Kid’s toons to watch in dorm rooms

Tyler Mead, Print Arcade Editor

Everyone has an inner child. College students have done their best to hide this fact in order create the illusion of adulthood. But after a few anxiety induced breakdowns over finals, internship applications or the sheer overwhelming fear of graduation, any students would be dying to let that kid out. So what better way to get in touch with that inner child than cartoons? These aren’t your 90’s toons though, leave that to Nickelodeon’s “Splat.” There’s a new wave of kid’s programming that is perfect for a dorm binge watch.

Avatar: The Legend of Korra: Nickelodeon’s hit “Avatar: The Last Airbender” had a successful run from 2005 to 2008. The mix of a rich plot and an awe-inspiringly imaginative world hooked fans, and M. Night Shyamalan (but the blame for that movie is still solely on him). Four years after the series concluded, most of the fans who watched it growing up were in middle or high school, which is when “The Legend of Korra” sprang up. Korra is the next Avatar, master of all four elements, in the mystical Avatar cycle. Since her story begins 70 years after where the previous Avatar’s left off, her plot is heavily dependent on a rapidly industrializing ’20s-style world. Any political science major will be delighted to know Korra battles communism, oligarchies, anarchists and fascists in some stunningly animated fight sequences. As she struggles to understand her place in the world, her duty and her own mental health, Korra mirrors her stressed-out college audience. Even better, she ends up walking into the sunset with the fan-favorite love interest.

Adventure Time: Okay, so maybe people know about Cartoon Network’s colossally algebraic success, “Adventure Time.” With a feature film in the works and a prestigious newspaper like The Tulane Hullabaloo talking about it, you finally have that excuse to eat cereal and cry about a boy and his talking dog. The show follows Finn the human (voiced by actual human Jeremy Shada) and Jake the dog (voiced by the talent that made Bender from “Futurama” such a lovable arsonist scamp, John DiMaggio) on their wildly weird adventures. Encountering dozens of feminist icon princesses, men’s rights activist wannabe-villains and a Korean-speaking rainbow slinky unicorn along the way should be enough to get gender and sexuality studies scholars interested. “Adventure Time” uses such nonsensical stories and characters that it’s truly a one-of-a-kind show. Added bonus, Lumpy Space Princess is just a straight-up boss.

 Steven Universe: “Steven Universe” is the brain-child of former “Adventure Time” writer and storyboard animator Rebecca Sugar. Steven Universe, the show’s title goofball character, is the love-child of an alien general who rebelled against her home world to protect the earth from colonization with a rag-tag group of misfit alien warriors who call themselves the crystal gems, and carwash/van owner Greg Universe. With his mother now gone, Steven must learn about his gem powers, his mother’s troubling history and what it means to be the first gem-human hybrid of his kind with the help of his mother’s three most trusted confidants: Garnet, Amethyst and Pearl. With Aimie Mann, Estelle and Nikki Minaj adding their voice acting and singing talents to the show, any musician should take notice of “Steven Universe.” Plus, the writing staff has plopped happy little Steven into such a well-developed sci-fi universe that slowly gets teased out over the course of his zany antics; take note, English majors, in-folding doesn’t have to be explained all at once by some mysterious old man. Since episodes are only 10 minutes long, and the show is still only halfway through its second season, “Steven Universe” can be devoured in no time at all.