Friday, April 5, 2013

Netflix Instant: TV & Movie Picks - Cartoon Network Edition

Alright y'all, if you've read on the interwebs, Cartoon Network has been added to the Netflix Instant family. This is huge for many reasons. For one, it gives weird man-children like me a reason to have cartoon marathons, and they all get to be in HD. But on a bigger and wider scale, this is a bigger deal because this is the first time that CN has really offered a lot of its less famous shows in a home video capacity. CN has been notoriously terrible about being able to get this stuff out on DVD or Blu-ray. Even ADVENTURE TIME, which has been such a runaway hit for the network, has not gotten a proper release beyond one season on DVD and a few compilations. With this deal we are able to enjoy some of the older cartoon Network toons such as Johnny Bravo, Powerpuff Girls, and Dexter's Lab. Check out some of my personal picks after the break.

My favorite cartoon currently playing right now, it deals with a boy Finn and his magical dog, Jake as they go on various adventures. This is a show that manages to be many things, and it does all of them well. It's a cute children's cartoon that's got some really adult themes and allegories. Also, it's trippy like no other. What I love about the show, just like any show worth its salt, is that it's constantly evolving. At first, it's nothing more than random adventures, and then it starts delving into the mythology of the world explicitly and implicitly. It grows to be a great examination of two friends who grow and deal with things differently but manage to stick together. You could almost say, it's like Jonesy and I. (Awwwwwww) This might not be a deep cut (especially when the cartoon is getting featured on Esquire) for you nerds on the Internet, but I know of plenty of people who still haven't seen the show.

This was one of my favorite movies growing up. It just came during that weird time when I could still appreciate cartoons, but it was getting a little weird to like them. This was a continuation of the acclaimed Batman: The Animated Series with this one where the concept of Batman as a symbol is explored through teenager Terry McGuinis. He comes upon the old Batcave and an old and grizzled Bruce Wayne. Together they keep on fighting crime in Gotham just like the in the good ol' days. What I really loved about this show was the futuristic aesthetic and just seeing the relationship between Bruce and Terry. He is more like Spider-Man in that he deals with trying to balance being a hero and a student at the same time. Also, the intro is so badass.

If you're one of those whiny people that whine about the whole "dark and gritty" Batman, and you don't want to try to look for the Adam West Batman, may I suggest BATMAN: THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD? It's a hilariously cheesy cartoon where Batman can just out of nowhere come up with a space suit, the Joker has a car with his face as the hood. There's also a wide array of supporting cast members that get some pretty good love in this series such as Blue Beetle and even Aquaman!

I haven't seen this one in a long time. But DEXTER'S LAB was among one of the finest cartoons in the original line up of original Cartoon Network cartoons. The dynamic between Dexter and his sister, Deedee is one that I think any older brother or sister would be able to relate to. I honestly haven't seen it in over a decade, but I remember the cartoon fondly.

This is the other utterly amazing cartoon playing on Network right now. It's technically about two friends, Mordecai and Rigby, as they work as part of the maintenance crew for a park. But it's really about....well, who knows? Each episode is brilliant in allowing the plot to get crazier and crazier as it goes on. One episode starts with them putting up chairs as part of a birthday party that ends with them battling an escaped 8-bit demon on a speeding golf cart.

Alright, that's it for me. Hopefully this give you guys a good place to start on these shows. Keep in mind that there are also other Adult Swim shows out there so check titles like the Venture Brothers and Aqua Teen Hunger Force.


  1. totally watching dexter's lab right now.. and im not even sorry

  2. Today's current American toon is by and large about funniness and getting the diversion quick. in the 1980's Gary Larson and his Far Side idealized this by making a solitary board unique toon with a quick message, when most other daily paper kid's shows were three to four board strips and frequently loaded with talk-bubble content.