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My personal list of best cartoons, mostly based on my perceptions of character development and universe development. I give extra weight to creativity, complexity of universe, and humor type.
1. Daria - All around sublime character development and truthiness. Heaps of satire and sarcasm. Incredibly strong story arcs. Dealt with real issues in real ways. Does not sugarcoat anything.
2. Avatar: The Last Airbender - Amazing universe creation, development, and maintenance. Unique and clever. Strong character development. Characters "real" and address real issues.
3. Archer - One of the smartest shows on TV. Outrageously funny with smart jokes. Superbly postmodern humor (mix of high and low brow). Clever time-mixed universe. Characters developed well and are relatable. Everyone is wholly dysfunctional.
4 (tied). Futurama - Brilliant universe. Absurd without being stupid. Relatable characters who deal occasionally with deep stuff. Hidden math jokes.
4 (tied). Gravity Falls - Sublimely creative universe and premise. First season's story arc solid, with much forethought put into the story. Relatable characters with solid personalities. Many episodes carefully toe the line between deep and bubbly.
5. As Told By Ginger - Similar to Daria in many ways, but less sarcastic. Perhaps the most well developed characters out of any series. Tackles tough, real issues. Treats kids like the complex beings they are and does treats childhood like the hell it is (see this quote).
6. South Park - Satire at its finest.
7. 6Teen - Cute. Relatable characters that deal with some real issues.
Surprised that you don't have the Simpsons on it. With the funniest charactors who can switch to lovable and caring without being overbearing. For 20 years it has been the best animated comedy of all time. I don't get how you see Futurama as better than Simpsons, yes Bender is funny, but Simpsons has funny charactors from top to bottom. It's the most consistent show as apposed to South Park which can be the best or absolutly the unfunniest thing that you've ever seen.
2. Gravity Falls
4. South Park
5. Regular Show
7. Family Guy
My main cartoon confession is that Adventure Time is not good. Not even that, it sucks. Never before have I seen a show that is so mediocre be loved by so many people. It's quirky which can be fun to watch for some episodes, but it can't be seen as one of the best shows.
My top 10 and a half favorite cartoons (mostly ranked on humor and animation).
1. Gravity Falls: Currently the best show you can watch on Disney Channel. Loveabel characters, very funny quotes, great music and can sometimes make you jolt, Gravity Falls brings cartoons to a whole new level.
2. Regular Show: This show is a lot like Gravity Falls (even though it came first). Regular Show makes me laugh everytime I watch it. It involves things you never would think would happen. Main characters Mordecai and Rigby have GREAT chemistry together and they drive the show. The show keeps on getting better and better and I hope it stays that way.
3. TIE: Spongebob and Adventure Time:
Spongebob: Still a good show to watch when you have nothing to do, I respect that Nick still airs the older episodes and even some newer episodes can be fun to watch. The animation style has also incressed a lot which is a good thing.
Adventure Time: This show has to be the cartoon of are generation, it premired at a time where cartoon shows were getting cancelled/hateful reviews. Adventure Time is and has always been a great series. Though not as funny as Regular Show or not as easy to watch as Spongebob, its still very fun and has some great characters.
4. The Simpsons: Though this show is starting to have some fans turn back, its still really great to watch. If you dislike Family Guy's raunchy style, Simpsons still has (mostly) good ol' fashion humor (doesn't go overboard). Though like Spongebob, older episodes can be more fun to watch then newer episodes, still, its a legacy that bought a whole new meaning to cartoons.
5. Phineas And Ferb: its still good to watch, Phineas and Ferb lost its style a couple seasons back but its starting to actually become good again! Its fun to watch as the episode has likeable characters and can inspire kids to invent.
6. Arthur: This has to be the best children-adults show airing on TV. Its something everyone of all ages can enjoy. Like Simpsons, it leaves a legacy and it reflects on daily problems or tragics but in a more nicer way. Arthur is a nice show to watch if you don't like all the crude humor in other cartoons.
7. T.U.F.F Puppy: This has to be the best new Nick show. I find it highly underrated, the characters are funny, its a great spin on "Get Smart" and has humorus villains (like Simpsons or Phineas and Ferb). Not only to that but its also made by the guy who created Fairy OddParents and Danny Phantom.
8. Family Guy: Famly Guy is not for everyone. Like shows like South Park or Robot Chicken, it has humor some people might find crude/sexist/racisit. If you can get past that, its truely funny. Bringing us unpredictiable characters (talking baby, human like dog), it can be really funny to watch.
9. Futurama: Though the show is on its finale season, its came a long way since its premired. The show (which has lots of Simpsons staff) takes place in a distiant future. The characters can be kind and mean, but they are all funny. Some episodes can be touching other ones can make you laugh so hard your bolts will come out!
10. Kick Buttowski: This show is the only reason I watch Disney XD. Kick Buttowski is not like the other shows with their strange/unique characters/settings. Kick Buttowski can actually be related to, the main characters are very human like, and Kick (though he sometimes makes wrong choices) fights for what he wants. Its nice to watch when nothing else is on.
Honorable mentions: Rugrats, Dexter Labs, Chowder, Fairy Odd Parents, Fosters Home For Imaganiary Friends.
I'm not really one to watch cartoons. Most cartoons really get on my nerves due to unrealism, especially Phineas and Ferb. Actually, I'm more of a cartoon hater. I have great dislike for Adventure Time, Spongebob, and just Nickelodien and Cartoon Network in general. But I bet you boys feel the same way about Disney Channel.
I'm including shows deemed to be anime in with this though it says cartoons. I'm just picking favourite animated shows in general. I'm also going to categorize these shows into two lists: shows that are still on the air and shows that aren't. I feel weird comparing shows that have finished completely against shows that aren't done yet. Maybe that's because we have yet to see the entire output for shows still on the air, so our view doesn't cover everything shown, whereas we can judge series that are done as a whole because they are complete, but that's just me. I can understand that some people think that some shows' incomplete outputs are better than other completed shows entirely, and that's fine. I'm pretty sure that I feel the same way in some regard. But I don't want to pit these shows against each other like that.
Shows still on the air (no particular order):
Gravity Falls (Ok, this probably would be first if I was ordering them)
The Venture Bros.
Rick and Morty
Star vs. The Forces of Evil
The Simpsons (I will admit I don't really watch the newer episodes, but I think you'd be hard-pressed to find shows that had as long of a streak in terms of quality as The Simpsons did in its golden age. They would get an honourable mention for that alone)
Bee and Puppycat/Bravest Warriors (kinda cheating because they're on YouTube and not TV, but they're still cartoons and I enjoy them a lot)
Shows that are not on the air (again, no particular order):
Avatar: The Last Airbender
The Legend of Korra
Batman: The Animated Series
Justice League/Justice League Unlimited (I could include the whole DC Animated Universe in here, but these are the ones I enjoy the most)
Over the Garden Wall (a miniseries, yes, but who cares? It was awesome)
Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends
Edited to add: Animaniacs, Pinky and the Brain, Teen Titans
Hmmm, let's see! Favorite cartoons in random order coming right up:
Legend of Korra
Avatar: The Last Airbender
Green Lantern:The Animated Series
Beware the Batman
Too bad all of these shows are either finished or have been canceled except for Gravity Falls😔
1. Red vs Blue - This HAS to count right? It HAS to. This is the funniest, most emotional and perhaps one the most revolutionary part-cartoons in history due to it igniting machinima and creating perhaps the greatest entertainment compay ever known- Rooster Teeth. It never fails to bring me joy when I'm down and I will always continue to watch it. Even after 13 years, I'm adding the newest episodes to my top ten list of favorite episodes.
MLP is pretty good, but I haven't been keeping up with it at all. I HATE Adventure Time, and I have to wonder why it's so popular. Clarence I hate. TTG! I'm indifferent to. haven't seen We Bare Bears. Avatar and Korra are ALRIGHT, but I can't get into Anime-style shows very easily. Gumball is pretty good, but I don't watch it that often. Sonic Boom is alright. Older Nicktoons like Danny Phantom, FOP, Jimmy Neutron, Catscratch and the like I REMEMBER being good, but I haven't seen them in such a long time, so my opinions could change.