A Bygone Era of Amazing Shows (1993 – 2002) – 10 Old Cartoon Network Shows

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Updated on: Educator Review By: Michelle Connolly

Teen Titans Go! and The Amazing World of Gumball are great shows that give Cartoon Network an utterly new suit, along with other shows. Yet, Cartoon Network goes way back in time; it was founded in 1992 and maybe even older than you have been around. Thus, many great shows are no longer here, and others have been renewed and stayed in action. 

90s kids will probably feel nostalgic upon reading this article. It displays exciting shows that remind them of great times during their childhood. However, we find it exciting to walk you through this list and get acquainted with them. Who knows? You may find a show or two that pique your interest and give you a glimpse into how childhood in the 90s had been.

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1. The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy (2001)

Over a decade ago, Cartoon Network used to play one of the funniest yet silliest shows ever, The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy. It features a pair of opposite characters, with the girl being bossy, Mandy, and the boy being a dimwit, Billy. The two youngsters get into a contest where they win against the Grim reaper, getting him to be their friend. 

Despite refusing to befriend them at first, the Grim Reaper enjoys his adventures with Billy and Mandy. They encounter all sorts of troubles that they manage to get out of with the help of their friend, Grim. The pair also run into spirits from the other world, yet they’re fearless with daring souls. Although the show has some dark humour, it is still witty and enjoyable for young children.

2. Courage the Cowardly Dog (1999)

One of the great things Cartoon Network ever did was offer 90s babies a horror show with a comic twist. That’sThat’s Courage the Cowardly Dog, a pink-coloured dog with unprecedented loyalty and unusual dread of almost everything. Although the display was deemed horror and funny all at once, re-watching the episodes reveals this dog’sdog’s severe anxiety and paranoia. 

He only had one job: protecting his owners and keeping them safe at all times, especially from paranormal elements that only he could see. Watching the dog screaming in pain and dreading what may go wrong was fun, yet his owners walked around in peace, unaware of what was happening behind the curtains. Cartoon Network cancelled the show for some mysterious reason, especially after some complained of its being traumatising for children at the time.

3. Johnny Bravo (1997)

Johnny Bravo was one of the many cartoons produced by Cartoon Network in the late 90s, yet it was one of the most popular around America. The show gained massive popularity in a short time, becoming one of the iconic animations even today. It features a muscular guy with big blonde hair and a tight black t-shirt. They say Elvis Presley inspired this character, especially the hair and black sunglasses. 

Johnny is a narcissist who thinks all women want him. Although he has a big heart, he keeps failing at dating a girl because of his silly actions. He may have big hair, but his brain doesn’t match the size; thus, he keeps getting himself in trouble and multiple embarrassing situations. Johnny Bravo was a Cartoon Network show that the whole family could enjoy. 

4. 2 Stupid Dogs (1993)

2 Stupid Dogs was among the Cartoon Network shows that didn’t last for too long. The show catered to little children, featuring two dogs of different breeds committing silly and supposedly funny acts. The large dog was an Old English Sheepdog with lush grey fur, a giant purple nose, and doggy bangs covering his eyes. However, the little dog was a hyperactive yellowish-orange Dachshund. 

Although these breeds aren’t unintelligent in real life, portraying them as such was essential for adding a comic sense to the show. It was cancelled after two seasons, for it was among the Cartoon Network shows with relatively low ratings. Thus, you won’t find more than 37 episodes.

5. Cow and Chicken (1997)

Cow and Chicken was one of the most absurd shows that Cartoon Network ever produced. You may at first think it’s only targeting young children, given its extreme weirdness, but then you’ll realise that it’s even bizarre for them. Not in a wrong or inappropriate way, though. It was one of Cartoon Network’s comedy shows, lasting three seasons upon its first release in 1997. 

The show follows the story of two animals, a brother and sister, of different types, a cow and a chicken. They also go by Cow and Chicken; the cow is the little sister, and the chicken is an 11-year-old male. They were supposedly the offspring of two human parents, whom we never get to see anything but their legs. 

To make matters even more unconventional, the two animals face problems at “school,” yes, they do go to school, and their worst enemy is the Red Guy, a devil in disguise. The show is intended to be as surreal as possible to offer great laughter for children and adults alike. Sadly, it’s one Cartoon Network show that didn’t last long. 

6. Samurai Jack (2001)

Samurai Jack is one of the Cartoon Network classics that lasted longer than most original shows. It conveyed a more profound story that also made it appealing to adults. The show aired on Cartoon Network in 2001, and its finale took place in 2017, so it survived for quite a long time, entertaining most of the 90s babies growing up. 

The story of this show followed Jack, a young samurai who was an evil wizard sent to the future where life was no longer thriving, and the world was a substantial dystopian space. His nemesis was Aku, a shape-shifting wizard that took on different shapes and was responsible for destroying the world. Samurai Jack fights the wicked wizard and tries to find a portal to travel back in time and undo the destruction. 

This Cartoon Network series was deemed a bit deep for tackling topics like time travelling and a dystopian future. These were considered subjects that young children find hard to grasp, but they enjoyed the samurai’s exceptional martial abilities anyway. The last episode aired in 2017, offering a seemingly sad ending, where Jack finally finds the love of his life, but they come from different times.

7. Ed, Edd, n Eddy (1999)

Cartoon Network has blessed us for six seasons with this humorous show featuring three young boys trying to make it through adolescence. The series started in 1999, and the final episode dropped in 2008, announcing the end of an era for 90s kids who grew up watching this show. 

Although most 90s babies were no longer children during the final season, some were still attached to their childhood’s nostalgic shows. It’s yet another Cartoon Network show that featured characters with half-working brains but in a rather humorous way than demeaning. Even the characters’ names add a light comic sense to the whole show. 

The story narrates Ed, Edd, n Eddy’s adventures, trying to hustle their way through life. They spend their summers together, looking for jobs, trying to date their crushes, and building treehouses. Although the three characters are portrayed to be clueless about almost everything, Eddy remains the “idea guy”, leading his buddies through his schemes.

8. Codename: Kids Next Door (2002)

Codename: Kids Next Door was deemed the newest animated show in the Cartoon Network classics. It gained massive popularity among young adults and children, receiving six seasons. Besides, it was one of the few Cartoon Network shows made into a TV movie. The series ended in 2008, becoming one of those old shows of a bygone era. 

The show features five 10-year-old friends who work together hand in hand, having silly fights with adults. They have a secret treehouse that adults know nothing about, where they gather to plan their schemes against the tyranny of adults. Each kid has their own skills and abilities; they use any item they can put their hands on to develop weapons that deliver their plans to success. 

9. Dexter’s Laboratory (1996)

Dexter’s Laboratory, or Dexter’s Lab, is deemed the most famous old Cartoon Network shows. Although it received only five seasons, ending back in 2003, children from younger generations seem to be acquainted with the genius little guy. It was one of the most successful shows, with appealing bizarre science experiments mixed with light humour. 

The story follows Dexter, the young, intelligent boy with a knack for flashy inventions that save the world from several disasters. He has a secret laboratory where he carries all of his experiments, and his only nemesis is Mandark, another brilliant guy from another school. 

When Dexter isn’t occupied with his rival, he’s busy saving his experiments from his disastrous and hyperactive older sister, Dee Dee. Meanwhile, their parents have no idea about the secret identity of their child. They think he’s a little angel only occupied with his school studies.

10. The Powerpuff Girls (1998)

Sugar, Spice, and Everything Nice was how the three little powerful girls were born. The Powerpuff Girls is deemed the only Cartoon Network show still airing, receiving a fantastic CW reboot in 2020. 

However, the classic version of this series ended after only six seasons before it was renewed again with a completely different set of cast and crew. The Powerpuff Girls was the only Cartoon Network show with multiple movies featuring other stories.

The story revolves around three little yet mighty girls accidentally born during an experiment that Professor Utonium created in his laboratory. Although he was obsessed with science, he had no idea these three perfect girls would come into being. They were kindergarten-aged girls, yet they were responsible for saving the city from stupid criminals, mad scientists, and alien-like creatures. 

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Although all of these shows are something of Cartoon Network’s past, thanks to the internet today that gave us access to everything we want and need. Thus, we recommend you pick up one of those fascinating series and give it a run.

Why not subscribe to our LearningMole Library for as little as £1.99 per month to access over 2100 fun educational videos.

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