Often 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 were made in Japan, see the, Horrible.Anime And Manga page, and for shows that weren't, see the Horrible.Asian Animation page.
- Merely being offensive in its subject matter is not enough to justify a work as 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.
- It isn't a Horrible cartoon just because Tooncrap, The Mysterious Mr. Enter, RebelTaxi, PhantomStrider, Saberspark, or anyone from Toons These Days, Channel Awesome, Reviewers Unknown, or any other Caustic Critic reviewed or said something negative about 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.)
- 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):
- Laughing Dragon Studios, formerly known as Blind Ferret Entertainment, is 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 "humor", 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 is poorly done, cheaply recorded (one background character in Season 2 Episode 4 apparently had his single line literally phoned in), 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, and considers it to have the worst audio out of anything he's reviewed. It was also the first and last thing riffed by The Annotated Series.
- 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 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 douchebag imaginable. 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 crowdfunded through a Kickstarter campaign that raised over $100,000 — none of which, evidently, went towards the writing or animation budgets.
- John Kricfalusi's fall from grace hit hard, knocking him down from one of the biggest names of The '90s thanks to The Ren & Stimpy Show to being completely Overshadowed by Controversy. His two major Creator Killers that resulted from him gaining long-awaited Protection from Editors perfectly encapsulates how the very qualities that put his work on the map could be taken too far:
- Ren & Stimpy "Adult Party Cartoon" was a more adult-oriented continuation of the original series, but aired on Spike TV. The show was panned by both fans and critics alike, only lasting six episodes with only three that managed to air on television. The reason why? It's far more vulgar and crass than the original TV show. While the Nickelodeon series is known for its gross-out humor, it never went to the extra mile that the spin-off did. The new show focused on being as offensive and shocking as possible with "jokes" about animal abuse, male pregnancy and violence. This attempt at a revival not only buried the franchise, preventing any chance of a proper revival, but also destroyed both SpikeTV's entire animation block and John Kricfalusi's career in television animation.note . Rowdy C reviewed it to commemorate TV Trash's 4th anniversary here. The Mysterious Mr. Enter reviewed the most infamous episode, "Ren Seeks Help," here, and PhantomStrider listed said episode as the number one worst cartoon of all time. LS Mark and TheGrandMac have also discussed the show in full, commenting on how the way it grew up with its audience ultimately neuters a lot of the comedy.
- Despite originally being touted as his Career Resurrection, Cans Without Labels fared even worse than his prior personal disappointments. While the film was crowdfunded and had a seven-year Development Hell, the final product looks, if anything, worse than the progress updates. The animation looks incredibly cheap, with a camera that refuses to stop zooming and panning, inconsistent backgrounds that change in every scene, and jarring, ugly CG—especially surprising since his trademark style doesn't use CG). The sound is a mess on all fronts, from the production to the acting to the editing. The hallmarks of John K's writing are present in force... with little else to support them. The Mysterious Mr. Enter elaborates on the short itself here. Meanwhile, Daniel Ibbertson goes into detail on what happened with its Kickstarter situation here. TheGrandMac discusses the short, as well as the animatic for a planned Ren & Stimpy short to accompany the second SpongeBob movie here.
- While Henry Danger is considered a divisive show, the same cannot be said for its Animated Adaptation, The Adventures of Kid Danger, which is widely regarded as one of Nickelodeon's worst original animated programs. Even though the animated version gets rid of the laugh track, it introduces a whole sleugh of problems instead: The animation and character designs are completely lackluster and have been compared to the likes of Pixel Pinkie, late-run episodes of Johnny Test, and GoAnimate. The storylines are very dull, which is pretty bad considering that the cartoon could've opened up a huge opportunity of storylines that couldn't be done in its live-action counterpart, and full of unfunny and/or nonsensical jokes, dated references that are about as relevant as expired milk, massive Flanderization that turned the lead characters from dull and annoying at their very worst to outright unbearable, and tons of gross-out humor that isn't charming in the slightest. Newcomers and fans of Henry Danger disliked it and avoided the show, leading to low ratings that led to the show getting quietly removed from Nick's schedule, with few missing it. Coupled with the fact that Dan Schneider left Nickelodeon, the failure of this show led to the death of his namesake Schneider's Bakery line of sitcoms. The Mysterious Mr. Enter reviewed the show here as a seperate Animated Atrocity and here as part of his Nick-o-Rama marathon, and he found nothing positive to say about the show. Not only that, but he also almost considered it for its own spot in his worst cartoons of the 2010's list before giving it a dishonorable mention that could also be a tie with The Powerpuff Girls (2016) at #4, as well as naming it the second-worst Nicktoon behind Bunsen Is a Beast. Alpha Jay Show has reviewed the show's pilot and similarly has no praise for it.
- 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. Also, the gay parents as main characters — Richard's just as selfish and childish as his son, and his husband Jeremy was a straight man with a wife and children who was essentially bullied and raped by Richard into marrying him. Unfortunate Implications, indeed. Jeremy himself is one of the few likable characters aside from his adopted daughter Julie, although they're both boring and forgettable. The pilot received mostly negative reviews, and the show itself was canned after only seven episodes in late 2011/early 2012. TV Trash eviscerated it by popular demand, believing it to be one of the worst shows he's ever reviewed. 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. Rebel Taxi also called it the 12th worst cartoon ever in no particular order in his review. 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, and also that when it comes to bootlegging this is the series they most intensely watch out for and try to snuff out with extreme prejudice more than any other.
- 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. 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 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.Toonopedia: This show inspired as many extra-media spin-offs and merchandised products as it deserved that is, none at all. Today, it's occasionally glimpsed alongside Bucky & Pepito, in "Best of the Worst" retrospectives.
- Christian kids' entertainment is notorious for being low-quality, but Boys of Valor takes it to a whole new level. The voice acting is atrocious—one of the actors literally phones 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 overuse 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, Jim Cummings, and Tress MacNeille, but are also so incredibly ear-grating. The only likable character 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. It was so bad that even the creator of Bubsy, Michael Berlyn, hated it, and the title character is one of the very few roles Rob Paulsen is openly ashamed of. 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 four weeks at one new episode per week in 2004, like any new show. The problem? The creators had made 13 episodes. The network canned it after just four, 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 timeslot. Watch The Cartoon Hero review it whole here.
- Oddly enough, this thing was dubbed into Spanish and inflicted on Latin American kids via the Fox Kids / Jetix channel in its full glory. Mediocre series have sometimes been rescued by the Spanish dub, but sadly this was not the case here.
- The Mysterious Mr. Enter also considered it to be one of the top 10 worst 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 2000s before finding The Nutshack. 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 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 plot hole, 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.
- Dream Come True: A Mule Mom's Story is a 15-minute short made to advertise the breeding of Gypsy Vanner horses using embryo transfers in mules. The best thing that can be said about it is that the animation is decent. Other than that, the voice acting is a joke, with most of the characters sounding like bored teenage stoners, and the plot is all over the place, starting out with goofy farm animal antics, then the farmer buying a donkey to fight off a coyote, then our titular mule mom, Flo, being born over halfway into the film, while her donkey father and horse mother disappear completely with no explanation. The plot of her becoming a mother, something that is in the title of the film, is not even brought up until eleven minutes in. The most insulting scene involves a scientist character giving an admittedly well-researched speech to the audience as to why mules can't reproduce, before claiming that Flo was able to give birth to a purebred Gypsy Vanner foal magically. The full trainwreck is available on YouTube here. note You can watch Bobsheaux tear into it here.
- 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 and South Park. Unfortunately, despite using Rough Draft Studios for 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" ripoff 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 consider. It was cancelled after just four episodes, with the remaining ones aired on Channel 4's sister network E4 and never aired again. To this day, Channel 4 considers it an Old Shame and likes to pretend it never happened. Watch TorchSheep's review of it here.
- Most infamously, the show featured a segment where notorious reality star Jade Goody, who died of cancer three years before the show was first broadcast, appears as a ghost, talking about her husband's then-contemporary rape case... which is then followed by Princess Diana appearing as a ghost and apologizing for being late as the traffic was "murder". The skit ends with the ghost of Goody and the ghost of Di choking each other out after Goody called the eating-disordered Diana a "bulimic slut" and Di calls back the hairless chemotherapy-affected Goody "baldy". It wasn't received well, with even the infamously sensationalist newspaper The Daily Mail calling it the "sickest cartoon ever". See the whole horrible thing here.
- Hammerman, a cartoon about rapper MC Hammer, is one of the most embarrassing examples of a cartoon starring a celebrity. It ran for one season, and it's the most amateur... thing ever animated, and it's pretty clear from the start that most of its budget went into getting Hammer himself rather than anything else. For starters, the animation is awful, with a lousy attempt at achieving graffiti-like aesthetics and movement so limited that it could accurately be 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 possible, 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 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 series to Dino Squad, featuring the same massive scientific errors and frame-skipping animation. But while the Dino Squad can be considered So Bad, It's Good at worst and was animated by China's Hong Ying for Dic Entertainment, Kung Fu Dino Posse, produced and animated by South Korea's Sunwoo Entertainment, attempts to hide its flaws by lampshading everything, which comes off as more annoying than clever. And that's not even getting into its theme song, which features a grating rap and an opera section of all things. Watch The Mysterious Mr. Enter tear this show a new asshole, or check out The Cartoon Physicist's one-year anniversary video in which she tears apart the whole series.
- Madballs: Gross Jokes is an utter disaster of an animated short. The humor is bland, with most "jokes" sounding like they were taken from a children's joke book. None of the skits are interesting at all, and there isn't 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 took a look at it, and declared it one of the worst episodes he reviewed in 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 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 well-animated, but it was saved by witty writing and the voice acting of its main stars. In the Venezuelan "translation", however, the main characters were renamed and transformed into 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 show that had to be stuck at the Midnight timeslot, where it quickly died. What few 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 y Pirulo even existed is the theme music, arguably the best part of the show.
- 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 repulsive this show is: one early episode starts with a shot of the babies sleeping... which wouldn't be so bad if one of them didn't have a stringy glob of snot shooting out of its nose with each snore. Watch it here, but only if you have a stomach of titanium. In his list of "Top 10 Ugliest Cartoons", RebelTaxi 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 .
- 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, and for good reason. While the G3 specials and movies aren't the epitome of children's entertainment, the animation is fairly competent, has catchy songs, professional voice actors gave the characters likable personalities, and isn'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: stock sound effects are used constantly, the Flash animation is minimalistic at best, there are moments where voices come out with no indication of who's saying the lines (to the point that not a single character's mouth moves in the second short), the characters' movements coupled with their ugly models make them look bizarrely wrong, plotlines were blatantly 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. In addition, the writing's completely juvenile, insulting, and contains the accidentally racist line "everyone in Ponyville knows unicorns belong in Unicornia". Is it any wonder that it was discontinued two shorts in and replaced with My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic? Watch Mr. Enter tear apart the second short, "Over Two Rainbows" which is worse than the already abysmal first ,short, "So Many Different Ways to Play". PhantomStrider put it as #4 on his Top 5 Worst Forgotten Girls Cartoons. TheCrimsonMayhem, who edited some of Enter's reviews, reviews it himself.
- The Nutshack is the first animated TV show aimed directly at Filipino-Americans, and also the worst. You might be familiar with the show thanks to its theme song, which enjoyed memetic status thanks to SiIvaGunner and its repetitive, So Bad, It's Good nature. The series itself, however, is anything but. It features horrendous characterization, a multitude of racist and homophobic caricatures (Cherry Pie is a very obvious Asian transsexual hooker stereotype, for instance) embarrassingly-awful Adobe Flash animation, pop culture references that instantly date it to the late Noughties, 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 ripoff of Friday: The Animated Series. Both RebelTaxi and The Mysterious Mr. Enter 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's animation studio, who has not done anything since, and possibly a few of the show's cast, due to some of them having quit acting altogether.
- Pixel Pinkie is often described as the Australian equivalent of Johnny Test, except so much blander that it's painful. A Cliché Storm of the highest order, the premise has been done before and better in shows such as The Fairly OddParents, the storylines are utterly by-the-book, the characters are zero-dimensional plastic cut-outs of normally well-done character types, the animation looks cheaper than most Web Animation projects, and almost all the characters sound like they were voiced by one woman. 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. Watch PhantomStrider tear it apart on his Top 5 Worst Forgotten Girls Cartoons video.
- Spaceballs: The Animated Series has been given the Fan Nickname The Search for More Money from fans of the original movie. note The designs of the characters range from okay to awful, most notably changing Dark Helmet, originally played by 5'1" Rick Moranis, to 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 doesn't fare any better. In an annoyingly lazy move, it rehashes jokes from the movie. In fact, 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 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 design of the characters looked okay and resembled the comic strip... but the cartoon was 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 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 (aka 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 amateurish CGI work (it looks like it was done half-heartedly by a novice animator and CelShaded to cover up the fact), cardboard cut-out characters coupled with wooden dialogue and completely phoned-in voice acting, moments of Critical Research Failure, blatant plagiarism note , and to top it all off an obviously one-sided Author Tract despite the show's claim to "teach history without bias".