A few factors led into this being the Question of the Week. One, I noted that ten years ago, Gravity Falls debuted on Disney Channel, and Gravity Falls is awesome. Then, my Star Blazers T-shirt came up in my rotation, so that made me think of cartoons I love (why, yes, I have a T-shirt rotation – doesn’t everyone?). So let’s talk cartoons!
Obviously, there are “adult” cartoons and “kid” cartoons. I’m not going to make any distinction between them, but I don’t care if you do. I know that animated shows can fall into as many categories as non-animated shows, but I’m not going to do that, either! My only criterion for this Question is that the show must be animated!!!!!
My favorite cartoon of all time is the aforementioned Star Blazers. I love every danged minute of it, and when I watched some of it as an adult, I loved it still. Part of it is nostalgia, I admit – I began watching Star Blazers around 1980, when I was not yet ten years old, and I would watch with my two best friends, and we would literally stop whatever we were doing at that time and run inside (we were usually outside) and watch the show (how did we ever survive without streaming services?!?!?!?). So there’s a whole thing of childhood and friendship and even snobbishness, as after it stopped running here in the States, it was hard for years to find anyone who had even heard of the show. One very minor reason I clicked with my wife was that she was a fan of the show. The story of the Argo and its voyage to Iscandar to rescue the Earth from the depravations of Gamilon and its leader, Desslok, is excellent, and the dumb-ass love triangle between Wildstar, Venture, and Nova was just so dumb-ass it became fun. The Comet Empire was, if possible, even more impressive than Desslok. I never saw Season Three, which is a tragedy of epic proportions. The show was a serial, which was a novelty for kids back then, and it dealt in “adult” themes, which now I know was a feature of Japanese animation but was bizarre back then for American kids. I just love Star Blazers. Look at this shirt!
Of course, I only ask for one favorite, but it’s hard to pin these down!!!! I love a lot of animated shows!!!! In the old-school category, there’s Battle of the Planets, which for a long time was even more obscure than Star Blazers. Who didn’t love Jonny Quest? And I always had a soft spot for The Mighty Heroes and Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends, especially the Juggernaut episode. I watched a lot of cartoons when I was a kid, of course, but those were my favorites.
As an adult, I watch fewer cartoons, but I still like them. The Simpsons, of course, holds a special place in my heart, but like so many others, I stopped watching it long ago. The first, what, ten seasons are comedy gold, though, and there’s just too many great episodes to mention. I liked Futurama when it first premiered, but then it went away for a while and I never got back into it. And of course, there are the two relatively recent Disney cartoons that I love and only watched because my kids were the right ages. Phineas and Ferb premiered in the summer of 2007, when my older daughter turned 5 (my younger daughter was only 2, so a little young for it), and Gravity Falls in 2012, when my younger daughter was 7. Phineas and Ferb is, of course, the more repetitive of the two, as the episodes are basically the same thing, but the jokes are stupendous, the special episodes are a ton of fun (the Star Wars parody is a highlight), and the brilliant songs are just brilliant:
Gravity Falls, meanwhile, is about two kids staying with their great-uncle (“gruncle”) in a small town in Oregon for the summer and finding out there’s all sorts of mysteries in the town, which all tie together into an apocalyptic disaster at the end of the show. Jason Ritter and Kristen Schaal are superb as Dipper and Mabel, and it will come as zero surprise to find out that the excellent Wendy, Dipper’s slightly older love interest, is voiced by Linda Cardellini, because Linda Cardellini is awesome. It’s also very, very funny, surprisingly heartfelt, exciting, and occasionally just really, really weird. The finale especially, which I won’t say more about because it’s best to experience it yourself.
What is your favorite animated show? You know you have one!!!!!
Western Animation: Avatar the Last Airbender, closely followed by Justice League Unlimited and Scooby Doo: Mystery Incorporated.
Anime: Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, closely followed by My Hero Academia, and Gurren Lagann.
Web Original: Dragon Ball Z Abridged.
(Honorable mention to The Boondocks, as well!)
Oh, man, I forgot about Mystery Incorporated. I LOVED that iteration!
I honestly never managed to click with Gravity Falls because I was expecting something along the lines of Mystery Incorporated, haha!
Possibly my favorite Scooby Doo incarnation
Possibly??? Professor Pericles will have words with you about that, haha.
Super Hero Squad, Avatar the Last Airbender and Batman The Animated Series are some that pop up.
When it comes to my favorite it’s hard to choose. 2 stupid dogs and Invader Zim . I’ve got t-shirts of both of them.
Hmm, started trying to come up with an answer and then realized it’s kind of impossible – for me, anyway. The question’s too broad, given the sheer number of varieties, genres, etc. It’s kind of like asking someone what their favorite live-action TV show is. (Or have I predicted what next week’s question will be?)
If I absolutely must provide an answer, I’ll say season 4 of Star Trek TOS, i.e., what many call The Animated Series.
How dare you question the Question!!!!! 🙂
Yeah, it’s broad, but that’s what makes it fun!!!!!
Forget animation. Avatar: the Last Airbender is my favourite show ever.
My animated favourites include:
(early seasons only)
How To Train Your Dragon spin-offs
I used to love Dungeons And Dragons, but I haven’t seen it since I was 13.
I agree that Gravity Falls was great, btw.
My teenaged kids have recently introduced me to Gravity Falls and Infinity Train. Both were really impressive, in different ways. Gravity Falls is epic and funny, but Infinity Train really blew me away by its depth and cleverness. I’m just disappointed that the creators have so much more story to tell but HBO Max seems to disagree.
I also like Justice League / JL Unlimited, and Young Justice for superhero stuff. My kids have also had me watch Over the Garden Wall, which has been fascinating. It’s a ten episode “miniseries”–we haven’t yet watched the last episode partly because I’m worried it won’t be a satisfactory ending and will thus ruin the whole thing.
I’ve just been watching The Justice League, and really enjoying it.
It’s been a while, but I remember Over The Wall having a satisfactory ending.
I forget Youg Justice. Silly me.
My kids loved Teen Titans Go (and me too 😉 )
The Groovy Ghoulies? Hee. Apart from the usual suspects, I liked Dogtanian and The Muskehounds. Do you see what they did there? Inspector Gadget! Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors. Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends. The He-Man/She-Ra Christmas Special. Yes, it wasn’t a series, and yes, I have no shame. Dungeons and Dragons! Muppet Babies! Dangermouse! Count Duckula! The Wind in the Willows.
And, of course, The Raccoons! (Run with us, we’ve got everything you need. Run with us… We are free!) Obviously, not enough people watched it or else they would not keep supporting and voting for the Cyril Sneers of the world (or their puppets). Je suis Burt Raccoon!
All of these animations had catchy theme songs/tunes too. A lost art in this degraded age. The Dungeons and Dragons theme song is the best thing about it! Honestly, it’s so moving; one really does get a feeling of loss. Those poor children really are far from home.
Mysterious Cities of Gold
Neon Genesis Evangelion
I would have to put Batman: The Animated Series at the top, nothing beats that.
Others to mention would be,
Dungeons and Dragons
Pinky and the Brain
and Danger Mouse
I’ve never seen Pinky and The Brain (shocking! I should fix that. I even quote it from time to time. “Same thing we do every week…”) But the others are all good choices.
I thought of Battas, but not while I was commenting. 🙂
Ooh! Gargoyles! Just thought I’d throw that out there.
Yeah Gargoyles was a good one, I think the 1st season was by far the best though.
BURGAS: HBO: Todd McFarlane’s SPAWN.
Never even heard of Gravity Falls but I guess I´ll have to check it out now.
There´s really only one possible answer to this weeks question though and that´s the Simpsons. Yes, also I haven´t watched it in years but the sheer longevity and quality for most of that shows existence is unbeatable.
Too many I love to list.
Gravity Falls didn’t click with me. Caught Star Blazers in college and loved it particularly Desslok’s change of heart scenes at the climax of S2.
I’ve long enjoyed animated series
My favourite series of Western origin would probably be Batman the Animated series
though I also loved Reboot
(unfortunately the UK broadcast ended in the middle of season 3 and, now I’ve got an imported DVD, the cliff-hanger finale in the middle of Season 4)
and Earthworm Jim was great (Favourite episode “Evil in Love”)
and from Japan
Azuumanga Daioh – school comedy with eccentric characters done with great charm
Neon Genesis Evangelion
Paranoia Agent (Satoshi Kon’s only TV series)
and not forgetting
Haibane Renmai, Mononoke, Doki Doki School Hours, Hell Girl, Kimagure Orange Road, the melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, etc
Too many. I have the obvious answers of Batman TAS and it’s follow ups. The original Jonny Quest is a nostalgic favorite. After that, Space Ghost Coast to Coast, and The Venture Bros. need honorable mentions.
Too many to list because I rarely watch live action tv series or live action movies, I watch lots and lots of anime, and this season has really good anime
Funny enough: We got(in Mexico) Battle of the Planets in regular over the air tv but never got Star Blazer. I got Star Blazers but my hard drive crashed before I saw it so I can’t comment on it but it sounds like a great show
And we got lots of great shows in my childhood, and most of them were on regular tv so I watched a lot of anime when I was a kid and then I just keep watching it. We got: Slayers, Escaflowne, Slam Dunk, Magic Knight Rayearth, Dragon Ball, Captain Tsubasa, Ranma 1/2, Saint Seiya, Sailor Moon and lots and lots more(not even counting the western cartoons)
At this moment, my favourite might be: One Piece, Full Metal Alchemist(both versions), Kaguya Sama Love is War, FLCL and Slam Dunk
OK, I’ll work on it. But yes to Gravity Falls. And a big NO to Scooby-Doo, Where Are You. I can watch 6 episodes of Phineas and Ferb, but NOT SD, which I know because I was on a bus on the way to Indiana…
Too many to mention; but, I’ll hit the highlights:
Batman TAS thru JLU
Gatchaman/Battle of the Planets/G-Force Guardians of Space
Thundarr the Barbarian
New Adv of Flash Gordon
The Venture Brothers
Bullwinkle and associated segments
Tennessee Tuxedo and associated segments
The Groovie Goolies
Looney Tunes & Merrie Melodies
Tom & Jerry shorts
The Pink Panther
Challenge of the Superfriends
A few days late to this one, but I had to pop in to say Infinity Train, because not enough people have seen it (though I see it did get one mention earlier.)
I am still not over its premature cancellation. They only made it halfway through the planned run! A true tragedy.
Ugh, tough question. For anime it’d be The Irresponsible Caption Tylor. Western shows, probably Animaniacs.
I haven’t returned to either in years, and that is somewhat deliberate as I suspect (and in some cases clearly know) that both are going to have elements that haven’t aged well.
As usual, it takes me eight days to reply! https://www.rogerogreen.com/2022/07/19/favorite-animated-television-show/