Who is the Nickest Toon?

1991 was a huge year for the world. Ed Sheeran was born. Coalition forces, led by the United States, began the combat phase of the Gulf War known as Operation Desert Storm as a response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait. Stuff was happening. But no single thing may have been more influential than the renaissance of animation. 



One one end, Disney had entered what many call their "Golden Age" with the release of Beauty and the Beast, which was not only a commercial success but also the first full length animated feature to be nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards. On the other end, Nickelodeon was launching three new cartoons, or Nicktoons, that would herald the beginning of the networks dominance in animated TV.

The Nicktoon was a game changer. The plan, set in place by Vanessa Coffey was to create high quality hand drawn cartoons made in house for and about children and it eventually led to the creation of Nickelodeon Animation Studios. At the heart the process were the Nicktoons themselves, which was a word used to describe both the programs and the characters within those programs. Nicktoons range from odd couples to offbeat adolescents and even to world conquering super villains but the question has often been raised: Which toon is the Nickest?

That is, which Nicktoon is the best example of what makes a Nicktoon great? Is it the plucky underdog who has to summon the courage to embark on an adventure? Is it the lovable idiot who is always making a bad situation into a catastrophe? Is it the optimistic every man just trying to make it through the day? That is what we intend to find out.

We have created a bracket with thirty two of our favorite toons and are going to let you decide which ones are the Nickest. They span decades; some launch titles and others still running today. We have separated the characters into two conferences, Classic and Modern. Classic starts at 1991 with the big three original shows. Modern starts in 1999 with what may be the most successful of the Nicktoons, Spongebob Squarepants. We seeded both conferences by release year. If the shows came out in the same year, we mixed them up. Here are the first round match ups.

Classic
1 Thomas "Tommy" Pickles (Rugrats) vs 16 Nigel Archibald Thronberry (The Wild Thronberrys)
Moquito "Skeeter" Valentine (Doug) vs 15 Cat (Catdog)
Douglas Yancie Funnie (Doug) vs 14 Dog (Catdog)
4 Angelica Pickles (Rugrats) vs 13 Ickis (Aaahh!!! Real Monsters)
Stimpson "Stimpy" J. Cat (Ren and Stimpy) vs 12 Daggett Doofus Beaver (The Angry Beavers)
Ren Höek (Ren and Stimpy) vs 11 Norbert Foster Beaver (The Angry Beavers)
7 Chuckie Finster (Rugrats) vs 10 Arnold (Hey Arnold!)
8 Rocko (Rocko's Modern Life) vs 9 Helga G Pataki (Hey Arnold!)

Modern
1 Spongebob Squarepants (Spongebob Squarepants) vs 16 Aang (Avatar: The Last Airbender)
2 Patrick Starr (Spongebob Squarepants) vs 15 Danny Fenton (Danny Phantom)
3 Samuel "Squid" Dullard (Rocket Power) vs 14 XJ9 "Jenny" (My Life as a Teenage Robot)
4 Maurice "Twister" Rodriguez (Rocket Power) vs 13 Snap (Chalkzone)
5 Squidward Tentacles (Spongebob Squarepants) vs 12 Sheen Estevez (The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius)
6 Ginger Foutley (As Told By Ginger) vs 11 James Issac "Jimmy" Neutron (The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius)
7 Pelswick Eggbert (Pelswick) vs 10 Cosmo (The Fairly Odd Parents)
  8 Zim (Invader Zim) vs 9 Timmy Turner (The Fairly Odd Parents)


So here's what you can do. First, make sure to vote on the first round of the bracket. Second, you can check out the entire bracket. Third, make sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates on the bracket. Finally, listen to us on iTunesStitcher, or Soundcloud for our detailed analysis of the bracket which is also embedded below.

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About Matt Kelly

Matthew Nando Kelly is an incredibly cool and handsome staff writer for Pop-Break who was allowed to write his own bio. Aside from weekly Flash reviews, he writes about film, television, music, and video games. He loves U2, cats, and the New Orleans Saints. His twitter handle is @NationofNando