The Top Ten Cartoons on Netflix

Stream These Toons on Netflix or Other Services

If you have a computer, tablet, or gaming system connected to the internet —or heck, even a smartphone — you have thousands of hours of entertainment right at your fingertips. Literally. Especially with the advent of such streaming services as Hulu, Netflix, and HBOGo, the world of watchable entertainment no longer revolves around schedules or TiVo. 

So, if the kids are driving you nuts and there's just nothing good on television at the time, here are my top ten favorites that are playing on Netflix or are available on other streaming services. As a note, Netflix updates contracts with these shows and adds and subtracts hundreds of programs from their service each month. However, if one of these does disappear from Netflix, chances are they're on another streaming service! Enjoy.

Trollhunters. Netflix

If you like the idea of a fantasy action and adventure set in a real-world high school, the Netflix Original Series "Trollhunters" is the perfect choice for compelling entertainment for your children (and you).

Created by "Pan's Labyrinth" director Guillermo del Toro, this series follows the story of James "Jim" Lake Jr., who discovers a strange amulet on the way to school and becomes the Trollhunter. Along with his best friend Toby and love interest Claire, Jim battles against demons and assassins to protect the people of Troll Market, the sworn duty of the sole Trollhunter who possesses the stone. 

Definitely imaginative and definitely fun, this show has already been renewed for a second season and continues to be a personal favorite. 

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Phineas and Ferb

Phineas and Ferb. Netflix

Once again, if you're not already a fan of this show, Netflix queue this baby and you'll be entertained for hours. The antics of the Fletcher family and their faithful platypus Perry will warm your funny bone right up, even in the dead of winter.

Even without your kids, this show is full of laughs, subtle adult humor and some good old-fashioned hijinks circa "Secret Squirrel" and "Scooby Doo!" And your kids will love the bright animation, action-packed adventure and nonstop jokes the whole family can appreciate.

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My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic

My Little Pony
My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. Netflix

This will make every single one of my top ten lists for the foreseeable future, so get used to it! Young boys and girls — and even adults! — alike will find fun and friendship in these six pony pals. Since 2010, these childhood toys have come to life in an animated show all about discovering the value of friendship in a small town called Ponyville. 

Although with names like Twilight Sparkle, Applejack, and Pinkie Pie, some might think this show too juvenile to enjoy with their children, the story lines and adventures are anything but shallow. As I've said before, a million Bronies can't be wrong. This show is awesome. You should be watching it. Period.

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Transformers: Prime

Transformers: Prime. Netflix

Simply the best of the various Transformers series out there, "Transformers: Prime" is available in its entirety on Netflix as well, with the extra bonus of new episodes added as they air.

Those familiar with the Transformers lore will enjoy this incarnation in stunning CGI graphics. Optimus Prime are back at defending the world again in this 

If this is still not enough to revive your mid-80s nostalgia for the classic Hasbro toy, series and movie franchise, you can also check out Transformers Prime on DVD. 

Super Mario Bros. Super Show!
Super Mario Bros. Super Show!. Netflix

Do you have a video game aficionado child in your home? They might enjoy this somewhat goofy cartoon from the 1980s. Obviously, it features the antics of Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, and all their friends and foes as they plumb their way through silly situations.

This hybrid of live action and animated shorts is strange, to say the very least, but it still holds up to the standards of today's youth — just might not be as good as you personally remembered. 

Clifford the Big Red Dog. Wikia

Beloved children's book turned animated series, "Clifford the Big Red Dog" is now available exclusively for streaming on Netflix. Originally created by Norman Bridwell as a children's book series in 1963, the show, produced by Scholastic Entertainment, premiered on PBS Kids programming in the early 2000s. 

Each episode involves a story told from either the perspective of Clifford the dog or his owner Emily Elizabeth. In episodes from Clifford's point of view, whenever a human speaks to them they bark but when other dogs speak, they use English. Fun, huh?

The Magic School Bus
The Magic School Bus. Amazon

A popular hit for adults who went through elementary and junior high science classes in the 90s and early 2000s, this educational program was another Scholastic Entertainment creation that premiered in 1994 on PBS. 

In each episode (except one when she's sick), eccentric elementary school teacher Ms. Frizzle takes her students and iguana Liz on a science-based field trip. In one episode, they even go inside one of their classmates after the titular Magic School Bus shrinks them down. 

Netflix is planning on bringing a new version of this show back in 2017, but in the meantime, I highly recommend putting this fun educational program on for your kids!

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Animaniacs. Amazon

Speaking of educational programming, the ever-zany Warner Bros cartoon "Animaniacs" actually carries a lot of educational value. Expertly written between bouts of laugh-out-loud comedy, Wakko, Yakko and Dot sneak out of the water tower at Warner Bros. Studio each episode and meet a new historical figure each time.

Presented by Stephen Spielberg, who regularly makes cameos in the show, episodes also include segments featuring fun characters like Pinky and the Brain, Skippy and Slappy Squirrel, and the Goodfeathers.

This show still holds true to this day and is sure to provide your kids with hours of laughs and somewhat educational entertainment.

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All Grown Up!

Rugrats All Grown Up!
Rugrats All Grown Up!. Netflix

Remember the Rugrats from the '90s on Nickelodeon? Well, now they're in middle school and they're having preteen problems. Crushes, part-time jobs at the juice bar some of their parents jointly own, bullying, science projects, braces and homework plague their days now instead of bug eating and diaper rash. At least now their parents can hear and understand them.

As someone who was a kid when this show first aired on Nickelodeon in 1991, I enjoyed seeing the personalities of the kids develop into headstrong 'tweens. However, don't think about it too hard... if these kids were real, they'd all be in college by now. Yikes.

X-Men. Netflix

This is the cartoon series from the 1990's that many of us young parents of the '80s grew up with. All your favorite mutants are here: Storm, Rogue, Gambit, Cyclops, Beast, Professor X, Jubilee, and my personal favorite, Jean Gray.

This series more closely follows the lore of the X-Men comic book series than the film adaptation franchise. The animation is typical of the '90s, but that doesn't detract from the incredible storyline. Although the contract with Netflix has expired, you have no idea how excited this geeky momma is to see this series listed on Hulu!