A few months ago, I posted a list of my Top 10 Favorite Disney Channel shows. I didn’t expect most people to agree with it as I committed what is probbaly considered a sing among the people of my generation sin by admitting to enjoying not one, not two, but THREE modern-day Disney shows: Girl Meets World, Liv & Maddie, and Austin & Ally. But I stand by my choices regardless. However, live action totally isn’t the thing that bought Disney to the dance; it was their animated works that did it. And I have yet to fully touch on Disney animation on this site, so I figured that since I’ve already given a spotlight to their live action program, why not give a shot to their cartoons contributions of the small screen. Some of these shows I remember from Saturday morning nostalgia; other shows came on Disney Channel proper rather normally traditionally during their runs. However, the touch of Disney brings them all together and puts them in contention here.
#10. The New Adventures of Winnie The Pooh
I’m gonna let you all in on a little secret: I am a Winnie The Pooh fan. I remember when I went to Disneyland a couple of years ago, Winnie The Pooh was one of the characters I wanted to meet while I was there. And sure enough, I did! It is impossible to hate the guy; he’s just too lovable, and that definitely goes for his friends as well (especially Tigger, who I enjoyed most as a kid due to my ever-present fandom for fun-loving characters). That’s why they’ve received so many movies and VHS releases over the years. And from 1988 to 1991, they got their own television series full of brand new adventures in the Hundred Acre Wood. It was tough choosing between granting this spot to Darkwing Duck or this; I went with this partly because of my Pooh bias, but also because I just remember more from this show than I did Darkwing. It doesn’t help that Darkwing’s run was shorter than I realized. If you enjoy Winnie The Pooh and his friends having fun and being there for one another, you and your imagination should enjoy this show just fine. Hell, if you’ve never seen it, let me get you started with the episode where Christopher Robin runs away from home because he broke a statue.
#9. Phineas & Ferb
We first got a glimpse of Phineas and Ferb in 2007 following the highly anticipated world premiere of High School Musical 2; I liked the animation on it, but I wasn’t sure if I would ever get into it. However, I did notice that it was kind of similar to another one of my favorite cartoons: Nickelodeon’s Fairly Oddparents, but with some twists. While Timmy Turner goes on adventures with his fairies and gets in trouble before eventually setting things back to normal every episode, these two brothers, heads hilariously shaped like the capital first letters of their names, instead go on all kinds of wacky adventures without getting in trouble before eventually setting things back to normal every episode. And this drives their sister Candace (voiced by Ashley Tisdale) nuts, so she tries to “bust” them whenever she can. But let’s be honest: Perry The Platypus and Doofenshmirtz totally steal the show from them with their weird-but-welcome spy vs. villain subplots. The show became a big deal due to it’s creativity, humor, and music to a point. The characters even had crossovers with Star Wars and The Avengers. If these guys didn’t have the most fun (and LONGEST) summer vacation, I don’t know who did.
Disney has had their fair share of dark movies (The Black Cauldron, anyone), but as far as their animated shows, they rarely ever enter the realm of seriousness and action like they did for Gargoyles. This show wasn’t just silly kid stuff; this was some dramatic, Shakespearean kind of material right here. A group of Gargoyles have been transported from Scotland to the rooftops of a building in New York City, an as it turns out, they do more than just contribute to the architecture and make it look as badass as the roof of the Harold Washington Library. At night, these things actually come to life and protect the city from evil. As the show goes on, more storylines are introduced and it becomes a complex web of stories that together make for one very satisfying product. Think of it as melodramatic Ninja Turtles, complete with Elisa Maza slipping into April O’Neal’s shoes. The show ran for three years on The Disney Afternoon; I think I was mostly familiar with it through One Saturday Morning reruns. Admittedly, there’s a ton of stuff from the show that has slipped my mind, hence why it’s not higher on the list; but maybe if Disney decided to put reruns on, say, Disney XD, then I’m all for jumping on that nostalgia train.
#7. The Emperor’s New School
Here’s a bright idea: take one of Disney’s all-time funniest animated films and make a funny TV show out of it. The premise of the movie was that a young egotistical emperor named Kuzco (David Spade‘s greatest contribution to popular culture) was turned into a llama and thrown into the wild by his creepy, elderly advisor Yzma (Eartha Kitt) and her lunk-headed beefcake sidekick Kronk (Patrick Warburton); so he has to work with a humble peasant named Pacha (John Goodman) to get back to his palace and become a human again. How can they possibly make a TV show out of that? Why, they make Kuzco (now voiced by the V.P. from Phil of the Future) go to school in order to retain his duties, with assistance from Kronk and a woman named Malina, who Kuzco always reminds us is a “hottie-hot-hottie”. Oh, and the principal of the school is Yzma in disguise, hoping to cause Kuzco to fail and grant her the spot in charge. Trust me, it’s a lot funnier than you might expect; every once in a while, you even get some amusing doodles.
#6. Disney’s House of Mouse
Mickey Mouse is an entrepreneur; he knows how to run a business. God help whoever decides to get in the way of him and his business. So when he decided to open up a restaurant in downtown Toontown, you bet all the hottest toons in town are going to show up, as long as they are property and trademark of the Walt Disney Company. Disney characters young and old, dead and alive, human and creature, gathered together in the House of Mouse to watch what was essentially rerun cartoons from the Disney vault starring Mickey and his friends. The fun part of this show was checking out the characters in the crowd to see who showed up; sometimes it’ll be the Disney Princesses on a night out or it could even be the villains plotting to run the asylum. Probably my favorite episode though is the one where they thankfully bought Roxanne from A Goofy Movie back into existence once for an entire episode revolving around a date night between her and Max. I was glad to see Disney remembered she existed after leaving her out of An Extremely Goofy Movie. If you wanna see old animated Disney shorts, the House of Mouse has it. If you wanna see Disney characters interact with each other (and I do), this is how you do it.
First of all, let me just point out that this show may have the greatest theme song in the history of television; it is such contagious ear-candy that it is one of the 25 most played songs on my iPod right now. Once you hear it, you’ll either want to quarantine your ears or hear it again just to dance it out. But does the theme son overshadow the show and doom it all to hell? The answer would be no, because as far as I’ve heard, this show (and its accompanying video game) is fondly remembered by most people. Maybe it was the characters, consisting of rich quacker Scrooge McDuck and his three grandnephews Huey, Dewey, and Louie, as well as comic relief pilot Launchpad McQuack and a few other mostly duck characters. Maybe it was the fact that the premise was like a real adventure show, but Disney-fied. Maybe it was because Donald Duck occasionally slipped in for a cameo. Maybe it’s because it was the first in that long line of duck-based Disney shows I mentioned earlier, but the show has endured so much it’s reportedly on it’s way back to the airwaves.
#4. Goof Troop
This show is in the Top 5 partially because it lead to the creation of one of my all-time favorite movies. But that bit of cinematic brilliance isn’t the whole story; it’s kinda of the end of one (assuming you’re like me and you often forget An Extremely Goofy Movie because they deleted Roxanne from the equation). Before blazing the stage with Powerline, Goofy (a.k.a. one of Mickey Mouse’s BFFs) lived in the suburbs with his son cool-by-90s-definition son Max; they lived right next door to Pete and his family, which happens to include Max’s good friend P.J. and a daughter bizarrely named Pistol. You know, Pete is so nuts, I don’t know why I’d be surprised that he named his daughter after a fiream. But just in case you got the crazy idea that nothing interesting ever happens in the suburbs, the Goof Troop (and let’s call them Pete’s Pedigree) are here to prove you wrong as they’ve been on the high seas, gone through trailer trouble, and were briefly in a rock band among other things. This universe is probably the only one that features tub races. Sure, Spongebob can drive a cheeseburger, but is he any match for Goofy’s bathtub?! Point, Goof! Maybe I’m a little biased because I had this series on VHS growing up, but it always has a place in the childhood memories section of my heart.
#3. Kim Possible
I’ve never been a teenage girl, but if I was, I would be SO jealous of Kim Possible. She was a rare example of someone being seemingly so perfect yet so cool at the same time; usually TV characters are written as either one or the other. Lila from Hey Arnold and Trixie from Fairly Oddparents were seemingly perfect too and I could never even remotely tolerate them. But Kim Possible (voiced by Christy Carlson Romano) was more like Buffy The Vampire Slayer in that she was a seemingly regular teen/young adult who juggles life as a cheerleader with one devoted to fighting crime. By her side are BFF Ron Stoppable and his naked mole rat so fly he got his own rap song. This show I remember a ton from, including the devious Shego (whose battles with Kim are the stuff of legend) and the O.G. Doofenshmirtz, Dr. Drakken as the main villains; there was also Senior Senior Sr. and Senior Senior Jr., who probably have the most amusing villain names ever. Spawning two movies, the show proven popular enough to get four seasons on the air and ended in maybe the best way that it possibly could. I’m kind of scared, though, that this could be the first animated show Disney gives a live action remake movie; let’s hope my terrible streak of prediction the future continues.
One Saturday Morning (eventually changed to the generic-sounding ABC Kids) was the weekend cartoon block on ABC when I was growing up. Of all the shows from that lineup, the one that was always meant for this list was this one. On the surface, T.J. Detweiler (who Fred Durst obviously modeled his fashion sense after), Vince LaSalle, Ashley Spinelli (an O.G. female wrestling fan), Gretchen Grundler, Mikey Blumberg, and Gus Griswald have very little in common; but together, they form THE ultimate grade school #squadgoals when they gather together on the playground for their free time. One of the best things about this show is that the main characters weren’t the only ones with identities; remember Randall (that snitch), The Ashleys, King Bob, Hustler Kid, Upside-Down Kid, and The Diggers? And what is recess without some adults to spoil the fun (or in nice teacher Miss Grotke’s case, contribute to it)? What party poopers Principal Prickly and Ms. Finster were; but boy, were they necessary and realistic. Recess was so successful, it got its own theatrically released movie (which most of the clips in this entry came from); hopefully me reminding you of that somehow opened a link on your computer to Amazon with “Recess: School’s Out” already typed in the search bar.
#1. The Proud Family
So, this may seem completely unrelated here, but it is Black History Month and even though black history is something that should be celebrated EVERY day, we should take advantage of this spotlight while we have it. And even though this has nothing to do with me putting this show about a middle-class African-American family at the #1 spot, it does kind of make it all the more special, right? Disney has always been inclusive when it comes to depiction race on their network, but I think this was their only animated show with a black family as the main focus. Penny Proud (voiced by Kyla Pratt) is the teenager coming-of-age in a family that also includes a dad who makes terrible snack food, his veterinarian wife, his wise-cracking mother, his two young babies named after soul singers, and his funk-singing brother who serves as a recurring character. Her circle of friends are just as animated: a friend who is really not that trustworthy, a neighbor who is the Cartman to her Kyle, a nerdy white character with orange hair, and an aspiring DJ. If you’ve seen the show, I know remember most of it: the wrestling episode, the Lil’ Romeo Halloween episode, the rumors episode, the Black History Month episode, the episode where Penny became a pop star, the karate episode. You may even remember the movie. Is this THE undisputed best Disney cartoon ever? Maybe not. But it’s #1 on my personal list for a reason. If it can find it’s way back to television, that would be nice. Hell, is there a petition I can sign for Toon Disney to make a comeback so ALL these shows can return to regular rotation on the airwaves? I miss that channel!
Official #11; between this, Ducktales, Quack Pack, and The Mighty Ducks, Disney had a major duck obsession back in the day. I’m shocked to find this was only on the air for a little over a year. But he got 91 episodes out of it and is about to be revived as a comic book.
I accidentally left this show off when putting this list together. But you should still check it out though. Fillmore & Ingrid Third are basically some of the coolest school detectives around; they make one heck of a duo. Also, another killer theme song!
At first, I was confused as to whether or not the Baloo in this was supposed to also be the Baloo from The Jungle Book. The answer: yup. This is a Jungle Book show; even Shere Kahn and Louie appeared on it. This theme song is also catchy as hell, by the way.
Believe it or not, I haven’t actually seen that much of this show. Maybe an episode or two and a short here or there. It’s decent; not going in my Top 10 though. I do find it funny that one guy has six fingers on each hand though.
So yeah, this show was kind of dumb, but it was so in an entertaining way. I kinda have fond memories of this show featuring cavemen characters with archetypal character traits such as spoiled princes, brat, and dumbass.
So this cartoon struck me as Sailor Moon injected with Disney juice because the heroine kind of looks like she was modeled after Sailor Moon; as far as current Disney cartoon go, this one is actually pretty decent.
+ PB&J Otter
This show is on here entirely because of the Noodle Dance. You don’t have to watch the entire show because it’s just educational fluff for your preschooler; but please, at least have the common courtesy to join in and use your noodle!
What do you think of this edition of Tuesday Top 10? Leave a comment or tweet me up @FearlessRiOT with your opinion or even to suggest a topic for a future edition!