Sunday, August 11, 2013

Best Nicktoons

15. The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius (43 episodes, 2002-2006)
Spun off from the Academy Award nominated feature Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius was this fun little series.  The show was never spectacular but it was funny and had a fun supporting cast (notably Sheen and Carl who were spun off in the recent Nicktoon Planet Sheen).

14. Angry Beavers (63 episodes, 1997-2001)
One of the many zany, irreverent cartoons from the nineties that was just fun for kids and older audiences.  It has been a long time since I have seen it and should really look it up.  It also had a fun supporting character, Stump, who was a clear precursor to Plank from Ed, Edd n Eddy.

13. Fairy OddParents (131 episodes, 2001-present)
I have never really enjoyed this cartoon all that much.  Even as a kid I found Timmy Turner to be grating, he seems to be a corporate executive's idea of a kid rather than an actual kid.  However the show has been running continuously for over a decade so it does have a lot of staying power.  And I have to admit that I will from time to time find Cosmo's antics entertaining.

12. Rocket Power (61 episodes, 1999-2004)
Woogie, woogie, woogie.  One of the few cartoons to make extreme sports seem natural rather than forced.  The likable and relatable kids are passionate and are clearly having fun.  This is one of those shows that kids could relate to, because they saw themselves on screen.  Otto, Reggie, Twister and Squid acted like kids and the extreme sports looked pretty cool.

11. KaBlam! (48 episodes, 1996-2004)
Never the most popular, but that was part of the appeal.  While a lot of the other Nicktoons were rerun to death this was a much rarer find.  Not all of the segments were winners, Action League Now is the one that is easily the favorite.  But the irreverence, energy and rare anthology format made it stand out.

10. Wild Thornberrys (92 episodes, 1998-2004)
One of those Nicktoons that was safer and much more standard, yet still a lot of fun.  It was based around basic kid lessons and ecology but it was very natural.  Never heavy handed and it was all character based.  Eliza Thornberry is an admirable leading child character and of coursed the Tim Curry voiced Nigel has become a favorite of the internet.

9. Hey Arnold! (100 episodes, 1996-2004
Funny shaped kids do regular things.  There is a lot of sincerity in this series.  It is relatable enough with enough wacky adventures and odd supporting characters (namely Arnold's grandparents).  A lot of us who grew up with this show remember a lot of it.  Such as Helga's bubblegum sculpture of Arnold and Stoop Kid being afraid to leave his stoop.

8. Aaahh! Real Monsters (52 episodes, 1994-1997)
Many have found parallels between this and Monsters, Inc. which shares a similar concept.  The artwork is very good, making the monsters appealing to look at while still being odd and slightly scary.  The dynamic between the main trio is very entertaining.

7. Doug (52 episodes, 1991-1996)
To be perfectly honest, I am one of those rare people who prefers Disney's Doug.  Mainly because this was not airing frequently when I was a kid and I clearly lean towards Disney in any of my entertainment preferences.  Doug has been seen as boring by some, but there is fun in its simplicity.  This was one of the first slice of life cartoons and it is very much like a comfortable sitcom.

6. Rocko's Modern Life (52 episodes, 1993-1996)
Weird in all of the right ways.  I don't know how to analyze Rocko, it is just enjoyable.

5. Invader Zim (27 episodes, 2001-2002)
One of the biggest cult following to ever come from Nickelodeon.  This series was canceled to soon because it did too well with the wrong demographics.  The show did not perform great with young kids who bought toys but rather college students.  The show is artistically unique and the concept is very creative.  Just top notch humor and the show has reached almost legendary status among adults who love cartoons after it was released on DVD.

54. Ren and Stimpy (52 episodes, 1991-1996)
One of the most influential television cartoons of all time.  This was artistically a huge step forward from the limited assembly line animation that proliferated TV screens since the fifties.  This was based around the style of its creator John Kricfalusi rather than merchandise or ratings.

3. Avatar: The Last Airbender (61 episodes, 2005-2008)
This series was a huge surprise to everybody, Nickelodeon was not well known for action cartoons or having story arcs.  The love and effort that went into the art and writing clearly shows in the deep mythology that was created.  Kids and adults found it exciting and it is still finding new audience members.  Just a great work of art.

2. SpongeBob SquarePants (182 episodes, 1999-present)
Nickelodeon's long runner that is still popular with kids today.  A cultural icon that has a large periphery audience.  The show still works after all of this time because the characters are surprisingly versatile.  SpongeBob is believable as both incompetent and shunned as he is a savant and beloved by other characters.  The characters work in so many different settings and the premise is loosely defined that there are enough adventures to be had.  There is a lot of criticism towards the show and it is certainly not perfect, but it is still fun.

1. Rugrats (172 episodes, 1991-2004)
The show that very much made the network.  Even if it jumped several sharks (depends on your opinion when, but the obvious quality drop was after its initial 65 episode run).  Just a lot of imagination and creative gags in very simple settings.  There are jokes for adults, jokes for kids, the characters are all strong across the board.  The show has an expansive mythology, impressive for a comedy cartoon.  It still holds up and is great nostalgia for anyone who grew up with it.

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