10 Best 90s Cartoons (to Watch With Your Kids)
Lots of cartoons haven’t aged well, only really appeal to younger audiences, or just weren’t that good to begin with. But there are lots of great nineties cartoons that still speak to the adults who loved them way back when and a new generation of kids looking for good cartoons. Here are our picks.
It’s the world from the point of view of a baby and surprise, the world is a baffling place when you look at it with innocent eyes. And in the background, adults are dealing with adult stuff like emotional labour and the anxieties of caring for people. For a show about babies, this one comes with some layers.
The Powerpuff Girls
What do you get when you mix sugar, spice, and everything nice . . . and accidentally add chemical X? You get three little girls who are full-time superheroes. And while other heroes on Cartoon Network were played for laughs (looking at you, Justice Friends), the Powerpuff Girls were dead serious about saving the world.
Pinky and the Brain
The entire Animaniacs line-up was pretty funny and stands up to viewing today, but Pinky and the Brain were so good that they got their own show. The aspirations of an evil mouse and his wacky sidekick make for delightfully silly viewing, and the show is surprisingly full of pop-culture references.
Pity the preteen set; they didn’t get a lot of love in the nineties. It seemed like TV kids went from being run-around-the-house little kids straight to hanging-out-at-the-mall teenagers, with no step in between. Enter Doug, a sweet kid full of anxieties about life.
Batman: The Animated Series
Some would argue that this Batman is the best Batman. Featuring beautiful art and amazing writing, this show never condescended to its audience. It came with villains who were sympathetic but not condoned and a measure of emotional maturity missing in a lot of other superhero content.
There were plenty of grungy, smart, cool-but-doesn’t-know-it girls in the nineties, and Daria Morgendorffer may have been their queen. Plus she always does the right thing, even when it sucks.
We bet lots of fans of modern fantasy extravaganzas like Game of Thrones grew up watching this beautifully produced epic. Centred around a group of Scottish gargoyles relocated to New York, this show gave kids a taste for lengthy storylines and high stakes.
Another major part of Cartoon Network’s line-up, this show about a child genius was really about high-octane sibling rivalry. Dee Dee steals the show nearly every time, and the episode “Omelette du Fromage” was a surprisingly sophisticated gag for a kids show.
The Magic School Bus
Lots of shows that encourage learning in kids either don’t achieve its objective, are boring, or come across as condescending. The Magic School Bus didn’t have any of those problems. It’s fun, you’ll learn a thing or two about stuff like the municipal water system, you’ll wish you could have one of those cool dresses Mrs Frizzle always wore.
Is it the greatest show of all time? Maybe. Try these ten amazing episodes.