Batman The Animated Series
Quite possibly the most notable version of Batman characters, Batman The Animated Series changed the way superhero cartoons are portrayed. Created by Bruce Timm and Eric Radomski, this cartoon took on darker, more adult themes and was one of the first cartoons to realistically display violence and the use of guns. One of the most important things to note about the series is its creation of Harley Quinn, a character that became so widely popular that DC Comics included her into the mainstream Batman comics.
Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego?
Based on the popular computer games, this cartoon follows the titular character, Carmen Sandiego, a world renowned thief, as she travels across the globe stealing precious artefacts and leaving clever clues behind for two of ACME’s best detectives, Zach and Ivy. The appeal of this cartoon series is the fact that Carmen isn’t really your typical thief. She doesn’t steal for the money, she steals for the glory of being the world’s greatest thief by challenging the best detectives into catching her. What I loved about this cartoon is that it encouraged me to think differently in order to figure out the clues as well as provided me with important worldly facts that helped me become an ace at trivia quizzes. Did you know that the largest reptile is known as the Komodo Dragon and hails from Indonesia?
The Real Adventures of Johnny Quest
Broadcast during the early days of the Internet and cyberspace, The Real Adventures of Johnny Quest is a modernised version of its 1960s counterpart and is predominantly based around the Quest family and their work in solving strange mysteries through the use of advanced science and technology. My love for the cartoon stems from my enjoyment of a good mystery and the adventures that the Quest kids went on around the world eventually led to my passion for travel. Plus, it was very cool to see an Indian boy play an important role and be accepted into an all American family.
If you grew up spending your afternoons and Saturday mornings with the Disney channel, then you would have likely come across Gargoyles. With a dark tone and Shakespearean themes, Gargoyles is categorised as action/adventure, mystery and urban fantasy. Much like superhero cartoons, the main plot involved a group of medieval gargoyles cursed to live out their lives only at night whilst turning to stone at dawn. Having been moved to New York, these gargoyles take it upon themselves to fight crime in secret upon a chance encounter with New York cop, Eliza. Of course, the cartoon isn’t all about modern day crime fighting. A lot of the cartoon includes flashbacks into the gargoyles’ life centuries ago where they roamed freely and battled other powerful mythical beings through what could only be medieval Europe.
Captain Planet and the Planeteers
A cartoon about saving the environment would usually put most people off but Captain Planet and the Planeteers was one cartoon that managed to appeal to kids through the notion of fighting environmental crime. Essentially, the good guys were given a ring each by Mother Nature that allows them to control the elements, that is, earth, fire, wind, water and…well the last one isn’t an element but an important essence of mankind, heart. When combined, these elements create the eco-friendly superhero, Captain Planet, who protects the Earth by stopping evil polluters from harming the planet. Doesn’t sound like too much fun but as a kid you tend not to realise what the cartoon is really about. And, hey, the opening song is really catchy.