10 Discontinued Cartoons That Left A Void in Us (VIDEOS)

As the tide of time pushes us into this morbid thing called “adulthood”, we are also expected to stop watching “children’s shows”. We graduate from cartoons and move on to series like Boston Legal, House of Cards, Revenge and House.

But let’s face it: as great as these TV series are, there will always be a void in us, left behind by our favourite cartoons that used to be our source of happiness and comfort. Just like your first love. 

advertisement

Here is a list of ten discontinued cartoons that we absolutely miss:

1. Rugrats (1991–2004)

The gist:

Rugrats features a group of babies who are no stranger to trouble. The series depict common life experiences from the babies’ point of view—everything looks bigger, more mysterious and exciting.

Who could forget Angelica, her bizarre hair and her infamous line: “You stupid babies!”

Why it’s amazing:

Perhaps, as adults, we’ve all had this thought: “If I only I can be a baby again. I would wreak havoc and get away with it.” Rugrats provides that sense of escapism that we eagerly yearn.

The show gained over 20 awards during its 13-year run, including four Daytime Emmy Awards, seven Kids’ Choice Awards, and its own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

2. The Addams Family: The Animated Series (1992–1993)

The gist:

The Addams Family is a satirical inversion of the ideal American family: an eccentric, wealthy lot who are unaware (or don’t care) that people find them frightening.

Few other shows can leave its viewers as perplexed as this one does. Much of the food the family consume is inedible or deadly to humans. They also have a passion in morbid activities like blowing things (including themselves) up, and having a sharp pendulum cut them in half.

Why it’s amazing:

It challenges what we deem as “appropriate” for children, beside paving the way for kids to appreciate Tim Burton when they grow up.

Up till today, we are still puzzled about the exact nature of the Addams—are they zombies, vampires or members of a cult?

3. Inspector Gadget (1983–1986)

The gist:

Inspector Gadget is a clumsy cyborg detective with various bionic gadgets built into his body, which reminds us of Robocop and maybe even Totally Spies. He is assisted by Penny, his niece and Brain (their dog and companion). Gadget’s nemesis is Dr. Claw, the leader of an evil organisation known as “M.A.D.”

Teletoon recently bought rights to Inspector Gadget and plans to launch a reboot in 2015. We doubt it will be anything as good as the original.

Why it’s amazing:

Feminists would be happy with the character of Penny. Penny is a master of investigation and technology who is the one truly responsible for saving the day, since goofy Gadget messes things up all the time.

4. Pinky and the Brain (1995–1998)

The gist:

Pinky and Brain are genetically enhanced laboratory mice that stay in a cage at the Acme Lab research facility. In the show, Pinky is kind but dumb, while Brain is smart but evil.

Every episode starts with Pinky saying, “Gee, Brain, what do you want to do tonight?”, to which Brain says, “The same thing we do every night, Pinky—try to take over the world!”

Fortunately, Brain’s evil plans are always messed up by Pinky’s idiocy.

Why it’s amazing:

Many might not know this, but Pinky and the Brain is a collaboration between the Academy Award-winning director Steven Spielberg and Warner Bros. Animation.

Now you have a reason to dig up old episodes of Pinky and the Brain even if you hate cartoons—it’s produced by one of the most sought after directors in Hollywood!

5. Scooby Doo, Where Are You! (1969–1972)

The gist:

Scooby is probably the most loved Great Dane ever. The show features four teenagers—Fred, Daphne, Velma and Shaggy—who solve mysteries and investigate supernatural activities. Every episode contains a penultimate scene in which the kids unmask the ghost-of-the-week to reveal a real person in a costume.

advertisement

On March 10, 2014, Cartoon Network announced a new Scooby-Doo animated series titled Be cool, Scooby-Doo! The redesigned cast, however, takes away the nostalgic feel that we look for.

Why it’s amazing:

Shaggy and Scooby still freak out when they see a “monster” even though all 5487329384 “monsters” they saw in the past were just people in costumes. Is there a greater message that we can induce form the show?

Maybe it is this: What we should really fear are humans.

6. Hey Arnold (1996–2004)

The gist:

The show features Arnold, a boy living with his grandparents in the fictional city of Hillwood. Most episodes involve Arnold helping out a friend or facing his own problems.

Many would remember Helga as the obnoxious bully that constantly makes life difficult for Arnold. Viewers eventually came to realise that Helga only pretends to dislike Arnold to hide the fact that she has been profoundly in love with him for years.

Why it’s amazing:

Many of us have been a “Helga” at one point in time—we find ourselves deeply in love with someone, but never had the courage to say it. There is a strange sense of comfort in seeing that we are not alone.

7. Catdog (1998–2005)

The gist:

The series features a pair of conjoined brothers: a cat and a dog. As if that is not insane enough, the pair has hugely different interests: Dog loves rock n’ roll while Cat loves opera and classical polka. Dog loves chasing garbage trucks while Cat loves reading.

Why it’s amazing:

Most of us weren’t able to appreciate the message behind the show when we were kids. When you re-watch it, however, you can’t help but be moved by how Cat and Dog manage to love each other and get along, despite being so different. Their relationship is beautiful.

8. Cow and Chicken (1995–2004)

The gist:

The series follows the adventures of a cow named Cow and her chicken brother named Chicken. On screen, only the legs and waists of their seemingly human parents are shown.

Cow and chicken are often antagonised by “The Red Guy” (a.k.a. The Devil), who poses as various characters to scam them.

Why it’s amazing:

The whimsical, quirky storylines are enchanting.

In a banned episode, “No Smoking“, the cartoon ‘camera’ accidentally zooms out too far and shows Mom and Dad cut off at the waist. In another episode, “Cow and Chicken Reclining, the siblings rummage through a closet, throwing out random objects. While doing that, two upper human bodies which are rumored to be the bodies of Mom and Dad are shown as part of a discarded science project by Cow.

9. Courage the Cowardly Dog (1999–2002)

The gist:

Courage is an easily frightened dog who lives in a farmhouse with Muriel, a loving old woman, and Eustace, a grumpy old man. The three of them often encounter monsters, aliens, demons and other supernatural characters that Courage must fend off to protect his owners. Courage has a famous line: “The things I do for love.”

Why it’s amazing:

The title of the show itself brings inspiration: courage is not the absence of fear, but the ability to understand that something else is more important than fear. For our hero Courage, that “thing” that is more important is his love for Muriel and Eustace.

10. Dexter’s Laboratory (1996–2003)

The gist:

The series features Dexter, a genius boy who manages to secretly build a gigantic laboratory at home without the knowledge of his parents. The secret laboratory is filled with Dexter’s marvellous inventions. Dee Dee, the sister, constantly breaks into the laboratory and wreaks havoc in there.

Why it’s amazing:

Because it features an obnoxious sister, and many of us can relate to that.

Also, since its debut, Dexter’s Laboratory has been one of Cartoon Network’s most successful original series. Internationally, the series garnered a special mention for best script at the 1997 Cartoons on the Bay animation festival in Italy.


How many of these shows did you love?

On one hand, it would be exhilarating to have these cartoons make a comeback. On the other hand, we all know that no reboot will ever be able to recapture the sentiments we originally got out of the shows.

Maybe some things are meant to be treasured and stowed away safely in the corners of our minds.

Do you miss these cartoons too? What other cartoons do you miss? Let us know in the comments!

Featured image from Variety