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Top 10 Most Embarrassing ‘90s Cartoons

VO: Phoebe de Jeu WRITTEN BY: Josh Schasny
The 1990s sure did make us want to forget about a few things… Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Embarrassing '90s Cartoons. For this list, we’ll be digging deep into the dark chambers of our collective nostalgia to unearth some of the more distasteful shows that graced our TV screens during a more or less creative 1990s.
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The 1990s sure did make us want to forget about a few things… Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Embarrassing '90s Cartoons.



For this list, we’ll be digging deep into the dark chambers of our collective nostalgia to unearth some of the more distasteful shows that graced our TV screens during a more or less creative 1990s.




#10: “The Wacky World of Tex Avery” (1997-98)





In what was meant to be a heartfelt tribute to the man behind numerous Looney Tunes, the ill-fated anthology series, “The Wacky World of Tex Avery,” instead turned out to be an awful “Animaniacs”-inspired travesty. Although featuring some of animation’s best voice actors, such as Billy West, Maurice LaMarche, and Cree Summer, the show contained none of the iconic Looney Tunes characters Tex Avery turned into cultural icons, and focused on a lackluster, and downright insulting caricature of the legendary animator himself. Airing for 65 episodes between 1997 and 1998, a full seventeen years after Avery’s death, we’re just happy he wasn’t around to witness it.





#9: “The Mask: Animated Series” (1995-97)





Cashing in on Jim Carrey’s successful turn as the green-faced anti-hero, “The Mask: Animated Series” proved to be an inferior continuation of the 1994 box office smash. Following more along the lines of the gritty comic books that the film was based on, the absence of Carrey voicing the titular character left much to be desired. The animated series saw the clumsy Stanley Ipkiss take on a bevy of villains intent on taking over Edge City, including the Jason Voorhees-like Walter from the comics. Featuring the voice talents of Frank Welker, Jim Cummings, and Rob Paulsen, the series ran for three seasons. It wasn’t anything special, but at least it was better than “Son of the Mask”…




#8: “Fish Police” (1992)





While the ‘80s may have pioneered the genre of anthropomorphic creatures in “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” and “DuckTales,” the 1990s tried their best to up the ante… to a greater or lesser degree. Case in point: the hilariously absurd “Fish Police.” Running for only one season in 1992 and consisting of six episodes, “Fish Police” pulled out some big guns (literally) with depictions of street violence, mature themes, and a noir-inspired storyline. The show also featured some heavy talent with John Ritter and Tim Curry providing voice work. Needless to say, the show was eventually buried by CBS, but still received a small cult following.





#7: “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective” (1995-2000)





By 1994, the likeness of Jim Carrey could not be escaped, especially after the smash hit “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective.” Sure enough, the marketing execs planned an entire animated series surrounding the over-the-top private eye’s further adventures. The lack of Jim Carrey, much like “The Mask,” proved to be a source of disappointment in the series’ embarrassing three-season run, even seeing an unwanted crossover episode with “The Mask” in 1997. With humor more akin to the “Ace Ventura” sequel, “When Nature Calls,” the animated counterpart just didn’t live up to the hype of the original film.







#6: “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes” (1990-91)





There are some movies that just shouldn’t even be considered for children’s entertainment. A prime suspect in this case would be the abysmal and unnecessary cartoon adaptation of the ridiculous sequel to the 1970s cult B-movie, “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes,” that aired on Fox Kids between 1990 and 1991. Taking place five years after the Great Tomato War of the first film, the animated series followed the exploits of Dr. Putrid T. Gangreen in his attempts to take over the world with homicidal tomatoes. As much as it had the makings of a wacky series, “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes” only managed to fall flat after 21 episodes.





#5: “Hammerman” (1991)





In the early 90s, MC Hammer could be seen virtually anywhere. It was only a matter of time before he got his own animated TV series. Airing for only thirteen episodes in the fall of 1991, “Hammerman” had the unique distinction of actually having the iconic rapper star in the show… well, the live-action parts at least… with vocal duties being taken over by actor/screenwriter Clark Johnson, later of “The Wire” and “Homicide: Life on the Street” fame. “Hammerman” proved to be a ridiculous cash-in attempt on Hammer’s fame with the titular superhero, along with the help of his living shoes, tackling various social issues in the fictional Oaktown.





#4: “Mega Babies” (1999-2000)





With almost universally bad reviews, the gross-out humor of “Mega Babies” was definitely not the best choice Columbia/TriStar (and eventually Sony Entertainment) banked on for success in the wake of “Rugrats.” Set in the uninspired Your City, USA, “Mega Babies” follows three super-powered infants who fend off giant robots and invading forces in disgustingly imaginative ways. Featuring plenty of disgusting jokes surrounding feces, snot, and other bodily fluids, “Mega Babies” sure did redefine the use of the term “gag.” However, that didn’t stop the creators from giving us 52 mucus-filled episodes over two seasons in the late-90s.





#3: “Dumb and Dumber” (1995-96)





Jim Carrey again?! Once again cashing in on the comedian’s jarring fame, Hanna-Barbera’s unfortunate animated take on the misadventures of Harry Dunne and Lloyd Christmas proved to be an understandable failure. Although future “SpongeBob SquarePants” stars Bill Fagerbakke and Tom Kenny provided voice work on the “Dumb and Dumber” animated series, the child-friendly approach to the show clashed with the source material’s adult-oriented toilet humor. We’re just glad they never animated the movie’s famed diarrhea scene for a child audience. Needless to say, thirteen episodes was all we got… and didn’t need.





#2: “New Kids on the Block” (1990)





Easily one of the hottest groups around in the late 80s, the New Kids on the Block ushered in the 90s with a forgettable cartoon series. Much like “Hammerman,” the “New Kids on the Block” show only featured the famous boy band in live-action sequences, handing off the voice work to other actors for the animated portions. After a lackluster fifteen-episode season in 1990, ABC didn’t renew “New Kids on the Block” for a second run, which let many cartoon enthusiasts heave a sigh of relief. Featuring bad animation, lack of humor, and boring plotlines, the team of Jonathan, Jordan, Joey, Donnie, and Danny should have just stuck to the stage and off the screen.



#1: “The Brothers Grunt” (1994-95)




In one of the most bizarre cartoon series ever approved, even by MTV standards, “The Brothers Grunt” gave gross-out fans a run for their money. It followed a group of fraternal, underwear-clad, cheese-eating, walking-talking boil-like humanoids grown off their creator’s back that are in search of their lost brother. The premise alone makes for a nauseating experience - and that doesn’t even factor in the various bodily fluids being splashed around everywhere. The less said about the series, the better. With a nearly unanimous negative reception, the horrific Canadian television series has never been officially re-released since its cancellation after 35 episodes in 1995.

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