The X-Men stand together in 'X-Men '97'.
(Disney+)

The Best ‘90s & Early ‘00s Cartoons To Scratch That Nostalgia Itch Left by ‘X-Men ’97’

As you’re watching X-Men ’97, you might be getting the nostalgic urge to revisit other cartoons from the era. Luckily, there are plenty of cartoons from the ’90s and early ’00s that are the perfect fit if you’re looking to see your favorite classic heroes in action.

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The ’90s and ’00s was the golden age of Saturday morning cartoons. Now that X-Men ’97 has people nostalgic for that era of animation, why not go back and revisit some of the best? Here are 10 shows you can watch that fit right in with the team at Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters.

Spider-Man (The Animated Series)

Spider-Man: The animated series
(Disney+)

Surprise! This week’s X-Men ’97 brought back my favorite webbed boy from the cartoon series Spider-Man. If you haven’t watched the series, which started in 1994 and ran for 5 seasons, you are in for a treat! The beloved series sees Peter Parker take on villains like Kraven the Hunter and more.

Gargoyles

the main characters of gargoyles
(Disney+)

I am a product of the ’90s and nothing hurt me more than the cancellation of Gargoyles. The show, in which stone gargoyles are actually real living beings (and hot), defined the weird energy shared by a lot of millennials and I will forever be grateful for it. Plus, it’s on Disney+ so you can now see why we were all in love with Goliath.

Batman Beyond

The new Batman in Batman Beyond.
(Max)

Getting to see a new Batman take over Gotham is exciting and Batman Beyond gave us Terry McGinnis as the dark knight! The series also has my favorite version of Bruce Wayne (a.k.a. old man Bruce) and is a great show to help usher in a new era of the Batman. Plus, the animated world of Batman is some of the best cartoons out there.

The Avengers

Avengers: United we stand cast all standing together
(Disney+)

Remember when Rogue saw Steve Rogers and threw his shield away from him? I now want an episode of The Avengers (the animated series) about him trying to find it again. The Avengers: United They Stand (as is its full title) is not long and is not the only animated show to have featured Captain America but it is a fun quick watch if you’re still in the Avengers Assemble mood.

Kim Possible

kim possible looking at her phone
(Disney+)

Call me, beep me, if you want to reach me. Kim Possible, the 2002 animated series introduced us to the redhead spy who wears a black crop top and green cargo pants to solve crimes. Is this a perfect fit for someone who loves X-Men ’97? Yes. There is a best friend who has a naked mole rat as a pet. It’s perfect.

Teen Titans

the teen titans all standing in a line
(Max)

We’ve gotten a lot of this young crime-fighting team over the years, including live-action shows, numerous animated shows, and more. But the 2003 Teen Titans series was what introduced a lot of kids to the DC team led by Robin. This show, which ran for 5 seasons, was the gateway for a lot of DC fans to find their favorite heroes and it will always be special for that reason.

Captain Planet

captain planet flying
(Hulu)

The show Captain Planet and the Planeteers, also known as Captain Planet ran for 4 seasons. It centered around Gaia bringing together a team of planeteers who combine their powers to summon an elemental warrior known as Captain Planet. It’s a full-on cultural touchstone so if you haven’t watched this, you’re missing out on some great jokes in this world.

The Powerpuff Girls

the powerpuff girls flying
(Cartoon Network)

Sugar, spice, and everything nice, the team known as the Powerpuff Girls was comprised of Buttercup, Bubbles, and Blossom. It ended up being one of the first all-girl groups we had in the ’90s geared specifically for kids. And boy did I love them.

Batman: The Animated Series

Batman: The Animated Series (1992)
(Max)

1992 gave kids their very own Batman story with Batman: The Animated Series and it is a staple in cartoon storytelling. To this day, the show is regarded as one of the best Batman stories and is just really good. Were we spoiled with our superhero stories growing up? Yes. But what makes Batman: The Animated Series so good is how it brought in lore to a younger audience and kept the dark knight the hero we know and love.

X-Men: The Animated Series

X-Men
(Disney+)

I mean, come on. You are watching the continuation of this story. So why would you not just watch X-Men: The Animated Series as well? For many, this is how we met the X-Men for the first time and it will always make me love Rogue and Gambit most of all!

(featured image: Disney+)


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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.