You like your cartoons, but you don't necessarily love television. Whether you refuse to break down and pay for basic cable, don't have a digital video recorder or can't ever seem to catch your favorite animated shows on television, the Internet provides a number of ways for you to watch cartoons online. This allows you to see whatever cartoon you can find whenever you have the time to watch it.
Where You Can Watch Cartoons on the Internet
You have several different options for watching cartoons online. These options fall into two main categories: official channels and unofficial channels.
There are places where you can watch cartoons online with the full blessing of the network and the creators. These aren't only available at the official network websites that broadcast the cartoons. There are also other places that are officially authorized to show the cartoons that you love.
- Adult Swim: This network has made a name for itself with adult cartoons decidedly influenced by Dada and absurdism. For those who can't stay up late watching cartoons, the website provides an opportunity to watch the best of Adult Swim at your convenience online. You can also play a number of Flash animation games that are exclusive to the website.
- Hulu: This popular website for television on the Internet is not exclusive for cartoons. There is, however, a large selection of animated programming available on Hulu, including anime. You can also catch back episodes of The Simpsons, Fox's "Animation Domination" and even favorites like The Cleveland Show and Family Guy.
- Cartoon Network: Adult Swim's parent network is another place that you can watch cartoons on the Internet. These are cartoons that are often no less absurd than their Adult Swim counterparts, but have more of a sense of whimsy and child-like wonder. The Cartoon Network website is a great place for you to find cartoons that you can enjoy with your children, or merely the childish side of yourself.
The Internet is full of places that you can watch cartoons online, though not necessarily with the blessing of the creator. These sites are frequently shut down, though new ones usually take their place. This list contains websites that are consistently available online as places where you can watch your favorite cartoons.
- Alluc: Alluc contains links to videos where you can watch just about anything -- feature films, television shows, documentaries and cartoons. The videos are conveniently organized into sections, allowing you to search out specifically what you are looking for, in this case cartoons.
- Icefilms: Icefilms is a popular place to watch films, television shows and cartoons in DivX format. The website relies upon an older version of the software, meaning that you will have to reinstall an older version of the program and eschew future updates. You also have to wait for video to fully load before you can begin watching: The site does not stream video.
- Sidereel: This is a place where you can search for your favorite programs online. Sidereel includes links to several options for watching your favorite cartoons, so when one link is broken, fear not. Another link for the same episode may work just fine.
- Surf the Channel: Surf the Channel is another searchable database of television shows, including cartoons, that often provides multiple links. You can also browse by category, meaning that you can look at a list of online cartoons and see what tickles your fancy.
Watching Cartoons Online
The Internet provides many options for you to watch cartoons online. Some sites offer several options for the same episode of the same series in a single place. Make sure that you have the latest and greatest in video streaming software (except for Icefilms, which requires an older version of DivX) and you should be good to go. The benefit of watching streaming cartoons online is that you avoid the extended download time of torrents. There are also other advantages of watching cartoons online over watching them on television, such as being able to watch them whenever you want, not only when the show is on.