Children’s animated series featuring time travel encompass The Magic School Bus, Dora the Explorer, Gravity Falls, My Little Pony, and The Powerpuff Girls.
One of the most potent facets of animation is its capacity to vivify a creator’s imagination. Whether it’s through meticulous hand-drawn sketches or vibrant computer-generated images, it can perfectly materialize entities and locations, unhindered by real-world limitations.
This strength is particularly evident in the creation of landscapes that appear extraterrestrial or follow their own distinct logic.
In children’s animation, venturing into other realms offers an exhilarating diversion for youngsters yearning for an intriguing reality. Yet, these expeditions are not always purely about enjoyment and play.
A hidden foe could be concealed behind an amicable grin, or a deep-seated lesson may be waiting just over the next hill. The characters and their audience can only unravel these enigmas if they muster the courage to move forward.
1The Magic School Bus: Quantum Leap for Kindergartners!
What do you get when you mix an unconventional teacher, a magical school bus, and a dash of inquisitiveness? You get “The Magic School Bus” – a show that outshines any science textbook with its dynamic approach to learning. Ms. Frizzle, with her untamed hair and eclectic clothing, defies the conventional image of a teacher.
She, along with her trusty bus, can shrink to the size of a pinhead or voyage to outer space, transforming each school excursion into a journey through a novel dimension. Think your school trips were exciting? Imagine returning from lunch with firsthand experience of the human digestive system – from within!
2Paw Patrol: Puppies in a Parallel Universe!
The crew of “Paw Patrol” is accustomed to heroic deeds in Adventure Bay, but how about other universes? Courtesy of an ancient artifact, our furry companions find themselves in “Mighty Pups: Super Paws,” grappling with a meteor that bestows upon them superpowers.
Suddenly, these pups are doing more than fetching balls; they’re retrieving entire planets! You name it whether it’s teleportation, time travel, or super speed! It’s all in a pup’s day’s work when their city is in peril.
3Star Vs. The Forces of Evil
Upon turning fourteen, Princess Star Butterfly of Mewnie is gifted a magic wand, yet her impulsive nature prompts her parents to send her to Earth as a foreign exchange student, averting any potential havoc she could wreak on their castle. Here, she joins forces with a boy named Marco.
They delve into Earth’s customs, tackle monsters, and Star matures both as a magic practitioner and a princess. But the escapades of Star and Marco are not confined to Earth and Mewnie. With the aid of an artifact known as Dimensional Scissors, they navigate a myriad of universes, where most inhabitants have become conscious of each other’s existence through such dimensional travels.
4Adventure Time: Tripping Through the Multiverse!
In “Adventure Time,” the adventures of Finn and Jake extend far beyond the confines of the Land of Ooo. These inseparable companions voyage through portals, alternative realities, and time itself. Fighting candy zombies in a post-apocalyptic Candy Kingdom? Done.
Mingling with sentient video game consoles in a digital domain? Absolutely. Dismiss your conventional bedtime narratives; the chronicles of this duo are legendary! Each episode presents a thought-provoking expedition that redefines ‘adventure’.
5The Fairly OddParents: When Wishes Warp Reality!
Timmy Turner’s fairy godparents, Cosmo and Wanda, possess the ability to fulfill nearly any of his wishes. However, every wish can potentially distort reality or, perhaps, inadvertently spawn an entire universe in one’s bedroom (we’re referencing you, “Tiny Timmy” episode).
Whether their travels take them to Fairy World, Anti-Fairy World, or Pixies Inc., these magical adventures elevate the cautionary phrase ‘be careful what you wish for’ to an entirely new plane. Who would have thought a ten-year-old’s fancies could wield such cosmic power? One must look no further than his alter ego, The Crimson Chin.
6Steven Universe: Gem-powered Galactic Journeys!
Steven Universe isn’t your average boy – he’s half-human, half-Gem, with an alien warrior mom and a belly button gemstone to boot! Throughout the series, Steven and the Crystal Gems warp across different parts of the universe, from the Gem Homeworld to distant planets, battling foes and making friends. Their exploits provide new meanings to ‘family vacation.’ So, next time you feel your family trips are weird, remember at least you’re not warping through space-time!
When Anne Boonchuy pilfers a music box for her pals, the box unveils a magical portal that catapults them into the realm of Amphibia. Stranded from her friends, Anne finds herself in the village of Wartwood, where she becomes part of the warm-hearted Planter family.
Together, they share cultural wisdom while striving to transport Anne and her companions back home. With its frog-dominated world, Amphibia extends broad creative freedoms, particularly with its fauna. A host of creatures, such as snakes, praying mantises, and dragonflies, exist as oversized versions of their Earth analogs, yet they flaunt unique traits that infuse them with an otherworldly air.
8My Little Pony: Ponies in Parallel Universes!
In the enchanting realm of Equestria, friendship doesn’t just cast spells; it opens doors to other dimensions! When Twilight Sparkle and her buddies encounter a magical mirror portal, they transition from ponies to… high school girls in an alternate universe? From dealing with teen issues to combating sinister sirens, these ponies demonstrate their resilience in any situation, regardless of their form. So, saddle up, because in Equestria, the opportunities stretch as far as the rainbow!
9Gravity Falls: When Summer Break Gets Supernatural!
Ah, the summer break! A season for unwinding, embarking on adventures, and… accidentally discovering a hidden interdimensional portal? Welcome to “Gravity Falls.” When twins Dipper and Mabel Pines move to Gravity Falls, Oregon, to live with their Great-Uncle Stan, they swiftly realize this town is far from average.
Their summer morphs into a thrilling cross-dimensional journey as they grapple with the complexities of their tween years while confronting gnomes, time-travelers, and a triangular dream demon. Who could’ve guessed that combating sinister entities could be part of the summer plans?
10SpongeBob SquarePants: When the Sea Isn’t the Limit!
The profound depths of the ocean are merely a playground for our beloved sponge in square pants. SpongeBob and his buddy Patrick have undertaken quite a few adventures beyond the realms of Bikini Bottom. Recall when they ended up stranded in the wormhole-like domain of “Nowhere”?
Or the instances they encountered alternate realities with the help of Mermaid Man’s magical belt? Even a casual game of “Dunces and Dragons” transforms into an interdimensional excursion. With SpongeBob, something as mundane as a trip to the supermarket can escalate into an interstellar journey!
11Over The Garden Wall
In “Over the Garden Wall,” Cartoon Network’s first-ever miniseries, we follow the eerie journey of two half-brothers, Wirt and Greg, who find themselves lost in a strange forest called The Unknown on Halloween night.
Accompanied by Beatrice, a bluebird who can talk, the duo must navigate back home while eluding the mysterious and sinister Beast lurking in the woods. The Unknown is more than just a location; it’s a character in its own right. It plays with perceptions, creating a surreal, dream-like landscape between a fairytale and a nightmare.
“Twelve Forever,” created by Julia Vickerman and available on Netflix, presents an imaginative exploration of the challenges and joys of growing up. The protagonist, Reggie Abbott, is a 12-year-old girl who isn’t quite ready to grow up. Her response to the daunting prospect of adolescence is to create her alternate universe, the Endless, populated with her old toys, drawings, and vibrant new friends.
As Reggie and her friends Todd and Esther journey into this realm, they engage in thrilling superhero games, enjoy exciting adventures, and escape the pressures of the real world. But even in the Endless, their real-world problems persist, following them into this magical realm and forcing them to confront them unexpectedly.
Endless Island, where much of the series takes place, is as much a character as the show’s human protagonists. Inhabited by creatures as vibrant and colorful as children’s toys, the island is a riot of offbeat designs and quirky inhabitants. However, these residents cannot make decisions independently, requiring the main characters’ intervention, a metaphor perhaps for the responsibility and agency that comes with growing up.