Remember when it was worth getting up early on a Saturday morning to watch kid’s TV? Kids today don’t know about that because we now have access to 24-hour a day children’s TV channels and the internet, but trust me, it was a thing. I’m also pretty sure kid’s TV was smarter, more dramatic and just generally better when I was a kid but that could be the nostalgia talking.
Feeling pretty nostalgic tonight I have decided to compile a list of the 10 best TV shows of my childhood. This was a hard list to make as there were so many great shows on when I was a kid; Dexter’s Laboratory, Codename Kid’s Next Door, Ed, Edd and Eddy, The Powerpuff Girls the list is endless but I’ve tried my best to come up with a top 10.
#10: The Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers
Much like today’s method of making kid’s TV seems to be to snort as much cocaine as possible and see what happens (see SpongeBob Squarepants and Adventure Time) the 90s solution was; import something from Japan, cut out the inappropriate stuff and dub it into English. And so we get the first of many Japanese imports on this list; The Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers. The story of a group of high school students blessed with the ability to become the Power Rangers who are all kick-ass fighter AND get to control giant robotic dinosaurs. For a kid who loved awesome fight scenes and dinosaurs there was no way I wouldn’t be a fan of this show. Although looking back now I wonder how appropriate characters like Lord Zedd (a skinless dude) were for children’s TV.
There’s no way I could grow up in the 90s and NOT have Pokémon on this list, it was THE children’s craze of the 90s. Much like The Spice Girls Pokémon (although it still continues today, unlike the Spice Girls) was a defining feature of 90s pop culture. Everywhere you went there were Pokémon toys, videogames, the cartoon show and of course those darn trading cards that pretty much EVERY kid had. This show must have been responsible for 90% of playground fights during the 90s due to kids arguing over the cards and whether or not Mewtwo should have beaten Mew. (Yes he should have). Also, this still has one of the GREATEST opening themes of any television show EVER. Period.
#8 Jackie Chan Adventures
Jackie Chan Adventures was another show that allowed for mad collecting. Not to the extent of Pokémon but I remember me my brother and sister all collected the magazine along with the trading cards and the cool Talisman necklaces that came with it. The show features the fictionalised adventures of Jackie Chan (yes, THAT Jackie Chan, though you will note the character looks nothing like him) as he fights off the evil Black Hand criminal syndicate as they try to collect all 12 powerful Talismans (based off the Chinese Zodiac) in order to resurrect the great dragon-demon Shendu. This show featured plenty of comedy, kick-ass fight scenes, cool ass dragon-demons and plenty of quotable catchphrases (particularly from Uncle and Jackie).
#7 Spider-Man: The Animated Series
Back before everyone when Superhero mad in Hollywood, kids TV had already jumped on the bandwagon with animated versions of almost all of Marvel’s most famous heroes. Spider-Man was one of the best. With great voice acting (for a kids show), some great animation for its time and relatively complex plots for a kids show this action-packed small screen version of everyone’s favourite wall crawler introduced many to the famous storylines including the Symbiote’s, Green Goblin and Sinister Six. I remember loving Venom and Carnage who were very well done in this show and quite scary for a kids show.
#6 Batman: The Animated Series
Another superhero cartoon appears on out list with Batman: The Animated Series. If you watch this show’s opening credits on YouTube you will notice that it is very noir-ish and very dark and very much like the comics. Yes that’s why Batman: The Animated Series was so critically respected and is still held in high esteem by comic book fans. Wonderful voice acting, including Mark Hamill as The Joker, this dark show walked a tightrope between being dark enough to satisfy hardcore Batman fans and lighthearted enough that it wouldn’t get pulled by censors. Although I do remember my sister being absolutely terrified of Clayface in this…
So that’s part one of my list, part two will follow shortly. How many of these shows do you remember? What were your favourite kids shows in the 90s?