Wcofun can tell emotionally powerful tales through stunning visuals and voice work alone, not to mention being used to bridge generations through animation’s unique ability to relate and inspire everyone from young children all the way up through seniors.
Cartoons designed for children have always had subtler adult messages — think Nicktoons about misfit city kids; Animaniacs with its sibling antics that feature movie parodies; or Steven Universe with its emotional healing process over 30 minutes.
1. “Phineas and Ferb”
Phineas Flynn and Ferb Fletcher want their summer vacation to be full of surprises, so each day they take on new projects like building roller coasters or traveling back through time to meet dinosaurs. Perry the platypus doubles as an undercover agent to foil Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz’s malicious schemes while their older sister Candace attempts to expose them by telling their mother.
Dan Povenmire and Jeff “Swampy” Marsh, co-creators of Family Guy, both boast extensive animation industry experience; with Marsh writing many original songs while Povenmire composed them.
2. “Rocko’s Modern Life”
The 90s cartoon series about an unfortunate wallaby and his pals is back with a special reboot special!
Nicktoons with a purpose are one of the hallmarks of Nickelodeon’s attempt to address society while still appealing to younger viewers. It has quickly become one of their signature shows.
Rocko Rama (voiced by Carlos Alazraqui) immigrated from Australia and works as the cashier at Kind of a Lot O’ Comics comic shop, although his other occupations include tattoo artistry, plumbing work, phone operator/tow truck driver services and product testing for Conglom-O.
3. “Hey Arnold!”
Craig Bartlett’s 1994 series followed a group of fourth-grade students living at Sunset Arms Boarding House run by their grandparents. One of the more memorable characters in Helga, a fearsome bully who concealed her feelings for Arnold through her aggressiveness, stood out.
Hey Arnold! explored universal themes like Big Bob’s transformation from an abusive parent into a caring father with grace, but also tackled complex topics such as capitalism’s dangers with greater energy than most adults can muster today – an impact still felt today.
4. “Harvey Birdman”
Birdman, formerly a cartoon superhero, now works as an attorney at Sebben and Sebben law firm, representing classic Hanna-Barbera characters as part of “the team”, including his sidekick Birdgirl (possibly Phil Ken Sebben’s daughter). Birdman draws his strength from sunlight; he can use both destructive solar rays from his fists as well as quasi-solid solar shields from his hands for power.
He can fly using his large wings which protrude from his back. X, known as The Eliminator, and him often compete over cases involving or parodying famous Hanna-Barbera characters.
5. “Space Ghost Coast to Coast”
Space Ghost Coast to Coast is an influential cartoon series, having had an effect on many aspects of industry culture. It spawned spinoffs such as Cartoon Planet, Toonami, the Brak Show and Aqua Teen Hunger Force while inspiring or informing other shows such as Sealab 2021 and The Eric Andre Show.
Space Ghost, an ex-superhero who hosts a talk-show. He interviews live-action guest stars who appear on his monitor beside his desk; often treating them like superheroes when interviewing them. There are lots of running gags within this show such as fast music or sampling the Ghost Planet national anthem and overly long credits.
6. “South Park”
This outrageous animated series may be too offensive for some viewers, but those willing to look beyond its crude humor and scatological jokes find one of the best satires on television – taking aim at current events, trends and celebrity hype in an often hilarious manner.
South Park follows four grade school boys named Stan Marsh, Kyle Broflovski, Eric Cartman and Kenny McCormick living in Colorado’s fictional town of South Park. Creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone write, direct, voice-act and provide writing voiceover for the main characters in South Park.
The show’s low-budget animation style and slapstick humor aim to disprove the old stereotype that animation is only suitable for children. Families can explore the subtext behind its more explicit jokes, discussing whether certain topics should be off limits for criticism.
7. “King of the Hill”
Mike Judge made history when he developed “King of the Hill.” It ran for 13 seasons on Fox before transitioning over to Hulu for its current run.
King of the Hill follows propane salesman Hank Hill and his coworkers in fictional Arlen, Texas. Though more sentimental than Judge’s previous work, King of the Hill still features strong comedic elements as it explores cultural and economic changes which Hank struggles to adapt to.
Hulu is reviving this beloved series with original creators Mike Judge and Greg Daniels serving as showrunners along with Saladin Patterson as showrunners. The series reached an epic climax at its conclusion.