Every Steven Spielberg Cartoon, Ranked According To IMDb


With his recent re-imagining of West Side Story garnering seven Oscar nominations (including Best Picture), and after nearly five decades, Steven Spielberg’s legendary career shows absolutely no signs of slowing down. He’s directed 34 feature films to date, but he’s also had quite an impressive streak as a producer, with his producing credits ranging from Back to the Future to even Michael Bay’s Transformers.



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Throughout the 1990s and even still today, Spielberg had also teamed up with Warner Bros. Animation to help develop some of the most memorable animated children’s series ever created. Shows like Animaniacs and Tiny Toon Adventures became iconic titles that thrived on the airwaves throughout the decade thanks to his influence, and each of these Spielberg-produced cartoons can be ranked by IMDb score.

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7 Pinky, Elmyra & the Brain (1998-1999) – 5.8

It’s a very rare thing to see TV spinoffs that were better than their original series and sadly, Pinky, Elmyra & the Brain isn’t one of them. Lasting only a single season consisting of 13 episodes, there’s a strong chance that even the most diehard fans of both Pinky and the Brain and Tiny Toons may not have even heard of this unexpected crossover series. When Pinky and Brain’s ACME laboratory home burns down and they’re adopted by the dangerously affectionate Elmyra Duff, they’re forced to put their plans for world domination into new unexpected directions.

The show was pushed by Warner Bros. network executives, which was met with reluctance by the producers. With even the theme song containing the lyrics “It’s what the network wants, why bother to complain?” and Brain uttering “I deeply resent this,” the cynicism of the production staff seemed to rub off the show’s comedy, giving it a more pessimistic and self-deprecating sense of humor than its predecessors. Due to the show’s lack of success, it ended up being Spielberg’s final collaboration with Warner Animation for nearly two decades.

6 The Plucky Duck Show (1992-1992) – 6.5

Another Tiny Toon Adventures spinoff that only lasted 13 episodes, The Plucky Duck Show seems to be even more obscure and forgotten. Unlike Pinky, Elmyra, & the Brainhowever, this show severely lacked in originality, with 12 out of its 13 episodes consisting entirely of recycled shorts and segments from Tiny Toons that mainly revolved around the character of Plucky Duck.

The show’s run lasted only for two months and appears to have faded from the memories of the Tiny Toons fandom, seeing how even the creators barely give so much as a passing mention. When compared against other forgotten TV show spinoffs, The Plucky Duck Show barely seems to hold any sort of reputation at all, especially considering how it was never released on any form of physical media and is completely unavailable for streaming.

5 Freakazoid! (1995-1997)- 7.5

In more ways than one, Freakazoid! was a show that was very much ahead of its time. Its titular character may be a superhero, but much like Teen Titans Go!, most of the episodes revolve around the bizarre nature of his everyday life outside of his hero work. The crime-solving and villain fighting that would be seen in any other superhero show is instead substituted by witty banter, constant fourth-wall breaking, and off-the-wall silliness.

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The series was truly a unique creation at the time, with its surreal Monty Python and Dead Pool-esque humor, consisting mostly of non-sequiturs and obscure references and in-jokes, bringing in a more mature and adult audience than any other Spielberg cartoon. Because of this, however, it had a more difficult time gaining the same kind of viewership as those other shows, leading to multiple schedule changes that ultimately resulted in its cancellation after only two seasons. Given the significant cult following it’s gained over the years, and in the current age of TV revivals and rebootsthe dedicated fan base of Freakazoid! continue to hold out hope for an eventual return.


4 Tiny Toon Adventures (1990-1992) – 7.5

Considered to be one of the best looney tunes spin-offs, Tiny Toon Adventures follows a group of young cartoon characters such as Babs, Buster Bunny, and Plucky Duck attending “Acme Looniversity.” Through old-school cartoon violence, musical numbers, and movie parodies, the students overcome countless bonkers situations both in and outside of the school, and occasionally under the guidance of characters like Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and Porky Pig.

Designed by Tom Ruegger, Tiny Toons is often credited as the series that launched the Spielberg renaissance of children’s TV animation, giving new and fresh energy to the medium. Much like Animaniacs, the continued strength of the show’s nostalgic popularity was enough for Warner Bros. to even green-light a revival in 2020, set to premiere later this year with Spielberg returning as a producer.


3 Animaniacs (2020-present)- 7.8

More than two decades after its cancellation, Yakko, Wacko, and Dot Warner were reanimated to the small screen for a whole new era with Hulu’s revival of Animaniacs. Along with Pinky and the Brain, the Warner siblings continue their quirky antics, using their still ever-biting wit and satire to tackle the culture, media, and political climate of the 2020s.

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While none of the creative crew from the original series have been involved in the reboot’s production (with the exception of Spielberg himself, along with the original voice cast), it doesn’t miss a single beat in capturing exactly what made the original such an enduring classic. Its charm and humor are as “zany to the max” as they ever were before, bringing new flavor to a classic recipe for animated hilarity.


2 Animaniacs (1993-1998) – 7.9

A show like the original Animaniacs is one that comes along only once in a generation, a show that has something for every viewer to enjoy and manages to get everything about it right. While the Warner siblings were the main stars and faces of the show, each episode also featured segments starring equally memorable characters such as Slappy Squirrel, Rita and Runt, the Goodfeathers, and of course Pinky & the Brain.

There were certain things about ’90s cartoons that would never fly today, and throughout its run, the show gave several examples, managing to slip several subtle (and occasionally not so subtle) adult-oriented jokes and innuendos past the censors. While Tiny Toons was mainly geared towards children and Freakazoid! garnered a more mature audience, Animaniacs consistently managed to appeal to both age groups. With its lovable characters, memorable music, and timeless sense of humor, to call the series “iconic” would be an absolute understatement.


1 Pinky & The Brain (1995-1998) – 7.9

If there was ever a recurring Animaniacs segment that deserved its own spinoff series, Pinky & the Brain was undoubtedly the perfect choice. The show revolved around its titular characters, two genetically-enhanced lab mice (one noticeably smarter than the other), and their continuous plots to take over the world, with each one being more hilariously absurd and ludicrous than the last.

Branching away from Animaniacs not only allowed for its premise to explore bigger ideas and tell longer stories than previously allowed, but it also gave the comedy to go even more outrageous and even more silly. With the exceptional comedic chemistry between voice actors Rob Paulsen (Pinky) and Maurice LaMarche (Brain) one would be hard-pressed to find a more iconic ’90s duo. It’s not just one of the best spin-offs of all time, it’s the perfect example of how Steven Spielberg ruled over TV animation in the ’90s, as well as his strengths as a producer.

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