Is it just us, or have we stepped back in time?
2023 saw the release of the sequels of the films that most millennials watched in their childhood, like Indiana Jones, Mission: Impossible, and Scream.
Plus, a new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated movie is coming out.
Looking at all these releases, we can’t help but feel nostalgic.
Saturday mornings of the late ‘90s are particularly worth remembering, owing to the incredible animated shows that graced our TV screens. They pretty much defined every individual’s childhood.
A lot has changed since then, with streaming platforms replacing the large square boxes. While nothing can beat waking up at a certain time to catch your favorite animated show, Netflix and Disney+ have made things incredibly convenient.
So, the next time you feel like going down memory lane, cuddle up in your favorite blanket and put on one of these cartoons.
Picture Courtesy: Walt Disney Television Animation
Where to Stream: Disney+
Produced by Walt Disney Television Animation, it’s hard to believe that a show like Gargoyles was made for kids. It had a dark tone and complex character dynamics that must’ve passed over our heads.
Gargoyles followed a group of nocturnal creatures magically put to sleep in Scotland circa 994. Almost a thousand years later, they find themselves awake in the then-modern-day Manhattan, New York, USA.
Struggling to adjust to the new world, the gargoyles take it upon themselves to protect the city from supernatural threats.
Gargoyles was ahead of its time for many reasons. It had a great score, stunning animation, and the voice cast was legendary.
Fun Fact: Disney has announced a live-action remake film of Gargoyles. Since movies based on hit animated shows have a history of being underwhelming, we recommend you watch Gargoyles as soon as possible.
Picture Courtesy: Marvel Entertainment Group
Where to Stream: Disney+
Long before there were The Avengers, another popular superhero team ruled our TV screens – X-Men. Their show, X-Men: The Animated Series, is hailed as one of the greatest TV shows of all time.
Based on the popular Marvel comic book, X-Men: The Animated Series was about a group of superpowered beings called mutants. Led by Professor Charles Francis Xavier, a.k.a. Professor X, a powerful telepath, the X-Men consisted of:
Together, the X-Men fight other superpowered villains, particularly the anti-hero Eric Magnus Lensherr/Magneto, a mutant capable of controlling metal.
Fun Fact: A revival of X-Men: The Animated Series titled X-Men ’97 is set to release on Disney+ this year.
Picture Courtesy: Cartoon Network Studios
Where to Stream: Prime Video, Amazon, or HBO Max
If they ever made a list of animated shows with the wackiest premises, The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy would top the list. It featured three primary characters – a dim-witted yet easygoing boy Billy, an always-unimpressed and cynical girl Mandy, and a Grim, an actual Grim Reaper.
Billy and Mandy, trying to save the former’s hamster, trick Grim into playing a game and ultimately win. As the prize, Grim is asked to become their ‘best friend forever.’
The show, despite having a weird plot, worked for many reasons. For starters, the characters were entirely different from one another. Secondly, it had some of the best one-liners, mostly of the deadpan humor-loving Mandy.
And finally, The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy had plenty of heartwarming moments that made you go, “Aww…”.
Picture Courtesy: Warner Bros. Animation
Where to Stream: Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, or Roku
Teen Titans, the DC Comics superhero crime-fighting group, has been the subject of plenty of animated films and live-action shows. However, none have been as popular or successful as the series that premiered on Cartoon Network in 2003.
In fact, Teen Titans was so popular that the show was originally intended to wrap up in its fourth season. However, because of the fan demand, Warner Bros. Animation had to make another.
The team was made up of five superheroes:
Picture Courtesy: Hanna-Barbera Productions
Where to Stream: Boomerang Amazon Channel, Max Amazon Channel, or Tubi TV.
Like Teen Titans, this mystery-solving gang has had multiple iterations, from animated shows to live-action films. But Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! remains the best version, hands down.
Although Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! originally aired in 1969, thanks to its reruns, people caught up. One of the most appealing things about the show is that it’s for kids and adults alike.
The mysteries, combined with Scooby-Doo and Shaggy’s antics, made for one excellent watch. Speaking of, the show had other characters that made them interesting.
From the Ms. Know-It-All Velma Dinkley to the fashion-loving Daphne Blake, every person in Scooby-Doo was incredibly charming. And how can we forget the charismatic leader, Fred Jones?
Another interesting part was the fact that, in the majority of cases, the people behind the mysteries were humans who wanted to exploit a tragedy, myth, or legend for personal gain.
Feeling Nostalgic Enough?
In terms of technology, we’ve progressed a lot. And while embracing the future is a good thing, there’s something about the past we can’t – and shouldn’t have to – just let go.
A significant part of our past was the animated shows most of us grew up with. They remind us of a sweet time when professional responsibilities or personal obligations didn’t define our lives.
Oh, to be young again.