A Comprehensive List of the Best Cartoons to Watch on Earth Day

Enjoy these green-themed episodes from popular animated series

Brother and sister watching cartoons in living room
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Earth Day, celebrated around the world on April 22, is a day to raise awareness of environmental issues, like global warming, clean air, and clean water. It's also a day when communities come together and do something to clean up the Earth, like picking up garbage or planting trees.

There's never a holiday that can't be celebrated by watching TV cartoons, and Earth Day is no exception. Since the first celebration in 1970, as Earth Day's popularity has grown, cartoon specials have cropped up on a variety of networks.

Here are some TV cartoons to get you in an environmentally friendly mindset for Earth Day.

Captain Planet and the Planeteers

This is the ultimate Earth Day cartoon. It was conceived by Ted Turner (Turner Networks) over 20 years ago. Gaia summons five teens and gives them powers so they may protect the Earth. But when their enemy is too strong, they can bond together to summon Captain Planet, who saves the day. Captain Planet is a mix of '70s style superhero cartoon and a green public service announcement.

SpongeBob SquarePants 'SpongeBob's Last Stand'

"SpongeBob's Last Stand" is an episode that was created specifically for Earth Day. SpongeBob discovers Plankton's plans to build a super highway that runs through Jellyfish Fields. He and Patrick start protesting the construction of the bridge. They fail, but once the bridge is built, the Bikini Bottom residents realize they made a big mistake.

The best part of the episode is watching the jellyfish return to Jellyfish Fields en masse.

The Simpsons 'Lisa the Tree Hugger'

In the 12th season of The Simpsons, Lisa becomes a crusader for the environment. When the Simpson family visits Krusty Burger, they arrive just in time to see a group of protesters, who are dressed as cows, unfurling signs about saving the rainforest.

Lisa falls for their leader, Jesse, as he's being taken to jail. Lisa begins attending group meetings to be with Jesse but winds up becoming a "tree sitter" to protect a huge tree from being cut down. However, after a few days, she sneaks away and the tree is hit by lightning. The town presumes her dead and makes the land into a nature preserve in her honor. She doesn't reveal she's still alive until a rich Texan tries to turn it into an amusement park.

South Park 'Terrance and Phillip: Behind the Blow'

In the fifth season, the town of South Park is preparing for its Earth Day festivities. But Terrance and Phillip get into a fight during their Brainwashing Festival rehearsal. The boys work together on a crazy plan to reunite the duo and recruit them in "Terrance and Phillip: Behind the Blow."

Johnny Test 'Green Johnny'

In "Green Johnny," Johnny Test doesn't understand why the family is working so hard to "go green." In a parody of A Christmas Carol, his family members visit him as the ghosts of Earth Day Past, Present, and Future, to show him how recycling can have an impact on our world.

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Basile, Nancy. "A Comprehensive List of the Best Cartoons to Watch on Earth Day." ThoughtCo, Aug. 30, 2017, thoughtco.com/best-cartoons-to-watch-earth-day-137209. Basile, Nancy. (2017, August 30). A Comprehensive List of the Best Cartoons to Watch on Earth Day. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/best-cartoons-to-watch-earth-day-137209 Basile, Nancy. "A Comprehensive List of the Best Cartoons to Watch on Earth Day." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/best-cartoons-to-watch-earth-day-137209 (accessed November 23, 2017).