Top 5 Shows from CW4Kids/Toonzai
I understand that CW4Kids and eventually Toonzai aren’t exactly as universally-loved as, say, DC Nation as far as programming blocks are concerned. The complaints lobbed against CW4Kids run the gamut: from the removal of beloved cartoon shows due to reshuffling to something as simple as people disliking the obtrusive logo. However, it can’t be denied that a lot of kids were first exposed to specific high quality shows due to the block, and the block itself has carried iconic and important cartoons. Off the top of my head, here are 5 important shows that became part of the CW4Kids/Toonzai block:
1. Winx Club – Winx Club is an action fantasy series with comedic elements, focusing on the mystical dimension of Magix, home to Bloom and her friends Stella, Tecna, Flora, Layla, Roxy, and Musa – collectively known as The Winx Club. Together, the 7 fairies go on mystical adventures and fight against the darkness, all the while discovering much stronger transformations and abilities. The series is notable for being one of the first Italian cartoons to be directly sold in the U.S (as opposed to being licensed and redubbed).
2. Yu-Gi-Oh – I doubt anyone on this site is unfamiliar with Yu-Gi-Oh at this point. But back in the late 90s to early 2000s, Yu-Gi-Oh was a sleeper hit that served as a more accessible form of Magic: The Gathering (it probably helps that it’s not as expensive and can be played on a tournament level via the GBA. Magic: The Gathering tournaments are almost always TCG-only). The anime adaptations featured a boy named Yugi Mutou, who managed to solve an ancient Millenium Puzzle, which awakened a gambling alter ego that is significantly better than him at resolving conflicts. There’s about a dozen spin-offs of the franchise now, most of which also became part of the CW4Kids/Toonzai block.
3. The Batman – this show had the poor fortune of having to live under the shadow of Batman: The Animated Series. Don’t get me wrong, B:TAS is a hell of a lot better than The Batman, but that’s not saying much as B:TAS is a hell of a lot better than many shows up to this day. The Batman, which features a non-canon and much younger version of Bruce Wayne, stands on its own merit especially as a more cartoonish and kid-oriented version of the Dark Knight. Besides, it’s Batman. You don’t argue about anything related to Batman.
4. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – CW4Kids has carried several different iteration of shows based on Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird’s iconic action franchise. I’m lumping them all together in one spot, but if we’re going to choose one, it would have to be the original cartoon. They’re not as true to the source material (Laird and Eastman’s comic book was much darker and more violent than the show), but it’s actually that cartoon that made the Turtles so popular in terms of cartoons and action figures.
5. Dragon Ball Z Kai – the original Dragon Ball Z run was a worldwide phenomenon. In my country, we didn’t get Dragon Ball but Z still became popular when it hit. It was like Twilight for young boys. However, its massive success can’t hide the fact that Z had its flaws, particularly how drawn-out everything is. It’s not an exaggeration to say there are entire episodes wasted on Goku powering up and trash talking. Dragon Ball Z Kai weeded out all the chaff, ensuring that the fillers and drawn out scenes were minimized, resulting in a much shorter but more action packed watching experience. The slightly polished visuals doesn’t hurt either.
What about you? Which CW4Kids/Toonzai shows would you consider your Top 5?