Cartoon Network has brought amazing cartoons in our childhood, and during the time, they dominated our hours of watching TV compared to the cartoons from Disney Channel or Nickelodeon. The channel has brought many cartoons we absolutely loved growing up such as Teen Titans, The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy, Code Lyoko, and so much more. The fact that these cartoons are still talked about and loved to this day shows how much it left an impact on us.
Unfortunately, executives from Cartoon Network had to make choices that were unfair to us, but sadly beneficial for them, and that would have to be the cancellation of the cartoons. Some were cancelled too soon, while others were just getting good, but ended abruptly without the cartoon getting any closure. Some may have come back as reboots, but most of them would end up being completely inferior and somewhat offensive to the older fans. Whenever these cartoons would come back on the air as a rerun, it would be a blessing to watch than the new cartoons that are not as good.
Some cancelled shows are also a good thing, especially if a cartoon overall is not that great due to negative reception or lack of viewers. Cartoon Network, however, cancelled more good cartoons than bad, which shows that we cannot always have nice things. They were gone too soon, but most of them will never be forgotten. Here are twenty Cartoon Network shows that were cancelled for mind-blowing reasons!
20 It Got Cancelled, Apparently
Whatever Happened to... Robot Jones? was one of Cartoon Network’s earliest shows, and for what it had to offer, it was pretty solid. The idea of a teenage robot going to middle school is interesting, to say the least. It was even unique to give it a text-to-speech voice in the first season, making the main character an actual robot. The concept managed to be interesting given that it is a comedy, but having a robot as the main character is something that was never done before!
However, this cartoon was short-lived since the original creator left and there was lack of support. Whatever Happened to... Robot Jones? is a perfect example of an underrated cartoon. While you were waiting for your cartoon to come back from commercial break, you might have seen the titular character pop up once in a while and wonder of his origins.
19 Not Pleasing For Its Demographic
Chowder was a rather strange cartoon, but it was also surprisingly charming. The surreal art style and use of stop-motion made this cartoon one of a kind. The characters were whacky in a good way and the humor was clever. So, when it came to cancelling this creative cartoon, the reason was unfortunately sad.
The show did not fit with the older boys' demographic.
It turns out that older boys were into the live action show Destroy Build Destroy instead because, you know, it was definitely a cartoon to look forward to. If you did not catch that, it was sarcasm, my friend. Regardless, it was absolutely a shame that this show did not end the way it was supposed to, but Chowder will never be forgotten.
18 Misadventures Coming To A Close
Just like Chowder, The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack also used surrealism for the art style, and boy was it breathtaking. Here is a fun fact: Did you know that Pee-wee Herman was originally supposed to be the voice for Flapjack? However, he did not appear on the day of recording, so the creator, Thurop Van Orman, decided to voice him. Still, imagine Pee-wee playing the main character, it sounds kind of cool!
For it to be cancelled was a surprise. There are speculations ranging from a low number of viewers to high production costs. Regardless of the reason for it being cancelled, The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack was a nice cartoon and it was a shame to see it go after its bittersweet ending featuring the creator’s son playing the live-action version of Flapjack.
17 It Should Have Stayed On YouTube
When it comes to shows that were cancelled on Cartoon Network, The High Fructose Adventures of Annoying Orange definitely deserved to be cancelled. This might be a strange choice since it has live-action elements, but it is still considered a cartoon, so this sort of counts. However, it is a terrible one that does the original YouTube series injustice. The show is certainly… well, annoying. When it came to greenlighting a TV show like this, it was doomed from the start.
The cancellation was because of the original creator’s studio shutting down.
Dane Boedigheimer is a talented person, without a doubt, but this cartoon should have stayed on YouTube and YouTube only. It is like we are saying our thanks for having Cartoon Network cancel this annoying cartoon.
16 Shortest Time On Cartoon Network
Chances are you have probably never heard of Robotomy. That would be a common answer today. Robotomy is a cartoon about two robot outcasts who start high school. It does sound familiar to Whatever Happened to... Robot Jones? but Robot Jones was a more memorable character compared to the main duo in the show. In fact, this show was based on failed pitch ideas for Cartoon Network, so for this to be greenlit was a surprising choice for the executives.
Honestly, the cancellation was to be expected. Due to high production costs and low foreign appeal, this show ended abruptly. As of now, Robotomy is the shortest-running series on Cartoon Network, only having ten episodes total. It was unfortunately not meant to be for this cartoon.
15 Shorts That Didn't Leave An Impression
Just like the previous entry, this show was short-lived to the point of whether or not many people even remember Sunday Pants. This cartoon consists of shorts that resemble that of What a Cartoon! which is ironically Sunday Pants’ predecessor. Whether the shorts are funny or not, that is totally up to the viewers’ preferences.
So, the cancellation of this show was again, not a surprise. The fact that only five of its episodes aired out of the originally planned eleven shows that this show was not going anywhere. It was crazy to know that Cartoon Network would pull the plug before its original run could end.
It might just be possible that Cartoon Network wants everyone to forget this show even existed, and due to how poorly it did, they might have a point.
14 Parody Of Mecha Done Well
Megas XLR was a cartoon that acted as a loving tribute and parody to the mecha genre in anime. It was very charming for what it was and there were certainly a number fans who absolutely adored this show. The overall story was surprisingly serious, but the characters and their actions bring the humor and parody aspects to life.
When the show was cancelled due to low ratings, many fans made petitions to try to revive the show. Co-creator George Krstic and director Chris Prynoski wanted the show to return as well. However, Krstic revealed the reason why the show cannot come back, saying in an interview, “Megas was written off as a tax loss and as such cannot be exploited, at least domestically, in any way, or the network will get into some sort of tax/legal trouble.”
It was unfortunately sad for this show’s fate, indeed.
13 When The Reboot Wasn't Painful
Funny how cartoons that appeared on Cartoon Network ended up getting cancelled, only to be rebooted. Ben 10 is definitely one of those shows. The show can be cheesy at times, but it absolutely left an impact and spawned shows that take place years after the original series. That is how much Ben 10 left an impact. However, production costs were too high, which eventually ended the show too soon.
What happened after that? We got an awful reboot that is just too annoying. Sure, Tara Strong reprised her role, but she was pretty much the only recognizable voice actress to do so. We missed the darker storyline and watching Ben grow up as he fights to save the world. If anything, the reboot should have been cancelled instead.
12 André 3000's Passion Project
This was a sudden surprise for this show to be conceived. Created by Outkast member André 3000, Class of 3000 was a cartoon about a music teacher, who is voiced by André 3000, who teaches students in Atlanta’s Westley School of Performing Arts. The music was certainly a strong point in the show, and the art style and colors are vibrant. It even well received by critics.
The reason for this show being cancelled was somewhat controversial, such as André 3000 being sued for stealing ideas from a former art student named Timothy McGee. However, it was also cancelled due to the budget constraints. For a show that is created by a member of a well-known hip-hop group, that was some scary revelation Cartoon Network had to go through.
11 Unclear Ending
The Life and Times of Juniper Lee was a nice show created by former MTV reality TV star Judd Winick, who happens to be a comic book writer for Green Lantern and Green Arrow. The premise is about an Asian-American girl named Juniper who is the current Te Xuan Ze, a guardian who protects the human and magic world. It was inspired by The Simpsons and Buffy the Vampire Slayer but does not take any routes the inspirations took.
The cartoon was clever and entertaining, and when the cancellation was announced, there was no specific reason as to why it was. It may not sound exactly mind-blowing due to not knowing the cause, but the fact that there were plans for a fourth and fifth season makes us wonder what could have been for this awesome pre-teen.
10 Blame The Live-Action Film
Something about superhero shows does not always go well for Cartoon Network. For fans, it certainly did. Green Lantern: The Animated Series was a nice take on Hal Jordan and his time during the Green Lantern Corp. The series went places where we did not expect it to take. It was an overall engaging show that helped Green Lantern become more recognizable.
Josh Keaton, the voice actor for Green Lantern, confirmed that the cartoon was cancelled due to poor toy sales from the live-action adaptation. If all of us had to agree on one thing: the cartoon was so much better than the movie starring Ryan Reynolds. The low ratings did not help either, so seeing an awesome show like Green Lantern: The Animated Series go was unfortunately not fair.
9 What The Prequels Should Have Been
As the title of this entry states, this amazing Star Wars series is what the prequels should have been (thanks so much, George Lucas). For those that have not seen this epic show, it takes place after the events of the second movie and before/during the third movie in the prequel trilogy.
For some reason, Cartoon Network did not air the last season, but thanks to Netflix, we were able to witness it. The cancellation, however, was one of the saddest news for us Star Wars fans. The story was not complete, despite getting close to the events that happened during Revenge of the Sith.
Once Disney owned the rights to everything Star Wars related, the cartoon was cancelled because of its insanely high budget. It sadly ended after six seasons, but want to know the saddest part? There would have been eight seasons.
8 A Challenging Project
Sym-Bionic Titan was created by Samurai Jack and Dexter’s Laboratory’s Genndy Tartakovsky. He is a creative and intelligent man who brought interesting concepts to life with what he comes up with. Like with other shows on this list, this cartoon has homages to anime. It was a thought-provoking show that had cool characters and sleek animation.
The reason for its cancellation was, “Genndy’s moved on to Sony Pictures Animation. Titan got competitive ratings with other action shows, but what shut it down was it didn’t have enough toys connected to it. If you don’t have the [toy sales], the studios don’t want to renew for another season.”
Having merchandise is what helps keep the show going, but with how the cartoon was handled, it was tragic for it to be cancelled because of that reason.
7 Creator Wants To Move On
While this awesome cartoon about three little girls formed by sugar, spice, everything nice, and chemical X graced our eyes when it first aired, it did not get cancelled by Cartoon Network per say. It did very well and sold a lot of merchandise along the way. It was going to get a seventh season, however…
The creator, Craig McCracken, wanted to work on other projects.
It is understandable that the original creator wanted to focus on other shows than just The Powerpuff Girls, and that is okay. Unfortunately, the reboot is not doing us any favors since it heavily relies on internet memes and replacing the main three voice actresses without giving them a call to reprise their roles. Even McCracken was not pleased, which is a recipe for disaster in the franchise’s name.
6 Ooh, Scary!
Courage the Cowardly Dog was definitely one of Cartoon Network’s most iconic cartoons of all time. The ironic title, interesting settings, and memorable characters made this show work during its run. This horror comedy even brought characters that still creep us out, such as King Ramses, Freaky Fred, and Katz.
It has been unfortunately cancelled, but the reasons for it have yet to be confirmed. Some say that the show was too scary for kids, which can be a logical answer. Meanwhile, others say that there was some sort of "symbolism" between two female characters and domestic violence in one episode titled, “The Mask.”
Despite the reasons, Courage the Cowardly Dog is still a memorable and clever show that has great writing and knew how to make us shiver in fear, but in a good way.
5 Breaking Up With Cartoon Network
This kooky cartoon about a fictionalized version of the real-life band Puffy AmiYumi was a joy ride. Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi was bright and colorful, having some anime-inspired elements. It even included a live-action segment of the band members Ami and Yumi making cheesy, yet charming commentaries in English and Japanese.
The adventures the two girls and their manager go on are entertaining and comedic, giving the cartoon a lighthearted approach during its time on the air. So, when it came to the cartoon being cancelled, it was shocking to hear the news. As for the cause, no one knows, even to this day. After that, everything regarding the show just disappeared.
It might have been mentioned during the 20th anniversary of Cartoon Network, but when the cartoon left the spotlight, there were episodes unaired and no support for DVD releases. At least the band is still rocking to this day.
4 Better Than The Original, But Short-Lived
The reboot for ThunderCats was a surprising welcome on Cartoon Network. The awesome anime-inspired art style, the fleshed-out characters, and story were amazing highlights for this cartoon. It removed the cheesiness of the original cartoon and took its characters and story seriously. It had the right demographic and gained critical acclaim, so what happened to this amazing cartoon?
The time slots were inconsistent, resulting in low ratings.
The creator of the reboot, Dan Norton, confirmed the news of its cancellation after just one season. It was going to have fifty-two episodes, but it only ended up with twenty-six. It was very tragic since Norton grew up with the show and pour his heart and soul into the project. Who knows what will happen with the future of ThunderCats?
3 Too Much At The Time
Technically, Samurai Jack got cancelled, but thanks to Toonami last year, we ended up getting the fifth and final season that brought closure to the amazing show that we deserved. We cheered for Jack as he makes his way in the future timeline to get back to Aku and go back to his original timeline. When the original series finale premiered, we were hoping to see an epic fight against Jack and Aku, but it never happened back then.
Despite positive reviews, it was cancelled due to being too violent.
Well, that was kind of the point of Samurai Jack. There is bound to be violence in the show, and during its original run, there was not that much bloodshed. When it aired on Adult Swim, however, that is a whole different story. Good thing we got an epic conclusion to this awesome cartoon!
2 How Could This Happen?
Young Justice was just like Teen Titans; the cartoon was written brilliantly with a gripping plot line, amazing characters, and awesome animation. The sidekicks were more than that. They were becoming superheroes fighting for justice and protecting the innocent people. It eventually was able to get a third season after its unfair cancellation. Why did it get the unfair treatment?
The cancellation was due to lack of toy sales.
The fact that the funding and reliability of toy sales was needed to keep this show going is rather ridiculous, especially since this is the 21st century. Sure, there are still toys being bought today, but it is not like the 90's. It also did not help that since the female viewers were a huge part of the demographic, executives believed that they are to blame due to lack of toys being sold.
Speaking of Teen Titans, that just leads to…
1 The Network's Biggest Mistake
Teen Titans holds a special place in our hearts. The awesome five consisting of Robin, Starfire, Cyborg, Raven, and Beast Boy remains one of our favorite superhero teams. They have comedic moments that make us laugh, sad moments that make us cry, and sweet moments that make us go, “Aww!”
The fact that the cartoon was cancelled broke our hearts.
The show ended abruptly with Terra leaving Beast Boy to live her life as a high school student. Cartoon Network definitely made a huge mistake in cancelling it. Teen Titans ended up being cancelled because the story pitched to Cartoon Network was never green-lit by executives. Because of that, we were treated with an ending that was somehow fitting but rushed and very depressing.
Things do change, but from how the show ended, it was gone too soon.
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