You don’t get to be a TV fanatic without starting early. For most of us, cartoons were our introduction to TV. There are classics that I still like to watch on Netflix, and there are some modern cartoons that have dominated television for a generation. Young or old, a good cartoon is a good cartoon and we all love them. Let’s take a look at the 20 best cartoons of all time:
#20 – The Transformers (1984-1987)
Transformers. More than meets the eye. Optimus Prime was a bad-ass. This show was one of the first to really go after the merchandise market. You couldn’t escape the commercials for Transformer toys and at Christmas, every other commercial was a Transformer commercial.
This is a classic.
#19 – G.I. Joe (1983-1986)
There used to be a time when kids were taught to love their country. G.I. Joe is an example of that. He’s a real American hero. The funny thing about this show was that despite every person on the show having a very specialized purpose that they were no doubt very highly trained for, no one was ever killed. Everyone, on both sides, was really bad at their jobs and they wasted an incredible amount of time not accomplishing anything but hey, Murica! And remember the psa’s? Of course you do. You know them. And knowing is half the battle.
#18 – Underdog (1964-1973)
This is a classic saturday morning cartoon. One of the shows creators, W. Watts Biggers, was an advertising executive responsible for the General Mills account. He developed Underdog to help sell cereal for General Mills. Today, Underdog would get in trouble for using performance enhancing drugs since he had to take a pill to get his special powers. Hmm. Most of the juicers of baseball in the steroid era were kids when this show was on the air. Can we blame Underdog for ruining baseball? I think we can. The theme song for Underdog is still to this day one of the best theme songs of all-time.
Here’s the cover by The Blanks from Scrubs:
And the classic intro:
#17 – Magilla Gorilla (1964-1967)
A classic Hannah-Barbera cartoon from the 60s. It’s been said that this cartoon was a barometer of the civil rights movement of the 1960s and that the show supported continuing the segregation of the races. This was said by crazy people. It was just a cartoon. We were introduced to Ricochet Rabbit in the Magilla Gorilla show (which was a knock-off of Warner Brothers Speedy Gonzalez) and Droopy Dog. I don’t know what it was about this show, but it was one of my favorites when I was a kid.
#16 – Wacky Races (1968-1970)
Another classic Hannah-Barbera cartoon. It wasn’t on for very long when it ran originally, but it aired non-stop in re-runs and it is still running today on Boomerang. Inspired by the 1965 movie, The Great Race (A Tony Curtis classic), Wacky Races was just that. A wacky race comedy. It featured over 23 different characters, (which today would all be voiced by 2 people) all racing in various races across America. We were introduced to Dick Dasterdly and Muttley (which is my nickname for both of my dogs) and several other characters that showed up in various Hannah-Barbera enterprises over the years. This is another one that probably won’t make most people’s list of greats, but it was great to me.