The 90s was a golden age for a lot of things. The best music, actors, and movies all stemmed from this time. Even some of the best cartoon characters created in history were born during this period.
People who grew up in the 90s to the early 2000s remember many of these iconic characters because they were an integral part of their childhood. That’s why 90s cartoons are often still referenced in today’s cartoons.
This is a list of some of the best 90s cartoon characters that made our childhood memorable.
Best 90s Cartoon Characters
- Iconic 90s Cartoon Characters
- Hottest 90s Female Cartoon Characters
- Hottest 90s Male Cartoon Characters
Iconic 90s Cartoon Characters
10. Dexter – Dexter’s Laboratory
- Age: 8 (Hinted)
- Height: –
- Voice Actors: Christine Cavanaugh (Season 1-2, first 6 episodes of Season 3), Candi Milo (Season 3)
Dexter is one smart kid. He even has a laboratory that he built by himself. The boy genius spends hours coming up with new inventions and conducts exciting experiments. The only problem is that his sister Dee Dee decides to mess around in his lab.
How she repeatedly sneaks into his lab is forever a mystery to him.
Despite being intelligent, Dexter can be highly oversensitive and temperamental. Unfortunately, these traits often cause him to mess up some of his experiments.
Dexter always gets up and manages to remain calm and carry on all in the name of SCIENCE!
His show mainly focuses on his relationship with his sister. While they are often at odds with each other, they are shown to protect each other in various episodes.
9. Arnold Shortman – Hey Arnold
- Age: 9 -11
- Height: –
- Voice Actors: JD Daniels (Pilot), Toran Caudell (Season 1), Phillip Van Dyke (Season 2-3), Spencer Klein (Season 4-5, movie), Alex D. Linz (Last two episodes), Mason Vale Cotton (Hey Arnold! The Jungle Movie)
Originally the character Arnold was created in 1985 by Craig Bartlett for a series of clay-animated shorts that aired on CBS. Eventually, these shorts became a cartoon in the mid-90s, making Arnold one of the best 90s cartoon characters to air on Nickelodeon.
It may be because of his unique design, as his most notable quality is his football-like head. Characters in the series, usually Helga, make fun of it.
He is the youngest person in his boarding house, but he has a knack for giving out advice to the older borders.
Anyone would be lucky to have this football head as a friend. He’s nice, optimistic, and always tries to make you feel validated. Arnold was truly a man ahead of his time.
8. Jack Skellington – Nightmare Before Christmas
- Age: Appears to be in his 20s but could be thousands of years old
- Height: 183 cm – 213 cm
- Voice Actors: Chris Sarandon (Speaking), Danny Elfman (Singing)
When it comes to whimsical storytelling, one of my absolute favorite directors is Tim Burton. He also created one of my favorite animated skeletons, Jack Skellington, a legendary character born in the 1993 film The Nightmare Before Christmas.
It works as both a Halloween movie and a Christmas movie!
The Pumpkin King is a tall skeletal being who resides in Halloween Town, a world based solely on Halloween. But he falls in love with Christmas after visiting Christmas Town. He becomes obsessed with the holiday and tries to celebrate it in his own world.
It doesn’t turn out as great as he originally thought it would. In fact, he ended up causing a lot of trouble. But Christmas is saved just in time by the end of the movie.
7. Schubert “Scooby” Doo – Scooby-Doo
- Age: 4-8 (Original show)
- Height: 127 cm
- Voice Actors: Don Messick (1969-1996), Frank Welker (1979, 2002, present), Hadley Kay (1997), Scott Innes (1998-2008, 2017-2020), Neil Fanning (2002-2004)
Everyone watched this show to fawn over this lovable but extremely cowardly Great Dane, Scooby-Doo. His character is supposed to show the opposite traits of an actual Great Dane, but I wouldn’t mind having Scooby as a pet.
This dog cartoon hates getting scared, but he’ll go along on an adventure with the Mystery Gang and tries his best to protect them with the help of a Scooby Snack.
The cartoon has actually been around well before the 90s, but 90s kids were the ones who put Scooby-Doo on the map.
For fans, they watch it mostly to see how funny Scooby acts in the episode over how the mystery gets solved.
6. Rocko Rama – Rocko’s Modern Life
- Age: 20 (Original), 40 (Static Cling)
- Height: –
- Voice Actor: Carlos Alazraqui
I think Rocko is one of the forgotten 90s cartoon characters. His character design is memorable, but people often forget who he is.
Rocko Rama is an Australian wallaby who moves into a new neighborhood and attempts to live by himself. He is known for being obsessively hygienic but has anger management issues that cause him to neglect his living space.
The show’s actual target was teens, but it attempted to maintain a child-friendly language for kids since it aired on a child-friendly network.
Rocko’s Modern Life inspired many of Nickelodeon’s hit series like SpongeBob SquarePants and Phineas and Ferb.
5. Eric Cartman – South Park
- Age: 10
- Height: –
- Voice Actor: Trey Parker
Kids probably shouldn’t have watched South Park in the 90s because it was an adult cartoon. But for some reason, a lot of 90s kids grew up with South Park.
Eric Cartman is a pretty unique character. He shares the role of the main character with Stan, Kyle, and Kenny in South Park. But often, he acts as the main antagonist.
How they still count Cartman as a friend is a mystery.
Well, actually, they don’t count him as a friend. He forces himself into the group anyway.
Cartman is one of the first characters you will immediately think of when people think of South Park.
4. Captain Planet – Captain Planet and the Planeteers
- Age: Unknown
- Height: Approximately 203.2 cm
- Voice Actor: David Coburn
Captain Planet and the Planeteers was an attempt to create a show to teach kids how important it is to care for one’s environment.
The character himself, Captain Planet, is a superhero the main cast can summon by pointing their rings at the sky. Sadly, he doesn’t interact much with the other characters because he gets summoned to beat up the bad guys.
But from the screen time he gets, it’s clear that Captain Planet loves puns and catchphrases. Every 90s kid remembers his trademark catchphrase, “The Power is Yours.“
Not much is known about his origins. All I know is that he has been around for ages, and characters that have been exiled for eons seem to remember the green-haired hero.
3. Tommy Pickles – Rugrats
- Age: 10 months – 1 year (Rugrats) 10-12 (All Grown Up!)
- Height: –
- Voice Actors: E.G. Daily, Tami Holbrook (Pilot)
Rugrats used to air really early in the morning, before school started during my childhood. I remember wanting to watch it because I thought the babies were some of the best 90s cartoon characters the animation world had to offer at the time.
Tommy is seen as the leader among the babies. He is the most adventurous and too smart for his age.
The toddler can even use a screwdriver which he calls the “Studriver.” He probably learned it from observing his dad work with one and named it after him. This is pretty impressive because he was the youngest baby till his younger brother Dill was born.
People also love Tommy because it was hinted that he is a premature baby in one episode.
2. Bugs Bunny – Space Jam
- Age: 50 (according to him)
- Height: 121.92 (ears included)
- Voice Actor: Billy West (Space Jam only)
Bugs Bunny may have existed way before the 90s, but 90s kids got reintroduced to this iconic Warner Bros. character due to the live-action/animated film Space Jam.
Bugs Bunny and the rest of the Looney Tunes cast helped the movie become a great success! Old fans of the classic cartoon wanted to watch their favorite characters on screen while the kids got their first dose of Bugs Bunny and the rest of the cast.
Also, Micheal Jordan starred in that film!
Bugs Bunny is also known for his “What’s Up Doc?” catchphrase, which gets used in other shows as a little easter egg.
Did you know it was used by Mirko from My Hero Academia this year?
1. Homer Simpson – The Simpsons
- Age: 34 – 50
- Height: 182.8 cm
- Voice Actor: Dan Castellaneta
The Simpsons aired around the late 80s, but most people from the 90s remember the crazy antics of this series, including the lovable dumb cartoon character that captured everyone’s attention.
Of course, when you think about the Simpsons, you immediately think of Homer.
While he is highly flawed as a husband and father, you have to cut him some slack because he works a dangerous job for his family. He returned to a horrible job for Lisa.
Originally Bart was the show’s main focus, but after Season 3, the focus slowly began heading toward Homer’s direction. When you look at how much more trouble Homer gets into, it makes more sense to put him in the spotlight.
The Simpsons are also directed to an adult audience, so Homer’s day-to-day problems are more relatable to their target audience.
Hottest 90s Female Cartoon Characters
5. Lola Bunny – Space Jam
- Age: 28
- Height: 96.52 cm
- Voice Actor: Kath Soucie, Kristen Wiig ( The Looney Tunes Show), Rachel Ramras (Rabbit Run), Zendaya (Space Jam A New Legacy), Chandni Parekh (Bugs Bunny Builders)
Space Jam was the first time anyone got to see Lola Bunny.
She was created to become a love interest of Bugs Bunny. The film even had a subplot of Bugs trying to win her affection.
According to Kevin Sandler, her design was supposed to be athletic and seductive at the same time. Much to many fans’ disappointment, they have removed the seductive part in Space Jam A New Legacy.
After her Space Jam debut, she became a Looney Tunes regular. However, her personality seems to alter slightly every time she appears in a new series.
It’s her sexier traits that got toned down the most over the years.
Maybe people thought Lola was too sexy for a bunny!
4. Esmerelda – The Hunchback of Notre Dame
- Age: Early 20s
- Height: –
- Voice Actors: Demi Moore (Speaking), Heidi Mollenhauer (Singing)
Esmerelda is a Gypsy who is skilled in her craft. Unfortunately, she’s not part of the Disney princess line, so she’s sometimes a forgotten 90s cartoon character.
She was originally part of the Disney Princess line but got dropped along with Tinker Bell in 2005. But those who remember her know that she’s easily one of the prettiest Disney characters of all time.
Esmerelda is the first to show Quasimodo any form of kindness in the film.
Because of who she is and how she openly opposes Frollo, she becomes his main target in the first film.
3. Jasmine – Aladdin
- Age: 16
- Height: 155.4 cm
- Voice Actors: Linda Larkin (Speaking), Lea Salonga (Singing)
One of the first controversial Disney Princesses to grace the 90s is Jasmine. She’s also Disney’s first non-European princess and its first West-Asian princess.
She’s the daughter of the Sultan, making her royalty. Despite the law that she needs to marry a prince, she decides to marry someone without status, a street rat named Aladdin.
Jasmine wasn’t supposed to be the strong and prominent female cartoon character that fans know today. Initially, she was supposed to be spoiled and materialistic. But, as it turned out, changing her was a good call by the writers.
Sadly, unlike the other princesses that are central characters in their own films, Jasmine is only a side character to Aladdin. Her chemistry with Aladdin is just fantastic, so she still shines even as a love interest.
2. Daphne Blake – Scooby-Doo
- Height: 170 cm
- Voice Actors: Stefanianna Christopherson (Original), Heather North (1970-1980, 1983-1986, 1997, 2003), Grey DeLisle (2003 – 2006)
While she isn’t my favorite Scooby Doo Character, she is undeniably one of the hottest 90s female cartoon characters.
She’s a fashion-loving member of Mystery Inc. who isn’t as active as Fred or Velma when it comes to solving mysteries. But later on, she reveals that she has a black belt in Karate and can solve cases in her own way.
Daphne gave up her wealth to join the Mystery Gang and go on several adventures with them. She is also capable of working independently without the gang. In the movies, Daphne worked as a journalist on one occasion and a news reporter on the other.
1. Ariel – The Little Mermaid
- Age: 16
- Height: 162.56 cm
- Voice Actor: Jodi Benson
When creating alluring female characters, Disney hit their mark with The Little Mermaid.
Ariel is hot with or without the tail. She may have a bad reputation for not being an ideal role model to young girls, but parents often forget that she displayed numerous positive traits.
She’s curious with a vast imagination that’s thirsty to explore. Sure, she’s reckless and impulsive, but she wouldn’t have had an adventure of a lifetime if she wasn’t.
Her voice is also appealing. It’s the only thing her prince charming remembers from being saved. She wouldn’t have traded her voice for a pair of legs if she knew that.
I wonder how Eric would have felt if she just swam up to him in her mermaid form.
Hottest 90s Male Cartoon Characters
5. Johnny Bravo – Johnny Bravo
- Age: 20s
- Height: 190 cm (With hair)
- Voice Actor: Jeff Bennet
Johnny Bravo would be considered a hot 90s cartoon character if you don’t think about his personality.
His shallow, boorish, and dim-witted ways make him unattractive to most of the female characters featured in his cartoon.
The series is centered on himself trying to woo the many attractive girls around him.
He does his best to show off his looks to impress them, but they usually end up beating him up.
Yes, he gets beat up every episode.
People probably only remember the times he failed, but many girls were actually attracted to him.
On occasions, creatures even fell for Johnny too.
The character was initially skinny during his younger years. So he decided to get buff to have a chance with attractive women.
4. Aladdin – Aladdin
- Age: 18
- Voice Actors: Scott Weinger (Speaking), Brad Kane (Singing)
If a princess was willing to risk her status for this man, he must have killer looks.
Aladdin is the titular main character in the Aladdin franchise. Before meeting and getting together with Princess Jasmine, he was a street rat who spent his days stealing for his next meal. He must have been excellent at it because he isn’t scrawny at all.
Despite being a petty thief, Aladdin is an overall nice guy. He’s heroic and has a good sense of justice. Aladdin even became good friends with Genie and fulfilled his promise of setting him free once he got the lamp back.
Luckily, the Sultan agreed to welcome him as a possible son-in-law. In the series, he even trusts Aladdin to do some royal duties.
3. Li Shang – Mulan
- Age: Early 20s
- Height: –
- Voice Actor: BD Wong (Speaking), Donny Osmond (Singing)
He had every girl’s heart swooning with his song “I’ll Make a Man Out of You.”
Shang is probably the entire package. Mulan is such a lucky girl to have him.
Shang is a soldier who is fiercely loyal to his country and his fellow soldiers. He even shows support for Mulan during the final battle because he had total faith that China needed Mulan. That’s why he swallowed his pride and let Mulan take all the glory.
While he seems all tough, he is also awkward at times, especially around Mulan in the second movie.
Because his partner Mulan is in the Disney Princess line-up, this makes him an official Disney Prince! He and Mulan are also the non-royal members of their respective line-ups.
2. Hercules – Hercules
- Age: 18 (approximately)
- Height: –
- Voice Actor: Tate Donovan
I’m thankful for the massive glow-up they gave Hercules in the movie. This made me believe he was the hottest 90s male cartoon character back then.
The once skinny Hercules grew from a zero to a hero in Greece. This is thanks to Pegasus and Philoctetes.
The story of Disney’s Hercules differs greatly from the source material. For one thing, Hercules doesn’t suffer tragic guilt or punishment in this story. The tones are light and focus on themes of self-discovery and acceptance.
And it’s also about love.
Through his journey, Hercules learns that self-sacrifice for the people you love is one way of becoming a true hero. He loved Megara so much that he gave up his immortality to be with her.
1. Dimitri – Anastasia
- Age: 20
- Height: 172.7 cm
- Voice Actors: John Cusack (Speaking), Jonathan Dokuchitz (Singing)
Dimitri may have the looks, but his personality at the start of the film was undesirable. But he improved as the story progressed, which is why he’s on this list.
Initially, Dimitri is depicted as a sarcastic, cunning, dishonest man who is only interested in money. As he slowly starts to fall for Anya, he develops a mature, caring, and kind-hearted personality.
This makes me wonder if his first personality was just a defense mechanism he developed during difficult times.
Did you know Dimitri was designed to be unattractive, but people found him attractive even when he had a broken nose and messed up hair?
Fans fell hard over Dimitri’s personality shift and his love and dedication to Anastasia.
These are the legendary best 90s cartoon characters that we miss today. These cartoons essentially shaped our childhood and their impact remains even today.
What would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments below!