In a world dominated by reality #Television and cringe-worthy children's entertainment, here are some of the greatest animated series from the past that are still relevant even by today's standards. Batman The Animated Series (1992-1995) was mature even by modern standards. Created by the genius minds of Bruce Timm and Adam Rodomski, Batman was a short-lived, four season romp through Gotham City all under the watchful eye of our titular hero Batman. Voiced to perfection by veteran actor Kevin Conroy as the lead role, Batman the Animated Series provided fans with an art deco style and scripted sophistication that garnered the show 4 emmy's at a time when cartoons were ignored by award shows. A show truly worthy of Bob Kane's legacy, Batman set the benchmark for all comic book adaptations, a pretty strong legacy considering the series was cut short to only 85 episodes in total.
Another in the line of comic book-inspired animated series, X-Men was a true classic in every sense of the word. Beginning with its legendary pilot episode "Night of the Sentinals," this brainchild by Marvel Comics created some of the most memorable moments in the X-Men cannon. With a lineup of super heroes that included Wolverine, Storm, Cyclops, and Gambit, the adventures of the X-Men were a step forward in bringing a serious tone to the childlike atmosphere that had pervaded Marvel at the time, especially with the 1980's flop of the Spiderman and his Amazing Friends cartoon.
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1983-)
Who could mention great cartoons without thinking about the original TMNT animated series that ran for 9 straight seasons on CBS from 1987 until 1994. Originally a one-off black and white comic book created by Peter Laird and Kevin Eastman, TMNT spawned a franchise that led to three animated series, films, action figure lines, and video games that have appeared on every console up until this current generation of systems. TMNT was fantastic in every sense of the word, as viewers across the globe were invited to share weekly adventures of four turtles named after Italian Renaissance painters tearing through the sewers of Manhattan in search of their arch nemesis Shredder. This franchise single-handedly became an entity of its own overnight, something that other cartoons have failed to achieve in recent years. Plus, no one can ever forget one of the greatest beat em up arcade games that the TMNT franchise ever produced: TMNT Turtles in Time.
Based on the ingenious writing and illustrating of the legendary Carl Barks, Ducktales was a benchmark in Disney's foray into day time television. With a meager 4 season run that saw Scrooge McDuck and his three nephews Huey, Dewy, and Lewy, go from their hometown of Duckberg to the jungles of the Amazon, Ducktales became the forerunner for all the great Disney cartoons that followed like Chip n' Dale, Rescue Rangers, Darkwing Duck, and even Talespin. More historical adventure then mindless children's television, Bark's created a cast of characters whose adventures were boundless and whose limits of imagination were as expansive as Duckberg itself.
The pinnacle of 80's high fantasy, Thundercats became a household name overnight with its cat-like humanoid heroes seeking adventure across the different lands of Middle Earth in a setting devoid of classification. Part futuristic, part sword and sorcery, Ted Wolf and his team of animators from Japan created a memorable show for any lover of high fantasy. Liono and his band of Thundera exiles formed a bond in their struggle to survive in their new homes as they're constantly being hounded by their mutant antagonists, and, most importantly, third earth's malevolent caretaker Mummra. From toys to t-shirts, and dvd releases, Thundercats continues to live on in the hearts and minds of all its devoted fans who can never forget its catchy theme song.