This is a random Top 10 list I chose to do, inspired by WatchMojo.com's list of Video Games that Aged Well. A part of my reason is while the 1980s are nostalgia worthy and likely to become pop culture, the 1990s hadn't aged terribly well. However, I decided to throw that a bone with my Top 10 list here.
Rules? Okay here goes...
-All of these cartoons had to have premiered between January 1, 1990 and December 31, 1999.
-Every entry I tried to make stand out as an individual. Ergo, if you think a show had aged nicely as well and you don't see it, maybe it's just similar in nature to one of the already listed shows.
-Stay tuned for some Honorable Mentions.
-All of these shows needed to have ran for more than just one season or at least got more than just 13 episodes, or the best it would deserve is an Honorable Mention.
-Keep in mind these are only opinions based on research and synergy.
#10: Beast Wars Transformers (1996)
I will start off my "Aged Well" list with the second intertion of the Transformers franchise, and their first venture into the Beast era. It is their first series to use all-CGI, and while next to something like the Michael Bay films it's clearly TV-quality but it manages to avoid being a product of its era. The series also introduces several characters who would continue to appeal nowadays; even die-hard fans of the 80s series found something to love about them in addition to Predacon-turned-Maximal Dinobot being introduced into the Transformers Hall of Fame. Don't get me wrong, Autobots vs. Decepticons are always going to come to mind first, but even now I can say Beast Wars Transformers holds up, yeeesss...
#9: Beavis and Butt-head (1993)
A series which was a spin-off from Liquid Television, Mike Judge's brainchildren would start a practice of adding more than just music videos to MTV. While in terms of being controversial it has definitely been outdone, but the series was not depending on that to survive as many a parent hated Beavis and Butt-head due to their crude nature and controversial content, but that was one more reason fans loved them. In addition, the series dates itself so heavily you would probably be afraid that revisiting this series would be impossibly cringe-inducing. Amazingly enough that isn't the case, it holds up a lot better than you would think. Any way you look at them, the world is a little different now thanks to Mike Judge. Huh huh, this show rules!
#8: The Tick (1994)
One of three cartoon series that was considered to have never "Jumped the Shark", The Tick is a superhero parody based on the underground comic book by Ben Edlund. It could have been seen as stale and formulaic due to the nature of its genre. But The Tick manages to be witty, sassy and cool with a wide assortment of oddball characters and creative plots. Not even a peaked-too-early live-action series can deflate feelings for this show. Granted parodies of comic book superheroes are nothing new but this series feels as fresh as its ever been. I guess the only thing left to say about The Tick is "Spoooooonn!"
#7: Rocko's Modern Life (1993)
A series created by Joe Murray as one of Nickelodeon's Nicktoons, Rocko's Modern Life is yet another well-aged series. Rocko may not have been "radical", he wasn't an extreme skateboarder and he didn't rap; he was just an Only Sane Man in a world full of wackos. But while he may have been low-key, he definitely made up for that in longitivity, and well, the fact it's loaded with subtle mature humor means it gives you something to look forward to as you grow up. That was a hoot!
#6: Sonic SatAM (1993)
The second Sonic the Hedgehog cartoon made chronologically, Sonic SatAM (named as such to avoid confusion with the earlier Sonic cartoon, Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog) is a cult favorite canceled before its time. Sure there are only a handful of characters from the SegaSonic verse that appear, but we can give that a pass because at the time the franchise was still in its infancy. It manages to juggle so many different TV show genres and they naturally fit, and so many characters continue to appeal to fans everywhere. It could have just been another cheap cash-in but it managed to be vastly better than it had any right to be. It's way past cool!
#5: 101 Dalmatians: the Series (1997)
For me, 101 Dalmatians: the Series is a series which represents two Disney blocks: it marks the end of the fatiguting "Disney Afternoon" and the start of the Disney-owned ABC era with Disney's "One Saturday Morning". Now, cartoons based on movies have always been a bit of an iffy preposition. An even bigger hurdle to jump though, was that this series was a cartoon spin-off from a live-action remake of an animated classic. However, with its appealing characters, still-relevant plots, plenty of heart and many episodes of brillance, this series actually did the unthinkable: I actually prefer the series to the movie that inspired it! Other movie cartoons come and go but 101 Dalmatians: the Series still holds its ground. Even today, Disney will still air it as part of one of their programming blocks. Memo to myself: spread the word of awesome of 101 Dalmatians: the Series!
#4: Tiny Toon Adventures (1990)
At one point thought to be another mindless Muppet Babies knock-off, any doubts were immediately quieted once the series debuted. In the early 90s, there was no stopping Tiny Toon Adventures. People were wild about this show and it was everywhere. However, it was unfortunately canceled after only three years to make room for Animaniacs. That show quickly usurped the reins and for a while, the first Warner/Spielberg collab looked like it was a series doomed to be eclipsed. But, that was anything but the case as Tiny Toon Adventures with its clever plots that age with the times, jokes that appeal to everyone, characters that are all memorable, an amazing taste in music and heart to spare, Tiny Toon Adventures is no doubt a classic. And dat's a wrap!
#3: Ed, Edd n Eddy (1999)
This Cartoon Network original series, made by Canadian-born Danny Antonucci and his a.k.a. Cartoon animation unit, is one of their longest running shows for a reason: it was out right made to age well! The strength of the characters together with still-meaningful themes and non-current technology means the show can still find an audience today. We can say their goal to have a non-dated show is a success. Buttered toast!
#2: The Critic (1994)
This mature animated series, which was helmed by Al Jean and Mike Reiss and starred Jon Lovitz as the voice of Jay Sherman, a pudgy, balding New York film critic, is still one well-aged show. It was a funny, yet still touching series that is tragically underrated; it unfortunately never got much of a fair shake and was canceled much too soon. The Critic is a cartoon well worth your time and support, and like The Tick was considered to have never "Jumped the Shark". I will even say that I have written a RetroJunk article on this series and have even had people find it meaningful to the point they want to use it as a "Case For" defense, just check Wikipedia and TV Tropes!
#1: Batman: the Animated Series (1992)
Don't act like you didn't see this coming. Batman: the Animated Series, one of several comic book superhero adaptions and still one of the best, this series is timeless and will appeal to anyone, anywhere. With its smart, mature writing, reverance to the source material and an army of memorable characters, Batman: the Animated Series deserves its title as one of our best modern cartoons.
King of the Hill (1997)
The Powerpuff Girls (1998)
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