Movie Reviews

10 Saturday Morning Cartoons Of The '90s You Completely Forgot Existed

A perfect weekend start for kids in the ’90s was curling up in front of the television to watch Disney’s One Saturday Morning from 8:00am – 1:00pm, complete with bunny slippers and a bowl of cereal. The iconic morning programming block would feature such cartoons as Recess, The Mighty Ducks and Gargoyles.

​​​A concept that came to prominence in the 1960s and ’70s with musician-inspired shows such as The Beatles and The Jackson 5, Saturday morning cartoons began to faze out within a few years following Y2K. While some cartoons have both obtained and maintained legacies, others have been forgotten by their now adult audience.

In the eclectic lineup of shows featured on Disney’s One Saturday Morning, Pepper Ann is perhaps the most forgotten. The late ’90s cartoon centered on a quirky redhead named Pepper Ann and the trials and tribulations of navigating middle school.

Adapted from a comic book strip of the iconic teen magazine YM, Pepper Ann was both annoying and admirable in her awkwardness, staying true to herself. While “PA” may have been forgotten, she proved to be influential for later cartoons, as head animator Tom Warburton replicated the style for Cartoon Network’s Codename: Kids Next Door.

One of the most prominent cartoons in the 1980s was Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, revolving around a quartet of anthropomorphic vigilante turtles. Unfortunately, a ’90s attempt at aquatic heroes didn’t have as meteoric of a success, which is Street Sharks. The 1994 Saturday morning cartoon centered on a group of four man/shark hybrid crime fighters.

Having been accused of being a TMNT rip-off, parody would bring about prosperity for Street Sharks with Mattel action figures. A pre-Fast & Furious Vin Diesel can be seen playing with the toys in a promo ad for the 1994 Toy Fair.

Known for being one of the best witch shows, Sabrina The Teenage Witch has become a staple of late ’90s and early 2000s teen television. Adapted from her appearances in Archie Comics, it was only natural for Sabrina Spellman to also receive an animated series that would air on One Saturday Morning.

Acting as a spin-off and prequel to the original series, the animated show has Sabrina as a twelve-year-old in middle school. As the main show is still so popular in 2022, it is surprising how its animated counterpart was forgotten.

Before hosting the game show Deal or No Deal with the mysterious Banker, Howie Mandel segued into children’s television with Bobby’s World in 1998. The comedian both created and voiced the titular character Bobby Generic, a spunky four-year-old little boy, with audiences seeing the world through the eyes of his illustrious imagination.

Airing for eight seasons on Fox Kids Saturday morning, the show also dealt with regular childhood occurrences, such as moving to a new place and being grounded for misbehaving. A charming series like Bobby’s World being forgotten by the masses is quite a shame.

Known for singing The Lion King’s “Hakuna Matata”, Timon and Pumbaa were the focus of their own show in the mid-90s. Running for four seasons on Saturdays, the show followed the quirky meerkat and the goofy warthog on their fun-filled adventures in a carefree lifestyle.

Specializing in slapstick humor while following the prequel The Lion King: 11/2, this buddy comedy was filled with Easter eggs from The Lion King. Although the cartoon series is forgotten, “Hakuna Matata” has become a mantra of both millennial and pop culture.

An animated adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s 1894 children’s book of the same title The Jungle Book is one of Disney’s best animated movies. Before being remade into an award-winning and critically acclaimed 2016 live-action/CGI hybrid film, the original movie received an animated spin-off series called Jungle Cubs.

Airing on One Saturday Morning from 1996-1998, the show acted as a prequel that saw younger versions of the animal characters long before encountering the orphan boy Mowgli. Considering other babified shows like Muppet Babies and Baby Looney Tunes, it’s easy to see why Jungle Cubs became forgettable.

Seeking real-life inspirations from Alyssa Milano and Divine, The Little Mermaid is a standout masterpiece from the Disney Renaissance. Adapted from Hans Christian Anderson’s 1837 Danish fairytale, the 1989 film was so successful that it resulted in a 1992 animated series.

Airing until 1994, the show followed everybody’s favorite little mermaid Ariel on oceanside adventures with all of her aquatic friends. As there have been more successful adaptations of Disney’s version, including a Broadway musical and an upcoming live-action remake, it is easy to see how the animated series is now forgotten.

In addition to his incredible gifts of filmmaking, Steven Spielberg made his mark on the animation game with We’re Back: A Dinosaurs Story, Animaniacs, and Tiny Toon Adventures. However, one forgotten relic of his animated repertoire is that of 1995’s Freakazoid!

Inspired by the 1980s comic superhero The Tick, Freakazoid! parodied other popular heroic cartoon series such as Superman and Batman. In retrospect, the show was ahead of its time for its slapstick humor and vibrant animation styles, which would have benefited greatly from debuting to a later generation.

Long before hilarious adult humor films such as 2016’s Sausage Party, foods being anthropomorphized in such films as 1978’s Attack of The Killer Tomatoes. Having developed a large cult following, adapting the story to a younger audience seemed like a sound movie with a 1990s animated series of the same title.

Running for two seasons, the show serves as a direct sequel to the first film, showing the lives of both humans and food. Although an advanced concept, it is clearly one that has been forgotten by the masses.

A landmark film of the 1980s, the influence of John Hughes’ The Breakfast Club has surpassed the teen genre. The 1985 comedy classic inspired a late ’90s animated series entitled Detention.

Revolving around a group of middle schoolers who always landed in the dreaded detention after school, the show only lasted for a single thirteen-episode season, which ended in 2000. The premise and overall execution were fresh and timed with appropriate humor. Detention may be forgotten, but this does not mean that it’s too late to be remembered.

NEXT: The Best Castles In Animated Disney Films, According To Ranker

Back to top button