Skip to content

6 Classic Saturday Morning Cartoons You Can't Watch Anywhere Now

These classic animated series from your childhood have all but disappeared.

If the smash success of Barbie tells you anything, it's that we're a culture obsessed with nostalgia. The toys from our childhood get turned into movies that become blockbusters, canceled TV series are revived or rebooted decades later, and we can now stream countless episodes of the cartoons we used to wake up early to watch on Saturday mornings.

But not every nostalgic favorite has made it to Netflix, Hulu, or Max. Whether due to rights reasons or simple indifference by the rights holders, here are six classic animated shows you can't watch anywhere now.

RELATED: 7 Classic Cartoons That Are Offensive by Today's Standards.

Underdog (1964–1967)

Still from Underdog

This series about a pup with super powers was one of the earliest Saturday morning cartoons, with a theme song memorable enough that it endured through the decades, even getting adapted into a moderately successful live-action movie in 2007. Yet for all of that, the show isn't available to stream today, despite the fact that the independent label Shout! Factory has twice released the complete series on DVD. If you want to watch the cartoon, you'll have to pick up a copy. (Though you can stream the movie on Disney+.)

Snorks (1984–1989)

Still from Snorks

If you aren't familiar with Snorks, just imagine The Smurfs, but underwater. There's a reason the shows are so similar—a legal dispute between Peyo, the Belgian artist behind the original Smurfs comics, and Freddy Monnickendam, who first licensed the rights to the tiny blue creatures, prompted the latter to created another show about a race of tiny, colorful creatures to compete with Peyo's creation. Though both shows wound up being produced by Hanna-Barbera, the Snorks didn't prove nearly as lovable—while The Smurfs grew into a $4 billion brand and the original show is on a smurfload of streaming series (and for sale digitally), the sea-bound version can't be streamed anywhere.

RELATED: 8 Classic Movies That You Can't Watch Anywhere.

Muppet Babies (1984–1991)

Still from Muppet Babies

Muppet Babies began its life as a brief fantasy sequence in 1984's The Muppets Take Manhattan, as Kermit daydreams about the origins of the famous puppet clan, with them all living together in a nursery. The idea proved too good to waste, and an animated series soon followed, running for eight seasons and more than 100 episodes. Unfortunately, you can't stream them anywhere today, and only a few episodes were released on DVD—likely, according to Slate, because the show frequently included clips from live-action films including Star Wars, making licensing a headache. (A reboot of the show is available on Disney+, but it's a very different animal… so to speak.)

Hulk Hogan's Rock 'n' Wrestling (1985–1986)

Still from Hulk Hogan's Rock 'n' Wrestling

This CBS cartoon from the glory days of professional wrestling featured popular WWF (now known as WWE) stars of the era including Hulk Hogan, Andre the Giant, and "Rowdy" Roddy Piper. Airing for two seasons from 1985 to 1986, it made a brief comeback on the WWE Network, only to disappear in 2015 when the network fired Hogan and scrubbed related content after a tape of him making racist remarks surfaced, according to Wrestling News Source.

For more TV nostalgia sent right to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Pound Puppies (1986–1987)

Still from Pound Puppies

Here's another series that was popular enough to be remade but apparently not popular enough to bother to put the original on streaming. But in this case, the reason likely has little to do with the original series: 2010's Pound Puppies isn't a reboot of the 1986 original but another attempt to create a TV show based on a line of stuffed toys.

The original plush pups were put out by Tonka and turned into a show amid the heyday of the '80s toys-to-TV pipeline; the stray brand was eventually acquired by Hasbro, which produced another litter of episodes decades later. Both shows follow the adventures of a bunch of dogs who live at a shelter dreaming of finding families, but only the newer version has been adopted by a streaming service, namely Tubi.

RELATED: 6 '80s TV Shows That Would Never Be Made Today.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987–1996)

Still from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles began as a bloody, black and white indie comic from underground artists Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird, but found mainstream appeal as a decidedly cheerier 1987 animated series that toned the violence way down and emphasized the humor in the crime-fighting adventures of mutant warriors Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo, and Rapheal. The franchise has endured decades and more than a dozen TV reboots and films (including 2023's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem), yet the original series has never been available to stream on demand. You can, however, watch episodes "live" on Pluto TV, which recently launched an entire channel that shows nothing but.

Andrew Miller
Andrew Miller is a pop culture writer living in New York. Read more
Filed Under