Vanor Orion's Top 10 Cartoons of All-Time
by Vanor Orion

This is my list. That's all I could think to say, though I did decide to link the opening for each entry in my list, so you can at least see some animation rather than just static pictures, and then laugh and mock me for how old some of this stuff is.

10. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Okay, yeah, this probably hasn't aged very well, but shit, it's pretty much the textbook example of a concept that just wouldn't work that well in live action (remember the cartoon had to be popular as hell first before anybody thought about making a live-action movie out of it). It's a fucking cartoon about mutated talking turtles running around and beating up ninjas that have set up shop in New York City, and somehow the cops never manage to catch on to them.

How can you not find this?

Actually how the fuck does that thing get around without causing massive sub-surface cave-ins throughout the city? Bah, who needs to explain these things, it's a fucking cartoon! And that's precisely why it works. Just turn your brain off and enjoy the action.

That said, as a kid I really just enjoyed this show. Naturally as a bookworm type my favorite character was Donatello, since he was effectively the MacGuyver of the group, though everyone else in the show kicked ass too, and all voiced by solid voice actors, such as James Flinders who would go on to voice Liquid Snake and Kratos in Tales of Symphonia and Uncle Phil from Fresh Prince of Bel Air who did the voice of Shredder.

And of course I'd nerdgasm out over all the cool vehicles, the crazy insane villains, and of course April O Neil. My favorite scene from the entire series has to be when that pacifist alien turtle dude comes to Earth on his Empire State Building spaceship seeking refuge from an intergalactic bounty hunter robot that is only after because it has got the guy mixed up with another person entirely.

Whacky hijinks ensue and they wind up hiding out at April's apartment, only for the robo hunter to show up and start blasting the place up as guns literally appear out of every joint and orifice of it's body, and upon the appearance of a couple of laser cannons popping out of the robot's knees, it prompts Raphael to ask "Is there a part of that thing that isn't a weapon?!"

Then a laser cannon pops out of its nose. Donatello just replies "Apparently not." Over the years the show seemed to succumb to the "Dark and Gritty" syndrome that seemed to take hold over a lot of cartoons and media in the early to mid 90s. Towards the end of its run, the show began to have a story arc involving some invading alien asshole and, well, it was kind of meh. The arc eventually wrapped up, but if I'm not mistaken, the show pretty much ended and then reappeared in a more "extreme" form, which wound up happening to another show on this list, but that's not for a bit, so for the time being, let's move on to something a bit more consistently light-hearted.

9. Garfield and Friends

While I think back fondly on the comic strip, I always looked forward to watching Garfield and Friends every Saturday morning. Most people probably remember the holiday-themed cartoons, and they were great, but the weekly cartoons were just as funny, and complete with the same voice actors.

The entire intro to the show pretty much tells you everything you need to know. On top of Garfield there was another cartoon about talking animals on a farm and all the crazy stuff that happened to them. This part of the show tended to have more of a message to it or something (like about the importance of friendship and imagination or whatever), but they were pretty funny too.

But seriously, I could never get enough of Garfield mailing Nermal to Abudabi, or Garfield throwing a cake at Jon when he realized he had rasins in it, or Screaming with Binky, or Sheldon finally hatching out of is shell only for there to be another shell underneath. It's been so long since I've seen this show (especially since Saturday morning cartoons as I know them are pretty much a thing of the past), but I still remember it fondly and I was fortunate to find a season of it on DVD for my nephew to watch, so at least there's that.

8. Scooby Doo Meets the Boo Brothers

I got a confession to make: I don't mind Scrappy Doo. In fact, I never knew that he was apparently reviled by everyone in the human race until the internet informed me of this development. Either way, I fucking loved Scooby Doo Meets the Boo Brothers growing up, and I still rather enjoy it today, and there's a whole shitload of reasons for this.

The premise is that Shaggy inherits a southern mansion from one of his ancestors who happened to be a Civil War vet, a really damn creepy place out in the middle of nowhere in a swamp, naturally. When Shaggy, Scooby, and Scrappy arive there they are greeted by the fugly and creepy servant, who informs them that the place is haunted, scaring the shit out of Shaggy and Scooby, of course. Though before they can take off, their Jeep sinks in a quagmire and they are stranded there for the night.

And this is where the fun really begins. Apparently Shaggy's ancestor had a huge fortune that's hidden somewhere on the property, but in order to find it they must find a string of clues in the form of riddles along with some of the family wealth that points the way. And this is where this animated movie really shines. In the regular cartoon, Shaggy and Scooby are pretty much useless, and if they aren't, it's usually by accident. In this, at the very least, Shaggy is competent. Sure he gets scared at shit, but then again when you see some of the death traps they run into, I'd invite any of you reading to not shit yourselves in mortal terror. But Shaggy actually demonstrates logic and reasoning ability, and even solves several of the riddles where Scrappy can't, showing that the guy is good for something other than being parodied on Harvey Birdman and Venture Bros. many years later.

The guys that really steal the show though are the Boo Brothers, a trio of Three Stooges-like ghosts who are called upon by Shaggy to help them deal with the apparent hauntings on the property. Naturally they are almost completely inept at doing this, and usually botch up because they are too busy fighting with each other, however, they are pretty likeable and help provide the comic relief since Shaggy and Company really aren't the foils in this movie.

And of course growing up, this movie scared the shit out of me. Seriously, the entire look and atmosphere of the setting just filled me with dread. It's dark, it's gloomy, it's creepy, it's lonely, it'' get the idea. They are constantly pursued by several ghosts, either in the form of one of Shaggy's Civil War ancestors, or in the form of some creepy Skeletor like ghost. And when he's not contending with those supernatural pants-shitters, he's having to content with the local asshole sheriff, the creepy butler, the hick moonshining neighbor and his extremely fresh (and totally hot) sister, on top of everything else.

And finally, the music. The music manages to be both whimsical and light-hearted, while at the same time taking some rather sinister tones at the drop of a hat. In fact the biggest star of this movie is the music and sound as it is used very effectively here to reinforce the tone and setting.

Of course, you are probably saying, "It's not really a ghost, it's just some kind of trick being played the totally-not-supernatural villain." Yeah, well, I'd answer that, but I'd rather you just watch this movie instead. It's fucking entertaining as hell, and the journey is very much worth getting to the destination, as one would put it.

7. Iria: Zeiram the Animation and Galaxy Express 999

The next entry in this list is actually two animated shows rather than one, and the reason is because these two shows marked my first experience with anime. Naturally if you recognize the significance of these two shows being roped in together, it's probably because you saw them the same way I did: One the old Sci-Fi channel's anime week hosted by the rather perky Apollo Smile. This is when I had consistent exposure to cable TV, so I was able to watch the whole week late at night when everyone else had gone to bed. Needless to say it was something of a culture shock for me to take in. There was Fatal Fury (with all the scantily clad ladies having their ass cheeks blurred out), and a few others that I can't really remember now.

But the two that stood out in my mind was Galaxy Express 999 and Iria: Zeiram the Animation, as both encompassing everything that dazzled me and began my slow descent into the world of anime. Of the two Galaxy Express 999 probably has a bit more significance for someone like me just because my interest growing up was always with science fiction and history and the like, and Galaxy Express 999 was more like science fiction fantasy...kind of like Star Wars, actually. But what seemed like a shock to me was how ugly and bizarre the artstyle looked. So very different from the usual animation I was accustomed with. And the young hero looked a misshapen trollish blob. "Was this really the hero?" I asked myself. But it was for this reason that the movie endeared itself to me. This kid seemed like they could be anybody, and didn't come across as some kind of badass or glamorous Hollywood cardboard cut-out.

The plot is that the young Tetsuro is eeking out a living barely getting by when he runs into the rather beautiful and mysterious Maetel, who after getting into some hijinks with the young kid, offers to take him with her onboard the Galaxy Express 999, a train that travels across the solar system, galaxy, and probably the universe, though I can't remember that well. Of course, Tetsuro actually does have an axe to grind, and that's with this cyborg that hunt down and murdered his mother and nonchalantly keeps her stuffed body up on a mantle in his castle on another planet, and part of the movie involves his desire to take vengeance on this cyborg (or robot, again, kind of fuzzy), while also taking in the wonders of the universe, but also struggling to better understand Maetel, eventually learning some rather shocking things about her, which I won't go into, because if you've never seen this movie, you really should.

But Express really sums up what I liked about anime when I first came into contact with it. It's whimsical, fun, yet also there is a layer of subdued maturity and darkness there. You're not beaten over the head with it, like a lot of comics and animated shows started doing during the 90s, but it there. It's a part of what's going on, but if only to make the whimsy and fun all the more prominent and important. Tetsuro deals with some heavy shit during the movie, but the journey is one of wonder and enlightment as he is taken from what ulimately is a small world in a vast and fantastic universe. Looking back on it, the cartoon (and comic it was based off of) actually feels like an animated Japanese take on Doctor Who in a weird sort of way. But for me it really did spark my interest in anime in probably the best way possible, letting me see it not as some weird Japanese cartoon but as a genuinely entertaining animated movie.

Iria: Zeiram the Animation, on the other hand, piqued my interest for very obvious reasons: The show was a science-fiction horror about a killer alien monster that travelled around the galaxy trying to kill everyone it came into contact with, and the feisty alien bounty hunteress who was trying to track it down. I didn't know at the time that this series of OVAs was originally meant to serve as a prequel for a a couple of rather hokey Japanese B movies, but looking back on it, Iria me and a friend of mine came to the conclusion that the animated prequel managed to be of much greater quality than the movies were. Of course it's also the opposite of Galaxy Express. It's more violent, there's blood, but it's not overly graphic like say Elfen Lied or Gantz or whatnot. It's violent but it's once again not beating you over the head with it.

But really, it should be pretty obvious why I liked Iria. We have an invincible super monster, that's not only ugly as hell, but genuinely scary, even though it's just a cartoon. The god damn thing can regenerate, create [REDACTED] copies of itself that are still a threat, and the thing might even be sentient since it seems to absorb the cosciousness of those that it kills. The fucking thing can chew vacuum like it were lettuce, and it even manages to survive a massive exploding space station while still inside of it.

What interested me was the art design. Growing up with Robocop, Blade Runner, Alien(s), and the like, I was used to seeing the modern dystopian future setting, whereas Iria doesn't have that at all. We have (mostly) clean and rather unique looking futuristic cities. We have flying cars with super technology that can get around on a planet and get around in space just fine. While it's not a perfect utopia, it is very different from what someone like me was accustomed to seeing from most western shows and movies at the time. And for that reason it makes Zeiram all the more threatening because the monster can single-handedly bring this sort of optimistic future crashing to the ground, and really shows the audience what's at stake during the course of this six-episode OVA.

And of course that brings us the bounty hunter herself, Iria. She's a young woman who just got her bounty hunting license in this show, and we quickly learn she's a woman living in a man's world as it were, as she keeps taking shit from a rival bounty hunter early on. Even when her own brother and his experienced partner try to keep her out of harm's way, she still doggedly insists on accompanying them on the mission that has them encounter Zeiram, and she spends the rest of the show tracking the beast down and trying to kill it off once and for all.

What I like about Iria is that she herself does not feel that far removed from someone like Ripley in Alien and Aliens. She takes a lot of shit but that makes her work that much harder to accomplish her mission. She has impossible odds thrown at her, but she just keeps kicking ass no matter how badly she gets beat up. You beat her down but she just gets back up that much more resolved. She pretty much epitomizes the best qualities of the independent female badass, and being about as far removed from the assbackwards terrible portrayal of Samus Aran in Other M as one could get.

Iria's appeal is from her feeling kind of like an empowered everywoman. Samus' characterization in Other M is so repugnant because it turns her into a submissive blathering wimp. Iria speaks with her actions, while Samus just monologues about shit for no reason. At the end of the day Sakamoto would have done well to model Samus after Iria or Ripley, but instead he falls into the "submissive Japanese female stereotype" that I oh-so-detest. Seriously, I ask myself where this inane battered Japanese housewife stereotype comes from but I have a feeling upon learning a part of me will die on the inside. And no I'm not gonna stop harping on how badly Sakamoto fucked up giving someone like Samus a character when there are plenty of good examples of of this being well executed like fucking Iria!

Also, Iria is a redhead in the anime, and a bit of a tomboy, and for some reason I find that pretty attractive. And that bodysuit works for her pretty well, though I also rather like her wearing the big cowl, like she's some kind of anti-Batman, someone who isn't stealthy but doesn't need to be, like she's openly saying "Yeah, you see me coming, but it doesn't matter because your ass is mine."

Either way, both Iria and Galaxy Express are pretty important because they were effectively my gateway into anime. The reason they succeeded at this though is not because they were so different, but because a part of me was able to recognize what was so similar about these two shows inside the Japanese artstyle. Galaxy Express isn't far removed from Doctor Who or Star Wars in its premise. And Iria isn't very far removed from The Terminator or Aliens. The thing was that these two showed me something familiar in a very different way, and that is what I responded to. And for the most part all the anime I got into later on in life was usually for the same reasons: Because it showed me something familiar in a different and entertaining way.

6. Read or Die

Ah man, I spent a good chunk of my youth reading, because when on a good day you can maybe pick up PBS due to the weather and your only alternative during summer break from school is watching soap operas, yeah, you are gonna find ways to entertain yourself, even if that means teaching yourself how to read at a ridiculously young age. Needless to say when I heard the premise of Read or Die, I knew I was gonna be all over that. A chick who dresses like a librarian, half-Japanese/half-British, and who loves books so much she can actually manipulate paper to do shit like cut steel in half, yeah, I was pretty much anticipating ROD as much as waiting for Jesus Christ to show up on my doorstep with the Holy Grail filled with cocaine.

Out of all the shows on this list, this is probably the one on here that makes it for being style over substance, somewhat. The show and its setting is very much like a kind of muted mystical James Bond with Yomiko Readman aka "The Paper" as the OVA's 007. Yet whereas James Bond goes around boozing and romancing the ladies, Readman is literally oblivious to the world around her as she is so fixated on her love of reading, and almost never takes notice of the outside world unless some clone of a dead guy riding a giant grasshopper tries to take a book away from her.

Yeah. The story is that some nefarious asshole has cloned a bunch of badass historical figures to gather up a bunch of books to play a song that will brainwash everyone in the world into killing themselves. Or something. And the British Library tasks their paper master, Yomiko Readman, to partner up with a curt, tactless, and put-upon American special forces officer and a chick sporting a tight bodysuit who has the power to phase through solid matter named Miss Deep, and go put a stop to this scheme.

And that's pretty much what happens during this 3 episode OVA. Yomiko and company go across the world trying to track down clues and fighting historical figures who have been given twisted crazy insane superpowers that befit their persona. And that's all there is to it. And that's all there needs to be. Even today the show is fucking beautiful, the music light-hearted and James Bond-like, and it's pretty straightforward. There's plenty of nods to James Bond, to books (which James Bond was originally based off of), and obviously to history and historical figures. There's also a lot of parodying of the President of the United States for some reason, though honestly at this point I'm all for making mockery of our political leaders for their general incompetence, so it's no blow to my ego.

My only real complaint with ROD is that it actually doesn't last for very long. The 90 minutes is actually too short for a show like this, and I really wish it'd had the length of say the six episode Iria, but either way, it was still a fun little ride full of twists and turns and plenty of visual eye candy, and Kimberly Yates' portrayal of Yomiko is so adorable and innocent that I probably contracted diabetes.

5. Outlaw Star

Around my junior year of highschool is when I started making friends and met some people who were gamers like me, and they were all watching Dragonball Z, and so of course I wound up watching Dragonball Z on Cartoon Network during their Toonami time slot. After awhile though I noticed another show that was coming on, a show that was about a ragtag group of space outlaw misfits who were searching for a hidden space treasure inside of a spaceship shaped kind of like a phallus with arms and armed to the teeth while evading space pirates.

In space.

Okay, but seriously, Outlaw Star was fucking awesome, and that was even with all the slight censoring and editing that Cartoon Network did to air the show. Aside from episode 25 missing (and not knowing how the hell Gene gets those ubermensch caster shells), none of what was cut really takes anything away from the overall story or substance of the show. As far as editing goes, it's actually a lot more respectful than the infamous 4Kids butchering of One Piece.

But for someone who was at this point pretty much starved of any remotely good science fiction in any media form, Outlaw Star was like a fucking breath of fresh air. A young bounty hunter and his even younger sidekick wind up owners of a super spaceship and its beautiful navigator, and as they begin to search the stars for a hidden fortune, they come across a super hot and totally simple-minded cat-chick alien, and a super hot female assasin who then goes on to join them on their travels and hijinks.

What I really loved about this show is that it really felt like science fiction to a degree. It wasn't Star Trek but it still had that same spirit of going out and exploring the foreboding unknown. Probably the best example is when they are offered a job to travel an ocean planet to retrieve valuable cargo and are attacked by giant sea creatures. Or another episode where Gene has to rescue a prisoner from planet with a higher-than-normal gravity, putting a strain on the prisoners' bodies, or the episode where everyone is being brainwashed by a sentient cactus.

But also, Outlaw Star was just a straight up entertaining show, and was also very well dubbed, with everyone's English voices suiting the characters perfectly. There was plenty of action, and plenty of recurring characters who got to have time in the limelight to develop. Even Suzuka and Aisha who don't really develop as much as the rest of the crew and we don't know as much about are still eye candy to ogle (especially in episode 25...hehe), but they still have an air of gravitas and charisma about them that commands your attention. Almost every episode was action-packed, full of humor, and while there was a dark current in some episodes, it was usually subdued and in general the show's tone was more whimsical and light-hearted rather than grim, and that was really refreshing for me at the time that I saw it.

Years later when I was finally able to get Outlaw Star on DVD, it's still one of my favorite anime shows to this day, no, one of my favorite TV shows, period.

4. The Hobbit

As much as I read, I never read Lord of the Rings or any of its associated books, and sure as hell didn't need to read The Hobbit after watching this 1977 animated adaptation of the book. I fucking loved this movie growing up and I still love it now.

Bilbo the Hobbit gets approached by a bunch of dwarves at the behest of the Wizard Gandalf to help them reclaim the treasure stolen from their leader by an asshole dragon that ran them and their people out of the mountain where they once made their home. Bilbo, being a laid-back and easy-going fellow, wants nothing to do with this, but gets roped into it anyways, and joins the band of dwarves on what can only be called a suicide mission, and that's not even before getting to the part of the journey where he has to steal a treasure from a jerk dragon, considering all the shit they go through to get there, like being captured and nearly eaten by trolls, chased around the woods by goblins, and getting captured and nearly eaten by giant talking spiders.

This movie was fucking scary as a kid. It's not animated in a cutesy style, and is rather stark, yet at the same time is stll rather warm. Despite that, the world of the show is very scary, considering all the shit the characters go through to reach their goal, and perhaps even moreso given how small they are compared to what they go up against, making the odds they face seem even more grandoise than they would be for humans.

What I really like about this movie and what makes it stand out is that it is done somewhat as a musical. Key scenes are punctuated by singing in the background. It's not necessarily like a musical number in a Disney film where the characters are singing, but more like there is singing going on in montage form while events unfold on the screen, and it's done very very well. The music itself is absolutely outstanding, as the intro should illustrate.

The voice acting however is absolutely outstanding all around though. Everyone involved knocks their lines out of the park. Bilbo comes across as being put-upon, naive, yet also as being whimsical and even cunning at times. The dwarves are all dwarf-like, and Gandalf is probably more grandiose than his portrayal in the Jackson films.

Probably the most memorable part of the film is with Gollum. Sure, he looks nothing like he does in the movie...but that doesn't really matter, Gollum in The Hobbit is utterly fucking terrifying. The way they portrayed him as some ugly haggard mutant tadpole thing is one thing, but what really sells him is the voice. Holy fucking shit. In the relatively brief time we spend with Gollum, we learn all we need to know about him just by the way he speaks alone. He manages to sound eccentric, erratic, desperate, threatening, and frightening all in one measure, and the final scene with him when he realizes he's been tricked and Bilbo has made off with his ring is absolutely blood-curdling.

What I really love about this movie though is Bilbo. He's pretty much an everyman, living a mundane and boring life, and then he gets swept up into events he wants no part of, and spends a fair bit of the movie lamenting how much he just wants to go home and curl up with a good book by the fire and take it easy, only to find himself reluctant to return home and feeling some sadness for the journey he was on coming to an end. And despite all that, he does manage to accomplish some amazing feats, such as rescuing his companions from being eaten by the giant spiders, helping them solve a riddle that allows them to gain entrance to their mountain palace, and then finally by outwitting the asshole dragon Smog and causing him to attack a nearby human settlement, which leads to his demise.

If you've never seen Lord of the Rings, you could watch The Hobbit and be armed with everything you needed to know going into Peter Jackson's adaptations story wise, as the giant spiders, the huge ass eagles, the ring, Gollum, it's all there. Even if you have seen the movies, watch The Hobbit anyway, as it's a pretty damn entertaining movie, animated or no, and the musical bits and the way they're used help it stand out from a lot of other animated films of its time, before or since.

3. The Real Ghostbusters

When I watched reruns of GI Joe years ago, I realized that the show had not aged very well at all. When I recently watched a rerun of The Real Ghostbusters, I actually got more entertainment out of it as an adult than I did as a kid. That's an extraordinarily rare thing to come across in any form of media, nevermind a children's cartoon.

As a kid, I was actually lucky to see this on television at all, as ABC's reception was pretty shitty on our antenna, especially during bad weather, so if I was lucky I could watch the show despite some static. Still, when I got to watch the show, I was in dork Nirvana. I loved the movie, and the show was about as faithful to the movie as you could get while still doing its own thing. The witty camraderie between the four was present, as it was in the movies. The science and myths and whatnot was fairly sound, and the show itself managed to be both funny and scary at the same time, thanks to both a really memorable musical score, and some really fucking scary monsters.

"I live in your closet."

This show kicked all sorts of ass, and the main reason--among many--was because of one of the main writers, Joe Michael Stryczinsci, a man who wrote episodes of Murder She Wrote, among many other TV shows...and the guy who created Babylon 5, one of my favorite science fiction shows of all time. The guy who writes with the assumption that his audience are smart people and not simpering mouthbreathers who will just watch shit. Yeah, no wonder I actually got more out of The Real Ghostbusters as an adult than I did as a kid. The guy actually wrote with the intent that the kids watching it were smart, unlike nowadays where it seems cartoons are made with the assumption that kids are dumb. No wonder I can't stand watching a lot of cartoons these days.

But really, there's an episode called The Collect Call of Cthulu. This was before I even knew who the hell HP Lovecraft was. And many years later when I finally got around to reading his stuff and coming back to this episode and watching it, I was utter floored at how faithful the episode is to Lovecraft's mythos (JMS himself is a big fan of Lovecraft and the Cthulu Mythos).

The show itself was great, and at this point I should really comment on the talent of Lorenzo Music, the guy that did Venkman's voice for the early episodes of the show along with Garfield's voice in those cartoons. The man nails his role out of the park and in some ways manages to make it more his own than Bill Murray did in the movie. Which is pretty insane when you think about it. But everyone else involved was pretty damn good. Naturally though my favorite character was Egon, because he was the smart one. And he had a weird name. Seriously, I've never met anyone named Egon in my life, and if I still haven't by the time I ever have kids, I'll probably name one of them Egon just because.

2. Boogiepop Phantom

Fuck, I'd just have a write a seperate review about this show. It's fucking amazing. Probably one of the best anime I've ever watched in my life, period. I didn't even know the show was a sequel to a book, but it was still awesome despite that handicap. Seriously, the English voice acting is awesome, the show itself unfolds in a uniquely non-linear fashion, involving the viewpoints of multiple one-off characters who coalesce to gradually form the whole picture of what is going on in the grander scheme of the show. There are so many memorable moments, either of shocking violence, or of character realization. And the main character herself, Boogiepop, is perhaps one of the most subdued yet visually impressive and symbolic heroes in any peace of media I've seen, ever. And the best part is that all the crazy shit that happens in the show, is able to be explained using David Bohm's holographic theory of the universe. It's a fucking surreal trip of a show but is so thoroughly anchored in reality that it manages to leave that much more of an impact on the viewer. and the entire fucking soundtrack is god damn amazing. Absolutely amazing, and just serves to further punctuate the most memorable parts of the show.

Seriously, if you have never seen this show, you fucking owe it to yourself to check it out at least once. And I have to stop there, because I'm absolute not ruining this show for anybody.

And now, after all of that, my favorite animated show of all time is....

1. Tiny Toons: How I Spent My Vacation

Fucking. Yeah. I watched this so damn much as a kid. I loved Tiny Toons, but this movie is easily the series' magnum opus, encapsulating everything I loved about Tiny Toons growing up in a succinct feature film length. The movie appropriately begins with a musical number about the characters waiting for class to end so summer vacation to begin, and I say with complete conviction that this wasn't a musical number as much as every kid's fucking national anthem on the eve of school ending and summer vacation beginning. And as soon as class lets out, all hell breaks loose.

Every damn moment of this show is hilarious. If there isn't blatantly funny stuff going on with the characters, there's usually something going on in the background to make you chuckle. Babs and Buster get into the mother of all water gun fights and wind up flooding themselves down river, parodying the hell out of Deliverance along the way. Plucky joins Hampton and his family on a trip to a theme park, but it turns into the ultimate road trip from Hell as the family is insufferable, annoying, and in the case of Uncle Stinky, totally disgusting. And everyone else gets some time in the limelight. Elvira torments animals in a zoo, that female skunk chick tries to get a date with a celebrity skunk who turns out to be a douchebag, Fowlmouth tries to get a date with Shirley, and winds up going to the movies for perhaps one of the most memorable sight gags of all time.

There is so many funny moments in this show. The sight gags are so spot on and spontaneous. There's so many pop culture references, and the show even keeps up the self-referential parodying even during the credits.

If you just want to forget about your woes and have a good laugh, then there is nothing I more highly recommend than How I Spent My Summer Vacation, as it's what I consider the funniest damn thing I've seen, as a kid and now as an adult, and if you have kids, and they've never seen this show, then show it to them, because later in life they'll fucking thank you.

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