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20 Iconic Cartoon Characters And Their Evolution Over Time

Updated September 19, 2019 449.2k views20 items

It comes as no surprise the longest-running primetime scripted television series in history is a cartoon. After all, the characters in The Simpsons never age out of their roles! Though they appear as immutable generational entertainment, cartoon characters change over time, improved upon by new animators and writers as well as developments in technology. This ability to constantly improve and innovate a cast of static characters allows many of these series to remain favorites to this day.

Sometimes, the changes are barely noticeable, while at others, the new cartoons or characters look almost unrecognizable from the originals. As much a reflection of time as they are of advancements in animation, the series below will undoubtedly continue to evolve over time and, based on the changes seen already, in ways you may never see coming.

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  • The Simpsons: 1987 & 2017
    Photo: 20th Century Fox Television

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  • My Little Pony: 1984 & 2017
    Photo: Marvel Productions/Hasbro Studios

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  • South Park: 1992 & 2017
    Photo: Paramount Television

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  • Strawberry Shortcake: 1980 & 2015
    Photo: Iconix Brand Group/American Greetings

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