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17 Greatest 20th Century Animated Shows Ever Made That Defined Your Childhood

We talk in depth about the greatest TV shows of all time. But how about a list on the greatest animated shows ever made? Let’s put 20th century under the looking glass.

Tom And Jerry

This. this right here. This was childhood personified. If you had a chance to get a million dollars by describing your life in three words – any 20th Century kid would say “Tom and Jerry“.

Looney Tunes

The first Looney Tunes cartoon premiered way back in the 1930’s. One of warner Brothers most iconic franchises, the Looney Tunes characters remain relevant to this day.

Popeye The Sailor Man

This is the show that made spinach 20th century’s super soldier serum. Not gonna lie, most of us started eating our greens after watching Popeye chomp on a can of spinach and kick Brutus’ butt.

Batman: The Animated Series

Batman The Animated Series was DC’s first ever serious attempt at creating a superhero show that vibed with not just kids but also teenagers and adults. The show won numerous Emmy awards for a reason. It still remains DC’s most acclaimed small screen project till date, an absolute cult classic.


Scooby-Doo taught us one very important lesson – things are not what they seem to be at first glance. That the monsters under our beds are mostly people we knew and trusted.

Spongebob Squarepants

Who lives in a pineapple under the sea? For quite an amount of time, all of us wanted. Spongebob Squarepants is a show that defies time itself. No one would ever get bored of watching the show even today.

The Simpsons

Many say the creators of The Simpsons can see the future. That the show references numerous future events like President Trump and the 9/11 before they even happened. For us, Homer Simpson’s little abode was an form of escapism like none other.


After Donald Duck joins the US Navy, he sends his three notorious nephews – Huey Dewey, and Louie to live with their wealthy uncle Scrooge McDuck. Adventure ensues.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Who knew the tale of four mutant turtles who learn martial arts under the tutelage of a humanoid rat would become such a rocking hit?!?! teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles began way back in the 1980’s. We still long to see the original show’s reruns.

The Bugs Bunny Show

The Bugs Bunny Show, unfortunately, had only four seasons. No one knows the exact reason why the series was cancelled when it was at its absolute peak. the story involves Bugs Bunny and Tweety having all kinds of adventures together. there are appearances from other popular Looney Tunes characters as well.

The Rugrats

The Rugrats told the story from a  baby’s point of view. All the adults in the show were clueless and stupid. the babies though were super smart and mischievous in ways you can’t even imagine.

Dexter’s Laboratory

Dexter is a boy genius who runs a super secret high tech lab in his house unbeknownst to his parents. But his sister Deedee doesn’t miss a chance to make his life miserable.


For many, Pokémon was the series that introduced us to the world of anime. It is now the world’s most profitable franchise ever and it is all thanks to the success of the show.

Batman Beyond

Trailing not far behind Batman: The Animated Series, Batman Beyond is another critically acclaimed show that had the blessings of both cartoon Network and DC Comics. The story takes place in the futuristic city of Neo-Gotham. Terry McGinnis is the new Batman with an older Bruce Wayne serving as his mentor.


A pizza delivery guy is accidentally frozen in time, waking up 1000 years later. He is taken in by his sole surviving descendant, a frail scientist who owns a delivery service of his own. Futurama hits you right in the feels. Even after two decades, we would still say the series was ahead of its time.

The Road Runner Show

Wile E Coyote spends his days futilely trying to catch the Road Runner, who always manages to outsmart the funky predator.

Samurai Jack

Evil shape-shifter Aku sends a young samurai into a dystopian future. Samurai Jack now must find his way back to his time and defeat Aku before all is lost.

Written by Bibhu Prasad Panda

With a Bachelor's in Engineering and a Master's in Marketing and Operations, Bibhu found a love for writing, working for many different websites. He joined FandomWire in July 2020 and worked his way to his current position of Content Strategist. Bibhu has been involved in operating and managing FandomWire's team of writers, diversifying into varied, exotic fields of pop culture.