The '90s has to be, hands down, one of the best decades of kid's entertainment ever. I mean, we were placated/sent into frenzied fits of excitement by the likes of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Biker Mice from Mars and Batman: The Animated Series, to name literally but a few. We were absolutely spoiled!
But what about those cartoons that were randomly cancelled after a few seasons, or the now cult classics that weren't very well received at all when they first aired. What happened to the forgotten kid's shows of the '90s?
Shall we have a look at a few of the best?
1. SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron
Aired: 1993 - 1995 (Cancelled)
Man, I used to love this as a kid, which is a statement I'll try to keep to a minimum whilst I excitedly hammer the keys. I mean, who wouldn't want to watch a cartoon about a pair of kickass ex-paramilitary battle-cats from Megakat City's "Enforcers," who were ostracized from the law enforcement team, and become the crime fighting vigilantes the SWAT Kats?
Fun Fact: Mark Hamill, who needs no introduction, voiced a formidable foe of the SWAT Kats named Red Lynx, in the episode 'The Ghost Pirate.'
Aired: 1995 - 1997 (Cancelled)
I can imagine this cartoon series was a bit of a hard sell when it first released. Freakazoid was absolutely batsh*t crazy and hilarious, yet I still remember a lot of the jokes going straight over my head. The series was all about a 16-year-old nerd named Dexter Douglass who became the hero 'Freakazoid' after being sucked into his computer and absorbing all information from the Internet.
Aired: 1992 - 1995 (Halted production due to lack of funding)
Do you guys remember Ghostwriter? This was a major hit for my young mind, as it involved a team of racially diverse kids solving mysteries, intrigue and a friggin' super helpful ghost that used to communicate by manipulating words in the surroundings! Wasn't it mind-blowing when GW used to talk with the kids? Mind-blowing special effects for its day, that... well... naturally haven't stood the test of time.
Fun Fact: Ghostwriter was a haven for cameos, featuring appearances from the likes of Samuel L. Jackson, a young Julia Stiles, Spike Lee, Judge Reinhold and Salt-N-Pepa!
4. Pirates of Dark Water
Aired: 1991 - 1993 (Cancelled)
Okay, being honest here. Pirates of Dark Water used to freak me out a bit. The idea of an alien world being overridden by a seemingly sentient and terrible scourge of dark, dank water was a bit much for my young mind. That's probably why it sticks in my mind like a burr. Prince Ren and his bunch of ragtag heroes were so varied and so badass!
Aired: 1994 - 1997 (Cancelled)
I had no idea Disney was capable of producing something quite as dark as the excellent Gargoyles. A show that was as entertaining as it was a huge advocate for issues surrounding cultural and sexual diversity, immigration and acceptance. The animation and action was enthralling enough to keep us kids entertained, yet the stories were so richly detailed and nuanced, that even the most jaded adult would have to double take.
Fun Fact: Gargoyles featured the voice work of numerous stars from the Star Trek franchise, such as Marina Sirkis, Jonathan Frakes, LeVar Burton, Michael Dorn, Nichelle Nichols, Avery Brooks and Kate Mulgrew.
6. Midnight Patrol: Adventures in the Dream Zone
Aired: 1990 (Cancelled)
Do any of you remember this gem? One of my personal favorites as a kid, the adventures Potsworth the English Springer Spaniel and his team of four kids from the neighborhood used to go on were so damn cool, and the premise! Every time the four friends - Keiko, Carter, Nick and Rosie went to sleep, they would enter the 'Dream Zone,' where they were tasked with missions by the Snooze Patrol. Yep, it had me at Snooze Patrol, too.
This show had such an effect on my friends and I, we used to scream "see you in dreams" at each other when we were being dragged out of the schoolyard at the end of the day. Love this show!
Fun Fact: The show's name was changed in the UK to Potsworth&Co because the BBC felt that it was a bad impression that the children were up past midnight.
7. V.R. Troopers
Aired: 1994 - 1996 (Cancelled)
The first official sister series to the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, V.R. Troopers was too badass for words in its day. Created in order to latch onto the public's newfound interest in virtual reality, after stumbling upon the mysterious lab of Professor Horatio Hart, 3 friends - Ryan Steele, Kaitlin Star, and J.B. Reese - were handed the task of protecting both our world and the parallel universe of "VR" from the villainous Grimlord.
Due to its high tech premise, I almost loved this show more than Power Rangers. Almost, though.
8. Clarissa Explains It All
Aired: 1991 - 1994
The '90s was a great time for teen sitcoms like Hangin' With Mr. Cooper and, of course, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, to name but a few. But one I never seem to hear anything about anymore starred a very familiar face to '90s kids and lovers of a future teenaged witch. Clarissa Explains It All was great fun, and was arguably the first Nickelodeon show to have a female lead. So not only was it fun, it was groundbreaking, paving the way for the sci-fi badassery of The Secret World of Alex Mack.
Those were literally just a few of the possibly forgotten shows from our childhood, and the wave after wave of nostalgia that crested up my spine after writing this has been brilliant. The '90s truly were a great decade for kid's shows.