Welcome back Ninja Clan and join us as we continue our revelry in the greatest cartoons of all time. This week our countdown covers numbers 30-21, enjoy!
30. Pinky and the Brain (1995)
Pinky and the Brain was a spin-off of the Animaniacs, series, It told the story of a genius mouse living in a test lab but harboring plans to take over the world. Unfortunately, his plans for world domination were often hampered by his mentally challenged assistant, Pinky. The best comedic moments in the series belonged to Pinky, the master of the non sequitur. His unique responses to the Brain’s weekly question, “Are you pondering what I’m pondering?” Usually Pinky would respond by starting with “I think so, Brain…” Pinky would follow up with the most off-the-wall comments imaginable, including: “But how are we going to find chaps our size?” and “But this time you put the trousers on the chimp.”
29. Samurai Jack (2001)
Created by Genndy Tartakovsky, who’s Dexter’s Laboratory, will appear further down this list, Samurai Jack was an action-oriented series that appealed to kids and adults alike. Samurai Jack (his original Japanese name remains a mystery) lives in ancient Japan where his homeland is being ravaged by a mightily powerful but weird-looking, sometimes insipid demon named Aku. Jack used his mystical sword to fight him and eventually he defeats him after a few bouts. But before Jack manages to destroy the demon once and for all, Aku casts a spell that sends Jack into the future, a time when Aku reigns supreme. Now, it is up to Jack to find a way to go back into the past by wandering around the futuristic cities, barren wastelands and ancient ruins inhabited by aliens and other bizarre creatures you haven’t seen before and most importantly, meeting allies and friends like the crazed muscular Scotsman. Great artwork and original action-sequences.
28. Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008)
Star Wars: The Clone Wars has been great so far and keeps getting better with each season. It could end up earning a higher spot on this list in future editions. The stories have been fun, moody and exciting although the droids can be a little kiddish at times. The episodes expanding upon the existing Star Wars universe are a welcome addition to the mythos (see Boba Fett) for all true Star Wars fans, although I’m still having a heck of a time explaining to my little ninjas why the Storm Troopers are eventually bad guys. My apologies to the 501st Legion before the hate mail rolls in.
27. Justice League/ Justice League Unlimited (2001)
Bruce Timm (Batman: The Animated Series, which we will see later in the countdown, Superman seen above) finally took the camp factor out of the justice league and made them cool. With that said, we still love the sometimes silly 70’s series (enough so that it has actually earned a higher place on this list), but this series was a fanboy’s delight.
26. G.I. Joe (1985 & 1989)
”Now I know… and knowing is half the battle!” If I learned anything, it was that apparently you can’t hit the broadside of a barn with a laser gun. Did anyone even get wounded? Maybe a Cobra plane got hit every once in a while but of course the pilot was always able to safely eject just in time. Again this was one of several toy-inspired animated series of the era, and G.I. Joe was probably the best with great characters which many times were simply over the top but fun. Cobra Commander, Destro and Baroness were great bad guys and the stories did give you a real sense of adventure. “Yo Joe!”
25. Cowboy Beebop (1998)
Best jazz intro ever? You bet. This series was one of the best anime series out there, crossing several genres. Cowboy Bebop followed a group of bounty hunters as they traveled in their spaceship, the Bebop. Great space battles, gun battles and martial arts sequences were set to great music as the Bebop’s crew hunted down criminals wanted by authorities and battle their own past demons.
24. The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show (1959)
The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show was the first cartoon to come up with the idea that it was O.K., to appeal to both the kiddos and the adults. In fact, it made a point of it with it’s clever comedy and double meanings. The art work was very basic but the characters were hard to forget, hello Boris and Natasha. Upon viewing today the cartoon still comes across so fresh that it is hard to believe it was created in 1959. Go Wassamatta U!
23. Sealab 2021 (2000)
Sealab 2021 used stock footage from the 1970s environmental cartoon Sealab 2020, and struck a crazy pot of gold for the viewers. The series created quite a few laugh out loud moments for the Ninja while the madness apparently induced by life at the bottom of sea usually led the crew to destroy it’s own base by their own crazy hands.
22. Aqua Teen Hunger Force (2000)
Sometimes the Ninja thinks he’s going a little crazy while watching this show. Every gut busting, laugh out loud moment is matched by something pretty shocking on the gore factor which can come out of nowhere. Master Shake, is dim-witted but hysterical, Meatwad is even slower but sweet while Frylock attempts to reign in the madness from time to time but usually fails. Folks you just have to see this one for yourself to believe it.
21. Dungeons & Dragons (1983)
This and Super Friends pretty much made Saturday mornings! Dungeons & Dragons will forever hold a fond place in the Ninja’s heart, and how fantastic was it to see some of your D&D scenarios come to life. Kids got to wield long bows, be magic users and put on chainmail. Taking its cues from the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game Dungeons& Dragons revolved around six friends who hop on the Dungeons & Dragons ride at their local carnival and get transported to, and stuck in, the realm of D&D. A little sad, is the fact that the final episode never aired thus, technically, the kids still have not made it home!