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December 20, 2009

My Top 5 Cartoons of the '90's

I grew up in the '90's, and while I don't know about previous generations, I personally think the '90's had the best Saturday morning cartoons ever. It was the golden age. Me? I watched a crap load of cartoons; every episode of every cartoon at least ten times each. In recent years (2001-present), Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network have lost all of its great classics (except for Spongebob) and have been pumping out crap after crap after crap. It really makes one miss the old days, when cartoons were actually good. I'm feeling the nostalgia right now, so here's my list of the top 5 cartoons (English speaking of course).

5. Spongebob Squarepants

Everybody knows Spongebob, and everybody loves Spongebob. Even young adults still enjoy Spongebob; that's how good it is. I still remember when it first debuted 1999; there were tons of commercials previewing the brand new Nicktoon show and I was actually pretty excited for it. As soon as I finished watching Spongebob fire out thousands of Krabby Patties to hungry anchovies, I was completely hooked. I knew this was going to be enjoyable.

In recent seasons, Spongebob has completely upped its quality of humor so it even appeals to older audiences. There is so much creativity behind the episode plots and the jokes; no wonder it is still going on strong after an entire decade on the air. This series has the potential to be the longest lasting cartoon in history, and I know for sure that even after another decade, I'll still be wondering what a Krabby Patty tastes like.

4. Rocko's Modern Life

What I loved most about Rocko's Modern Life was its crude humor, its too-violent-for-today's daytime television antics, its toilet humor, and even its cleverly hidden sexual innuendo. It was like someone secretly made a children's cartoon for adults.

Interestingly enough, the main character Rocko is a young adult trying to make it on his own. The episodes are often about Rocko trying to accomplish typical activities like taking the garbage out, cleaning his home, and getting a new blender. Crazy antics ensue.

Rocko's Modern Life did stir up some controversy at one time for what is now a deleted scene: Rocko and his best friend Heffer are staying at a sleazy motel, and the guy at the front desk thinks they're gay. That's not even the bad part. When they are sleeping, Heffer has a sex dream and shouts some very suggestive stuff aloud. It's moments like this that really make me enjoy it as a young adult. Seriously, it was just hilarious.

3. Hey Arnold!

A favorite of many people from my generation. Hey Arnold featured a young boy with a strange, football-shaped head and a heart of gold. He really is the ideal boy, with a strong will, a kind heart, and the bravery to do all he can for disadvantaged people.

Through each episode, Arnold is discovering strange new things about his surroundings, going to places only described in legends and meeting strange people shunned by society. By opening himself to them and teaching them to look at the outside world, Arnold helps dozens of people, from strangers to close friends, recover from their problems. It really has its touching moments, I nearly cried in the episode where he learns about his lost parents.

While Spongebob Squarepants had great humor and Doug had its touching lessons, Hey Arnold blends both of these features and delivers it really well. I can still remember the kid shouting "Stoop Kids' afraid to leave his stoop!"

2. Doug

I didn't just get laughs from Doug; I cherished it like a significant part of my life. Doug is a masterpiece among cartoons, from its softly drawn and brightly colored art style, to its narrative form of story-telling.

The story stars, of course, Doug Funnie. Doug is a 11 1/2 year old boy who has a vibrant imagination with a passion for writing and music. He narrates each episode and writes all of his daily episodes in his diary. I think the main reason I so enjoyed Doug was because Doug was much like me; shy but filled with thoughts, using writing and music as a medium for expressing all that creativity.

Every episode taught a lesson vital to a young teen's life, and they all stuck by me while I was growing up. That is why it always strikes up so much nostalgia. I still find myself humming the opening theme...Dear diary...

1. The Angry Beavers

This decision definitely wasn't hard for me; The Angry Beavers is my favorite cartoon of all time. Out of the numerous cartoons I watched throughout my childhood, the beaver brothers Norbert and Daggett always kept me laughing. I still watch it to this day and totally enjoy it.

The Angry Beavers stars twin brothers Norbert and Daggett, who are beavers that have just recently moved out of their parents home and started living in their own dam. Daggett is the stupid one, always a few paces behind and yelling "spoot!" when something goes wrong. Norbert is the smarter and more sophisticated brother, who likes to think he's classy and has to keep his brother in line.

The Angry Beavers displays the pinnacle of cartoon creativity. Out of all the cartoons on this list, The Angry Beavers did it the best: it was just so FUNNY. The impossibility of all the situations; the character reactions and their joke delivery; everything was just hilarious. Like I said, I still find myself laughing while watching episodes of The Angry Beavers.

I imitated the beavers, learned how to draw them, and taped all the episodes on cassette. It is always first on my mind when I remember my days of watching daytime television...well, I still watch episodes of The Angry Beavers on my computer. I guess I haven't grown up all that much.