Best Cartoons of the 2000s

Danny Phantom leaping into mid-air in ghost form.

Image Credit: Krossan on Deviant Art.

Most millennials love revisiting the cartoons of their childhood and adolescence, particularly those series from the 2000s.

These cartoons are full of heart, solid jokes, and memorable characters Gen Y still enjoys to this day, and might even be sharing with their own kids.

Kim Possible (2002-2007)


Creator: Mark McCorkle, Bob Schooley
Starring: Christie Carlson Romano (Voice), Will Friedle (Voice)
IMDB: 7.2/10
Seasons: 4
Episodes: 87
Where to Watch: Disney+, Amazon Prime, Vudu, Apple TV

Kim Possible featured the delightful titular character, a red-haired high school cheerleader who used her skills in acrobatics to moonlight as a secret agent.

Joined by her bumbling friend Ron Stoppable—and his pet naked mole rat, Rufus—they went on a number of adventures, thwarting evildoers and eating mass quantities of nachos.

 

Samurai Jack (2001-2017)


Creator: Genndy Tartakovsky
Starring: Phil LaMarr (Voice), Mako (Voice)
IMDB: 8.5/10
Seasons: 5
Episodes: 62
Where to Watch: Hulu, YouTube TV, HBO Max, Sling TV

Inspired by action TV shows like Kung Fu, Samurai Jack tells the story of Jack, a samurai from Japan’s distant past who gets mysteriously transported to the future.

There, he must grapple with the much-changed world, the evil spirit Aku, and try to get back to his own time.

 

Digimon (1999-2003)


Creator: Akiyoshi Hongo
Starring: Steve Blum (Voice), Mona Marshall (Voice)
IMDB: 7.3/10
Seasons: 1
Episodes: 54
Where to Watch: Hulu, Amazon Prime

At first glance, Digimon might seem like a simple Pokemon rip-off.  It stands on its own amongst 2000s cartoons, however, with a unique premise that was perfect for the new millennium.

A group of friends gets transported into another world inside of a computer, the Digital World. There, they are bonded with one Digimon who they can talk to and command in battle.

During times of extreme crisis, of which there are many, the monsters can Digivolve into superior creatures for a brief amount of time.

 

The Fairly OddParents (2001-2017)


Creator: Butch Hartman, Bob Boyle
Starring: Tara Strong (Voice), Susanne Blakeslee (Voice)
IMDB: 7.2/10
Seasons: 10
Episodes: 172
Where to Watch: Paramount+, Amazon Prime,

Timmy Turner, a well-meaning but ultimately hapless 10-year old boy, is magically granted two fairy godparents who can grant his every wish.

The show doesn’t exactly explain why some children get fairy godparents and others don’t, nor what their magical limits might be, but Timmy goes on some pretty exciting adventures with Wanda and Cosmo as they navigate his adolescence.

 

Metalocalypse (2006-2013)


Creator: Tommy Blacha, Brendon Small
Starring: Mark Hamil (Voice), Malcolm McDowell (Voice)
IMDB: 8.2/10
Seasons: 5
Episodes: 61
Where to Watch: Hulu, YouTube TV, HBO Max, Sling TV

This hilarious show follows the kooky members of Dethklok, a Scandinavian heavy metal band.

Written by a guitarist, the show is definitely intended for adults, and it parodies the life of fame and (occasional) fortune for musicians.

Despite their insane levels of popularity, the band tends to cause misfortune and disaster everywhere it goes.

 

Teen Titans (2003-2006)


Creator: David Slack, Bob Haney
Starring: Ashley Johnson (Voice), Khary Payton (Voice)
IMDB: 7.8/10
Seasons: 5
Episodes: 65
Where to Watch: HBO Max, Amazon Prime

Robin, the intrepid sidekick of Batman, struck out on his own and founded a unit of teen superheroes to take on the evildoers of the world.

Joined by his friends Starfire, Raven, Beast Boy, Cyborg, and sometimes Terra, they work to take down opposing forces who want to destroy the world or subjugate humans to their will.

 

Harvey Birdman Attorney at Law (2000-2007)


Creator: Michael Ouweleen, Erik Richter
Starring: Gary Cole (Voice), Stephen Colbert (Voice)
IMDB: 8.0/10
Seasons: 4
Episodes: 39
Where to Watch: Hulu, HBO Max, YouTube TV, Sling TV

Originally premiering on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim lineup, Harvey Birdman follows the adventures of the eponymous lawyer as he grapples with being a retired superhero, focused on protecting clients.

In fact, the majority of people who work at his law firm are retired cartoon characters, who would all like to do something more serious.

 

Sheep in the Big City (2000-2002)


Creator: Mo Willems
Starring: Kevin Seal (Voice), James Godwin (Voice)
IMDB: 7.0/10
Seasons: 2
Episodes: 26
Where to Watch: HBO Max

Sheep runs away to the Big City, where he takes great pains to avoid the military pursuing him.

Private Public and General Specific take the lead on Sheep’s case as he impersonates…well, a person, to hide from their devious plots to catch him.

 

Codename: Kids Next Door (2002-2008)


Creator: Tom Warburton
Starring: Dee Bradley Baker (Voice), Cree Summer (Voice)
IMDB: 7.2/10
Seasons: 6
Episodes: 81
Where to Watch: Boomerang, HBO Max, Amazon Prime

Codename: Kids Next Door follows the adventures, real and imagined, of the kids involved. All named after a number, Numbuhs One through Five work together to solve mysteries and crack codes that filter down through their serious leader.

While some of their missions seem juvenile, they were all trained by the strange Sector V in espionage.

 

Danny Phantom (2004-2007)


Creator: Butch Hartman, Steve Marmel
Starring: David Kaufman (Voice), Grey DeLisle Griffin (Voice)
IMDB: 7.1/10
Seasons: 3
Episodes: 53
Where to Watch: Amazon Prime

Danny Phantom has a strange encounter with a ghostly portal, thus gaining the ability to transform himself into a ghost with superpowers.

While kids of the 2000s figured it was just one of many cool cartoons, today new interpretations view it as kid-friendly commentary on how transgender people must often live a double life, wearing masks around people who won’t understand them.

 

via GIPHY

The list of great cartoons from the 2000s could stretch on for miles—this decade brought young audiences some truly special gems, most of which are just as enjoyable in adulthood.

For more cartoon recommendations, check out the best sci-fi anime, these musical episodes of Bob’s Burgers, or every couch gag from The Simpsons.