For over a little over a decade, Kids' WB established itself as a beacon for quality Saturday morning cartoon series. Even as some networks began to cancel their Saturday morning blocks in favor of educational toons or programming aimed at other audiences, and other networks began to air more and more low-quality series, Kids' WB stood as one of the few good morning blocks for children. It helped that they could draw on both new cartoons, cartoon versions of films, and making cartoons of beloved franchises like those from DC Comics and the Looney Tunes, but they still made it work until 2008, when the block was sold to 4Kids to become CW4Kids.
Still, while they existed the block aired several dozen cartoons over its near 13-year history, including re-packaged classics and leftovers from WB's partnership with Fox Kids. Do you remember them all? It's doubtful, as the block's cross-promotion with sister channel Cartoon Network means that several shows you probably associate with Cartoon Network are actually Kids' WB originals. Fortunately, CBR has a great memory (and the ability to Google), and we've brought you the 15 Cartoons from Kids' WB you've forgotten about. So grab your nostalgia goggles and get ready for a blast into the past!
Something of the middle child of Batman cartoons, The Batman is the one series that doesn’t really stand out that much. Batman: TAS is the classic everyone remembers. Batman Beyond is the cyberpunk Bat-series that no one wanted at first but eventually stole everyone’s heart. Even Brave and the Bold is remembered for all its team-ups and light-hearted sense of humor, but The Batman doesn’t really have much of anything to make it stand out.
An attempt to create a DC cartoon out from under the shadow of the Dini/Timm series, The Batman was a full-on reboot of the Batman concept, featuring art design by Jackie Chan Adventures artist Jeff Matsuda. As with everything Batman, the series had fairly decent popularity, and ran for five seasons and 65 episodes before coming to an end in 2008.
Set in the 2030s, Zeta Project was a stealth spin-off from the popular Kids’ WB series Batman Beyond. Set around a robot named “Zeta”, the story was about a robot known as a “synthoid” that carried out assassinations in the name of the National Security Agency. Eventually discovering that not all of his targets were guilty of any real crime, Zeta grows a conscience and goes rogue, abandoning his mission and the NSA as well.
Programmed as an infiltration unit, Zeta possessed the ability to transform and resemble any human he had already seen, while also creating custom personas from a combination of several traits at once. Alongside a runaway orphan named Ro, Zeta spends his life on the run from the NSA, who believes he’s been reprogrammed by terrorists.
Taking advantage of the growing popularity of anime during the time period, Xiaolin Showdown was a series that came to Kids’ WB in 2003 and aired for three seasons. Created by Christy Hui, the show managed to merge Eastern aesthetics with Western humor and sensibilities, following a group of young Xiaolin warriors locked in battle with their opposites, the forces of Heylin.
The two groups fought over the Shen Gong Wu, ancient relics that contained powerful mystical abilities. More often than not, the groups would wind up in special battles known as “Xiaolin Showdowns” to decide who would gain ultimate control of the relics. Running for 52 episodes, Xiaolin Showdown even recently received a sequel, known as Xiaolin Chronicles, which aired on Disney XD from 2013 to 2015.
One of the odder series to find its way onto this list, Mucha Lucha was a series created by Eddie Mort and Lili Chin, and set in town in Southern California where nearly everyone is a masked luchador, and obsessed with lucha libre, the Mexican version of professional wrestling. The protagonists for the series, Rikochet, Buena Girl, and the Flea, all attend the Foremost World-Renowned International School of Lucha, studying to become proper luchadors under a variety of other masked wrestlers.
The series attained fairly decent popularity while it was on, and managed to run for three years and 52 episodes from 2002 to 2005. Not bad for a parody of a style of professional wrestling that most people in America have never even heard of.
One of the oldest shows to air on Kids WB, Freakazoid was a superhero parody series created by legendary creators Paul Dini and Bruce Timm. The cartoon followed a young teenaged computer geek known as Dexter Douglas, who gained superpowers when a hidden sequence of keys was typed on his computer by his cat.
“Zapped” into his computer, Dexter was imbued with all the knowledge of the internet along with an ever-changing list of powers, including super-strength and speed, though more often than not he tended to imitate flight (the one power he did not have) by holding his arms in the air and making woosh sounds as he ran around at normal speeds. Though the series would later become a cult classic for its obscure and mature humor, the show only ran two seasons and 24 episodes.
Before WB got caught up in an endless loop of Justice League and Batman series, they took a chance on a few superhero shows that weren’t a part of their biggest cash cow franchises. The first was Cartoon Network’s Teen Titans in 2004, and the second was Kids’ WB’s Legion of Super-Heroes series in 2006, based on the DC Comics’ 30th century super-team.
The Legion cartoon pulled from several decades worth of storylines, starting with recruiting a young version of Superman from the 21st century to their team much like the original Silver Age group did in the comics. But by the second season somehow there were two Supermen (the second known as Superman X) and while the show was decent, it’s probably a good thing WB canceled it before they could get carried away and introduce a third Man of Steel.
In the late '90s, Men in Black became one of the most popular action films to air in theatres, thanks to standout performances by its two key actors Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones and it’s wildly creative world setting. So naturally, because it was the '90s someone had to figure out how to keep monetizing it, and thus the Men in Black cartoon was born.
Set in an alternate timeline where Agent K continued working for MiB, the cartoon follows him and Agent J as K begins to teach J the ropes of being a proper agent and navigating the tricky world of alien-human relations, while also battling against Agent K’s former partner, Alpha. Naturally quite popular, the show ran for nearly five years, garnering 53 episodes before coming to an end in June of 2001.
In 2002, Warner Bros. Animation managed to get a spin-off of the popular film Osmosis Jones onto their kids animation block. The show followed main characters Osmosis Jones, a white blood cell with little respect for the rules, and Drix, a by-the-book cold pill, though it changed the body they inhabited from the gross zookeeper Frank to a teenaged kid named Hector Cruz.
The series took the opportunity to expand on the universe it had set up in the films, introducing a wide variety of other members of the body from brain cells to muscle cells that filled out Hector’s “bodily justice system”. The comedy crime series ran for two seasons and 26 episodes before coming to an end in 2004, living on in reruns on sister channel Cartoon Network.
Released during the card game craze of the mid-to-late '00s, Magi-Nation was a cartoon series based on a card game known as Magi Nation Duel. A co-production between Korean and Canadian animation studios, Magi-Nation was set in a fantasy universe known as the Moonlands, where an evil being named Magi Agram was beginning to unlock the seals that have kept him hidden inside the planet’s core, when a group of “dreamers” are summoned to seal him up again, including Tony Jones, the so-called “Final Dreamer” summoned from planet Earth.
The series was one of the last cartoons to air on Kids’ WB before it was changed into CW4Kids’ Toonzai block after WB merged with UPN to form the CW. It ran for two seasons and forty episodes before the series’ poor ratings caused them to cancel the series, leaving the show’s final 12 episodes un-aired.
Sylvester and Tweety Mysteries was a reset of the famous Looney Tunes characters. Though Sylvester and Tweety remained Granny’s pets, Granny suddenly became a world-famous, globe-trotting detective, solving crimes all across the world. The antagonistic relationship between Sylvester and Tweety remained, but relatively toned-down as the two spent more time trying to help Granny solve mysteries rather than Sylvester trying to eat Tweety while Tweety tries his best to escape.
Sylvester also served as narrator throughout the series, informing the viewer of information generally at the start and end of each episode. One of Kids’ WB’s earliest series, the show was surprisingly popular and ran for five years starting in 1995, garnering a total of 52 episodes before the series finally came to an end in 2000.
Created by Bob Doucette, Detention is probably one of the most straight-forward cartoons on this list. It simply follows a group of eight pre-teen students attending their local campus, Benedict Arnold Middle School, who despite their best attempts at avoiding trouble, constantly find themselves landing in detention. Or at least, that’s what they usually claimed, although their theme song seemed to indicate otherwise, with the lyrics “As long as we’re in school, we’re gonna get in trouble.”
Since Detention’s basic idea is really just a more restrictive version of ABC’s Recess that boasted far less distinctive characters or animation, and Recess was still on when this series released, Detention didn’t last very long at all. The show ran a single season of 13 episodes before ending its run in March of 2000.
Another of Kids’ WB’s older shows, Road Rovers was the creation of Tom Ruegger and Jeff Gordon. The show was about the Road Rovers, a group of dogs (dubbed “cano-sapiens") that gained the ability to transform into humanoid forms and speak after being experimented on by the super-scientist Professor William F. Shepherd to save the world by fighting monstrous dog mutations.
Each dog was granted a unique set of superpowers, ranging from super-speed to super strength and heat/freeze breath, and after their transformations all of them wind up living with dignitaries of different countries in their civilian lives. Creative as the show was, Road Rovers never really caught on with audiences, and lasted only a single season and 13 episodes before being canceled in 1997.
Johnny Test was a lot like Dexter’s Lab if the sister was the scientist and the brother was as much of a walking, talking self-destruct button as he was a tester of the inventions. The main character was a hyperactive 11-year old boy named Johnny Test, who often helps his twin sisters Susan and Mary with their experiments in exchange for their help with his own adventures…and avoiding as much school and homework as humanly possible.
Created by Warner Bros. Animation and Coliseum Entertainment, the series was extremely popular and ran for a shockingly long period of time. It started out airing on Kids’ WB in 2005, but eventually outlived that channel before going on to find a home on CW4Kids’ Toonzai as well as Cartoon Network, until the series finally came to a stop in 2014.
Produced by Warner Bros. Animation and Nelvana, Waynehead was a series created by actor/comedian Damon Wayans. It followed a young boy named “Damey” Wayne, a young boy who lived in an underprivileged neighborhood and had a club foot. Something of a '90s version of Fat Albert, there wasn’t much to the series -- Damey just hung out with his friends and three-legged dog, Tripod.
Based on the creator’s own life growing up in the inner city area of Manhattan, the series had unsurprisingly low ratings for the time period, and lasted just 13 episodes and a single season before being canceled. Despite this, Waynehead managed to find its way to Cartoon Network and spend several years helping the network fill up empty hours on the cable network on weekends before finally vanishing into the ether.
It’s baffling that Loonatics Unleashed exists at all. It’s hard to imagine how rough the pitch meeting for a new Looney Tunes show had to be for someone to come up with the idea of: descendants of the original Looney Tunes characters in the year 20,000 AD get superpowers and protect their future from destruction in an action-comedy that’s half Looney Tunes, half-Power Rangers parody.
Still, that’s exactly what happened -- Loonatics is set on the city-planet of Acmetropolis, which gets hit by a meteor that knocks it off its axis, drastically altering the planet and changing the genetic codes of many of the people living on the planet. After the meteor strike, an alien named Zadavia collects a group of teens that have gained superpowers from the accident and uses them to protect Acmetropolis from further harm. Sadly, the series only ran two seasons and 26 episodes before being canceled.
What Kids' WB show do you think should've been on this list? Let us know in the comments!