Futurama - great show, lots of moments that are Sweet Dreams Fuel, but there's something about the theme song that just puts a smile on my face every. single. time.
The theme song was so innovative, it almost didn't make it onto the show. The Futurama theme is based on "Psyché Rock", one of the more accessible compositions by musique concrète progenitor Pierre Henry. In that context, however, it's possible for music to be relatively accessible yet almost devoid of melody. (To be fair: both pieces somehow have a melody, despite being based almost entirely on percussion.)
The characters are enough. And the laughs make everything so great.
The Simpsons may be full of dark satire and bitingly sharp wit, but just three seconds of any town scene, or a single frame of the opening credits, let alone an entire episode; is enough to cause an explosion of cozy, bright-colored, safe, nothing-will-ever-change security.
Simpsonwave was born out of this, combining footage from earlier seasons with vaporwave, retrowave and lo-fi music (which is already sweet dreams-worthy) and retro effects.
Dexter's Laboratory makes me smile just thinking about it. Anyone else love this inventive, clever show? Especially the "Justice Friends" cartoon.
The Justice League episode "Comfort and Joy" makes me smile. Especially Ma and Pa Kent greeting their son's guest, the Martian Manhunter. "Oh, we're used to aliens around here." And Superman trying to use his X-ray vision to see through the wrapping paper. Love it. To say nothing of Flash's interactions with the Ultra-Humanite, including Flash getting his foe a Christmas Tree for his cell when he returns to prison.
The episode "Flash and Substance". A fun, lighthearted episode with wonderful dialogue. And Mark Hamill as the Trickster. And great character interplay. A fan favorite, and for good reason.
Phineas and Ferb is one of Disney's most colorful and optimistic shows. It's about two kids who actually get to do the things other kids only imagine doing, like building roller coasters in their backyard, being superheroes or rock stars for a day, or traveling back in time to meet dinosaurs. A show where the meanest recurring character is a toddler and the closest things it has to villains are a bumbling wannabe-evil scientist and a high-strung older sister. A show where the characters regularly spend their time either just kicking back and having fun with their family and friends or doing nice things for others, yet rather than being sickly sweet is actually clever and hilarious.
The same can be said about Milo Murphy's Law. Despite the titular character suffering from a hereditary case of bad luck that results in chaos and destruction everywhere he goes, he keeps an unfailingly positive attitude about it, and his two best friends are always there to support him.
Most incarnations of My Little Pony are this, despite some efforts by the pages themselves to make them look much worse than they really are.note Mind you, there are some scary moments, but still.
The show literally has this in the form of Princess Luna: the kind, beautiful, and incredibly powerful Princess of the Night who patrols her subjects' dreams (especially those of children) to protect them from nightmares.
Some may suggest not letting your kids watch the villain episodes, but even then, you can take comfort knowing that the villains can in fact be beaten.
Care Bears. Because fluffy, plushie-like critters trying to bring happiness and smiles to people is just really cute.
Ding-A-Ling Wolf from Hokey Wolfcartoons is just made of Sweet Dreams Fuel.
Especially Mr. Herriman's "Funny Bunny" routine for Madame Foster. It's literal sweet dreams fuel both in context and out of context. In-context it's heartwarming to see the persnickety by-the-book house president act all fun and playful, out of context it's a sweet and cute bedtime story type of poem that's a nice reminder of a simpler time and childhood innocence.
Chowder. Especially the finale. Try not to d'awwwww at Scraps. I dare you.
Bagpuss. Of all Peter Firmin and Oliver Postgate's "small worlds", this may be the sweetest and most comforting. The songs will instantly transport Brits of a certain age back to their childhoods.
Recess. The show is built on awesome, heartwarming, and funny moments. The characters are all very likable, and the main six kids are adorable. This will bring anyone back to their elementary school days.
The creators come from Rugrats, which is already full of Sweet Dreams Fuel to begin with, and most of the episodes have really good lessons about life at the end. And let's face it, almost anyone who grew up watching the show wanted T.J. Detweiler as their best friend.
The 2003 Strawberry Shortcake series qualifies. Nothing too scary ever occurs in the show and it and episodes always end on a high note.
Despite being for kids under 6, Playhouse Disney shows like Rolie Polie Olie and PB&J Otter can qualify (The latter is actually from the same minds that brought us Doug!)
The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy bends over backwards to try and be Nightmare Fuel, but it's so hilarious that it trips over its own shoelaces and falls into this trope. Yes, it's full of monsters, but most of them either turn out to be Ugly Cute or far too ridiculous to be even remotely scary, and Grim's the freakin' Grim Reaper and even HE'S adorable.
Anything on PBS kids will do as Sweet Dreams Fuel.
Small Potatoes. A bunch of potatoes with British accents sing about things like being a good friend and enjoying the little things in life as is Small Potatoes Bill Thompson & The Small Potatoes. D'aaaaaawwww.
Batman: The Brave and the Bold Is the one Batman series where it's lighter and softernote Despite it's production values still coming from Batman: The Animated Series. compared the the previous animated takes on Batman. However what takes the cake is the Tear Jerker/Heartwarming Moment ending that shows almost every character, good and bad, have a little goodbye party, before the show is canceled. All topped with Batman telling that, so long as evil exists, he'll be there to stop it even in the next show and that is sweet dreams fuel indeed.
Batman: So, this is really it. Ambush Bug: Yeah, looks like. At least you can say you had a good run. Batman: A great run. (to the camera) And until we meet again, boys and girls, know that wherever evil lurks, in all its myriad forms, I'll be there, with the hammers of justice, to fight for decency and defend the innocent. Goodnight.
Doug is a really fun, sweet, and relatable Slice of Life show (notably one of the very first ones) with fun characters and good life lessons. The title character himself is very sweet as well.
ChalkZone might not have been popular on Nick, but the cute characters, fun atmosphere, catchy music, and the entire concept of a land made up of erased chalk drawings makes it one of the best Nicktoons to watch after having a bad day. A number of the music videos played at the end of the show could alsoqualify.
The Legend of Korra The Grand Finale Varrick and Zhu Li marry, minor characters as far back as Season 1 are Back for the Finale, Mako pledges Undying Loyalty to Korra without Makorra rising again and possibly giving his support for Korra and Asami to be together, Tenzin is so proud of Korra for everything she’s accomplished as she still expresses that she feels like she’s only just begun learning and exploring the world and most of all, Asami and Korra become canon to earn their happy endings after so much crap thrown on them, especially Asami as they take off for a private vacation in the Spirit World with a whole wealth of potential and Fanfic Fuel over all their future together in changing the world.
Steven Universe is about three magical-girl like extra-terrestrial beings (Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl) who call themselves The Crystal Gems and a half human/half gem named Steven whose mother (Rose Quartz) gave up her physical form in order to let her son come into the world. Their ultimate goal is to protect our world from anything that threatens it no matter how difficult it may be to do so, which is mostly things from their homeworld and/or their past. Despite loads of Ascended Fridge Horror and Nightmare Fuel it constantly proves itself as one of the most concentrated examples of this trope with it's beautiful and colorful look, heartwarming and clever music, constant lighthearted humor, bright-eyed and optimistic outlook on life and everything in existence, and not a single truly shallow character in sight (except Yellow Diamond, Marty, Kevin, and maybe Jasper). And especially with the main character being just like his mother. That is to say, he sees the beauty in everything and always wants to do what's right combined with what makes others happy.
Heck, Peridot used to be with along with Jasper in the list of possibly undeveloped characters, but that very quickly changed and just look at where she is at this point in time. One of her focus episodes, "Log Date 7-15-2," was one of the most heartwarming in the entire show.
"Here Comes A Thought", the song Garnet sings with Stevonnie to get through a rough mental patch in their fusion, is one of if not the most soothing songs in the show. Not only is it a beautiful, gentle song that would send you to sleep even without the content, it's essentially a step by step process for healing from painful thoughts and feelings.
Take a moment remind yourself to, take a moment and find yourself, take a moment and ask yourself if this is how we fall apart.
But it's not, but it's not, but it's not, but it's not. It's okay, it's okay, it's okay, it's okay it's okay.
The Diamonds even get more complex characterization as the series goes on. Despite Yellow Diamond's callous dismissal of Earth's potential out of spite, the zoo episode made it painfully clear that she's still hurting from Pink Diamond's assassination, and is shown trying and failing to prove to Blue Diamond that she's not emotionally compromised. Even Rose's Broken Base status is quelled somewhat by Steve confronting cloud!Rose about the choices she made, and whether having him was out of love or a need to foist her responsibilities on him. He finally reaches the conclusion that the things she did had both positive and negative consequences, and that her past decisions don't invalidate her love for him or anyone else. Regardless, the negative consequences still need to be addressed, and he's fully accepted that responsibility independently of Rose's potential wishes. Rebecca Sugar made a point of stating that true evil doesn't exist in the show's universe. Each character is capable of doing both good and bad things, and the decisions they make in this regard are almost always motivated.
SpongeBob SquarePants definitely counts, considering it's firmly planted in the childhood of any '00s kid, and rewatching the show's glory days (season 1-3) will immediately hit you with nostalgia. (The later seasons,notsomuch.) It's just something about the memorability of each episode as well as the neverending optimism of Spongebob that puts a smile on your face. Not to mention the heaps and bucketfuls of Awesome Music.
Another animated series by Nelvana also based on the works of Rosemary Wells is Max and Ruby. It's a cute,silly, and very sweet show about two bunny siblings.
Little Einsteins, a simply adorable Disney Junior cartoon about four gifted children traveling the world in their music-powered rocket ship. It will make many classical songs composed during the Renaissance a nostalgic memory-fest for those who were born in the early 2000's and for good reason.
While some of the other showsandfilms in the Scooby-Doo franchise belong in the other category, A Pup Named Scooby-Doo is easily the one show in the series that lives and breathes this. There's a much brighter and colorful palette scheme, a greater emphasis on humor, and even the monsters are much sillier. The show faithfully follows the usual Scooby formula while gently poking fun at its cliches, with several scenes full of guffaw-worthy moments by the minute. It's no coincidence that a lot of the behind-the-scenes crew who worked on it later went to work on Animaniacs.
Harvey Beaks isn't quite as comedy driven or lightning fast as C.H. Greenblatt's previous work but it's just as entertaining for having cute, likeable characters getting into shenanigans in the forest.
Rocko's Modern Life and Camp Lazlo by the brilliant Joe Murray. Both are funny and charming little shows in their own right. Whether it's the hilarity of Rocko's misadventures or Lazlo's ever-endearing optimism, you'll find something to smile about.
From the UK, there is Pablo, The Little Red Fox. A sweet little piece for kids, with a nice atmosphere of a city at night, and a simplistic silk painting style. With 5 minutes an episode, it is easy to fit into one's schedule. The plots are basic, and feel like a nice bedtime story. One should easily have a good day after hearing the heartwarming theme song.
In the same way, The Koala Brothers. Another kids show about a gaggle of colorful animals from the Australian Outback, who are always trying to help each other and in general just be good friends with one another. There is also No Antagonist, nor is there any one individual who drives whatever sort of conflict arises. Just a group of friends enjoying both the ups and the downs of thier relationships.
We Bare Bears where the whole show is just so good-natured and (mostly) innocent, with star characters who clearly love one another and want nothing more than to have friends, that it's hard not to smile while watching it.
Katie and Orbie is a cute, colorful, innocent and heartwarming series about the simple, slice-of-life adventures of a little girl and her pink alien friend, who she adopted as part of her family. The series plays as a storybook (having slideshow-like animation) with all of the action described by an off-screen narrator, who is none other than a certain actor known for his comedy roles and speaks in a sweet, grandfatherly tone.
From the same studio and crew, comes Pumper Pups, that shares many elements of Katie and Orbie (even the same narrator) but focusing instead in a group of firefighter dogs and their talking firetruck.
Over the Garden Wall is half Nightmare Fuel and adventuring, and half dreamy, old-timey and lighthearted vignettes. Special mention to the third episode, which is almost devoid of conflict yet still a joy to watch, and the ending, which is Heartwarming Moment after Heartwarming Moment tied together by a beautiful and comforting song.
Rupert, an Animated Adaptation of the British comic strip Rupert Bear, is this in spades. There aren't many things as nice as an amiable and selfless young bear boy with lots of friends who goes on whimsical adventures.
The TV adaptation of Viva Piñata is MADE on this. Peppy music, parties galore, lovable characters... It's indeed filled with fun!
Paw Patrol: a show about lovable rescue puppies. There are no life-threatening situations, no villain ever causes nightmares, and the characters spend a lot of time relaxing and having fun. You'll never see our heroes bickering as they clearly love each other.
My Friend Rabbit, which is based off a book from Eric Rohman, is very cute and lovable.
''Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist" is an absolute delight to watch. It's funny, quirky and very low-key. If hearing Jonathan Katz's hilarious natural conversations with some of the funniest minds in comedy doesn't bring a smile to your face, then the sweet relationship between Katz and his son, Ben will.
The first episode of VeggieTales is a nostalgic watch for pretty much any Christian and/or homeschooled 90's Kid. It's sweet, low-key, quiet, but still manages to be goofy and witty, and somehow the old, blocky 1993 CGI manages to be endearing rather than landing in the Uncanny Valley. It just has a way of making you feel four years old again.
Most episodes of Bob's Burgers. While it is a more adult cartoon, it's very sweet to see the whole family work together and love each other, while still being somewhat of a Dysfunctional Family and going on crazy adventures.
Clarence, all the way. When the main character is one that loves everything in the world, it's hard not to feel happy about Clarence and the gang's adventures.
Despite Ready Jet Go!'s blatant Getting Crap Past the Radar and occasional Nightmare Fuel, the show is a sweet, light-hearted show that focuses on the joys of learning about outer space, science, and the like. It's also got an optimistic spirit, plenty of heartwarming moments, and positive, important messages that you don't usually find in shows targeted towards preschoolers (such as "You can't change the past, you can only learn from it") It's even got sweet dreams fuel background music to boot, and lovable characters (even jerks like Mitchell are likable).