The 90s will be remembered for a few things: Grunge, Michael Jordan
, Bill Clinton
’s extramarital hullabaloo, and perhaps the greatest generation of TV cartoons ever. Just like the 2000s had the emergence of great television dramas on HBO, Showtime, and AMC (The Sopranos, The Wire, Six Feet Under
, Deadwood, Mad Men, and Breaking Bad
), the 1990s had the persistent excellence of Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, and the Disney Channel. If this seems like an exaggeration, then you probably didn’t watch the shows.
Hand-drawn animation was still the norm, and characterization took precedence over background and scenery. But even though the animation was great, these cartoons had great stories. You can have a bad TV show with good animation, but you can’t have a good TV show with uninteresting characters and narrative. This list is devoted to cartoons made specifically for kids, so no Dr. Katz
, Daria, or The Simpsons.