May 23, 2008

Top Cartoons of This Decade

Doegab's earlier post about the top cartoons of the 90s prompted me to write this post. I realize this decade isn't over yet, but I'd rather not wait a year and a half to post this. If anything that great comes along, I'll redo the list. Also, notice that it's not a top ten list. I could only scrounge up nine cartoons originally, then thought of two more so you can add either one (or none if you so choose) in spot ten. This list was carefully crafted and thought out, so I hope you enjoy. Maybe you'll even be inspired to check out some of these if you haven't heard of them. Let's get started, shall we? *EDIT* Oops. Seems I forgot one. So this is a top ten. Now the optionals are #11.

OPTIONAL #11- Drawn Together

Drawn together is a cleaver cartoon that basically parodies reality shows by throwing a bunch of random cartoon characters to live in a house together. *cough*bigbrother*cough* More than that, it parodies pop culture in general, something that seems to be a prevalent theme in this decade's cartoons. It's crude, funny, and absolutely not for children. Characters include: Captain Hero, a gay elf, a princess, a talking pig, a crazy I-have-no-clue-what-he-is, a black and white chick, a furry Japanese thing, and a slutty black chick with a tail. All in all, Drawn Together is a solid and entertaining show, and the the perfect show for optional number eleven on this list. You can catch Drawn Together daily on Comedy Central, though the show was recently cancelled. The third, and final, season is now available on DVD.

OTHER OPTIONAL #11- Kappa Mikey

Kappa Mikey is a rather obscure, yet brilliant Nictoons Network original cartoon. It's the story of Mikey Simon a down-and-out American actor who wins a contest and ends up being an actor in Japan's most popular show Lily-Mu. Yes indeed, Kappa Mikey is a strange show. It parodies Japanese anime's in general and is very spontaneous in nature. Not only is the show very funny and entertaining, it also has one of the catchiest theme songs ever! Kappa Mikey airs on Nicktoons Network when you least expect it.

#10- Spongebob

Spongebob is where the real list begins. Who doesn't love and/or hasn't grown up with Spongebob! Well, lot's of people I suppose. But that's besides the point. The point is, Spongebob is a great cartoon. Looking back on it, I realize how clever the earlier episodes were. While current episodes are crap, the classic Bob episodes are brilliant. I've realized that just about everything in life can be related to Spongebob. Not only is it one hell of an entertaining cartoon, but it teaches life lessons as well. I just wish they'd cut the cord. Spongebob jumped the shark after the movie was made (which, by the way, was not that bad). Spongebob is on every conceivable time on any Nick channel.

#9- Family Guy

What can I say about Family Guy? It's good stuff. Family Guy was basically the father of spontaneous humor in cartoons (or at least the first show to do it well). I need not say more because everyone and his uncle watches Family Guy. The show airs on Adult Swim as well as Fox (and probably CW for that matter). I'd put it higher on the list, but that's reserved for another, better show in the same vein.

#8- The Venture Bros.

Surprisingly, not a whole lot of people I know watch Adult Swim's best original series. I think it's time to get the word out. Venture Bros. is awesomeness on a stick. It's the story of Dr. Venture, his two sons, and their bodyguard, Brock Sampson, as they try to take down their evil nemesis The Monarch, among other ridiculous baddies. The thing that sets this show apart from other Adult Swim originals is that it actually has a purpose. It's not random stupidity for no reason. No, Venture Brothers is well written and well animated. It's kind of like... Johny Quest on crack, but for adults. More people need to check out this show. Venture Bros. airs on Adult Swim whenever the hell they feel like it.

#7- Teen Titans

"Hey, I have an idea! Why don't we take an American comic book and turn it into a Japanese-style anime?" Guess what? It works. As far as comic-based cartoons go, Teen Titans is at the top of my list. It's full of action, story, and well developed characters. Though it lasted five seasons, it's unfortunate that the show was canceled when it was, as there were many questions unanswered. If you haven't seen Teen Titans, check it out. It's perfect for fans of comics and anime alike. Teen Titans airs randomly on Cartoon Network.

#6- Megas XLR

Ah yes, Megas XLR. This short lived series was one of Cartoon Network's best. It's the story of Coop, a fat idiot, Jamie, his best bud, and Kiva, some chick from the future. Coop finds a robot from the future and fixes it up by making it impossible for Kiva, who has come to retrieve it, to drive. Therefore, it is up to Coop to save future Earth from the squid-headed aliens, the Glorft, who followed the mech through a time rift. Seem completely ridiculous? That's because it is. But it's awesome. No, really! This show also makes a lot of pop culture references and mockeries. Sadly, Megas is no longer on the air, but you can sign a petition for DVD releases.

#5- Justice League/ Unlimited

I count Justice League and Justice League Unlimited as one show, because one was a sequel to the other. If Teen Titans is at the top of my comic book cartoon list, then Justice League tops the list. Looking back, this show was exactly what comic book fans have always wanted. Everything about it just worked. Most of all, it, like it's comic book counterparts, was well written. Even in Unlimited with hundreds of members, I never felt overwhelmed. Sure there were countless numbers of characters, but at the end of the day, it was always about the seven founding members from the original series. These shows certainly had some memorable moments including both series' finales and a look into the future. Apparently there was a "spin off" of sorts with the Legion of Superheroes that was hinted in an episode of Unlimited, though it was done in a different style. Overall, Justice League was like a comic book fans wet dream with enough crossovers to choke a Mongol. Though both shows ended (ended- not canceled) they air on Boomerang.

#4- Invader Zim

I remember, a long while back when Zim was just beginning, having an argument with Doegab about which new show was better: Zim or Fairly Oddparents. I was right. Though The Fairly Oddparents continues today, Zim was the superior show. Though it was yet another series that wasn't appropriate for the Nick audience (Ren and Stimpy, anyone?) it was brilliant nonetheless. Seriously though, who seeks out the author of a comic book called Johnny the Homicidal Maniac to make a "children's" cartoon. Really, this show is really dark and gritty! Anyway, the show was about an idiot alien and his idiot robot trying to take over the world. I only wish the show had been moved to a more appropriate network and concluded, as it was originally intended. Zim can be seen on Nicktoons Network, and DVDs of the entire series are available. You can read summaries of unfinished episodes here.

#3- Futurama

Hellz yeah, Futurama! This show kicked major ass and, in my opinion was/is better than Family Guy and The Simpsons. This was Matt Groening's best work by far. Though it technically came out in 1999, SOMEONE didn't include it on their best of the 90s list, so I'm including it here. Everyone has pretty much seen Futurama at this point and will agree with me that something made this show... just right. I can't quite put my finger on what it was that made it so funny, but it was good stuff. Currently, Futurama airs on Comedy Central. The first of four DVD movies, Bender's Big Score, released several months ago and it's sequel, The Beast With a Billion Backs releases June 24th. These, and upcoming, movies will be split into new episodes with will air on Comedy Central.

#2- Avatar

Avatar is at the top of this list for obvious reasons. It's well written, well animated, and well acted. I could go on and on, but if you want to learn more about Avatar, check out my Grudge Match post in which Avatar and DBZ duke it out. Avatar seasons one and two are currently on DVD; episodes can be seen on Nick with the series concluding this July.

I had quite a hard time picking number one. Originally, I had Avatar in the number one spot, but I decided to change it at the last moment because I thought number two was more deserving.

#1- Samurai Jack

The two shows blessed by Mako make the top of the list. After much deliberation, I decided that Samurai Jack should take the number one spot. Why? Because it has withstood the test of time. Samurai Jack is just as awesome now as it was seven years ago. This truly was a masterful cartoon that told the story mainly through action rather than dialog. And what suburb action it was! Not only was this Genddy Tartakovsky's best work, it is the best cartoon of the decade. The combination of myth with historical fiction in a futuristic setting makes Samurai Jack a unique experience. It's just too bad the series was never concluded. Fans everywhere are anxious to find out how Jack, inevitably, does return to the past and undo the future that is Aku. Samurai Jack currently went into re-broadcast and now airs Saturday nights on Toonami. A movie conclusion to the series is currently in the works.

So, that's the list. Agree? Disagree? Drop us an e-mail at or drop a comment in the comment box. Happy now Doegab? I made a post.

1 comment:

  1. your right about alot of it but i think spongebob should have been placed higher due to the like lessons it teaches and the fact that it is just freeken hiarious.