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The Best Cartoons Ever

Written by: Editorial Staff

March 16, 2008
Filed Under TV 

Tags: , ,

Ever since Walt Disney introduced us to Mickey Mouse in the short “Steamboat Willie” back in 1928, Americans have been captivated by cartoons. In this article we’ll cover the best cartoons ever, the animated television shows beloved by young and old that seem to live on from generation to generation.


Let’s start off with a true classic, Popeye. Possibly the most imitated cartoon character and certainly one of the most beloved, Popeye has survived and thrived for nearly eighty years. He and his girlfriend Olive Oyl, his burger chomping friend Wimpy and his nemesis Bluto have graced not only the television screen, but comic strips, comic books, and even theatrical releases. Throughout it all, the sailor hero with the outsized forearms was always able to defeat the evil Bluto and was strong to the finnich ’cause he ate his spinach. There’s hardly a kid in the world who doesn’t know Popeye and who hasn’t at least tried spinach as a result.

Woody Woodpecker

Another old-timer is Woody Woodpecker. This little guy was born in 1940. Like another equally famous cartoon bird, Daffy Duck, Woody has evolved over the years from a completely out of control insane troublemaker into a more refined and mischievous character. For well over 60 years now, kids have grown up knowing the characteristic laugh and wild antics of Woody the Woodpecker.

Looney Toons

Since I mentioned Daffy Duck, let’s move right on to Looney Tunes. This may be the most beloved of all cartoon shows, having introduced us to not only Daffy Duck, but to a wide variety of famous characters, including Bugs Bunny, Yosemite Sam, Elmer Fudd, Porky Pig, Sylvester the cat, Tweety Bird, Foghorn Leghorn, the Roadrunner and a wide variety of others. This show has easily created more enduring characters than any other single cartoon and continues today to give us more adventures of the characters we grew up loving. The list of characters born on Looney Tunes is complemented by a nearly equally large list of characters inspired by the show, such as those seen on other shows like Animaniacs and Tiny Toons.

Tom and Jerry


Yet another enduring classic is Tom and Jerry. The (usually) non-speaking pair represented the ultimate in cat-and-mouse games. Every Saturday since the 1940′s the two could be seen finding means to outsmart, outwit and outmaneuver each other in new and exciting ways. While Tom tried sometimes ferociously to catch Jerry and Jerry time and again teased Tom while he evaded Tom’s traps, the two share a real love-hate relationship and could never live without each other. We couldn’t live without them either.

In the 1960′s came a new class of cartoons, mostly led by the company Hanna-Barbera. While the classics we’ve already discussed survived, they were joined by a new group of cartoons who have showed equally strong legs, thriving from decade to decade and eventually becoming classics themselves.

The Flintstones

The first one I’ll mention is The Flintstones. This family of modern-prehistoric cave people lived in a world of stone, but nevertheless had every modern convenience, from dinosaur cranes for building stone skyscrapers to dishwashers powered by elephant-like creatures. Fred and Wilma and their friends Barney and Betty Rubble were joined by the Flintstones’ pet dinosaur Dino, who yapped like a small-breed dog and later on by the Flintstones’ daughter Pebbles and the Rubble’s super-strong son Bam-Bam. Fred was always finding himself in bad situations that just got worse and worse, usually until his wife was able to fix them. This show has spawned a variety of spin off cartoons, live-action movies, toy lines and even a line of cereal from Post Cereals.

The Jetsons


With the success of The Flintstones, Hanna-Barbera wanted to repeat the success with a similar concept, so they left the past and shot right by us for the future with The Jetsons. This show starred George Jetson and also included his wife Jane, his beautiful teenage daughter Judy, his young but brilliant son Elroy, their dog Astro and Rosie, the robot maid with a New Yorker accent. Jetson works at ‘Spacely Space Sprockets’ for Mr. Spacely, and tiny little dynamo of a boss who never lets Jetson off the hook but depends on him greatly, despite his constant accusations of ineptitude.

Scooby Doo


Yet another Hanna-Barbera production born in the 1960′s was my personal favorite cartoon Scooby Doo. Regardless of inevitable misses like the unforgettable and unlikable Scrappy, the show has endured generations and is still beloved by millions. So disliked was Scooby Doo’s nephew Scrappy that he was turned into the villain of the first live-action Scooby-Doo film. Scooby and his pals Shaggy (originally voiced by famed DJ Casey Kasem), Fred, Daphne and Velma regularly embarked on mystery solving capers in their van, the Mystery Machine. Later on after the show had become a hit, guest stars regularly appeared on the show such as Don Knotts, the Harlem Globetrotters, Vincent Price, the Three Stooges and many others.

Fat Albert


Not long after Hanna-Barbera first brought its string of hit cartoons to the airwaves, Bill Cosby had his own success with Fat Albert. Fat Albert was originally a character brought to life in some of Bill Cosby’s stand up skits of the late ’60′s starting with the hilarious skit “buck buck”, but in 1972 he got his own cartoon that survived in original run for twelve years and later spawned a live action film. Reruns of the show still air today more than thirty years later.

Spongebob Squarepants


By far the newest entry to this group is Spongebob Squarepants. Undoubtedly there are those who would say that such a new ‘toon does not belong on this list, but I beg to differ. With the immense success of Spongebob in his nine years of TV life, there can be no doubt that this cartoon is here to stay and will have the same lasting affect on the hearts of today’s youth that the aforementioned titles have had on previous generations. Not only has Spongebob Squarepants been the most popular cartoon on television for several years now, it has actually been the single highest rated show on cable television on multiple occasions. Even with such a short life, the show has a powerful cult following among both children and adults and has already spawned a successful theatrical movie, something that some of the much older shows on this list have not yet achieved.


So that’s the list of best cartoons ever. To be sure, there are many, many others who could be mentioned here and would certainly be chosen by their staunchest fans, but these enduring classics and one powerful newcomer top the list.

Catalogs for Cartoon Lovers


28 Responses to “The Best Cartoons Ever”

  1. Amy on March 8th, 2009 5:09 pm

    I think the best cartoon ever is of course Spongebob.

    He’s been on tv for 10 successful years and that guy Stephen (creator) is a genious!

  2. Sammy on July 12th, 2009 2:16 am

    Looney Tunes are #1 definitely.

    No other cartoon series ever had such witt, humour, innovations, memorable characters and clean drawing style.

    Just look up any older creations that were rewarded in any contest. They move, speak and act just like they should. Damn – they even drew thongue movements as they speak.

    C.Jones and all Looney Tunes team were genious

  3. m on August 7th, 2009 12:00 am

    I love classic cartoons such as looney tunes, tom and jerry, scooby doo, pink panther, smurfs, ninja turtles, He Man and many more….but I don’t get these new cartoons such as Spongebob…I tried to watch it few times – it wasn’t funny and I couldn’t watch a cartoon about a sponge…?! I see that there are many others who do…

    Of all the new cartoons I only watch the Simpsons on occasion. I think 80s had the best cartoons (Saber Rider, Voltron, Transformers) and I still prefer hand drawn cartoons to comp. animations.

  4. IAN on August 16th, 2009 11:23 am


  5. hoho on September 9th, 2009 2:19 am

    do any body know about a really good teen movie??????

  6. hoho on September 9th, 2009 2:22 am

    i meant sad movie????

  7. Nick on October 1st, 2009 7:00 am

    i think “Marley and Me” would be a sad movie and a good teen movie would be like Grease, American Pie, Mean Girls, nick and norah’s infinite playlist, Juno, Napolean Dynamite, 10 things i hate about you, and there are many more but another GREAT one of all time is The Breakfast Club!!

  8. Pat on October 29th, 2009 3:18 am

    Look for cartoons pictures on the movie Grease, for a school dinner and dance.

  9. OverTheTop on January 15th, 2010 5:08 am

    “I think the best cartoon ever is of course Spongebob.


  10. Stephen Treadwell on January 26th, 2010 5:55 pm

    Why is Popeye one of the most beloved cartoon characters? He’s obnoxious!

  11. Jason Sobel on February 23rd, 2010 1:21 am

    “I admit – Spongebob seemed a fun parody filled cartoon at first, but after a short while you are jsut bored by increadibely childish humor.” Sorry, but it’s a cartoon and most “children” watch cartoons. It is meant to appeal to children and some children have a keener eye for detail, plot, etc. than we do. Simpsons started shows such as Family Guy, which makes it ironic that George Bush Senior and his wife denounced the show when it was starting to become a phenomenon. People say it has changed and it has, but after watching a few old episodes and a few new ones it has not changed as much as people claim. In the 90s people were just surprised to see a kid like Bart in a show that almost went over a line shows were not allowed to cross at the time. Being a junior in high school I still watch some of these classics and newer cartoons (Spongebob) although Scooby Doo eventually got too corny or “yeah…no” for me. As for the Looney Toons show it got stale the minute they made them into babies and tried to imitate Dora The Explorer and Rugrats and a few others all in one. It’s dead now right? Just so everyone knows the reason for late movies is because nowadays they take more risks on these hit cartoons, but back then color/wit cartoons were just becoming a phenomenon. Some waited for the chance when a movie could shine (Scooby Doo???). This is a great list nonetheless. Right now…I wish I had Boomerang.

  12. Stephen Rhodes Treadwell on September 24th, 2010 9:32 pm

    I disagree about Looney Tunes being #1. They’re not cute enough for that. I consider Tom & Jerry #1, especially the version where they’re friends. No other cartoon is as fascinating as that version of Tom & Jerry.

  13. Stephen Rhodes Treadwell on September 24th, 2010 9:36 pm

    I don’t care what anyone says, the new Woody Woodpecker cartoons are much better than the old ones. The old ones aren’t that good; they’re not cute & he’s so ugly in some of them.

  14. chris on November 20th, 2010 6:15 am

    The Simpsons

  15. Antonio on November 25th, 2010 10:51 am

    You have forgotten to mention The Simpsons!

    23 years on air and still going! They also have a movie.

    Theres no kid or adult now in days that have not seen them.

  16. Stephen Rhodes Treadwell on January 8th, 2011 4:59 pm

    Looney Tunes do not have the best animation of all cartoons ever made that’s for sure.

  17. Jason on January 8th, 2011 5:49 pm

    Antonio few people my age (17/senior at high school) watch Simpsons. I’d say about 1/2 used to watch it either b/c of their parents or until the writing changed while 1/2 never saw it. There are A LOT of people who haven’t seen it or at least refuse to see it now. Number of years does not = greatness. A lot of people agree it got bad once it started reaching year 10 give or take some time. Of course certain aspects of the show remain the same but overall it’s just not as good. They don’t make me feel as good as the “B Sharps” and they aren’t as seemingly daring as when they first showed. Their subtle but clever references turned into flat-out obvious comments and numerous in-your-face pop culture cameos. When Futurama returned it was clear their style of writing changed drastically in that genre and I now watch both shows less and less.

  18. mac daddy on June 20th, 2011 4:41 am

    yo i iz a b3ast i made spongbob and u biiiitttcches!!!

  19. mac daddy on June 20th, 2011 4:42 am

    yo i made spongbob and u yea wats up!!!!!!!

  20. Cartoon lover on June 30th, 2011 6:06 am

    Tom & jerry is way much better but because tom & jerry went off, the spongebob squarepants is the ruler (with the exception of most of 2006 or more episode)

  21. Cartoon lover on June 30th, 2011 6:09 am

    Quiet please! episode for best tom & jerry episodes

    band geeks and chocolate with nuts episode for best spongebob squarepants episode

  22. Stephen Rhodes Treadwell on August 11th, 2011 5:36 am

    Yes, indeed! I love the 1975 Tom & Jerry cartoons! They’re definitely #1 for me!

  23. Stephen Rhodes Treadwell on October 6th, 2011 6:25 pm

    Some guy told me on google to stop saying the 1975 version of Tom & Jerry is the best version because it’s not. I don’t appreciate being told that. It’s a matter of opinion whether they are or not & in my opinion they definitely are & that doesn’t make me an idiot or anything.

  24. Stephen Rhodes Treadwell on October 12th, 2011 8:52 pm

    What’s so ridiculous about saying the 1975 version’s the best version of T&J! No other version is so cute, so original, so unpredictable, has such a great theme song & so little one-sided?

  25. Stephen Rhodes Treadwell on October 23rd, 2011 3:57 pm

    The Chuck Jones T&J’s are great but don’t compare to the 1975 version! Same w/ T&J Tales & T&J Kids.

  26. Stephen Rhodes Treadwell on November 14th, 2011 6:29 pm

    What’s the big idea of leaving Pink Panther off the list? He’s a great cartoon character!

  27. Felldoh on March 10th, 2012 1:48 pm

    Spoogebob is for people just as stupid as the Character is, How can a person with any intelligence watch that crap, There really is a lot of stupid people on this planet.

    1: Redwall

    2: Around the world with Willy Fogg

    3: Talespin

    4: Donald Duck

    5: Earthworm Jim

    6: Alfred J Kwak

    7: Dogtanian

    8: the Animals of Farthing Wood

    9: Ulysses 31

    10: Dink the Little Dinosaur

    11: Kissyfur

    12: Tintin

    13: Thundercats

    14: Transformers (1st Gen)

    15: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Original)

    Plus too many to mention

    Grow a brain cell and ditch today’s crap and see sense in what we had than the mind destroying nonsense we have today, Just because You only have the ones the networks broadcast doesn’t mean they are the best ever to have been made.

  28. TASHI WASABI on April 14th, 2012 3:46 pm

    To tell the truth, some modern shows are actually pleasent to watch but you have to be in the right channel at the right time. But ur right, im 14 and most shows ive seen are infact boring and has ugly character drawings and over the top stupidity in several characters like in the show almost naked animals and.side kick…. Ps who misses the teen titans b/c I do XD