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10 Cartoons That Don’t Deserve Their Popularity (& Why)

Not every cartoon is going to stand the test of time and not every favorite childhood show still deserves the popularity it once enjoyed. Most people have a favorite cartoon they were born watching. They might even come back to it when they need a pick-me-up. Some might also have a cartoon they hate where even the mention of it makes them angry and ready to argue their case.

Not every cartoon is going to stand the test of time and not every favorite childhood show is going to elicit the same belly laughs they did 20 years ago. There are plenty of cartoons that may have been fan favorites for seemingly indiscernible reasons; however there are fewer that seem undeserving of the popularity they garnered. Few may remember the odd 2007 Disney flick The Underdog which somehow brought Kronk Tyrion Lannister and Earl together on the big screen and fewer remember the original 1964 cartoon. Still the canine Superman is a classic amongst nostalgic baby boomers and the occasional five-year-old.

Unfortunately a canine Superman is all Underdog ended up being. His stories personality costume and even love interest was an almost carbon copy of the Man of Steel only smaller and fuzzier. Not even an adolescent Taylor Momsen could save this franchise from its unfortunate return to obscurity.

Digimon was adapted from a 1997 Japanese toy marketed as the masculine version of Tamagotchi. Each series follows a different human child as they venture into the Digital World with their cyberspace pets. For obvious reasons comparisons have been made between this series and the more popular Japanese childrens series Pokémon.

Far too many similarities exist between the two including their premises their episode plots and even their stock characters. Whether its laziness or plagiarism that made Digimon so referential its clear its creators took more than a few cues from the Nintendo powerhouse much to the dismay of potential fans looking for a fresh new take on the pocket monster genre. Raphael Bob-Waksbergs raunchy celebrity parody show Bojack Horseman is a favorite amongst fans for its hilarious and hyperbolic portrayal of celebrity life. However critics and former fans agree the aging Will Arnett-voiced horse is too toxic for a protagonist. The show also tends to trivialize addiction.

Despite the seemingly natural success of the first season and its lighter humor the following seasons became progressively dark and offensive. TikTok and Twitter are brimming with fans takes on the unfortunate downfall of Bojack Horseman most sighting the protagonists unreliable nature and refusal to become a better person as the cause for their rejection of the show. The premise of this 2007 Disney cartoon revolved around two brothers building things in their backyard. Its a simple enough formula that seems difficult to make uninteresting. Other cartoons like Jimmy Neutron and Dexters Laboratory have successfully executed the child genius archetype but theyve also made their protagonists flawed and deep characters.

On the contrary Phineas and Ferb somehow failed to do the same for four seasons. The titular brothers are given little personality beyond their knack for invention throughout the shows eight-year run as is the case with their friends and family. For a show thats so character-centric its disappointing its characters didnt develop past one dimension. When Warner Bros. Animation premiered the gothic animated Batman series in 1992 DC fans were ecstatic to see a true-to-comics film noir adaptation of The Dark Knights adventures. They were rightfully excited because Batman: TAS went on to become the most memorable on-screen portrayal of the masked vigilante.

In fact theres little negative to say about the show itself. It introduced a lot of new Batman fans to Gotham and its villainous underground in a way that was stylistically striking and accurate to the source material. However what makes Batman: The Animated Series so overrated is how often fans over-hype this 90s classic making it seem much better than it is despite its occasionally mediocre writing. This French cartoon follows the adventures of two teen superheroes Ladybug and Cat Noir as they battle Parisian villains and their complicated feelings for each other. One of the shows running conflicts is between the two main heroes themselves. They know each other outside of crime-fighting but somehow never recognize each others superhero identities.

To the annoyance of many fans this conflict is yet to be resolved causing some to lose interest in the show for its overly drawn-out romantic tension. Aside from that critics often condemn the show for its repetitive and unoriginal writing. The 90s Nickelodeon-turned-Disney classic Doug has long been considered a staple of both networks 90s and 00s animated catalogs. However fans have since spoken out against the show for its poor writing and characterization. As is commonplace amongst 90s cartoons Dougs diverse cast of characters are as one-dimensional as they are oddly designed. The main character spends the entire series facing incredibly trivial issues not to mention his ability to somehow make any situation turn out in his favor. Doug rarely grows throughout the shows five seasons and whatever lessons he does learn are forgotten by the next episode.

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