The Best All Time Longest Running Cartoons to Self-Isolate With

23 Apr

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

The Simpsons and South Park notwithstanding, it’s tough to top either as both have been on air for 30+ years now! With most parts of the world in its fifth or sixth week of self-isolating, eventually just I want to do is wish next year is here already! But seriously, if I’m going to be a couch potato, I thankfully have a huge library of television shows–animated and 80’s era shows–to tide my time with. Yes, we can go out for walks around the neighbourhood for a breath of fresh air, but for those people serious in not wanting to be exposed to the virus, it’s better to learn a new hobby to keep the mind and body sharp!

As an animation enthusiast, I’ve seen a lot of cartoon franchises evolve. As new teams gets involved, something is bound to change. I’ll rage about Thundercats Roar later; I’m still trying to decide if I like it.  As new producers try to make something new for today’s viewing audiences, it’s hard to say if they are in touch with kids of today. Perhaps the better question is to ask, are they wanting to remind us of once was then reinvent the premise? Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is the best example of how these heroes in a half shell has changed. Well, that’s mostly in how April O’Neil looks than the turtles. These teens will never grow up!

My criteria are series lasting for more than but not equal to five seasons. There’s plenty to choose from and instead of a top ten, I’m opting for a top five.

Some of these shows are available on streaming services or can be ordered through Amazon. By ordering through these links provided here, you are helping to support this site as we are part of the Amazon Associates program.

The following are my favourites:

Animaniacs

The shorts that make up an episode is simply a crazy variety show of fun, laughter and hijinks. With a huge cast of characters just simply wanting to have fun, this series is vintage slapstick comedy at its best, and how can anyone not like Pinky and the Brain? When considering the series underwent a revival and is getting rebooted (by Hulu), just what kind of new antics the Warner kids, Yakko, Wakko, and Dot, will face can be anything!

This series will be produced in conjunction with Amblin Entertainment and Warner Bros. Animation and is set to premiere Fall 2020.

Avatar: The Last Airbender and Legend of Korra

Fans of Asian folklore and martial arts will enjoy this series which features Ang, a hero destined to be the next Avatar. This individual is not only the epitome of virtue, but also is a person to bring peace to all of the land. When a world war breaks out between one nation, the others either have to bow to them or will fall.

The four elements of nature represent a particular trait, and when one individual has to learn how to balance between these, only he (or she) will know how to bring balance to the force. As cheesy as that sounds, that’s not what this show is about. The spirituality which the later chapter, The Legend of Korra, represents shows how the world gets expanded, and it’s more than about harmony with the elements, but also connecting with the higher self.

As long as fans consider the Dark Horse Comics trade paperbacks as canon, this series is ongoing. There’s enough of a gap between series to see Ang have even more adventures before becoming an adult, and what his fate is, before Korra takes the mantle.

Amazon.com: Mobile Suit Gundam (First Gundam) Part 1 DVD ...

Mobile Suit Gundam and its sequels are all available in highdef!

Mobile Suit Gundam

Although the original series run was short, running from 1979 to 80, the legacy it defined saw the sequel Zeta Gundam (available as a two-part release.) and Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ continue to define and expand the world where these giant robots symbols of power. Some of the early original video animations like 0080 defined the 90’s, and interest in this franchise spawned a huge industry with Gunpla. Fans of the show can build models of their favourite mecha!

The series is essentially a grande space opera. If we are not watching Amuro Ray’s story unfold, it will be another unsung hero in a huge galactic war.

While not all the later series tied in to the original, it all exists in the same universe (well, super deformed original video animations notwithstanding).

Robotech Saga

Love Harmony Gold or not, they clearly know there’s a strong fanbase for their series which adapts three different Japanese animation titles into a strangely workable premise. This series helped introduce many youths to Japanese Animation, and has its own relabelled brand of merchandise. I’m still wanting to own an Invid Raider, and one day I will find it at a local toy fair than hit eBay.

When this studio finally made original works The Sentinels and The Shadow Chronicles, just where the series can go next depends on whether this company can develop new material in a timely manner. They negotiated a deal with Tatsunoko to still hold international rights; as for what is next, that’s anybody’s guess since this company is very slow at producing new animated content.

Batman: The Animated Series [Blu-ray] to Superman (on DVD) to Batman Beyond [Blu-Ray] to Justice League (DVD) and Unlimited [Blu-ray]

The Timmverse is the epitome of 90s superhero cartoons. His artistic involvement and also role as producer with Paul Dini and Alan Burnett saw that not only the tentpole show, Batman: The Animated Series, introduced the DC universe to viewers throughout the 90s but also developed to give Superman his own show and eventually have the Justice League “splinter” to represent how beloved this universe truly is. It’s even made Kevin Conroy a house hold name amongst pop culture nerds. Eventually, all these releases will be available in one consistent format, but until then, fans have a choice between having the entire series in standard definition, or upgrade as other series get rereleased. in high def.

In Unlimited, we see all the Earth’s mightiest heroes united to do battle against Lex Luthor and his cohorts. This series respect just how powerful Darkseid is and I won’t spoil how he factors into the finale. But how can you end this show? You can’t! DC Comics is bringing back this particular Batman series in comic book form, and this return is set for the end of this month. The real heroes here is with Warner/DC Entertainment finding new means to distribute their comics, and keeping us readers happy.

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