The 1990s was an amazing decade that saw a lot of innovations worldwide. It was the decade that brought pop culture into the spotlight with amazing songs and blockbuster movies. The 1990s also witnessed the breakthrough of the Internet. Some many not-so-good events and incidents also attached themselves to this decade.
Growing up during this era, kids also saw more adaptation of cable TV and the introduction of new and exciting channels like the Cartoon Network, which primarily targeted kids and young adult. The decade witnessed the production of some of the best cartoons ever.
The top 10 cartoons produced within the 1990s.
10. The Ren & Stimpy Show
The Ren and Stimpy Show was an adventure, comedy, and animated television series that Spumco produced for Nickelodeon. It ran from August 11, 1991, to December 16, 1996. The television series was about Ren Hoek, a sociopathic and psychotic Chihuahua dog, and Stimpson Cat, also known as Stimpy, a not highly intelligent but good-natured kitty. The movie is explicitly based on the duo who occupies varieties of roles in each given episode. Occasionally, some other characters appear for just one special role and others for reoccurring roles.
9. Dexter’s Laboratory
Dexter’s Laboratory is a sci-fi animated television series created by Genndy Tartakovsky for Cartoon Network on April 27, 1996. The TV series depicts a super-intelligent young boy named Dexter. Without his parents’ knowledge, he operates an ultramodern laboratory in his bedroom. His older sister, Dee, knows his secret and decides to break into the Lab just to rile Dexter up. Dexter also has a pet monkey that sometimes serves as his lab monkey or his superhero support. There is also Mandark, who is a boy genius with a sophisticated laboratory too. But he is Dexter’s bitter rival and archenemy.
8. Family Guy
Family guy is an animated situational comedy created by Seth MacFarlane for Fox Broadcasting Company in 1999. This animated sitcom depicts the life of the Griffin Family that lives in the fictional town of Quahog, Rhodes Island. There is Peter Griffin, the father, who tries his best to cater to his family. Lois Griffin is the mother who is a stay-at-home mother. Together, they have three children. Meg is an anti-social teenage girl. Chris is their oversized teenage boy. And there is the troublesome baby boy, Stewie, who has a supervillain mentality. A couple of times, he has tried to destroy his family, especially his parents. The family owns a pet named Brian. Brian is an English-speaking dog who usually seems like the most intelligent in the family. But his love for smoking and alcohol makes him fit just into the dysfunctional family.
7. X-Men: The Animated Series
X-Men: The Animated Series is an animated superhero television series based on the X-Men comic written by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. The cartoon series premiered in October 1992 on Fox Kids’ Network. The X-Men is a group of superheroes that consist of Professor X, Charles Xavier, the leader, and owner of the school for mutants, and Cyclops. There is Scot Summer, a mutant that produces a beam of energy from his eyes, and Wolverine, a mutant with adamantium claws. There are other superheroes like Rogue, Storm, Beast, Gambit, Jean Grey, and many others.
Together, they fight for good and the cohabitation of both humans and mutants against supervillains like their archrival Magneto. Magneto wants mutants to rule the world and have the people treat them as gods. The cartoon has a robot Sentinel whose sole purpose is to target mutants and kill them, and Apocalypse, a mutant who wants to kill off all the weak beings in the world, both humans and mutants.
6. The Powerpuff Girls
The Powerpuff Girls is an action, superhero animated television series that Craig McCracken created for Cartoon Network. The television show kicks off when a scientist, Professor Utonium, created three superpower kindergarten-age girls. He named them Blossom, Bubble, and Buttercup. These three little girls use their powers to protect their city Townsville and the world from super villains and giant monsters. The cartoon also depicts how Blossom, Bubble, and Buttercup deal with everyday kid issues like going to school, fears, personal hygiene, and the likes.
Rugrats is an adventure, comedy animated television series that Arlene Klasky, Gábor Csupó, and Paul Germain created for Nickelodeon. The television series premiered on August 11, 1991. Rugrats is a television series that chronicles the everyday life and adventures of four toddlers. There is Tommy Pickles, a brave and adventurous one-year-old boy, Chuckie Finster, two years old Tommy’s best friend, and the twins Phil and Lil Deville, who are notorious for hunting and eating earthworms. The main antagonist of the television series is Tommy’s three-year-old cousin named Angelica. There are some other characters like Dil, Tommy’s baby brother, Kimi, Chuckie’s sister, and Sussie, their neighbor.
Animaniacs is an animated comedy television series created by Tom Ruegger for Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment in collaboration with Warner Bros. Animation in 1993. The Animaniacs is based majorly on the three Warner siblings, two brothers, Yakko Warner and Wakko Warner, and their sister Dot Warner. Although they were the main act, Animaniacs features a whole lot of other characters with different storylines like Pinky and the Brain, two laboratory mice that had been experimented on and have tried to take over the world. There is also the GoodFeathers, the story of three pigeons and their quest to become part of the New York mob of pigeons. There are Rita and Runts, Slappy the Squirrel, Buttons and Mindy, Chicken boo, and a host of others. The Warner siblings brought together all these characters and their distinctive storylines.
3. SpongeBob SquarePants
SpongeBob SquarePants is an animated, comedy, and fantasy television series that Stephen Hillenburg created for Nickelodeon in 1999. The show chronicles the everyday life of an overly optimistic sea sponge named SpongeBob SquarePants. He lives in a pineapple in an underwater city called Bikini Bottom with his pet snail Gary. He works as a cook at a restaurant called Krusty Krab. His greatest goal in life is to become a certified sea boat driver. While some love SpongeBob, others throughout his community resent him for his playful, childlike behavior and unusual optimistic character. He lives with his friend Patrick Star. Patrick is a friendly starfish, Pearl, a sperm whale, and daughter of Mr. Krabs and Sandy Cheeks.
Pokémon is a short form way to refer to Pocket Monster. It is an action, adventure, comedy, and sci-fi Japanese anime television series that Takeshi Shudo and Kunihiko Yuyama wrote and directed for the Pokémon Company’s Pokemon media franchise in 1997. The anime depicts the adventures of a 10-year-old boy, Ash Ketchum, and his pokémon, Pikachu. Ash Ketchum is a young boy with a burning desire to become the greatest Pokémon trainer in the world. To achieve this feat, Ash must compete in a lot of contests with other Pokémon trainers. Ash Ketchum and his Pokémon, Pikachu, journey through the world from one contest to another, trying to conquer the world. He is also avoiding a group of villains called Team Rocket, who are determined to steal Pikachu.
1. Batman: The Animated Series
Batman: The Animated Series is an action, adventure, sci-fi, superhero animated television series based on the DC Comics comic titled Batman. The animated series premiered on 5th September 1992 on Fox kids. Batman: The Animated Series centers on Bruce Wayne, who witnessed the gruesome murder of his parents when he was a young boy. Then, his bottler Alfred Pennyworth raised him. Bruce promised to avenge his parent’s death through crime-fighting, which he did excellently by becoming a vigilante, Batman. Being the sole heir to the multimillion company left by his father and mother, Bruce sponsored his crime-fighting expenditures. Robin and Batgirl sometimes aided Batman in his fight against crime. Batman’s ultimate enemy is the Joker and his sidekick Harley Quinn, who was also a remarkably successful character. Batman also fought other villains like Penguin, Poison Ivy, Talia al Ghul and her father Ra’s, and a host of others.
The ’90s kids all had an awesome childhood with a wide variety of blockbuster cartoons that would have them glued to their televisions, especially every Saturday morning. This list has the top ten mouthwatering cartoons produced in the 1990s for the audience’s keen admiration.
About the author
Author: Chris Ingledue
Bio: I am the founder and owner of Wheeljack’s Lab pop Culture and Toy Shop. My vision has always been to reunite customers with their favorite childhood toys and pop culture, triggering fond memories, and reigniting their imaginations. Every day, I work in the “lab” where it’s Christmas 365 days a year. I scour the internet, like when we had the Sears Catalog of yesteryear, for the next great treasure. Then, I await the arrival of the postman as if he were Santa Claus himself and helping collectors worldwide with their own versions of Christmas. Every day as a vintage toy buyer is an absolute joy!