THE shortlist; CULT CARTOONS

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Dr Katz: Professional Therapist: Hot in New York. Stars its creator, the actor/comedian Jonathan Katz, who analyses stand-up comics from the couch. Animation is worked around the semi-improvised soundtrack with guest appearances from big names in US comedy. Watch out for it on BBC2's Comedy Central.

The Simpsons: A cartoon with enough clout to entice the likes of Liz Taylor and Tom Jones to lend their voices. Auntie has finally caught on - America's most famous dysfunctional family comes to BBC1 in October.

Captain Pugwash: Shot to cult status after a 1970s rag mag started nasty rumours about the characters' names. In fact Master Bates, Seaman Staines and Roger the Cabin Boy were a figment of its infantile imagination.

The Magic Roundabout: Eric Thompson, father of Emma, turned the sound down on Serge Danot's 1960s animation and made up storylines. First broadcast in 1965, it featured Dougal the speedy dog, Dylan the relaxed rabbit, Ermintrude the roller-skating cow and Zebedee the springy thing. Florence, the bossy little girl, was based on Emma.

Ren & Stimpy: Ren Hoek, the over-powering chihuahua and Stimpy J Cat, his gullible feline sidekick, splat!, pow! and shake their way through small-town America. Taken up rather bravely by BBC2 in 1994.

Beavis & Butt-head: MTV audience-parodying intellectualism or post-pub pap? Beavis, the dark one ("this sucks") and Butt-head, the blond one ("hehehe") crawled on to C4 screens in 1994 after entertaining MTV viewers in 1993. Mike Judge, their creator, does both voices.

Roobarb: Roobarb and Custard were responsible for the declining vision of all 10-year-olds in 1974 as these roughly drawn characters shook from frame to frame. Roobarb was the trusting-but-dim canine and Custard as the wily feline. Created by Bob Godfrey for BBC1 and narrated by Richard Briers.

Will O The Wisp: Kenneth Williams breathed life into a collection of oddballs in an enchanted wood. Mavis the fairy, who looked like a transvestite, The Moog, a cat that thought it was a dog and Evil Edna, the witch who was a television set, deeply confused little children on BBC1 from 1981 to 1984.

The Critic: Movie reviewer Jay Sherman's life falls short of his high critical standards. He is treated with disgust by Duke Phillips, his boss, and Doris, his make-up lady, who "sprays" his hair on before each show. A New York divorcee, he slates the latest romantic comedies while searching unsuccessfully for love. From producers of The Simpsons, it's now on the Paramount Channel.

Aeon Flux: Part of MTV's Liquid Television series. An adventure series that delves into the psychological and moral motives of its characters.

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