It is our job as adults to teach kids the important things in life: brush (everything) daily, look both ways before crossing a street,  and that today’s cartoons don’t hold a candle to the great cartoons of our childhood.

As a man, it’s my job to make sure the children in my life have strong cartoon role models to look up to and set a firm standard of what their cartoons should be, even if I have to pull them from the past. Here are the top five male cartoon characters to give any child or child at heart a strong character base:

5. Peter Griffin

The father of the Griffin Family is the exception to this rule of current cartoons. His dumbfounded and often self-centered awkwardness leads his family to simple-minded humor. Peter Griffin is animated hilarity at its finest and possibly edgiest.

4. Godzilla

The live-action movies could never decide if Godzilla was the good guy or the bad guy, but look no further than the original animated Godzilla series to know he’s one of the best!  Beginning at the age of 4, Godzilla kicked off my Saturday mornings, kicking monster butt. The cartoon was only on for about a year, but if he was on, I was there, rooting him on.

3. He-Man

You have to include the most powerful man in the universe to any top list of cartoons! Not only did he always beat the bad guys, lead an awesome team of friends, saving them from any danger, but he did all that while maintaining the true character of a hero. My favorite part of the day was coming home from school and watching He-Man handle his business.

2. Optimus Prime

He’s a leader who is wise, strong, transforms, and is an alien robot. Need I say more?  If He-Man could change into a truck, he might have been in the Number 2 spot. Optimus Prime always knew what to do, and never put any of his Autobots in danger if he wasn’t there to stand in the middle. I witnessed him become everything you’d want in a leader when he sacrificed himself for the life of another in the animated movie version.  He, too, was there for me every day after school.

1. Bugs Bunny

He is the animated icon that blazed a trail for all of the wise-cracking, sarcastic cartoons to follow. I can’t imagine how many cartoons are around today because of his style, and I’m sure his character inspired some real life comedic stars as well. He seemed to never worry about the predicaments he got himself into. Probably because he always had it over his adversary from the word go. His humor was ahead of his time and he was a star from the very beginning. Anyone who loves cartoons has to love Bugs Bunny and his Looney Tunes bunch!