Kids have always loved cartoons, and adults often harbor a secret enjoyment of the genre, too.
As a teen, entrepreneur Sky Dayton was animation-obsessed, spending much of his spare time drawing and animating cartoons. He had a short-lived job in the entertainment industry right after high school, then went on to found internet service provider EarthLink.
What are some of the most enduring animated shows, then and now?
- Beavis and Butt-Head. You wouldn't think a show could even get away with a name like Butt-Head, but this animated MTV series about teen fans of heavy metal music was on the tube from its 1993 inception until 2011, a very respectable 18-year run. They also did idiotic things out of boredom, something every teenager could no doubt relate to, hence its popularity.
- SpongeBob Square Pants. A talking sea sponge, really? Hey, it's been a fan favorite since 1999. SpongeBob lives in a pineapple and goes to boating school. What were these writers eating when they created the script?
- Tom and Jerry. This cat and mouse duo captured the public's heart 'way back in 1940, when TV as an everyday medium was young. These frenemies have been entertaining audiences for generations ever since.
- Loony Tunes. Even older is the Loony Tunes gang, a syndicated network of enduringly loveable animated characters such as Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and Pepe Le Pew. This creative crew was born in — wait for it — 1930, a time before many of our parents or even grandparents owned or watched TV!
- The Bugs Bunny Show. It was perhaps inevitable that the wisecracking "wabbit" would get his own spotlight. Always escaping danger by, um, a hare, Bugs has had his animated show since 1960.
- The Flintstones. "Wilmaaaaa!" Who could forget Fred's warbling call to his Stone Age wife or their best pals, Barney and Betty Rubble? The Flintstones premiered on September 30, 1960, the first prime-time animated TV show in history. The amusing family dynamics of this "modern Stone Age family" made it one of the most beloved classics of the genre.
- Pokémon. Video games, trading cards, animated television series ... Pokémon cartoon monsters that are captured by players and trained to battle each other are a global phenomenon, captivating the hearts of generations since the 1990s.
- The Pink Panther Show. Remember the mischievous, dapper feline and his endless shenanigans? We've loved The Pink Panther since 1969. Fun Fact: He's been voiced by humorist Dave Barry, known for his sidesplitting discourse on human nature in his long-running Miami Herald column.
- The Simpsons. For more than three decades, this relatable cast of characters sporting oversized beaks and unusual hairdos has had its finger on the pulse of human nature and modern-day culture, which is no doubt why they're the show that often springs to mind first when someone says, "animated TV."
- Spider-Man. The comic book legend came to life on TV in 1994, and has been weaving action-packed adventures filled with superhero crime-fighting ever since.
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Heroes on the half-shell? These reptilian warriors struck a chord with teens and animation lovers everywhere, becoming a TV staple ever since the first show aired on December 28, 1987.
- Popeye the Sailor. Back in the day, this animated TV show was the best way to get your kids to eat spinach: it's what Popeye always did in order to defeat the bad guys. He's been on screen with offbeat capers since 1933.
Whether you're new to animated TV or a committed fan, there's sure to be a show that captivates your attention. Just remember to occasionally step away from the screen.