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. Looking for popular cartoons your kids can watch instantly? Check out our favorite shows currently streaming on Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime.

Browse Best Cartoons for Kids

Kate & Mim-Mim TV Poster Image
Friendship, imagination, and excellent role models for kids.
Network: Disney Junior
(2014)
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A thoughtful cartoon for kids to grow up on.
Network: PBS
(2004)
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Secret agent's globe-trotting adventures are fun for kids.
Network: Online
(2014)
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Fun globetrotting '80s cartoon can spark kids' curiosity.
Network: Disney Channel
(2013)
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Engaging cartoon teaches cultural diversity.
Network: PBS
(2005)
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Fantasy series has positive themes, intimidating villains.
Network: Nick Jr., Nickelodeon
(2014)
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Classic superhero cartoon still saves the day.
Network: Boomerang
(2005)
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Brainy heroine uses vocab to outwit bad guys.
Network: PBS Kids
(2007)
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Spunky space-travelling heroine is positive model for kids.
Network: Discovery Family Channel
(2010)
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Fun animated sci-fi cleverly incorporates physics lessons.
Network: Discovery Family Channel
(2010)
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Medieval adventure is a soaring delight.
Network: ION, NBC, qubo
(2006)
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Folktales come alive in engaging African series.
Network: HBO Family
(2007)
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Zoologist brothers get animated in fun, kid-friendly series.
Network: PBS Kids
(2011)
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All Hail King Julien TV Poster Image
Royal lemur's antics will please Madagascar fans.
Network: Netflix
(2014)
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By the power of great messages, this one still entertains.
Network: Online
(2014)
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Strong storytelling and characters mark worthwhile cartoon.
Network: Nickelodeon, Nicktoons
(2005)
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Classic 'toons are violent but still wildly entertaining.
Network: Amazon, Boomerang
(2015)
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Action, comedy, super-slugs, and great messages for tweens.
Network: Disney XD
(2012)
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Superhero spoof works for kids and adults.
Network: Toon Disney
(2005)
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Globe-trotters explore strange new worlds.
Network: Nickelodeon
(2003)
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Asian mysticism meets epic fiction in top-notch 'toon.
Network: Nickelodeon
(2005)
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A dark, violent comic book comes to life.
Network: Boomerang, Disney XD, Discovery Family Channel
(2005)
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Teenage Ben's comical adventures are fun but violent.
Network: Cartoon Network
(2012)
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Future-Worm! TV Poster Image
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Sweet messages get wrapped up in quirky, surreal cartoon.
Network: Disney XD
(2016)
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Sharp take on comics hero has fighting, angry bad guys.
Network: Cartoon Network
(2011)
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Strong heroine, positive messages make great fantasy series.
Network: Nickelodeon
(2012)
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Worthwhile 'toon walks tweens through American history.
Network: Syndicated
(2011)
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Action, adventure, and positive messages for tweens.
Network: Cartoon Network
(2010)
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Action, violence don't overshadow worthy messages for kids.
Network: Discovery Family Channel
(2010)
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Former sidekicks battle villains in action-packed cartoon.
Network: Cartoon Network
(2010)
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Original, if nonsensical, hilarity; expect minor weapons.
Network: Cartoon Network
(2010)
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Thoughtful sci-fi cartoon with monsters is best for tweens.
Network: Cartoon Network
(2010)
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Close friends chase their dreams in high-seas adventure.
Network: Cartoon Network
(2012)
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