December 27, 2023 | Mathew Burke

Old-school Facts About 90s Cartoons


90s Cartoons facts90s Cartoons facts90s Cartoons facts“I see now that the circumstances of one’s birth are irrelevant. It is what you do with the gift of life that determines who you are.” – Mewtwo, Pokemon.

“Move it, football head!” – Helga, Hey Arnold!

“You can’t judge how beautiful a girl really is by the way she looks.” – Sailor Moon, Sailor Moon.

Here are some fun facts about 90s cartoons to take you back down Memory Lane.

90s Cartoons facts90s Cartoons facts90s Cartoons facts

 


90s Cartoons Facts

50. High Praise

Matt Groening, the creator of The Simpsons, stated that he enjoyed Beavis and the other-head (1993) since it shifted the blame off Bart Simpson for being accountable for the degradation of western civilization.

cartoon split image

49. Darn it, Meg!

The original voice of Meg in Family Guy (1999), Lacey Chabert, left the show after the first season because of a contract mistake: her contract didn’t make her commit to the full series. She chose to leave after one season and was replaced by Mila Kunis.

Family Guy FactsFamily Guy, 20th Century Fox Television

48. It’s a trap!

The Krusty Krab restaurant in Spongebob Squarepants (1999) is built inside a lobster trap.

90s Cartoons Facts Spongebob Squarepants Nickelodeon

47. Game on!

Mr. Mime, a pokemon featured in the Pokémon (1997) series can in fact be a girl, however the name of the pokemon doesn't actually change. She would still be a Mr. Mime.

90s Cartoons Facts Pokémon 4 Kids Entertainment

Advertisement

46. Sailor Moon 2: Resurrection

In American versions of Sailor Moon (1995), the sequence involving the Sailor Warriors' expiry and revival was edited out. In the original Japanese version, the DD Girls ended their lives. However, in the English dub, this was changed to them being merely "sent back to the Negaverse."

90s Cartoons Facts Sailor Moon With Cloverway International

45. Mean Girls

Craig Bartlett, creator of Hey, Arnold! (1996), based the girls in the show on girls he liked and disliked when he was a kid.

90s Cartoons Facts Hey Arnold! Nickelodeon

44. The Big Duckiverse

Although the character of Launchpad McQuack originated in DuckTales (1987) and became a sidekick in Darkwing Duck (1991), show creator Tad Stones states that both shows do not share the same universe.

90s Cartoons Facts Darkwing Duck Disney Television Animation

43. Short Shorts

From 1995 to 2002, Cartoon Network showcased shorts of up and coming talent on a segment titled What A Cartoon! This segment premiered many iconic cartoons, including The Powerpuff Girls, Dexter's Laboratory, Johnny Bravo, Cow and Chicken, Courage the Cowardly Dog, Codename: Kids Next Door, and Family Guy.

Family Guy FactsFamily guy pilot episode, 20th Century Fox Television

42. Pretty in Pink

In early designs, Sailor Moon had pink hair.

90s Cartoons Facts Sailor Moon With Cloverway International

 

41. Cut it Out!

When Dragon Ball Z (1996) started to air in the United States, the episodes were heavily edited from the original Japanese show and many of the more controversial episodes weren’t released at all. Of the 67 Japanese episodes, only 53 were released.

Harry Potter And The Prisoner of Azkaban FactsShutterstock

Advertisement

40. Powerpuff Replacements

When the news broke that former Cartoon Network hit show Powerpuff Girls (1998) would be rebooted, original voice actors Cathy Cavadini, E.G. Daily and Tara Strong were outraged to learn that their characters were recast. Tara Strong took to Twitter and called the move ‘a stab in the heart’.

90s Cartoons Facts Powerpuff Girls Warner Bros. Television

 

39. Oh, Momma…

The show Johnny Bravo (1995) was based of creator Van Partibles’ thesis film, Mess O' Blues (1993), an animated short film about an Elvis impersonator.

 

90s Cartoons Facts Johnny Bravo Hanna-Barbera

38. Anibrainiacs

Pinky and the Brain (1995) have their origins in another Steven Spielberg/Warner Brothers series Animaniacs (1993), where they were featured in a lot of shorts before being spun off into their own show.

90s Cartoons Facts Pinky and the Brain Warner Bros. Animation

37. Arson and Head-end

In October 1993, a 5-year-old boy set fire to his Ohio home, resulting in the tragic loss of his 2-year-old sister's life. Their mother alleged that the character, Beavis, from the 1993 television show featuring two adolescent boys, was the cause, given his fire-making tendencies and preference for arson. MTV’s quick response was to only air the show after 10:30pm and to wipe all fire references from all episodes—only fans who taped the early episodes on their VCRs have proof that the word “fire” was ever uttered. “Fire” was banned for the rest of the series’ original run, but it was allowed again in 2011.

90s Cartoons Facts MTV

36. A Goofy Homage

Goof Troop’s town of Spoonerville was named after J. Michael Spooner, the person in charge of the background layouts for the show.

90s Cartoons Facts Goof Troop Disney Television Animation

35. Travis the Wallaby

Show creator Joe Murray got inspired for Rocko’s Modern Life (1996) when he saw a kangaroo at the zoo that was oblivious to the chaos around him. The character first starred in a comic strip under the name Travis, but Murray chose the name “Rocko” for the show, because it made the character sound more like a fighter.

90s Cartoons Facts Rocko’s Modern Life Nickelodeon

Advertisement

34. Lights Out

The final season of Sailor Moon, "Sailor Stars", was never dubbed in America due to American distributor and animation studio DiC losing the licensing rights to Sailor Moon (1995).

90s Cartoons Facts Sailor Moon With Cloverway International

33. Udder Horror

Before David Feiss created Cow and Chicken (1997) for Cartoon Network, he worked as an animator for Hanna-Barbera, working on such shows as The Jetsons and The Smurfs.

90s Cartoons Facts Cow and Chicken Hanna-Barbera

32. It Puts the Lotion on its Skin…

Seth Green, who plays Chris in Fox’s Family Guy (1999), auditioned for the role by doing an impression of Jame “Buffalo Bill” Gumb, from the movie Silence of the Lambs.

Family Guy FactsFamily Guy, 20th Century Fox Television

31. For Real

Environmental awareness show Captain Planet and the Planeteers (1990) became the basis for a real life environmental organization. A percentage of the merchandise earnings were used to set up a fund that still exists to this day.

90s Cartoons Facts Captain Planet and the Planeteers Hanna-Barbera

30. Ahead of its Time

ReBoot (1994) was the first half-hour computer animated show ever produced. The show was conceived 14 years earlier in Great Britain by creative collective “The Hub”, but moved to Vancouver to further develop the show. Two members of the group, Ian Pearson and Gavin Blair, were responsible for creating the first CGI music video for the band Dire Straits and their hit “Money For Nothing”.

90s Cartoons Facts ReBoot Rainmaker Studios

29. Hands On

According to voice director Andrea Romano, Steven Spielberg had a great hand in the production of Animaniacs (1993). He was producing the show through his own company, Amblin Television, but also came up with plots for episodes, checked the storyboards and visited the recording sessions for the show.

90s Cartoons Facts Animaniacs Page semi-protected Amblin Entertainment

Advertisement

28. Flipping Busses

To be less confusing to American audiences, most of the scenes that show the Sailor Moon (1995) bus driving were flipped so that they drove on the right side of the road, instead of the Japanese left side.

90s Cartoons Facts Sailor Moon With Cloverway International

27. Couple Project

Classic television animation show Rugrats was developed by the then couple Gábor Csupó and Arlene Klasky, together with Paul Germain in 1989. The couple ran a famous animation studio that provided animation for other studios and was the studio that animated The Simpsons (1989) until 1992.

90s Cartoons Facts Rugrats Nickelodeon

26. Early Start

Seth McFarlane (Family Guy, American Dad, …) and Butch Hartman (The Fairly OddParents, Danny Phantom) started their animation careers on the show Johnny Bravo (1995).

90s Cartoons Facts Getty Images

25. What Geefs?

In the 1950’s Goofy starred in a series of shorts where he lived under the name George Geef, living together with his son Junior. Forty years later Goof Troop (1992) would draw inspiration from this father-son relationship with The Walt Disney Company insisting that b90s Cartoons factsoth families were one and the same.

90s Cartoons Facts Goof Troop Disney Television Animation

24. Quinzell

Batman: The Animated Series (1995) had a lot of source material to draw from past Batman comics and television series. However, the show would create supporting characters that were not considered canon, but would get a huge fan following for years to come. The character Harley Quinn was created as a love interest and sidekick for The Joker, but would branch out into comics and movies long after the animated series had ended.

90s Cartoons Facts Batman: The Animated Series Warner Bros. Animation

23. The Fairest of Them All

Futurama got its name from an exhibit at the 1939 World’s Fair.

Nichelle Nichols factsFlickr, Ina Centaur

 

22. Take Over the World

It was revealed in the episode “Project B.R.A.I.N.” that the two mice in Pinky and the Brain are a result of a gene-splicing program called B.R.A.I.N., or “Biological Recombinant Algorithmic Intelligence Nexus.”

90s Cartoons Facts Pinky and the Brain Warner Bros. Animation

21. Whoopass Girls!

The Powerpuff Girls were created in 1991, when show creator Craig McCracken drew a birthday card for his brother featuring a mock title card for a fictional show called Whoopass Stew! The Whoopass Girls in: A Sticky Situation.

90s Cartoons Facts Powerpuff Girls Warner Bros. Television

20. Those Little Wienerheads…

The show Beavis and the other protagonist (1992) generated so many complaints and court cases, that MTV began broadcasting the show only after 11pm, incorporating this disclaimer:

"Beavis and the other character are not real." They are stupid cartoon people completely made up by this Texas guy whom we hardly even know. Beavis and the companion are foolish, crass, insensitive, unattractive, biased against women, and prone to self-harming behavior. Yet, surprisingly, their odd antics manage to amuse us.

90s Cartoons Facts MTV

19. Booked

Doug (1991) creator Jim Jinkins was originally pitching the character as a children’s book. When publishers showed no interest, Nickelodeon bought the rights to the character.

90s Cartoons Facts Doug Nickelodeon Animation Studio

18. Freak Out!

Casting for the lead role of Freakzoid! (1995) was a pain in the behind, as the studio felt none of the actors that auditioned were right for the character. When staff writer Paul Rugg demonstrated the voice during a recording session, he was cast as the lead character, Freakazoid.

90s Cartoons Facts Freakazoid Warner Bros. Animation

17. Imagine…

Voice actor Jess Harnell based his voice for Wacko Warner, one of the protagonists of the show Animaniacs (1993), on the voice of John Lennon.

The Beatles factsGetty Images

16. Changing stories

Disney’s Bonkers (1993) was temporarily halted halfway through production because of story problems that only became clear after the show returned from overseas animation studios.

90s Cartoons Facts Bonkers Disney Television Animation

15. Little sis

Dexter's Laboratory was inspired by one creator Genndy Tartakovsky's drawings of a ballerina. The drawing was a prototype of Deedee and he decided to pair her with a short and blocky opposite, inspired by his own brother.

90s Cartoons Facts Dexter

14. Too old for the bare necessities

The voice of Baloo the Bear in TaleSpin (1990) was supposed to be done by Phil Harris, who performed the character in The Jungle Book (1967). After three sessions, it became clear that the then 85-year-old Harris couldn’t deliver the performance that he did over 35 years earlier. The part went to veteran voice actor Ed Gilbert who also rerecorded Harris’ lines for the first three episodes.

90s Cartoons Facts TaleSpin Disney–ABC Television Group

13. P.C. (Pokémon Correctness)

When Pokémon (1997) director Masamitsu Hidaka was informed that the Pokémon series would be released globally, he was concerned that viewers might perceive Brock Harrison - indeed, that's his last name - as a stereotype associated with specific ethnic groups. As a result, he was partially written out of the first season. When the character received a positive reception, he was written back into the series as a major character.

90s Cartoons Facts Pokémon 4 Kids Entertainment

 

12. Why so serious?

Bruce Timm was one of the creators of Freakzoid! (1995), but he left the after his proposal for the show to be an action/adventure instead of a comedy series was vetoed by Steven Spielberg.

90s Cartoons Facts Freakazoid Warner Bros. Animation

11. No girls allowed!

The original pitch for Rocko’s Modern Life (1996) included a sister for Rocko, but the show’s creator felt the show worked better if Rocko was on his own.

90s Cartoons FactsRocko’s Modern Life Nickelodeon

10. The B-show

TaleSpin (1990) was developed in the span of two weeks after a pitch for a series based around the secondary Disney characters called B-Players got turned down. Producer Jymn Magon kept Baloo the Bear from the pitch and built a show around him as a pilot in the 1930’s.

90s Cartoons Facts TaleSpin Disney–ABC Television Group

9. Brand Spankin’ New Doug!

When Nickelodeon held off on the order for the production of the last season of Doug (1991), creator Jim Jinkins tried to sell the property to other studios. Disney took an interest and bought the rights, the trademark and the studio that produced the show.

90s Cartoons Facts Doug Nickelodeon Animation Studio

8. Dramedy

Greg Weisman initially wanted Gargoyles (1994) to be a comedy series, but after  a few pitches the show made a more dramatic turn, making it one of the darkest series produced by Disney Television Animation.

90s Cartoons Facts Gargoyles Page Disney Television Animation

7.  Wiseguy, eh?!?

Voice actor Billy West was already hired to do the voice of Stimpy (from The Ren & Stimpy Show) before the producers knew what the character should’ve sounded like. West and the producers tested a few different voices and settled on a voice that sounded like Larry Fine from The Three Stooges.

90s Cartoons Facts Ren & Stimpy Nickelodeon Animation Studio

 

6. Who lives in a closet, next to a bucket?

The creator of Spongebob Squarepants (1999) originally wanted to call the character “SpongeBoy”, but the name was already copyrighted by a mop company.

90s Cartoons Facts Spongebob Squarepants Nickelodeon

5. Escape from the Playhouse

Arnold from Hey, Arnold! (1996) started out as a supporting character of a series of claymation cutaways called “Penny”, produced for Pee-wee’s Playhouse. When Craig Bartlett tried pitching a few shows for Nickelodeon, he showed a video with a few Penny episodes. The executives liked the Arnold character and asked Bartlett to develop the character into a cel animated show.

90s Cartoons Facts Hey Arnold! Nickelodeon

4. Delirium

Trey Parker and Matt Stone were so overwhelmed and fatigued while creating South Park: The Movie (1999) that they do not remember producing the sixth episode of the third season, titled "Harassment Panda". To this day, they are still amazed that the writing holds up.

South Park FactsSouth Park 20th Television

3. Doggy dues

The tear jerking episode “Jurassic Bark” from Futurama’s fifth season nearly had an even more crushing plot. Instead of Seymour the fossilized dog, the writers intended to have Fry’s mother stuck in the rock. Not wanting to make light of depression, they changed the story to involve a pet instead of a family member.

90s Cartoons Facts

2. Double-O Down

Darkwing Duck (1991) started out under the name “Double-O Duck”, but Disney had to change because the “Double-O” moniker was owned by EON Productions, who own the rights of the James Bond franchise.

90s Cartoons Facts Darkwing Duck Disney Television Animation

1. Vinnie the Shark

Street Sharks (1994) was created to promote a line of toys created by Mattel. When Mattel showed the action figures at the 1994 NY Toy Fair, the toys were presented by a then-unknown actor by the name of Mark Sinclair, now better known as Vin Diesel.

90s Cartoons Facts Street Sharks DIC Entertainment

 

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33