Saturday Morning Cartoons


As a kid, Saturday morning cartoons were appointment viewing TV for me.  My earliest entry points into the worlds of Marvel and DC weren’t comics, but the X-Men cartoon and Batman: The Animated Series.  I love animation.  2D, 3D, stop motion, rotoscoped, claymation, you name it, I like it.  I studied digital art with a focus on 3D animation in college because I thought I wanted work in the industry; it turns out that I don’t have much patience for repetitive tasks, so I’ll happily remain a consumer rather than a producer.

As an adult, I’m a cord-cutter who doesn’t watch a ton of TV, but I still manage to watch a fair number of cartoons.  I enjoy a lot of the current crop of animated shows that are targeted at adults (Bob’s Burgers and Archer in particular), but my absolute favorite cartoons these days are those that have grown out of the Adventure Time phenomenon.  Out of the five shows I list below, four are created by people who previously worked on Adventure Time; that show seems to be an incubator for awesomeness.  All of these shows are ostensibly created for a kid audience (with some possible exceptions) but don’t let that stop you from giving them a shot.  Really, give them a shot, most of them aren’t much of a time commitment.  Without further ado, here are my five current favorites, aka my dream Saturday morning cartoon line-up:

stevenuniverseSteven Universe
Steven Universe is about the Crystal Gems, a team of aliens working to save Beach City, and Earth, from a variety of threats, but it’s also about love and friendship and non-traditional gender construction and super catchy earbug songs.  You’ve probably heard of Steven Universe – it’s currently Cartoon Network’s flagship show.  I’d watched a few episodes but didn’t really get hooked until I sat down and binge watched season 1 on a rainy Sunday.
Episodes: 11 minutes; 107 episodes to date (ongoing)
Where you can watch it: Hulu Plus

overthegardenwallOver the Garden Wall
This fairy tale-inspired miniseries follows two brothers lost in a magical forest and trying to find their way home.  I can’t remember where I first heard about Over the Garden Wall, maybe on a podcast?  Or Twitter?  Thank you, mystery recommender, whoever you are.
Episodes: 12 minutes; 11 episodes (completed)
Where you can watch it: Hulu Plus

BeePuppycatBee and Puppycat
Bee is an adrift 20-something whose life is upended by the appearance of Puppycat and his magical dimension-hopping antics.  I’ve recommended the Bee and Puppycat comics here before, so I’ll just reiterate that I love everything about this show.  I cosplayed as Bee at my work’s comic con last month and it was a blast.
Episodes: 6-ish minutes, 5 episodes (on hiatus)
Where you can watch it: YouTube

gravity-fallsGravity Falls
Twin siblings, Dipper and Mabel Pines, are sent to stay with their great uncle over the summer in the magnet-for-weirdness-and-mystery town of Gravity Falls.  Gravity Falls was somewhat sheepishly recommended to me by a coworker who likes watching it with his kids.  He didn’t need to be so hesitant about it, Gravity Falls is awesome.
Episodes: 21-24 minutes; 40 episodes (completed)
Where you can watch it:  As far as I can tell, it’s not streaming anywhere.  I ended up buying both seasons on Amazon.

Bravest-WarriorsBravest Warriors
Bravest Warriors follows a team of teenagers as the travel the galaxy rescuing (mostly adorable) aliens.  I discovered Bravest Warriors via Bee and Puppycat – both shows are produced by Frederator Studios for their free Cartoon Hangover YouTube channel.
Episodes: 5-7 minutes; 30 episodes (on hiatus)
Where you can watch it: YouTube

Until next time, find the stories that make you stronger. #WorkOutNerdOut


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