The 90s were a great time for cartoons, let's be real. They ran the gamut from gritty to silly and even threw in some life lessons here and there. Even though we may not have picked up on it at the time, some 90s cartoons got pretty real (looking at you Hey, Arnold!). Of course, some of them were just action packed visual adventures that gave us a reason to wake up on Saturday morning unless Soul Train was on or something then we went right back to sleep feeling betrayed. There was just something about it that kept us from sleeping in on Saturday so I decided to take a look at some my favorites.
5. SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron (1993)
Airing on Cartoon Network, SWAT Kats had anthropomorphic cats flying in a specialized jet fighter shooting at giant monsters. That was a recipe for gold as far as kid me was concerned. Couple it with one of the best theme songs of the 90s (I have a feeling someone's going to fight me on that) and you have yourself a radical good time. It was basically Top Gun mixed with some giant monsters and grumpy cat with heat seeking missiles thrown in.
SWAT Kats does look like it's on its way to a comeback with a successful Kickstarter campaign started on July 23rd so we may be seeing more of these two radical dudes soon.
4. Mummies Alive! (1997)
Though the series was short lived with only one season spanning 42 episodes, Mummies Alive! had some awesome characters and toys to go with it. The show revolved around an evil Egyptian wizard named Scarab and his quest for immortality via the soul of Prince Rapses. His soul is reincarnated into a young boy living in San Francisco and when he comes back from the dead to finish the job, his mummified body guards come back to life to keep him safe using the power of Ra. They were basically mummy Power Ranges. Despite its brief run, this show holds a special place in my heart. Also Nefer-Tina was my second animated crush (Cheetara was my first) which might be necrophilia but let's not think about that.
3. Wild C.A.T.s (1994)
Like Mummies Alive! this show only saw one season but even less episodes. And also like Mummies Alive! it had a toy line that I owned and almost immediately broke upon opening the package. Those tiny swords for Zealot were not built to last, let me tell you. Lost them instantly. The show had a lot of deviation from the original comics to make it more kid friendly. I wasn't allowed to read the original comics as a child so I never knew any better. To me, it was just fun watching people get sliced up by twin katanas.
2. Street Sharks (1994)
The 90s were rife with anthropomorphic heroes and the Street Sharks were among my favorite. The Street Sharks fought against a mad scientist bent on destruction and at the same time trying to get the city to side against its would-be heroes. Nothing says fun times like seeing fins cut through concrete. Also, this show gave us the phrase "jaw-some" which I still use and you should too. Plus there was a whale hybrid named Moby Lick which only now do I realize is absolutely hilarious. Moby Lick. Amazing. Thanks 90s cartoons.
1. Captain Planet and the Planeteers (1990)
If you don't know who Captain Planet is, then I don't know what to say to you. Captain Planet's was an absolute favorite of mine and even inspired me to recycle for a little bit then I gave up because it was too much work. He taught us that looting and polluting was not the way and that the power to save the planet was ours all along. Also it had the best outro song that I'm more than sure you still remember some if not all the words to. The video below has captions in case you want to sing along. I know you probably do.
Those were only a handful of childhood staples that I thoroughly enjoyed as a kid. They made getting up in the morning worth it and gave my parents at least an hour or so every weekend to themselves before they had to deal with me so everybody won.