If you were a kid from the ’90s, then this is certainly going to bring back some fond memories of when you used to either rush back from school or miss out on completing your home-work just to catch your favourite cartoon show on probably the only channel (then) that had some great animated content in the country.Cartoon Network was like our playmate in the most joyous days of our childhood; be it Tom chasing Jerry around all day long, only to team up once in a while to teach the ferocious Spike a lesson or two, or Popeye going up against his arch nemesis Bluto to save his girlfriend Olive Oyl from all kinds of trouble; the animation style, voices, storytelling, narrations, and just about any other technical detail one can think of was brilliantly blended into these popular shows and characters.
Here are 10 cartoon shows of 90’s that you love to watch again.
10. Captain Planet and the Planeteers
This was an American animated environmentalist television program created by Ted Turner, Robert Larkin III and Barbara Pyle. The original series was produced by Turner Program Services and DIC Entertainment and had a dream run in the early 1990s.
Captain Planet (voiced by David Coburn) is the titular character of the series. In the beginning of the series, Gaia (the spirit of the planet) assembles a modern-day team of ‘Planeteers’ from several nations. When the modern-day Planeteers combine their powers to summon the elemental warrior, this incarnation takes on the appearance of a superhero, who takes on the title of ‘Captain Planet’. Captain Planet displays a wry sense of humor and often uses puns while taunting the show’s cast of villains. His only weakness is when he comes into contact with sources of pollution.
The premise of the show is what made it unique; just the thought of educating kids about saving the environment with the use of simple characters possessing diverse powers that are trapped in their rings is sheer genius. Also with the characters originating from different nations, like Kwame from Africa having the powers of Earth, Gi from Asia having the powers to control sea creatures and water, Wheeler from USA has the power of fire, Linka from Europe possessed the power to control wind and finally Ma-Ti from Brazil having the power of love and telepathy, it managed to resonate with a plethora of audiences across the globe.
Captain Planet and the Planeteers should make a comeback because… Kids’ today are not too keen on understanding the problems faced by the Earth’s ecosystem and this show will work as a great edutainment medium to propagate that sense of responsibility towards the Planet and more so the society.
9. Dextor’s Laboratory
Being the first of the Cartoon Cartoons from the Network’s collection of original content, Dexter’s Lab (as it was fondly called) was a show that struck a chord with siblings across the world as they could relate with the characters of Dexter and Dee Dee.
The series follows Dexter, a boy-genius with a secret laboratory, which he fills with his marvelous inventions. Dexter constantly battles against his sister Dee Dee, who always manages to gain access to his secret lab, despite his best efforts to keep her out. He also engages in a bitter rivalry with his neighbor and fellow-genius Mandark.
Dexter’s Laboratory received high ratings and became one of Cartoon Network’s most popular and successful original series. During its run, the series won 3 Annie Awards and also furthered the careers of many animation artists.
Dexter’s Laboratory should make a comeback because… The show is a classic example of how simple stories can translate across generations and have no language barriers. It was probably the only show at the time to actually show kids that science can be fun as well.
8. Johnny Bravo
Following in the footsteps of Dexter’s Laboratory, this beefed up, blonde, denim and black-tee clad hunk stormed onto the scene in late 1990s and was the second show from the Cartoon Cartoons house of work.
The series was about the adventures of the ever so overconfident and not so charming Johnny Bravo, as he continues of his quest to find his ‘soul mate’ in each and every girl that crosses his path. The character was someone all guys in their teens aspired to be and girls just loved to hate.
The character grew so popular in India that on 28 June, 2009 an episode titled Johnny Goes to Bollywood (not to be confused with the feature length movie of the same name) was aired in India. It was created exclusively for the Indian market, and produced by Famous House of Animation in Mumbai.
Johnny Bravo should make a comeback because… It is regarded as a classic Cartoon Network series and the character is considered “iconic”, with his catchphrases that are still remembered.
7. Johnny Quest (aka The Adventures of Johnny Quest)
This original Hanna-Barbera Production was inspired by a radio serial and comic strip of the same name. The television series revolves around a boy, who accompanies his scientist father on extraordinary adventures and has some help coming from friends he makes along the way and also his pet dog Bandit (which is a hybrid between a bulldog and a pug).
Apart from the very intriguing storyline and characters in the series, what was very refreshing was to see the style of animation that was used in the series. As Hanna-Barbera was just getting into full-time production of animation shows, it developed a unique style of ‘limited animation’ wherein, as opposed to ‘full animation’, this means that characters generally move from side to side with a sliding background behind them and are drawn mostly in static form, with only the moving parts (like running legs, shifting eyes, or talking mouths) being re-drawn from frame to frame on a separate layer.
Though the show started airing in early 1964 on ABC Network, it was cancelled after its first season of airing. It began airing on Cartoon Network in the latter half of 1992 and was last aired in 2003.
6. Swat Kats: The Radical Squadron
This co-production of Hanna-Barbera and Turner Program Services is the story of two vigilante fighter jet pilots – Chance “T-Bone” Furlong and Jake “Razor” Clawson – who were members of (the fictional) Megakat City’s paramilitary law enforcement agency, known as the Enforcers, but were thrown off the force because of failing to stick to Commander Feral’s orders and destroying public property.
The two characters T-Bone and Razor had an instant fan following among young boys aged between 6-12 years, to the extent they even role played these two characters in their backyard fights ‘to protect Megakat City’ from evil.
SWAT Kats became the number one syndicated animated show of 1994, according to Nielsen Television Index (NTI) and Nielsen Syndication Service (NSS). Hanna Barbera Productions also stated this in a SWAT Kats Poster ad that they were going to release new episodes, posters, and other works in 1995. The show was canceled with three unfinished episodes. Hanna-Barbera ended its syndication block The Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera to focus mostly on producing original content for Cartoon Network, there on.
5. The Addams Family
The animated series was based on a comic strip of the same name. It is the second animated series to feature the characters. It ran from between 1992 and 1993 on ABC and was produced by Hanna-Barbera. The series’ development began post the successful 1991 Addams Family feature film. Two seasons were produced in all.
Targeted towards young kids, the show made an instant connect with them through characters like Wednesday and Pugsley Addams and Uncle Fester received the most love for his fascination of explosives and light bulbs.
At the end of several episodes, when the conflict was resolved, Gomez usually suggested a family dance. The first suggestion for the dance was usually panned because of some weird requirement. The music for the series is also something that struck a chord with the audience and got everyone humming the tune whenever it came on television.
4. The Flintstones
The show is set in the fictional Stone Age town of Bedrock. In this fantasy version of the past, dinosaurs, saber-toothed cats, woolly mammoths, and other long-extinct animals co-exist with cavemen.
What made the show unique was, like their mid-20th century counterparts, these cavemen listen to records, live in split-level homes, and eat out at restaurants, yet their technology is made entirely from pre-industrial materials and largely powered through the use of animals. For example, the cars are made out of stone, wood and animal skins and powered by the passengers’ feet and their planes are flying creatures from the past.
This was probably the most successful show from Hanna-Barbera and was also rated as the second best cartoon show of all time in 2013 by TV Guide, after The Simpsons.
3. The Jet sons
The Jetsons was a prime-time animated sitcom that was produced by Hanna-Barbera for Screen Gems (and later Worldvision Enterprises). It was Hanna-Barbera’s space age counterpart to The Flintstones.
Like the former show, it is a half-hour family sitcom projecting contemporary American culture and lifestyle into another time period. While the Flintstones live in a world with machines powered by birds and dinosaurs, the Jet sons live in a futuristic utopia in the year 2062 of elaborate robotic contraptions, aliens, holograms, and whimsical inventions.
2. The Mask
Just like in the case of The Addams Family, this show too was inspired by the successful movie outing of the character, played by Jim Carrey. The show ran for three seasons, from 1995 to 1997 on CBS, and also went onto have its own short-run comic book series, Adventures of The Mask.
The show had very quirky content and also some weird villains and story lines, but it still managed to do well among the young teens. It also ran into some controversies for the use of nudity in one episode, but is always remembered for the green faced lunatic that saves the city from the criminals.
1. The Road Runner Show
The Road Runner Show was an animated anthology series which compiled theatrical The Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote cartoons from the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies, originally produced by Warner Bros. Cartoons between 1948 and 1966. Several of the shorts, especially the ones produced from 1965 onward, were produced specifically for television by Format Films after Warner Bros. closed their animation studio.The show was great for kids and teens, though it involved a lot of violence with the Coyote often coming under a running train or ending up at the base of a mountain followed by a huge boulder flattening him out.Though the show was silent in nature, with no dialogues; it managed to grip the audience with its great humour and the constant failure of the Coyote in trapping or killing the Road Runner.