Wow...this brings back some memories.
I've always loved animation. It's really hard to nail down a definite favorite cartoon, considering so many great ones have influenced what I watch today.
The earliest I remember that still has an impact on me to day is one that I have NO ClUE what the name is. It was around the whole gobot/transformer days (and yes, I watched both religiously) but it was about 5 robots who saved the universe (no, it's not voltron). It was called "Paranoids" or something like that. I just remember I would wake up at 6am every Saturday morning to watch it.
There were also the classics like "Thundar the Barbarian" and "Goltar and the Golden Lance". I watched Thundar as often as I could and totally loved it. I know I watched Goltar but I don't remember anything about it. I finally caught a single episode on cartoon network last year and it was as good as ever. Oh, and "Dungeon's and Dragons"...who could forget that. And thanks to Jetix, I can watch it every weekend.
Then ofcourse there are the 'golden age' cartoons of '85 that I couldn't get enough of. Ofcourse there were the great classics like Voltron, Gobots, Transfomers, Galaxy Rangers, Thundercats, Mask, Heman, Shera, Captain N, Kidd Video (Arrianna reminded me of that one) and Bravestarr (Arrianna's Personal favorite). But the big two that really shaped my enjoyment of animation in all forms are Robotech and GI Joe.
I would say that robotech had the biggest impact on me. I watched ever single episode faithfully. Unfortunatly, I missed the bus a few times because it came in the last 5 minutes of the show (I wasn't the only one who did) but my mom was understanding and drove me there after we (yes, she watched it too) were done watching. One of the most traumatic experiences of my childhood was when we went to visit my uncle for the last week of Robotech and I never got to see the end of the series. It totally devastated me. I spend the next 15 years trying to find any rebroadcasts of Robotech to see the ending. I finally just bought the entire series a few years ago and finally brought peace to my childhood. It was worth it.
GI Joe on the other hand was a huge deal for me. I didn't realize it until years later when we got the entire series on VHS, but i had seen every episode multiple times in my childhood. I KNEW everything GI Joe and had most the action figures. I never did get a terradrome like I wanted but who had $50 bucks back in '86 to waste on a big plastic toy that took up most of your room! It was a common intrest in GI Joe that got Arrianna and I together. We were introduced by a common friend when Arrianna and him started a GI Joe RPG campaign and needed some questions about the time line answered. I even watched the DIC episodes faithfully.
So, yes. GI JOE and Robotech are the two biggest for me. I could not decide between the two if anyone honestly asked.
After the golden age of course we only had crap left on TV. But that didn't keep me from watching. There was COPS, Peter Pan and the Pirates, Pirates of Dark Water (the only really great show to come out of the 90's), Biker Mice from Mars, Captain Planet (OH....why did I ever watch this trash -- oh wait, there was nothing else on) and Batman the Animated Series (top notch stuff there). There was some good stuff in the 90's but most of it was not really the quality stuff you got out of the 80's.
I'm still watching great cartoons now that I have kids. Great stuff like "Starship Troopers - Roughneck Chronicles", Monster Rancher, ZOIDS, and Kim Possible. I guess there's good stuff in every generation...and I don't mind watching them all.
And people say kids in the 80's/90's grew up watching to much television....