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 concludes with the top 2 Saturday morning cartoons of all time:

2. DuckTales (syndication, 1987-1990; ABC, 1996-1999)

The Disney animated series followed the adventures of Scrooge McDuck and his three grandnephews, Huey, Dewey, and Louie, who were left with Scrooge after their uncle Donald Duck joined the Navy. Usually the Beagle Boys or the industrialist Flintheart Glomgold would be after McDuck’s fortune or his number one dime (the first money Scrooge ever earned, which Scrooge considered to be the source of all of his good luck). And everyone loved Scrooge McDuck’s money bin which was filled with so many gold coins that he could dive into and swim through the money almost as if it were a giant pool.

The series also spawned the 1990 animated feature film DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp, which was also pretty great. Watch the trailer below:

The series paved the way for future Disney cartoon syndicated series such as Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers, TaleSpin, and Darkwing Duck (which was a spin-off of DuckTales). In recent years, BOOM! Studios released a new DuckTales comic book series and aspects of the show have appeared in the popular Disney Infinity video game, but there has been no word if the series will ever see a reboot or sequel.

1. Jim Henson’s Muppet Babies (CBS, 1984-1991)

Jim Henson’s Muppet Babies followed the adventures of preschool-age Kermit, Fozzie, Miss Piggy, Gonzo, Animal, Rowlf, Scooter and Skeeter (a new addition to the gang), as they played and dreamed together in a nursery overseen by a nanny. (Voiced by Leave It to Beaver’s Barbara Billingsley; the character was never seen from the waist up.)

Jim Henson’s Muppet Babies was probably more influential on my life than any other television series from my childhood. It taught me to dream and showed me the power of imagination and creation. I have a fond love of The Muppets, their movies and The Muppet Show but Muppet Babies has had more of an impact on me as a person. Some of my favorite episodes were those that parodied Star Wars and Indiana Jones.

Strangely the idea for Muppet Babies originated in the movie The Muppets Take Manhattan, which premiered two months before Muppet Babies with a dream sequence where Miss Piggy imagined what it would be like if she and Kermit the Frog had grown up together. I had seen the movie well after being introduced to Muppet Babies, so I always thought the reference was the other way around.

You might not know but Muppet Babies was actually a production of The Jim Henson Company and Marvel Productions. Thats right — Marvel Comics produced Muppet Babies. They also produced a comic book series based on the property. Some have wondered if Disney’s acquisition of LucasFilm could mean the series will finally get a home video release. Fans have theorized that copyright issues have kept the show from being released, as sequences blended animation with live action clips from films like Raiders of the Lost Ark, Star Wars. Ghostbusters, Star Trek: The Next Generation, The Three Stooges and more.

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What Do You Think?

What did you think of my top twenty picks for the best Saturday morning cartoon shows? Which series did I miss? What rankings do you disagree with? Please remember that not all cartoon series played in the Saturday morning cartoon blocks, so don’t get mad at me for not including a show which played in the afternoon or another weekday slot. For instance, The Flintstones and The Simpsons aired in primetime — not on Saturday mornings. I’m sure there will be many disagreements about some 1970s and 2000s series that didn’t make the cut because they weren’t part of my childhood viewings. And I’m willing to bet many people will have a different pick for the top Saturday morning cartoon of all time. Leave your thoughts in the comment below!

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