I have a confession to make- I actually really like cartoons. I love Disney and Pixar movies and I like a good cartoon that can make me giggle. Might sound silly but, it’s better than watching Orange County House Wives in my opinion! So I don’t mind watching them with my daughter, but I made a rule when my daughter was still tiny that she couldn’t watch any cartoons that drove me crazy. We had to both like what we were watching. Sounds selfish I’m sure, but my sanity was at stake. Dora the Explorer, Thomas the Train, Super Why, and Spongebob are just a few on the list that are absolutely not allowed! I have watched a good portion of the kid’s shows out there at least once, just to see if I could tolerate them, and I’ve come up with a list of them that are actually enjoyable (for me, at least).
Phineas and Ferb
A favorite around my house, even my parents like it! It’s about 2 little boys and their friends going on incredible adventures during their summer vacation while their sister tries to “bust” them and their parents always miss it. While that happens, their pet platypus, who is an undercover agent, stops his nemesis from taking over the tri-state area. It all sounds very silly, and it is! However it’s also hilarious and full of jokes just for the parents. You can find it on Disney, Disney XD, and Netflix.
This one is on Disney XD and it’s really quite cute. It’s a spin off of Snow White and the 7 Dwarves where the dwarves live in Jollywood and help protect the queen from the evil Glooms. The way the show is drawn in 2D and the antics of the characters remind me a bit of cartoons from when I was a kid. They make some great jokes and could definitely cater to a wide age-range.
Wander Over Yonder
An adorable little cartoon that reminds me a little of Doctor Who. Wander and his companion Silvia haplessly travel about the universe helping everyone they meet. This cartoon gets most of it’s laughs from slap stick comedy but carries a great message to help everyone, never say, “can’t,” and to never be rude. This one is found on Disney XD.
This one is a little darker and may be better suited for older kids (depending on what you let your kids watch). Unlike most cartoons which have similar episodes with a new plot line each episode, this show has a solid plot line that continues each episode as the main character Dipper and his twin sister Mabel try to find the author of a journal they found that documents all the weird things happening around the town their Great Uncle lives in. This one is also found on Disney XD.
The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That
A throwback to a kid’s book you probably had as a child, this Cat in the Hat is much more well behaved though equally goofy. He takes two friends on adventures (with the permission of their parents) to meet animals and see their habitats. The kids usually find a way to help the animals while there, and then use the new skills they learned when they get home. On PBS, it’s light hearted and cute and you can learn some things too.
The Wild Kratts
Hands down the best show to learn about animals, this show follows two brothers in a format that shows them in real life, and then shows their cartoon selves. They interact with the animals by using technology that turns them into whichever animal they choose. They teach all about the animals and their habitats and their food chains. This one is on PBS and Netflix.
My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic
Similar to the one you grew up with, just brand new animation and a new story line. This show helps kids with making friends, sticks in a little comedy, and keeps a consistent plot line. This one actually has a huge adult following! Found on Discovery Family and Netflix.
Sofia the First
Disney has added a new princess to the lineup! Sofia is a sweet little princess who has the ability to talk to animals and summon other Disney princesses thanks to her amulet given to her by the King. You’ll see a lot of familiar faces in this show, and unlike most of Disney’s shows, there are no songs sung over and over to drive you insane. Theres an actual plot!
Shows From Your Childhood
Cartoon Network plays Looney Tunes every morning followed by Tom and Jerry, and you can also find some of the older cartoons on Netflix. Many also can be found in DVD sets now.
I also asked the other contributors for their favorites and I thought I would include their answers since I had not seen some of their suggestions.
- Britnie said Wally Kazam which is found on Nick Jr.
- Katie said My Little Pony.
- Erin said Wild Kratts and Daniel Tiger, both found on PBS.
- Nicky said Scooby Doo which can sometimes be found on Boomerang or Netflix.
- Carrie said Mickey Mouse Clubhouse which is found on Disney.
- Amy said Sofia the First from Disney and Arthur from PBS (same one you watched as a kid!)
- Kristi said the Backyardigans which is found on Nick and Nick Jr.
So, now you have some options besides being whined at by Calliou and being stared at by Dora. What’s your favorite?