Today, I will be talking about my top 3 favorite TV cartoons that inspired me as a child and still do to this day to pursue a career as an artist. Most artists get their inspirations by watching cartoons themselves (no matter what the genre is) and a lot of their art style reflects those cartoons in one way or another. As an artist myself, that experience is no different, though some of my favorite cartoons may not be the same as other artist. Most of these cartoons vary from being funny and entertaining western-cultural shows to cartoons based on a different cultural setting. In the following list, I will explain what these shows are and why they are important to me as a rising artist.
To begin, one of my most memorable and funniest cartoons, if I may add, growing up was Ed, Edd, n Eddy from Cartoon Network. The show ran from January 4, 1999 to November 8, 2009 with its 10 year long run culminating in the sequel movie, “Ed, Edd, n Eddy’s Big Picture Show.” From start to finish, it was a comedy series for kids that provided timeless humor and exciting moments that takes place in a small suburban area known as “the Cul-de-Sac.” Three preteens; Ed, Edd (nicknamed Double D in the series), and Eddy spend their lives pulling pranks and scams on other kids in the Cul-de-Sac, which often leads to failure in all their attempts. This show inspired me tremendously because it was able to capture its target audience and goes above and beyond to entertain its fans. The animation at the beginning was hand-drawn with cel coloring with a variety of extreme facial expressions that made up the most funny moments of the show as the animation improved during the later seasons. As a child back then and as an adult now, it was always a treat to see the show because the amount of humor its provides in every episode makes it one of the best cartoons of all time due to how much entertainment it can give to any audience.
The second TV show that inspired me to draw in the first place was Blue’s Clues from Nickelodeon’s morning network for kids, Nick Jr. The show takes place in a red and yellow colored house with a young man named Steve (before being later replaced by Joe, his cousin in the story) with his pet dog, Blue. Together, they would go on various adventures, solve puzzles and riddles in order to find clues that involves Blue trying to give a message for the audience to figure out. As an educational cartoon for little toddlers, the most important aspect about the show to me was the use of the Handy Dandy Notebook, which was used by Steve to draw out clues that are marked with a paw print by Blue. I wanted to draw the same way as Steve did in the show, even going as far as making my own Handy Dandy Notebook from scratch because of how cool the theme of the show was and it became a driving factor for my dream to becoming an artist in my own way. The show was not only fun but it was also very basic and easy to understand. It makes problem-solving fun and engaging that it encourages kids to do the right thing for a better future.
And last by not least, the third TV show that took my admiration of cartoons to new heights is the one that holds a special place in my heart to this day. That show is none other than Dragon Ball Z, best known in Japan as the second storyline series of Dragon Ball created by Akira Toriyama. Highly popular in both the U.S. and Japan, the show serves as a direct sequel that follows the original Dragon Ball storyline, where the main character, Goku, who was once a child now a young man continues his quest to become the strongest fighter in the world, not knowing the adventures that lied ahead of him will later challenge him to become the Earth’s sole protector. The show, with all the non-stop action and with over 200 episodes, was very exciting and exhilarating growing up not only for its kung-fu based genre, but unlike other animated works that depicted superhero stories like Batman and Superman, Dragon Ball Z brought on a new dynamic to cartoon television as a Japanese-oriented anime that achieve even greater success in America as it did in Japan. Aside from the highly episodic plot, the character designs were my favorite aspect of the show. Each character appearance had their own meaning and uniqueness that fit well with the already action-packed drama the show provides. Dragon Ball Z still holds the honor, to this day, as one of the most highly rated animated cartoons worldwide that provided some of the best moments in cartoon history that stood out against all other cartoons during its initial airing on Cartoon Network’s Saturday night network, Toonami.
There are many cartoons I’ve watched and enjoyed as a child. These TV shows I have explained, however, have been driving factors on what I want to do for my future. They all encourage me to create my own cartoons and provide great storytelling for audiences to enjoy and remember for decades. I hope based on what I learned watching these cartoons would help me inspire others to believe in cartoons and they, in turn, will inspire themselves to build their own future where they can be happy as the shows they watched as children like I did.