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My favourite 80s and 90s TV Cartoons

Updated on March 21, 2012

Coming home from school and rushing to finish my homework to watch my favourite television cartoons was the highlight of my week.

Over the past decades television cartoons just have not been the same as yesteryears. I know it sounds clichéd but it's the truth.

Below is a list of my favourite television cartoons in no particular order.


1) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Four mutant turtles lead by their senei, a mutant rat known as Splinter fight the evils of Shredder, Bebop (mutant warthog), Rocksteady (mutant rhino) and their army of foot soldiers. An evil alien exiled from Dimension X known as Krang teams up with Shredder and together they would and take over earth.

The 4 mutant turtles are

Leonardo (blue) is the leader and oldest of the turtles. His weapon of choice are two katanas.

Raphael (red) has an agressive nature and is the the bad boy of the group and wields a pair of sai for his preferred weapons of choice.

Michelangelo (orange) is the youngest and also the easy cool guy and has a love for pizza. He wields a pair of nunchaku as weapons.

Donatello (purple) is the brainiac of the group. He has the knowledge for technology, inventions and engineering. He wields a bó staff as a weapon.

The turtles, together with Splinter, live in the sewers and with the help of a news reporter April O'Neil and vigilante Casey Jones they prevent the evil-doers from taking over earth.


2) BraveStarr

Marshall BraveStarr is a galactic marshall on a planet called New Texas who along with his sidekick/mount Thirty Thirty a talking cybernetic breed of sentient equines (horse) prevent the likes of Tex Hex and his gang from stealing precious crystals known as Kerium ore.

BraveStarr can call upon the powers of 4 spirited animals

Eyes of the Hawk : Enhances his vision and can grant him an aerial view of the surrounding areas.

Ears of the Wolf : Super-hearing

Strength of the Bear : Super-strength

Speed of the Puma : Super-speed

A moral lesson is told at the end of each episode.

3) Biker Mice from Mars

Three mutant mice escaped from their home planet Mars that have been taken over by an alien race called the Plutarkians and found themselves crash landed on Earth where the Plutarkians have come to earth to steal the natural resources for themselves.

The three mice, Throttle, Modo and Vinnie defend Earth against the evil Lawrence Limburger, a plutarkian disguised as a human as he tries to steal the resources and send it back to their home planet Plutark.

4) Samurai Pizza Cats

This is set in a city called Edoropolis (Little Tokyo) which fuses Japanese culture and is led by Emperor Fred but because he is old and cannot run it himself, it is run by his daughter Princess Violet and the council, lead by Seymour The Big Cheese.

Seymour constantly plots to overthow Emperor Fred with the help of his advisers Jerry Atric and Bad Bird (Leader of an army of ninja cows).

One of the council members, Big Al Dante, knows of this plot and enlists Speedy Cerviche, Polly Esther, Guido Anchovy and Francine who are four ninja cats that work at Nyanki, a pizzeria, to stop Seymour and his henchmen of taking over Little Tokyo.

5) The Mysterious Cities of Gold

The opening credits:

It is the 16th century. From all over Europe, great ships sail west to conquer the New World, the Americas. The men eager to seek their fortune, to find new adventures in new lands. They long to cross uncharted seas and discover unknown countries, to find secret gold on a mountain trail high in the Andes. They dream of following the path of the setting sun that leads to El Dorado and the Mysterious Cities of Gold

This is a story about a spanish orphan Esteban, Zia an Inca girl, Toa a descendant of Mu along with Mendoza, who rescued Esteban when he was a baby, in search of the cities of gold. Along the way they encounter different civilizations and also have to deal with Gomez and Gaspard who are also in search of the cities of gold.


6) Captain Planet

Gia, the spirit of the earth is awakened. She realizes that the damage to earth is extensive so she sends 5 magical rings to 5 youths across the planet.

Kwame from Africa who has the power of earth and is also the leader of the group.

Wheeler from North America who has the power of fire.

Linka from Russia who has the power of wind.

Gi from Thiland who has the power of water.

Ma-Ti from the Amazon Rainforests who has the power of heart.

When the 5 planeteers combine their rings, they summon Captain Planet who has the power of all the rings. His only weakness is the susceptibleness of pollution and toxic waste

Together they must defend the planet against pollution, natural disasters and criminals, known as the Eco-Villains.

7) Thundercats

Thundercats is a group of cat-like aliens who are from the dying planet Thundera and are forced to flee to their homeworld. But while fleeing, their enemies, the Mutants of Plun-Darr attack their ships but spare the flagship in hopes to capture the mystic Sword of Omens. They are driven back by the Eye of Thundera. The ship is too damaged to take them to their destination, the Third Earth, and Jaga sacrifices himself to pilot the ship while the rest of the Thundercats are in time capsules.

On arrival on the Third Earth, the Thundercats setup their new home and headquaters known as the Cat's Lair. The Thundercats consist of Lion-O the Leader, Cheetara, Panthro, Tygra, WilyKat, WilyKit and Snarf.

But not before long the mutants have tracked them down. The mutants are recruited by an evil sorcerer, Mumm-Ra, who is already trying to aquire the Eye of Thundera and destroy the Thundercats so that he can continue to take over Third Earth.

Some other cartoons I watched

  • Bionic Six
  • X-Men
  • Dragon Ball Z
  • Pokemon
  • Widget
  • Bucky O'Hare
  • Denver the Last Dinosaur

Let me know what cartoons you enjoyed from your childhood!


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    • Miller2232 profile image

      Sinclair Miller III 

      6 years ago from Florida

      Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

      Hero in half-shell

      Turtle Power!

      Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles take back to the 90's when Cartoons were Cartoons. There are good cartoons now, but not like the 90's.

    • MelChi profile image

      Melanie Chisnall 

      6 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were the best - great memories! I also liked Ewoks, Smurfs and of course CareBears. :) We were lucky to grow up then - I don't really like much of the shows they have for kids today.

    • precy anza profile image

      precy anza 

      7 years ago from USA

      I think you will love Lupin III if you had watched it. :) He's the best thief in the world I'd say. ^-^'

    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 

      7 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Eye of Thundera, give me sight beyond sight....I love Thundercats. Snarf is so cute. I also watched Tigersharks,He-man, Gobots, and others.

    • gchisnall profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      @Londonlady Thanks!

      @prency anza That's so cool! At primary school we would bring our figurines to school be it Thundercats or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and we would enact our own stories. I have never heard of Lupin, will go check it out! I love watching manga too!

      @phr0ggi I had no idea that Tom Cruise was the original voice of Captain Planet. haha! I know Whoopi Goldberg was the voice of Gia. Yes, I have watched the Thundercats reboot. Even though it's a good reboot, I for some reason still prefer the old one. and yes, i used to watch Ghostbusters too. So many cartoons didn't make the list! I could actually go on for a while with all the ones I left out!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Dude. Great selection...except for Captain Planet. I didn't like Tom Cruise then either. In the spirit of retro, I've been watching The Ghostbusters cartoon series, the one with Eddie, Jake and Tracey the Gorilla. Good times. PS: have you checked out the Thundercats reboot?

    • precy anza profile image

      precy anza 

      7 years ago from USA

      I remember Captain Planet! :) Even had a lunch box with it, lol. And enjoyed Pokemon and Dragon Ball Z when I was in high school. Love Lupin III too :)

    • Londonlady profile image

      Laura Writes 

      7 years ago

      Haha, great selection!


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