No childhood is complete without the best kids’ shows. Children’s television shows help shape and mold young kids. Children’s shows can be live-action or animated and feature educational content and storylines about adolescence using humor and silly characters. Every age group has their favorite kids’ series depending on the decade, such as the 80s and 90s. Of course, few generations compare with early 2000s kids’ shows.
The early 2000s were a tumultuous time in the world with so much changing. Luckily, Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, and the Disney Channel continued to produce the best programs. It was a golden era for kids’ shows that still impacts today. Each series turned into a massive success that launched the career of its stars. Some of these kids’ shows might be forgotten now, but they’re still awesome.
18 Forgotten Early 2000s Kids Shows That Still Rule
1. Kim Possible (2002-2007)
In 2002, the Disney Channel produced one of the most memorable animated series, Kim Possible. The critically acclaimed series followed the adventures of crime-fighting teenager Kim Possible and her friends Ron Stoppable, Wade, and Rufus. Kim battles the bad guys as she deals with the everyday problems of a teenager.
The groundbreaking series was one of the first kids’ cartoons to have a female lead. The series appealed to children and adults with its humor and fast-paced dialogue. It eventually became one of the most popular cartoons of all time. The success led to a live-action movie released in 2019.
2. SpongeBob SquarePants (1999-Present)
SpongeBob SquarePants is the crown jewel of Nickelodeon. Often cited as one of the greatest cartoons, it’s the network’s longest-running series. SpongeBob SquarePants debuted in the late 90s, becoming a cultural phenomenon that kids and adults love. The series revolves around the child-like SpongeBob and his friends living in the underwater city of Bikini Bottom.
The massive success resulted in three feature films, SpongeBob SquarePants: The Movie, Sponge Out of Water, and Sponge on the Run. The media franchise also spawned the spinoff series Koral: SpongeBob’s Under Years and The Patrick Star Show. It remains one of the most popular kids’ shows of all time.
3. Sesame Street (1969-Present)
Sesame Street has educated and entertained thousands of kids throughout the generations, including the 70s, 80s, 90s, 2000s, and 2010s, right up to the present. It first debuted on PBS in 1969 to universal acclaim. It did face some controversy and opposition but soon became a staple of children’s television.
Sesame Street uses Muppets, sketches, and humor to convey the educational goals and curriculum to its young audience. The highly influential series is a part of every child’s life.
4. Powerpuff Girls (1998-2005)
The Powerpuff Girls revolves around three kindergarten kids, Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup, as they fight crime in the city of Townsville. The series became a cultural phenomenon in the late 90s and early 2000s. The series first aired on World Premiere Toon in 1995, with a follow-up episode coming in early 1996.
It officially debuted in 1998 to universal praise, becoming one of the Cartoon Network’s most successful franchises. A feature film hit theatres in 2002, followed by a 2016 reboot and a second upcoming reboot. It’s not only one of the best kids’ shows of the early 2000s but one of the best cartoons in animation history.
5. Johnny Bravo (1997-2004)
In the late 90s and early 2000s, the cult classic Johnny Bravo became Cartoon Networks’ most popular show. First airing in 1997, the series followed the self-proclaimed ladies’ man, Johnny Bravo, as he went on a series of dates that usually ended in disaster.
The series was known for its pop culture references and edgy adult humor that pushed the limits. It quickly became a massive success and one of the most influential series. Johnny Bravo is an iconic animated sitcom often cited as one of the best ever.
6. The Wizards of Waverly Place (2007-2012)
The Disney Channel struck gold with a string of critically acclaimed teen sitcoms in the early 2000s. In 2007, they capitalized on that momentum with the immensely popular Wizards of Waverly Place. The Emmy Award-winning series debuted in 2007 and became an immediate hit for the network.
Set in New York City, the series followed teenage wizard Alex Russo as she struggled to master her magical powers while navigating life as a teen. The series was a tremendous success launching the career of star Selena Gomez. The success led to two made-for-TV movies, Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie and The Wizards Return: Alex vs. Alex.
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7. Teen Titans (2003-2006)
Based on the DC Comics superhero team, Teen Titans debuted on The Cartoon Network to rave reviews in 2003. The series followed the lives of famous DC Comics superheroes Robin, Starfire, Cyborg, Raven, and Beast Boy. The team bands together to fight the bad guys while dealing with adolescence and friendship.
The series became a surprise hit for the Cartoon Network, with fans and critics praising the humor, storytelling, and pacing. The series finale and made-for-tv movie, Teen Titans: Trouble in Tokyo, aired in 2006. The success led to the network launching a spinoff series, Teen Titans Go, and another movie, Teen Titans Go vs. Teen Titans.
8. The Proud Family (2001-2005)
In 2001, The Proud Family debuted on The Disney Channel to widespread acclaim. The series focused on the life of teenager Penny Proud and her family. Penny deals with all the typical problems that a teenager goes through.
Critics praised the diverse series for its humor and animation. It became a massive success for the network, ending with the made-for-tv movie series finale, The Proud Family. The series is still popular and currently streams on Disney Plus.
9. The Fairly OddParents (2001-2017)
The critically acclaimed animated series The Fairly OddParents debuted on Nickelodeon in 2001. It became so popular that it’s now the network’s second-longest-running series. The series revolved around an ordinary ten-year-old boy, Timmy Turner. Unlike most kids his age, Timmy has two dedicated fairy godparents, Cosmo and Wanda, who use their powers to get him out of trouble. But it turns out it’s often Cosmo who has a way of causing Timmy his problems in the first place.
The Fairly OddParents gained popularity as a short segment on Oh Yeah! Cartoons before becoming a series. After a brief hiatus, the series returned in 2008. A live-action version debuted on Paramount Plus in 2002.
10. Jackie Chan Adventures (2000-2005)
First airing on WB Kids, Jackie Chan Adventures followed the life of a fictionalized version of movie star Jackie Chan. Instead of being a world-famous movie star, Jackie Chan is a special agent and archeologist.
The series based each episode around real-life mythologies and folklore. Chan often made a live-action appearance on the show, answering questions sent in by the viewers. The series debuted in 2000 to rave reviews, becoming an international hit.
11. Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (2006-2016)
In the late 1920s, Mickey Mouse exploded in popularity, turning cartoons and Disney into an overnight success. Mickey continued to reinvent animation throughout his existence. In 2006, Mickey and his friends Minnie, Donald, Goofy, Daisy, and Pluto starred in the computer-animated series Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.
The Disney Channel aimed the interactive educational program at preschoolers. The series was an enormous hit with young kids and helped introduce vital educational tools. It allowed kids to learn significant problem-solving techniques. It remains an excellent show for pre-schoolers.
12. Hannah Montana (2006-2011)
Miley Stewart is a typical girl struggling with the everyday problems of being a teenager. She also happens to have a secret identity as a teen idol, Hannah Montana. In 2006, Hannah Montana debuted on the Disney Channel, becoming one of the most popular teen sitcoms.
It starred Miley Cyrus and her father, country music legend Billy Ray Cyrus. By the time the series was over, Miley had surpassed her father to become one of the most famous pop stars in history. In 2008, Cyrus starred in the concert film Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds, followed by a feature film, Hannah Montana: The Movie, in 2009.
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13. Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends (2004-2009)
In a world where imaginary friends and humans live side by side, a young boy named Mac and his imaginary best friend, Bloo, go on all kinds of wild adventures. The series hit the airwaves in 2004 and quickly became one of the Cartoon Network’s most popular shows.
It lasted until 2009, winning a plethora of awards, notably seven Emmys. The series is still popular today and continues to entertain kids. A reboot aimed at a younger audience is currently in the works.
14. The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron (2002-2006)
In the early 2000s, Nickelodeon created some of the most influential kids’ shows. Based on the 2001 film Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius, The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius debuted on Nickelodeon in 2002 to universal praise.
The series followed the brilliant Neutron and his best friends, Sheen Estevez and Carl Wheezer, on their many adventures. Despite being a genius, Neutron’s gadgets usually misfire, while his friends struggle to resolve whatever conflict he has got them in. It quickly became one of Nickelodeon’s highest-rated shows and led to the spinoff, Planet Sheen.
15. Codename: Kids Next Door (2002-2008)
Codename: Kids Next Door first gained attention during the summer of 2001. The pilot aired as a part of Cartoon Network’s “Big Pick II,” where viewers could vote on their favorite episode. Fans overwhelmingly voted for Codename: Kids Next Door. The series followed a diverse group of friends who are part of a secret organization fighting villainous adults and teens.
The series was a giant hit for the Cartoon Network resulting in two made-for-TV movies, Operation: Z.E.R.O. and Operation I.N.T.E.R.V.I.E.W.S. Despite ending the series in 2008, it remains one of Cartoon Network’s best shows. It even crossed over to another Cartoon Network classic of the early 2000s, The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy.
16. The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy (2001-2007)
The lovable yet naive Billy and pessimistic Mandy’s life changes forever when they become best friends with the Grim Reaper. With the Grim Reapers’ supernatural powers, Billy and Mandy encounter creatures from another world. The immensely popular Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy first started in 2001 as segments of the Cartoon Networks series Grim & Evil.
While still under the Grim & Evil banner, Cartoon Network began producing The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy separately. It became one of the Cartoon Network’s defining shows in the early 2000s. The popularity resulted in two made-for-TV movies, Billy & Mandy’s Boogey Adventure and Underfist: Halloween Bash.
17. American Dragon: Jake Long (2005-2007)
The animated series American Dragon: Jake Long debuted on Disney Channel in 2005, quickly gaining a loyal following. The series focused on a Chinese-American boy, Jake Long, who can turn into a magical dragon.
But Jake still had to deal with the ups and downs of being a teenager. To make matters worse, Jake was unaware that his school crush, Rose, is also a dragon slayer known as Huntsgirl. Despite its short run, the series remains hugely popular as reruns air on Disney XD.
18. What’s New, Scooby-Doo? (2002-2006)
The ninth installment in the Scooby Doo franchise, What’s New, Scooby Doo, debuted on Kids’ WB in 2002. The original series, Scooby Doo, Where are you, first premiered on CBS in 1969. Each episode followed Scooby and his friends as they’d solve a supposed supernatural mystery. Scooby Doo remained a popular series throughout the 80s and 90s. The 2002 revival brought the series back into the mainstream.
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