1. Popeye the Sailor Man.
Who didn’t like Popeye with his trademark pipe and a can of spinach and his brutal thrashing of Bluto when he tried to abduct Olive Oyl? I was particularly fond of his pipe which served as a jet engine, propeller, periscope, cutting torch and of course the whistle.
2. Johnny Bravo
This was the muscular beefcake guy with a unique hairstyle who always tried to act smart and get a lady to fall in love with him. It generally ended with his getting badly beaten up. The funny point was his overtly muscular torso and unusually lean legs.
3. Richie Rich
Money could buy everything when it came to Cartoon world’s richest kid. He had the coolest of gadgets that did the coolest of things. The show generally revolved around his friends and family and his stupid trouble-prone dog Dollar and how he made use of his ultra modern gadgets to get out of trouble.
4. Duck Tales
The adventures of Scrooge McDuck and his three grandnephews, Huey, Dewey, and Louie were just too good. Uncle Scrooge was the richest duck in the world and yet was a total economiser. He could count his money to the last pence by taking a dip in his money vault and swimming in it. We loved it as kids!
5. Powerpuff Girls
Who doesn’t remember the three little girls Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup, with superpowers fighting the monkey villain Mojo jojo?
6. Dennis the Menace
The characteristic voice calling out Mr. Wilson and the reactions of Mr. Wilson on hearing that was just awesome. Dennis is the very naughty kid who created all sorts of trouble for his neighbour, Mr. Wilson.
7. Spider Man
This is an all time favourite of a lot of generations. It is popular even now and will be for a long time. The teenage nerdy kid Peter Parker who becomes a superhero with the bite of a radioactive spider is one of the most popular comic series of all times. Peter’s teenage problems and the slice of reality apart from his superhero status is what connected him so well to us.
If you are a 90s guy reading this, you would have definitely said these words with a stick in your hand as a sword – “By the power of Grayskull” and “I have the power!” Prince Adam of Eternia transformed into He-Man with the powers endowed by the Sorceress of Castle Grayskull to defend the secrets of Castle Grayskull from the evil Skeletor.
9. SWAT Kats
Remember Chance and Jake who built the coolest jet fighter ‘Turbokat’ from discarded military parts and weapons and turned into ‘T-Bone’ and ‘Razor’ to save Megakat City from criminal masterminds? Their sophisticated vehicles and weapons all built from junkyard scraps made them uber-cool and a delight to watch.
10. Dragon Ball Z
Who didn’t love Goku and his fight against intergalactic space fighters and conquerors, powerful androids and almost indestructible magical creatures? We all wanted to be Goku at some point or the other in our childhood.
11. Dexter’s Laboratory
It is the story of Dexter, the boy genius with his secret laboratory and marvellous inventions and his meddling sister Dee Dee, who constantly gained access to the lab despite his best efforts to keep her out. It was one cool show.
Bruce Wayne and his alter ego Batman was always very popular among kids, much before Christopher Nolan took the series to an all new level in his Batman movies. I can guarantee at least half of the kids of the 90s made Batman masks and drew pictures of the Batmobile. Batman is the only superhero without superhuman powers and powered himself up with self made gadgets and weapons.
The indestructible man of steel was always a favourite of the kids. The superhero combined all powers a kid could possibly imagine to have. The red cape and the red underwear, although seems funny now was a delight then.
14. Scooby Doo
The story of the unusually timid dog and the group of kids out to solve mysteries are popular even today. Shaggy and Scooby’s antics were just too funny. We saw each episode multiple times and yet did not get tired. Scooby even had a cute fearless nephew Scrappy Doo who thought his uncle Scooby was the bravest dog in the world.
15. Tom And Jerry
This creation of William Hanna and Joseph Barbera needs no introduction and is in fact timeless. Kids find it equally amazing even now. Tom and Jerry actually played a pivotal role in making our childhood awesome.
The Adventures of Aladin, his wife Princess Jasmine and the blue genie’s histrionics never failed to entertain us. There was also the magic carpet, and Aladdin’s monkey Abu which added to the fun. The best part of this however was the dubbing in Hindi.
The indigenous superhero was not exactly a cartoon. This was Mukesh Khanna saving the world from evil. It had very Indian values and had a message at the end. The kids loved it so much that there were incidents where kids jumped out of the roofs hoping Shaktiman would come to save them.
18. Captain Planet
5 kids dubbed Planeteers are chosen by Gaia, the spirit of the planet to save the Earth from damage. Each kid is chosen from a different continent and each one given a ring with a special power. These powers when combined brought out Captain Planet, the superhero with all their powers magnified. I still remember the three R’s Captain Planet always said – Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.
19. The Flinstones
Who can forget the “Waba daba doo” of Fred Flinstones and the cars that needed pedalling with feet? This story set in the Stone Age town of Bedrock where cavemen listen to records, live in split-level homes, and eat out at restaurants, yet their technology is made entirely from pre-industrial materials was particularly funny.
20. The Road Runner Show
This was a tale of a coyote trying to catch a roadrunner by devising various traps and how each of them failed and backfired on the coyote itself. This combined with the adventures of the Tweety and Sylvester made this a hilarious show that one could not miss.