Home Entertainment Friday Debate – What was the greatest cartoon series of your childhood?

Friday Debate – What was the greatest cartoon series of your childhood?

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Cow-and-Chicken-FD

We’re living in a golden age of animation right now. Star vs the Forces of Evil is heaps of fun, Gravity Falls is a modern day masterpiece and Voltron: Legendary Defender is the perfect template for revitalising nostalgia for new audiences. It doesn’t stop there: Nicklelodeon’s CGI-animated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is weekly action perfected in a half-shell, We Three Bears is unbelievably charming stuff and Regular Show is a lengthy odyssey of slackers getting up to various shenanigans.

Have I mentioned yet how Pickle and Peanut is my favourite slice of pure absurdity?

The point is, is that every generation has had an era of animation that has been excellence personified. For you guys growing up in the 1980s, you probably had many an afternoon dedicated to the likes of Thundercats, Masters of the Universe and M.A.S.K. Maybe you were a 1990s kid, who raced home every day to switch on K-TV (YA RICH BASTARDS!) and watch Doug, X-Men: The Animated Series or any of Sony’s excellent movie to TV adaptations such as Men In Black.

Maybe you’ve taken too many steel chair shots to the head, and you believe that this was the best Ghostbuster cartoon as Kervyn keeps insisting on:

Perfection

Me? My TV viewing was a combination of super-late 90s and early 2000s, which admittedly wasn’t the best era for animation but still gave me classics such as Reboot, Invader Zim and Clone High when I managed to sneak in a late-night viewing. Tracy insists that Captain Simian and the Space Monkeys is still better than sliced bread, Noelle says the Star Wars Ewoks cartoon redeemed the furry bastards and Trevor is in a corner right now crying because he just finished watching the final episode of Mighty Max again.

So what do you think? Which cartoon series was the very damn best thing you ever saw when you were a kid? Wax on with that nostalgia! Let us know in the comments below. The answer is of course, Cow and Chicken:

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Critical Hit as an organisation.

Last Updated: July 6, 2018

128 Comments

  1. Damn, I had those He-Man and Thundercats action figures, which are probably worth a fortune now, and they all got lost with time.

    Reply

  2. MonsterCheddar

    July 6, 2018 at 10:47

    Damn, I had those He-Man and Thundercats action figures, which are probably worth a fortune now, and they all got lost with time.

    Reply

  3. Kromas

    July 6, 2018 at 11:27

    SAMURAI PIZZA CATS!

    Who do you call when you want some pepperoni?

    Also recently re-watched it. Show still holds up.

    Reply

  4. Tbone187

    July 6, 2018 at 11:30

    Darkwing Duck? When there’s troubleU, call DW! If I remember correctly the game wasn’t too bad either.

    Reply

  5. justlikemo

    July 6, 2018 at 11:46

  6. R1ker

    July 6, 2018 at 11:46

    Neels Holgerson 😛

    Reply

  7. Tbone187

    July 6, 2018 at 11:51

    hmmm…Defenders of the earth! Now that’s going back!

    Reply

  8. BakedBagel

    July 6, 2018 at 10:38

    Im not telling you

    It will just be destroyed like most things from my childhood

    Reply

  9. The Big Bad Wolf

    July 6, 2018 at 10:47

    Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends 🙂

    Reply

    • Original Heretic

      July 6, 2018 at 11:06

      One of my friends IS Eduardo.
      Huge guy, bearded, muscled, etc.
      Yet gets scared at the drop of a hat.

      Reply

  10. Jac7

    July 6, 2018 at 10:49

    The Mysterious Cities of Gold

    Reply

  11. R1ker

    July 6, 2018 at 10:51

    Batman, the animated series

    Reply

  12. HvR

    July 6, 2018 at 10:51

    ENJOY THE BEST!!!

    Reply

  13. LekeJ.I.T.S

    July 6, 2018 at 10:51

    Most of the above (BraveStarr, He-man, GhostBusters – The Real GhostBusters :P) as well but adding my 2 cents,
    – Brakanjan en die 3 muskitiers,
    – Lucky Luke,
    – Looney Tunes,
    – Moo Min,
    – Captian Planet,
    Probably more lol

    Reply

    • Matthew Holliday

      July 6, 2018 at 11:14

      By our powers combined I am 100% down with Captain Planet.

      Reply

      • Original Heretic

        July 6, 2018 at 11:17

        That poor kid who got heart….

        “I shoot fire!”
        “I create floods!”
        “I can make the earth shake!”
        “I make hurricanes!”
        “Uh, I, uh, I can make animals love me. Like, A LOT.”

        Reply

  14. HvR

    July 6, 2018 at 10:57

    Also loved this series

    Reply

    • Original Heretic

      July 6, 2018 at 10:58

      You must love Venture Bros.

      Reply

      • HvR

        July 6, 2018 at 10:59

        Actually never got around to watch it

        Reply

        • Original Heretic

          July 6, 2018 at 11:02

          Duuuuuuuuuuude!!
          Make a plan! It’s so good, especially if you were a Johnny Quest fan.

          Reply

    • Kervyn Cloete

      July 6, 2018 at 11:12

      This show was amazing. I always remember how it didn’t play around. People died violently, which was definitely not the norm for kids shows back then

      Reply

    • Matthew Holliday

      July 6, 2018 at 11:29

      This was amazing.
      Ten times better than action man, and at the very least, a rival for G.I. Joe

      Reply

      • Kromas

        July 6, 2018 at 11:31

        Till we found out in Birdman V Quest that the kids should be taken in by child protective services.

        Also Harvey Birdman was the shit.

        But not a show kids can watch

        Reply

  15. Original Heretic

    July 6, 2018 at 10:59

    Along with many of those already mentioned, I used to love The Pirates of Dark Water.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/29c4c331098e5ad1b21923352d31c20eb9ca9e18a62481b6e9bd8cc87429fc04.jpg

    Reply

    • Tracy Benson

      July 6, 2018 at 13:47

      Oh wow, now that’s a serious blast from the past. Haven’t thought of that show in aaaaages

      Reply

    • Tracy Benson

      July 6, 2018 at 13:47

      Oh wow, now that’s a serious blast from the past. Haven’t thought of that show in aaaaages

      Reply

    • Tracy Benson

      July 6, 2018 at 13:47

      Oh wow, now that’s a serious blast from the past. Haven’t thought of that show in aaaaages

      Reply

  16. Original Heretic

    July 6, 2018 at 11:01

    BraveStarr totally needs a modern movie remake. Live action it!!

    Reply

    • Kervyn Cloete

      July 6, 2018 at 11:12

      I mean, The Rock is right there. How have they not approached him on this yet?

      Reply

      • Original Heretic

        July 6, 2018 at 11:13

        Ah jeez, he’d be perfect as Marshall BraveStarr!

        Reply

      • Original Heretic

        July 6, 2018 at 11:13

        Ah jeez, he’d be perfect as Marshall BraveStarr!

        Reply

      • Kromas

        July 6, 2018 at 11:15

        You must hate the Rock. He is already taking flack for Skyscraper because he is taking jobs away from crippled actors and now yopu want him to play a native American.

        Reply

        • Original Heretic

          July 6, 2018 at 11:31

          You make a very good point.
          There’s always some group of morons out there looking to start a “backlash” movement.
          I recently saw that ScarJo is facing it again in a recent movie she was cast in.

          Reply

          • Kromas

            July 6, 2018 at 11:32

            You can’t win.

          • Kervyn Cloete

            July 6, 2018 at 11:55

            ScarJo’s one is legit though. She already took justified flak for Ghost in the Shell, and now, despite all that feedback, she’s doing it again. And made it worse by giving critics a snarky reply.

          • Original Heretic

            July 6, 2018 at 13:06

            I really don’t agree with giving an actor/actress flak for being cast in a role. It’s their job. Someone else chose them for a role.

  17. Pixelated Gambit

    July 6, 2018 at 11:02

    So many shows to choose from but probably one of my favourite and most underrated shows would be Gargoyles. That show was ahead of its time.

    Reply

    • Matthew Holliday

      July 6, 2018 at 11:12

      Gargoyles was good stuff.
      Im not sure its better than Freakazoid or Street Sharks, but id be hard pressed to choose between the 3.

      Reply

      • Kervyn Cloete

        July 6, 2018 at 11:13

        And you were doing so well and until you got to Street Sharks…

        :p

        Reply

        • Matthew Holliday

          July 6, 2018 at 11:17

          I know, I just rewatched the intro, I was definitely remembering them through nostalgia goggles.

          Their merchandise line was 10x better than the actual show.

          Reply

  18. Original Heretic

    July 6, 2018 at 11:03

    I remember a cartoon that was dashing and daring, courageous and caring.
    It was so faithful and friendly, and there were so many stories to share.

    What was it called again….dammit….

    Reply

  19. Kromas

    July 6, 2018 at 11:12

    Reboot. Nothing beat Reboot.

    Reply

    • Kromas

      July 6, 2018 at 11:13

      The old one not Netflix Shudder Reboot.

      Reply

    • Matthew Holliday

      July 6, 2018 at 11:17

      That show with the battle moons, for the life of me I cannot remember what it was called.
      That one got pretty close.

      Reply

      • Kromas

        July 6, 2018 at 11:21

        Planet Eaters?

        Reply

        • Matthew Holliday

          July 6, 2018 at 11:25

          War planets: Shadow Raiders. (looking at it now, ugh, so bad.)
          Last episode I watched was the day befor the twin towers, I remember because all the channels cancelled their shows to broadcast that, and war planets never showed up again.

          Reply

          • Kromas

            July 6, 2018 at 11:26

            Ah yes I vaguely remember that show.

      • The D

        July 6, 2018 at 11:25

        Probably Shadow Raiders.

        Reply

        • Matthew Holliday

          July 6, 2018 at 13:26

          yeah that one, thanks

          Reply

  20. HvR

    July 6, 2018 at 11:13

    Also never missed an episode of the Afrikaans dubbed Lucky Luke and Brakkenjan

    “wie dra die broek, Lucky Luke, soek soek vir Lucky Luke …”

    Reply

  21. HvR

    July 6, 2018 at 11:17

    Surprised nobody mentioned the Biker Mice yet

    Reply

    • Kromas

      July 6, 2018 at 11:21

      Maybe because it was a terrible show? It tried to marry Turtles and Swat Kats together and failed.

      Reply

      • HvR

        July 6, 2018 at 13:22

        Was never a huge fan, but remember it and Power Rangers was the shiz in the 90’s

        Reply

      • HvR

        July 6, 2018 at 13:22

        Was never a huge fan, but remember it and Power Rangers was the shiz in the 90’s

        Reply

        • Matthew Holliday

          July 6, 2018 at 13:27

          they had great action figures

          Reply

    • Matthew Holliday

      July 6, 2018 at 11:21

      Was busy typing just that, after getting the dust off my nostalgia goggles, theyr definitely up there.

      Reply

  22. Kromas

    July 6, 2018 at 11:27

    SAMURAI PIZZA CATS!

    Who do you call when you want some pepperoni?

    Also recently re-watched it. Show still holds up.

    Reply

  23. Tbone187

    July 6, 2018 at 11:30

    Darkwing Duck? When there’s troubleU, call DW! If I remember correctly the game wasn’t too bad either.

    Reply

    • Kromas

      July 6, 2018 at 11:31

      Ducktales game was way better.

      Reply

    • Original Heretic

      July 6, 2018 at 11:32

      The terror that flaps in the night deserves more love.

      Reply

      • Kromas

        July 6, 2018 at 11:33

        Well he is now an old tv show in the new Duck Tales universe.

        Reply

        • Original Heretic

          July 6, 2018 at 11:34

          Ah man… relegated to fiction in a fictional universe.
          What about Gizmo Duck?!

          Reply

          • Kromas

            July 6, 2018 at 11:36

            Gizmo already in the show.

          • Kromas

            July 6, 2018 at 11:37

            They did get the original voice actor to do the clips for the show and it was drawn in the original shows style so it was a very nice homage.

      • Tbone187

        July 6, 2018 at 11:36

        Lets Get Dangerous! 🙂

        Reply

  24. Original Heretic

    July 6, 2018 at 11:34

    • Kromas

      July 6, 2018 at 13:35

      Drawn together is better. Violence without sex drugs and racism and swearing gets boring fast.

      Reply

  25. Tbone187

    July 6, 2018 at 11:36

    Cow and Chicken was when it all started going downhill imo. 🙂

    Reply

    • Pariah

      July 6, 2018 at 12:46

      2 Stupid Dogs was my turning point.

      Reply

  26. Matthew Holliday

    July 6, 2018 at 11:38

    Medabots was also good stuff, that was a bit later though

    Reply

    • The D

      July 6, 2018 at 11:46

      I’M MR REFEREEEEEEEEEEE!

      Reply

    • The D

      July 6, 2018 at 11:46

      I’M MR REFEREEEEEEEEEEE!

      Reply

      • Matthew Holliday

        July 6, 2018 at 11:47

  27. Tbone187

    July 6, 2018 at 11:38

    Dinoriders?

    Reply

    • Kromas

      July 6, 2018 at 13:39

      I still have the toys!

      Reply

      • Tbone187

        July 6, 2018 at 13:47

        Yeah man…My kid’s got my dino…Lost the dude tho.

        Reply

      • Tbone187

        July 6, 2018 at 13:47

        Yeah man…My kid’s got my dino…Lost the dude tho.

        Reply

      • Tbone187

        July 6, 2018 at 13:47

        Yeah man…My kid’s got my dino…Lost the dude tho.

        Reply

        • Kromas

          July 6, 2018 at 16:51

          Yeah I got the trike plus armour and the stego … just the stego left.

          I mean this is 24 ish odd years ago.

          Reply

          • Tbone187

            July 6, 2018 at 20:57

            Damn, I always wanted the Stego. Easy 24/25 yrs ago. I had the bad guy on the duckbilled dino.

          • Kromas

            July 7, 2018 at 00:00

            I remember I had the pachy as well and I am sure I had more but my memory has failed me. Oh well I just boot up Ark every now and then to relive those days.

          • Tbone187

            July 7, 2018 at 00:01

            Ark?

          • Kromas

            July 7, 2018 at 00:07

            Ark:Survival Evolved. A game in wich you can tame and ride dinos and at one point you can put high tek saddles on them and play Dino Riders yourself. 😛

          • Tbone187

            July 7, 2018 at 02:13

            Ahhhh! I see. Looks cool.

          • Pariah

            July 7, 2018 at 07:03

            The dino farming survival grind-fest with beautiful graphics and robo-fitted t-rexes

  28. justlikemo

    July 6, 2018 at 11:46

    • Tbone187

      July 6, 2018 at 13:49

      Xmen changed the game majorly.

      Reply

  29. R1ker

    July 6, 2018 at 11:46

    Neels Holgerson 😛

    Reply

    • R1ker

      July 6, 2018 at 13:49

      Kidding – I hated that

      Reply

      • HvR

        July 6, 2018 at 13:52

        Yeah Dawie die kabouter was way better

        Reply

        • Original Heretic

          July 6, 2018 at 14:48

          “Ek is DAAAAAAAWIE! Ek is ‘n klein kabooooouuuuutertjie.”

          Reply

  30. Pariah

    July 6, 2018 at 11:49

    BIKER MICE FROM MARS

    Screw all ya’ll.

    Reply

    • Matthew Holliday

      July 6, 2018 at 11:49

      had the best toys

      Reply

  31. Tbone187

    July 6, 2018 at 11:49

    What was the show with the Panthers that join up?

    Reply

  32. Tbone187

    July 6, 2018 at 11:49

    What about Doug?

    Reply

    • The D

      July 6, 2018 at 11:57

      MMMMMMFIVE MORE MINUTES!

      Reply

    • The D

      July 6, 2018 at 11:57

      MMMMMMFIVE MORE MINUTES!

      Reply

  33. Tbone187

    July 6, 2018 at 11:51

    hmmm…Defenders of the earth! Now that’s going back!

    Reply

  34. Narsil

    July 6, 2018 at 12:17

    Transformers: Beast Wars!!! (not a cartoon, but still worth mentioning)

    Reply

    • konfab

      July 6, 2018 at 12:19

      YES!

      WIN!

      Reply

    • The D

      July 6, 2018 at 12:29

      As official moderator of this Friday Debate, I say it counts.

      Reply

  35. konfab

    July 6, 2018 at 12:18

    You sure about Cow and Chicken?
    https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x6ie5cj

    Reply

    • Gustav Willem Diedericks

      July 9, 2018 at 19:05

      I could only stomach the first 2 minutes…

      Reply

  36. Craig "Crios" Boonzaier

    July 6, 2018 at 13:03

    The Craig McCracken era of Cartoon Network, not forgetting Cow and Chicken and Johnny Bravo.
    The Ren and Stimpy / Invader Zim era of Nickelodeon.
    The Flintstones and Jetsons from Hanna Barbara.
    And of course the early 3D shows, Reboot and Beast Wars.
    there is too much to choose from.

    Reply

  37. Matthew Figueira

    July 6, 2018 at 13:15

    Easy! Animaniacs and Freakazoid 😛

    Reply

  38. RinceThis

    July 6, 2018 at 13:36

    How about NOT Dragonsnore?

    Reply

  39. Chris

    July 6, 2018 at 13:50

    Beastwars!

    Reply

  40. Cat

    July 6, 2018 at 15:32

    -Biker Mice From Mars
    -Dragon Ball Z
    -Pokémon
    -Animaniacs
    -Pinky & the Brain
    -Tailspin
    -Reboot.

    List complete!

    Reply

  41. Smuroh

    July 6, 2018 at 15:37

    Don’t forget about Bionic Six and Galaxy Rangers along with GI-Joe and Bravestar…..man life was good as a kid oh oh oh don’t forget about Swat Kats.

    Reply

  42. Smuroh

    July 6, 2018 at 15:39

    I also forgot to add Dino-Riders and BattleTech: The Animated Series…………..now look what you have done……i can’t stop thinking about all the epic cartoons.

    Reply

  43. Rick

    July 6, 2018 at 17:38

    Bionic Six FTW!

    Reply

  44. Yoel

    July 6, 2018 at 19:54

    Golden age ? You got to be kidding. First of all, Pickle and peanut, plus Star, they’re pretty bad. Second, Gravity falls finished 2 years ago and it wasn’t a masterpiece. Fun show but very uneven in quality. Also, this is the same era where kids have to endure shit like Uncle grandpa, steven universe, 2016 powerpuff girls reboot, plus almost all of the show currently airing on Nick and Disney. Don’t forget that upcoming Thundercats reboot. These last years have been more miss than hits, same goes for animated films.

    Reply

    • Bianca

      July 9, 2018 at 08:54

      Here’s a thought: how about sitting down and just enjoying a show for what it is?

      Gravity Falls is actually a masterpiece if you sat down and looked at it. Cartoons were invented to be enjoyed by children, sure, but mainly by adults. It was a way to keep moral up. And Gravity Falls is no exception when it comes to entertaining both groups. It’s absolutely hilarious, weird, wonderful, thoughtful, and it has a plot that surprises you ’til the end. In each episode there’s a link to another, to a general mystery, and to the creators. They even made mother-freaking-puzzles in not only the normal episode but in the credits, as well, to make you feel like you’re helping solve the big mystery of Gravity Falls.

      Obviously they just made really weird jokes but they were amazing fun to figure out.

      As for you saying “this is the same era where kids have to endure shit like Uncle grandpa, steven universe, 2016 powerpuff girls reboot, plus almost all of the show currently airing on Nick and Disney”.

      I absolutely HATE Uncle Grandpa, it’s unbelievably mindless and just crap, but I know people who enjoy it, and respect that. And I can still see why they like it, there’s a weird sort of childlike mindset behind it. It’s whimsical sometimes. But what I’m not OK with is you putting Steven Universe in the same box as UG.

      Steven Universe is, again, a masterpiece, but in a much different way to Gravity Falls. If you actually took the time to watch it, you’d realise there are so many layers to the story and that it resonates with you on some level. If you don’t like it because of the way it’s teaching children that LGBTQ things are normal and that they shouldn’t be afraid to express themselves like that, then I feel pity for you.

      If it’s because of bad writing, then you obviously didn’t do the first thing I suggested. But even then the writing is amazing, and the songs are nests of ear worms. So I truly don’t get why you don’t like it.

      The Powerpuff Girls reboot; sure its not as good as the original, but it had to be modernised to help reach children that are born quite literally 20 years after the original first aired. So I can’t blame them for trying to keep it relevant. It’s super weird that they put Unicorns in it, but then again I don’t have to watch it.

      I feel like all of your qualms can be soothed with “let people enjoy stuff”. Don’t just crap on what people like because you can.

      Do you also hate The Regular Show? Or maybe you dispise what Adult Swim did to Samurai Jack? Is The Legend of Korra on the blacklist, too?How about We Bear Bears? Adventure Time?

      These are all great shows that millions of people enjoy. I just think you need to learn to enjoy things for what they are, and let people enjoy the things you don’t.

      Reply

  45. G8crasha

    July 9, 2018 at 12:02

    A very difficult question to answer this is!

    Reply

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