So you didn’t get enough retro-cartoon-awesomeness the first time? Had to come back for some more nostalgia, did you? That’s perfectly acceptable. We had a contingency plan set in place to ensure that you returned. This outcome was inevitable.
Now that we have you here, why not try to relax, and enjoy some more thought-provoking animated options that you will totally not feel compelled to share with your kids afterward? Okay, okay, you can share if you want. I don’t blame you.
Samurai Pizza Cats
An adorable, tongue-in-cheek gag anime from 1991, Samurai Pizza Cats follows the random adventures of Speedy Cerviche, Polly Esther, and Guido Anchovy. These three anthropomorphic cats, as you might expect, wear futuristic robots suits, fight evil, and serve pizza — sometimes all at once. As a comedy, Samurai Pizza Cats was notable for its pop-culture references, self-awareness, fourth-wall breaking, and odd humor. Episodes frequently went on without clear goals, and the majority of the plot would barely pass as filler or fluff in other shows. However, the characters and randomness of the cartoon made it endearing and funny all the same, giving Samurai Pizza Cats cult status. If your kids enjoy cartoons with animals as main characters, or they like humor in their cartoons, Samurai Pizza Cats could be quite the entertaining choice.
Like many action-based cartoons between the ‘80s and ‘90s, M.A.S.K was based on a line of toys before it was a cartoon. The M.A.S.K cartoon was written around the first two product lines of toys, and drew heavily from more popular cartoons like G.I Joe. Each of the members in M.A.S.K had their own special helmet (complete with super-powers!) and vehicle, used to fight against the evil syndicate V.E.N.O.M. Clearly, the creators of the show liked their acronyms. However, that is not to say the cartoon didn’t have its merits; M.A.S.K earned its popularity for its chase sequences, transforming vehicles, and action scenes. If your kids are fans of the action hero genre, try out a few episodes of M.A.S.K, and they’ll likely be hooked.
While not the most obscure cartoon on this list, Gargoyles certainly earns its place as being a fan-favorite, without also being too mainstream. Gargoyles takes place in present day New York, as a clan of gargoyles attempts to stop the villain Xanatos. The leader of the gargoyles, Goliath, was the focus of the show, while the episodes usually featured lengthy plot arcs and well-created gambits. The characterization of Gargoyles was well ahead of its time for the “Saturday morning cartoon” genre, and nerds will find some humor in the fact that many of its characters were voiced by the cast of Star Trek: TNG. Despite its high quality writing and production values, Gargoyles was not a commercial success, though it maintained a rather large following. If your children like a touch of the supernatural in their shows, or can appreciate a more long-standing plot, Gargoyles will do the trick.
Tally-Ho! Made by the same studio that produced the much more popular and successful Thundercats, Silverhawks is another team-based cartoon of the same vein, but was set in space as a science-fiction series. The Silverhawks team was led by a former agent, Quicksilver, but the entire group was comprised of humans who were biomechanically infused with metal, making for some pretty cool-looking super heroes. The Silverhawks traveled through space, fighting against the evil Mon*Star, who was basically a massive, shape-shifting alien cat with tentacles (and it’s every bit as awesome as it sounds). He also had a castle for a lair. In space. A space castle. You couldn’t fit more cool into this if you tried. Silverhawks also features what is quite possibly the best guitar solo in an opening theme of all time. If your kids enjoyed Thundercats, are fans of science fiction, or are looking for another cartoon with a noun being used as an adjective followed by an animal, Silverhawks is the cartoon for them.