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Top Twenty Cartoon Network Shows (10-1)

10/19/12 12:46pm
tl;dr

Counting down the best shows of Cartoon Network (10-1).

Well here we are the top ten Cartoon Network shows of all time. Making this list was definitely not easy, and when it came down to organizing the top ten it was like trying to find a needle in a haystack. But nonetheless the following is my opinion on what have been the best shows to have been shown on Cartoon Network, oh and in case you missed the first part, just click the link below to get caught up.

Part One

 

All right without any further delay here are the top ten Cartoon Network shows of all time.

 

10. Codename: Kids Next Door
 
Kids Next Door, was the winner of Cartoon Networks annual summer contest to determine the next Cartoon Network show. Much of KND's humor came from overly exaggerating many of the things we dreaded as children like the Dentist, the crazy cat lady, lice, school, etc. The world KND built and established is one that we as children wish we could have lived in, a bunch of kids banning together to defeat the evil adults while hanging out in our amazing tree houses. One of the first Cartoon Network shows to have a constant continuity and great story arcs.
 
If only my tree house could have been as cool

 

But what has made KND really stand out, was how they would often make very surprising plot twists (spoiler warning folks), ranging from the betrayal of Numbah 274, numbah ones dad being a legendary KND operative, or that Father was actually numbah one's uncle, the show had no shortfalls of plot twists. Having a lasting charm, several TV specials, and terrific voice acting, KND has cemented it's legacy among the best of Cartoon Network.
 
9. The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy
 
Around the summer of 2000, Cartoon Network began a concept that was similar to the What-a-Cartoon show, in which they aired several animated shorts, however this time fan voting would decide which show would become a new Cartoon Network series. The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy would be one of the first shows to win this competition. Billy and Mandy was built of the premise of the Grim Reaper losing a limbo contest to the worst kids in the world and having to be their best friend for all of eternity.
 
Spending eternity with those two, truly a fate worse than death.

 

The show was very interesting as it had its strange sense of humor (similar to that of Invader Zim), and many fans became hooked. Billy and Mandy took no prisoners in what they wanted to parody ranging from several different cartoons (Fred Flintstone had an entire episode devoted to him), B Horror Films, and even the works of H.P, Lovecraft (I mean Cthulhu had an entire episode devoted to him). 
 
8. The Powerpuff Girls
 
Sugar, Spice, and everything Nice these are the ingredients used to create the perfect little girl, but add a nice dose of chemical X and you get the Powerpuff Girls. PPG was ale to mix a nice blend of the typical superhero shows that where popular at the time, but a large dose of comedy. Craig McCracken developed a hit, both boys and girls would tune in to the show not just for their favorite heroines, but also for the their favorite villains. Whether it was the fast talking Mojo Jojo, the dimwitted Fuzzy Lumpkins, or even the creepy pasta worthy Him, the Powerpuff Girls where never short of amazing characters.
 
Once again the day is saved, thanks to the powerpuff girls

 

The popularity of the show didn't only exist within the us, in Japan the show was popular enough that it got it's own anime adaptation, Powerpuff Girls Z. The Powerpuff Girls is the only Cartoon Network show (so far) to have had its own theatrical release film, and just goes to show how passionate and strong its fanbase is. Heres hoping that the rumor started by Genndy Tartakovski is true, and that there is a remake of the series coming soon.
 
7. Ed, Edd n Eddy
 
How can you describe Ed, Edd, N Eddy; Summer forever, friendship, or jawbreakers? Ed, Edd, N Eddy was simply put a show about three best friends finding ways to get jawbreakers. With each new scam that the leader (Eddy) tried to pass to get the fabled quarters led to more and more hilarious and awkward situations. Though the shows main focus was on the three Eds, there where plenty of other characters who where as memorable ranging from Rolf the foreigner or even Johnny with his best friend Plank. What stands out about Ed, Edd, N Eddy is the way the it presents to us the friendship of the Eds, that even though all three of them are very different and despite being able to acknowledge their own shortcomings and those of the other Eds.
 
The true meaning of bros right here folks

 

The trio of friends always band together to try (and usually fail) at getting the fabled Jawbreakers. Ed, Edd, n Eddy would end its run when the made for TV Film aired in 2009, the film showed us why Eddy was the way he was and ended with the Ed's finally being accepted as cool within the Cul de Sac.
 
6. Fosters Home for Imaginary Friends
 
Craig McCracken took a concept that many of us are able to identify with, imaginary friends. Using the concept that when we outgrow our imaginary friends they are sent to Fosters so that other kids may adopt them as well. The show focuses on Mac, an 8 year old boy and his imaginary friend Bloo. Fosters originally began as a 90 minute Cartoon Network television movie, the film proved so popular that it led Fosters into becoming a full half hour series.
 
Fosters was known for having its wide cast of characters, each with their own charm.

 

Using a comedy style that not only appealed to younger audiences, but to all age groups, it was easy to see why Foster's was such a popular show, with several memorable characters, many of who where fleshed out throughout the entire 79 episode series, and two being the focus of their own 1 hour specials (Good Wilt Hunting and Destination Imagination). Fosters was a multi Emmy and Annie award nominee and won seven Emmy's throughout it's run, proving to also be a critical darling. It's style of comedy is also visibly seen in the popular "My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic" television show, which was written by Lauren Faust one of the developers of Fosters.
 
5. Courage the Cowardly Dog
 
As an executive sometimes you know when a small short has the potential to be a great show, ranging from fan letters asking for more of the show; or in the case of Courage the Cowardly dog, the short gets nominated for an Academy Award. In early 1999 series creator John R Dilworth began work on Courage the Cowardly Dog. The show used a comedy style that played of many b-movie monster, aliens, and 50's horror films. Each situation usually involved the villains of the episodes wanting to harm, hurt, or even possess Courage's owners, with Courage having to overcome both physically and mentally challenging foes and survive deadly games or even fights( which almost killed the little guy).
 
The best kind of dog and friend you could ever ask for.

 

Courage the Cowardly Dog had the uncanny ability to make us laugh, and even in some cases (like in Remembrance of Courages Past) make us cry.  With its amazing cast of characters and villains, nightmare fuel material (King Ramses anyone) and memorable lead character, Courage the Cowardly Dog stands out as one of Cartoon Networks finest programs.
 
4. Space Ghost Coast to Coast
 
Space Ghost Coast to Coast took an older Hannah Barbara superhero, and turned him into a washed up has been running his own late night talk show, with guests ranging from Denzel Washington to Hulk Hogan. The show premiered on April 15, 1994 it was originally intended to cater to all ages, as evident by its original TV-Y7 rating but as the series went on its offbeat and edgy humor was one that many young adults found to be hip and quickly gravitated towards.
 
The godfather of all Adult Swim shows

 

Space Ghost was not only the first show Cartoon Network themselves had created, but also served as the catalyst for what would eventually become Adult Swim. With it's clever, dry humor and memorable cast, Space Ghost Coast to Coast has certainly earned itself among the greatest shows that Cartoon Network has ever made.
 
3. Dexters Laboratory
 
The first short from the What-a-Cartoon show to get its own half hour series. Dexter's Laboratory set forth the standard for all Cartoon Network shows that followed it. Having a great cast of characters, ranging from Dexter the young genius, Dee Dee the lovable yet annoying older sister, Mandark the evil rival. What made Dexters Lab a great show was its amazing writing and production. With the team consisting of Genndy Tartakovski, Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy, American Dad creator), Butch Hartman (Fairly Oddparents creator), Craig McCracken (Powerpuff Girls, Fosters Creator) among the team, Dexters lab always had an amazing show from beginning to middle segments (Dial M for Monkey and Justice Friends) to the end segment.
 
The standard for which all Cartoon Network shows would follow.

 

Dexters Lab was not only Cartoon Networks most popular since it began airing, but it was also one of its most critical successes, amassing several Emmy and Annie nominations. Although many argue that Dexters Lab started to falter around 2001 (due in large part that the original team behind Dexters Lab had moved on) there is no denying the importance of Dexters Lab to Cartoon Network.
 
2. Justice League/Justice League Unlimited
 
When it looking at the history of the DC Animated Universe, it is a little ironic that the show that started it Batman: The Animated Series is considered the best, but following it is the show that was finale of the DCAU, Justice League. Watching the intro of the first season, just gives you chills, the feeling that you are in for a thrilling ride. Putting forth a show that united many of the most memorable characters from the DC universe is no small task, but series producer Bruce Timm was one who was willing to accept that challenge and nailed it. Justice League was a perfect blend of action, drama, comedy, being able to invoke many of our emotions ranging from sadness to joy. When the series went to it's third season, it was revamped and rename to Justice League Unlimited, which was essentially DC opening it's pages and drawing whatever characters they could get into the show, ranging from Green Arrow to The Creeper, every episode of JLU always guaranteed cameos and homage to DC's historic characters.
 
The Finest heroes ever assembled

 

With fantastic animation, and a great ensemble cast ranging from Kevin Conroy (THE voice of Batman) to George Newborn, Justice League/JLU was always a blast to watch. JLU was the perfect way to end the greatness that was the DC Animated Universe, just watching the series finale "Destroyer" send chills down my DC fanboy spine because it embodied what this series was, a team of superheroes banding together to save the day.
 
1. Samurai Jack
 
Samurai Jack, talking about the greatness of this show would not do it justice, but I will do my best. Samurai Jack made its debut in 2001 and treated many Cartoon Network viewers to a very pleasant surprise. Not only where the fans treated to a very well done action cartoon, but they where treated to unique and beautiful art style that had never been done on a Cartoon Network show before. Series creator, Genndy Tartakovski (of Dexters Lab fame) envisioned a show that was grand and cinematic in nature, and he succeeded. Samurai Jack proved that not only was it popular with many viewers, but it also proved to be a critical darling for the network. But a large praise of the show has to go to the spectacular voice acting of Phil Lamarr (voice of Jack) and Mako (voice of Aku, RIP) these two voice actors delivered on every line, giving Samurai Jack its soul. Drawing from various cultures, mythologies, and even our modern trends (at the time of its release)
 
Now he seeks to find a way to his time and undo the evil that is Aku

 

Samurai Jack was able to establish a very unique universe and setting, you never knew if Jack would battle his way through a metropolis like city, or navigate his way through a dense jungle. When Samurai Jack debut no show on Cartoon Network had as large of scope as Samurai Jack, and no show has matched it since it ended its run in 2004. Heres hoping to one day seeing Jacks tale end in satisfying way.
 
Well that was the list, though we all will have differing opinions on what should have made the list or which show should have been number one. There is one thing that we can all agree on, Cartoon Network for the past twenty years has always offered entertainment for all of us. Heres hoping that the network keeps going strong for another twenty years. Which shows you would have preferred on the list or which ones did you think deserved top billing go ahead and leave a comment below and discuss, but for now this has been Jing412 and thank you for reading.
 
(Also shout out to g1 Fanboy for encouraging me to be gimmicky and do a top twenty list instead of a top ten, it made this a lot easier)

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