Welcome back, dear readers! This is part two of my two-part article on cartoons I love then and now! The first part can be found at this URL (copy and paste into the address bar): http://www.retrojunk.com/details_articles/1606/. Anyway, without further ado, I present five of the cartoon shows that I find giggle-inducing from this day and age, in no particular order except that of which I think of them!
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"The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy" started airing as part of Cartoon Network's Cartoon Cartoon block, and was, in fact, voted into the rotation as part of a viewer-participant contest. The first episode introduced us to the principal characters: Billy, a silly little nincompoop; Mandy, a self-serving, Machiovellian (I don't know if that's spelled right) girl with a dark personality; and Grim, the Grim Reaper, who is their best friend forever due to losing a limbo contest. I liked the shows earlier seasons better, because they relied less on potty humor and more on word-play and sight gags.



Debuting in 2003, the Teen Titans animated series rekindled my love of comic book superheroes (which never really went away, but rather sort of waned during my early teen years) and started my torrid love affair with Raven. Originally a comic book, this adaptation is geared more towards the 8-13 demographic, but keeps older folks in mind. Lead by Robin (of Batman fame), the team consists of Cyborg (a young half-robot man), Starfire (an alien girl from the planet Tamaran, who's real name Koriand'r is that of a seed, which I found out by watching the Food Network), Beast Boy (a polymorphing, green teen who acts as comic relief, for the most part) and Raven (a demon-girl whose father is the most feared entity in the entire universe). Though the series ended on a cliffhanger, it's still one of the better shows I've seen in a long time.



While I never saw this until last year, I'd heard a great deal of fuss about it over on DeviantArt, so I decided to check it out. "Kim Possible" captivated me for reasons I can't possibly fathom, though I'll try to rationalize with you. The art style is rather smooth and aesthetically-pleasing, and is an inspiration to Gabe of Penny Arcade fame. The animation is fluid and is a far margin better than most of what's played on Cartoon Network or Nickelodeon (though that's probably because Disney, being Disney, has a slightly (read: ridiculously) higher budget for things like that. Kim, herself, is a fusing of a typical cheerleader-type with an intelligent twist, which intrigues me. Her partner in solving crime, Ron Stoppable, is Will Friedle, who you will probably recognize quickest as Eric Matthews from Boy Meets World. Honestly, though, I just can't pin down why I like this show so much. I guess it's best not to dwell on these things too much.



The third Cartoon Network show on the list, "Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends" is a refreshing tale of a home that cares for abandoned imaginary friends until a child comes along to give him or her a new home. Though, in this universe, once an imaginary friend is thought of, it comes to life as a companion to the boy or girl who imagined it. Brain-child of Craig McCracken, who also created "The Power Puff Girls", it stars a young boy named Mac whose mother believes he has grown too old for his imaginary pal Bloo. In an attempt to quell his mothers wishes and keep his friend, he inters Bloo into a foster home run by an elderly Madame Foster, her granddaughter Frankie (who, as a reference to McCracken's earlier work, has the Power Puff Girls on her shirt), and Mme. Foster's imaginary friend Mr. Herriman, a gentlemanly rabbit with a penchant for rules and order. Along with the other residents, Mac's daily visits to Bloo are usually filled with wacky hijinks and zany adventures. Also, Cheese is one of the best oddball characters this side of Fred Fredburger.





"Extreme Ghostbusters" carried my Ghostbusters love into a new age. 1997 was the year, and it called for a new, edgier breed of paranormal investigators and eliminators. Kylie Griffin (voiced by Tara Chardenoff, now Tara Strong, the same woman who voiced Raven), Eduardo Rivera (voiced by Rino Romano), Roland Jackson (voiced by The Fresh Prince's own Alfonso Ribeiro), and Garrett Miller (voiced by Jason Marsden) were the only four college students enrolled in Egon Spengler's (reprised by Maurice LaMarche, better known as The Brain) class on ghosts when an ecto-epidemic breaks out. When Egon fails to both warn New York City of the danger and contain the problem himself, they recruit themselves and upgrade the 'busting equipment to deal with the problem. Different, yes, but another Fresh Prince alumni into animation (Uncle Phil was The Shredder!), and this might be an entirely biased section of article, as my love of Ghostbusters knows no bounds.
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And those, my dear friends, are five of the shows I believe support my theory that there is indeed life left in animation if you look hard enough. I know not everybody will agree with me, but I wanted to give you all a look into my reasons and hope everybody at least takes something away from these articles. Most, if not all, of these shows draw heavily on older cartoons in terms of either style, parody, or premise. I leave you now with the honorable mentions for both articles:

Part One:
Looney Tunes, Darkwing Duck, DuckTales, Adventuers of the Gummi Bears, X-Men: The Animated Series


Part Two:
Batman Beyond, Fairly Odd Parents, Danny Phantom, Angry Beavers, Invader Zim