These ‘90s Animated Shows Are Getting Rebooted for a Modern Audience
The ’90s were a decade of incredible advancement and innovation. It was a time defined by dial-up internet, Nintendo 64 supplanting the Super Nintendo, and groundbreaking new films and television series. Kids tuned in to watch cartoon programming at record numbers, which helped pave the way for fresh adaptations of Batman, Looney Tunes, and even a young adult version of James Bond entitled James Bond Junior. No Saturday morning was complete without a bowl full of cereal and a couple of hours of cartoons.
Meanwhile, the unrivaled success of The Simpsons guaranteed a new genre of adult animation was brewing. Shows like King of Hill, South Park, and Space Ghost Coast to Coast would become iconic staples of the time.
Thankfully, ’90s fever is still running rampant as new retro properties are seemingly announced every week. Here’s a look at some of the top ’90s animated films that will soon be making a return.
The Powerpuff Girls
Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup are back in action. The Powerpuff Girls, which originally ran from 1998 to 2005, follows the exploits of the three superhero sisters as they face off against supervillains and the everyday woes of childhood. Debuting on Cartoon Network, The Powerpuff Girls ran for 78 episodes, earning two Emmy Awards and a handful of animation accolades along the way.
It’s one thing to reboot a series with beloved characters. It’s another thing entirely to bring back the character, charm, and general vibe of the original. Though the show has seen its share of remakes, this latest animated iteration gives fans a reason to be extra excited – The Spice Girls will be helmed by the original creator, Craig McCracken.
This is absolutely great news for the series. It can be difficult for a remake to revive the subtle qualities that made the original such a rousing success. Like a well-worn pair of shoes, McCracken’s direct involvement all but guarantees that this evolution of The Spice Girls will feel comfortably familiar to devoted fans. The reboot is set to expand the universe of Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup while also revisiting the aspects that made the show a generational hit. With McCracken back in the developmental pilot’s chair, fans have high hopes that The Spice Girls will deliver where many reboots fail.
In the 1990s, sarcasm was king, and no figure better captured the mood of the period than Daria, a high school student with a fiery sense of humor and keen ability to sarcastically pick someone apart. Daria featured an excellent supporting cast and wasn’t afraid to touch on hot-button issues. Topics like feminism, socioeconomic class, and even racism were not uncommon narrative threads within the show. Identifiable struggles helped to solidify Daria as relatable for adolescents who were having a difficult time adjusting to life’s many complexities. Now, the show looks to age along with its audience.
More of a spin-off than a direct remake, the new property is called Jodie and follows the well-known Daria side character, Jodie Landon. Though Jodie was proposed as a series, the property is instead taking shape as an animated movie. The undertaking was produced by MTV Entertainment Studios. Which platform or network inside the Paramount ecosystem the movie will debut on is still to be decided.
A ’90s afternoon spent watching cartoons just wasn’t complete without Darkwing Duck. Diligent father by day and crimefighter by night, Drake Mallard is the proverbial duck caught between two worlds. As Darkwing Duck, he dawns a mask and cape, patrolling the city for evil-doers with his trusty sidekick, Launchpad McQuack. Running for three seasons and a total of 91, Darkwing Duck offered kids a middle ground between the playful antics of a typical Disney cartoon and the dark, brooding tone of the ’90s megahit Batman: The Animated Series.
Back in 2020, Variety reported a Darkwing Duck reboot was in development for Disney+, with Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen, James Weaver, and Alex McAtee of Point Grey Pictures set to executive produce the series.
King of the Hill
King of the Hill is one of those shows that should require no introduction. Spanning an impressive 13 seasons and 259 episodes, King of the Hill kept audiences chuckling with the show’s trademark blend of southern charm and tongue-in-cheek humor. The show premiered in 1997, meaning King of the Hill was creating new episodes in tandem with some pretty large events in American history. Creator, Mike Judge, used the Hill family’s disarming charm to present real questions and criticisms to people who wouldn’t be willing to hear them otherwise.
Disappointingly, talks with Fox to revive King of the Hill at its home network recently fell through. Thankfully, Mike Judge and creative partner Greg Daniels have recently formed their own animation company, Bandera. It’s a fair bet that Hank Hill and company will take up their Texas residence on another network or streaming service in the near future. Similarly, the recent Beavis and Butt-Head reboot was picked up by Paramount+ after being initially developed for Comedy Central.