Kids of the 1990s are now the parents of today. What 90s cartoons did you love as a child that you think your own children will enjoy as well? We wanted to mine that question to discover the best cartoons for kids that still hold up today and that young audiences will thoroughly enjoy. Even if you don’t have kids, you might want to get a touch nostalgic and revisit some of your favorite toons. That’s totally fine!
We wanted to discover the best 90s cartoons that most of us grew up with so we asked members of the MU staff to submit their favorite things to watch growing up. We got a lot of exciting responses, many of which we had not thought of in years! These glorious animated shows were the raison d’être for a generation and we should continue to enjoy them today. Let’s get animated!
Show Your Kids These 90s Cartoons to See What Still Lands Today!
The Magic School Bus (1994)
“Take chances, make mistakes, get messy!” Chances are you were obsessed with Ms. Frizzle as a child but as an adult, you might be shocked to learn that she was voiced by none other than Lily Tomlin. Share the educational adventures of The Magic School Bus with your children and watch them become absorbed in each topic! It’s currently streaming on Netflix.
Street Sharks (1994)
You loved the crime-fighting half-man/half-shark characters as a child and your kids likely will too. Introduce your kids to Ripster, Streex, and Jab and you won’t regret it! Your kids will love to take a bite out of one of the weirdest 90s cartoons on this list. Street Sharks is currently streaming on Pluto.
With characters from Disney’s The Jungle Book, TaleSpin finds Baloo the Bear, Louie the ape, and Shere Khan the tiger located in the fictional city Cape Suzette where they perform various aerial missions. We don’t know how Disney came up with this show but it totally worked for many of us as kids. You’ll find it streaming on Disney+.
Darkwing Duck (1991)
If you watched TaleSpin, you likely also watched Darkwing Duck which also aired afternoons on the Disney Channel in the 90s. The show featured an underrated Duck who was a superhero with a double life (like Batman). Revisit this blast of a 90s cartoon on Disney+.
We can’t discuss 90s cartoons without sharing with you one of the shows we lost too soon, after just two seasons! Freakazoid! featured a lovable superhero whose quirkiness only endeared him to you more. He fights supervillians and hung out with other characters from the WB Kids lineup in the 90s. It is available to rent on your preferred platform.
Spider-Man (The Animated Series) (1994)
Produced by Marvel Comics and Disney, Spider-Man (The Animated Series) debuted in 1994 and spanned many seasons with a total of 65 episodes! You’re favorite crime-fighting superhero got caught up in a number of webs, making him one of the most beloved characters from any of these 90s cartoons. You can find it streaming on Disney+.
Pinky and the Brain (1995)
Pinky and the Brain was one of the most offbeat 90s cartoons you likely watched as a child. One character loved to goof off while the other was set on world domination. Introduce your kids to them and prepare to have that theme song stuck in your head for the rest of eternity. The show is currently streaming on Hulu.
For fans of Nickelodeon’s 90s cartoons, look no further than KaBlam! for some unhinged fun. The animated sketch comedy series featured different styles of animation that verged on experimental and, at times, were rather groundbreaking. The show was a critical and commercial success for Nickelodeon. The show can be found streaming on Paramount+ today.
Pepper Ann (1997)
Pepper Ann was the first Disney animated television series to be created by a woman, Sue Rose. The show deals with the trials and tribulations of adolescence experienced by Pepper, a student at Hazelnut Middle School. The show is fun for all but it’s one of the 90s cartoons that young girls will get a lot from. The show is currently unavailable to stream but we’re holding out hope Disney+ adds it to its platform soon.
X-Men (The Animated Series) (1992)
Like Spider-Man, X-Men also was a venture between Disney and Marvel Comics that aired on Fox Kids Network. The show is full of drama among the superhero mutants who harness their extraordinary powers for good (and bad). If your kid loves Marvel, show them one of the best 90s cartoons in X-Men. The show is currently streaming on Disney+.
If your kids love Pinky and the Brain you must show them its cousin show Animaniacs. It’s an animated variety show with everything you want from 90s cartoons. Music, comedy, and tons of fun from the WB universe. You can find these silly toons streaming on Hulu.
Who knew a bunch of babies could provide some of the most astute social commentary on society, family, and life in the early 90s? Seriously, Rugrats were far ahead of their time paving the way for other favorites like SpongeBob SquarePants. Introduce your kids to Tommy Pickles, Chucky, and Angelica and watch them become enthralled. Rugrats is streaming on Paramount+.
Doug Funnie, Patti Mayonnaise, Skeeter, and Beebee were your best buds growing up and they let you know how awkward being a preteen would turn out to be. Doug is an endlessly charming show with tons of heart. Your kids will one of the most beloved 90s cartoons in Doug. Find it streaming on Disney+.
Tiny Toon Adventures (1990)
Tiny Toons Adventures was an update to the Looney Tunes franchise that started in 1990 and ran for two years. The series follows the adventures of a group of young cartoon characters who attend Acme Looniversity to become the next generation of characters from the Looney Tunes franchise. You will find this show streaming on Hulu.
Hey Arnold! (1994)
Although it masquerades as one of the funny 90s cartoons, Hey! Arnold gets surprisingly real and offers audiences an opportunity to deal with some of life’s tougher circumstances with a fourth-grader named Arnold. It’s one of the few 90s cartoons set in an urban setting, making it essential to watch! You’ll find the show streaming on Paramount+.
If you think your kid is an old soul, you must show them Daria! The show follows Daria Morgendorffer, a teen-going-on-fifty, who doesn’t have time to get caught up in all the High School drama but somehow manages to have some pretty great adventures. Daria is streaming on Paramount+.
Yes, one of the 90s cartoons about Scottish Gargoyles who protect New York City is essential viewing for kids. Gargoyles is full of mood, drama, and even romance! If your kids enjoy an unlikely premise, get their eyes on this animated series. The show is streaming on Disney+.
Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers (1988)
We don’t know how Chip and Dale got transformed into little detectives the likes of Indiana Jones would be envious of, but in Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers, the pair get up to some crime-solving adventures that you likely loved as a child. Your kids will want to try and solve the mysteries too! You can stream the show on Disney+.
Dexter’s Laboratory (1995)
If you’re excited to hear your little ones mimicking strange voices, one of the 90s cartoons you need to introduce them to is Dexter’s Laboratory which will have them saying LA-BOR-AH-TORY. For creative kids with a budding interest in science, you could not find a better show! It follows Dexter, a boy genius, who creates amazing things in his secret lab before his sister spoils it! What a blast. It’s streaming on HBOMAX.
Batman: The Animated Series (1992)
One of the moodiest 90s cartoons, Batman (The Animated Series) follows Batman on many crime-fighting adventures. Fans of Batman the character love the show more than most of the big-budget films made about the caped crusader. Find it streaming on HBOMAX.
Who knew the politics of elementary school recess could be so captivating? Recess follows six brave fourth-graders at Third Street School who make it their mission to protect the other kids on the playground. Listen closely and you’ll hear the voice of the magical Pamela Adlon as Ashley Spinelli. Recess is streaming on Disney+.
The Wild Thornberrys (1998)
One of the 90s cartoons with the most compelling protagonist, The Wild Thornberrys were saved time and time again by a young girl named Eliza. If your kids love animals and nature, you must share this animated series with them. They will love seeing Eliza talking to animals and saving the day! This series is streaming on Paramount+.
Sailor Moon (1992)
The magical superhero Sailor Moon was a rare Japanese export, a televised anime series that made to the states in the early 1990s. The show follows Sailor Moon and other Sailor Soldiers who are middle school students when they’re not fighting evil antagonists. This is one of the 90s cartoons that looked like nothing many of us had ever seen before. You’ll find it streaming on Hulu.
Goof Troop (1992)
Disney kids really love Goofy and Goof Troop found the silly dog as a father to his cool son, Max. Goofy is a single dad who does his best with his pre-teen Max and although things never go as planned, the pair always have one another in the end. You’ll find it streaming on Disney+.
Powerpuff Girls (1998)
Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup were three kindergarteners who doubled as superheroes. Yes, these pint-sized girls save the world more times than you can count in this endlessly cute and watchable series. It’s time for the next generation to fall in love with Powerpuff Girls! Find it streaming on HBOMAX.
Rocko’s Modern Life (1993)
Rocko’s Modern Life was likely one of your favorite 90s cartoons. Fans of the show were truly dedicated. The show follows Rocko, a wallaby, Spunky, Rocko’s dog, Heffer Wolfe, a weird steer, and Filburt, a troubled turtle. Although this show did get dark at times, we still have fond memories of it. It’s currently available to stream on Paramount+.
Captain Planet and the Planeteers (1990)
Ah, yes! The environmental show that you loved as a kid. Captain Planet and the Planeteers had a lot of excellent teachable moments in it. We imagine you likely said, “Earth! Fire! Wind! Water! Heart! By your powers combined, I am Captain Planet!” a few times as a kid. It’s one of the best and only 90s cartoons about saving the planet from pollution. Find it available to rent from your preferred platform.
The Angry Beavers (1997)
Brothers Daggett and Norbert Beaver have leave home to gain independence by living on their own in the forest near their Oregon hometown. But, things don’t go as planned for The Angry Beavers. It turns out being a beaver is harder than it looks. This show is streaming on Paramount+.
The conjoined brothers, one part cat and one part dog, form CatDog a delightful duo who find themselves in some weird situations just by manner of their existence. You’ll remember that Cat is often the clever one of the two who formulates a plan only to have it foiled by his own brother, Dog. It’s one of the most original 90s cartoons that we imagine kids will love! CatDog is streaming on Paramount+.
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Aaahh!!! Real Monsters (1994)
Ickis, Oblina and Krumm are three kid monsters who are supposed to learn the art of the scare at the Monster Academy. However, this proves to be no easy task for the three adolescents. Monsters who are no good at scaring? How does that work? Let your kids find out in this delightfully weird 90s cartoon. Find it waiting for you to stream on Paramount+.
There you go! Did these 90s cartoons bring back some memories? We certainly hope that got the nostalgia flowing and gave you some ideas about shows that your kids will enjoy. Even though these toons were made for a previous generation, your kids can bring them back to life for a new one! Happy streaming!
- 1 Show Your Kids These 90s Cartoons to See What Still Lands Today!
- 2 The Magic School Bus (1994)
- 2.1 Street Sharks (1994)
- 2.2 TaleSpin (1990)
- 2.3 Darkwing Duck (1991)
- 2.4 Freakazoid! (1995)
- 2.5 Spider-Man (The Animated Series) (1994)
- 2.6 Pinky and the Brain (1995)
- 2.7 KaBlam! (1996)
- 2.8 Pepper Ann (1997)
- 2.9 X-Men (The Animated Series) (1992)
- 2.10 Animaniacs (1993)
- 2.11 Rugrats (1990)
- 2.12 Doug (1991)
- 2.13 Tiny Toon Adventures (1990)
- 2.14 Hey Arnold! (1994)
- 2.15 Daria (1997)
- 2.16 Gargoyles (1994)
- 2.17 Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers (1988)
- 2.18 Dexter’s Laboratory (1995)
- 2.19 Batman: The Animated Series (1992)
- 2.20 Recess (1997)
- 2.21 The Wild Thornberrys (1998)
- 2.22 Sailor Moon (1992)
- 2.23 Goof Troop (1992)
- 2.24 Powerpuff Girls (1998)
- 2.25 Rocko’s Modern Life (1993)
- 2.26 Captain Planet and the Planeteers (1990)
- 2.27 The Angry Beavers (1997)
- 2.28 CatDog (1998)
- 2.29 Aaahh!!! Real Monsters (1994)
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