The Top 7 Female Cartoon Characters of My Childhood

While researching female cartoon characters online, I was dismayed by the number of lists I came across with names like  “The Sexiest Animated Women Ever,” “Cutest Female Cartoon Characters,” and “The 25 Least Sexy Cartoon Chicks.”  As if all female characters can only be reduced to their looks.  I got so much more from the female cartoon characters I watched growing up than how to be attractive.  The female cartoon characters I grew up watching were interesting, complex, and didn’t exist solely to be the love interest, like so many female characters are written as in movies and television.  They were intelligent,opinionated, and funny.  I’m not aware of the type of female characters on animated programs now, but I’ll bet that most of them don’t hold a candle to the characters on this list.  I honestly feel fortunate to have watched these female characters during my formative years. Continue reading “The Top 7 Female Cartoon Characters of My Childhood”


The Top 5 Cartoon Mean Girls

Toddler terror Angelica Pickles

1.  Angelica Pickles from “Rugrats”

Out of all the cartoons I watched growing up, 3-year-old Angelica Pickles from “Rugrats” was easily the best villain.  If you think about it, she makes the perfect villain.  Who would expect a toddler with pigtails to be as conniving, manipulative, and just plain mean as she was?  Continue reading “The Top 5 Cartoon Mean Girls”

Lisa Simpson from “The Simpsons”

Of course Lisa likes Sylvia Plath. Source:
Of course Lisa likes Sylvia Plath.
Source: lisasimpsonbookclub

No discussion of intelligent and inspiring animated women would be complete without mentioning Lisa Simpson.  I’ve always wanted to be as smart, independent, and well-read as she is, and it’s my hope that there are young girls out there who feel the same way.  One of the things that makes her so inspiring is her love of literature.  A writer from The Atlantic was so inspired by Lisa’s bookishness that he created The Lisa Simpson Book Club, a blog dedicated to keeping track of the books she has read as well as every literary reference made on “The Simpsons.”  It’s a lot of fun to look through the different books, authors, and magazines that have been mentioned on the show.

Ginger from “As Told by Ginger”

Ginger in the middle Screencap by me
Ginger in the middle
Screencap by me

A couple of years ago, I somehow ended up watching an episode of “As Told by Ginger” on YouTube.  I am so glad I did, because I immediately fell in love with it and watched every episode available.  I recall not being too interested in the show when it was airing on Nickelodeon 10 years ago.  Now, I recommend it to everyone as an example of a well-written, clever, and realistic portrayal of adolescent girls. Continue reading “Ginger from “As Told by Ginger””

Mother’s Day Edition: My Favorite Cartoon Moms

In honor of Mother’s Day, I thought I’d mention a couple of my favorite cartoon moms.

Lois Foutley with her kids, Carl and Ginger Screencap by me
Lois Foutley with her kids, Carl and Ginger
Screencap by me

Lois Foutley, the mother of Ginger from Nickelodeon’s “As Told by Ginger” is undoubtedly my favorite cartoon mom.  She’s a single mom who exudes strength, wisdom, and warmth.  This piece of advice she gives to her daughter makes me want to burst into tears every time I hear it:

You know, we’re not put on this earth to live perfect lives where we never get hurt and we never make mistakes.  We’re put here to hurl ourselves head first into this crazy world.  And the bruises and scrapes you get along the way, they just mean you’re living life.

Marge Simpson is an icon.  I adore her for being unabashedly corny and uncool.

Source: simpsonscreencaps
Source: simpsonscreencaps
Source: simpsonscreencaps
Source: simpsonscreencaps

Helga Pataki from “Hey Arnold”

Helga and Arnold in "Helga on the Couch"
Helga and Arnold from the episode “Helga on the Couch”
Screencap by me

Nickelodeon’s “Hey Arnold” is a show that I loved as a kid and appreciate so much more as an adult.  The series was created by Craig Bartlett and aired from 1996 until 2004.  It’s held a special place in my heart all these years because it dealt with darker themes than you would normally find on a children’s cartoon.  The show centered on a fourth grader named Arnold and his group of friends.   Though the show was about Arnold, many episodes focused on his classmate Helga.  Continue reading “Helga Pataki from “Hey Arnold””

Jane Lane: The Best Friend You Wish You Had

Photo via
Photo via

I may have aspired to be Daria, but I feel that I and most people were much more similar to her best friend Jane Lane.  Like Daria, Jane didn’t care about what people thought of her, but she was more easygoing and had a sense of humor about everything.  She wasn’t as openly misanthropic as Daria.  Instead she stood quietly in the background and watched the stupidity around her.  I always thought she was the coolest character on the show.  She wasn’t a one dimensional character. She was an artist, a runner, had a great sense of humor,  had a unique look, came from an interesting family and was a loyal friend to Daria.

Even Katy Perry idolizes Jane.  Photo via
Even popstars idolize Jane Lane. Katy Perry’s costume from Halloween 2012. Photo via