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 unfunny jokes that wouldn't make a blastocyst 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, Phantom Strider, 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 

  • 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, tasteless and unfunny jokes (including jokes about AIDS and date rape), bland animation (with 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 likable 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. 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, who is best known for bringing Astro Boy, Gigantor, and Kimba the White Lion to America, and thus started the first wave of anime in the English-speaking world, 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 often 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), and 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 because of 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 he is sadly 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, Cartoon Palooza, and even Joel from Vinesauce. 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.
  • 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 made 13 episodes. The network canned it after 4 (yet reran those 4), and it's easy to tell why. The show had Totally Radical speech, traveling through a video game world similar to one that Da Boom Crew themselves created with generic characters, wastes the vocal talents of two of Prince's Associates (Morris Day and Jerome Benton), and Wanda Sykes, and other unneeded things that 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, who made The Proud Family . Thankfully, a second Pokémon: Advanced Challenge episode dominated its time slot after episode 4. Watch The Cartoon Hero review it whole here.
    • 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 setting be considered a plothole, in that the kids are inside a video game they made themselves, but don't know any of its tricks and secrets, which they should logically know better than anyone since they created it.
  • Disney Princess: A Christmas of Enchantment, at first, sounded very promising judging by its trailer...that is, until you end up watching it for yourself anyway; it consists of: older Disney shorts (from the golden age and Fantasia 2000) which don't involve any of the princesses at all, a musical sequence that's basically clips from "Once Upon a Dream" to the tune of "The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies", a watered down version of the otherwise enjoyable Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas, another musical sequence with clips of the Princess' movies to the tune of a princess-themed "The 12 Days of Christmas", a short with Ariel reading an old Christmas book she starred in to the audience with the illustrations of the book instead of being actually animated, and a music video with the princesses singing a new and actually catchy song, but with horrible animation and (you guessed it!) more reused clips! You know you botched your movie up when the last two shorts that where mentioned where the highlight of this mess and the Framing Device is no better, as it also has very cheap animation and poor lip syncing....and to think, this is Disney we're talking about! Apparently the DVD bombed so bad that the next three Disney Princess DVDS where also the very last in the lineup, with Enchanted Tales being a Troubled Production with low sales— you can check out the negative reviews on Amazon regarding this pretty pink cashgrab.
  • 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.
  • Hammerman is one of the most embarrassing examples of trying too hard to make a cartoon starring a celebrity, in this case it's about Stanley Kirk Burrell, better known as MC Hammer. It ran for only a season, and it's the most amateur...thing ever animated, and it's pretty clear that most of the budget went into casting Mr. Burrell himself, rather than animation and story. For starters, the animation is awful, with very limited movement and a lousy attempt at achieving graffiti-like aesthetics, which could better described as "two-frame animation with the least detail put in each frame, sometimes mirrored or flipped", and the lack of sound effects was compensated with the animation of unsound effects. The animation is not the only problem: the theme song is a generic hip hop loop with MC Hammer singing a hastily-written Expository Theme Tune that doesn't feel like a song at all. Not only does each episode hammer a lesson on the viewers' heads (sometimes in the most nonsensical and backwards way), but Hammer explains both the aesop and the whole plot at the beginning of each episode. Top it with idiotic characters and boring villains, and you get an awkward piece of animated crap that made both The Mysterious Mr Enter and The Nostalgia Critic cringe. Even The Rap Critic mentioned how genuinely awful Hammerman was when talking about the song that actually ruined MC Hammer's career (Pumps and a Bump).
  • 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.
  • London Mobile Buddies is a Gorn-filled web cartoon about anthropomorphic cell phones that blatantly rips off Happy Tree Friends. More specifically, it straight-up copies characters and episode plots with little to no change whatsoever. The show also rips off characters from Pokémon, Sonic the Hedgehog, Family Guy, and a few other properties, because apparently plagiarizing one cartoon wasn't enough. And then there's the fact that the creator can't even rip off a character properly, specifically in regards to Wikky (the show's Flippy analogue, who also copies Ronald McDonald and the Joker); like Flippy, Wikky flips out and turns evil whenever he sees/hears something that seems violent or bloody... but it's never explained why he does this, he just does for no reason. To top all of this off, the creator likes to draw his knock-off cell phone characters mocking and killing Tree Friends (and characters from other cartoons) to make himself seem edgier. In general, it's just a pointless, copyright-infringing web show that copies characters, lacks originality, and has poor character writing. Maybe it would have been decent if the creator had come up with his own ideas-since the idea of having anthropomorphic cell phones as the main characters is interesting-but, instead, he just had to go and blatantly copy a (mostly) well-received and professionally made cartoon.
  • 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 Same Language Dub of the 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 cultural references were awkwardly changed to 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.
  • Madballs: Gross Jokes is a total disaster of an 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 animations 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.
  • Mega Babies was a cartoon made by Christian and Yvon Tremblay (creators of the much better cult favorite SWAT Kats) that was about a trio of superpowered infants who fought crime with assistance from their nurse. The jarring character designs, and grating, terrible theme song (an annoying, warped version of "Rock-a-bye Baby") aside, to say that this cartoon is heavy on gross-out humor is a planet-sized understatement. A prime example of how absolutely repulsive 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. Holy. Shit. Watch it here, but only if you have a stomach of titanium. 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 note . It also really says something when Voltalia compares it unfavorably to the Garbage Pail Kids movie!
  • 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-
    Peter Paltridge: Not only is it not funny, but it's one of the most depressing Christmas specials I've ever seen. How do you name your product 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 third generation of the franchise before the more famous and far more well-received fourth generation was introduced. While the G3 specials and movies weren't the epitome of childrens' entertainment, the animation was fairly competent, had catchy songs, professional voice actors gave the characters likable personalities, and wasn't above poking fun at its ditzy characters. By contrast, in Newborn Cuties, Hasbro put in as little effort as possible to maximize their profits, which really shows; every character was voiced by the same actress (a child, to boot, who clearly was not trained), stock sound effects are used constantly, the Flash animation is minimalistic at best, there are moments where voices come out with no proper idea of who's saying these lines (to the point that at no point does a single character's mouth ever move in the second short, "Over Two Rainbows"), the characters' movements (coupled with their ugly models) make the characters look bizarrely wrong, plotlines were recycled from earlier G3 specials, and the reoccurring cast of quirky characters that its fans had grown attached to were completely thrown out to market the same handful of characters and toys. Not to mention the writing's completely juvenile, insulting, and contains the accidentally racist line "everyone in Ponyville knows unicorns belong in Unicornia". This tarnished sales of the G3 line so badly, only a few shorts were made before the series was scrapped, resulting in the franchise getting 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, "So Many Different Ways to Play" .
  • The Nutshack is the first animated TV show aimed directly at Filipino-Americans. It's also very much the worst too. You might be familiar with the show thanks to its theme song, which has enjoyed a memetic status thanks to SiIvaGunner and its repetitive, So Bad, It's Good nature. The series itself, however, is anything but. Featuring horrendous characters (which unintentionally bear resemblance to racist and homophobic caricatures - Cherry Pie is a very obvious Asian transsexual hooker stereotype), embarrassingly-awful Flash animation, very dated pop culture references, overly sexualized female characters (especially seen in Chita, the show's female lead), terrible voice acting, and a childish approach to... well, everything. It would be horrendous for something on Newgrounds, let alone television. 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. Mr. Enter later gave an episode a full review here. It seems that the show has become a Creator Killer for Myx-TV, who have not released any other animated shows, and possibly even a few of the show's cast, some of whom have quit acting.
  • Pixel Pinkie is often described as the Australian equivalent of Johnny Test, except far, far blander and more generic — extra emphasis on that. 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 by-the-books, the characters are zero-dimensional plastic cut-outs of normally well-done character types, the animation is cheaper-looking than most Web Animation projects, and all the seemingly 5th-grade age kids sound like grown-ups, almost as if only one person voiced all of them. Its creators are also notoriously sore when it comes to criticism, having gotten into several Flame Wars with fans of Mr. Enter, whom 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 range from okay to godawful. Most notably was making Dark Helmet, originally played by 5'1" Rick Moranis, a dwarf. The joke may have been about Helmet's large, well, helmet, but there was no reason to make him look like a bobblehead with or without it. 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. Rowdy C tears it apart here.
  • 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 Author Tract despite the show's claim to "teach history without bias".
  • The Transformers: Combiner Wars, a 2016 webseries co-produced by Machinima and Hasbro. Initially billed as a more mature work for hardcore fans, it was almost instantly savaged by fans due to poor quality CGI reminiscent of Transformers Energon note , a low framerate that makes actions highly janky, an unclear and barebones narrative, a large amount of Padding despite the full miniseries only clocking in at 40 minutes, little screentime devoted to the characters the series was created to advertise, terrible characterization (with Windblade being depicted as a murderous psychopath for no apparent reason, and Starscream being depicted as humbled by having a position of leadership, only to reveal it was all an act in the final episodes for no reason) and, most infamously, the fact that the webseries was released well after the toyline it was made to promote had left retail. When TFWiki.net says Energon looks good by comparison, you know something has gone horribly, horribly wrong.