The 10 Most Brilliant Cartoons from the 90's

Posted by Body Rags Blog on

Were you born in the 90's? If you were, chances are you caught some of the best shows of any generation.

Cartoons from the 90's were the precursors to many of the shows we see today, and some of them even still air every day. But with all those shows, picking your favorite can be harder than defeating Mojo Jojo.

Lucky for you, we've narrowed the list down to the top 10. Read on to decide which cartoon is your favorite.

1. Johnny Bravo (1997-2004)

Johnny Bravo followed the life of a hunky man focused on finding someone to go out with him. In his attempts, it seemed he always fell short.

The show played on Bravo's hyper-masculinity. And it often showed us why it takes more than looks to woo someone.

The show ended in 2004 with a tv movie about Bravo fighting his lack of popularity. He ends up going to Bollywood to find fame again.

2. Arthur (1996-Present)

If you know Arthur, you know happiness. Arthur is a show about an 8-year-old aardvark living his life in the third grade. The creators targeted the show for younger audiences, but it appealed to older ages as well.

Arthur has plenty of hard discussions to help children. For example, Arthur included a character with Aspergers Syndrome.

Like a lot of tv shows for children, Arthur is also famous for featuring celebrity guests. Here are a few:

  • Joan Rivers
  • Yo-Yo Ma
  • Alex Trebek
  • Lance Armstrong
  • Matt Damon
  • Mr. Rogers

3. Courage the Cowardly Dog (1999-2002)

Courage the Cowardly Dog is why we had emo phases. This show existed for one year of the 90's decade, but it still left a strong impression.

Courage lived in the middle of Nowhere, a city named for its likeness. His owners were an older married couple with plenty of their own problems.

Courage almost always got himself in dangerous and often horrific situations. Why this didn't scare kids we will never know, but we do love it.

4. Powerpuff Girls (1998-2005)

The Powerpuff Girls were the three kindergarten baddies we all wanted to be. These girls got their superpowers from their scientist father.

Critics praised the show for its fun 50s theme. And the girls still dealt with issues 5-year-olds have.

The Powerpuff girls helped change the male-dominated narrative of superheroes. While it didn't have feminist themes, the Powerpuff Girls were still ahead of their time.

5. Rugrats (1991-2004)

You can't talk about 90's shows without talking about the Rugrats. These little guys crawled across our screens long enough to grow up with us.

The show followed the lives of babies and children who were able to talk, but their parents could not hear them. The story was always told from the imaginations of the children, even when it didn't make sense.

The show was also interesting for a rare depiction of the modern Jewish family. While children may not have picked up on this, adults gave it high praise.

6. Hey Arnold (1996-2004)

Hey Arnold! was an essential show for people who lived in inner cities. While most cartoons displayed suburban life, Hey Arnold! showed the difficulties of living in the big city.

Arnold gave his friends and other locals advice about living in the city. Arnold's calm and cool character reflected the casual nature of the show.

Nickelodeon revived and brought Arnold back to life in 2017 for a TV movie. Hey Arnold!: The Jungle movie even featured many of the original voice actors.

7. Dexter's Laboratory (1996-2003)

While Drake may be in love with Keke, Dede has been bothering Dexter's Laboratory since 1996.

Dexter, an eccentric 8-year-old, keeps a secret laboratory in his basement. He often plays tricks on his sister, but they backfire on him for laughs.

This show was a simple and fun world for children to see, and we're willing to bet plenty of kids made imaginary laboratories because of it.

8. The Simpsons (1989-Present)

Let's leave the kids behind for a second and focus on a classic. When The Simpsons aired in 1989, adult television would never be the same.

As the longest-running American sitcom, The Simpsons is an obvious global favorite. Although, there are some countries (and households) that have banned the show.

The show has had widespread success throughout the years. Love for the show led to the creation of a feature film, apparel, and rollercoasters.

The Simpsons has also inspired other adult cartoons. Seth MacFarlane, the creator of Family Guy, has a good relationship with Matt Groening the creator of the Simpsons.

Controversy is not unknown to Simpsons writers. Critics suggest that Apu, an Indian character, is a harmful and stereotypical character.

Apu owns a convenience store, a stereotype for Indian-Americans. And characters have poked fun at his race on the show.

The Simpsons addressed this controversy this year on the show. As of now, the show is not planning to remove the character.

9. Samurai Jack (2001-2004; 2017)

Samurai Jack came out in 2001, but 90's kids will remember this beloved cartoon. In Samurai Jack, Jack goes to the future to fight off an evil demon. Like most Cartoon Network shows, this one gets straight to the punch -- er... sword.

The show ended in 2004 without concluding the storyline. But, in 2017 Adult Swim picked the show up and finished it with one final season.

Critics praised Samurai Jack for its visual appeal. Because of its Japanese influences, the show has a style not seen in most American shows.

10. Chip n' Dale Rescue Rangers (1989-1990)

Chip n' Dale Rescue Rangers lasted less than most cartoons did. But if you were a 90's kid, there's a good chance you saw these two on your screen.

Disney produced 65 episodes of the show. And they showed reruns on different platforms after the show ended. This means 90's kids saw this show almost as much as other cartoons.

The show is not a pivotal cartoon. But its long-lasting impact shows how much a small number of episodes can mean to 90's kids.

Want More Cartoons from the 90's?

Now that you know your favorite, check out our store for some nostalgic t-shirts. From Dexter to Courage, we have merch from all sorts of cartoons from the 90's. And if you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.

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