We didn’t have social media growing up, so my main distractions were books and TV. At the time, my channel of choice was Cartoon Network. This was before Nickelodeon arrived, when Cartoon Network would end at 9pm with a fun exit sequence that ended with a bang. At 9pm, which also signaled my bedtime, the channel gave way to old black-and-white movies. And even when Nickelodeon arrived with Legends of the Hidden Temple and Global Guts, I would still flip back to Cartoon Network to watch my childhood favorites.
Below are 12 Cartoon Network shows I miss:
1. Cow and Chicken
Thinking about it now, Cow and Chicken was a strange show. It followed Cow and Chicken, siblings who are… a cow and a chicken. Their (human) parents are only seen from the waist down, and I remember seeing an episode showing that that’s what they are. There’s nothing up there. There’s also the Red Guy, a recurring half-naked character… who’s naked from the waist down.
2. Captain Planet and the Planeteers
Captain Planet is a silver-skinned green hair environmentalist superhero who battled pollution. The Planeteers are five kids from around the world who are given rings that control an element (and in Ma-Ti’s case, heart), and can summon Captain Planet and fight natural and man-made disasters. The theme was way over my head when I was a kid, but I bet it would be great if they did reruns of the show. I’m also excited for the upcoming film adaptation, set in the future where Captain Planet is a washed-up superhero.
3. Johnny Bravo
Johnny Bravo is an obnoxious yet lovable guy who believes he’s the hottest thing in town. He shamelessly flirts with everyone to varying degrees of success. Despite his macho exterior, he’s afraid of his mother Bunny. If he sounds like a Filipino guy, it’s no surprise because the Johnny Bravo creator is a Fil-Am.
4. Dexter’s Laboratory
One of my favorite Cartoon Network shows is Dexter’s Laboratory, about a boy genius and inventor who keeps a large laboratory in his house. His parents are blissfully unaware of its existence, but his sister Dee Dee foils him by distracting him from his experiments. Dexter also battles Mandark, a fellow boy genius.
I grew up playing the first few generations of Pokémon Gameboy games, and even watched the first version of the anime. The show followed Ash Ketchum, an aspiring Pokémon Master who must “catch ’em all” and defeat all the gym leaders. Now there are so many Pokémons that it’s hard to keep up. I stopped playing after the Sapphire version.
6. Batman: The Animated Series
The Batman Animated Series on Cartoon Network is one of my favorites in the franchise. It’s geared towards kids, but it stays true to its dark source material. The Joker is especially creepy, and this is where Harley Quinn made her first appearance! The show only ran for three years, but the show managed to include many of the Caped Crusader’s villains, including Two-Face, the Penguin, Catwoman, the Riddler, Poison Ivy, Bane, and Ra’s al Ghul.
7. Scooby Doo, Where Are You!
Before I could appreciate Batman: The Animated Series, I watched Scooby Doo, Where Are You!, which followed a group of teenagers solving crimes with their Great Dane Scooby Doo. I followed the franchise into adulthood, when Hollywood produced the Scooby-Doo movie in 2002. It’s one of the movies that had a perfect cast: Freddie Prinze Jr. as Fred, Sarah Michelle Gellar as Daphne, Linda Cardellini as Velma, and Matthew Lillard as the stoner Shaggy.
8. I Am Weasel
I Am Weasel is another one of Cartoon Network’s unusual shows. I.M. Weasel is a well-bred, intelligent, talented, and much-loved weasel (with human girlfriends), whose rival I.R. Baboon continously tries to upstage him even though he is not as intelligent. It’s funny and entertaining seeing a weasel invent so many things and successfully woo women, and I bet it’ll be fun to watch this when you’re drunk.
9. The Powerpuff Girls
Okay, I have to admit, there was a phase where I watched The Powerpuff Girls on Cartoon Network. A scientist accidentally creates three little girls with superpowers, and each girl has her own personality. There was the leader Blossom, the tough chick Buttercup, and the sweet Bubbles, and they fought different kinds of villains like the Rowdyruff Boys (their male versions) and the creepy Him. I used to like Blossom because of her leadership skills, but I now appreciate Buttercup for not taking anyone’s shit.
The show still airs on Cartoon Network, and will partner with new show We Bare Bears for back-to-back episodes this November. Each week will focus on a duo from both shows: Grizzly and Blossom on the week of November 7, Panda and Bubbles on the week of November 14, and Ice and Buttercup on the week of November 21.
10. The Addams Family
Another favorite show on the channel was The Addams Family, which told the story of a creepy, kooky, mysterious, and spooky family living in the normal world. It’s not as terrifying as the films, but it was entertaining to see how the family lived in an ordinary neighborhood with everyday neighbors. Of course, Morticia and Wednesday Addams were my favorites.
11. Courage the Cowardly Dog
In a similar vein to The Addams Family, I also enjoyed Courage the Cowardly Dog, about a scaredy-cat dog ironically named Courage. It’s more frightening than The Addams Family because the creators of Courage didn’t hold back in the monsters and aliens department. The fact that he lives with an elderly couple in the middle of nowhere is creepy enough, and reminds me of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
12. Wacky Races
How can you not fall in love with Muttley’s snicker? Wacky Races was a racing themed show where 23 people and animals in 11 race cars zoomed to get the title of World’s Wackiest Racer. Each racer had his or her own thing: Dick Dastardly had weapons and traps in his car, while Penelope Pitstop had beauty supplies and often stopped to maintain her appearance. Muttley was Dastardly’s henchman and didn’t do anything but snicker, but he’s the popular character in the show.
Of course, Cartoon Network is still alive and producing awesome shows like Adventure Time, Ben 10, and We Bare Bears. Globe has partnered with Turner to develop the Cartoon Network Watch and Play app, which lets kids (and even you) livestream Cartoon Network shows on-demand. Globe subscribers can enjoy the app for free for 30 days, but you can enjoy the features using a data wallet system available via your subscription plan.
You can also download the Cartoon Network Anything app, which lets you watch Cartoon Network shows while playing games.