By: Devin Smith
As a child we all shared one simple truth; that cartoons are awesome.
Everyone has different tastes as to what type of cartoons they prefer, and today there are cartoons for all ages.
I grew up watching cartoons, and although I’m older now I still love them. So this is my attempt at picking the five cartoons that meant the most to me.
In an attempt to narrow things down I decided to choose only from my younger days, which means shows like “Family Guy” or basically anything on Adult Swim is out of the picture.
I could go on for days listing cartoons worthy of my top five, but a few that were really close that didn’t make it are “CatDog,” “Angry Beavers,” “Recess” and “The Simpsons.”
5. “Dexter’s Laboratory”
The boy genius with a high-tech lab in his room safely tucked away from his family behind a bookshelf. It was what every kid wanted to have, the equivalent of the child’s version of the American dream. Aside from dealing with his sister Dee Dee’s nonsense, which usually results in the destruction of his experiments, Dexter also is locked in a constant struggle with his evil-genius counterpart named Mandark. There were also special segments like M for Monkey and the Justice Friends, one being about Dexter’s super-powered pet monkey and the latter was inspired by characters from Marvel Comics. I lived on Cartoon Network as a kid, and this was the show that got me hooked.
4. “Duck Tales”
“Duck Tales” was a great show in its own right, but for me there is one particular reason why this cartoon stood out to me: Darkwing Duck. Drake Mallard by day, this beaked vigilante constantly struggled with his need to be famous and the need to do good for his city. He was so entertaining that the cartoon was given a spinoff, the only direct spinoff of “Duck Tales.” There were also hyperactive ducklings Huey, Dewey, Louie and their grandfather Scrooge McDuck. McDuck is the richest duck in the world, which he accomplished by being ‘smarter than the smarties, and tougher than the toughies.’ Usually there would be someone trying to steal McDuck’s fortune and he and his nephews, sometimes with assistance, are tasked with preventing this from happening.
3. “Looney Tunes”
Let’s be honest, you can’t have a list of top cartoons without the flagship program of the golden age of American animation. Characters like Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Tweety Bird and many more are household names. They even have a movie with Michael Jordan called “Space Jam,” a personal favorite of mine. There was so much variety in the cartoons but it never failed to be entertaining. Nearly a dozen of its episodes have been nominated for Academy Awards over the years, and the number should be higher. Looney Tunes is one of the few cartoons that you and your elders both watched as children, and it is something that can be shared with you children as well.
2. “Dragon Ball Z”
This choice is probably a curve ball for a lot of people, but honestly the only reason it isn’t on the top of the list for me is because I’ve been watching the top pick a lot longer. “Dragon Ball Z” may very well be the most influential cartoon of my childhood, and for so many reasons. It was popular on Cartoon Network’s after-school grouping of programs, called Toonami, and I can remember watching it every day with my cousin when I got home. I loved everything about it, even the fact that twenty minute fights generally lasted just as many episodes. I loved it so much that when I was a kid I was pretty confident that I was a Super Sayian. It turns out I was wrong, but that doesn’t take away from this masterpiece created by Akira Toriyama.
1. “Tom and Jerry”
A cat chasing a mouse is so simplistic, and that was the magic of Tom and Jerry. It probably also had something to do with the violence. Tom would try various schemes in an attempt to capture Jerry, but he rarely succeeded due to the cleverness of Jerry and occasionally luck. Tom used anything he could get his paws on to get Jerry like explosives, axes and guns to name a few. These two iconic figures have been battling each other for over 70 years, and now that it has been given a reboot by Cartoon Network. A new generation of kids will be able to enjoy the crazy antics that captured my imagination.