Cartoons Aren’t Just For Kids: Part 1

As a child of the 80’s, I grew up in what I consider the Saturday Morning Cartoon generation. I remember the blocks of my favourite shows like Jem and the Holograms, She-Ra, G.I. Joe, Voltron, and Gummy Bears. This carried over into the 90’s with the Disney’s Darkwing Duck and Gargoyles and WB shows like Animaniacs and Tiny Toon Adventures.

Animation and cartoons have played a large role in my life, I even went to school to become and animator (but never made it as one), and now that I’m in my 30’s nothing has changed. The majority of my television watching is of the animated variety. Below is a list of shows that I love and think any adult could enjoy (with or without kids).

Archer

Rated: TV MA

Archer
Network: FX
Seasons: 3 (just ended in March)

The show follows the dysfunctional lives of the employees at ISIS, a covert spy operation, but mostly the shenanigans of their “greatest” agent Sterling Archer. Just imagine if James Bond was more of a womanizing, alcoholic selfish D-Bag surrounded by co-worker that were idiotic, self destructive and generally insane.

This is the only show on the list that is 100% for adults only. There is swearing, sexual references and all the other things you’d expect from an FX show.

The Legend of Korra

Rated: TV Y7

Legend of Korra
Network: Nickelodeon
Seasons: 1 (just started)
Airs: Saturday 10 am/11am Central

This is the continuation of the popular Avatar: The Last Airbender series, taking place 70 years later. Peace has been made between the four nations, Earth, Air, Fire and Water, but a new uprising is beginning where non-benders are rebelling against the benders (people who can manipulate their element). Now it’s up to Korra, the newest Avatar, the only person able to control all four elements, to bring peace to the world once again.

I will admit that I watched the first two episodes of Korra before ever seeing a single minute of the original series, but what I saw prompted me to go back and watch it in its entirety. Both shows are a combination of action, drama and humour wrapped in the most beautiful animation I’ve ever seen.

Scooby Doo: Mystery Incorporated

Rated: TV Y7

Scooby Doo: Mystery Incorporated
Network: Cartoon Network
Seasons: 1 (Season 2 will begin shortly)

This updated version of Scooby Doo puts a spin on the original monster-of-the-week format and gives us a show with character development and plot. You learn more about the Scooby Gang, why they do what they do, who their families are and their relationships with each other.

Trust me when I say you become invested in these characters and the larger mystery that unfolds through the series. And, if Fred doesn’t quickly become your favourite character, well, then I don’t know what’s wrong with you.

Best of all — no Scrappy Doo.

The Looney Tunes Show

Rated: TV PG

The Looney Tunes Show
Network: Cartoon Network
Seasons: 1
Airs: Weekdays 10am /11am Central

Much like Scooby Doo, the Looney Tunes show is an updated version of something we already know and love, and once again with more character and story development. Gone are the short, random, single-serving episodes, instead we get Bugs and Daffy as roommates with Porky Pig is their friend, Yosemite Sam as their annoying neighbor and Speedy Gonzales owning the local pizza place.

It’s slightly weird at first to see these characters interact together in normal(ish) activities like getting their driver’s license, looking for work and dealing with each other. But, I feel the spin makes for a very refreshing, modern show. And don’t worry, we still get to see a bit of the old format with a Merry Melodies intermission between the two halves of the episode.

Star Wars: Clone Wars

Rated: TV PG

Star Wars: The Clone Wars
Network: Cartoon Network
Seasons: 4 (just ended in March)

The series takes place between Episodes 2 and 3 in the Star Wars saga, chronicling the war between the Republic and the Separatists, the Jedi and the Sith.

A lot of people who grew up with Star Wars jumped ship due to the lackluster prequel movies, claiming to never support the franchise again. Or, they’re like me and took what they could from prequels and continue to support the franchise that they love. Whether you jumped ship or not, the Clone Wars series breathes life back into the Star Wars universe, making up for the movies 100 times over.

It expands the universe, introduces you to more awesome characters and plunges you deep into the action and politics of the war. Now we just need to convince George to redo the prequels using these writers, voice actors and animators.

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic

Rated: TV Y

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic
Network: HUB
Seasons: 2 (just ended in April)

Ok, there is a lot of WTF! surrounding the new Pony series. This is a show designed for young girls (I should know, I was one when the original show aired in the 80’s), but now it’s become this HUGE phenomenon and has even create an entire culture of men who love the show called Bronies. I actually know more adults who love this show than I do kids. Bizarre, right.

When I first heard of the Pony Phenom I needed a bit of convincing – I couldn’t imagine this show being remotely “cool” enough for a grown-ass woman to watch. Man, was I wrong.

The creator of Friendship is Magic, Laura Faust, is obviously a geek (which makes sense since she created Super Best Friends for DC Nation) because the show sprinkles a lot of homages to pop culture including recreating the medal ceremony from A New Hope and entire episode dedicated to Batman and another to Indiana Jones. If you like your pop culture you can’t help but love this.

To boot, the characters are endearing and fun, plus the story is actually good.

Stay Tuned for Part 2 early next week!

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This entry was posted in Television and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

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  • By Cartoons Aren’t Just For Kids: Part 2 on May 12, 2012 at 10:58 am

    […] If you missed the first part of this list you can view it by following this link: Cartoons Aren’t Just For Kids: Part 1 […]

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