I was watching my nephews (5 years old and 8 years) and they like watching shows like Spongebob, Clarence, Adventure Time, Bubble Guppies, Blazin, Paw Patrol, etc. Most of these shows I like but a few seem way out there like Adventure Time which feels like a poorman's Spongebob Squarepants. I grew up with TMNT, Spiderman, Batman, Doug, Rugrats, Ren and Stimpy, Hey Arnold!, just to name a few and would take those over any cartoons from this generation. Cartoons now a days just seem to not make much sense and seem like they are way out there then compared to then.
Most Helpful Guy
The "Hero Saving the World" narrative may have been prevalent at one point (with comic super heroes coming to life), but overall you have to ask yourself why most people watch cartoons in the first place. As it turns out, the primary motivator is humor.
Cartoons have to be produced by professionals, and these professionals do their market research and know that funny cartoons have a longer shelf life and appeal to a wider audience. The "Hero Saving the World" narrative has a niche in cartoon entertainment, but it pales in comparison to what a carefully articulated comedic masterpiece manages to incite from the general audience. Laughter and cartoons are like kisses and rose bouquets.
Hero pieces make for great cinematic adventures, where the audience is devoted to the story and that plot has a few hours to work with. The Dark Knight trilogy was amazing and I recall it having a great reception from the general public. Batman translates much better to the big screen than does Tom & Jerry, for example. Punch-line comedies are notorious on-hit fizzles in the movie industry.
Specific genres have their niches to fill and what we get depends on what the audience wants. The largest demographic watching cartoons want to laugh and relax, so content writers satisfy that desire.0