Best Cartoons of the 90s

A list of the top ten cartoons of the 90s and what made them great.
March 30, 2009
I'm a sucker for top ten lists. Or lists of any kind for that matter. With that in mind I've created a list of the top ten cartoons from the 90s

*Note these shows had to be made in the 90s. Shows that began in the 80s but spilled over into the 90s count, while shows that were only made in the 80s, but I watched in the 90s do not. Capiche?

10. Garfield and Friends (1988-1999)

I think my favorite part about this show was that there were basically two people doing all the voices, except they didn't bother to change their voice for the different characters. Basically you had Garfield and John Arbuckle in the main story, and a mini story about the farm animals who all sounded exactly like Garfield and John Arbuckle. Classic. Plus Garfield and Friends was about 1000 times better than the comic strip.

9. Muppet Babies (1984-1991)

Barely making the 90s cut, but an excellent cartoon. I would also like to note this begins the first of several theme songs you will have stuck in your head for the rest of the day. "Muppet Babies we make our dreams come true, Muppet Babies we'll do the same for you." By the way, the quintessential Muppet Babies episode was the Star Wars parody. If you don't know what I'm talking about I weep for you.

8. Rocko's Modern Life (1993-1996)

The quintessential stupid, gross, everything a kid loves cartoon from the mid 90s. (Other than Ren and Stimpy but the difference is Rocko's Modern Life was actually good.) Rocko's Modern Life featured the stupid gross out jokes a kid loves, and a main character who lived next door to people named the Fatheads. Who doesn't love that? The theme song is more annoying than I remember though.

7. Duck Tales (1987-1990)

"Duck Tales, OOO-ooo." That is hard to type, but you get the idea. I've been watching the opening credits to each of these shows as I go through the list, and it makes me want to move every show up. I would also argue, if this list was based solely on intros, Duck Tales would be at the top; but I was a little younger during this time period so the show itself doesn't stand out as much in my mind.

6. Tale Spin (1990-1994)

Ok. I stand corrected. Tale Spin is definitely at the top of the opening credits list. I would also like to point out three things:
1. "There is something out there gobbling up airplanes" is a quote I still inexplicably use now.

2. The Jungle Book is one of the worst disney cartoon movies ever, but anytime you can take characters from a crappy movie and turn them into a TV show about pilots being chased by "air pirates," you have my undivided attention.

3. The episode where Baloo and Kit Cloudkicker switch bodies because of a mysterious magical artifact was one of the greatest television moments of my life. I'm not even kidding.

Also, the title of the show is a pun and that makes me smile.

5. Hey Arnold! (1996-2004)

First of all, I didn't realize Hey Arnold! lasted that long. This is also the last watchable children's cartoon ever made, mostly for the fact that all the characters head shapes were based on inanimate objects. "Move it football head!" But I think the one thing we will all remember forever is when Stoop Kid finally found the strength to leave his stoop. Brings a tear to your eye doesn't it?

4. Chip N' Dale Rescue Rangers (1989-1992)

If the first thing you did after reading that title wasn't sing "Ch-Ch-Ch-Chip n' Dale Rescue Rangers," either out-loud or in your head, you are a bad person. Seriously. That is the official test to decide your worth as a human being. Easily the second best theme song on this list (number one yet to come) and anytime you get two chipmunks solving crimes you are in for a very entertaining half hour.

3. Doug (1991-1994)

God how I loved this show. Doug Funnie. Pattie Mayonaise. Mosquito Valentine. These are some of the greatest characters in television history. Not only did each one have a strange name, they had some strange skin color. I also referred to Dough as “normal colored” when referring to his skin one time, so you have to love a show that brings out a child's latent racism.
2. The Simpsons (1989-current)

With The Simpsons we have the only show on this list that is still being made; although, if you have seen any of the new episodes, you could easily make the argument that isn't a good thing. (How bad was the movie? Yeesh.) In its glory days of the mid to late 90s, however, The Simpsons was undoubtedly the best show on television. It had something for everyone. I would even accept the argument that The Simpsons should be number one, but for me, that just isn't the case.

1. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987-1996)

THE television show of my childhood. Nothing else even comes close. I woke up every Saturday morning, rocked my matching TMNT sweatshirt and sweatpants and entranced myself in the half hour cartoon. Not only is this the best show on this list, but it also spawned the best theme song, the best toys, and the best PJs of any television show ever made. And, I would just like to note, to whoever decided to bring Teenage Mutant Turtles back and ruin it by naming the movie just TMNT, and making it some stupid hip, futuristic crap, I hope you die a slow, painful death. There is only one Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series that should be recognized, and that is the original.

Honorable Mention:
Goof Troop
The Busy World of Richard Scarry
Darkwing Duck
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