Online media streaming has really come a long way in recent years. Faster internet speeds have also meant that so many more media companies are now uploading their back catalogs to websites just so that their customers can stream them.
If you have children, well sometimes the situation in the house gets out of control. If you need some quiet moments and relaxation one of the best things you can do is to put some cartoons on TV for the kids to watch.
The good news is that there are so many cartoon streaming sites that making the choice can be hard. In the spirit of finding the best ones, here are the best cartoon streaming sites which are legal (and some of them free):
1) Disney Junior
This site is aimed at the little ones and contains titles such as Safety Patrol and Octonauts. For anyone who is familiar with the Disney Junior channel on cable stations, the Disney Junior channel on Disney Junior contains lots of favorites.
The site is bold, colorful, and still easy to use. Navigation icons are large and easy to read and the cartoon content is placed front and center so that even the smallest eyes understand where to look and click.
It’s an ideal site for little ones and it’s even possible to create different profiles to make the content more targeted.
2) Cartoon Network
Cartoon Network is a very easy to navigate site. It’s big, bold, and colorful. What’s great about this online cartoon channel is that it doesn’t just present all your favorite TV programs, but it also has free games and apps to play as well. This means that young ones can literally spend hours at the site watching cartoons and exploring all of the free games.
Featuring well-known kids’ titles such as Spongebob Squarepants and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Nickelodeon is synonymous with animated titles and kids.
Just as with other sites, Nickelodeon features bold, colorful, and easy to use navigation aids, as well as easy to find buttons that take any kid right to the TV episode that they want to watch.
There is a mix of full episodes and plenty of short episodes, as well as title-specific games that kids can play. If your kids are into any of the Nickelodeon cartoon titles, this site is easy to navigate and use.
4) Southpark Studios
South Park is not for everyone, and the simple truth is that it does contain adult content and content that may be considered offensive by some people.
Having said that, this site is the only place to get a mix of full and free episodes, as well as featured clips and collections from the entire series run.
If you live in the US, you’ll find that everything is available to you, but be aware that like many of these sites it’s geo-blocked. This means that the content will only be available to people in the US and other places that Viacom has agreements with.
If you love Japanese Manga and anime, Crunchyroll is definitely the place to be. You can try out and watch part episodes and some full episodes as a guest, but if you are prepared to pay for the service you’ll get ad-free movies, as well as high definition episodes streamed to various media devices, including phones, tablets, and desktops.
Crunchyroll is a catchy name for a service that has built a reputation as being ideal for anything Japanese Manga and anime.
Just like its channel on cable TV, Boomerang is great for kids and contains plenty of episodes. Be aware that the content can only be accessed if you happen to live in the United States though.
This may not make it a good choice for some people. Having said that, you can always visit the associated site—WB Kids—if you don’t live in the US. There, you’ll find plenty of classic cartoons such as Scooby Doo.
Unlike other sites, Sidereel is a tracking service. This means that it presents any show that is available online in its database. This also means that it contains other shows that are not kid-friendly, so it’s good to know this as a parent.
What’s great about Sidereel is that it also presents statistics on the most watched and accessed shows. The service is touted as completely free, though it does use advertising as a way to make money to support itself.
It doesn’t have the bright and flashy look that some other sites have, and it’s not strictly aimed at kids, but it does offer thousands of shows.
Netflix was one of the first online media streaming services and was a pioneer in this area. It has plenty of children’s programming available and this makes it an excellent choice.
Parents will also enjoy the fact that they can create separate Netflix profiles for themselves and their kids. Netflix even has a kid-friendly setting so that only children’s programming will appear in profiles created for children.
9) Amazon Prime
There was once a time when Netflix was the only big media streaming player in town. They saw the way of the future and really went for it. Nowadays, there are some other giant streaming service players such as Amazon which have entered the media streaming market in a really big way.
Amazon Prime is more than just a media streaming service. If you’re prepared to pay monthly for the service, it will affect all Amazon services and will even net you free delivery on things such as books and more.
Even better is that Amazon Prime presents original kids cartoons and other content you just can’t see anywhere else online.
Hulu is another Netflix-like streaming service with a monthly cost and a free trial. The monthly cost is actually priced very competitively at only $5.99 USD a month. For this, you get access to original Hulu content, sports, movies, TV series, and kids cartoons and animation. Hulu is an attractive site that’s growing all the time.
11) Funimation Now
Like Crunchyroll, Funimation Now focuses on Japanese Anime. There’s a free trial, but the monthly cost is actually very low compared to other services.
You can also easily access the animated content on both Android and iOS platforms, as well as Amazon FireTV, Apple TV, Xbox, and Windows. If you already have a Google Chromecast at home, you can also stream it to your TV.
Some of the best Anime is available on Funimation because they have direct contact with the Japanese studios. This means that they can bring you exclusive content right from the heart of Japan.
ConTV is an attractive and modern looking media streaming service that offers a free trial and a paid option. It’s possible to access science fiction, old movies, horror, and more from the menu, so it may not be entirely suitable for children without any supervision.
That said, it does offer an impressive range of children’s animated titles, including Deltora Quest, Legend of Zelda, and Sonic Underground. This will certainly appeal to both adults and kids.
As one of the biggest video streaming sites in the world, the Google owned YouTube also has one of the biggest online audiences. You can stream nearly anything you can think of here, from cartoons to movie bloopers.
YouTube is an easy site to use and because it’s powered by Google, it offers plenty of content. If you’re willing to pay every month, you can get a service called YouTube Red, which gives you exclusive access to video content and will also mean that your viewing experience is ad-free.
Once seen as the competitor to YouTube, Vimeo is a high quality video streaming platform that offers embeddable media, and brandable video content for companies. The video platform is ad-free, highly customizable, and has support for all major video codecs.
There’s no doubt at all that Vimeo is an excellent video platform, but it may not be ideal for kids. There is animated content available, but there is no area strictly dedicated to children’s cartoons. That said, there are plenty of experimental animated videos on Vimeo and other videos that may appeal to teens and older kids who are looking for something unique.
15) Mickey Disney cartoons
Mickey Disney Cartoons is a good website to find clips from your favorite Disney shows. You will be able to check out the numerous clips and full episodes they have available for streaming without having to input cable credentials or anything else.
The website has a lot of clips from Mickey & Friends that can bring back the nostalgia in the older crowd and entertain the younger crowd.
While the website doesn’t have the most content, it has enough content to keep you busy for a good amount of time.
They have curated some of the best Mickey & Friends content which means you will get to enjoy some of the best content they have produced.
16) Cartoons On
Cartoons On is one of the top options to consider if you are looking to watch free cartoons. You will be greeted with numerous links to enjoy some of your favorite cartoons whether you enjoy Tom and Jerry, Mickey Mouse, or anything else.
It features a convenient and easy to use search bar where you can search for specific cartoons you might be interested in.
With this site, you can watch on any device with a browser and you won’t have to deal with potential annoying advertisements or pop-ups like other sites.
This is one of the more usable sites and it will have access to the most content. You get direct streaming links to all of the cartoons that you want to check out.
You won’t need to have TV credentials or an account to enjoy the content that you are looking to watch.
17) Fox on Demand
Fox On Demand is a good streaming site where you will be able to check out a variety of cartoons that you might be interested in.
Fox owns a lot of cartoon IP’s. Therefore, you can check out various Fox-owned IP’s like Bob’s Burgers, Family Guy, The Simpsons, among others.
Keep in mind, you will have advertisements playing during your watching sessions, but it is completely worth it considering you are getting some of the best cartoons aired on TV for free.
If you are currently located out of the United States, you can bypass regional restrictions by using a VPN or DNS provider.
You can always sign in to a specific participating TV provider if you currently subscribe to cable or another TV service.
By creating an account, you will be able to add shows to your watch list. In order to watch live, you will need to supply your TV credentials. Fox gives a generous Preview Pass that lasts for an hour without one.
18) Comedy Central
On Comedy Central’s website, you will be able to watch all of their cartoons as long as you have a TV provider and you provide the participating TV provider’s credentials.
Unfortunately, you will be limited to watching specific shows on the website or mobile app without login credentials.
You can also watch short clips or select episodes without supplying TV provider credentials, but your options will be limited to whatever is currently available.
With Comedy Central’s website, you will need to watch advertisements whenever you are watching a show even if you have supplied credentials.
Media Streaming-The Way of the Future
There is no doubt that online media streaming is the way of the future. Netflix saw this many years ago and got into the game early. Nowadays, there are dozens and dozens of other players in the market all vying for your precious attention.
If you have kids who want to view cartoons online, there are plenty of good options. Just be aware that some sites are geo-blocked and only offer access to those who are living in the United States.
Lots of sites, such as Boomerang, Nickelodeon, and Cartoon Network, offer bright, colorful, and easy to navigate sites that contain lots of kid friendly cartoons. Other sites, such as Amazon Prime, offer a lot of their own developed content, which makes them ideal for anyone who is looking for something not available elsewhere.
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