Many Children’s TV shows have been praised by viewers for being delightful and entertaining. But did you know they can also be as meaningful and life-changing as shows for adults? Below I listed my top 5 Children’s TV shows that will surprise you with how incredible they are.
1. Steven Universe (Cartoon Network)
This show stars a boy named Steven Universe. It follows his adventures with an alien team named the Crystal Gems. He is a half gem (that is what the aliens are called) and half-human. Making him a very special case. During his adventures with the Crystal Gems, he learns how to become one of them. He learns how to use his supernatural powers and learns more about the expansive universe of the gem race. This is the premise of the show, but along the way, he faces some challenges.
This is when the show takes a dark turn. Villains show up to cause chaos and even challenge the very existence of his being. We learn the dark secrets from not just the villains but from the good ones as well. Revealing that not everyone is perfect. And with every shocking revelation, this leaves fans questioning who they trust on the show. That is how dark it becomes.
This show explores themes of mental health, body positivity, and even sexuality! But don’t worry nothing adult-ish happens on the show. But you do get to see how LGBTQ-friendly the environment is. Many relationships take on different forms and sizes. Many of them are gay, straight, and even poly relationships. This is another reason why this Children’s TV show is successful. It has been backed up by the LGBTQ community!
2. Over the Garden Wall (Cartoon Network)
Over the Garden Wall is a miniseries that follows two brothers who are lost in The Unknown. A mysterious and magical forest full of peculiar denizens. There are multiple villages and establishments they come across. Modeled after the neoclassical and victorian eras of America. The denizens even dress up like pilgrims, Quakers, and other historical groups. It will definitely feel like you have traveled back in time when visiting the Unknown.
The animation is gorgeous! You can tell how hard the animators have worked on their craft. Every scene has such a great amount of detail. It will make you want to freeze-frame it and hang it on your wall for decor. And beyond the animation, the show gets you on your feels. Throughout their journey, the brothers face challenges in their trek and even their relationship. And the show gets hella dark too! Some ghosts and demons lurk in the shadow, scaring many viewers!
Overall I do not want to talk too much about this show. Given the fact that it’s a short miniseries. I strongly recommend watching this during the Halloween season. It fits the hallows theme perfectly and will make the perfect addition to your October must-dos.
3. Infinity Train (Cartoon Network)
Like Over the Garden Wall, Infinity Train follows the main character venturing through unknown territory. She meets denizens along the way. Though what makes this show different is that it’s actually an anthology series. So each season follows a completely different story and character. What remains the same is the environment: an Infinity Train.
The Infinity Train is a set of train cars that are seemingly endless (why it’s called the Infinity Train). And in each car, a whole universe is pocketed inside. And I am not joking about this. There have been jungles, desert towns, palaces, and abstracts worlds pocketed inside each train car. This makes it supernatural. The main character has to go through each one of them to find a way back home. And along the way, she faces many different challenges coming from the denizens and the different environments. You definitely learn countless life lessons even though you are observing a fictional world.
This show also knows how to get you in the feels. There have been many times when I got emotional from watching this show. Either coming from a tragedy, a happy ending, or a farewell. This show will never stop entertaining with its content.
4. Gravity Falls (Disney)
This show stars brothers Dipper and Mabel. During the summer, they leave their California hometown to visit their great uncle Stan at Gravity Falls, Oregon. The town is small and innocent looking until the duo discovers more about it. They find out many anomalies plaguing this small town. And many of these anomalies are supernatural. Almost turning this village into a blockbuster charcuterie of scenes.
There are so many different types of situations Dipper and Mabel have to deal with. Ghosts are haunting the mini-mart, video game characters coming to life, gnomes attacking their house, and unicorns protecting the forest. This is just a small list of weird situations that ensue in each episode. Also for each bizzarre situation, the duo finds bizzarre solutions to each problem they encounter. And for every idea they have, they are all brilliant!
I find this show to represent how smart and brilliant a show can be. It really comes to show how creators can challenge their imagination and apply life skills/lessons to each scene involving anomalies. And that is what each episode has done: parallel real life to the fictional world! One of the Best Children’s TV shows!
5. Avatar: The Last Airbender (Nickelodeon)
Last, but certainly not least, is one of the greatest shows on earth: Avatar: The Last Airbender. This incredible animated masterpiece takes place in a fictional world. In this world, four nations lived together in harmony. The Water tribes, Air Temples, Earth Kingdom, and Fire Nation were all living in peace. Until the fire nation decided to conquer the world. The main character, Avatar Aang, was born with superpowers that no one else has. And that is the ability to control all four elements.
In the world of the four nations, people can control one element. Either water, earth, fire, or air. But the avatar can do all of them. And throughout his journey, Aang embarks on a mission to learn all the elements necessary to beat the Lord of the Fire Nation. And in this three-season series, we go through many different challenges and situations that leave our eyes widened. The fight sequences are incredible, the character arcs are unparalleled, and the world-building is unlike any other.
I would even go as far as to say that this show can compete with Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, and other fan favorites. That is how good this series is. It also comes to show that it really doesn’t matter if it’s on the list of Children’s TV Shows. A good show is a good show no matter what!