5 Best 90s Cartoons for Gen Z kids
By Sharifa Shamsi Oishee September 20, 2023 Update on : September 20, 2023
Being a Gen Z kid myself, we didn’t have a lot on our plates growing up, creating the impression of genuineness. We only saw the arrival of cellphones, social media platforms, upgraded Windows versions, and the internet around us.
The concept of watching TV shows with family was not something we had much experience with. However, there was a lot of fantastic content available in the 1990s, including cartoons that were far better compared to the ones today’s children watch.
This article explores some of my favorite cartoon shows from the 1990s.
Courage the Cowardly Dog
One name that pops into my mind as soon as I think about the cartoon shows that I have grown up watching is “Courage the Cowardly Dog”.
This legendary American animated comedy horror television series by John R. Dilworth first premiered on February 18, 1996, on Cartoon Network.
Set in a scary, dreary, and surreal tone, the show revolves around the lives of three very distinctive personas — Muriel Bagge, a kind woman; Eustace Bagge, a selfish, disagreeable guy; and Courage, a dog adopted by the couple.
The name “Courage” itself is ironic, as the dog, who is generally very timid in nature, especially when it comes to Eustace’s rough behavior, is ready to fight against all odds when it comes to saving his favorite Muriel from vampires, aliens, zombies, demons, and other supernatural beings.
While Courage first introduced me to the loyal and compassionate nature of a dog towards their masters, it also fantastically portrays how your relationship with a feline friend depends on how you treat them.
With its eerie vibes, peculiar background score, and the fact that this small dog goes beyond his fearful nature and succeeds every time in saving his humans, just lights up my mood on gloomy evenings.
The show not only tops my list but is also celebrated around the world, and its 8.3 rating on IMDb validates this claim. The show is also the recipient of the prestigious Annie Award.
Another cartoon that I still feel like watching is Stephen Hillenburg’s remarkable creation, “SpongeBob SquarePants“.
This cartoon is about the citizens of Bikini Bottom and a loveable yellow square sponge named SpongeBob SquarePants, who lives in a pineapple and has a pet snail named Gary who loves cookies.
His two closest companions in misadventure are Patrick, a foolish starfish, and Sandy Cheeks, a grumpy, adventure-hungry squirrel who resides with his family in an underwater dome designed to seem like a huge Texas tree house packed with a picnic area.
SpongeBob works as the “best fry cook ever” at Krusty Krab, where his boss, Mr Krabs, is a tyrant and the cashier, Squidward Tentacles, is often cranky. Despite his best efforts, SpongeBob always manages to get himself (and his pals) into hot soup.
This renowned cartoon series shows how SpongeBob makes new acquaintances and goes through fun and crazy adventures with his best friend.
Despite showing an illogical lifestyle, SpongeBob made a place in 90s kids’ hearts, including mine, because of his charming, crazy, lively, and positive personality and hilarious activities since the day it premiered in 1999.
This show won several awards, including six Annie Awards and eight Grammy Awards.
Tom and Jerry
Who among the 90s kids can forget the name “Tom and Jerry” — a name that can never disappear from my heart.
The world famous show by William Hannah and Joseph Barbera started its journey in 1940, centered on the rivalry and friendship between Tom, the cat, and Jerry, the mouse.
Tom’s continuous effort to catch Jerry and Jerry’s undaunted endeavors to annoy Tom are an absolute delight. However, the best part about this show is, the two unify without a second thought in difficult times and always have each other’s backs. However, the run-and-chase begins as soon as the trouble slides away!
The show, based solely on actions and background music but no dialogue, advocates for the mastery crafted by the cartoonists.
Naughty Jerry and mischievous but cute Tom has seven Oscars to its credit, becoming one of the most cherished shows to date.
Popeye the Sailor Man
This cartoon reminds me of how my mother used to persuade me to eat spinach to gain strength, showing Popeye’s transformation every time his enemy Bluto kidnaps Olive, the love of his life.
First released in 1933, this Elzir Crisler Segar show is based on the life of Popeye, a sailor known for his distinctive physical appearance, including his muscular arms, squinty eye, corncob pipe, and ever-present can of spinach.
Popeye is a sailor who often finds himself in crazy and adventurous situations. His main love interest is Olive Oyl, a tall and skinny woman with a distinctive high-pitched voice.
However, my favorite has always been the brutish and comically villainous Bluto, who frequently tries to win Olive Oyl’s affection and causes trouble for Popeye.
One of the key elements of Popeye’s character is his unique power. Whenever Popeye gets into a tough situation or needs a burst of strength, he consumes a can of spinach, which instantly gives him superhuman strength and helps him defeat his adversaries.
Smartly crafted to influence children to eat their veggies, this weird portrayal of achieving power, humorous and adventurous journeys, and fighting against the villain to win his heroine used to make me laugh every time I watched this show.
Alongside entertaining, this show also instilled the fact that anything can be achieved if you have a strong will, and that’s why I love this show. Do you, too?
I started finding penguins cute the day I watched the show “Pingu”, crafted by Swiss filmmakers Otmar Gutmann and Erika Brueggemann. Named after a young penguin named Pingue, the show first aired in 1986.
The show stands out for its distinctive and charming stop-motion animation style.
The show features Pingu’s typical day in the Antarctic with his loved ones, especially his parents and younger sister Pinga. Pingu’s adventures in each episode lead to all sorts of hilarious and touching events. The unique “Penguinese” language that the characters speak is what really distinguishes Pingu from other shows.
Despite the absence of clear speech, the show makes up for it with expressive visuals, lively physical comedy, and endearing character interactions.
The 90s presented us with a golden and rich era of cartoons, which we still carry in our hearts even as adults. They continue to captivate new generations, transcending time and becoming cherished classics.
The beloved 1990s cartoons take us back to a time when life was simpler and remind us of the delights of childhood. These everlasting masterpieces will always have a unique place in our hearts because they reflect the wonder and beauty of our youth and stick with us for a lifetime.Read more: 5 Best 90s Cartoons for Gen Z kids