Things You Didn't Know About Underrated 2000s Cartoons

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Vote up the facts that made you say, 'Whoa.'

Ask anyone about their favorite cartoons, and odds are, they will explain that the shows they grew up watching were great, while everything produced afterward is terrible. It never fails, and it doesn't matter which generation a person is from - they'll always prefer the toons they grew up with over those from years later. That being said, some cartoons are arguably better than others, but that doesn't mean that a series few people saw didn't make an impact. The 2000s saw the release of tons of underrated cartoons that have stood the test of time.

The 2000s featured the introduction of some incredibly good shows, including Teen Titans, The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, and Samurai Jack, to name a few. Those hit series overshadowed some lesser-known shows that came and went without many people noticing, but that doesn't make them any less amazing. This list takes a look at some of the tragically underrated cartoons from the 2000s that deserve another look and reveals some interesting facts and things you probably didn't know about some of your favorite underrated '00s cartoons.


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    16 VOTES

    'The Amazing World of Gumball' Is An Amalgam Of Failed Character Concepts

    In 2007, Cartoon Network Studios Europe was established, and it hired Ben Bocquelet to help people pitch projects for potential development. After a short time, the network opted to solicit pitches from its own employees, so Bocquelet decided to submit his own idea. For The Amazing World of Gumball, he took a bunch of previously rejected characters he created for commercials and threw them all together.

    The pitch went over well, and the network greenlit the series, which was the first one produced by the European studio. The fact that the characters are all disjointed and from different places can be seen in their depictions. Different animation styles are used for different characters, which offers up an aesthetically pleasing (if different) show. It also makes for a series that embraced stylistic differences, which only helped establish and elevate the series with fans.

  • The Make-A-Wish foundation has been providing unforgettable experiences to thousands of children with critical illnesses for years, and it often pairs kids up with celebrities. Every so often, you might read about a child the foundation sponsored for a walk-on role as an extra in a superhero movie, or they might pair them with their favorite celebrity for a day. One thing that the foundation rarely does is place a child into an animated television series.

    That's largely due to the difficulty in adding and animating new characters, but the people behind As Told by Ginger were up to the challenge. One of the foundation's children, Leandra, was a huge fan of the series. She watched it while undergoing treatments for her bone marrow disease, and her wish was to become a character on As Told by Ginger. Her wish was granted, and she had a character created with her name along with her voice in the episode, "Butterflies are Free." In the episode, Macie, Ginger, and Dodie greet Leandra by name.

  • If you were a fan of the popular live-action series Boy Meets World, you might be missing seeing Will Friedle on television. He played Eric on the series, but after the series concluded in 2000, he's been largely absent from the world's television screens. Friedle's career didn't come to a halt; instead, it simply transitioned from being in front of the camera to being behind the microphone.

    Friedle has an anxiety disorder which made appearing on television untenable moving forward, so he changed tactics and has since become an incredibly prolific voice actor. His long list of credits includes playing Terry McGinnis/Batman in Batman Beyond, Pete Troutner on Go Fish, Ron Stoppable on Kim Possible, Jaime Reyes/Blue Beetle on Batman: The Brave and the Bold, and much more.

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    9 VOTES

    'Codename: Kids Next Door' Started Life As Another TV Show

    Tom Warburton may have created Codename: Kids Next Door, but he didn't intend to when he started working on the concept. Instead, he put together a pilot episode called "Diseasy Does It" for a show called Kenny and the Chimp. The series was to be produced by Hanna-Barbera, and it included a group of rebellious children known as Those Kids Next Door.

    In Warburton's original vision for the series, Those Kids Next Door would have carried out mischievous activities next door to Kenny's home, and this would cause trouble for him. Ultimately, the plotline was modified to focus entirely on the side characters. Warburton completely reconfigured his pilot and managed to get "No P in the OOL" produced at Cartoon Network Studios. That episode won a viewer's poll, which earned it a series green light.

  • Invader Zim is easily one of the weirdest and funniest series featured on Nickelodeon in the early 2000s. It's one of those shows a lot of people missed out on when it aired, making it a prime candidate for binging later in life. Invader Zim was unfortunately on for only 27 episodes over two seasons before Nickelodeon canceled it. The series has since become a cult classic, and it even spawned its own fan convention, so it's clear that it had a cultural impact.

    When Nickelodeon axed the series, numerous episodes were left in various stages of production, never to be completed by the animators and voice-over artists. Despite never being made, the show had a finale constructed, titled "Ten Minutes to Doom." The finale would have been incredibly dark because both Zim and Dib were going to get killed in the episode. That would have closed out the series, but when it was in development, Nickelodeon scrapped the idea in case fans supported the show enough to garner a return to TV. 

    As a result of the studio's decision, the series' final episode became "The Most Horrible X-Mas Ever," which decidedly did not kill off Dib and Zim. Ultimately, Nickelodeon brought the series back in the form of a television movie and an ongoing comic book series that continued the story.

  • There are a lot of reasons why someone might make an animated television series. Whether it's for fame and fortune or artistic goals, most reasons behind their creation tend to be understandable. Still, the impetus for Ed, Edd n Eddy was comparably atypical. Danny Antonucci was designing a commercial when a friend of his actually dared him to create a children's cartoon. Since all of his work up to that point had been made for adult audiences, the dare put him out of his comfort zone.

    He took up the challenge and conceived of Ed, Edd n Eddy as a cartoon that resembled the ones he loved from the 1940s through the '70s. He put together his concept and pitched it to Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon. The latter network wanted to retain creative control, so Antonucci made a deal with Cartoon Network, and the series was picked up for a premiere in early January 1999 - and it all happened thanks to a dare.