Junk Drawer: Favorite 90s Cartoons

BY ANASTASIA MONTAVON, AUSTIN VAN PAY, BENJAMIN K. PAPLHAM, SAMANTHA KOLB

Anastasia: “Futurama”

I really don’t like considering “Futurama” a 90s cartoon, since it first aired on March 28, 1999. However, out of all the shows I watched from the 90s, this is the only one I still watch regularly today. I watched this show from its premiere until it was canceled on Fox. When Comedy Central picked it up again, I was beyond excited. Then, when Comedy Central canceled the show for its third and final time, I was crushed again. This is the only show that has made me cry as hard as it’s made me laugh. In fact, it’s the only show that has ever actually made me cry.  Fry, Bender, Leela, Amy, Hermes, Professor Farnsworth, Zoidberg and all the loveable side characters are still amazing. Their adventures still keep me laughing—or crying—and the geeky jokes worked into every episode embrace the nerd in me. “Futurama” is not only my favorite show from the 90s, it is my favorite show of all time.

Austin: “SpongeBob SquarePants”

If you ask anyone to name one of the most popular kids cartoons of all time they’re almost always going to come back with the answer, “SpongeBob SquarePants.” Not everyone knows, but the show actually began July 17, 1999 on Nickelodeon and only seemed to grow in popularity as more episodes aired. With SpongeBob and Patrick, the goofy, lovable duo who live down in Bikini Bottom, it’s hard to resist chuckling at their random, and sometimes downright stupid antics. All of the supporting characters, ranging from Squidward to Sandy, still stand today as some of the most iconic in the cartoon spectrum. Going back and re-watching a few of the over 190 episodes, you’ll be able to understand some of the more mature jokes and overall hilarity that the show still produces today. The voice acting of SpongeBob and the other characters is iconic, just like SpongeBob’s pineapple under the sea. Creator of the show Stephen Hillenburg has crafted these amazing characters, stories, jokes and songs that defined a large chunk of my childhood and brought my brother and me a lot of happiness throughout our younger years and even still today.

Ben: “Recess”

“Recess” is a show that gets better with age. As a kid, I watched it for the relatable incidents of elementary school life, such as frightening school supervisors or getting hit in the head with a kickball. Now I watch it because of how many references and parodies the show crams into a ten-minute episode. “Recess” is absolutely littered with sly winks and obvert satire, allowing parents to utter that horrible phrase, “I’ll explain…once you’re older.” Among the various allusions, “Recess” has presented the caste system, religious cults, bureaucratic corporations, Solomon and the “Splitting of the Baby,” trench warfare, government conspiracy and imperialism. In one of my favorite episodes, “The Great Jungle Gym Standoff,” the show directly references the 1960s Civil Rights movement with the kids singing, “We Shall Not be Moved.” Simply put, “Recess” is one of the great animated cartoons that withstands the test of time.

Samantha: “Gargoyles”

My favorite T. V. show from the 90s was “Gargoyles.”  It was on Disney Channel and featured gargoyle creatrues who turned to stone during the day and awoke again at night.  Not only were the themes powerful for kids to learn-like not fearing or hating what is different- but it also involved magic and romance which was near and dear to my little girl heart.  The third and final season dealt with the discovery of the gargoyles, and it is difficult to erase the image of “The Quarrymen” who wore black hoods and went around trying to kill the gargoyles.  This show taught me hatred is one of the most evil things humans are capable of, and we should always try to understand and keep an open mind of things that are different from us.  Yes, for a 90s cartoon, it got pretty deep, and that’s part of why I appreciate it.

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