Staff Recs: ’90s Cartoons

Rugrats was, no doubt, a childhood cartoon classic.

In honor of “The Powerpuff Girls” coming back to Cartoon Network 11 years after its initial run from 1998 to 2005, here are the WSN staff’s favorite ‘90s cartoons. Bask in the nostalgia of a beloved show or discover one you haven’t watched for a lazy day in bed.

Rocko’s Modern Life

I remember being intensely distressed as a child about that episode of “Rocko’s Modern Life” where Rocko can’t make it through the check-out at the supermarket until after the 99 percent off sale ends. Each episode is similarly disturbing, but it’s a sort of off-beat situational humor that you only come to understand when you get older. What’s more, the show is so blatantly stuffed with sexual innuendos that I can’t even believe I watched it as a child, but I appreciate it all the more now — Rocko’s favorite restaurant was called the Chokey Chicken, for Christ’s sake.

Abigail Weinberg, Deputy Features Editor

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Animaniacs

Call me old fashioned, but I have a deep love and appreciation for classic cartoons. Not obeying the laws of physics, advocating the use of violence — as long as it’s something like dropping a piano or an anvil on someone — who doesn’t love that? The show based on the Warner brothers, Yakko and Wakko, and the Warner sister Dot was comparable to the original “Looney Tunes” but different in the way that it was more like an animated comedy-sketch show. There were different parts of the show like “Pinky and The Brain” and “The Goodfeathers” that were separate segments, and yet, Yakko, Wakko and Dot were endowed with the ability to jump from sketch to sketch because who’s ever heard of the fourth wall? I definitely haven’t.

Dejarelle Gaines, Copy Chief

Batman: The Animated Series

Whether it’s “Batman v Superman,” “The Dark Knight” or “Batman and Robin,” there is only one true caped crusader, and that’s Kevin Costner’s regal vocal performance in “Batman: The Animated Series.” With a perfect balance of camp, cartoon and dark undertones, the series beautifully depicts many of Batman’s battles against his innumerable antagonists. Stories are wonderfully committed to the source material, and Mark Hamill’s Joker is one for the ages. No franchise or moody aesthetic is needed, just plain old comic book television and Batman.

Ethan Sapienza, Film Editor

Rugrats

Ever wonder what it’s like to be a baby? I mean we’ve all been there, but it’s not like you remember. “Rugrats” is the perfect trip down memory lane, letting you relive your life as a toddler in the ’90s. Seriously, this show will change your life forever. I personally think about the episode where Chucky grows a watermelon tree in his stomach every time I encounter a watermelon seed — it’s a real danger.

Valentina Bojanini, Special Editions Director

Rocket Power

“Rocket Power” and my childhood are two inseparable entities, bound by love and a common desire to be a bro. Otto Rocket — with his Burger King chicken fries hair and his Bono glasses — was my spirit animal. When I was younger, I wanted nothing more than to be the son of someone who owned a taco shop, live next to the beach and have a dope #squad that I could skate, surf and chill with. They were flexin’ on these other Nickelodeon clowns before flexin’ was cool. If you don’t believe me, then believe the iconic handshake that they birthed. “Rocket Power” was the come up.

Bobby Wagner, Managing Editor

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Email the Arts Desk at [email protected]

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