100% McGuirk. H. Jon Benjamin brings every character he voices to life, not because he’s an expert voice actor–he never changes his voice– but because he’s one of the funniest people on the planet. There’s a reason almost every show he’s been on is on this list.
32. The Critic
Everyone points to the decline of the Simpsons happening right around when Al Jean and Mike Reiss leave. They were the showrunners on the 3rd and 4th seasons and then they left to create The Critic. Was it worth it? Did they gamble pay off?
It did if you love The Critic and if you don’t love The Critic, you can get right the fuck out.
Lasting two seasons, the show dealt with professional film critic Jay Sherman (magnificently voiced by Jon Lovitz) as he reviews terrible film parodies-some notable examples include: Scent of a Jackass, Apocalypse Now! The Musical, Honey I Ate the Kids, and Abe Lincoln: Pet Detective and having to deal with family drama.
Imagine an animated tv show made by Woody Allen and Mel Brooks and you’d be wildly off. But it’s in the same ball park.
31. The Powerpuff Girls
“Sugar. Spice. And everything nice. These were the ingredients chosen to create the perfect little girls. But Professor Utonium accidentally added an extra ingredient to the concoction… Chemical X. Thus the Powerpuff Girls were born. Using their ultra-superpowers, Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup have dedicated their lives to fighting crime and the forces of evil.”
Thank god for that dumbass professor and that wonderful Chemical X or we’d never have the greatest female superhero team of all time– The Powerpuff Girls.
Made up of Blossom, who’s the leader, Bubbles, the emotionally fragile one with a heart of gold and Buttercup, the Raphael of the group. The lone wolf that barely plays by the rules. These 3 super powered kindergartners protect the city of townsville from a huge rogues gallery that includes villains such as Fuzzy Lumkins, Princess Morbucks, Him and the infamous Mojo Jojo. A character so great, he almost overshadows the rest of the show. Almost.
30. Bojack Horseman
Bojack Horseman is about an alcoholic, washed up actor from a late 80’s, early 90’s sitcom called Horsin’ Around trying to write a memoir about his shitty life. He has a “roommate” (squatters rights, I suppose) named Todd, who is his only friend. An old girlfriend named Princess Carolyn is his only confidant and his ghost writer Diane is the only one that can put up with his shit for more than 5 minutes. He’s a piece of shit that literally can’t function without self imploding. He has either convinced himself that he can live with the chaos or he’s come to terms with the fact that that’s all there is.
Half of the entertainment is trying to guess when the inevitable foot will come down to crush him ala Monty Python. He’s a ticking time bomb that constantly finds a lower spot than rock bottom.
I know it sounds like a dead serious drama but it’s a comedy. A comedy with the best visual gags since Arrested Development and some of the strongest writing in any medium. It’s borderline nihilistic but that’s Hollywoo baby.
29. Aqua Teen Hunger Force
Some of the cartoons on this list are brilliantly written dramas, Some are childhood favorites seeped in nostalgia and others are just stupid. I can’t really defend or explain the appeal of ATHF and I loathe the phrase “It’s not made for you.” If you don’t like this show, I completely understand. The main character is an unlikable asshole, the neighbor is a jerkass and the talking mound of meat speaks like a baby with a mouthful of marbels. I get it.
But on two separate occasions, this show made me laugh so hard, the beverage I was drinking (milk the first time, Pepsi the second) came shooting out of my nose. No other TV show has done that before or since. It’s stupid anarchy that Adult Swim has tried and failed to recapture time and time again.
Number 1 in the hood, G.
28. Justice League Unlimited
This spot is for both Justice League and it’s direct sequel Justice League Unlimited. I didn’t see the point in separating them considering there’s so much bleed over from one show to the next. Before Kevin Feige had the brilliant idea of creating a connected cinematic universe of superhero films, Bruce Timm did the exact same thing but in animation. He took Batman: The Animated Series and Superman: The Animated Series and put those characters and that universe in Justice League.
Obviously there were shows about superheroes before Justice League, Superfriends best them to the punch over twenty years previous but this was the first time a show was made up of elements of multiple other shows.
It was fanboy heaven but the show never sacrificed quality for nerdgasms. It didn’t rely on nostalgia or the novelty of its premise to coast along. It told compelling stories, involving almost every DC character imaginable. It’s almost ironic how bad the DCU is when the heavy lifting was done for them years and years ago. Just follow the blueprint this show created because it’s perfect.
I feel like I’ve already covered this show extensively because I constantly reference it in regards to its amazing spin off or it being the crown jewel of the animated Spielberg collection but that’s how great it is. Its shadow looms over the vast majority of the kids programming of the 90’s. Because it didn’t just appeal to kids but adults as well.
Telling the mostly fictionalized account of the Warner Bros and their sister, the crazy antics of Yakko, Wacko and Dot were also accompanied by a slew of side characters with their own segments. It was a variety show in the same vein as Looney Tunes but updated for modern audiences. It kept the amazing character designs of its precursor but added an extra level of wacky the original never dreamed of. Animaniacs is a perfect throwback to the wildness of a Tex Avery and Chuck Jones but adding enough to stand not on their shoulders but side by side as equals.
If I were to ask you (as in the royal you) who the most popular cartoon character of the 30’s was, I guarantee most of you would answer Mickey Mouse. Maybe some of you would say Betty Boop or Felix but the correct answer was Popeye.
There was a time where he was bigger than the mascot of the biggest film company working today. Something about this spinach chomping ol’ sailor resonated with the audiences of the day. Maybe he represented the working class? The little guy, who has to constantly fight for the things he wants. Maybe it was that delicious ass spinach. I have no idea But suffice it to say, Popeye was a hit then and his legacy has endured for generations. And if you don’t like the live action film starring Robin Williams, I don’t like you.
25. King of the Hill
Created by Beavis and Butthead mastermind Mike Judge and the future showrunner of The Office Greg Daniels, King of the Hill is a portrait of an all American propane salesman and his family living in Arlen Texas.
One of the only shows on this list that could easily be done in live action, the humor is subtle and the situations are always realistic. The characters are so well developed, that they feel like real people. You knew a Bobby Hill growing up. You know at least one Dale, probably a couple of Boomhauer’s and if you don’t know a Bill, odds are, it’s you.
It doesn’t feel like a cartoon in the typical sense. It feels more akin to an early Errol Morris documentary. King of the Hill is king of the cartoons.
Well, not technically because there’s 24 cartoons above it but it felt like a good pun to go out on.
24. Bob’s Burgers
The show centers around the Belcher family who own and operate a burger restaurant. Bob and his wife Linda and their three kids Gene, Louise and Tina.
Gene likes to eat and fart and will usually be seen playing and singing a song he just made up. Usually about those two things.
Tina likes ponies, zombies, butts, and writing erotica about a combination of the three. She’s also painfully awkward (in the dictionary sense, not the “OMG, Becky is wearing the same shirt as you, that’s so awkward” sense) and has a crush on her neighbor named Jimmy Jr.
Louise is a violence loving, bunny ear wearing 10 year old that will usually accompany Gene on whatever stupid scheme he’s cooked up purely out of boredom.
With its amazing cast of characters and clever humor, It’s the closest a cartoon has come to recapturing that old simpsons magic. Oh and H. Jon Benjamin is in it. So, automatic win.
23. Tom and Jerry
Two of the longest lasting animated characters in history, this duo has been entertaining audiences for decades. Winner of 7 academy awards, Tom and Jerry follows the patented formula of a thing trying to eat another thing and fucking up severely.
Wile-E Coyote tries to eat the roadrunner and blows himself up because he refuses to buy American, Ralph the wolf tries to eat the sheep and Sam the dog stops him, Sylvester tries to gobble up Tweety bird and that old lady with the broom whaps his ass.
It’s a well worn story but Tom and Jerry have been doing it better than anyone else for almost 60 years.
22. Neon Genesis Evangelion
I didn’t include Robotech or Mobile Suit Gundam Wing on my list because when it comes to mech driven anime, there’s none better than Neon Genesis Evangelion.
Interweaving religion, philosophical themes and psychology, Evangelion tells a complex narrative that rewards as well as confounds. Its story is almost as impenetrable as the best of Lynch but never too weird or confusing to alienate potential viewers.
It’s about a teenager who not only has to deal with the task of piloting a robot to fight angels but the emotional and spiritual toll it takes on him. He’s an emotional wreck who has father issues and feels alienated by everyone around him.
It’s a character study that just so happens to involve massive amounts of violence towards angels.
21. Space Ghost: Coast to Coast
The show that helped launch Adult Swim into the cultural phenomenon it is today. Space Ghost: Coast to Coast was an animated talk show that took childlike glee in confusing every guest that appeared on the show. Years before Eric Andre would use weaponized absurdism to agitate his celebrity guests, Space Ghost was bewildering not only the guests but the viewers as well.
It’s hard to imagine a world before Jackass and before hipsters discovered irony but Space Ghost, along with his pals Zorak, Moltar and Brak (who got his own spin off), were there first.
20. Dragon Ball Z
You know those arcade games that were needlessly hard just to gobble up your precious quarters? Well, this the animated equivalent to that but instead of punishing difficulty, it’s stretched out battle scenes that last entire episodes and instead of pocket change, it’s your entire afternoon.
There’s few anime or any TV show for that matter, that has the cult of reverence that this show has acquired. Consisting of well over 300 episodes, the saga of Goku and his quest to rid the world of evil, is a gargantuan adventure that may take half of your lifetime to complete but it’ll be worth it.
19. Duck Tales
There’s four things I hate:
1. The rich ass 1%.
3. People who are intolerant of other people’s cultures and beliefs.
4. The Scottish.
Duck Tales incorporates three of my biggest bugaboos but still found its way high atop of my list. How did this happen? Is it his tophat? Does it tap into a deep seeded desire I have to swan dive into some money? I have no idea but what I do know, is that none of the Disney animated classics of the 90’s (Darkwing Duck, TailSpin, Chip and Dale: Rescue Rangers) would exist without it and it’s still the best of the bunch. For clarification, the beginning of this post was a slight reference to Austin Powers: Goldmember. I don’t explaining jokes because it robs them of their humor but I also don’t like coming off as an intolerant ass. I love the Scottish and I love ducks. I still hate the rich though. Fuck em.
18. The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show
Debuting one year before The Flintsones, this was the first cartoon that not only appealed to children but their parents as well. Layered with in jokes and pop culture references for the adults and loaded with plenty of silly humor aimed at children. It’s like the Neapolitan ice cream of cartoons. Except minus the chocolate because that’s the worst. Shots fired.
Comprised of different segments including the titular moose and squirrel, the incompetent Russian spies Boris and Natasha, the equally incompetent Dudley Do-Right as well as the ne’er-do-well Snidley Whiplash. There’s also the time hopping Peabody and Sherman and probably the best segment: Fractured Fairy Tales.
Although the animation was choppy and unpolished, that never seemed to bother anyone. Some critics even referred to it as “a well written radio program with pictures.” Which goes to show how well written the show actually was. When kids can close their eyes and still follow the story, that’s a show firing on all cylinders.
17. Ren and Stimpy
Based on the numerous behind the scenes problems including the creator getting fired off of his own show because of missed deadlines, constant complaints of violence and offensive humor and the show switching networks, it’s a miracle it even exists.
Ren and Stimpy is about a hyper violent Chihuahua that sounds like a cocaine addicted Peter Lorre and his best friend who’s a dim witted house cat that talks like Larry Fine if someone replaced his bones with rubber.
What the two do from episode to episode is a bit hard to explain considering there’s hardly a plot but imagine if Rocko’s Modern Life was way more subversive and was animated by PCP addicted worker monkeys and you’re in the right ballpark.
Just like an unwanted prom night dumpster baby, the show refused to die and was highly controversial but damn was it entertaining to look at.
Created by Matt Groening in between rounds of counting his excessive mound of Simpsons money, Futurama was essentially his brilliant idea to take the simpsons and set it in space.
Because when you exhaust every punchline imaginable, the only logical step is to set that shit in space. A place homer has only been to a couple of times, max.
Futurama is about a pizza delivery guy named Fry, who’s cryogenically frozen and awakes 1000 years into the far future. A future of mutants, aliens and affordable suicide booths. He eventually partners up with a sexy cyclops and a smart ass robot and they get into the wildest adventures. I’m talking Cra-zy. They even meet a bodyless Beck. That’s how crazy their adventures are.
Some of the later seasons get a bit shaky but it’s one of the few animated shows to have a perfect ending.
Oh and that episode about Seymour destroys my tear ducts every time.
15. Death Note
The director of the recent live action adaptation actually quit Twitter upon receiving copious amounts of death threats. I would never support that level of harassment, I am, however going to use that fact to describe how rabid the fanbase of this show is. Is. Present tense. Even though the show ended a decade ago, and only had two seasons, the fans are just as obsessed today as they were when it originally premiered.
The show is about a genius high school student named Light who finds the aforementioned “Death Note” and quickly discovers that if he writes the name of anybody in the book, they will die within seven minutes. It doesn’t take long before he decides to become the ultimate vigilante god and tries to create a utopia free of crime.
Obviously things get a bit complicated when a detective named L decides to take on the case. It turns into a brilliant cat and mouse game that constantly keeps the viewer on edge.
Anime is a hard thing for most to jump into but Death Note is one of those anime that appeals to any demographic.
14. SpongeBob Squarepants
This will be the most controversial cartoon placement on the list. I feel like the tide has turned on Spongebob where the younger generation is pushing against it to seem cool and the older generation has already forgotten how much they loved it but there was a time that this was the heir apparent to Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny. SpongeBob has taken up the mantle passed down from the legends of the past and he’s successfully held it for almost 20 years.
I know it’s hip to hate on the sponge but you can’t deny the cultural impact he’s had. Nickelodeon is essentially the SpongeBob network now and they’ll continue milking that sea cow till it dies. The younger generation will love it as much as you did when you were younger and you’ll be as baffled by as you are now.
13. Beavis and Butt-head
Starting as a short film called Frog Baseball that originally aired on MTV’s Liquid Television, Beavis and Butt-head had its proper debut one year later in 93 and lasted four years.
This is ground zero. A show about two stupid ass slackers cracking wise and watching whatever video MTV wanted to plug became the impetus for everything that came after. There’s no South Park, no Rick and Morty, no Adult Swim without Beavis and Butt-head.
The slacker version of Statler and Waldorf (those two cranky ass puppets slinging insults in The Muppets), these two were a voice of a generation. If they said something was cool or sucked, that was the gospel. It wasn’t cool to like a band they ragged on and you definitely went out and bought a Metallica or AC/DC shirt to be hip.
Generation X had no idea what it was doing or where it was going but at least we had these two to lead the way.
12. Rick and Morty
Take the sci-fi shenanigans of Futurama and add the bleak nihilism of Bojack Horseman, shake till your hands get carpal tunnel and voilá, you got yourself a Rick and Morty.
I tried to be objective as humanly possible when compiling this list by weighing influence against nostalgia and determining what kind of impact and longevity it had but when a show is as good as Rick and Morty is right out of the gate, there’s no reason to wait to put it as high as it is.
Almost every episode is better than the last, with episodes alternating between heartbreakingly realistic to insanely funny. Since Rick Sanchez is not only the smartest man in the galaxy but across all alternate dimensions, his unique world view comes off as cold and uncaring but there’s a level of sadness and deep love for his grandson that hides just below the surface.
It’s a show I can dedicate hours upon hours discussing because every episode can be dissected and examined to find layer upon layer of hidden jokes and references to future episodes. It’s an intricate Russian nesting dolls esque show of visual jokes and callbacks and Justin Roiland improving whilst drunk as fuck. One layer overlaps into the other to create the perfect storm of comedy. It’s a masterpiece and it’s only getting better.
11. The Flintstones
The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show might’ve gotten there first, but it was The Flintstones that brought the cartoon to primetime. If Beavis and Butt-head was instrumental in paving the way for the controversial aspect of animation, The Flintstones are clearly the precursors to everything.
Clearly borrowing heavily from The Honeymooners, The Flintstones is essentially an animated sitcom. Cartoons before this were either a collection of shorts or had a vignette format but The Flintstones bucked the trend. This was a legitimate TV show airing on primetime and it was a massive hit. It was destroying almost every other show on the air. Which is mind boggling. A cartoon was the most watched TV show in America at one time.
Yabba Dabba Doo.
10. Avatar: The Last Airbender
Blending the best of western and eastern sensibilities to create it’s own unique fantasy mythology, Avatar: The Last Airbender is the closest we’ve gotten to a Hayao Miyazaki TV show.
Set in world where “benders” use magic to control the elements around them. It’s sort of mixture between martial arts and spell casting and only one person can learn all four elements at a time.
That person is the “avatar” who is bound by an reincarnation cycle. Each new iteration starts off automatically knowing the next element in series and they alternate sexes each time.
The newest avatar is a twelve year old named Aang who knows the wind element and is tasked with learning the three remaining elements to defeat the evil fire nation. Along the way, he’s joined by a brother and sister from the water nation who not only awaken Aang but inform him about the impeding war.
The bulk of the show is the relationship between the main three but multiple characters show up including the fire Prince Zuko and a blind earth bender named Toph. Each character is distinct and well written and the story is as good as any fictional you’re likely to find.
It actually spawned a sequel series called The Legend of Korra and since it’s a direct sequel to this, I’m counting it as a continuation and not a separate entity, so this spot is including both.
9. Samurai Jack
Stuck in a future world where evil holds dominion, the samurai named Jack must defeat his nemesis in order to go back to his timeline and fix the future.
It’s a simple premise. In fact, it’s barely a plot but the magic of Samurai Jack and why it’s a masterpiece, is the framing of the action scenes. Every fight scene (and every episode is 85% action), is brilliantly choreographed.
It’s a cliche saying usually associated with describing Stanley Kubrick’s oeuvre but every frame of this show is a painting. Every new location is visually stunning and the character designs are instantly memorable.
It would’ve been high on my list if I made it any time in the last 5 years but the show came back in early 2017 to finally conclude the story of Jack and the the last season is so good, it automatically made it into my top 10.
Any sequel made after ten years, is usually a cash grab built around exploiting nostalgia but the last season of Samurai Jack not only proves the old adage “you can’t go home again” wrong, but shows that you can always improve upon the past.
8. The Venture Bros
Starting as a pastiche of different 60’s homages including Jonny Quest, The Hardy Boys and the comic book cliches of the time, The Venture Bros quickly outgrew it’s references to become it’s own cult of pop culture fandom.
And a cult it is. The fans of this show are as devoted and obsessive as the most hardcore of anime aficionados and for good reason, It’s one of the smartest “parodies” ever written. For lack of a better word, I’m using parody to describe it’s style but it’s more akin to a love letter. It’s never making fun of the things it references but the creators have a great deal of respect for their childhood.
The brothers of the title are the unfortunate sons of a failed super scientist who used to be the child star of a show about his own childhood adventures and since he, too was the son of a super scientist, the whole thing comes full circle. So image if the show Jonny Quest was real and the kid playing Jonny Quest actually did the shit that’s portrayed in the show and then went on to become a drug addicted failure who can’t differentiate between the show and his real life. And then he gives birth to the Hardy Brothers who are stuck in his failure. It’s kind of like that.
Failure is a running motif of the show. It’s obsessed with it. The majority of characters are failures, they’re all obsessed with the past and it also deals with the death of the space age dream. In the 50’s, science was supposed to merge with super fantasy to produce such fantastic inventions such as the jet pack, anti gravity boots, moon shuttles and walking robotic eyes. We were denied the promise of a better future and the show wallows in it.
Oh and it’s super fucking funny.
7. Scooby-Doo: Where Are You!
I bring up influence a lot on this list but the importance of some cartoons can’t be understated. Scooby-Doo introduced an entire generation of youngsters to the wonderful world of procedural horror. There was shows about arresting bad guys and there was shows about defeating monsters but this was the first one to merge the two like the most delicious Reece’s peanut butter cup.
There was an honest to god spike in cops 10 years after this show aired and many believe it was because an entire generation wanted to become detectives from watching this show.
Which is admirable but ultimately a waste of time because anyone who’s seen an episode of Scooby-Doo: Where are You! knows, that all you need to catch a crook is a net, a pulley system and maybe a skateboard or bucket. And it was always old man withers.
Oh and check out the new series, it’s exceptional.
6. Cowboy Bebop
This is the gold standard in which all other anime are judged. The créme de la créme as it were, this show is a jazz infused noir set in the future that’s the culmination of everything that was ever cool. Cop shows of the 70’s, spaghetti westerns, space operas, chop socky kung-fu flicks, this show throws all of those ingredients into a wok and creates the craziest stir fry that’s ever existed.
But it’s not typical anime craziness. There’s no stylized animation or over the top expressions, it’s not that kind of crazy. It’s the kind of crazy you get when Tarantino decides to score his WW2 film with David Bowie music and ends it with Hitler getting bullet fucked to death. It’s a reinterpretation of influence. Breaking down what’s worked before and improving every one of those elements.
It’s about four bounty hunters, all with different but equally shady pasts all coming together in search of a common goal: to make money. Story is told piecemeal over flashbacks, slowly expanding the world and the characters within it.
It’s a perfect combination of action, story and character development. Cowboy Bebop has it all, including a perfect ending one of the hippest fucking scores around. Seriously, if you don’t want to instantly want to watch this after hearing this jazzy ass bombast, you’re deaf.
See you space cowboy.
5. Adventure Time
An amalgamation (I’m running out of synonyms for a word that means “two or more things smooshed together”) of Dungeons and Dragons, The Legend of Zelda and candy, Adventure Time not only has every fantasy trope in the book but fully embraces them.
The two main characters Finn the human and Jake the dog are constantly in the search for a quest. Just like every RPG in existence, they dungeon crawl for fun and loot. The world they live in Oooo, is a post apocalyptic earth where monsters run rampant and candy is sentient. The ruler of the candy people is Princess Bubblegum who is strongly implied to have been in a relationship with Marceline the vampire queen.
The show has no problem empowering the disenfranchised by normalizing controversial topics such as homosexuality and gender identity. Nobody judges anyone’s lifestyle choices in this show. Nobody is ostracized because of a belief. Besides creating the best animated world since The Simpsons and writing the best gags since Looney Tunes, Adventure Time is this high on the list because it teaches kids that being different is ok. It’s ok to fail. It’s ok to not understand your place in the world.
In a time of chaos and uncertainty, Adventure Time might more important than ever.
4. South Park
Since South Park has been on the air for 20 years, It’s actually evolved into three different shows. The first was the chef years, which were the first 9 seasons. Then after Isaac Hayes left due to issues concerning the Scientology episode, the shows writing got exponentially better.
They were creating multi episode storylines, their targets were better defined and they even explained how Kenny kept coming back from the dead. The last version of South Park is the era we’re in now, the season long arc. I believe the creators knew that binge watching was slowly destroying week to week watching and they refigured the show to cater to that specific habit.
Whichever version of South Park is your favorite, there’s no repudiating the fact that it’s a undeniably culturally significant. For those of you that were born in the mid 90’s, this was your simpsons. Cartman was your Bart. South Park was your Springfield. It may have lost its way as of late but it’s taken 20 years for its edge to dull and that’s pretty goddamn impressive.
3. Batman: The Animated Series
Batman has been repeatedly referred to as the greatest superhero among comic book fans and if you agree, odds are you think this show is still his greatest achievement. I love the dark and semi realistic world Nolan fabricated and the gothic aesthetic Burton brought to the table was a refreshing change of pace from the Adam West series but I don’t think either hold a candle to the world Bruce Timm and Eric Radomski created together.
Feeling more cinematic than most animated shows at that time, Batman was combining darker tones, more mature storylines and an eye catchingly beautiful art deco look to create a world that felt so real, it was palpable.
The casting was so perfect, that when I read a Batman comic book, I still hear the menacing, authoritative voice of a Kevin Conroy or the gleeful insanity of a Mark Hamill. They’ve left that strong of an indelible impression on me that no other interpretation lives up to it.
Besides nailing the casting and obviously the acting, they also elevated obscure characters and created tragic backstories for them, like Mr. Freeze and Clayface or created some of the most popular new characters in the Batman pantheon such as Harley Quinn.
The show was pitch perfect and a masterpiece in every way.
2. The Simpsons
The undeniable heavyweight of the animation world. No other cartoon– or otherwise– casts quite the shadow that this behemoth has made. Boasting such records as the longest running American animated program, longest running American sitcom and the longest running American primetime series (what country is beating us??), it’s impossible to remember a time without The Simpsons.
Those first 12 seasons, are among the best writing of any medium in existence. It’s nigh impossible to crown which one is the best because almost all of them are legitimate contenders. The jokes are some of the best constructed, endlessly quotable and instantly iconic in existence.
The cast of characters are so well known, that I don’t need to list them or the basic premise of the show. The Simpsons is part of your DNA. You’re so intimately familiar with this show, that Duff beer and Itchy and Scratchy cartoons make up your atoms. The numerous couch gags make up your molecules. This show is a part of you.
Those first 12 seasons are absolute perfection but as the bard said, “therein lies the rub.”
The show didn’t end after season 12. Unfortunately, it also didn’t end after season 15. No, The Simspons not only didn’t end when the show was at its absolute peak, it’s still on. Currently on season 28, the show is, regrettably terrible.
Terrible isn’t the right word for it, it’s an abomination. The characters are completely different (jerk ass Homer and annoying ass Lisa are the biggest examples), the writing is abysmal, and every year it’s on, gets it further and further away from the amazing. The ratio is no longer 50/50, it’s no longer half a great show. The show has sunken so far down in quality, that even if they end it at season 30, it’ll be too late.
I wish I could only judge it based on the golden years because if i could, not only would it easily be number 1, it would be the greatest show in history but I can’t. I have to judge the show as a whole and It’s influence and impact make it a strong number 2 but because half the show is unwatchable, it can’t be number 1.
1. Looney Tunes
For a cartoon to dethrone the unquestionable god of animation, it would have to be equally as influential, made as big of an impact culturally and have characters as famous than that of The Simpsons. Not only does Looney Tunes fit that bill but it also has a much better ratio of quality.
It’s not exactly easy to pinpoint where Merry Melodies ends and when Looney Tunes begins but if you lump them all together as the company has, the amount of content Bugs and his crew produced is staggering.
Although technically not a show in the conventional sense, the series of theatrical shorts has always been shown on television, either as stand alone shorts or as a part of The Bugs Bunny and Roadrunner Show or one of its sister shows.
I unfortunately didn’t qualify the Mickey Mouse cartoons in Silly Symphonies because it’s a weird gray area between shorts and legitimate TV show but Warner Bros immediately started showing Looney Tunes on television as soon as they could and have never stopped. So I felt it definitely counted as a show. And if it counts, there’s no way, It’s not automatically number 1.
From the Chuck Jones era, the Tex Avery era, Friz Freleng, Bob Clampett, each new animator wanted to prove to the other that they were the best and that healthy competition lead to such indelible classics such as:
One froggy evening
Red hot riding hood
Rabbit of Seville
Porky in Wackyland
The great piggy bank robbery
The Scarlet Pumpernickel
You ought to be in pictures
Ali Baba Bunny
Feed the Kitty
What’s Opera, Doc?
All of whom were selected by a group of 1000 animators as the top 50 greatest animated shorts of all time with What’s Opera, Doc? coming in at first place.
Not only do I strongly believe that this is the greatest show of all time, I consider these shorts among the most important works of art ever created.
This is The Number 1 Cartoon Of All Time.