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Top 10 Animated Kids' Shows That'll Make You Nostalgic

VO: Emily Brayton
Script written by Nick Spake These tv shows make us feel young again! Shows like Kim Possible, Looney Tunes, The Smurfs, Rugrats, Sailor Moon, Ducktales, The Magic School Bus, The Flinstones, Scooby-Doo, Where are You! are just some shows that make us feel like we’re sitting in front of the television again. We miss them so much! Which shows give you nostalgia?

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Top 10 Animated Kids Shows That Give Us a Feeling of Nostalgia

Remember the good ‘ol days of Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network and Disney Channel? We sure do. Welcome to MsMojo and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Animated Kids Shows That Give Us a Feeling of Nostalgia.

For this list, we’re taking a look at cartoons that hit us right in the childhood. We’ve excluded shows that are still currently running, such as “Arthur.”

#10: “Kim Possible” (2002-07)

Its action, humor, and colorful characters bring back fond memories, but “Kim Possible” might’ve had an even greater impact than we realized at the time. When it arrived, kids shows were generally broken into two categories: boys’ shows and girls’ shows. Although the main character here was a female high school student, Kim’s wit, confidence, and all-around awesomeness could appeal to both demographics. Aside from breaking down gender barriers, the series did a wonderful job at parodying everything from spies to superheroes. Despite wrapping in 2007, Kim Possible’s influence can still be felt in numerous modern cartoons, such as “Star vs. the Forces of Evil.”

#9: The “Looney Tunes” Franchise (1930-)

Although many of the classic shorts technically premiered on the big screen, it’s safe to say that most kids discovered “Looney Tunes” on the small screen. If your family owned a television, then Bugs, Daffy, and Porky were all Saturday morning regulars and shorts like “What's Opera, Doc?” and “Duck Amuck,” were mainstays. Outside of “The Bugs Bunny Show,” which ran from 1960 to 2000, the franchise has also inspired countless spin-offs and spiritual successors, such as “Tiny Toon Adventures.” Truly immortal figures, the Looney Tunes have been shaping childhoods for generations and are showing no sign of fading away.

#8: “The Smurfs” (1981-89)

If you took the seven dwarfs, shrunk them down, dyed them blue, and multiplied them by about a dozen or so, you’d get “The Smurfs.” Although they actually started in comics, these cuddly creatures peaked in popularity during the 80s with their long-running TV series. The show followed the residents of the Smurf village as they embarked on magical adventures while also trying to avoid the dastardly Gargamel. Selling a plethora of merchandise, scoring multiple Daytime Emmys nominations, and even producing a few primetime specials, the franchise has been rebooted in both live-action and animated forms. However, the original cartoon remains the most iconic version.

#7: “Rugrats” (1990-2004)

The 90s marked a golden age for Nickelodeon and “Rugrats” was often cited as the network’s flagship show. When you’re still in diapers, the most mundane activities can feel like a grand adventure, and this series tackled them all. At the same time, it wasn’t afraid to address more serious issues, like the loss of a parent and the inevitability of growing up. Finding an unlikely balance of being both juvenile and adult, “Rugrats” conjured a wide array of emotions. Whether the show was aiming to make us laugh or cry, though, it always captured the wonder of being a toddler, resonating with the kid in us all.

#6: “Sailor Moon” (1992-97)

Japanese animation was once regarded as an underground fad in North America. As the 21st century drew closer, however, the genre entered the mainstream with shows like “Sailor Moon” spawning cult followings among western audiences. Like “Power Rangers” with a dash of girl power, this series centered on the lead heroine and her fellow Sailor Scouts as they defended the galaxy. One of the earliest shows to air on Cartoon Network’s Toonami block, “Sailor Moon” was a gateway anime for many. The show could additionally be seen as a launching point for the magical girl anime trope, and holds a special place in the hearts of otaku everywhere.

#5: “DuckTales” (1987-90)

Much like “Indiana Jones,” “DuckTales” encompassed all of the fun, imagination, and thrills of an old school adventure serial. Revolving around Scrooge McDuck and his three nephews, the show took audiences to the ends of the world, back in time, and beyond the stars on expeditions for gold. Of course it didn’t really matter if the treasure hunt ended with a huge payday, as the journey was the true reward. “DuckTales” put the Disney Afternoon on the map and even after all of these years, we still can’t get that catchy theme song out of our heads. So when Disney announced the 2017 reboot, fans couldn’t help but collectively cheer, “Woo-oo!”

#4: “Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!” (1969-70; 1978)

Scooby-Doo remains one of the most enduring cartoon characters ever, earning top billing in several different incarnations over the decades. Some of them have been great, others… not so much. In either case, we always come back to the groovy series that started it all. After five grueling days of school, there wasn’t a better way to kick off the weekend than with a bowl of sugarcoated cereal and a new mystery to solve with the Scooby gang. Sure, eventually we'd notice that each mystery followed a pretty familiar formula. Even then, though, the show kept us totally invested with its lovable characters, creative baddies, and atmospheric settings.

#3: “The Flintstones” (1960-66)

“The Flintstones” broke bedrock as the first animated program to land a spot in primetime. In the same vein as “I Love Lucy,” “The Honeymooners,” and “Bewitched,” the show not only attracted younger viewers, but grownup audiences as well. Whether you watched the show with your family during its initial run or caught the reruns on Saturday mornings years later, “The Flintstones” seems to have a nostalgic effect on everyone, which is actually quite fitting given its prehistoric setting. While animation has come a long way since Fred first said, “yabbadabba doo,” “The Flintstones” maintains a certain charm that won’t be going extinct anytime soon.

#2: “Animaniacs” (1993-98)

The Looney Tunes might be in a league of their own, but no show replicated the genius of Chuck Jones and Tex Avery quite like “Animaniacs.” Showcasing fast-paced animation and ingenious writing, this cartoon aimed to entertain audiences of all ages and it never failed to hit a bullseye. Since much of the humor derived from pop culture, you’d think some episodes would feel dated years later. Yet, the comedy holds up phenomenally well and that’s largely thanks to its timeless characters. You could place the Warners, Pinky and the Brain, or Slappy Squirrel in any period and the results would be hysterical.

Before we reveal our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:

“The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh” (1988-91)

“The Care Bears” (1985-88)

“The Powerpuff Girls” (1998-2005)

#1: “The Magic School Bus” (1994-97)

Growing up, we all fantasized about how school could be a more engaging experience. For example, what if our teacher was a flamboyant free spirit with a thirst for adventure? What if our school bus could transform into a rocket, submarine, and other vehicles? What if we went on field trips to the moon, under the sea, and inside the human body… without any permission slips? “The Magic School Bus” made these daydreams a reality, as Ms. Frizzle’s class embarked on voyages that managed to be fun and educational. The original series may have ended in 1997, but the Magic School Bus will ride again in a Netflix series with Kate McKinnon as The Frizz.

Do you agree with our list? What’s animated kid shows gives you a feeling of nostalgia? For more entertaining Top 10s published everyday, be sure to subscribe to MsMojo.


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