In a day and age where Saturday morning cartoons are deader than Blockbuster, kids today no longer have an influx of television shows catered specifically for them. They obviously still have shows but there’s no where near as many as there used to be. Let’s honor the glorious past by digging deep in the cemetery that is children’s television to find some…gold? That metaphor doesn’t make any sense. Whatever, here’s 20 kids shows you totally forgot existed. (10-1)
10. Pryor’s Place
Many comedians have gone the children’s television route. Louis Anderson had Life with Louie, John Candy had Camp Candy, and Howie Mandel had Bobby’s World but did you know Richard Pryor had a Sesame Street-esque show in the mid 80’s? Lasting only 10 episodes, Pryor’s Place was Sesame Street but set in the inner city and had celebrity guest stars such as Sammy Davis Jr, Rip Taylor and even Robin Williams. Maybe because it was made by Sid and Marty Kroft, whos shows never last more than 20 episodes or maybe kids only wanted one show about kids and puppets, whatever the case, Pryor’s Place died quickly and has since fallen into obscurity. It’s a shame considering its very entertaining.
There was a time when the Disney network was shooting out shows faster than kids could possibly keep up. One that, for some reason, got lost in the shuffle, was Bonkers. And i think the main problem was- it shouldn’t have starred Bonkers. It clearly started out as an animated sequel to Who Framed Roger Rabbit? But with Roger as a toon cop. The character is the same, the setting is the same and some Disney characters even show up like Donald and the Mad Hatter. It’s not a bad show but I believe it would’ve been more successful or at least more fondly remembered if it starred Roger Rabbit instead.
8. Dog City
When you think of The Jim Henson Company, you automatically think of The Muppets and for good reason. The Muppets are the most famous puppets and they’re a studio synonymous with puppets. The Muppets, Sesame Street, Fraggle Rock, The Storyteller, and Dinosaurs are all fondly remembered and beloved but one that slipped through the cracks was Dog City. Mixing animation with puppets, Dog City is an interesting hybrid of ideas. The main character is a German Shepard by the name of Ace Hart who is a private investigator and is having someone make a cartoon about his exploits. So it’s a puppet having a cartoon made about him and then he’d break the 4th wall if the cartoon strayed from the facts. It’s very weird. Like if Charlie Kauffman made a kids show.
7. Under The Umbrella Tree
It took me years to figure out what the hell this show was called. All I could remember when I’d ask my mother if she could remember the name was “It was about a gecko, a bear and a blue jay living in a tree behind a couch and maybe things happened and then there was a life lesson at the end.” My problem was, I failed to mention for years that the animals were puppets. I thought that was a given but it was the crucial bit of information she needed to Scooby-Doo the mystery. I remember nothing else about it other than the fact that it took an absurdly long time to figure out what the hell it was.
6. Adventures In Wonderland
I remember every single thing about this damn show. From the white rabbit wearing roller skates (because he’s always moving) to Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum being a hip hop duo, to the Mad Hatters awesome house. Every aspect of this show has burned itself into my consciousness. So it’s fascinating to me that this show has been forgotten. It was a massive hit and had 100 episodes, which is almost more than every show on this list combined. Yet no one seems to remember this thing even existed. Don’t worry Alice, I still remember your adventures.
5. Galaxy High School
If i was ranking these shows in terms of quality, this would easily be number 1. How the hell did this show get cancelled? I know Lord and Miller had to be fans because they took the core concept of two kids, one being nerdy and one being popular, setting them in a new school and then their roles being reversed for 21 Jump Street. And there’s definitely shades of this in Clone High. IGN made a list of the 100 Greatest Animated Shows and it came in at number 52. At least it gained cult status, because it would be a travesty if it was ever forgotten.
4. Eureeka’s Castle
Eureeka’s Castle was a huge Nickelodeon hit that almost hit 200 episodes. This thing was running every. single. day. The only shows on the network that have more episodes are Rugrats and Spongebob (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is on the cusp) and yet, it’s still forgotten. Is it because of time? Is it too old to be remembered? It ended in 95, so millennials wouldn’t know about it But people are nostalgic for the Adventures of Pete and Pete and Clarissa explains it all. Is it the puppets? Do kids hate puppets that aren’t Elmo and Kermit?? Somebody tell me why nobody gives a fuck about Eureeka because I need answers.
3. The Pirates of Dark Water
This show had a comic book line, a toy line and even a video game but only produced 21 episodes. The network was obviously expecting a bigger hit and I guess audiences weren’t having it. You can tell the creators had a massive storyline plotted out with a whole mythology they were constantly adding to. It was the Avatar: The Last Airbender of its time and it’s a shame audiences didn’t connect to it at the time. Where’s my damn reboot already?
2. Little Dracula
It seems like every show on this list did the exact opposite of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Ninja Turtles was made specifically to sell toys. It’s sole purpose was to be essentially a toy commercial and it worked. Every other show makes toys to sell the show and that’s where they fuck up. Like dummies. Little Dracula had 13 episodes and most of them never aired originally but guess what: It has a toy line.
I don’t remember anything about this show but I owned every single toy they made. Well, maybe not that two-headed turkey. I don’t remember no two-headed turkey. But I definitely owned the rest.
1. Little Muppet Monsters
Everyone knows the Muppet Babies. It’s one of the greatest shows of all time and I would even argue it’s the best thing the Muppets ever did but did you know it got a spin off? Created in 1985, Little Muppet Monsters had only 3 episodes before it was abruptly cancelled. Is this show the long lost gem that’s been unjustly hidden from history? No. Not really. It’s not super great and you can tell why it was cancelled but it still has some Muppet charm and probably should be remembered on its obscurity alone. The fact that the Muppet Babies had a spin off that you didn’t know existed grants it The number 1 spot. But watch Galaxy High School instead. It’s much better.