Although I have many fond memories of watching Saturday morning cartoons as a child of the 1970’s, there is another group of animated shows that takes me back to happy times. Nickelodeon, the children’s television network, has created many wonderful cartoons for kids. My older daughter and I would relax at the end of a long day, snuggling on the couch and watch these shows together. We started watching them when she was an only child, and when she became a big sister, it was our special time together after I put her twin siblings to sleep.
Here, in no particular order, are my favorite Nickelodeon Nicktoons.
What happens when you cross a dog with a cat? You get a Catdog! This Nicktoon premiered in 1998 and quickly became a favorite of my daughter’s. Joined at the middle, Cat had the brains and no patience for Dog, who was not too bright and rather clumsy. Together, Cat and Dog have some very funny misadventures. They were very unique looking, as they had no ends, just heads and a shared middle. Many episodes focused on their quest to find their parents. The show ended in 2004.
The Wild Thornberrys
This Nicktoon became a fast favorite in our home not only because it not only featured interesting stories, but it taught children about animals in their natural habitat. The Wild Thornberrys premiered in 1998 and fans followed the adventures of Nigel Thormberry, a wildlife documentarian, and his wife Marianne, who is his camera person. They travel in their “Comvee” with teenaged daughter Debbie, who loathes being away from civilization, and Eliza, who was given a gift of being able to communicate with all kinds of animals. They adopt Donnie, a boy raised by orangutans. It went off the air in 2004.
The adventures of Tommy Pickles, his brother Dyl, his cousin Angelica, and his friends Chuckie, twins Phil and Lil, and Susie were a staple in my home. Rugrats was the longest running TV Nicktoon, having aired from 1991-2004. There was even a version of the show called Rugrats All Grown Up that featured the characters as teenagers.
The Rugrats oftentimes went unsupervised and got into many situations that an average baby would not. Grandpa Pickles would often fall asleep or Stu was busy with an invention, and the kids just wandered off. It was a child’s view of the world, which is one reason why it was so popular for so long.
One reason we loved Rugrats is because they were one of the first cartoons to feature overtly Jewish characters. Tommy’s mom, Didi, is Jewish, and has stereotypical Yiddish accented parents. They celebrate Jewish holidays and it was something my daughter and I could relate to.
Doug was one of three original Nicktoons to premiere on Nickelodeon in 1991. Doug Funnie was a middle school boy who had to deal with typical middle school issues, including standing up for what is right, standing up for yourself, and first love. Patti Mayonnaise was the object of Doug’s affection.
After Doug finished it’s original Nicktoon run in 1994, it aired on ABC’s One Saturday Morning block of cartoons from 1996-1999. The opening credits are different but the characters remained the same. Doug was also turned into a full length Disney feature film.
My daughter and I would watch Hey Arnold! together after school. The show revolved around Arnold, who lived in a boarding house with his grandparents who were raising him and an interesting group of tenants. His parents were adventurous and disappeared while on one of their missions.
Helga, his antagonist who called him “Football Head“, was secretly in love with him, but Arnold did not think of her as anything but a friend. His best friend was Gerald, a boy with a hairstyle that defied gravity. He was an elementary school student, in the city.
The show debuted in 1996 and ran on Nickelodeon until 2004.
Extreme sports and tight friendships were the core of the Nicktoon series Rocket Power. The show centered on the lives of the four main characters-Otto, Twister, Squid and Reggie (short for Regina) who loved to skateboard and surf. Reggie and Otto’s father, Ray, played a big part of the show as the adult who ran the Snack Shack and was there for his motherless children.
The show premiered in the fall of 1999 and ended it’s run in 2004. The series did end on a positive note when Reggie and Otto’s father, Ray, got married. It was one of my daughter’s and my late night shows to watch together. Her favorite towel to take to camp was her Rocket Power one!
As Told By Ginger
As Told By Ginger is far and away my favorite TV Nicktoon. It was very realistic in it’s situations featuring protagonist Ginger Foutley and her middle school friends, Darren, Dodie and Macie. It was on at night, and oftentimes my daughter would lay on my bed while I ran on the treadmill. We watched this together and talked about what the characters were experiencing, a prelude to our middle school talks.
Ginger was the oldest child of a divorced mother, and she had a younger brother Carl who got into all sorts of trouble with Dodie’s younger brother Hoodsie. Courtney Gripling, the rich popular girl, takes a liking to Ginger and includes her in some of her social events, much to the dismay of Courtney’s best friend, Miranda. The show premiered in 2000 and ran until 2006.
My favorite Nicktoons bring back a lot of fond memories of the time my older daughter and I spent together. While we now watch other more adult programs together, I sometimes miss those times we spent when she was a little girl.
Featured image from Pixabay and altered by the author in Picmonkey.
Related posts at Spacial Anomaly
I am a momprenuer who has been writing online since 2010. In addition to my online endeavors, I am a preschool and Hebrew School teacher, volunteer, Girl Scout leader, wife and mother of three. I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to http://www.spacial-anomaly.com. I am also a member of Linkshare, Zazzle and Commission Junction Products from these services may be advertised on my posts as a means of generating sales commissions.