Have you binged Rick and Morty maybe one too many times? Need a new animated series to fill up that summertime TV programming lull? Instead of waiting for new content, watch something from the 90’s!
This decade was full of awesome animated shows, some of which were arguably better than the most popular series today. Luckily for animated series fans everywhere, Hulu is bringing tons of 90’s cartoon realness to your screen.
Check out this list of great 90’s cartoons you should totally stream on Hulu this summer:
If you’re a 90’s kid, you will probably remember this Nickelodeon cartoon classic, Hey Arnold! The show stars a hip 4th-grader, Arnold, who lives with his grandparents Phil and Gertie in the Sunset Arms boarding house. It takes place in Hillwood, an amalgamation of Portland, Seattle, and Brooklyn– so basically imaginary hipster town. This kid grew up in a housing co-op, in a room that most millennials would only dream of, had a fine appreciation for jazz, and a slick fashion sense. Arnold was too cool for school, but he would always be there for a friend in need.
When the show premiered in 1996, it was groundbreaking entertainment. It was the first ever Nickelodeon cartoon to use actual children to voice characters on the show. It is also still considered to be the most diverse cartoon of all time, portraying characters from many different ethnic backgrounds. Hey Arnold is sophisticated, timeless, and entertaining for kids and adults alike. Definitely add this one to your watchlist.
Next on this totally retro list is Adult Swim’s flagship cartoon, Home Movies. Conceived by Brendan Small (Metalocalypse), Loren Bouchard (Bob’s Burgers), and H. Jon Benjamin (Bob’s Burgers, Archer), this underrated animated series is considered to be the precursor to Bob’s Burgers.
Brendan Small portrays his younger persona, a nonchalant, sarcastic 3rd grader who loves making home movies with his friends after school. Small does not even pretend to act like an 8-year-old and approaches every situation with hilarious wit. This dialogue driven show focuses less on visual storytelling and more on funny conversations. It first aired in 1999 on a different network, but later moved to Cartoon Network to lead the way in their new late-night adult programming block, Adult Swim. It is not a visual masterpiece, but it is definitely a must see for every legit cartoon fan out there.
Daria is the quintessential 90’s animated sitcom. This Beavis and Butthead spin-off was about the daily life of a slightly misanthropic, disaffected, teenage outcast named Daria Morgendorffer. When the series premiered on MTV in 1997, it became an instant hit.
Daria’s off-color brand of cleverly placed sarcasm helped form the critical voice of the millennial generation. Daria was the embodiment of teen angst, the girl who perfected shade-throwing, the black sheep that was somehow 100% relatable. We loved her long before hipsters stole her look because she wasn’t afraid to live her truth. Her melancholic, malaise truth. With a Daria reboot coming down the pipeline, we couldn’t be more excited about this addition to Hulu.
Doug was one of the greatest 90’s cartoons. Premiering originally in 1991 on Nickelodeon, the show later moved to Disney in 1994. (It was so great, Disney didn’t want to the show end.) Doug was a nerdy, goofy guy who brought a lot of relatability to your Saturday morning cartoon block. Doug loves journaling, hanging out with his dog, and debating with his hip, thespian sister, Judy.
Though the show may be a bit juvenile for older audiences, it never ceases to captivate with its awesome storytelling and its feel-good vibes.
From the mind of Steven Spielberg and the creators of Pinky and the Brain, came a zany animated variety show, Animaniacs. Oh, Animaniacs. These mice … dogs? … Monkeys? We’re pretty sure they’re supposed to be monkeys. Whatever they are, these silly siblings have a place in every 90’s kid’s heart.
Each episode was a series of short skits, featuring a huge cast of characters, centering around the Warner brothers, Yakko and Wakko, and their sister Dot. It first aired on Fox in 1993, and it helped pave the way for many other animated series in the mainstream. Many believed this show was the pinnacle of Warner Bros. cartoons during the Animation Renaissance of the late 80’s and early 90’s. Hulu thinks this cartoon’s zany, nonsensical humor stands the test of time, so they are planning to reboot it in 2020. Better start watching now to prepare yourself!
Now, there are plenty of other 90’s hits streaming on Hulu right now, but these are truly the cream of the crop. (Sorry, not sorry.) You can also stream Pinky and the Brain, Rugrats, and PowerPuff Girls exclusively on Hulu.
There are tons of other great 90’s cartoons that didn’t make the cut because they are not yet on Hulu, but we think they still deserve an honorable mention: Ed, Edd and Eddy, AHH Real Monsters, Dexter’s Laboratory, Rocko’s Modern Life, Angry Beavers, The Wild Thornberrys, Cow and Chicken, and Rocket Power.
Happy streaming, everyone!