Best Cartoons for Kids

After the preschool years, kids still like cartoons, but they want something more complex than straightforward messages about friendship and sharing. They like a bit of conflict, some bad guys (who aren't too scary), and otherworldly characters such as superheroes, aliens, and dragons. These top-rated picks feature all this plus positive messages and hidden learning that parents will appreciate. If you're looking for popular cartoons your kids can watch instantly, check out our favorite shows currently streaming on all the major platforms. If you're looking for a classic, older pick, check out Classic Cartoons Parents Love to Share with Kids.

Eureka! TV show poster.
TV

Eureka!

age 3+

Talented girl goes on engineering adventures in Stone Age.

Network: Disney Junior (2022)
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Kiri & Lou TV show: poster
TV

Kiri & Lou

age 3+

Uniquely charming friendship story has positive messages.

Network: Nickelodeon, Apple TV+ (2019)
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Chico Bon Bon: Monkey with a Toolbelt Poster Image
TV

Chico Bon Bon: Monkey with a Toolbelt

age 4+

Teamwork, problem-solving stand out in books-inspired show.

Network: Netflix (2020)
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Creature Cases poster
TV

The Creature Cases

age 4+

Dynamic duo investigates animal mysteries in funny series.

Network: Netflix (2022)
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Dog Loves Books Poster Image
TV

Dog Loves Books

age 4+

Canine book lovers bring stories to life in preschool show.

Network: CBeebies (2020)
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Face's Music Party
TV

Face's Music Party

age 4+

Fun musical show with diverse cast great for young viewers.

Network: Nick Jr. (2022)
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Octonauts & the Great Barrier Reef Poster Image
MOVIE

Octonauts & the Great Barrier Reef

age 4+

Fantastic musical special promotes environmental awareness.

On DVD/Streaming (Release Year: 2020)
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Rhyme Time Town Poster Image
TV

Rhyme Time Town

age 4+

Charming nursery rhymes-inspired show fun for tots, parents.

Network: Netflix (2020)
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Santiago of the Seas Poster Image
TV

Santiago of the Seas

age 4+

Exceptional preschool series celebrates kindness, courage.

Network: Nickelodeon (2020)
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Arthur Poster Image
TV

Arthur

age 5+

A thoughtful cartoon for kids to grow up on.

Network: PBS (1996)
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Danger Mouse Poster Image
TV

Danger Mouse

age 5+

Secret agent's globe-trotting adventures are fun for kids.

Network: Online (1984)
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Dora and Friends: Into the City! Poster Image
TV

Dora and Friends: Into the City!

age 5+

School-age TV icon explores community service, friendship.

Network: Nickelodeon (2014)
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Elena of Avalor Poster Image
TV

Elena of Avalor

age 5+

Spunky Latina princess is an excellent role model.

Network: Disney Junior (2016)
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Elinor Wonders Why Poster Image
TV

Elinor Wonders Why

age 5+

Eager preschoolers' curiosity yields learning opportunities.

Network: PBS Kids (2020)
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Hero Elementary Poster Image
TV

Hero Elementary

age 5+

Helpful friends use skills and science to solve problems.

Network: PBS Kids (2020)
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Martin Morning Poster Image
TV

Martin Morning

age 5+

Cute French series has positive lessons about acceptance.

Network: Kidstream (2018)
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Maya & Miguel Poster Image
TV

Maya & Miguel

age 5+

Engaging cartoon teaches cultural diversity.

Network: PBS (2004)
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Pablo Poster Image
TV

Pablo

age 5+

Insightful, creative show centers on character with autism.

Network: Universal Kids (2018)
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Phineas and Ferb Poster Image
TV

Phineas and Ferb

age 5+

Duo's over-the-top schemes are fun for kids.

Network: Disney XD (2007)
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The Lion Guard Poster Image
TV

The Lion Guard

age 5+

Simba's son monitors circle of life in meaningful series.

Network: Disney Channel (2016)
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