Top 10 Forgotten Series of the ’90s

Over the years, from Kids’ WB, PBS Kids, to Nickelodeon, there has been a wide variety of cartoons that have influenced us as children. Whether it was for passing time with friends, educational purposes or just watching what was available to us, let’s go down memory lane and see how many of these series you actually remember.

10: “Tales from the Crypt”: Tales from the Crypt originated from an EC Comics series from the 1950s, but was made into a series that began in 1989. It was aired on HBO and was one of the few series that was allowed to have full censorship by the network, allowing profanity and gory details. The eerie show begins inside of a spooky mansion, where the Crypt Keeper, a vigorous corpse pops out from his coffin and begins telling mysterious bone-chilling tales. The show originally had the Cryptkeeper puppet as the host but later on decided to use an animated one to make it suitable for kids.

9: “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood”: Mister Rogers,’ who is actually Fred McFeely Rogers, not only produced but hosted and composed the infamous theme for this original series in the mid-’90s. In the beginning of each episode, Rogers would sing the pleasant theme song as he hangs his coat to put on a zippered cardigan and replaces his dress shoes with sneakers. The series was aired on various PBS stations until 2006, despite the fact he passed away in 2003 at the age of 74. Mister Rogers’ demonstrated to the viewers the skillfulness of crafts and experiments, while using music and puppets to teach lessons of compassion, generosity and love to his audience.

8: “Are You Afraid Of The Dark?”: Similar to the style of ‘The Twilight Zone’, Are You Afraid of the Dark? was created as a horror fantasy series, involving a group of kids who introduce themselves as “The Midnight Society”. In each episode, the group meets up at a discrete location in the woods, where one member would tell a scary story to his peers. The narrator would always whisper the title of their story, “The Tale of…,” and the scenes will demonstrate accordingly to the story being told. Those that enjoy eerie campfire stories should be able to recognize this show.

7: “Doug”: The series solely based on an adolescent named Doug, we travel through the eyes of an 11-year-old who faces numerous experiences after moving to the town of Bluffington. Like most adolescents, Doug writes in his journal about his experiences in school and home, the bully he faces and the girl of his dreams, Patti Mayonnaise. Doug has an intricate imagination, which narrates his thoughts into wild stories for viewers. Doug’s creator, Jim Jinkin, stated: “There’s a lot of me in there because I’m going through my own experiences in there, because I have a conscience.” It’s easy to relate to many circumstances that’re presented to Doug, especially during school.

6: “ Ghostwriter”: First aired in 1992 on PBS, Ghostwriter is a ghost who is able to communicate with a group of kids from Brooklyn through manipulating letters and words to format sentences. Along with Ghostwriter, the kids solve crimes and mysterious from around the neighborhood of Brooklyn. The series was made to educate children with their reading and writing skills, while the mysteries make it more encouraging and fun. Ghostwriter was racially diversified and among one of the top five children’s show on television but due to the insufficiency of funds, they were canceled by 1995.

5: “Legends of the Hidden Temple”: Formerly a game show for children, aired on Nickelodeon, which took place at Universal Studios in Orlando. Each episode, there are 6 teams, each competing to go to the next round to retrieve a hidden treasure in the temple by physically engaging in stunts, or answering questions to get closer to the finish. Legends of the Hidden Temple encouraged children to push themselves to be active not only physically but mentally and the importance of teamwork to achieve their goals.

4: “Rocko’s Modern Life”: From the same creator of Spongebob SquarePants, Stephen Hillenberg created Rocko in 1993, a modern wallaby who was born and raised in Australia, until he had to leave the comfort of his home due to a bully named Dingo. Rocko had moved to a place called O-Town with the motto “We Own You”, demonstrating that during the process of birth to adulthood, real life will catch up to you and perhaps kick your butt from time to time. Rocko’s Modern Life is the epitome of modern day curveballs that are thrown at you and how one would deal with all these experiences.

3: “The Magic School Bus”: Probably the one and only magical school bus that could transform into anything to deliver the class into space, or inside of someone’s intestines. Ms. Valerie Frizzle, the spunky and enthusiastic teacher never fails to teach her students information about science. Originated on PBS, in each episode, Ms. Frizzle always takes her students on an adventure and manages to make learning fun. Imagine, actually acquiring a school bus that can take you anywhere and morph into absolutely anything, it made the possibilities endless for viewers.

2: “Earthworm Jim”: Earthworm Jim was not only a television series, he was also based on a video game. The earthworm that became a superhero after obtaining a powerful suit that has fallen from space, fends off villains that are after the very same suit. He finds his opponents in disguise, trying to gain his suit and that’s when all hell breaks loose and it’s time for Earthworm Jim to show them what he’s made of.

1: “Wishbone”: An educational show for children with a Jack Russell Terrier as the main character, Wishbone, was known as the little dog with a big imagination. Wishbone would portray the famous character he dreams of. The show required imagination, just as any other, but for children, what is cooler than a dog in costumes or one that can portray characters like Robin Hood? It was comical, it was cute and viewers can hear Wishbone narrate classic historical stories, while acting it out, similarly to a theatrical performance.

Author: Barbara Lam

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