Stream Police: 90s Animation Edition
Growing up in the nineties ensured that I grew up with some of the greatest animated programming ever. Thanks to the magic of the internet, I am able to relive a lot of these shows once again. While many of the smaller or lesser known shows are undoubtedly lost to the abyss of time, but many popular shows from Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network have been made available through services like Hulu and Netflix. Join me as we look through the annuls of time and revisit some of the shows that I watched as a youngster, because everyone loves a little dose of nostalgia.
I'm not entirely sure why Doug resonated with me as a kid, maybe it was because I was that awkward kid with an overactive imagination, but that's something to speculate on another day. Doug is the story of Doug Funnie, who's family moves to the city of Bluffington. The typical episode revolves around Doug recounting some recent event as he writes it into his journal. Some episodes will have variations of this with either Doug writing his comic book, Quail Man, or letting his imagination run away with him in one of his other alter egos. Doug isn't the most exciting show, but in its time it was a fun slice of life show about a middle school kid with an overactive imagination. It's good clean fun,and its certainly a lot cleaner with a much of what you'll see on television these days.
The obligatory Japanese entry onto my list, Rurouni Kenshin is the story a wandering samurai, who went into hiding after the Meiji Revolution, so he would never have to kill again. While Kenshin starts out slow, it becomes a pretty confident action show, and it can stand up to its other Shonen Jump siblings like Dragon Ball Z and Yu Yu Hakusho, which all ran around the same time. You can't go wrong with the Japanese version, if you're into subtitles, but if you're watching the English version, be sure to watch the dub that was produced in the United States, which is available on both Crunchyroll and Netflix.
Dexter's Lab was one of Cartoon Network's earliest breakout hits. Along side shows like The Powerpuff Girls and Johnny Bravo, Dexter's Lab and helped launch the career of Genndy Tartakovsky, who is arguably one of the most prolific animation directors of his generation. Dexter's Laboratory revolves around boy genius Dexter, who must constantly fend off the efforts of his sister Dee Dee and rival Mandark, who are out to destroy his inventions. Each episode usually has two Dexter shorts, which sandwich an episode of either Dail "M" for Monkey or Justice Friends, both fantastic shows in their own right.
X-Men: The Animated Series
This was one show that I looked forward to watching every Saturday when I was a kid, so much so that if I had to go somewhere on a Saturday morning, I made sure there was a video cassette in the VCR and that it was programmed to record the show. The story of the X-Men didn't start with an origin story, instead having the show pick up when Jubilee was brought into group, during the height of the threat from the Sentinels. If you have yet to familiarize yourself with X-Men, this is a great place to start as it introduces a lot of lesser know characters from the comic series and treats the audience with an incredible amount of respect for a kids show.
Armatage III: Poly-Matrix
Originally a four episode OVA series, Armatage was repackaged as a two hour movie and released in the states in the late 90s. Poly-Matrix revolves around a cop and his new partner, Naomi Armatage, as they try to unravel the mystery of the "Third-types" a new model of robot that are identical to humans. One of the most notable things about this film is the cast, with Keifer Sutherland and Elizabeth Berkley playing the leads in the film, and even a young Bryan Craston making an appearance. A fun ride from beginning to end, Armatage earned its spot in my regular rotation of anime films during my teen years.