Free Family Entertainment

My 8-year-old is hooked on retro cartoons.

I have the Smurfs to thank for that.

Ever since the blue guys debuted on the big screen and I told my daughter that I grew up watching them on TV, she’s been obsessed with viewing animated shows from the 70s and 80s, including the Snorks, Hong Kong Phooey, and Heathcliff.

Retro cartoons are fun to watch as a family; however, the pleasure can really put a dent in your wallet if you are not careful.

When my daughter expressed interest in watching the same cartoons I grew up with I offered to purchase a few DVD collections from the Internet.

Big mistake.

DVDs of old cartoons are not cheap.  Had I done some research prior to purchasing I would have learned that you can find animated shows from decades ago for free. is a goldmine for old cartoons.  You don’t have to pay a dime to view or download the retro cartoons and animated movies featured on the site.  The material on Emol is in the public domain, so you and your kids can enjoy cartoon classics at no charge.  Some of my family’s favorites include Felix the Cat, Mighty Mouse, Casper the Friendly Ghost, Mr. Magoo, and Popeye.

Another site to visit if you are looking for older animated movies is  The site has a huge selection of retro cartoon flicks, many of which you can’t find elsewhere on the Internet.  At least not for free.  The downside to visiting this site is that there are so many titles to choose from that it may take you a while to scroll through your options, especially if you don’t have an exact movie you are trying to track down.

Hulu is also a decent option for animated movies, though their selection of older cartoon flicks is somewhat limited.  Still, they are free to view.  You could also try, which features nearly 350 retro cartoons that can be viewed or downloaded for free.

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.