The 20 Best Saturday Morning Cartoons of All Time

The Best Saturday Morning Cartoons

It’s the end of an era, and the Saturday Morning Cartoon is officially dead. Our top 20 Saturday morning cartoons list continues with the top 5 of all time:

5. Batman: The Animated Series (Fox, 1992-1995)

After X-Men came Batman: The Animated Series, infused with the look of Tim Burton’s live-action films mixed with art deco and film noir flourishes. I loved the overly-dark style of the art direction. The show led me to find Frank Miller’s Batman comic book run and discover some of the darker modern takes on the character. I loved The Joker, who was notably voiced by Star Wars lead Mark Hamill. I again was drawn in by the longer form storytelling that the series employed.

4. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (syndication, 1987-1990; CBS, 1987-1996)

If you were a boy during the late 1980s and early 1990s, you watched Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The series was an adaptation of the Eastman/Laird comic book series, following four mutant human-sized turtles with marital arts Ninja skills trying to save the city from the evil Shredder and his foot clan, as well as an alien from another dimension named Krang and his various minions. The show was geared towards children, unlike the original black and white comic book series, and sold a ton of toys — it got so popular that every year they needed to produce new action figures based on the Ninja Turtles. At some point “Supermutant Michaelangelo” was selling out at Toys R Us, I kid you not.

3. Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! (CBS, 1969-1970)

The Hanna-Barbera television series followed four teenagers (Fred, Daphne, Velma, and Shaggy) and a cowardly dog named Scooby-Doo as they traveled in the Mystery Machine van, which would usually conveniently break down or make a pit stop in a strange possibly haunted location. The Mystery Inc gang would volunteer to help out and try to solve a supernatural-related mystery of the week. The show went on in various incarnations and featured crossovers with guest stars ranging from the Harlem Globetrotters to WWE wrestlers, and spawned a series of live action hybrid feature films.

For the longest time as a child, Scooby-Doo was my favorite television show. I had VHS tapes filled with episodes on extended play mode that were worn out from so many plays. I was particularly attracted to the mystery/detective aspect of the show, and enjoyed trying to figure out the real reasons behind the supposed supernatural occurrences. In this respect the show was smarter than your average childhood cartoon, even though the series stuck to a rather simple step-by-step episodic formula.

Find out the final two — the best Saturday morning cartoons, after the jump!

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