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Sunday, July 25, 2010

Top 10: All-Time, Best Cartoon Series Ever

This is a very controversial topic, and I expect several Facebook "de-friendings" and Twitter "un-followings" as a result of this post. But it needed to be done.

The only criteria I used for my selection process was that each had to be a cartoon television series that ran for at least an entire ratings season and it had to be good - either funny or well-written.

Here are the Top-10: All-Time, Best Cartoons Ever - in descending order.

10. StarBlazers - not a lot of people will know this cartoon, but it was incredible to me when I was 11 years old. I recently bought the entire series and was blown away all over again 30 years later.

9. Speed Racer - what's not to love?? The Mach 5, Chim-Chim, Racer X, Trixie, Spridle and Pops - it set the bar for Anime.

8. Super Friends: Justice League of America - this was a Saturday morning stalwart on the ABC network for years. It would have been ranked higher if it wasn't for the Wonder Twins and Gleek “...form of an eagle, form of [cue Gleek with the bucket] water...” (sheesh!)

7. Batman and Tarzan: Hour of Power - I remember this great show every Saturday at 10am on CBS for a couple of seasons, the first half hour was Tarzan: Lord of the Jungle with a combo half hour of Batman. Awesome!

6. Avatar: The Last Air Bender - I didn't want to like this series because it reminded me of the eminently stupid Dragon Ball Z. However, I’m continually surprised and engrossed by Avatar’s supremely better premise, writing and characters. It’s really “must-see” cartooning.

5. Tom & Jerry - ONLY the old school version where they beat each other’s brains out. It's not politically correct, but it's still funny as all heck.

4. (TIE) Flintstones/Jetsons – the Jetsons and Flintstones are the exact same show, only one was set in the Stone Age and the other in the Space Age.

3. Pinky & The Brain - this was an Animaniacs cartoon that was popular when I was in college. My housemates and I never missed a show; it was ahead of its time.

2. Simpsons - what else can be said about the first primetime cartoon ever that hasn’t already been said? Homer MADE the Fox Network.

And my pick for number cartoon series of all time is.....

SpongeBob SquarePants (character)Image via Wikipedia
1. SpongeBob Squarepants - never has so much been done with a premise so littered with holes (literally). I love that I can watch, laugh and enjoy every episode with my daughters.

Let me know which other animated gems I've missed and where it should go in the rank or reply with your own Top-10 ranking (if you dare)!

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  1. Tor,

    I'm showing my age or you are showing your youth! The entire Warner Brother's Cartoon Collection, originally 'Shorts' shown at the 'movies' as previews: Bugs Bunny and the gang. Clever writing with references to the culture of the time, great musical scores.

  2. Honey, Phineus and Ferb is far better comedy than Spongebob..the songs are hilarious too, great writing!
    Do you remember when we were first married there was a cartoon on called, The Tick? We laughed at that one quite a bit.."SPOON!"

  3. @Fr. John, Bugs and his crew are a glaring omission on my part. They are definitely worthy of inclusion. I'd probably boot "Pinky & The Brain" and replace with Bugs Bunny. Thanks for the help regarding this important issue ;-)

  4. @Kim, granted P&F are very good - it was an oversight on my part. I would swap them out with Batman/Tarzan. Also, how could I have forgotten The Tick??? That definitely belongs on the list somewhere - possibly 3.b.???

  5. Okay I have to admit that as a child I didn't really like cartoons. But as an adult I do like them. So let's see if I can come up with 10 cartoons.
    10. Reboot
    9. Jettsons
    8. Dark Knight
    7. Ghost Busters
    6. South Park
    5. Family Guy
    4. Simpsons
    3. Sponge Bob
    2. Fairy Godparents
    1. Rugrats

  6. @Lisa, great list - thanks for playing! What is Reboot???

  7. Here is a link.... was an early 90's cartoon.

  8. @Lisa, cool thanks! I'm glad to see your taste in TV programming has matured over the years

  9. My list, ranked purely by personal preference:

    10. Aaaah! Real Monsters & Rocko's Modern Life
    9. Hannah Barbera: Scooby, Flintstones, Jetsons
    8. Space Ghost Coast to Coast
    7. Ed, Edd, & Eddy
    6. Doug
    5. Courage the Cowardly Dog
    4. Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends
    3. Animaniacs/Tiny Toons
    2. Garfield & Friends
    1. Invader Zim

    Obviously, I grew up on Cartoon Network and Nicktoons, and still haven't quite grown out of them!

  10. @Chery, great mix of quality toons. Thanks for assembling a list!

  11. Totally agree with your comment on Flintstones and Jetsons, two of my faves. I'm also a fan of Mr. Magoo, Underdog, Looney-Toons, and Yogi Bear.

  12. @Luana, how could I have forgotten Underdog and Yogi! I loved both those toons. Thanks for enhancing the discussion here!

  13. @Jonathan - of course! That was a CLASSIC cable (Nickelodeon I think???) cartoon of the 80's with one of the best theme songs ever!