With GECs in India not being general anymore, I have always wondered what do the kids in the 6-14 demographic actually watch on TV these days! I know there are these 24*7 kids channels ala Cartoon Network, Nick, Pogo and Hungama but do they have enough quality content to actually satiate the demographic in hand? Also whenever I watch these channels, I see only a handful of shows (just one TBH, i.e., the cash cow) being repeated over and over again. And all of them look the same and have similar storylines and characters. And the Indian content is even worse. I always feel bad that the current generation of kids and the future ones will always remain oblivious to the brilliant content I grew up watching. So here I am with my Top 5 all-time (read it in Kanye West’s voice) Favorite Animated TV Series.
1. Recess (Disney)
The first group of animated shows that I watched as a kid belonged to the Disney catalogue. I remember watching Disney’s one hour long show ‘Disney Hour’ being aired on Zee TV, presented by Vishal Malhotra, which later moved on to Sony Entertainment Television. It aired in the 6-7 pm time slot but had more variety in terms of content than a 5 hour prime time slot these days. I thoroughly enjoyed the innumerable titles that featured on the hourly show like Aladin, Duck Tales, Mickey Mouse and Friends, Chip and Tale (Rescue Rangers) etc. but my all time favourite was the fourth grader sitcom – Recess. It was basically an ensemble featuring 6 fourth graders TJ, Vince, Ashley, Gretchen, Guzz and Micky manoeuvring through school and their one hour long ‘Recess break’. The show was a satire that tackled numerous kids issues fabulously, always with a tint of humor. It never shied away from showing the school politics kids have to deal with day in day out. I also loved the way the show featured all the school cliques and their quirks. If you have by any chance not seen this masterpiece please check it out on youtube, it’s available both in English and Hindi (I prefer the Hindi version). Highly Recommended!
2. Rugrats (Nickelodeon)
The number #2 on my list is the toddlers tale – Rugrats! Arguably the most popular show in the Nick universe, this gem of a show revolves around the one year old Tommy Pickles, his friends Chuckie, Lil & Phil, and his cousin Angelica. Rugrats focuses on the day to day lives of the toddlers and their adventures. Apart from the sheer chemistry among the lead characters, what made Rugrats appeal to me was the fact that it also gave riveting insights on Parenthood and that too from a toddlers perspective. Impressive stuff, no wonder it ran for 9 long seasons!
3. Courage The Cowardly Dog (Cartoon Network)
Now this is some whacky stuff! Courage- The cowardly dog, as the title suggests revolves around a pet named Courage who contrary to his name is the most frightened creature there is who lives with a super quirky elderly couple, Eustace and Muriel. The show is essentially a supernatural comedy that involves Courage fighting everything from aliens to demons to zombies to vampires and what not. The writing is super sharp and witty and goes all out in its unconventional and eccentric story telling. It’s my favorite show from the CN universe and is a must watch for all comedy lovers.
4. The Adventures of Gummi Bears (Disney)
Another show from the Disney universe. Kids love magic and the Gummi Bears world was magical. The plot revolved around a group of gummi bears (inspired by the gummi bear candies) living secretly in their Gummi Glen ( a lavish tree hole), hiding from the human kind. I loved the show because it dealt with mythical characters and also because of the magic potion, the gummyberry juice. I literally waited for the characters to drink the potion and kick every one’s asses. It was super fun.
5. Talespin (Disney)
The last show on my Top 5 list is the Disney show TaleSpin featuring Baloo bear from the Jungle Book as the protagonist. The story primarily revolved around Baloo, the pilot and his boss Rebecca Cunnigham (Madam Mahalingam in the Hindi version) and how they ran their airline called ‘Higher for Hire’. The setting was very similar to the ABC sitcom ‘Who’s the Boss?’ with Baloo and Rebecca playing Tony and Angela from the sitcom. The show thrived on the excellent chemistry of the lead couple and the day to day adventures they faced in running their airline business.
So above was my list of my most loved Animated TV Series. I hope you liked it. Please leave your feedback in the comment section below.
Authored By – Abinash Gupta
(Disclaimer – I do not own the rights to the images displayed on the page. The rights remain with their rightful owners. The images are sourced from various public online sources to provide references to the animated TV shows.)