Last updated on June 28th, 2023
Plenty of cartoons have featured or are set in the southern United States, aka the South. Unfortunately, some of them, especially in older media, tend to depict the region as a backwater full of hillbillies. Some modern depictions of the South also forget that there’s a large African American population living there.
Here’s a list of cartoons set in, or mentioning, the southern United States. The US Census Bureau defines the southern US to include the following states: Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas, and Washington DC.
The 90s Warner Bros. cartoon “Histeria!” has an episode about the 1950s Montgomery bus boycotts and Rosa Parks.
A fourth season “Flintstones” episode sees the gang visit the prehistoric state of “Arkanstone.” Arkanstone is where most of Fred’s paternal ancestors (all hillbillies) lived, but were all wiped out in a long-running feud with the Hatrock family. The Hatrocks appeared again in a later episode, visiting the Flintstones in Bedrock.
Superman’s home city of Metropolis is sometimes located in Delaware. Specifically, along the Delaware Bay, across from Gotham City (in New Jersey).
“Steven Universe” is located in a fictional version of Delaware (“Delmarva”). The show’s version of the United States features an alternate version of history and geography, probably from the Gems’ influence.
The animated “Ace Ventura” spin-off series takes place in Florida.
The 2015 film “Minions” has one part set at a villains’ convention in 1968 Orlando.
The short-lived 2009 Fox series “Sit Down, Shut Up” is set in Florida.
The 2006 Cartoon Network series “Class of 3000” takes place in Atlanta. It’s probably a rare instance of Atlanta as a setting in animation, and isn’t about the Civil War, Civil Rights Movement, or generic Southern stereotypes.
The short-lived 2020 Netflix series “Hoops” is set in Kentucky.
The movie “Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island” is set in Louisiana.
The 2016 Boomerang series “Bunnicula” (based on the children’s books) is set in New Orleans.
The Cartoon Network series “Craig of the Creek” is set in Maryland, specifically a fictional Washington, DC suburb.
An episode of the original 1960s “Wacky Races” series sees the racers drive through Mississippi (in the episode “The Zippy Mississippi Race”).
The Wright brothers’ first airplane flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, has been featured in various cartoons, including an episode of “Rocky and Bullwinkle” segment “Peabody’s Improbable History.” There, the bicycle shop owners from Ohio are shown as stereotypical hillbillies.
The original “Wacky Races” series episode “Oils Well That Ends Well” involves the racers driving from Oklahoma to Texas, along a route lined with oil wells. In real life, Oklahoma does have a thriving oil production industry.
An episode of 2018 Netflix series “Harvey Girls Forever” implies the show’s set in Oklahoma.
“Histeria!” covered the start of the Civil War in Fort Sumter, near Charleston.
Supposedly the 1960s Terrytoons series “Deputy Dawg” is set in Tennessee, at least in some later episodes.
“King of the Hill” takes place in the Lone Star State, specifically the fictional town of Arlen.
An episode of “Wacky Races” (“Free Wheeling to Wheeling”) has the racers drive through West Virginia en route to the finish line in Wheeling.
Washington, DC isn’t a US state. It’s officially the “District of Columbia,” which now has more people than several US states, putting it in an awkward position in things like a lack of voting Congressional representation. As the nation’s capital, it’s frequently shown in media, including too many cartoons to list. Still, here’s a few examples:
- “Freakazoid” mostly takes place in Washington, DC, the goofy hero’s hometown.
- “Futurama” sometimes features its futuristic version of Washington DC, which seems to serve as the Earth’s capital. Keeping with the show’s dystopic future, its version of DC includes landmarks such as a Lincoln Memorial-like monument dedicated to a tyrannical alien leader.