Between 1989 and 1999 there were a number of great cartoons broadcast. The Simpsons debuted two weeks before the start of the decade and became the mainstream Bartmaniac success we know now. But other animations claimed just as healthy viewing figures and accolades.
In fact, some of the best animations for young grown-ups were produced in the 1990s including South Park, Family Guy and Beavis and Butt-head. These winners also broke the mold of what we were used to watching in an animation. Clean and child-friendly fun was a thing of the past.
True, the majority of animations were levelled at the children of the time; those born around 1982 and a little before. If you’re one of them you’re bound to remember spending hours watching the likes of Rugrats, Rocko's Modern Life and Animaniacs.
It was also a decade of great Saturday morning television. For example, Toon Disney Summer Sundays hosted by Sage Galesi and Beau Wirick. It was by this route that one or two of the classics (still showing today) were introduced to the world.
We’ve put together 25 of the best cartoons from the 1990s for our little test. Read about your animated favorites, select an answer and we’ll tell you which celebrity is your soulmate.
Futurama: which character are you?
Primetime cartoon Futurama created by Matt Groening (The Simpsons) follows the futuristic adventures of Fry, a straight-shooting pizza boy from the late 1990s. After being frozen for 1,000 years Fry reemerges in 31st Century New New York and tries to make a life for himself with the help of his oddball friends. You know that rest, but to which character can you best relate?
SpongeBob SquarePants: where would you live?
Created by marine biologist and animator Stephen Hillenburg, SpongeBob SquarePants chronicles the events that take place in the populated underwater city of Bikini Bottom. Bikini Bottom is found somewhere in the vicinity of Bikini Atoll (where the Americans test-detonated their nukes). Given the choice, where would you choose to spend your days?
King of the Hill: what’s the first thing you do in the morning?
King of the Hill was Fox’s longest-running series and for a while used to hold the odd title of "second longest running animated sitcom in history". Created by Greg Daniels and Mike Judge, it focuses on a middle-class American family called the Hills. Its strength was extracting humor from the mundanity of life. Don’t spend too long on this question… we don’t want you getting bored.
Courage the Cowardly Dog: what sort of dog are you?
Never mind the name, “Courage” is an easily scared pink-coloured dog who tries to fend off spirits and ghouls before they can harm his owners Muriel and Eustace. This is an animated horror comedy which uses lots of mainstream horror film techniques, making it scarier than most. For the purposes of the test we’d like to know what type of dog you are.
The Simpsons: which is your favorite one-liner?
It’s the most famous and longest-running animation ever. Even if you haven’t seen it you’d probably still be able to sketch the character of Bart Simpson. The Simpsons depicts a working class family living in an unassuming town and the efforts of Mom and Dad, Marge and Homer, to bring up their three children. What’s your favorite phrase from the show?
Bonkers: who is your favorite character?
This animation didn’t last that long (September 1993 – February 1994) so you may not remember it but we’re going to ninja kick your head until it comes back to you. The series followed Bonkers D. Bobcat a popular cartoon cat who gives up show business to become a cop. He is taken on by Detective Lucky Piquel an angry human who hates toons. We want to know who your favorite character is.
The Powerpuff Girls: what color best describes you?
American superhero animation The Powerpuff Girls was created by animator Craig McCracken. It’s been nominated for six Emmy Awards, nine Annie Awards and a Kids' Choice Award. We join the adventures of three young girls with superpowers: Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup. Each dresses in bright colors so we’d like to know what color best describes you? (Nice segue, don’t you think?)
The Critic: what’s your meanest quality?
The Critic was first broadcast on ABC in 1994 and the network ran 23 episodes. It is an animated series centering on the life of downtrodden film critic Jay Sherman. Created by Al Jean and Mike Reiss it was said to have been intended as a “love letter to New York” (PopMatters, 2004). Sherman is “cold, mean-spirited, and elitist" and in the spirit of the quiz we want to know what your worst trait is.
Doug: what’s your biggest fear?
Jim Jinkins created the animated series Doug. It follows 11-year-old Doug as he begins a new school in his home town of Bluffington. The animation was 52-episodes old when Disney acquired the series and rebranded it in 1996 as the Brand Spanking New! Doug. Doug tries his best to deal with the everyday fears of his age and in sympathy we want to know what your biggest fear is?
Daria: pick the best one-liner.
Created by Glenn Eichler and Susie Lynn, Daria turned out to be one of MTV’s most popular productions. It was also critically acclaimed… the New York Times wrote of it: "With this new series, Daria triumphantly gets the last laugh". Daria looks upon the world with disdain and comes out with awesome one-liners. We’d like to know which one is your favorite.
Freakazoid! Who is your favorite villain?
Previously just an average geeky 16-year-old, Dexter Douglas lived a normal life before all this happened. Now, whenever he says “freak out” he morphs into a zany and insane superhero called Freakazoid. His special powers? Super strength, endurance, speed and agility - all of which make him an ideal candidate to save the world from villains. Oh, and talking of villains, who’s your favorite from the show?
Darkwing Duck: what is your favorite catchphrase?
Crime–comedy animation Darkwing Duck ran from 1991 until 1992 on American network ABC. A parody of The Shadow (a superhero from 1994 Universal Pictures) it depicts Darkwing as alter ego Drake Mallard who lives in an unassuming suburban house with his adopted daughter Gosalyn. We want to know which one of the characters from this show was your favorite?
Tiny Toon Adventures: Which Loony Toon character are you?
Tiny Toon Adventures was all about a group of young cartoon characters growing up and hoping to become the next generation of Looney Tunes characters. We had Buster Bunny (the young version of Bugs), Hamton J. Pig, Fifi La Fume, Plucky Duck and so on. We’d like to know which original Loony Toon character best describes you right now.
The Ren & Stimpy Show: what’s the grossest thing from the show?
Created by John Kricfalusi for Nickelodeon it first aired in 1991. It centers on the adventures of Ren - a disturbed Chihuahua - and Stimpy, a silly but well-meaning cat. Social justice warriors railed at it; they saw the content as negatively impacting children. It may have been messy in places but it was awesome too. What’s the grossest thing you remember Ren doing in the show?
Cow and Chicken: what would you order?
Another eccentric cartoon that was in no way age-appropriate, Cow and Chicken was created by animator David Feiss and featured misfit siblings Cow (dim, naïve) and Chicken (cynical, straight-shooting). The injuries and self-mutilations got ever more extreme as the show went on. A big part of the lives of Cow and Chicken was food. You know what’s coming, don’t you…?
2 Stupid Dogs: what is your favorite food?
2 Stupid Dogs was produced by none other than Hanna-Barbera Cartoons (Top Cat, The Flintstones, The Smurfs, etc.) but wasn’t as successful as some of the company’s other ventures. The animation was broadcast from 1993 until 1995 and features friends “Big Dog” and “Little Dog”. Big Dog has a tendency to obsess about food so naturally we’d like to know what your favorite food is.
The Angry Beavers: define your ideal date.
The Angry Beavers follows two bachelor beavers (Dag and Norb) on their adventures after they leave home. Dag is manic, Norb is more laidback. The sibling relationship is very love-hate leaving them with very little energy to look for lady beavers. Which prompts us to ask, what type of date would you most enjoy?
Sonic the Hedgehog: which Freedom Fighter are you?
Based on the video game series of the same name, Sonic the Hedgehog animation ran for two seasons between 1992 and 1993. It featured the voices of Jaleel White, Charlie Adler and Christine Cavanaugh. The story follows Sonic and Princess Sally who lead Freedom Fighters against Mobius. If you were a Freedom Fighter, what would you call yourself?
Hey Arnold!: which character would you be?
Hey Arnold! ran from 1996 until 2004 (or 5 seasons and 100 episodes). It centers on a character called Arnold who lives in an inner city and encounters big city problems with a sense of humor and a bunch of friends. If you remember Hey Arnold! which character would best match your own?
Johnny Bravo: which is your favorite catchphrase?
Created by animator Van Partible Johnny Bravo follows the misadventures of an eponymous hubristic jock. Bravo is convinced of his pulling power when it comes to finding a date but more often than not ends up ruining his chances or being wronged in some way by the woman. And if his over-confident style wasn’t laughable enough he lives with his mum. He did however come up with some catchphrases…
Space Ghost Coast to Coast: what’s your favorite talk show?
Using the character Space Ghost from the 1960s Hanna-Barbera cartoon Mike Lazzo brought this adult animation to the attention of fans in 1994. It ran for 11 seasons comprising 110 episodes in total. Space Ghost is the host of a fictional primetime talk show and he is joined by the quirky Zorak and his band “The Original Way-Outs”. Tell us what your favorite talk show is.
Rugrats: what is your favourite Chuckie catchphrase?
Created by Arlene Klasky, Gábor Csupó and Paul Germain Rugrats was broadcast between 1991 and 1994. The cartoon was about a child’s ability to make problems and adventures from things seemingly mundane to adults. It follows a group of toddlers - Tommy, Chuckie, Angelica, and twins Phil and Lil. We know Chuckie has a lot of catchphrases but we want to know which your favourite is.
Dexter's Laboratory: name your favourite invention.
Dexter’s Lab first ran between 1996 and 1998 and then again between 2001 and 2003. It received widespread acclaim, won awards and became one of Cartoon Network's most popular and successful original series; all this of a story centering on a slightly anti-social (and, some say, autistic) boy-genius who spends his time inventing robots and time-machines. You know how this works…
Animaniacs: name your favourite catchphrase.
With a total of 99 episodes and a film Animaniacs was the second most popular animation of its day. It was first aired in 1993, stopped in 1995 and continued by Warner Bros. until 1998. It also won countless awards, which isn’t surprising when we learn that it was partly produced by Stephen Spielberg’s Amblin entertainment in collaboration with Warner Brothers. A variety and sketch show combined, the show is full of catchphrases. Which one is your favourite?
Beavis and Butt-Head: what is your favourite type of music?
With every episode of Beavis and Butt-Head viewers were given a glimpse into the murky world of two teenage delinquents. The show ran from 1993 until 1997 and amassed a granary of criticisms and censorship. But the animation was also praised for its crusade against the social downturn of the time. The boys loved heavy metal… but do you? And will your soulmate celeb? Here comes the clincher…