Not just for Saturday morning anymore
Whether you’re young or simply young at heart, there’s nothing like a good cartoon to lift your spirits or instill a sense of wonder. We’ve put together a list of the 10 best sites to watch cartoons online for free, so get ready for a good time.
If you’re a parent looking for some free entertainment for your kids, please be aware that not all cartoons are suitable for children. We’ve marked websites that cater exclusively to adult viewers, but many streaming sites host both types of cartoon, so parental oversight is always recommended.
YouTube has just about every sort of content you can imagine, that includes original cartoons as well as uploads of classic movies. Some cartoon uploads are illegal and will be taken down eventually by copyright claims. However, some old cartoons no longer have anyone to make copyright claims. Making YouTube a good place to preserve them.
Some channels, such as Retro Rerun, seem to have the right permissions in place to offer free cartoons with no risk of them being taken down.
2. Adult Swim (Adults Only)
Adult Swim is responsible for some of the weirdest cult animation ever made. With titles like 12 OZ Mouse, Assy McGee and Aqua Teen Hunger Force to name but a few. Recently they’ve become known for Rick and Morty, which is a phenomenal show.
You can watch full episodes of these (very much adult) shows on their site or on the Adult Swim app.
Crunchyroll is dedicated to animation from Japan, generally referred to as anime. Most of these shows are aimed at teens or adults, so do be careful when looking for entertainment suitable for younger viewers.
Crunchyroll is free to watch, but you do have to put up with advertising. You also can’t watch the latest episodes of shows as soon as they release, so you’ll always be a little behind. A Premium membership isn’t too expensive however, so consider paying if you do like the Crunchyroll library.
4. WB Kids
Warner Brothers Kids is a fantastic site hosting complete segments from classic shows such as Scooby Doo and Animaniacs. The videos are hosted on YouTube and you can watch them there. The WB Kids site organizes them and makes it easy to find what you’re looking for.
Best of all, the content here isn’t region-locked to the USA. So, kids all over the world get to watch!
Toonjet offers classic cartoons that you might not see anywhere else. Enjoy classics such as Betty Boop, Felix the Cat and the Looney Tunes. This is another site where the videos are hosted on YouTube.
But apart from organizing the content, the site also serves as host to the Toonjet blog and community.
6. Cartoon Network
You can’t have a list of cartoon sites without mentioning Cartoon Network. Home of classic franchises such as the PowerPuff Girls and new hits like The Amazing World of Gumball. The CN site has full episodes of their shows on offer, but you can only watch “unlocked” episodes without logging in.
To log in, you need to be a customer of a TV provider that has an arrangement with Cartoon Network. If you do, then the entire library of episodes opens at no extra charge.
Supercartoons doesn’t have the greatest website if we’re being honest and the advertising can make it hard to find the player window. That is, until you learn exactly how far to scroll down to get to the show. You might like the easy to use buttons at the top of the site, that let you sort content by character, studio, or series.
8. Anime Dub
This neat little site hosts dubbed anime series with subtitles. You’ll also find classic cartoons and titles from studios such as Adult Swim. The selection is eclectic and interesting, but the site’s video player and stream is a little slow.
If you can put up with mild amounts of ads, there’s a lot to watch and it’s easy to navigate the library.
Cartoon8 is a site with a wealth of cartoons, including ones that are currently ongoing. The few shows we tested have excellent video quality and overall, the site is a pleasant to use if you don’t mind the incessant advertising.
Clicking on a video to get things started displays a popup-ad. Dismissing it lets you watch the episode in question, but it is annoying. Such is the price of “free” we suppose.
WatchCartoon has one of the nicest designs of the sites we’ve tried on this list. There are many great shows on offer from classics like Denver the Last Dinosaur to new shows such as Final Space. The site handily shows you which shows are complete and which are ongoing.
A hitch is that some episodes were missing, and there’s no indication whether this was a temporary situation. For the most part, things do seem to be intact.
Like many free cartoon sites, every second click or so on a video window launches a pop-up advertisement. Still, that mild annoyance may be worth it if the only place you can find that old cartoon you loved is here.
Rekindle Your Nostalgia
There are many places to rediscover the joy of cartoons online. Some are backed by big names such as Cartoon Network, others are perhaps not the most legitimate choices, but offer the only way to see old or region-locked content. For the latter type of site there’s usually a limited shelf life before the content goes down, but on the internet good cartoons never truly die.