Horrible / Western Animation

"When business executives are making the artistic decisions and don't understand animation, things can go awry."
Don Bluth, speaking from personal experience.

Maybe because cartoons are sometimes seen as entertainment for kids, some studios seem to think they can get away with releasing anything, no matter how poor the quality. However, there are some things even the Nostalgia Filter can't save. After all, with glitchy animation, many unanswered questions, awful decisions by the higher-ups, and jokes that wouldn't make a three-year-old laugh, can you blame them for not remembering?

To see some of the worst animation has to offer in cinemas, check out the Horrible.Animated Films page. For horrible Asian Animated shows that weren't made in Japan, see the Horrible.Asian Animation page.

Important Notes:

  1. Merely being offensive in its subject matter is not enough to justify a work as So Bad It's Horrible. Hard as it is to imagine at times, there is a market for all types of deviancy (no matter how small a niche it is). It has to fail to appeal even to that niche to qualify as this.

  2. It isn't a Horrible cartoon just because Tooncrap, The Mysterious Mr. Enter, Rebel Taxi or anyone from Toons These Days, That Guy with the Glasses, Reviewers Unknown, and/or any other Caustic Critic reviewed it. There needs to be independent evidence, such as actual critics (emphasis on plural) for example, to list it. (Though once it is listed, they can provide the detailed review.)

  3. This page is not for horrible episodes (or even seasons) of otherwise well-received shows. For those, see DethroningMoment.WesternAnimation and SeasonalRot.WesternAnimation.

Examples (more or less in alphabetical order):

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    Animation Studios 
  • Blind Ferret Entertainment, a company run by Canadian webcomic artist Ryan Sohmer, famous for Least I Could Do:
    • Ctrl+Alt+Del: The Animated Series, regarded by many as one of the worst Animated Adaptations of all time, and easily the worst of the 2000s. Noted for its awful production, unlikable characterization, unfunny "humour", and a plot that continues upon a wildly-despised comic arc. The Stock Footage is okay, but takes up at least half an episode. Nothing else is even excusable. The voice acting's poorly done, cheaply recorded, and volume discrepancies are everywhere. The sounds are so badly edited that entire music tracks commonly overlap and speech starts and stops partway through a line. The animation wouldn't pass on Newgrounds — it's often jerky, always unnatural and rarely isn't in 3/4 profile. The series itself was so unpopular that over the course of two seasons (done two years apart), it almost cost Blind Ferret their jobs (and they have since gone on record as saying they'll never produce another season). TV Trash riffed it in a crossover with The Cartoon Hero, and Rowdy C declared that it was one of the few shows that he felt had no redeeming qualities. The Mysterious Mr. Enter tore into the pilot, too.
    • They also worked on an Animated Adaptation of Least I Could Do. The animation is slightly better than Ctrl+Alt+Del (though almost anything would be), but that's not enough to salvage the rest of the show. Essentially it takes every flaw the webcomic has and multiplies it exponentially. The first lyric of the admittedly pretty catchy theme song is "Wouldn't it be great if no one ever got offended?", which should clue viewers in that what they're about to watch isn't exactly going to handle adult themes in a mature, responsible manner. In the clip of the pilot posted on their YouTube channel alone, we're introduced to main character Rayne Summers, who has to be the biggest, most intolerable dick imaginable (and he's creator Ryan Sohmer's Marty Stu Author Avatar, which should speak volumes). Couple this with bland, repetitive humor that can be best described as "horny" and a waste of good voice actors like Yuri Lowenthal, Tara Platt, and Steve Blum, stir well, and you've got a cartoon so bad it's a wonder anyone ever bothers adapting web comics into animation at all. What's worse, it was crowd-funded through a Kickstarter campaign that raised over $100,000 - none of which, evidently, went towards the writing or animation budgets.
  • Wolf Tracer Studios was an animation studio founded by Colin Slater, whose biographies boast about his talents as a music and television producer. The studio is only known to have made two animated projects, both of which were previously lost and only recently uncovered. Both were made with homemade software that allowed faster production time... and it shows. Slater even foolishly hoped to make franchises of these films.

  • Allen Gregory, a short-lived Fox animated series co-created by and starring Jonah Hill as the voice of the title character Allen Gregory De Longpre, a nerdy, pretentious 7-year-old who's forced to attend elementary school in the face of the recession when his gay parents' finances are hit hard, principally those of his CEO father Richard. Allen has a very warped view of the world and can't socialize with kids around his age. What makes the series so bad, you ask? Dull and unfunny jokes (almost all of them tasteless and unfunny, including jokes about AIDS and date rape), bland animation (with downright HIDEOUS character designs), some of the most off-putting homophobia in all of television (so horribly written it's honestly impossible to tell if it was supposed to be satirical or not), and unlikable characters who are some combination of idiots, whiny Butt Monkeys, and/or complete jerkasses. The Jerkass characters from other FOX shows are at least funny with their asshole-ism most of the time. Plus, there's the ongoing subplot involving Allen's crush on his 70-year-old principal, played out in the most disturbingly sexual way possible (you will never hear "In the Air Tonight" the same way ever again). Also, the gay parents as main characters—Richard's just as selfish and childish as his son, and Jeremy (one of the few decent characters aside from his adopted daughter Julie, although they're both boring and forgettable) was a straight man with a wife and children who was essentially bullied and raped by Richard into marrying him. Unfortunate Implications, indeed. The pilot received mostly negative reviews, and the show itself was canned after only 7 episodes in late 2011/early 2012. TV Trash eviscerated it by popular demand, believing it to be the worst show he's ever reviewed (until he reviewed Brickleberry and then Mr. Pickles, that is). The Mysterious Mr. Enter also tore into the show, and declared it in 2013 to be the worst thing he reviewed… until he saw, among other things, Mr. Pickles and Where the Dead Go to Die – since 2014, he will preface certain Animated Atrocities by declaring them to be "worse than Allen Gregory," with him calling Family Guy "the new Allen Gregory" at the start of his review of "Fresh Heir". PhantomStrider put that show on #2 on his Top 10 Worst Modern Cartoons of All Time, second only to modern episodes of Family Guy. It's telling that Fox hated Allen Gregory so much that they pulled it from any and all websites that were offering the episodes for sale.
  • After the Sputnik launch, there seemed to be a push for "educational" TV cartoons to raise kids' intellects, and they were generally awful at the time. One, The Big World of Little Adam, was nothing but a still shot of two kids' heads behind a book, conveniently covering the mouths to avoid animating speech -— the only movement was their pupils darting back and forth. This "action" framed montages of still pictures of the subject at hand. On a whole other level of awful, one installment dealing with missiles praised the V-1 and V-2 rockets (Who cares where they come down?). However, the animated segments and slideshows weren't the only thing present: The Other Wiki claims the producer, Fred Ladd, got a hold of a bunch of NASA documentaries and, with the space race of the 50s and 60s running about in kids' minds, created the segments as framing devices for said documentaries.
  • Christian kids' entertainment is notorious for being of low quality, but Boys of Valor takes it to a whole new level. The voice acting is atrocious, with one of the actors literally phoning in his performance. The CGI is even worse; a generic grass texture is used for the ground in Hell, the villains look like huge-headed BIONICLE rejects, one scene has one of the boys flying in a loop and colliding with the ground, remaining rock-still while doing so, and one of the models is even ripped off from The Sims. To top it all off, the Big Bad is defeated by dancing, something even the bad guy is incredulous about. Watch iRawss tear it apart here. He also reviewed the sequel along with the Critic Core here.
  • There are more than a few reasons why Calico Entertainment's Bubsy pilot never got picked up. Not only is there unfunny jokes and overusage of Stock Footage, almost all of our main heroes are completely unlikable, and have voice acting that not only wastes the talent of famous names like Rob Paulsen (among one of the very few voice acting roles he is openly ashamed of), Jim Cummings, and Tress MacNeille, but are also so incredibly ear-grating. The only likeable character in the entire pilot is Arnold Armadillo, and sadly he is treated to a downright mean-spirited Running Gag involving his fear of getting run over by a truck. The Mysterious Mr. Enter took an axe to it here, as well as Tooncrap, Nothing but Cartoons, and Cartoon Palooza. There's also an annotated version as well. And just in case you weren't convinced enough, here's the entire thing. "What could possibly go wrong?", indeed.
  • Chip and Pepper's Cartoon Madness. Not to be confused with Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers, Cartoon Madness was an affront to animation with its badly-animated surfer bulldogs pasted against the kind of computer-rendered animation you'd expect from the early 1990s. It was like a bloody collision between a bad Flash cartoon and a computer science student's D- project, with no survivors. Then the two dogs enter reality, and somehow this transforms them into two aggressively Totally Radical Surfer Dudes With Attitude. The live-action segments take place in "The Chillin' Shack", a set basically ripped off from Pee-Wee's Playhouse except with a crowd full of cheering kids in sunglasses who clearly don't want to be there, a butler(?) with a crappy Russian(?) accent, and hands sticking out of the walls which they high-five with whenever they pass them, but pay no attention to for the rest of the show. And then there's the editing, which makes it look almost like something from Tim & Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!... except for real. The guy in the editing room was either on LSD, had ADHD, or both. At times, it resembled a YouTube Poop. Of course, this is probably to be expected when you make a show starring a pair of jeans designers.
  • Coconut Fred's Fruit Salad Island is a blatant Follow the Leader of Spongebob Squarepants, but without any of the charm or humor that made the latter an iconic Long Runner. It suffers from poor humor, bad animation (even for 2005), obnoxious characters with ugly and off-putting designs, and bad plots, along with irritating random humor. The main character comes off as an annoying Chaotic Stupid asshole, making the antagonists seem more sympathetic. Notably, this and Bubsy (mentioned above) are Rob Paulsen's least favorite roles. The negative reception resulted in Kids' WB! reducing the first season from thirteen to nine episodes, putting a five month hiatus between episodes, and airing the last four episodes as a short season. The Mysterious Mr. Enter put this on the 10 worst cartoons of the 2000s, and later did a review of the episode "Master of Disaster". The show was number ten on Monster Review's unsuccessful cartoons of all time, seen here. Rebel Taxi called it the fifth worst cartoon of all time (in no particular order) in his review of the show. Despite the show's poor reception, it was nominated for two Daytime Emmys.
  • Da Boom Crew was played on Kids' WB! on Saturday mornings for 4 weeks at 1 new episode per week in 2004, like any new show. The problem? The creators had recorded 13 episodes. The network canned it after 4, yet reran those 4. The show had Totally Radical speech, traveling through a video game world similar to one that Da Boom Crew themselves created with generic characters, and other unneeded things made this show not worth the time-slot it took up. It also features annoying negative stereotypes. For extra irony, the show was created by Bruce Smith. Thankfully, a second Pokémon: Advanced Challenge episode dominated its time slot after episode 4. Watch The Cartoon Hero review it whole here.
    • This disaster came from the creator of The Proud Family, which is not horrible at all, and wastes the vocal talents of two of Prince's Associates (Morris Day and Jerome Benton), and Wanda Sykes. Bafflingly, this thing was dubbed into Spanish and inflicted on Latin American kids via the Fox Kids / Jetix channel on its full glory. Sometimes mediocre series have been rescued by the Spanish dub, but sadly this was not the case.
    • The Mysterious Mr. Enter also considered it to be one of the top 10 worst ever cartoon series he's ever seen (watch him rip it a new one here) and initially had it as the worst full cartoon series from the 2000's before finding something from the Philippines that was even worse (see below). Furthermore, he also feels that even though it may not be the worst thing he's seen, it's something that he respects the least, especially when compared to something like "Ren Seeks Help" or the Newborn Cuties (shown below) due to it putting more effort in trying to rip off various things with itself (such as its theme song ripping off Puff Daddy's "Come With Me") and having its entire world be considered a plothole.
  • Dorbees: Making Decisions, a 1998 Christian kids' video that was meant to be the first in a series of Dorbees videos and reeks of desperately wanting to be the next VeggieTales. The whole video is filled with abysmal CGI animation (even for the late '90s) that somehow looks even worse than Jimmy Neutron Happy Family Happy Hour (whose animation style is, mind you, intentional), Parental Bonus jokes that make no sense, characters that are undeveloped, idiotic pacing mostly resulting from a framing device within another framing device, the six-minute Disney Acid Sequence that is Mr. Poe and Yogul, and some of the most demented attempts at An Aesop, such as implying that kids who skip school deserve to die. This is what Mr. Enter thought about the video.
  • Full English was an attempt by British network Channel 4 to create an adult cartoon to capitalize on the success of American shows such as Family Guy or South Park. Unfortunately, despite using Rough Draft Studios for some of its animation and casting well-known British names such as Richard Ayoade and Kayvan Novak, the show was regarded as an abomination by viewers and critics alike. Many labelled it as a "British" rip-off of Family Guy with several copied elements, such as the main character's wife having a billionaire father who disapproves of his son-in-law and gags more offensive than even a show like Family Guy would allow. It was cancelled after just 4 episodes, with the last remaining ones aired later on Channel 4's sister network E4 and was never aired again afterwards. To this day, Channel 4 considers it an Old Shame and likes to pretend it never happened. Watch TorchSheep's review of it here.
  • Kung Fu Dino Posse can be summed up as the sister to Dino Squad, featuring the same massive scientific errors and frame-skipping animation. But whereas the former is So Bad, It's Good at worst and animated by China's Hong Ying (for Dic Entertainment), Kung Fu Dino Posse (Produced and animated by South Korea's Sunwoo Entertainment) attempts hiding its flaws with terrible Better Than a Bare Bulb-style jokes. Watch The Mysterious Mr. Enter tear this show a new asshole on his review of one episode. Or check out The Cartoon Physicist's one year anniversary video in which she tears apart the whole series.
  • Madballs: Gross Jokes is a total disaster of a animated short. The humor is lame, seemingly taken from a children's joke book. None of the skits are interesting at all, without any semblance of a plot. The animation is poor, with ugly and uninspired character designs and visuals. None of the characters have any personality, with the possible exception of Skullface. Tooncrap takes a look at it here, and considers it one of the worst animation he's reviewed, along with Bubsy. The Mysterious Mr. Enter also takes a look at it. This show also made his worst episodes list for 2013.
  • The disaster that was Mauser y Pirulo, a short-lived animated series that graced Venezuelan screens for less than a season in 1999. It was promoted as "the very first Venezuelan animated series" but in fact it was a redubbing of Colombian animated show El Siguiente Programa, a vehicle for the duo of comedians/radio jocks Martín De Francisco and Santiago Moure. The original footage wasn't exactly well animated, but it was saved by witty writing and the voice acting of its main stars; in the Venezuelan "translation" the main characters were renamed and transformed into a duo of Beavis and Butt-Head expies, and the topical Colombian references were awkwardly changed for Venezuelan ones, among other changes note . The result was a thing that had to be stuck at the midnight time slot, where it quickly died. What little fans they had never managed to tape it, so while the original show received DVD releases and episodes can be freely found online, the only proof that Mauser and Pirulo did exist is the theme music, arguably the best part of the show.
  • Mega Babies was a cartoon made by Christian and Yvon Tremblay (of SWAT Kats fame) that was about a trio of superpowered infants who fought crime with assistance from their nurse. The jarring character designs and grating theme song (an annoying, warped version of "Rock-a-bye Baby") aside, to say that this cartoon is heavy on gross-out humor is an understatement. A prime example of how disgusting this show is: one of the early episodes starts with a shot of the babies sleeping... which wouldn't be so bad if one of the babies didn't have a stringy glob of snot shooting out of its nose with each snore. Sweet. Jesus. Watch it here, but only if you have a stomach of iron. In his list of "Top 10 Ugliest Cartoons", Rebel Taxi said that the show was so ugly that it was perfect for scaring teens from having sex -– "It's not an accurate representation of childbirth or can it change their minds, but it should prolong the inevitable." Watch The Mysterious Mr. Enter nearly break apart from this abomination here. It also really says something when Voltalia compares it unfavorably to the Garbage Pail Kids movie!

    The series was also surprisingly popular in the United Kingdom, likely because it aired right before Pokémon on Sky 1. And yet, according to one of the Tremblay brothers, it was the highest rated show on what was then the Fox Family Channel, which really says something about Fox and Saban's management of the network. (Allegedly, Nickelodeon had rejected it, calling it "a cross between Rugrats and AKIRA.") But, people complained (because they still have The 700 Club there, so clearly some Moral Guardians got riled up- for once though, they were helpful) and that's how it got canned (that, plus Disney's buyout of the network).
  • Mirthworms, a show about two-inch worms in a tiny town. Seriously insipid acting, horrid character designs, and Anvilicious aesops... it's not surprising how obscure it is, considering only three Very Special Episodes were made. Read The Island of Misfit Christmas Specials tear it to shreds-
    The Island of Misfit Christmas Specials: Not only is it just not funny, but it's one of the most depressing holiday specials I've ever seen. How on earth do you call something Mirthworms and miss your intended target by a full 180 degrees?
  • My Little Pony: Newborn Cuties was a Flash-animated adaptation of My Little Pony and was the last series of the slightly less-dreadful third generation of the franchise before the vastly-superior fourth generation was introduced. The animation has moments where voices come out with no proper idea of who's saying these lines and their movements, coupled with their ugly models, make the characters look bizarrely wrong. This was mainly because Hasbro put as little effort into the animation as possible to maximize their profits, which really shows because at no point does a single character's mouth ever move (at least in the second short; they do actually move in the first short, "So Many Different Ways to Play"). Not to mention every character was voiced by the same actress (a child, to boot, who clearly was not trained), constantly used stock sound effects, used the same Flash asset for each character that was minimally moved, and rehashed plotlines from earlier in G3. The writing's completely juvenile, insulting, and contains the accidentally racist line "everyone in Ponyville knows unicorns belong in Unicornia". Only a couple of shorts were made before the series was abandoned before the entire franchise was rebooted as Friendship is Magic. Watch Mr. Enter tear apart the second short, "Over Two Rainbows", which is much worse than the already abysmal first short. Sometime later, he eviscerated "So Many Different Ways to Play.
  • The Nutshack is the first animated TV show aimed directly at Filipino-Americans. Featuring horrendous characters (which unintentionally bear resemblance to racist caricatures), embarrassingly-awful Flash animation, terrible voice acting, and a childish approach to... well, everything, it would be horrendous for something on Newgrounds, let alone television. Virtually every female character in the show has some combination of an hourglass figure, Bared Midriff, enormous breasts and exaggerated lips and eyelashes. Also, for basically no reason besides Fanservice, the waistband of their thongs is usually very visible. These traits are especially clear in Chita, the show's female lead. All this is made worse by the fact that it's a wholesale rip-off of Friday: The Animated Series. Both Rebel Taxi and The Mysterious Mr. Enter have had nothing but negative things to say about the show, with the former calling it the worst cartoon of all time, and the latter calling it the 4th worst animated series he ever saw.note  The Cartoon Hero tells us what he thinks of the show here.
  • Pixel Pinkie is often described was the Australian equivalent to Johnny Test, except far, far more lame. A Cliché Storm of the highest order, the premise has been done before and far better in shows such as The Fairly OddParents, the story-lines are utterly paint-by-numbers, the characters are one-note, and the animation is cheaper-looking than most Web Animation projects. Its creators are also notoriously sore when it comes to criticism, having gotten into several Flamewars with fans of The Mysterious Mr. Enter, who they claimed was in no position to judge because he was American, as well trying to false-flag his review several times under alternate names.
  • NBC's Saturday-morning block was chock full of stinkers by the early 90's, but it had a few good shows (like Alvin and the Chipmunks and Saved by the Bell). ProStars isn't one of them. It features superstar players Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky, and Bo Jackson helping kids around the world and fighting criminals who do what they do just because they can do it. What makes it really awful is that it attempts to promote diversity by the various countries and kids they visit, but that's all cancelled out by ruthless stereotyping. There are also massive continuity and animation errors (expected for a 90s DiC production, but still!), with more than 40 in the first episode alone! TV Trash tears it apart here. Meanwhile, Linkara even saw ProStars as partially being the reason NBC's Saturday-morning block was cancelled – as Chip and Pepper also aired during the same season as ProStars, it can be argued that NBC took whatever they were offered in that last season to sabotage and hand over the two hours to Today.
  • Spaceballs: The Animated Series has been given the Fan Nickname The Soich for More Money from fans of the original movie.note  The designs of the characters are so-so, but they made Dark Helmet, originally played by 5'1" Rick Moranis, a dwarf. The animation accompanying those modes don't fare any better. In an annoyingly lazy move, it rehashes jokes from the movie. Hell, the first two episodes are basically a remake of the movie. The rest of the series is a Shallow Parody of other movies, such as The Terminator, The Phantom Menace, and even non-Sci-Fi films like Harry Potter. That is not only comparable to a Seltzer and Friedberg movie, but it renders the title of the show and the movie it was based on redundant. Watch Bobsheaux tear it apart here. ShogunGin0 also shares his thoughts on the matter.
  • In the late 1980s and early 1990s a TV cartoon series aired on VTM based on the popular comic strip Suske en Wiske. The only positive aspect was that the design of the characters looked okay and even resembled the comic strip... but these cartoons were so cheaply made that almost every scene was stock footage. For instance, whenever a specific character was walking from one point to another, they always played the same clip. The animators also animated only one expression of a certain emotion for each main cast member. If for instance a specific character became angry, it was always the same scene without any sort of variation. As one can imagine, watching these cartoons can become rather tedious after a while, especially since they follow the stories of the comic book albums almost frame-by-frame in extremely slow pacing.
  • Time Travel Academy (a.k.a. Learn Our History), a series of educational CGI cartoons produced by former Arkansas governor and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee to educate kids on the "history that schools are afraid to tell". Let's put it this way; you know you've got a real stinker on your hands when you can't even make the trailers look good. Its flaws include as follows: amateurish CGI work (it looks like it was done half-heartily on Daz Studio and cel-shaded to cover up the fact), cardboard cut-out characters coupled with wooden dialogue and completely phoned in voice acting, moments of Critical Research Failure (i.e., the scene in the World War II trailer where a modern-day black girl appears, praising Rosie the Riveter, inexcusably ignorant of the rampant racism that went on during the time), not to mention its shameless abuse of Hollywood History, featuring a woefully dishonest Theme Park version of the 1970s-80s, blatant plagiarism (early copies of one episode had a character wearing a helmet from Warhammer 40,000; fortunately for them, this was removed from later copies); and to top it all off, a political Bias Steamroller despite the show's claim to "teach history without bias".