My All Time Favorite Cartoons

I loved cartoons as a kid and I still love cartoons today. I guess you can say I am still a big kid…a very big kid. Even at 35 years old I will sit back and throw on cartoons when I want to relax. Through all the years I have spent watching animation I have had many favorites. Some may be my favorite for the year or the era and some may be my favorite that week but there were very few that stayed with me all these years. Some are older and some are newer but when I sat down today to think about “What cartoons made an impact on me?” I came up with this list. In order from #10 to #1.

#10 – THE REAL GHOSTBUSTERS

I loved the movie “Ghostbusters” and to a lesser extent I guess, Ghostbusters II. When I first heard there was a Ghostbusters cartoon based on the movie I was super excited! There were some changes of course to the look of the guys but it was the same team of four paranormal exterminators that I saw on the big screen. I watched this cartoon through it’s 7 original seasons, the spin-off about Slimer and the re-vamped “Extreme Ghostbusters” that saw Egon teach the new generation of ‘Busters after the original disbanded many years before.

#9 – G.I. JOE

I was always on the fence about G.I. Joe. The idea was sound but I was always turned off of the show by the ineffectiveness of my favorite character, Cobra Commander. He had one of the most unique looks in the show and was the leader of a Terrorist group that never really accomplished much. My faith in the character was renewed when a newer take on the classic show was released a few years ago and Cobra Commander stated that he was acting like a bumbling idiot to  further his plans. In this version he was viscious, relentless and scary. I loved it.

#8 – VOLTRON: DEFENDER OF THE UNIVERSE

I have a thing for cartoons about giant robots, as you will see further down the list and this Sunday morning cartoon was one of the things that I based my weekend around. The idea that 5 pilots controlled 5 robotic lions (I know there is another Voltron made of vehicles but the cast was too big to really draw me in) and those lions would merge into a giant robot that protected the universe from evil was so out there. My favorite of course was Keith and the Black Lion but each of the pilots added something to the dynamic of the team.

#7 – X-Men

I am a super hero junkie and Wolverine is one of my favorite heroes, and yes, part of that is due to the fact that he is a Canadian. When Fox debuted the X-Men cartoon I was into it right away but the show seemed to be hit or miss for me. I think part of the reason it was for me is that Wolverine could not really be Wolverine. He was a dumb downed version of Wolverine and I know they had to do it. You couldn’t have Wolverine unsheathing his claws and gutting people in a cartoon show but it meant that the character lost his edge. I did watch the show until the end though.

#6 – Spider-Man

With the success of the X-Men cartoon, Fox debuted a Spider-Man cartoon that debuted during the time that the X-Men was still on the air. To be honest, some of the best episodes were when both shows did cross overs. This is in my opinion the best Spider-Man cartoon that Marvel has ever produced. It had everything. The stories were not always geared towards children and the cast of characters and especially villains was handled extremely well. Plus Mark Hamill as my favorite villain, The Hobgoblin, sealed the deal.

#5 – Robotech

I would have rated this even higher but I have to lump all three sagas into one listing. I was obsessed with Robotech as a kid and I am not joking. It was one of the first anime series I had every seen, so the animation was unlike anything on television at the time. The Macross Saga was the the first, and the best, of the three sagas that we were treated too. The cartoon had a soap opera style of drama that even as a kid pulled you into the story. I remember being super excited when my favorite character, Max Sterling, was promoted to Skull Squadron leader. See, it is a giant robot thing for me.

#4 – Spawn: The Animated Series

Spawn is one of my favorite characters of all time. The idea that a good man who did bad things was recruited to lead Hell’s army and then ultimately fought against them is unique and was refreshing at the time in comics. It was a dark, gritty and mature comic book that was not dumbed down by HBO when they acquired the rights to do a cartoon. The show was very violent, had swearing and nudity just as the comic book and it allowed the character to not miss a beat. It was true to Todd MacFarlane’s vision and I am very glad for that.

#3 – DC’S TIMMVERSE

I may be put on trial for ranking this #3 but I have lumped all of DC’s cartoons that Bruce Timm included in his Timmverse as one listing. The original Batman-The Animated Series was amazing and the Justice League was exceptional and to a lesser extent so was Justice League Unlimited, but I find that DC characters are very powerful, I’ll even say over powered. So the stories had to try to lower the power levels of some of their heavy hitters (almost all of them) so the team could resolve the problem, instead of just having Superman do it every episode.

#2 – THE AVENGERS – EARTH’S MIGHTIEST HEROES

I will say right now that yes I am a Marvel guy and Thor is my favorite comic book character and that does weigh in on my slating of this show at #2. What I feel separates the team dynamic of this show from Justice League is that in this team, all the members have their roles and it does show that the threats were so dangerous that there is a time ” when Earth’s mightiest heroes found themselves united against a common threat… to fight the foes no single superhero could withstand…” The stories allow each member of the team to display both their strengths and their weaknesses as well as their personalities.

#1 – TRANSFORMERS

This cartoon show defined my childhood and it still resonates with me today. I own the entire series on DVD in a collector’s edition. As a kid I had the toys and comic books and now I have the recent live action movies to enjoy. Transformers was something that ignited my imagination as the vehicles in the box would somehow by different twists and turns become a robot warrior that was either good and evil. The picture above shows my two favorite Transformers from the entire run of the show in my favorite episode of the series.  Galvatron was so over the top evil, insane and powerful that I became intrigued by the character, despite his purple color scheme. Optimus Prime was the most heroic and brave Autobots who was a freaking Mack Truck. Both were leaders and both were usually the best parts of the episodes they were in.

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So there you have it folks. What ere your favorite cartoons?

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About Jason Huskins

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3 Responses to My All Time Favorite Cartoons

  1. REZA says:

    The Avengers Earth Mighty’s Heroes and Wolverine and the X-men is my favorite .. 😀 ,nice list….

  2. Matthew Marlott says:

    First, this web page may be over a year old, but I still think it relevant. It was actually a search for the 15 vehicle Voltron cartoon that led me here. Second, I agree with you on SOME of the cartoons above. I was born in 73, and I’ve seen pretty much everything you have. If you liked the giant robots era, I was wondering if you remembered a nice little gem called The Mighty Orbots. The show only had 10 episodes because the owners of The Gobots sued the show for “ripping off their idea”, even though the Gobots were one of the most blatant ripoffs of another series (Transformers) and the cartoon was so bad that I would have watched Strawberry Shortcake in its place. Now, as for the cartoons above, I loved the Real Ghostbusters, which, thank god, in its popularity finally got that crappy knockoff “Ghostbusters” kicked off the air. After seeing Ghostbusters in the theater and waiting in excited anticipation to finally see the cartoon air, I was horrified to find that the cartoon I had waited so long for had NONE of the movie characters and NOTHING whatsoever to do with the movie in any way shape or form. The Real Ghostbusters changed all that. That series had some great character interaction with awesome villian storieslines. My two favorite: the Grendel and the Boogeyman. The Boogeyman episodes scared the living bejeezus out of me when I was little. But they definitely left an impression on me.
    As for G.I.JOE, I was never really impressed with the cartoon, mainly because no one ever died. I was always amazed how the top 10% of the top 10% of the top 1% of the world’s military forces could shoot at an enemy who would be standing still 10 feet in front of them, and STILL couldn’t hit them. Seriously, guys?
    I have nothing to say about Voltron, although Haim Saban definitely modeled its show pattern for use in the Power Rangers. I never got to watch Voltron as a kid; it was on a channel I couldn’t get. I can say that the few Voltron shows I was able to catch belonged to the long forgotten 15 Vehicle Voltron, which in itself, was a unique and cool idea. I know you liked the Lion Voltron (the far more popular of the two), but I guess I prefered the vehicles.
    I have mixed feelings about the X-men. It really didn’t impress me, mainly because Wolverine was such an a**hole in the few shows that I watched. He constantly insulted others, never worked with the team WHILE professor X (who could have fried that obnoxious idiot with a single thought) was there, and worst of all, Wolverine never, ever, gutted anyone. You would think by being a super jackass he would at least take someone’s head off. The newer version of Wolverine in the Wolverine and the X-men cartoon was a FAAAAAARRRR better version of Wolverine and thankfully, he was still voiced by Steven Blum. He’s much smarter in that version, a better fighter, and a far more likable character with actual depth.
    Spiderman was a decent cartoon, and I watched almost the entire series, but his internal monologue of constant whining drove me insane. He always had his monologues in the comics, but actually having to listen to on TV was too much. Meh.
    When Robotech aired, I drooled all over that show. Before Robotech, my backwoods family could not get the channels that all of my friends had. They got to see GI Joe, Transformers, Thundercats, and the other cool cartoons. So when I saw the first episode of Robotech, I almost had a heartattack. It was absolutely like nothing I had ever seen in the past. People actually DIED in the show. I got to see two episodes of it before it was cancelled. Which is hilarious to some people, because it wasn’t actually cancelled, it was simply moved to another station. Me, being stuck with basic TV, was a sad victim of the ’80’s non-violence campaign, and is, to this day, why I don’t hate the Smurfs, but f**cking hate the Smurfs. I was stuck having to watch those little blue turds in the place of Robotech. You don’t offer someone who’s starving a steak, let ’em eat two bites, and then force them to eat crusted moldy bread. You just don’t do that. It’s traumatic.
    I’ve seen the Spawn series, but I was an absolute non-fan of Image Comics. This may sound racist (even though I’m not and I will explain my reasons for saying this) but Image Comics was, in itself, the most racist mainstream comic company ever produced. There was not one white male hero in the entire series (that I can remember). The Image line was during the 90s feminist renassaince where democrats leaned so far to the left that it affected all media. In an attempt to be NOT racist, Image went too far the other way. The X-men comic was a much more acceptable (for me, anyway) way of bringing different cultures together and explaining the evils and dangers of racism (in the whole anti-mutant thing). Don’t get me wrong, I thought the Maxx and the Jaguar were cool comics, but I was never into Spawn. He was a unique idea, however. And NO, Ghostrider is not a ripoff of Spawn, people. They are two different animals; trust me.
    Bruce Timm’s DC verse is a definite winner. I really enjoyed that version of DC, and loved the Justice League episodes. I have nothing bad to say about them, so…there you go.
    Marvel’s Avengers is actually pretty good. I’ve liked the episodes I’ve managed to catch. I’m old now and don’t have the time to watch a lot of TV. I usually catch their episodes on Netflix.
    Like the Timmverse, I had have nothing bad to say about them. And the Incredible Hulk was always my favorite, but Thor is cool, too.
    I never got to watch a lot of Transformers when I was young (I was deprived) but I did play with the toys. However, I never had anything bad to say about the original series. One of my favorite F.U! moments came during the Transformers. I have four brothers, and we went out one night to the movies and had to choose something to watch. Not ONE of my brothers would go watch Transformers the movie with me. I ended up watching it alone. I got to see one of the best, well put together, based on a franchise animated movies ever made. My four brothers, who left me alone in the theater, got to suffer through one of the absolute WORST movies ever made…Howard the Duck. That moment almost made up for six years of the Smurfs. Almost.
    Anyway, I enjoyed your enthusiasm about those sentimental old shows. As a father with two kids, I make sure my kids watch all the kick ass cartoons, including the old timers like above. My twelve year old daughter knows more about some of the cartoons above than most 25 year olds. You know how to pick ’em. Thanks for bringing back some old memories.

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