Lately, I’ve been obsessed with revisiting some of the most memorable episodes of my favorite childhood TV shows. Interestingly, many of these shows are animated in one way or another. So, below is a list of some of my and HC Pitt’s favorite nostalgic animated TV shows!
*testimonies edited for clarity*
- Justice League (2001-2004) / Justice League Unlimited (2004-2006)
One of my absolute favorites. Sometimes instead of sitting me on his lap to play video games, my dad and I would watch Justice League Unlimited at midnight! Justice League follows some of DC Comics’ most popular heroes as they save the world and grow closer along the way. Justice League Unlimited follows the same original team in addition to dozens of other DC heroes, some of my favorites being Black Canary, Green Arrow, and Zatanna. I loved this show so much that I dressed up as both Wonder Woman and Hawkgirl for Halloween, so it is definitely a classic in my book.
- Avatar the Last Airbender (2005-2008)
I haven’t watched any of Avatar: The Last Airbender(I know…it’s a crime), but several other members of HC Pitt absolutely loved this show and still do! Lauren, a writer (who also runs our beautiful Instagram) recalls Avatar as being “funny and charming but also kind of complex with a really amazing overarching story” and “adores all the characters.” Grace, another one of our writer said she, “remembers watching it after school some days and it made her think about being young and if she wished hard enough she’d be able to bend elements. It also has a really good message and you can continue to watch it as you get older.” Needless to say, Avatar: The Last Airbender is on my summer watchlist!
- Winx Club (2004-2009)
Another one I never personally watched, but another one of our writers, Kaitlyn, has lovely memories of watching it in her childhood. She said, “As a kid, I didn’t watch a ton of animated shows, but Winx Club was one that I always loved. The outfits, the friendship, and the magical powers were the perfect combination for little me, and it still makes me smile to see it!”
- Kim Possible (2002-2007)
Another show that I didn’t personally watch, but it remains a nostalgic, Disney Channel classic. The show follows Kim, a typical teenage girl, as she balances fighting crime with the usual problems that come with adolescence. This show was actually Disney Channel’s second-ever animated series, and I think one of their best!
- Teen Titans (2003-2006)
To be completely transparent, I didn’t watch this show as a kid, but I did recently finish watching it for the first time, and it was incredible. The perfect mix of humor and drama, all mixed together with some of DC Comics’ most beloved teen heroes! I highly recommend this show to anyone who loves the Titans characters, a heartfelt plot, and a quirky animation style! (And if you’re interested, the final part of the live-action Titans show is available to stream on HBOMax on April 13th!)
- Phineas and Ferb (2007-2015)
I have such fond memories of watching this show after school with my siblings! We watched this show so much that we started to drive my mom insane with the theme song. A fun, summer classic that is still entertaining today. In researching for this article I discovered that Phineas and Ferb did crossover movies with both Star Wars and Marvel Entertainment, so I may need to check those out.
- Young Justice (2010-2022)
Another one of my favorites. This show is similar to Teen Titans, but a bit more recently with a slightly different cast of characters. I have so many fond memories of watching episodes available On Demand and feverishly recording additional episodes whenever possible. Also going to be so completely honest and admit that the version of Robin in this show was my first fictional crush. This show is a great rewatch, and the most recent season was aired in 2022!
- Gravity Falls (2012-2015)
I didn’t watch this show too much as a kid, but my sister had it on so often I ended up watching most of the series. A fun mystery-comedy, that made me think about humid summers and time off from school! This show was super fun and creative and absolutely deserving of its two Emmy awards!
- Spiderman and His Amazing Friends (1981-1983)
An 80s animated classic! This show follows Spiderman and two of his best buddies, Firestar and Iceman as they fight crime and make friends! This show was allegedly made in response to the success of Super Friends, but this show is clearly the winner in my book. It may feel a bit outdated, but it is an absolute must-watch for anyone interested in a classic Spiderman show. Firestar is also a great Halloween costume…if anyone needs ideas!
- Maggie and the Ferocious Beast (2000-2002)
To this day I have not been able to find someone else who watched this show as a child. Maggie is a bubbly, excitable little girl who goes on adventures with her friends Hamilton the Pig and Beast. This show is quirky and fun; I definitely recommend it to anyone who needs to entertain young children or siblings!
- Jem and the Holograms (1985-1988)
I almost forgot to include this show, but the memory came to me just in time! I honestly have no idea where I watched this show or how I had access to it, but I recall at some point being obsessed with an 80s rock band whose lead singer has pink hair. The animation style is simple yet fun, and there are so many fun original songs to sing along to! This show actually aired back in the 80s, but it’s still worth checking out if you’re interested!
- Batman Beyond (1999-2001)
I didn’t watch this series intentionally, but my sister watched it so much as a child I’ve probably seen every episode at this point (my dad also reminded me recently that my sister and I “watched the Mr. Freeze episode 500 times”). This series is a bit of a twist on the typical Batman story, as it follows Terry McGinnis, a high school student who takes over as Batman after Bruce Wayne is forced to retire in old age. This show is a bit darker than some other childhood animated series and falls more into the science fiction and cyberpunk genre. Despite this, it is still an absolute classic and the theme song is top-tier (I can literally hear it in my head). If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it!
- Honorable mention: Wonder Woman movie (2009)
Now, this doesn’t necessarily count since it’s a movie, but it is too influential and incredible for me to ignore. This particular movie literally forever altered the course of my hobbies and interests. If you are a Wonder Woman or comic book fan at large this is an absolute must-watch. It’s a wonderfully done story of Wonder Woman’s origin and initial adventures outside of Themyscira. There are so many characters to both love and hate and a wonderful reminder of the joy and power of storytelling.
So, that’s the list! There are so many other animated shows that deserve a spot here, but it was getting long as is. I hope this has inspired you to review and revisit some of your childhood favorites! These shows may be silly at times, but they made us happy back then; whose to say they can’t still make us smile now.