Top 10 Cartoons That Aged Badly (2000s)
VOICE OVER: Phoebe de Jeu
WRITTEN BY: Mark Sammut
Some things are better left in the past, as demonstrated through these 2000s cartoons that have aged badly. We're looking at cartoons that are a product of their time. Be it the animation or the subject matter, these series do not hold up all that well to a rewatch. WatchMojo ranks the 2000s cartoons that have aged badly. Which 2000s cartoon do you think aged badly? Let us know in the comments!
Some things are better left in the past. Welcome to WatchMojo and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 2000s Cartoons That Have Aged Badly.
For this list, we’re looking at cartoons that are a product of their time. Be it the animation or the subject matter, these series do not hold up all that well to a rewatch.
#10: “My Dad the Rock Star” (2003-04)
Born out of Gene Simmons' ego and based on the rock star's family, this adventure-comedy was a surprisingly modest commercial and critical hit. An earnest cartoon with a positive message about staying true to yourself, "My Dad the Rock Star" works well enough as a sitcom about an unorthodox family trying to adapt to an ordinary suburban life. While well-intentioned, "My Dad the Rock Star's" humor often misses the mark and most episodes tend to recycle the same jokes. An okay release for the early 2000s, but far from a timeless classic.
#9: “Sheep in the Big City” (2000-02)
The early 2000s was rife with wacky and often pointless cartoons that were promptly forgotten. As stated in the title, "Sheep in the Big City" centers around the misadventures of an anthropomorphic farm animal stuck in an urban environment. To make matters even worse, the protagonist has caught the attention of a military organization with a Sheep-Powered Ray Gun, but no animal to fuel it. Stuffed with fake commercials and frequently breaking the fourth wall, "Sheep in the Big City" flirts with a ton of cool ideas, but the episodes are incredibly repetitive and the animation's crude art style was more acceptable around the turn of the century.
#8: “All Grown Up!” (2003-08)
Following "Rugrats'" hugely successful "All Growed Up" 10th anniversary special, Nickelodeon executives suddenly saw dollar bills and green-lit a spin-off set during the cast's teenage years. Lasting for five uneventful seasons and ditching its predecessor's grainy aesthetic, "All Grown Up!" substituted "Rugrats'" surreal humor and fantastical stories for a more grounded tone and setting. The result? An incredibly boring and run-of-the-mill teen comedy. Once the infants were taken out of the equation, all that remained were a bunch of average teenagers with little to say.
#7: “Back at the Barnyard” (2007-11)
Despite receiving a tongue-lashing from critics, 2006's "Barnyard" drew a big enough box office to spawn a two-season television series. Far tamer than the movie, "Back at the Barnyard" essentially boils down to farm animals acting like dicks for the sake of comedy. Just to be crystal clear, arrogant protagonists can be a ton of fun, but obnoxious characters are extremely hard to pull off in children shows. The humor is only made worse by "Back at the Barnyard's" lethargic CGI, which zaps most of the energy out of any given episode.
#6: “Dirtgirlworld” (2009)
An eco-friendly message sounds good on paper, but how is anyone supposed to learn anything with THAT thing staring back at them? Taking place on a farm, "Dirtgirlworld" teaches children the importance of gardening, while also scarring anyone unfortunate enough to stumble across this cartoon. Blending live-action, 3D CGI, and photomontage, "Dirtgirlworld's" animation is a work of absolute Frankenstein-ian proportions. For a cartoon all about the environment, "Dirtgirlworld" looks completely unnatural. Animated with really expressive and oddly mature eyes, Dirtgirl is comfortably the creepiest part of the entire cartoon.
#5: “Loonatics Unleashed” (2005-07)
A cartoon that outraged fans before an episode had even aired, this 2005 series seems like something that should have come out during the '90s. An action-comedy starring the descendants of the “Looney Tunes,” "Loonatics Unleashed" starts with a crashed meteor turning Ace Bunny and friends into Power Rangers. Endeavoring to be gritty and prioritizing action above comedy, "Loonatics" was a joke during its first season and time has done little to silence the laughter. Switching to a more lighthearted tone for the second year, Warner Bros. tried to steady the ship, but "Loonatics Unleashed" was beyond saving.
#4: “George of the Jungle” (2007-08; 2016-17)
Created by the same people behind "The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show," 1967's "George of the Jungle" was a short-lived but fun cartoon. A decade after a decent live-action adaptation, "George of the Jungle" was rebooted with Flash animation and a ton of slapstick humor. As a comedy, "George of the Jungle" relies too heavily on the protagonist's stupidity for every single gag. However, the paper-thin characters and cheap animation are the cartoon's main flaws. The characters are so void of personality, the second season swapped the names of the two main girls for no apparent reason! Was that meant as a joke? Or, did nobody actually notice?
#3: “Mary-Kate and Ashley in Action!” (2001-02)
Nowadays, the Olsen Twins rarely appear on TV, but that was not the case in the late '90s and early 2000s. Cut from the same cloth as "Kim Possible," just without the witty banter or engaging action, this ABC cartoon casts the siblings as secret agents tasked with saving the world. While not necessarily ugly, the animation is devoid of any personality or flair, and "Mary-Kate and Ashley in Action!" seems happy to just be a generic cartoon. The voice acting is fine, but the Olsen Twins' animated counterparts are too idealistic to come across as real human beings.
#2: “Butt-Ugly Martians” (2001)
Well, nobody can accuse this cartoon of false advertising. As implied by the title, "Butt-Ugly Martians" refers to a group of aliens sent to invade Earth by an evil emperor, but the heroes have a change of heart after falling in love with America. In 2001, Nickelodeon was still coming to grips with CGI, and "Butt-Ugly Martians" is the living manifestation of the network's growing pains. If the hideous animation failed to push viewers away, the ham-fisted comedy and tired fish out of water premise should have been able to pick up the slack.
Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few dishonorable mentions.
“Teamo Supremo” (2002-04)
“Rocket Power” (1999-2004)
#1: “Fanboy & Chum Chum” (2009-12)
In 2009, geek culture was in full swing and Nickelodeon could not help but pounce on this trend. Following the misadventures of two kids obsessed with comic book superheroes, "Fanboy & Chum Chum" worked best when an episode straight-up parodied a popular film, but the irritating lead characters always found a way to ruin any potentially funny scenario. Superhero spoofs were hardly unheard off during "Fanboy & Chum Chum's" era, but the genre has only become more saturated with each passing year. With so much competition, there is no reason to watch such an obnoxious cartoon.