If you were a child growing up in the ‘90s, it’s highly likely you spent your Saturday mornings with your face glued to the television. There was no better way to start your weekend than watching cartoons on the TV, especially given how many shows there were to get lost in. However, out of all the series that graced our television sets during those childhood years, some cartoons stood out above the rest. They were the best of the best.
It’s the phenomenon that just won’t give up. After debuting in the ‘90s, Pokémon is still an incredibly popular franchise, whether you’re talking about the games, the cards, or the anime. Considering that the first generation of Pokémon is often praised as being the best, it’s no surprise that the debut series is also beloved by ‘90s kids. The adventures were exhilarating, the characters easy to love, and the Pokémon diverse and adorable. It was everything a child could want back then.
The Magic School Bus
School would have been so much more exciting if we’d had Mrs. Frizzle as our teacher. Who wants to sit in class learning about math and science when you could be traveling space and exploring people’s anatomy instead? The Magic School Bus was one of those great shows that combined education with entertainment, with the former thankfully not being too overpowering. No-one wants to feel like they’re learning on a Saturday morning, no matter how great the cartoon is.
When it aired during the ‘90s, Dexter’s Laboratory received an overwhelmingly positive response from critics. It was one of Cartoon Network’s best-rated original shows, and it’s clear to see why. Well animated and incredibly funny, the concept was imaginative and outrageous, the kind of thing you’d hope for from a Saturday morning cartoon. Plus, it was easy for ‘90s kids to relate to the characters of the show, from Dexter’s unappreciated geekiness to Dee Dee’s love of having fun.
Whether or not you were in diapers when you watched Rugrats, chances are you still loved the show. Its emphasis on friendship and creativity spoke to younger viewers of the time, and it showed exactly what could be achieved with a bit of imagination. Like many other cartoons, Rugrats was somewhat educational, often subtly teaching moral lessons through its stories. However, they were never particularly overpowering, with the focus usually being on the wackiness of the adventures the characters had.
You might not think that a cartoon set in school would be particularly exciting for children. However, for ‘90s kids, Recess was one of the best programs out there. Perhaps it was because the characters were so relatable, from the cruel teachers (and the one that was hard not to love) to all the cliques in the schoolyard. The show was a little more adult than other Saturday morning cartoons which is perhaps why so many people loved it. Then again, maybe it’s popularity came from the fact it was just an incredible show.
Suddenly have a craving to rewatch old cartoons? You’re not alone. You can’t beat a bit of ‘90s TV!