10 Greatest Animated Series from childhood

My top 10 favorite childhood cartoons.

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By Shannon Cornthwaite - 10/22/2012
Looking back over the past 30 years, it's hard to imagine that popular cartoons went from superhero to card game related. Flipping through the channels on a Saturday morning use to mean having your pick of any number of great animated shows, however today all we get are an assortment of cartoons based on card games and pixar animation based on popular movies. Today, I'm going to take you through my top 10 favorite cartoons as a kid.

10.
Thundercats-



The 80's were incredibly vibrant with Metallic art, especially in their cartoon logos. Honestly, I don't remember a whole lot about the original series except that I was a big fan with all of the toys and pajamas as a kid. Today, Thundercats have become incredibly popular to those who remember it and even returned to Saturday morning television in the form of a new rebooted series on Cartoon Network that was fairly short lived.



9.
Bravestarr-



Unfortunately, Bravestarr suffers from what my wife and I call "The Webster Affect". It was great to watch as a kid, but going back to watch it again after age growth and special effects growth, it lacks that special something you once saw in it. Marshall Bravestarr was about a "Native American" marshal who could summon special powers to overcome the obsticals he was confronted with in each episode. "Speed of the Puma!" "Strength of the Bear!" "Eyes of the Hawk!" "Ears of the Wolf!" And the tagline for the show? "We needed a hundred lawmen to tame New Texas. We got one. You know something? He was enough." Of course it was cheesy, but it was a hell of alot better than the cartoons we're stuck with today.



8.
Silver Hawks-



Partly metal, partly real; The Silver Hawks also suffered the Webster Affect but not as much. The story followed a group of hand chosen warriors who would battle the evil Mon*Star. What was better than the cartoon however, was the action figures. Each one had metallic paint and when you place their arms to their side and snap the wings to their wrists, you could squeeze their legs and suddenly they looked as if they could actually fly. Silver Hawks was the forerunner to the popular Thunder Cats.



7.
Super Friends: The Legendary Super Powers Show-



With a mix of DC superheroes and Hanna- Barbera originals like Black Vulcan and Apache Chief, Super Friends was the hit show of 80's but only ran for 1 year. It eventually went on to have it's own spin-off, Super Powers: Galactic Guardians which had much better animation and more definition on each of the heroes. If you're lucky enough today to find action figures still in their original packaging from the Super Powers shows, you could almost plan your retirement.



6.
He-Man and the Masters of the Universe-



"BY THE POWER OF GREYSKULL!" He-Man was THE animated series of the 80's. If you didn't watch it, you weren't cool. Based on the toy line, Masters of the Universe became not only a popular show and toy line but also comic book, clothing line, decoration for children's rooms and not so popular movie. It eventually had a slight spin off called the New Adventures of He-Man, where Prince Adam sounded a little feminine when he spoke. Finally a new animated series came to Cartoon Network in 2002 (which I enjoyed alot more) and now it seems we're getting a re-do of a Masters of the Universe Movie.





5.
Tiny Toon Adventures-



One of the few animated series that could truly be enjoyed by children and adults of all ages. Tiny Toon Adventures wasn't just about gags and child like humor, but also some subtle attempts at adult humor as well.



4.
Animaniacs-



The Warner Brothers and Warner Sister took what we liked about Tiny Toon Adventures to a whole new level. Of course there was child like humor but more often than not it was filled with adult humor as well and perverted innuendos such as when the doctor asked Dot for her finger prints and she looks at him and says what, he goes on to frantically say "Finger Prints" which Dot then miss hears and looks over to see Prince standing near by, looks at the camera and says "I don't think so". Absolutely a cartoon that should be brought back with new episodes today.



3.
Batman: The Animated Series-



After Batman Returns, Fox premiered the two part episode "The Cat and the Claw" which was the first broadcasted episode of Batman TAS but actually occurred later in the season. Batman The Animated Series gave birth to Bruce Timm's animated DC Universe which would span many years from Batman TAS, Batman and Robin, The New Adventures of Batman and Robin, Superman TAS, Justice League, Justice League Unlimited and Batman Beyond. Batman TAS made superhero cartoons cool again.



2.
The Real Ghostbusters-



First came Ghost busters, a black and white television series produced by Filmation in 1975. Then, 1984 saw the movie Ghostbusters about a completely different group of paranormal investigators. This followed controversy as 2 animated series followed soon after, Filmation's Ghost Busters and The Real Ghostbusters which later became Slimer and the Real Ghostbusters and then Extreme Ghostbusters. I remember as a child I had all of the toys except Stay Puffed which I could never find. I even went as far as setting my Ecto-1 on fire along with my Adam West Bat Mobile, which I'm now kicking myself over and over for especially after watching Toy Collector. The Real Ghostbusters saw the same characters from the movie take on the Bogeyman, Jersey Devil, and many other ghosts and monsters. It taught us kids, that "We ain't afraid of no ghost!" Unlike Filmation's series which catch phrase was "Let's Go, Ghost Busters!"



1.
Voltron: Defender of the Universe-




Arguably voltron was the grand daddy of such popular shows like Power Rangers, Big Bad Beetle Borgs, VR Troopers, Masked Rider and several other shows of the like that were based on Japanese giant robot martial arts shows. The only thing, and I'm nitpicking here, the only thing I didn't like which later adaptations corrected was that the pilots of the lions didn't share the colors of their lions except of Hunk and Pidge (who I always thought was a girl lol). After Voltron: Defender of the Universe we got Vehicle Voltron, Voltron: The Third Dimension and Voltron Force. However we have yet to see a live action or CGI movie based around the characters. If Hollywood does a movie though, I think their best bet would be to follow the same storyline that the newer comics portray.

Honorable mentions to include: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future, Captain Planet and the Planeteers, G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero and Transformers


Sound off below and tell me what your favorite cartoons growing up were!



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27 Comments
jimmyjay88 - 10/22/2012, 6:05 PM
nice write up dude. i wasnt around when a lot of these first came out but i have seen them before and loved every minute of it.
BIGBMH - 10/22/2012, 6:14 PM
i'm with you on 5-3. darn good tv. i was born in the early 90s so most of the others were before my time.
jessepostal - 10/22/2012, 6:53 PM
Id take out animaniacs and add,

Gi joe
transformers
c.o.p.s
and a lot from the early 90's
lanternstorm - 10/22/2012, 7:08 PM
Yeah I forgot to include C.O.P.S in the honorable mentions.
Ghostt - 10/22/2012, 8:21 PM
Wow so much nostalgia! Add GIJoe to that list, brotha
Ghostt - 10/22/2012, 8:34 PM
And bionic six!
GuardianDevil - 10/23/2012, 12:10 AM
I'm obviously from a younger generation, I'm still a kid technically so I haven't seen most of these, but i still watched a mix of old and new, but my favorites were Phineas and Ferb, Spectacular Spider-Man, Johnny Test, Star Wars The Clone Wars, Spongebob Squarepants, Looney Tunes, Tom and Jerry, Superman (1942), Spider-Man (1967), and Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes (yes i still watch it from time to time)
dellamorte1872 - 10/23/2012, 5:13 AM
all good show HE-MAN is my fav there but THUNDERCATS + BRAVESATR are awesome too. surprised you didnt give honorable mention to filmations ORIGINAL GHOSTBUSTERS with PRIME EVIL and TERRY the monkey. me and my buds still get drunk and watch that, the one dude not EDDIE the other one with the blond hair he dates that weird purple alien chick. its so surreal and fun!
dellamorte1872 - 10/23/2012, 5:14 AM
LETS GO GHOSTBUSTERS! LETS GO, LETS GO!
marvel72 - 10/23/2012, 5:21 AM
i'm abit older than most on this site so i would go for best animated shows being.

no particular order

-transformers
-dungeons & dragons
-thundercats
-he-man
-spider-man the animated series (90s)
-x-men the animated series (90s)
-batman the animated series
fortycals - 10/23/2012, 9:32 AM
1) ronin warriors
2) gi joe
3) transformers
4) tmnt
5)xmen
6) spiderman tas
7) muppet babies
8) looney tunes
9)batman tas
10) tom and jerry
11) Dbz
fortycals - 10/23/2012, 9:36 AM
bionic six was a great show and so was bravestar. I actually had the bravestar gun, it was so bad ass.
fortycals - 10/23/2012, 9:45 AM
There are actually some good toons on now that I would have to mention, yeah im a thirty something guy that still watches. Im not the only one right?

Avatar
phineas ferb
EMH
YJ
gmckoy - 10/23/2012, 10:50 AM
couldnt resist

robotech
visionaries
gummy bears lol
centurions
Happy11 - 10/23/2012, 12:24 PM
Great memories brilliant article
lanternstorm - 10/23/2012, 12:36 PM
you guys aren't the only ones lol... I'll be thirty in March, and I'll always watch cartoons... got Bravestarr, Silver Hawks, Duck Tales, He-Man (original and 2002), Batman TAS etc all on dvd.
Bane2099 - 10/23/2012, 1:10 PM
No love for the X-Men Animated Series on the list?
Bane2099 - 10/23/2012, 1:11 PM
Chip n Dales Rescue Rangers, Darkwing Duck, Tale Spin and Duck Tales, what about them too?
lanternstorm - 10/23/2012, 1:18 PM
I liked them, especially Darkwing Duck, X-Men and Duck Tales... but this was only the top 10
Bane2099 - 10/23/2012, 2:51 PM
sKeemAn

LoL I remember watching Heathcliff every morning before riding my bike to elementary school.

How about Garfield and Friends :D
Bane2099 - 10/23/2012, 2:54 PM
lanternstorm

Its understandable, there were alot of awesome cartoons back in the days, hard to pic an actual top ten...

Oh I just remembered Biker Mice from Mars, Mighty Max, Battletoads, Bucky O'hare and Street Sharks lol
lanternstorm - 10/23/2012, 4:04 PM
indeed... all great cartoons.
fortycals - 10/24/2012, 5:14 AM
man i used to love me some darkwing duck. As a matter of fact that whole disney block after school was a must in my house. I still to this day think cartoon network ruin sat morning cartoons. I remember there were only certain times cartoons came on. You only had a couple of hours after school, and then saturday morning. cartoon network is spoiling these kids. Now get off my lawn.
fortycals - 10/24/2012, 5:20 AM
@skeem and lantern

I thought i was just watching for the kids sake, but when they leave the room I dont change the channel. Its bad when you want to see a kids movie more than your kids. Its not like I can go by myself, with a pocket full of candy.
CPBuff22 - 10/24/2012, 10:03 AM
I would like to add:

M.A.S.K. Crusaders
X-Men
Spider-Man
GI Joe
Transformers
Spider-Man & His Amazing Friends
Ghostt - 10/24/2012, 6:24 PM
I wish someone could tell me the name of a rare anime show from the 80s in which 3 characters had superpowers, 2 guys and a girl, and the blond guy morphed into a badass green lizard thing. Only saw it once or twice but would love to find it. It seemed so different from everything else
gmckoy - 10/29/2012, 9:16 AM
you might as well throw in inspector gadget, astro boy, might mouse, cops...

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