14: Top 5 90s kids’ cartoons


Jamie Garner

He can count, He can read and he can cook. The original triple threat.

Mark and his guest Jamie Garner have snuck out of bed, crept downstairs and turned on the telly for a channel-hop through ‘90s nostalgia.

Both Mark and Jamie grew up with Saturday morning programming from the BBC, including /Going Live!/, /Live & Kicking/ and What’s Up Doc?, which showed cartoons and showcased some of the UK’s newest pop acts.

Mark does not pass up the opportunity to discuss the kids’ presenter Andy Crane, and the fact that he narrated one of his favourite children’s books. Incidentally, you can hear more about that book and MArk’s thoughts on it — and Andy Crane — on a recent episode of /Your Own Words/.

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Jamie’s picks

In order of discussion:

Dungeons & Dragons

Jamie’s first pick is a repeat-viewing for him. It was first released in 1983, but made its way to the UK some years later. Hollywood has tried to adapt it into cinematic form, but it’s never really taken, however there is quite an epic car commercial from Brazil, which is a must-watch for D&D cartoon fans.


Every boy of a certain age had at least one ThunderCats toy. It featured a host of memorable characters, and the next piece of action was only a smash-cut away. And in keeping with the tradition of the American Saturday morning cartoon, each episode came with a moral. Remember kids, real winners don’t cry in the bath.

Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends

This Stan Lee narrated cartoon included Dracula, Frankenstein, the Green Goblin, the Incredible Hulk, and many more. Jamie’s now bringing up his kids to enjoy the series, but he maintains that their favourite character choices are incorrect.

X-Men: The Animated Series

This show ran for 5 s[image:(null)/(null)]easons, and was[image:(null)/(null)] picked up by Sky in the UK. It brought the comic books to life, transferring the most iconic characters from page to screen

Batman: The Animated Series

Starring Kevin Conroy as Batman and Mark Hamil as the Joker (roles the pair still portray in video game form), this dark and violent animated series holds up to adult viewing.

Mark’s picks

In order of discussion:

Danger Mouse

This ITV show started life in 1981, and was rebooted by the BBC a few years back. The original starred David Jason in a number of voices, and is part of a shared cartoon universe (which may be covered in a future pick).


Mark maintains that this Warner Bros show had no business being made for children. It was anarchic, but the jokes were pitched so far over kids’ heads, it’s a wonder they managed even the five seasons they were commissioned for. For proof, here’s Pinky and the Brain making fun of a bad-tempered Orson Wells recording an ad about frozen peas.

Ox Tales

This Japanese cartoon captured Mark’s heart, even though he’d not seen that many episodes. It’s largely been lost to history, but bits are still available on YouTube. Here’s the opening sequence.

Count Duckula

As the theme song described, Duckula would bite neither beast nor man, because he was a vegetarian. It was another outing for Cosgrove & Hall, the writer-creators of Danger Mouse and other shows of that ilk.

Honourable mentions

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