Childhood TV Shows That Shaped Who I Am Today

Written by Rakel Crockett

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Growing up in the late nineties and early 2000’s exposed my generation to some great television shows. I often think about downloading all of my favorite tv shows from pilot to finale and making my children (in a very far future from now) only being able to watch those shows. As crazy as that sounds, those shows have shaped my personality and who I am.


I’m going to share a few of my favorite childhood shows growing up, only including animated shows because the list would get too long. I will break this list up into three time periods: Young Child (elementary school era), In-Between (late elementary school/early middle school), and Maturing (late middle school/early high school).



Young Child (elementary school era)




Postcards from Buster

In third grade I would run home from school everyday to ensure that I got home in time to watch Postcards from Buster. This show is a spin-off of Arthur starring Buster, who travels across America, Canada, Mexico, and other countries with his dad. In order to stay in touch with his friends back home, Buster sends them video postcards from his trips.


The series focuses on cultural diversity at each location; Buster visits children and their families to learn about the local culture. Reflecting back Postcards from Buster was a great show because it exposed all of us to different cultures from the point of view of those who live in those areas.




Dragon Tales

“I wish, I wish, with all my heart, to fly with dragons in a land apart...” Dragon Tales is a Canadian-American animated preschool fantasy that follows siblings Emmy and Max who discover a magical place called Dragon Land. The siblings meet a group of dragons who they befriend and face challenges with.


This is one of the few shows that both me and my younger sister who is six years younger than me grew up watching. I don’t remember much about the content of the show, but I get hit with some real good nostalgia whenever I think about this show.



In-Between (late elementary school/early middle school)




The Proud Family

After doing some research I was surprised to find out that the show only aired for four years because it left a huge impact on me. The show follows Penny Proud as she's trying to gain her independence and facing typical teenage experiences in middle high.


Growing up and watching a tv show that centered around a family of color and in which a majority of the characters were people of color was amazing to have around. Also, if you haven’t seen the dance battle you have to watch it. It’s an iconic moment in our history.





Honestly, I can relate to Chowder in many ways. Even though we try our best to help out it doesn’t always end up helping anyone. The show follows Chowder, an aspiring chef that is an apprentice to Chef Mung Daal's catering business.


Chowder is a show that you can mindlessly watch; there isn’t much real plotline or character development. But as a middle schooler that is not what you are worried about, so this show was a great pastime.




American Dragon: Jake Long

The Jonas Brothers sang the theme song for this show, and since I was obsessed with the Jonas Brothers I loved this show. This show follows Jake Long, who must balance growing up with his ability to change into a dragon.


Let me tell you this show had a huge plot twist in it: Jake’s crush Rose was lowkey a dragon slayer. Imagine having to defend yourself against your crush who’s trying to kill you, but she was just flirting with you in third period earlier that day. As you get older and reflect on this show, there are some concerns, but as a young child no one pays attention to those details.



Maturing (late middle school/early high school era)




Avatar: The Last Airbender

Avatar will always be my favorite childhood show, and it deserves more attention. When I mention how much I love Avatar people assume I am talking about the movie with the blue aliens. Avatar is about kids who use elemental powers to save the world.


The show is very complex, with character development, some awesome action scenes, and comedy used throughout the show. I still contemplate rewatching the whole series as an adult --and most likely will.




Code Lyoko

I can still hear the theme song in my head and sing it to myself when I am bored. Code Lyoko is a French animation about a group of teenagers who travel to the virtual world of Lyoko to battle against a malignant artificial intelligence named XANA who threatens Earth.


I never admitted it growing up, but now that I am a mature adult I can own up to the fact that I had one of the biggest crushes on Ulrich. When I was in my grandmother’s basement watching this show I would pretend that I was also fighting crime in Lyoko and think about what awesome outfit or weapon I would have.




Teen Titans

I grew up watching the original Teen Titans, so this classic shall stay in my heart forever compared to the new reboot Cartoon Network has rolled out. Teen Titans is an animated superhero television series based on the DC Comic. The team deals with all manner of criminal activity and threats to the city while dealing with their own struggles with adolescence, their mutual friendships, and their limitations.


When I compare the original Teen Titans to the new Teen Titans Go! I personally favor the one I grew up watching. The show was darker and explored more serious themes of mental instability, harassment, abuse, and death. I watched this show once I was a bit older which makes sense due to the fact that this show was geared towards an older audience.