Staff Recommendations: Cartoons

Thomas DevlinMaddie PazzaniAnne CruzNina JangE.R. PulgarSang Bae
Sang Bae's illustration of the cartoon “We Bare Bears”.

“Gravity Falls”
By Thomas Devlin
Sometimes I feel bad about how much I like this show because, like most cartoons, it’s for children. Fortunately, it makes enough meta jokes about its older viewers that I know I’m not the only adult watching. The show is about two siblings, Mabel and Dipper, who are spending the summer visiting their Uncle Stan in Gravity Falls, Oregon. As the summer progresses, the two learn about the mystical underside of the small town, and if the humor doesn’t keep you watching the mystery certainly will (no, really, I know it’s for kids but it’s more advanced than “Scooby-Doo”). The show is in the middle of its second season and shows no signs of slowing down yet, so catch up soon.

“Bob’s Burgers”
By Anne Cruz
“Bob’s Burgers” is the perfect addition to any cartoon lover’s Netflix queue. “Bob’s Burgers” follows the quintessential nuclear family, but its characters are anything but boring. The family’s misadventures are funny in and of themselves, but the commentary supplied by the family’s children always guarantee side-splitting laughter. The eldest daughter, Tina, often delivers one-liners that juxtapose self-assured, confident dialogue with her awkward and perpetually uncomfortable demeanor. In contrast, the youngest daughter, Louise, is portrayed as a cute child who dons a pink bunny-eared hat yet contributes the darkest and most sarcastic humor in the series. For those who enjoy other family-centric cartoons but crave more humor centered around normal day-to-day occurrences, “Bob’s Burger” is the perfect fix.

“Daria”
By Maddie Pazzani
Embrace your inner misanthrope with “Daria.” Airing from 1997 to 2001 on MTV, the cartoon follows the titular character Daria Morgendorffer and her best friend Jane Lane as they grind their way through suburban America as the resident teenage curmudgeons of generic Lawndale High. They cope with their exceedingly bland families and classmates with dry witticisms delivered in monotone voices and greasy pizza eaten after school. They’re dark, sardonic and eternally unimpressed — the perfect pair to help us relive the teenage angst we all have left behind.

“Steven Universe”
By E.R. Pulgar
Far from your standard show about a small boy raised by three gender-neutral aliens named after gemstones, “Steven Universe” is easily the most charming cartoon on television at the moment. From its humorous and heartfelt plot lines to its groundbreaking moments (one of the main characters turns out to be the physical representation of a stable and healthy LGBTQ relationship), there’s truly something for everyone to enjoy. For a children’s show to be so daring and progressive is nothing new these days, but to be marketed in such an adorable and relatable way is something else entirely. If you ever start watching, and I highly recommend you do, you might catch yourself humming the “We Are the Crystal Gems” theme song on the walk to campus.

“Teen Titans”
By Nina Jang
“Teen Titans” was more than another typical superhero show. Every Saturday morning, the band of five—the commanding Robin, the whimsical Starfire, the powerful Cyborg, the mysterious Raven and the funny guy Beast Boy—returned to battle villains like the twisted Slade, in the name of keeping Jump City safe. Despite possessing extraordinary powers, the superheroes were experiencing the universally same angsty teenage years, a period defined by awkwardness. “Teen Titans” assured that this was completely normal. Complex and complicated, the characters were both lovable and memorable. However, it can be argued that Raven was the most powerful but to each is their own. Favorites aside, each member had a charm. Packed with witty humor and plenty of anime effects, the show was one of Cartoon Network’s best series. A gem in the golden early 2000s era of cartoons, not to mention the ridiculously catchy theme song by Japanese rock band Puffy Ami Yumi that all fans shamelessly chanted at the beginning of each episode, “Teen Titans” was undoubtedly the coolest squad around.

“We Bare Bears”
By Sang Bae
The show is about three bears living in San Francisco, and I absolutely love it. There’s something lovable about the show. It might be the excellent voice actors. It might be the ways the creators of the show embrace Tumblr and social media with adorable videos and fantastic pieces of art. It might be the way the show doesn’t try to hit with fast paced action and explosions of color, making you feel like you’re just chilling out with the three bears. What I think is most lovable about the show is how it acknowledges everyday culture. In fact, the entire premise of the show revolves around it. You can’t help but see yourself in some of the struggles the characters faces.

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