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

Arthur TV Poster Image
A thoughtful cartoon for kids to grow up on.
Network: PBS
(2004)
(1996)
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Danger Mouse TV Poster Image
Secret agent's globe-trotting adventures are fun for kids.
Network: Online
(2014)
(1984)
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Dora and Friends: Into the City! TV Poster Image
School-age TV icon explores community service, friendship.
Network: Nickelodeon
(2014)
(2014)
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Elena of Avalor TV Poster Image
Spunky Latina-inspired princess is an excellent role model.
Network: Disney Junior
(2016)
(2016)
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Maya & Miguel TV Poster Image
Engaging cartoon teaches cultural diversity.
Network: PBS
(2005)
(2004)
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Mia and Me TV Poster Image
Fantasy series has positive themes, intimidating villains.
Network: Nick Jr., Nickelodeon
(2014)
(2014)
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Pablo TV Poster Image
Insightful, creative show centers on character with autism.
Network: Universal Kids
(2018)
(2018)
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Phineas and Ferb TV Poster Image
Duo's over-the-top schemes are fun for kids.
Network: Disney XD
(2008)
(2007)
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The Lion Guard TV Poster Image
Simba's son monitors circle of life in meaningful series.
Network: Disney Channel
(2016)
(2016)
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Super Friends TV Poster Image
Classic superhero cartoon still saves the day.
Network: Boomerang
(2005)
(1973)
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Tangled: The Series TV Poster Image
More delightful adventures from Rapunzel and her friends.
Network: Disney Channel
(2017)
(2017)
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WordGirl TV Poster Image
Brainy heroine uses vocab to outwit bad guys.
Network: PBS Kids
(2007)
(2007)
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Atomic Betty TV Poster Image
Spunky space-travelling heroine is positive model for kids.
Network: Discovery Family Channel
(2010)
(2004)
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The Boss Baby: Back in Business TV Poster Image
Movie follow-up has laughs and strong family messages.
Network: Netflix
(2018)
(2018)
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Cosmic Quantum Ray TV Poster Image
Fun animated sci-fi cleverly incorporates physics lessons.
Network: Discovery Family Channel
(2010)
(2010)
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Craig of the Creek TV Poster Image
Adventure, affirming messages stand out in appealing series.
Network: Cartoon Network
(2018)
(2018)
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DuckTales TV Poster Image
Woo-oo! Adventure, fun, and laughs abound in Disney reboot.
Network: Disney XD
(2017)
(2017)
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Jane and the Dragon TV Poster Image
Medieval adventure is a soaring delight.
Network: ION, NBC, qubo
(2006)
(2005)
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Lego Star Wars: The Yoda Chronicles TV Poster Image
Hilarious parody rises above its commercial qualities.
Network: Cartoon Network
(2014)
(2013)
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The Loud House TV Poster Image
Funny commentary on big-family dynamics has kindly messages.
Network: Nickelodeon
(2016)
(2016)
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Magic Cellar TV Poster Image
Folktales come alive in engaging African series.
Network: HBO Family
(2007)
(2007)
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Milo Murphy's Law TV Poster Image
Unlucky teen's fortune lies in friendship, positive outlook.
Network: Disney XD
(2016)
(2016)
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Nutri Ventures TV Poster Image
Food-themed adventure series promotes healthy eating habits.
Network: Hulu
(2014)
(2010)
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Rugrats TV Poster Image
Babies go adventuring in this Nick favorite.
Network: Nickelodeon
(2003)
(1991)
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SpongeBob SquarePants TV Poster Image
Edgy, frenetic animated comedy is iffy for youngest kids.
Network: Nickelodeon, Nicktoons
(2003)
(1999)
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Wild Kratts TV Poster Image
Zoologist brothers get animated in fun, kid-friendly series.
Network: PBS Kids
(2011)
(2011)
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Animaniacs TV Poster Image
Clever 'toon is bursting with fun for kids and adults.
Network: WB
(2007)
(1993)
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He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (2002) TV Poster Image
By the power of great messages, this one still entertains.
Network: Online
(2014)
(2002)
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Hey Arnold! TV Poster Image
Strong storytelling and characters mark worthwhile cartoon.
Network: Nickelodeon, Nicktoons
(2005)
(1996)
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Kody Kapow TV Poster Image
Lively animation features lessons from the martial arts.
Network: Sprout
(2017)
(2017)
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Legend Quest TV Poster Image
Mexican folklore-inspired adventure series has broad appeal.
Network: Netflix
(2017)
(2017)
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Looney Tunes TV Poster Image
Classic 'toons are violent but still wildly entertaining.
Network: Boomerang
(2015)
(1930)
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Marvel's Spider-Man TV Poster Image
Likable interpretation plays up Spidey's human side.
Network: Disney XD
(2017)
(2017)
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OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes TV Poster Image
Fun series has hard-working wannabe hero, fantasy violence.
Network: Cartoon Network
(2017)
(2016)
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Skylanders Academy TV Poster Image
Toy-inspired adventure series a fun pick with broad appeal.
Network: Netflix
(2016)
(2016)
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Slugterra TV Poster Image
Action, comedy, super-slugs, and great messages for tweens.
Network: Disney XD
(2012)
(2012)
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Spirit Riding Free TV Poster Image
Courage, adventure, and a great role model in sweet series.
Network: Netflix
(2017)
(2017)
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Teen Titans Go! TV Poster Image
Superheroes' new look, comical feel invites younger kids.
Network: Cartoon Network
(2013)
(2013)
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The Tick TV Poster Image
Superhero spoof works for kids and adults.
Network: Toon Disney
(2005)
(2001)
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The Wild Thornberrys TV Poster Image
Globe-trotters explore strange new worlds.
Network: Nickelodeon
(2003)
(1998)
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Avatar: The Last Airbender TV Poster Image
Asian mysticism meets epic fiction in top-notch 'toon.
Network: Nickelodeon
(2005)
(2005)
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Batman: The Animated Series TV Poster Image
A dark, violent comic book comes to life.
Network: Boomerang, Disney XD, Discovery Family Channel
(2005)
(1992)
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Ben 10: Omniverse TV Poster Image
Teenage Ben's comical adventures are fun but violent.
Network: Cartoon Network
(2012)
(2012)
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Future-Worm! TV Poster Image
Sweet messages get wrapped up in quirky, surreal cartoon.
Network: Disney XD
(2016)
(2016)
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Gravity Falls TV Poster Image
Clever sibling story has some spooky stuff for kids.
Network: Disney Channel
(2012)
(2012)
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Green Lantern: The Animated Series TV Poster Image
Sharp take on comics hero has fighting, angry bad guys.
Network: Cartoon Network
(2011)
(2012)
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The Legend of Korra TV Poster Image
Strong heroine, positive messages make great fantasy series.
Network: Nickelodeon
(2012)
(2012)
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Liberty's Kids TV Poster Image
Worthwhile 'toon walks tweens through American history.
Network: Syndicated
(2011)
(2002)
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Redwall TV Poster Image
Slightly scary fantasy series is full of intrigue, battles.
Network: PBS
(2012)
(1999)
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Star Wars Rebels TV Poster Image
Exciting series is violent but has positive messages, too.
Network: Disney XD
(2014)
(2014)
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Sym-Bionic Titan TV Poster Image
Action, adventure, and positive messages for tweens.
Network: Cartoon Network
(2010)
(2010)
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Transformers Prime TV Poster Image
Action, violence don't overshadow worthy messages for kids.
Network: Discovery Family Channel
(2010)
(2010)
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We Bare Bears TV Poster Image
Hilarious bear bros. try to fit into tech-heavy human world.
Network: Cartoon Network
(2015)
(2015)
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Young Justice TV Poster Image
Former sidekicks battle villains in action-packed cartoon.
Network: Cartoon Network
(2010)
(2011)
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Trollhunters TV Poster Image
Action-packed adventure show has scares, great role model.
Network: Netflix
(2016)
(2016)
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Adventure Time TV Poster Image
Original, if nonsensical, hilarity; expect minor weapons.
Network: Cartoon Network
(2010)
(2010)
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Steven Universe TV Poster Image
Quirky cartoon values family, fun, and finding your purpose.
Network: Cartoon Network
(2013)
(2013)
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Total Drama Island TV Poster Image
Clever cartoon reality show spoof OK for older tweens.
Network: Cartoon Network
(2008)
(2008)
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Generator Rex TV Poster Image
Thoughtful sci-fi cartoon with monsters is best for tweens.
Network: Cartoon Network
(2010)
(2010)
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One Piece TV Poster Image
Close friends chase their dreams in high-seas adventure.
Network: Cartoon Network
(2012)
(2004)
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