We’ve had threads about toys, kids tv shows, kids tv show hosts, and even a few for specific shows, but I don’t think we’ve had one about the pure joy that is cartoons. Particularly “kids” cartoons as opposed to the often trying too hard to be edgy “adult” ones.
These days it feels like if you’re a writer and want to get your idea out there with a minimum of executive meddling, making it a cartoon is your best bet (apart from creating the Gizmoplex, of course). Don’t put in too much that’s not kid-friendly and it’s surprising what you can slip past the suits. Or at least it was, but we’ll have to see what happens as megacorps absorb more and more content producers.
I could start with MST-related cartoons, but apart from Patton, who’s in everything, I can only think of Joel’s appearance in Steven Universe. I could never get into that one, despite the fantastic steps it took towards representation, so I can’t really talk about it.
But Patton does appear in Gravity Falls as one of the Lilliputtians, animated golf balls who live on a mini-golf course. This show was awesome, and probably one of the best paranormal mystery series ever. The first season was better and liked to subvert expectations (the suspected zombie ended up being a bunch of gnomes), while the second season, which suffered a little from creator burnout, played things more straight and went a bit darker. I highly recommend this one to anyone.
Keeping with more recent cartoons, I’ll also mention the new Duck Tales, which I loved. David Tennant as Scrooge McDuck? Yes, please! This one’s a lot more self-aware and embraces and plays with the franchise. Huey, Dewey, and Louie are distinct characters this time around, and it also makes Webby, of all characters, interesting. I thought the show kind of fell apart a bit at the end, with a slightly unsatisfying finale, but it’s not the first show to have that problem and it won’t be the last.
I’ll just leave at those two recent shows for now, but we’ve got decades of material that might be someone’s favorite.