If you’re like me, one of your favorite childhood memories is waking up before your parents, making yourself a bowl of sugary cereal (with a prize inside the box), and basking in the warm glow of Saturday morning children’s programming. Four solid hours of programming just for kids. When Soul Train came on, you knew your time was over…until next week.
According to SlashFilm.com, Saturday morning cartoons are officially dead. The CW canceled their Saturday morning animation block, putting the final nail in the Saturday morning cartoon coffin. The old Saturday morning cartoons just don’t seem to hold up against the constant barrage of children’s programming you can find today. My kids don’t even understand what a commercial is due to Netflix, Hulu, OnDemand, and DVDs. Who cares about four hours of kids’ shows when you can get 24 hours of kids shows?
To honor one of my favorite childhood memories, I’ve assembled a list of Saturday morning cartoons — not just any Saturday morning cartoons, but the seven best Saturday morning cartoons of all time.
I was a huge fan of The A-Team as a kid, so it only made sense to watch Mr. T’s animated show as well. In this series, Mr. T is a gymnastics coach to a bunch of kids and a dog. They also fight crime. Sounds legit.
Spider-Man and his friends Iceman and Firestar fight evil villains and hide their super-identities, all while being the coolest kids in school. If you’re feeling nostalgic, you can still find this one on Netflix.
Yes, even as a child I was a superhero nerd. Super Friends had some of the best heroes working together to save the world from all kinds of evil. Aquaman may have been my first crush. Don’t judge me.
“Amazing” was apparently a popular adjective for 1980s Saturday morning cartoons. The thing I love about this show is not so much the plot or characters, but just that it existed at all. I mean, it’s a show about a Rubik’s cube: “Hey, this square with no personality is popular, let’s make a show about it!”
When you think about it, the Fonz was about two steps away from being a cartoon character anyway, so this show made sense. I was obsessed with all things Happy Days as a kid (along with Aquaman, Potsie was an early crush. Shut up.), so this was a favorite for me. The Happy Days gang plus a talking dog and a girl from the future? I am so in.
Hey, hey, hey! This is a show that I can happily say that I love, without a hint of irony. I used to laugh and laugh at Mushmouth and his voice, and I loved the end of the show, when the gang would play songs on their junkyard instruments. I am really tempted to buy the entire series on Amazon.
If you were a kid without cable, or a kid whose parents wouldn’t let you watch MTV, the only way you could see music videos was through Kidd Video. In this show, a teenage band (including Cousin Oliver from the Brady Bunch) is sucked into an animated universe to be the musical slaves of a guy named Master Blaster. I recently rewatched the first episode on YouTube, and Master Blaster has Lionel Ritchie trapped in a bubble. No really. This show really was pretty terrible, but when I was five, the blend of music videos, live action, and animation was like crack.
I’ll be the first to admit that this list is entirely subjective and firmly rooted in my own nostalgia. So tell me: what would make your list of Saturday morning cartoons greatest hits? Let me know in the comments.
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