5 Old Cartoons That Made Cartoon Network

Photo: Bob Carey (Getty Images)

Back in the ’90s and early ’00s there was practically no channel that could even come close to the mighty Cartoon Network. Their old school cartoons were peculiarly imaginative, witty and, most of all, exciting to watch no only for the children, but adults as well. It was a golden era of no internet when people wouldn’t complain so much about everything and political correctness didn’t affect every single creative decision that the artists made. So, thanks to that, we were able to watch old cartoon shows like the Dexter’s Laboratory, Cow and Chicken, I Am Weasel and other beautifully weird cartoons that quickly found their way to our heart. Here is our selection of Cartoon Network’s finest old cartoons ever.

Dexter’s Laboratory

We’ll start things off with Dexter’s Laboratory, a cartoon that began airing in 1996 and ran for about three and a half years in its first run. The main character is a small ginger boy by the name of Dexter. Although his family thinks he is just a regular boy, he is actually a brilliant scientist with a secret base hidden behind his room bookshelf. Inside he performs a number of weird experiments (like the one where he artificially made himself love green peas to help him go through the meals) that don’t always end up as he intended. What also makes Dexter special is the fact that he speaks with a thick accent like a true (mad) scientist that he want to be. The usual problems in his world, though, are created by his annoying, overly happy ballerina sister called Dee Dee that constantly wanders into his laboratory, pressing away buttons and causing havoc. Dexter’s Laboratory was incredibly imaginative and helped propel a number of animators and writers including the one and only Seth MacFarlane. And who could possibly forget that amazing outro song?

Cow and Chicken

While the outro to Dexter’s Laboratory was the most memorable musical piece in it, it is the opening of Cow and Chicken that stick in everyone’s mind thanks to the catchy and utterly silly lines in the intro: “Momma had chicken, momma had cow, dad was proud, he didn’t care how.” The premise of the show included a brother and sister who were a chicken and cow although they had normal, human parents. Obviously, the writers included an adult joke there, but the kids were none the wiser. The character of Chicken was small, somewhat dim and weak, while the Cow was huge, overly affectionate and a bit clumsy. Together they got into various situations mostly thanks to the interference by the ominous, devil-like figure called The Red Guy. He was the one who absolutely stole the show with his over-the-top acting and ridiculous statements. Interestingly, it’s the same incredibly talented actor, Charlie Adler, that provided the voices for all three character. It was all utterly silly and absolutely fantastic at the same time.

I Am Weasel

Another show that tied perfectly to Cow and Chicken was, of course, I am Weasel. The two shows started together, but I Am Weasel soon separated and became a much-beloved spin-off with some of the same characters and writers. The show’s protagonists were an extremely intelligent, capable and loved Weasel and his so-called friend, incredibly dumb and envious Baboon. While Weasel would often gloriously state his name to lift himself up from the others around him (thus the show’s name) Baboon tried to copy it with his own unsuccessful “I R Baboon!” The two of them get into a number of situations, “helped” by none other than the infamous Red Guy from the Cow and Chicken show who later on became a regular. The show’s trademark baboon is, again, voiced by the almighty Charlie Adler, which explained the inclusion of the Red Guy.

The Powerpuff Girls

Then there were the Powerpuff Girls, a group of three young sisters with extraordinary powers fighting crime and evil creatures on a daily basis. The idea was that the girls weren’t born regularly, but were instead created by a scientist who combined specific ingredients including “sugar, spice, and everything nice,” which eventually became the show’s most recognizable line. The three girls, Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup all had their own unique traits. Blossom is the ginger girl, dressed in red, who acts as the group’s leader and is able to freeze objects with her breath. Bubbles is the one in blue, unique for her oversensitivity and extremely benevolent temper. One of Bubbles’ main characteristic is her ability to communicate with people in every language as well as animals. The third one is Buttercup, who is the “spicy” one in the group. Dressed in green, she is something of a tomboy and doesn’t have a unique ability, which is a joke in itself. The main focus of the show was on the imaginative and memorable villains like their arch-enemy Mojo Jojo, or the extremely disturbing HIM that is so vile you can’t even mention his real name.

Johnny Bravo

The ultra-slick Johnny Bravo first appeared in 1997 and was a somewhat obvious parody of Elvis Presley. Johnny Bravo was a strong, confident young man with a deep Elvis voice and an immaculate blonde hairstyle. Johnny’s main purpose in life is to hit on girls, but often he fails miserably because his phrases are either corny or simply bad. He combines them with various poses to show off his masculinity in the most ridiculous of ways. Johnny Bravo was the ultimate stereotype and people absolutely adored his perseverance. Besides Johnny and a number of random women he meets along the way, other characters in the show are his mother Bunny Bravo, and Little Suzy, an intelligent little girl (a contrast to Johnny) who has a huge crush on him.

Although there have been more of them over the years, it is these five Saturday morning cartoons that brightened our weekend and made Cartoon Network the giant it is today. What is your favorite among these old cartoon characters?