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Best kids TV shows of all time

Cartoon Network Studios

Best kids TV shows of all time

Since the days of “Howdy Doody,” kids have been drawn to their television sets to watch shows made specially for them. While grown-ups get into medical dramas and courtroom hijinks, kids just want to watch characters they love dealing with hilarious problems while learning child-sized lessons in the process. Kids’ TV is a genre all its own, with brighter colors, smaller stories, and an element of silliness rarely found during primetime.

From animated sponges to frog puppets to a boy named Beaver, the best kids’ TV shows of all time have long served as surrogates for best friends for kids all over the world, and Stacker has organized them into a list of the 100 best programs to ever grace the small screen. The list is ranked according to IMDb user ranking based on English language shows that have at least 5,000 user votes each. In the case of any ties, the higher number of votes secured the higher slot on the list. Read on to discover which '80s alien puppet made it onto the list, and how many times the Caped Crusader landed in the top five.

RELATED: Click here to see the 100 best TV shows of all time

Cartoon Network

#100. Johnny Bravo

IMDb rating: 7.3
Years running: 1997–2004
Stars: Jeff Bennett, Brenda Vaccaro, Mae Whitman, Tom Kenny

The title character of “Johnny Bravo” is a brash, macho doofus who spent much of his time trying to pick up women—with little success. The show aired on Cartoon Network for its four-season, 67-episode run and launched the careers of several young animators, including Seth MacFarlane, who went on to create “Family Guy.”

Cartoon Network

#99. The Powerpuff Girls

IMDb rating: 7.3
Years running: 1998–2005
Stars: Cathy Cavadini, Elizabeth Daily, Tara Strong, Tom Kenny

Pretty much the antidote to Johnny Bravo, “The Powerpuff Girls” were a team of three animated sistersBubbles, Blossom and Buttercupwith superpowers that helped clean up Townsville whenever the less-than-capable mayor needed a little help. The show launched a whole franchise, with a 2002 movie, a Japanese anime spin-offand a 2016 reboot on the Cartoon Network.

Warner Bros.

#98. Beetlejuice

IMDb rating: 7.4
Years running: 1989–1991
Stars: Stephen Ouimette, Alyson Court, Tabitha St. Germain, Elizabeth Hanna

In 1988, Tim Burton’s “Beetlejuice” hit movie theaters and enthralled audiences with a story about a haunted house and imaginative visions of the afterlife. In 1989, the cartoon TV series debuted and ran for four seasons, following the adventures of death-obsessed Lydia and her good friend Beetlejuice, the morally challenged ghost of the title. Famed film composed Danny Elfman created the theme for both the film and the TV series.

Cartoon Network

#97. Chowder

IMDb rating: 7.4
Years running: 2007–2010
Stars: Nicky Jones, Dwight Schultz, John DiMaggio, Tara Strong

Chowder” ran for nearly 50 episodes on Cartoon Network, starting in 2007. The series followed the apprentice of a chef working at a catering company who often got into trouble thanks to his enormous appetite and lack of focus. In addition to traditional animation, the show also included puppetry and stop-motion animation. “Chowder” won a Primetime Emmy in 2009 for Outstanding Achievement in Individual Animation.

DHX Media

#96. Arthur

IMDb rating: 7.4
Years running: 1996–current
Stars: J.T. Turner, Melissa Altro, Daniel Brochu, Bruce Dinsmore

Originally a 1976 children’s book series, “Arthur” became a PBS cartoon series 20 years later. The show features a young aardvark named Arthur and his friends as they live their lives in the fictional Elwood City. With its run surpassing two decades, “Arthur” has amassed more than 230 episodes and been nominated for numerous Daytime Emmy Awards.


#95. Gilligan's Island

IMDb rating: 7.4
Years running: 1964–1992
Stars: Bob Denver, Alan Hale Jr., Jim Backus, Natalie Schafer

While not officially made for children, “Gilligan’s Island” was such wholesome entertainment that the whole family could enjoy episodes that would run in syndication for decades. The show is about a touring boat wreck that leaves seven disparate castaways stranded on a desert island. Sherwood Schwartz created the show, and went on to create blended family comedy, “The Brady Bunch,” as well.


#94. Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide

IMDb rating: 7.4
Years running: 2004–2007
Stars: Devon Werkheiser, Lindsey Shaw, Daniel Curtis Lee, Kyle Swann

This live-action comedy ran for three seasons on Nickelodeon as part of its TEENick block, aimed at older kid audiences. The show followed Ned Bigby and his friends as they navigate junior high school, giving tips to the audience on how to make it through to graduation. Creator Scott Fellows previously worked on the Nickelodeon cartoon hit, “The Fairly OddParents.”

Cartoon Network

#93. Jackie Chan Adventures

IMDb rating: 7.4
Years running: 2000–2005
Stars: Jackie Chan, James Sie, Stacie Chan, Sab Shimono

Jackie Chan became one of the biggest movie stars in the world as part of the “Rush Hour” franchise, and capitalized on his fame with this animated series about a fictional version of himself: an amateur archaeologist fighting a criminal organization over powerful ancient relics. The TV series spawned a spin-off line of books and comic books, as well as a video game.



#92. ALF

IMDb rating: 7.4
Years running: 1986–1990
Stars: Mihaly 'Michu' Meszaros, Paul Fusco, Max Wright, Anne Schedeen

ALF” stands for Alien Life Form, and referred to a furry cat-eating alien named Gordon from the planet Melmac who lived in a family’s garage. The show ran for more than 100 episodes, and became a pop-culture phenomenon with its own cartoon spin-off, a Marvel comic bookand appearances in other TV shows like “Matlock,” “Blossom,” and “Hollywood Squares.”


#91. Pokémon

IMDb rating: 7.4
Years running: 1997–2018
Stars: Veronica Taylor, Rachael Lillis, Eric Stuart, Ikue Ôtani

Starting as a video game, Pokémom, a portmanteau for the Japanese words that translate to “pocket monsters,” has evolved into a media monster of its own, spanning TV shows, film, books, and many forms of games. The television show was a Japanese anime cartoon about the adventures of a boy as he tried to collect as many Pokémon as possible.

Kids' WB

#90. Xiaolin Showdown

IMDb rating: 7.5
Years running: 2003–2006
Stars: Jeff Bennett, Danny Cooksey, Grey Griffin, Tom Kenny

Set in a world where martial arts battles are commonplace, this animated Kids’ Warner Bros. series follows a young Xiaolin monk and his friends as they try to collect artifacts before their nemesis finds them. Prolific voice artist Tom Kenny, best-known as the voice of SpongeBob Squarepants, plays multiple characters in the series, including Raimundo Pedrosa.



#89. All That

IMDb rating: 7.5
Years running: 1994–2016
Stars: Amanda Bynes, Nick Cannon, Kenan Thompson, Soup

This kid’s answer to “Saturday Night Live” was a SNICK sketch show that launched the careers of Kenan Thompson, Nick Cannon, and Amanda Bynes. During its 10-season, 175-episode run, it spun off five TV shows and a movie (“Good Burger”). 

Warner Bros.

#88. The Looney Tunes Show

IMDb rating: 7.5
Years running: 2011–2014
Stars: Jeff Bergman, Bob Bergen, Fred Armisen, Kristen Wiig

Based on the beloved characters created in 1930, this modern reboot pairs Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck as roommates living in Los Angeles along with a rotating cast of Looney Tunes favorites like Porky Pig, Tweety Bird, and Yosemite Sam. The cast features Bob Bergen as Porky Pig and Kristen Wiig as Lola Bunny, with both performers earning nominations for Primetime Emmys.


#87. I Dream of Jeannie

IMDb rating: 7.5
Years running: 1965–1970
Stars: Barbara Eden, Larry Hagman, Bill Daily, Hayden Rorke

She’s a genie, he’s an astronaut. They fall in love and stay together for 139 episodes over the course of five seasons. That’s “I Dream of Jeannie” in a nutshell, a family friendly mid-1960s sitcom that aired on NBC. From 1973 to 1975, Hanna-Barbera produced an animated version of the show called, “Jeannie,” starring the voice of Mark Hamill as a high school surfer-type who commands his own genie.

We hope // Wikimedia Commons

#86. Happy Days

IMDb rating: 7.5
Years running: 1974–1984
Stars: Ron Howard, Henry Winkler, Marion Ross, Tom Bosley

Happy Days” was a throwback to the 1950s when it aired in the mid-’70s and early ‘80s. Future directing-producing superstar Ron Howard starred as Richie Cunningham alongside Henry Winkler’s “Fonzie” in this ode to clean-cut American high school life. The show aired for more than 250 episodes and inspired seven different spin-off series. “Happy Days” itself was spun-off from TV show “Love, American Style.”


#85. He-Man and the Masters of the Universe

IMDb rating: 7.5
Years running: 1983–1985
Stars: John Erwin, Alan Oppenheimer, Linda Gary, Lou Scheimer

Armed with just a sword, a loincloth, a pair of boots, and a leather strap across his massive chest, He-Man is the most powerful man in the universe. In “He-Man and the Masters of the Universe,” he battles bony nemesis Skeletor on the planet Eternia. It was the first TV show based exclusively on a toy


#84. Dinosaurs

IMDb rating: 7.5
Years running: 1991–1994
Stars: Stuart Pankin, Jessica Walter, Jason Willinger, Leif Tilden

From the mind of Jim Henson, “Dinosaurs” was a sitcom about a family of dinosaurs, set in a hybrid version of prehistoric days and modern times. The show lasted four seasons with dinosaur puppets and voice-overs. In a very non-family-friendly ending, the series’ finale had the Sinclair family of dinosaurs entering an ice age, about to experience their own extinction.


#83. Doug

IMDb rating: 7.5
Years running: 1991–1994
Stars: Billy West, Fred Newman, Constance Shulman, Becca Lish

Doug” is a simple concept: an animated coming-of-age show about a kid named Doug Funnie and his wild imagination as he goes through life as an 11-year-old boy. The show aired for four seasons on Nickelodeon, then moved over to ABC for another three years, starting in 1997. Disney produced an animated “Doug” movie in 1999 called “Doug’s 1st Movie.”

20th Century Fox Television

#82. Batman

IMDb rating: 7.5
Years running: 1966–1968
Stars: Adam West, Burt Ward, Alan Napier, Neil Hamilton

Comic book favorite Batman jumped to the small screen in 1966 with a bright, cartoonish live-action show. As Adam West’s Batman fought The Joker, The Penguin, and Catwoman, comic book-style "POWs" and "ZAPs" would spiral onto the screen. The experience was akin to watching a comic book come to life. The series immediately inspired a film, “Batman: The Movie,” and has since inspired multiple animated series and several different groups of films.



#81. Rugrats

IMDb rating: 7.5
Years running: 1990–2006
Stars: Elizabeth Daily, Christine Cavanaugh, Nancy Cartwright, Kath Soucie

Another early ‘90s Nicktoons classic, “Rugrats” is about a group of babies who get into way more adventures and have much more to say than most infants in the world. Nancy Cartwright is best-known as the voice of Bart Simpson, but she also provided the voice of Chuckie Finster.


Cartoon Network Studios

#80. Ed, Edd n Eddy

IMDb rating: 7.5
Years running: 1999–2008
Stars: Matt Hill, Sam Vincent, Tony Sampson, Erin Fitzgerald

For 10 years, this story of three friends named different versions of "Ed," who all live in a cul-de-sac together, graced Cartoon Network. The trio came up with crazy schemes to make money so they could afford their beloved jawbreakers. The series ended in 2009 with a 90-minute made-for-TV movie called “Ed, Edd, ‘n Eddy’s Big Picture Show.”


#79. The Flintstones

IMDb rating: 7.5
Years running: 1960–1966
Stars: Alan Reed, Mel Blanc, Jean Vander Pyl, Bea Benaderet

Meet “The Flintstones,” they’re a prehistoric family from the town of Bedrock who are best friends with their neighbors in this fictionalized version of the Stone Age. The world of the show closely resembles American suburbia in the 1960s superimposed on the days of dinosaurs. The show was the first animated sitcom to air in network prime-time (Friday nights at 8:30 p.m.) and spawned multiple TV spin-offs, films, and a popular line of children’s vitamins, leading TV Guide to name it the second-greatest cartoon series of all time.


#78. Leave It to Beaver

IMDb rating: 7.6
Years running: 1957–1963
Stars: Jerry Mathers, Hugh Beaumont, Barbara Billingsley, Tony Dow

For 234 episodes, American audiences followed the lives of the Cleaver family, a typical American nuclear family with two boys, including one known as “The Beaver.” Told from the The Beaver’s point of view, it was one of the earliest sitcoms to focus on kids’ problems. An enduring favorite of the early days of TV, “Leave It to Beaver” earned a spot on Time Magazine’s list of the best TV shows in history.

The WB

#77. Freakazoid!

IMDb rating: 7.6
Years running: 1995–1997
Stars: Paul Rugg, David Kaufman, Joe Leahy, Tress MacNeille

Freakazoid!” lived up to his name as a total freak who also happens to be a superhero. Weird is the name of the game in this animated series about an oddball high school-aged hero in Washington, D.C. He gets his powers from a computer bug, gaining all of the information on the internet, as well as super-strength and agility. The show only made it for 24 episodes before its cancellation, but has since maintained a dedicated audience.  


#76. The Real Ghostbusters

IMDb rating: 7.6
Years running: 1986–1991
Stars: Maurice LaMarche, Dave Coulier, Frank Welker, Arsenio Hall

The movie version of “Ghostbusters” was a huge hit when it debuted in 1984, but this cartoon spin-off enjoyed even more success, running for seven seasons. The premise is identical to the film series: a group of paranormal hunters try to get rid of supernatural beings in and around New York City with the help of a ghost mascot named Slimer. The voice cast featured actor and future late night host Arsenio Hall as well as comedian Dave Coulier, who would go on to star in “Full House.”

Walt Disney Television Animation

#75. Adventures of the Gummi Bears

IMDb rating: 7.6
Years running: 1985–1991
Stars: June Foray, Noelle North, Lorenzo Music, Katie Leigh

Not the most conventional approach to a kids’ TV concept, “Adventures of the Gummi Bears” is about an animated tribe of human-like bears who live in medieval times and acquire the ability to jump and bounce away from danger thanks to a magical potion called gummiberry juice. It was one of Disney Television Animation’s very first projects. Think of it as a tame version of “Game of Thrones” meets “The Berenstain Bears.” 

Warner Bros. Television Distribution

#74. Tiny Toon Adventures

IMDb rating: 7.6
Years running: 1990–1995
Stars: Charlie Adler, John Kassir, Tress MacNeille, Joe Alaskey

They’re tiny, they’re toon-y, they’re all a little looney, or so said the theme song. This early '90s cartoon series took the already kid-friendly characters of the Looney Tunes universe and gave them younger, cooler cartoon family members. In the show, all of the younger Tiny Toons attend Acme Looniversity together, where they study with the more established Looney Tunes while learning how to toon. Steven Spielberg was an executive producer on the show that ran for nearly 100 episodes, earning a Primetime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Animated Program.

Ever Wheel // Flickr

#73. TaleSpin

IMDb rating: 7.6
Years running: 1990–1991
Stars: Ed Gilbert, R.J. Williams, Sally Struthers, Jim Cummings

This short-lived series was based on characters from Disney’s “The Jungle Book” movie, transporting them to a fictional land where Baloo the bear operates a bush pilot service sometime in the 1930s. The animated series was so successful that it launched three different video games.

Disney Channel

#72. Darkwing Duck

IMDb rating: 7.6
Years running: 1991–1992
Stars: Jim Cummings, Terence McGovern, Christine Cavanaugh, Katie Leigh

Darkwing Duck” was a Disney superhero cartoon about a normal, everyday suburban duck who transforms into not-so-great superhero Darkwing Duck. He’s like Batman, but without the skills. Nominated for two Daytime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Animated Program, the cartoon adventure lasted for 91 episodes over three seasons.


#71. Bewitched

IMDb rating: 7.6
Years running: 1964–1972
Stars: Elizabeth Montgomery, Dick York, Dick Sargent, Agnes Moorehead

When a witch falls in love with a regular guy, she vows to live life as a normal housewife. That’s the premise of the ultra-popular “Bewitched” series, a fantasy sitcom that appealed to the whole family. The show lasted for eight seasons and the show’s star, Elizabeth Montgomery, was nominated for four Golden Globes for her performance as Samantha.


#70. The Penguins of Madagascar

IMDb rating: 7.6
Years running: 2008–2015
Stars: John DiMaggio, Tom McGrath, Jeff Bennett, James Patrick Stuart

DreamWorks Animation scored a huge hit with their “Madagascar” film franchise, and “The Penguins of Madagascar” is a TV spin-off meant to capitalize on that success. The show is about the lives of Madagascar penguins living in New York’s Central Park Zoo. Fans loved it so much that the TV show inspired a film adaptation of its own, 2014’s “Penguins of Madagascar.”

Disney Channel

#69. Chip 'n' Dale Rescue Rangers

IMDb rating: 7.6
Years running: 1988–1990
Stars: Peter Cullen, Corey Burton, Jim Cummings, Tress MacNeille

Chipmunk pals Chip and Dale had long been a part of Disney’s cartoon character canon, but this 1988 animated series put them in the spotlight as detectives who take on cases too small for the real police to handle. Chip serves as a sort of Indiana Jones and Dale is a chipmunk version of Magnum P.I. in all 65 episodes of the series.

Disney Channel

#68. Even Stevens

IMDb rating: 7.7
Years running: 2000–2003
Stars: Shia LaBeouf, Christy Carlson Romano, A.J. Trauth, Nick Spano

Shia LaBeouf first found fame as Louis Stevens in this live-action Disney Channel sitcom about a family in Sacramento with a doofy little brother. LaBeouf won an Emmy for his role and went on to be a major movie star in big-budget film franchises.


#67. The Pink Panther Show

IMDb rating: 7.7
Years running: 1969–1976
Stars: Paul Frees, Rich Little, Dave Barry, Mel Blanc

Based off the success of the “Pink Panther” movies starring Peter Sellers, this series comprised of a number of different animated shorts ran on NBC and ABC for more than a decade. In 1975, it was nominated for a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Children’s Series.


Cartoon Network Studios

#66. Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends

IMDb rating: 7.7
Years running: 2004–2009
Stars: Keith Ferguson, Grey Griffin, Tom Kenny, Candi Milo

In a world where imaginary friends are real, a boy is forced to send his imaginary pal to an orphanage designed specifically for less-than-tangible friends. Created by Craig McCracken, who also created "The Powerpuff Girls," the show was named the sixth-best Cartoon Network show in the network’s history. Over its six-season history, “Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends” won six Emmys.

Cartoon Network Studios

#65. The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy

IMDb rating: 7.7
Years running: 2001–2007
Stars: Richard Steven Horvitz, Greg Eagles, Grey Griffin, Vanessa Marshall

Another early 2000s Cartoon Network hit, “The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy” is an animated series about two kids who make trouble for their good pal, the Grim Reaper. It’s a dark premise, but a popular one with a Primetime Emmy to boot. The show also launched three made-for-TV movies.


#64. My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic

IMDb rating: 7.7
Years running: 2010–current
Stars: Ashleigh Ball, Tabitha St. Germain, Tara Strong, Andrea Libman

The much-loved 1980s toy series came back as an animated show in 2010 and earned a huge following of both girls and grown-up men known as “Bronies.” The show tracks the adventures of pony friends studying the magic of friendship in Ponyville. Now in its eighth season, the series shows no signs of stopping.


#63. Hey Arnold!

IMDb rating: 7.7
Years running: 1994–2004
Stars: Francesca Marie Smith, Jamil Walker Smith, Dan Castellaneta, Justin Shenkarow

Arnold (of the title) is a fourth-grader who lives in a big-city boarding house with his grandparents and a cast of diverse characters. “Hey Arnold!” stars Dan Castellaneta as Arnold’s grandfather, but he’s best-known as the voice of Homer Simpson. In 2017, 13 years after the TV series ended, a film was released: "Hey Arnold!: The Jungle Movie."


#62. Drake & Josh

IMDb rating: 7.7
Years running: 2004–2007
Stars: Drake Bell, Josh Peck, Miranda Cosgrove, Jonathan Goldstein

Two completely opposite teenagers become stepbrothers in this traditional Nickelodeon sitcom. The show was nominated for Favorite TV Show at the Kids’ Choice Awards four times, and won the award twice.

Lenz Entertainment

#61. Goosebumps

IMDb rating: 7.8
Years running: 1995–1998
Stars: R.L. Stine, Kathryn Short, Cody Jones, Scott Wickware

Based on R.L. Stine’s young adult horror novels, the “Goosebumps” TV series told eerily creepy stories in an anthology format without recurring characters or settings. Airing in both Canada and the United States, the show had a 74-episode run over four seasons.


#60. 3rd Rock from the Sun

IMDb rating: 7.8
Years running: 1996–2001
Stars: John Lithgow, Jane Curtin, Kristen Johnston, French Stewart

This network sitcom focused on a family of aliens living as normal humans in Ohio in order to report back about life on Earth. The show was twice-nominated for Primetime Emmys as Outstanding Comedy Series, and served as a springboard for Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who played an alien in the body of a long-haired teenage son.


#59. The New Tom & Jerry Show

IMDb rating: 7.9
Years running: 1975–1977
Stars: Henry Corden, Kathy Gori, Don Messick, Alan Oppenheimer

"Tom & Jerry" first aired in 1940 as a series of short cartoon films about a cat constantly harassing a mouse, and won multiple Oscars in the process. The 1975 reboot flipped the script, portraying Tom and Jerry as best friends going on adventures together around the world. The show aired on ABC as a Saturday morning cartoon in seven-minute segments.

Warner Bros. Television

#58. Duck Dodgers

IMDb rating: 7.9
Years running: 2003–2005
Stars: Joe Alaskey, Bob Bergen, Richard McGonagle, Michael Dorn

Duck Dodgers” is a cartoon sci-fi spin-off of the Looney Tunes universe with Daffy Duck as a space hero and other Looney Tunes playing futuristic versions of themselves. It’s based off of a 1953 cartoon of the same name where Daffy fights Marvin the Martian.


#57. The Magic School Bus

IMDb rating: 7.9
Years running: 1994–1997
Stars: Lily Tomlin, Daniel DeSanto, Erica Luttrell, Tara Meyer

The Magic School Bus” started out as a popular book series about an elementary school class that goes on amazing trips to impossible places, thanks to their magic school bus. The animated TV adaptation follows the same format with actress and comedian Lily Tomlin playing loudly attired teacher Ms. Frizzle. The show lasted for four seasons, and was recently revived by Netflix in 2017 as “The Magic School Bus Rides Again.”

20th Century Fox Television

#56. The Tick

IMDb rating: 7.9
Years running: 1994–1997
Stars: Townsend Coleman, Micky Dolenz, Rob Paulsen, Cam Clarke

In this send-up of superhero stories, The Tick is a superhero who passes his tryout at the National Super Institute and gets assigned to guard the city. It’s a tongue-in-cheek show featuring a former accountant as a sidekick and villains like Breadmaster and El Seed. The show spawned two different live-action sequels, including a current series on Amazon Prime

Cartoon Network Studios

#55. The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack

IMDb rating: 7.9
Years running: 2008–2010
Stars: Thurop Van Orman, Brian Doyle-Murray, Jeff Bennett, Roz Ryan

Try to follow along, if possible: Flapjack is a boy who’s been raised by a talking whale and now spends his time in a harbor with a sea captain looking for a magical island made of candy. For three seasons, this quest played out on Cartoon Network in 11-minute increments. In 2009, it won the Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation.


#54. The Munsters

IMDb rating: 7.9
Years running: 1964–1966
Stars: Fred Gwynne, Al Lewis, Yvonne De Carlo, Butch Patrick

Not to be confused with “The Addams Family” (see #41), “The Munsters” was a 1960s sitcom about a family of monsters dealing with the same problems normal humans face. The family included a Frankenstein-esque father, a vampire mother, and a half-vampire, half-werewolf son. Seventy black-and-white episodes were produced, and the show was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best TV Series in 1965.

Cartoon Network Studios

#53. Thundercats

IMDb rating: 7.9
Years running: 1985–1989
Stars: Bob McFadden, Larry Kenney, Earl Hammond, Lynne Lipton

Muscled, anthropomorphized cat aliens are the center of the “Thundercats” animated series as they fight evil on Earth. The franchise was rebooted in 2011, but it was quickly cancelled. Another version is currently in production, slated for a 2019 premiere on Cartoon Network with an emphasis on comedy that was missing in previous iterations.

Warner Bros. Television

#52. Animaniacs

IMDb rating: 7.9
Years running: 1993–1998
Stars: Rob Paulsen, Jess Harnell, Tress MacNeille, Frank Welker

A spin-off of “Tiny Toon Adventures” (see #74), “Animaniacs” is a zany cartoon anthology series starring the two fictional Warner Brothers and their Warner sister Dot as the lead characters. Multiple smaller cartoons were involved in the show, including “Pinky & The Brain,” which would go on to have its own successful show (see #49). 


Disney Channel

#51. Recess

IMDb rating: 7.9
Years running: 1997–2001
Stars: Andrew Lawrence, Ashley Johnson, Jason Davis, Rickey D'Shon Collins

In a heady concept for its target audience of school children, “Recess” focused on six 4th graders during recess. There, the students of Third Street Elementary School have set up their own society with a form of government, unwritten rules, and squabbles that mirror those of the adult world. The show carried on for 127 episodes on three different networks, and spawned four TV movies.

Cartoon Network Studios

#50. Scooby Doo, Where Are You!

IMDb rating: 7.9
Years running: 1969–1970
Stars: Don Messick, Casey Kasem, Nicole Jaffe, Vic Perrin

With its impact on pop culture, it’s hard to believe that the first iteration of the Scooby-Doo franchise only lasted for a little more than a year. In the cartoon series, a group of inquisitive teenagers set out to solve crimes and catch bad guys along with their goofy Great Dane. The show launched a media empire with films, TV shows, clothing, and merchandise coming out regularly over the five decades since its original release.

Warner Bros. Television

#49. Pinky and the Brain

IMDb rating: 7.9
Years running: 1995–1998
Stars: Maurice LaMarche, Rob Paulsen, Tress MacNeille, Frank Welker

Originally a segment on “Animaniacs” (#52), these scheming mice were so popular that they expanded to their own show where they did the same thing they do every day: try to take over the world. As genetically engineered lab mice, Brain comes up with the plans and Pinky doesn’t do much of anything besides get in the way. The show ran for four seasons and earned multiple award nominations at both the Daytime Emmy Awards and the Annies.


#48. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

IMDb rating: 7.9
Years running: 1987–1996
Stars: Cam Clarke, Barry Gordon, Rob Paulsen, Townsend Coleman

Originally a comic book, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles became a bona fide phenomenon as pizza-eating turtles who live in the subway and fight the Foot Clan, led by the evil Shredder. “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” the TV series brought the comic to life as the turtles battled evil and gave way to three more animated series, a live-action series, and five feature films. The mutated turtle-bros have now been a staple of pop culture for more than 30 years.


#47. A Series of Unfortunate Events

IMDb rating: 7.9
Years running: 2017–
Stars: Neil Patrick Harris, Patrick Warburton, Malina Weissman, Louis Hynes

What started as a kids’ book series spanning 13 novels inspired a 2004 film. In 2017, the film was turned into a television series on Netflix. The story has remained the same throughout, with a trio of orphaned siblings placed in the care of their evil Uncle Olaf, who’s determined to get his hands on the family fortune. Neil Patrick Harris stars as Olaf and the 16 episodes so far have been popular enough to warrant a third season.


#46. Fraggle Rock

IMDb rating: 8.0
Years running: 1983–1987
Stars: Karen Prell, Gerard Parkes, Kathryn Mullen, Steve Whitmire

Another Jim Henson creation, “Fraggle Rock” aired on HBO in the U.S. and shared the world of an underground population of puppets known as Fraggles as they lived in caves with other non-human beings, like the always-building Doozers. The show was turned into a Saturday morning cartoon series on NBC in 1987, but the ratings weren’t good enough to support it beyond 13 episodes.

Cartoon Network Studios

#45. Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated

IMDb rating: 8.0
Years running: 2010–2013
Stars: Frank Welker, Mindy Cohn, Grey Griffin, Matthew Lillard

While the "Scooby-Doo" of 1969 familiarized audiences with the characters, the Scooby snack-crunching crew of “Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated” was pure nostalgia for fans when it premiered in 2010. In this, the 11th incarnation of the show, the gang switches gears a bit with a serialized format and an almost satirical tone towards the previous versions of the show. Most of the mysteries being solved include an element of creepiness, and the voice of Shaggy is played by Matthew Lillard, who also played the character in the live-action films of the early 2000s.


#44. The Road Runner Show

IMDb rating: 8.0
Years running: 1966–1973
Stars: Mel Blanc, June Foray, Paul Julian, Bea Benaderet

The beeping bird got its moment in the spotlight with this Looney Tunes anthology show. It featured three cartoons per episode, almost all of them previously existing works. The first cartoon of the show was a Roadrunner and Wile E. Coyote short, followed by a Sylvester and Tweety Bird pairing, and the final act was another character from the Warners Bros. Looney Tunes squad: Elmer Fudd, Foghorn Leghorn, etc.


#43. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

IMDb rating: 8.0
Years running: 2012–2017
Stars: Sean Astin, Rob Paulsen, Greg Cipes, Mae Whitman

This 3-D computer-rendered reboot of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchisethe original sits at #48aired on Nickelodeon for 124 episodes over five seasons. While the storyline is basically the same as the original, the character design is quite different thanks to advances in computer animation technology; the original was in classic 2D animation. The show has been incredibly successful and repeatedly found itself nominated for major awards.

Cartoon Network Studios

#42. We Bare Bears

IMDb rating: 8.0
Years running: 2014–current
Stars: Eric Edelstein, Demetri Martin, Bobby Moynihan, Keith Ferguson

In “We Bare Bears,” three bear brothersa panda, a polar bear, and a grizzlydo their absolute best to fit into human society in San Francisco with varying degrees of success. The voice cast features a who’s who of the alternative comedy world, with Demetri Martin, Charlyne Yi, and Patton Oswalt lending their voices to various characters.


#41. The Addams Family

IMDb rating: 8.0
Years running: 1964–1966
Stars: John Astin, Carolyn Jones, Jackie Coogan, Ted Cassidy

They’re creepy, they’re kooky, they’re the Addams Family: a gothic clan whose main interest seems to be morbidity. This macabre television show developed out of Charles Addams’ “New Yorker” cartoons about the family, which began in 1938. The show was about the oddball Addams clan and their interactions with the far less-eccentric world. The family has appeared in a number of other media, including films and as a Broadway musical.


#40. Rocko's Modern Life

IMDb rating: 8.0
Years running: 1993–1996
Stars: Carlos Alazraqui, Tom Kenny, Charlie Adler, Mr. Lawrence

Rocko is an anthropomorphic wallaby trying to make his way in the world as he adjusts to American life. His best friend is an excitable steer, his other best friend is a neurotic turtle and somehow, he also has a poorly behaved pet dog. “Rocko’s Modern Life” was one of the earliest original cartoons on Nickelodeon and lasted for four seasons.

Marvel Productions

#39. The Transformers

IMDb rating: 8.0
Years running: 1984–1987
Stars: Frank Welker, Peter Cullen, Corey Burton, Christopher Collins

In one of the most successful cartoon-toy crossovers of all time, “The Transformers” burst onto TV sets in 1984, with the transforming toys flying off shelves. The show follows a group of aliens that appear as both trucks and robots, depending on the form they’ve chosen to take, and fight for the good of mankind as an evil alien tries to plunder the Earth’s resources. The series turned into a huge media franchise with numerous feature films, other TV shows, and decades of toys for generations of fans.

Disney Channel

#38. Phineas and Ferb

IMDb rating: 8.0
Years running: 2007–2015
Stars: Vincent Martella, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Ashley Tisdale, Dan Povenmire

Phineas and Ferb” is an inventive animated musical comedy show about two stepbrothers, one American and one British, who embark on crazy, large-scale projects over their summer vacation while their pet platypus works as a spy. The show ran for 222 episodes, and was nominated for multiple Emmys over the course of the series.

Cartoon Network Studios

#37. Dexter's Laboratory

IMDb rating: 8.0
Years running: 1996–2003
Stars: Kath Soucie, Jeff Bennett, Christine Cavanaugh, Frank Welker

One of Cartoon Network’s earliest hits, “Dexter’s Laboratory” is about a kid genius who has a secret laboratory in his basement where he works on inventions and tries to keep his annoying younger sister away. The first run of the show aired for more than 50 episodes until 1998, then came back from the TV graveyard in 2001 for two more seasons and 26 episodes. The show proved so successful that a number of video games and books were produced for eager fans.


#36. Malcolm in the Middle

IMDb rating: 8.0
Years running: 2000–2006
Stars: Frankie Muniz, Bryan Cranston, Justin Berfield, Erik Per Sullivan

Malcolm in the Middle” was a sitcom on Fox featuring Frankie Muniz as a young genius growing up in a family of relative idiots. Nominated for a slew of Emmys and Golden Globes, this series also featured Bryan Cranston as a goofy dad before he changed gears to play a very different type of dad in “Breaking Bad.”

Cartoon Network Studios

#35. Dragons: Riders of Berk

IMDb rating: 8.1
Years running: 2012–2014
Stars: America Ferrera, Jay Baruchel, T.J. Miller, Zack Pearlman

Dreamworks’ “How to Train Your Dragon” was a surprise hit movie that led to this CGI TV spin-off set in the same world, as the dragon Hiccup makes peace between the dragons and Vikings on the island of Berk. Notably, the celebrity voice cast of the film (America Ferrera, Jay Baruchel, T.J. Miller) all reprise their roles in the TV show.


#34. Superman

IMDb rating: 8.1
Years running: 1996–2000
Stars: Tim Daly, Joseph Bologna, Dana Delany, David Kaufman

Also known as “Superman: The Animated Series,” this version of the Superman franchise went a little darker and more raw than previous versions. It was created as a companion piece for the very successful “Batman: The Animated Series” (#2 on the list) and both shows were combined together to form a full hour of television. This “Superman” follows the traditional plot of mild-mannered Clark Kent turning into the Man of Steel to defend Earth.


#33. Gargoyles

IMDb rating: 8.1
Years running: 1994–1996
Stars: Keith David, Salli Richardson-Whitfield, Jeff Bennett, Frank Welker

They turn to stone during the day, but at night these creatures made of rock come to life to protect New York City. Seventy-eight 30-minute “Gargoyles” episodes aired during its two seasons, and the voice cast featured a surprising number of actors that also appeared on various "Star Trek" shows.

Disney XD

#32. DuckTales

IMDb rating: 8.1
Years running: 1987–1990
Stars: Alan Young, Russi Taylor, Terence McGovern, Chuck McCann

A wealthy duck and his three grandnephews go on wild and crazy adventures, which occasionally involve swimming through a pool of gold coins. The characters first appeared together in a 1952 comic book called “Uncle Scrooge” and in “DuckTales,” they’re always on the hunt for treasure. The series was so popular that several movies have been made to tell larger stories, and a new version of the show just started airing on the Disney Channel in recent months.


#31. Boy Meets World

IMDb rating: 8.1
Years running: 1993–2000
Stars: Ben Savage, Rider Strong, William Daniels, Betsy Randle

ABC’s "Thank God It's Friday" lineup included this coming-of-age story about a middle-schooler named Cory, who tries to figure out the world around him with his best friend Shawn and crush Topanga. The show lasted for seven seasons and was recently revived with Cory and Topanga now grown up with children. It aired for three seasons on the Disney Channel.


#30. SpongeBob SquarePants

IMDb rating: 8.1
Years running: 1999–current
Stars: Tom Kenny, Rodger Bumpass, Bill Fagerbakke, Clancy Brown

One of the biggest cartoon successes of the past 20 years, “SpongeBob SquarePants” is the highest-rated series to ever air on Nickelodeon, and has raked in $13 billion in merchandising revenue alone. Not bad for an animated comedy about a sea sponge that lives in an upside-down pineapple under the sea. Through 11 seasons and 200-plus episodes, the show has spawned multiple movies and its own Broadway musical.

Disney XD

#29. Star vs. the Forces of Evil

IMDb rating: 8.2
Years running: 2015–current
Stars: Eden Sher, Adam McArthur, Grey Griffin, Daron Nefcy

The first Disney XD series created by a woman, “Star vs. the Forces of Evil” is about a magical princess from another dimension who comes to Earth as a foreign exchange student to battle the forces of evil and protect her powerful wand. The show is still airing with three seasons and 56 episodes already under its belt.

Disney XD

#28. TRON: Uprising

IMDb rating: 8.2
Years running: 2012–2013
Stars: Elijah Wood, Tricia Helfer, Bruce Boxleitner, Paul Reubens

With an impressive cast featuring big movie stars and Paul Reubens (a.k.a. Pee Wee Herman), “TRON: Uprising” bridges the gap between the original 1982 “TRON” movie and its “TRON: Legacy” sequel from 2010. The animated sci-fi show stars Elijah Wood as a young program joining Tron in his fight against The Grid. With only 19 episodes, the Disney XD series didn’t last long, but still made an impact.


#27. Shaun the Sheep

IMDb rating: 8.2
Years running: 2007–
Stars: Justin Fletcher, John Sparkes, Richard Webber, Kate Harbour

Shaun is the leader of his flock of sheep, but instead of blending in with the wooly group, he’s constantly leading them into adventures and, occasionally, disasters. “Shaun the Sheep” is a spin-off of Britain’s “Wallace & Gromit” series, and employs the same stop-motion animation techniques. The characters have proven so successful that movies, games, and theatrical shows have all been developed in response, as well as a TV spin-off called “Timmy Time” about a lamb who loves the spotlight

Sesame Workshop

#26. Sesame Street

IMDb rating: 8.2
Years running: 1969–current
Stars: Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Caroll Spinney, Jerry Nelson

Sesame Street” is the longest-running children’s television show in history, because the concept is simple: kids and puppets living together in harmony on a friendly street in the city. Big Bird, Elmo, and the rest of the "Sesame Street" gang have become household names over the years in dozens of countries around the world. While the show aired on PBS for decades, it recently moved to HBO for new episodes.

Cartoon Network Studios

#25. The Amazing World of Gumball

IMDb rating: 8.2
Years running: 2011–
Stars: Dan Russell, Jacob Hopkins, Terrell Ransom Jr., Teresa Gallagher

Gumball is a 12-year-old boy in the form of a blue cat. His best friend is his adopted brother—a goldfish named Darwin—and they live with their family in the fictional town of Elmore. Perhaps the most amazing part of “The Amazing World of Gumball” is that it mixes a lot of different styles of animation, from stop-motion to CGI to traditional 2-D, and beyond. The project was the first production of Cartoon Network Studios Europe.


#24. Bill Nye, the Science Guy

IMDb rating: 8.3
Years running: 1993–1998
Stars: Bill Nye, Pat Cashman, Michaela Leslie-Rule, Jaffar Smith

Mr. Wizard may have made science fun for kids in the 1950s, but Bill Nye took things to another level as “Bill Nye, the Science Guy.” With more production value and an emphasis on fun, the show introduced kids to science experiments and concepts in an easily digestible format. The series ran for five seasons on PBS and picked up 23 Emmy nominations. Bill Nye is currently back on the air in Netflix’s “Bill Nye Saves the World.

Fox Broadcasting Company

#23. Life with Louie

IMDb rating: 8.3
Years running: 1995–1998
Stars: Louie Anderson, Edie McClurg, Justin Shenkarow, Miko Hughes

Comedian Louie Anderson got the cartoon treatment in this animated series about Louie’s life as a kid growing up in Wisconsin with a large familyalthough in reality, he grew up in Minnesota. While the first two episodes aired during primetime on Fox, the subsequent episodes aired on Fox Kids.


#22. Get Smart

IMDb rating: 8.3
Years running: 1965–1970
Stars: Don Adams, Barbara Feldon, Edward Platt, Robert Karvelas

Get Smart” put a spin on the cool spy stories of the time like James Bond and added a sarcastic, slapstick element to make this hilarious secret agent sitcom starring Don Adams as the bumbling Maxwell Smart. Legendary comedy writer-director Mel Brooks co-created the series with Buck Henry.


#21. Are You Afraid of the Dark?

IMDb rating: 8.3
Years running: 1990–2000
Stars: Ross Hull, Daniel DeSanto, Raine Pare-Coull, Jodie Resther

This SNICK series took the burgeoning young adult interest in scary stories (“Goosebumps,” Christopher Pike novels, etc.) and turned it into TV gold with a horror anthology series aimed at kids. Each episode featured a different scary short film, all told under the guise of friends trying to scare each other around a campfire as part of the “Midnight Society.”

Marvel Animation

#20. The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes

IMDb rating: 8.3
Years running: 2010–2012
Stars: Eric Loomis, Colleen O'Shaughnessey, Brian Bloom, Rick D. Wasserman

While the first live-action Avengers movie was a giant success in 2012, this animated Avengers TV show won fans even earlier in 2010. The plot revolves around 75 of the most dangerous criminals on Earth all escaping from prison. The superteam of superheroes has to round them up and figure out how they were freed.


#19. The Adventures of Tintin

IMDb rating: 8.3
Years running: 1991–1992
Stars: Colin O'Meara, Thierry Wermuth, Christian Pellissier, Henri Labussière

Belgium’s most popular cartoon character first appeared in 1929 and this 1991 animated TV series stayed true to the original stories about Tintin, a young Belgian reporter and his dog Snowy as they get tied up in a series of mysteries and adventures. The show aired all over the world, with HBO as its home in America.



#18. Invader ZIM

IMDb rating: 8.3
Years running: 2001–2004
Stars: Andy Berman, Richard Steven Horvitz, Rikki Simons, Melissa Fahn

With only 27 episodes produced, this short-lived Nickelodeon series still managed to capture its share of fans, as evidenced by its high ranking on this list. “Invader ZIM” refers to the lead character, Zim, an alien sent to Earth to infiltrate human society and blend in as best he can. Zim’s nemesis in the show is a human boy who wants to expose Zim as an alien.

Fox Broadcasting Company

#17. Spider-Man

IMDb rating: 8.3
Years running: 1994–1998
Stars: Christopher Daniel Barnes, Sara Ballantine, Edward Asner, Roscoe Lee Browne

There have been nearly a dozen Spider-Man television shows based on the Marvel comic about a teenager bitten by a radioactive spider that gives him the powers of a spider. This version ran for five seasons in the mid-'90s, and featured a number of crossovers with comic book storylines.

Cartoon Network Studios

#16. Regular Show

IMDb rating: 8.3
Years running: 2009–2017
Stars: J.G. Quintel, William Salyers, Sam Marin, Mark Hamill

Things get pretty crazy in Cartoon Network’s “Regular Show,” a surreal animated series about a bluejay and a raccoon who work as groundskeepers in a local park. Through its eight-season, 261-episode tenure, the show received six Primetime Emmy nominations and found victory in 2012 as Outstanding Short-Format Animated Program.

Cartoon Network Studios

#15. Courage the Cowardly Dog

IMDb rating: 8.3
Years running: 1999–2002
Stars: Marty Grabstein, Thea White, Peter Fernandez, Simon Prebble

A pink dog and an elderly couple encounter paranormal creatures in this outlandish animated comedy. Courage has to constantly get over his own fears to keep himself and his owners safe. The series aired on Cartoon Network for 52 episodes.



#14. The Wonder Years

IMDb rating: 8.3
Years running: 1988–1993
Stars: Fred Savage, Dan Lauria, Daniel Stern, Alley Mills

Fred Savage starred as Kevin Arnold, a kid trying to make sense of suburban life in the late '60s and early '70s with an earnestness that matches the era. This half-hour comedic drama was told from the point-of-view of Kevin as an adult looking back on the stories of his childhood through voiceover. The show ran in primetime for 115 episodes on ABC and earned a number of Emmy and Golden Globe nominations.

DreamWorks Animation Television

#13. Trollhunters: Tales of Arcadia

IMDb rating: 8.4
Years running: 2016–2018
Stars: Kelsey Grammer, Lexi Medrano, Charlie Saxton, Anton Yelchin

One of the newest shows to make this list, “Trollhunters” is from the mind of director Guillermo Del Toro and started airing on Netflix in 2016. The story tracks an ordinary kid who finds an amulet that enables him to become a troll-hunter, charged with keeping the world safe from trolls. Now in its third season, “Trollhunters” has already won a variety of awards.

Warner Bros. Television

#12. The Bugs Bunny/Looney Tunes Comedy Hour

IMDb rating: 8.4
Years running: 1985–1986
Stars: Mel Blanc, June Foray

Almost like a greatest hits of "Looney Tunes," this Saturday morning cartoon series took the best existing cartoons featuring Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and the rest of the gang, and strung them together into a loose anthology. While this particular version aired from 1985 to 1986, it’s really just another package of a show that had been running on Saturday mornings through much of the second half of the 20th century.

Cartoon Network Studios

#11. Steven Universe

IMDb rating: 8.4
Years running: 2013–
Stars: Zach Callison, Deedee Magno, Michaela Dietz, Estelle

The first Cartoon Network show created by a woman, “Steven Universe” is a coming-of-age story about a boy living with alien warriors who protect the planet from being attacked. The show has already aired for 147 11-minute episodes, and while it hasn’t been officially renewed for a sixth season, its popularity leads fans to believe there are more episodes to come.



ITC Entertainment

#10. The Muppet Show

IMDb rating: 8.4
Years running: 1976–1981
Stars: Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Richard Hunt, Dave Goelz

Who would have thought a crew of wise-cracking puppets would become so important in the world? The answer is Jim Henson, creator of The Muppets. “The Muppet Show” put Henson’s puppet creations like Kermit and Miss Piggy on full display in a variety show format with comedic sketches, musical performances, and celebrity cameos that ranged from Bob Hope to Paul Simon. “The Muppet Show” aired during primetime for five seasons and notched four Emmy victories.

The WB

#9. The New Batman Adventures

IMDb rating: 8.5
Years running: 1997–1999
Stars: Kevin Conroy, Tara Strong, Mathew Valencia, Efrem Zimbalist Jr.

By 1997, the Batman franchise had already been through a whole cycle of films and a much-loved animated series (see slide #2). This follow-up to “Batman: The Animated Series” focused less on the Caped Crusader and more on the side characters of Gotham, including a new Robin, Batgirl, and Nightwing, who emerged out of the previous Robin. The series aired in tandem with a new version of Superman to form “The New Batman/Superman Adventures.

Marvel Entertainment Group

#8. X-Men

IMDb rating: 8.5
Years running: 1992–1997
Stars: Cedric Smith, Cathal J. Dodd, Lenore Zann, George Buza

Marvel got into the television game with this animated television version of its hit “X-Men” comic books. The show followed the comic books’ lead in exploring the lives of mutants who fight evil. The series lasted for 76 episodes and helped usher in the golden age of Marvel media with an ultra-popular movie franchises based on the X-Men titles.


#7. The Legend of Korra

IMDb rating: 8.5
Years running: 2012–2014
Stars: Janet Varney, P.J. Byrne, David Faustino, J.K. Simmons

The Legend of Korra” began as an outgrowth of the very popular “Avatar: The Last Airbender” series (#1 on this list). It functions as a sequel, with the avatar’s successor, Korra, trying to adjust to a fast-modernizing world that’s both physically and spiritually challenging. The show aired for 52 episodes on Nickelodeon, with each season separated as its own “book,” like the original.


#6. Mr. Bean

IMDb rating: 8.5
Years running: 1990–1995
Stars: Rowan Atkinson, Robin Driscoll, Matilda Ziegler, Matthew Ashforde

This British show starred Rowan Atkinson as the mostly silent “Mr. Bean,” a persnickety man with a love for his teddy bear who was constantly getting himself into hilarious situations that required outsized solutions to incredibly simple problems. Due to the BBC’s limited air schedule, the show aired for only 15 episodes over the course of five years.

DC Entertainment

#5. Justice League

IMDb rating: 8.6
Years running: 2001–2004
Stars: Carl Lumbly, Phil LaMarr, Michael Rosenbaum, George Newbern

Comic book powerhouse DC scored another big television hit with “Justice League,” a superteam of DC heroes including Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and more. Each episode found the superheroes tackling a different villains. Ironically, Michael Rosenbaum provided the voice of The Flash in the animated show at the same time he played DC villain Lex Luthor in the live-action show “Smallville.”

Cartoon Network Studios

#4. Adventure Time

IMDb rating: 8.6
Years running: 2010–2018
Stars: Jeremy Shada, John DiMaggio, Tom Kenny, Hynden Walch

It’s not the easiest plot to understand, but “Adventure Time” follows a boy-hero named Finn and his best friend, a shape-shifting dog named Jake, as they venture through the post-apocalyptic Land of Ooo. Ten seasons of the show have aired on Cartoon Network and much has been made of the show’s appeal to an adult audience.

Disney Television Animation

#3. Gravity Falls

IMDb rating: 8.9
Years running: 2012–2016
Stars: Jason Ritter, Alex Hirsch, Kristen Schaal, Linda Cardellini

When twins are sent to live with their grandfather in the strange and spooky town of Gravity Falls, odd things happen every day. That’s the premise of “Gravity Falls,” starring the voices of well-known actors Jason Ritter, Kristen Schaal, and Linda Cardellini. While the show only made it to 40 episodes, series creator Alex Hirsch has announced that the stories will continue as part of a graphic novel.

Warner Bros. Animation

#2. Batman: The Animated Series

IMDb rating: 8.9
Years running: 1992–1995
Stars: Kevin Conroy, Loren Lester, Efrem Zimbalist Jr., Robert Hastings

Gotham’s Dark Knight had already earned a strong following from his comic book days and Tim Burton’s cinematic adaptations, but this television series premiered in 1992 and raised the profile of Batman even higher with a dark animated series. Winner of the 1993 Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Animated Series, this version set a new standard for what the Batman franchise could be with a moodier tone that ultimately influenced Christopher Nolan’s 2005 "Batman Begins" reboot.


#1. Avatar: The Last Airbender

IMDb rating: 9.2
Years running: 2003–2008
Stars: Dee Bradley Baker, Zach Tyler, Mae Whitman, Jack De Sena

The most popular show on the list, and also the only series to garner more than a 9.0, “Avatar: The Last Airbender” is an animated Nickelodeon show set in an alternate world where people can manipulate the elements. A 12 year old named Aang and his friends are tasked with bringing peace to the world by ending the Fire Lord’s century-long war. While the series was quite successful with61 episodes over three seasons, the live-action adaptation, directed by M. Night Shyamalan was universally panned.

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