We all watched cartoons when we were kids. Who among us cheered for Wile E. Coyote and hoped that he would catch the Road Runner at least once? Who is not aware of the Acme brand? Even as we grow up, and sometimes even when we have grown up, there are still cartoons that we always watch. There is something about those animated characters that make things simple, innocent and fun.
Here is a list of the top 10 best cartoon shows of all time.
1. The Simpsons
Longevity is a reflection of popularity and quality. “The Simpsons” have been around since 1987, making it the longest running television series ever. It started out as part of “The Tracey Ullman Show” before it got spun off as an entirely different show in 1989. It was the first show on the then fledgling Fox Network to make it to the top 30. Set in the fictional town of Springfield, the show was created by Matt Groening and is a satire and parody of middle class America. Through its characters Homer, Margie, Bart, Lisa and Maggie, the show mocks the various aspects of society, culture and the human condition.
2. South Park
Since we are on the subject of longevity, “South Park” takes the second spot as the best cartoon show of all time. It is also runner up to “The Simpsons” as the second longest running television show of all time. The Trey Parker and Matt Stone creation started out as a viral video on the Internet. It follows the adventures of four boys, namely Kyle Broflovski, Eric Cartman, Stan Marsh and Kenny McCormick.
3. Beavis and Butthead
Fun and rock music are a surefire combination that would certainly appeal to teenage fans. Mike Judge recognized this and created “Beavis and Butthead” in 1992 for MTV. It is about two socially awkward teenagers who are under-educated and dim-witted. Their one shared passion though is their love for rock music, particularly AC/DC and Metallica. It originally aired from 1992 to 1997 and was revived in 2011. Critics have accused the show of promoting dangerous behavior because of the boys’ tendency to be truant. But teenagers will be teenagers and will always be on the lookout for fun.
4. Looney Tunes
This was probably the first cartoon that kids got to watch back in its prime. With characters like Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig, Daffy Duck, Elmer Fudd, Sylvestor, Speedy Gonzales, Tweety Bird, Tazmanian Devil, Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner, every child had his favorite. Shown in six to ten minute clips with around three clips per 30-minute episode, “Looney Tunes” were instant favorites and will forever remain as classics in the hearts and minds of every person who was once a child.
“Futurama” has the distinction of being the highest critically acclaimed animated series ever made. It is a science fiction situation comedy from Matt Groening, the same creator of “The Simpsons.” It is about the adventures of Philip J. Fry, a pizza delivery boy from New York City who was accidentally frozen cryogenically. He was unfrozen after a thousand years. Finding himself in the 31st century, Fry took on a job with Planet Express, an interplanetary delivery service company. The show was originally shown on Fox from 1999 to 2003. It was then revived in 2008 after getting picked up by Comedy Central.
6. The Flintstones
Set in the Stone Age, the show was about a family and their next-door neighbor who all live in the town of Bedrock while co-existing with pre-historic animals like dinosaurs, saber-toothed tigers and wooly mammoths. It was produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions and shown on ABC from 1960 to 1966. The show was able to successfully put side-to-side modern issues in a Stone Age setting. Even the names were subtly changed to Stone Age-style, with Hollywood becoming Hollyrock, Godzilla becoming Rockzilla and Mickey Mantle becoming Mickey Marble, among others.
7. Tom and Jerry
Time Magazine has named it one of the greatest television shows of all time. During its run from 1940 to 1957, it won the Oscar Award for Best Animated Short Film seven times. It was about the rivalry of a cat named Tom and a mouse named Jerry. Theirs was one of the longest-running and most famous rivalries of all time. They did however team up from time to time to do battle against their nemesis, Spike the Bulldog.
8. SpongeBob Square Pants
The show is the highest rated in the Nickelodeon network. Created by Stephen Hillenburg, the show follows the adventure of SpongeBob and his friends in the underwater city of Bikini Bottom. SpongeBob is an energetic sea sponge that owns a snail called Gary, which sounds like a cat. His best friend is Patrick Star, a dimwit pink starfish that lives a couple of houses away. Other characters include Sandy Cheeks, Squidward Tentacles, Sheldon Plankton and Eugene Krabs. The show made its debut in 1999.
9. King of the Hill
This was about a middle class Methodist family from the fictional town of Arlen, Texas called the Hills. The family faced their problems in a humorous way. Conventional and ordinary aspects of our everyday lives are discussed and dissected in the show and given a funny approach. The show ran from 1997 to 2010 and was named by Time Magazine as one of the 100 greatest shows of all time.
10. Steven Spielberg Presents Animaniacs
Also known as simply “Animaniacs,” the show aired from 1993 to 1998 in Fox and The WB. It combined wit, slapstick and pop culture references to draw in the laughs. It also included a lot of caustic cartoon violence. It also had an educational element as it covered a variety of topics from history, math, science, social studies, astronomy and geography. These were usually discussed in musical form. Most of the episodes featured three mini-episodes plus some bridging segments. Each one featured a different set of characters.