Time to turn the nostalgic dial to 10 as GeekPress UK looks back as some of the kids cartoons that started in the 90s that made it such a memorable decade!
Hey Arnold! first hit our screens in 1996 and finished in 2004. The show followed football-shaped (that’s American football) headed Arnold who lived with his Grandparents in the city. The show aired 100 episodes and even had a feature film called Hey Arnold!: The Movie. The show had lots of running jokes such as Helga being in love with Arnold, despite being horrible to him whenever she encountered him.
It’s been recently reported that a new movie rumoured to be titled Hey Arnold!: The Jungle Movie has been greenlit. It’s expected to pick up where the show left off and resolved a few open plots such as the whereabouts of Arnold’s parents.
Rugrats became a monster of a show. Starting in 1991 for Nickelodeon, the show ran for thirteen years and had spin-off shows such as All Grown Up! and a couple of movies including one being a crossover with The Wild Thornberrys. There were numerous video games too including Search for Reptar. Everyone remembers and loves the show and it is arguably a staple of 90s kids cartoons.
There has been talk of Nickelodeon rebooting some of their old shows including Rugrats. There’s also talk of a live action film blended with cartoons and real actors which could include our favourite gang of babies too!
This bizarre show about two brothers who are conjoined and happen to be a cat and a dog was highly enjoyable. It hit Nickelodeon in 1998 and finished in 2005 airing a total of 68 episodes. As you can imagine both cat and dog are complete opposites in that one loves fine food and opera and one love fast food and rock and roll. It is a comedy formula that has been used many times but never with a conjoined cat and dog!
The Wild Thornberrys
This show about a travelling family making documentaries was great fun. It started in 1998 and even had its own film in 2002. It even had a crossover with Rugrats.
We at GeekPress UK love the Pokémon series so this had to get a mention! Many hours in the 90s were spent not only playing the games but rushing home from school to watch the anime series on CITV. It was a mind-blowing TV show particularly since every kid at school was watching, playing, trading and collecting so it pretty much dominated part of the 90s. The anime is still going strong today keeping up with the latest generations from the games.
This Cartoon Network classic was so much fun to watch. Airing in 1996 to 2003 with 78 episodes it showed Dexter try to keep his laboratory secret from his parents while not letting his big sister Dee-Dee trash it. Owning a laboratory meant that Dexter had a lot of weird and wonderful adventures which was available for a short while on Netflix UK recently.
Courage the Cowardly Dog
If you’ve watched and/or remembered the above video it explains exactly what the show is all about. It’s kind of like a 90s Scooby Doo but without the mystery machine and it’s actually a bit creepier! It first aired in 1999 and was so enjoyable if you enjoyed something a little bit different in the sense that it had some horror elements but obviously for children.
Ed, Edd n Eddy
Cartoon Network aired this show about three preteens all called Ed. There was always plans to earn money and buy jawbreakers or gobstoppers as they’re known here in the UK. Their plans usually failed with humorous results. The other kids on the show were just as funny including a kid who’s best friend was a plank of wood.
Everyone knows Johnny Bravo! The self professed ladies man hit our screens in 1997. Johnny would always try to impress the ladies with disastrous results ending up with him in silly situations. It was a great show that had some good guest stars including Adam West and Donny Osmond.
Wow, this was another 90s gem. GeekPress UK recently posted an article about how the cast of Animaniacs are going on a world tour to showcase the excellent music from the show. It was a 90s version of the popular Looney Tunes cartoons and even spawned another memorable 90s TV show: Pinky and the Brain making this a must for our list.
Doug Funnie used to entertain us by writing in his journal making him narrate the stories. It usually involved him trying to get along with his friends, falling out with his annoying sister or trying to impress his crush Patti Mayonnaise. The opening theme is catchy as hell!
A lot of people remember this show as being a bit adult due to the show being about two brothers who moved to their own place and are bachelors.
Cow and Chicken/I am Weasel
Such a catchy theme tune! This completely bizarre show belonged in the 90s! Starting in 1997 and finishing in 1999 this show was about a brother and a sister one is a cow and one is a chicken whose parents only seem to be pairs of legs. They are often tormented by a devil who likes to show his bottom and have to be saved by Cow’s alter-ego “Super Cow”. Oh, and they are often visited by their cousin called Boneless chicken. Yes, it’s bizarre as it sounds but it was so good! It also has a spin off show called I Am Weasel.
Spice Girls, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The Powerpuff Girls. Yes, the 90s was a decade of girl power so this cartoon was hugely popular. Following three crime fighting super girls who, when being created, was accidentally mixed with chemical X. It started in 1998 and even had a movie made. Fans of the original show may be surprised to hear that the show has been rebooted and the brand new show is being shown currently on Cartoon Network.
Starting in 1999 and still going today this is easily Nickelodeon’s longest running show. Creating a couple of successful films, a whole host of toys and an easily recognisable cast it’s no wonder that this show is still going today. Due to its longevity, it deserved a special mention.
Technically this cartoon started in 1989 in Japan but it was dubbed and aired in the UK in 1996 so we’re counting it as a 90s cartoon. Along with Pokémon this was part of the Japanese anime wave in the 90s. It has spawned several great video games and has only recently finished its run on TV.
Hey! What a wonderful kind of day! Damn that theme tune is catchy! Arthur was such a great show and believe it or not it’s still going today. It’s dealt with several issues including asthma, cancer and even Asperger’s Syndrome. It is the second longest running cartoon of all time narrowly beating South Park and only beaten by The Simpsons.
This show started in 1997 and even had a film in 2001. Everyone remembers this show being exactly like school and the different groups that hung out together at break time. I think it’s safe to say that everyone knows this show and that it’s stood the text of time as kids today would be able to relate to it just as much as we did in the 90s.
The Ren & Stimpy Show
Ren and Stimpy, along with Doug and Rugrats is considered one of the original three for Nickelodeon as they all started in 1991. This show was controversial due to its very off-colour humour, violence, adult jokes and sexual references. I think it’s safe to say that it was one of the original cartoons that were aimed at adults as well as children influencing such shows as South Park, Family Guy and Beavis and Butt-Head. The show is still considered as one of the greats, even today, making it a must for our cartoons list.
Rocko’s Modern Life
Rocko was an Australian immigrant wallaby who had a few friends including Heffer and Spunky. This was another cartoon that was aimed at kids but was full of adult humour making it an enjoyable show.
Aaahh!!! Real Monsters
Ickis, Oblina and Krumm all attended a school for monsters under the dump to learn how to scare humans. This show, much like Courage the Cowardly Dog, was a bit scary, a bit funny and a bit whacky.
We all love 90s cartoons and we hope you do too. Get in touch with us and tell us your favourite 90s cartoons either through the comments below or on Twitter.