Are you tired of wasting hours upon hours on listening comprehension exercises that make you just want to quit?
Do you want to learn Spanish like a kid would?
Have you ever wondered why some learners seem to memorize everything while you struggle to add new words to your vocabulary word-bank?
If you have answered “yes” to at least one of the questions above, it is your lucky day.
The solution to your problem is to learn Spanish with cartoons, and we are here to do just that.
Let the fun begin!
Why Learn Spanish with Cartoons?
When we hear the word “cartoons,” we imagine kids glued to the TV watching their favorite shows. But that does not have to apply to us, does it?
Learning Spanish with the help of cartoons, even when you are not a child anymore, can be not only effective but also fun!
There are probably dozens of reasons why using cartoons to improve your Spanish is the way to go, but in case you need some convincing, here are just a few:
- You will learn naturally. Just as babies and kids learn from listening to their parents and paying attention to their environment, you will absorb new Spanish naturally. Cartoons are very efficient when it comes to teaching new concepts to little kids, and if kids are able to understand cartoons, don’t you think you would be, too?
- The language is easy. Cartoons use very easy-to-understand language. Remember that they are specifically made to teach kids! Having music, drawings, pictures and descriptions added to the words you are listening to will only make them even easier to understand.
- You will have fun learning without needing to invest too much time. Watching cartoons can be a fun experience! I love watching cartoons with my little nephew and listening to his “explanations” alongside.
Besides, since children have very short attention spans, cartoons tend to be rather short and to the point. You will only need 10 to 20 minutes for most cartoon episodes.
- They are specifically created to teach. The vast majority of cartoons out there are created specifically with babies and kids in mind. This means that each episode will repeat new concepts time and time again and in very small doses, so you can really absorb everything.
How to Use Cartoons to Learn Spanish
The theory is simple: You watch cartoons in Spanish, learn new words and expressions and then use them in your life.
The practice, surprisingly, is also that simple! Just press play on one of the episodes of the cartoons included in this list, watch it a couple of times until you are sure you have understood it and then move on!
You can take notes along the way, pause in order to search for grammar concepts you may need to polish up, create your own flashcards with the new words you have learned… The possibilities are almost limitless.
It is also very possible that some of the cartoons will have the option of switching on Spanish subtitles. If so, do not hesitate to do it. You will read and listen to the same words at the same time, which will make the process even easier and faster altogether.
By now you have hopefully been convinced to at least give cartoons a go.
The following is a list of 15 amazing shows you can use in order to improve your Spanish using the funniest and most enjoyable way possible. Make sure not to miss them!
Learn Spanish with Cartoons: 15 Cool Kid Shows for Adult Language Learners
If these cartoons are still too difficult for you or you simply cannot find the time in your schedule to fit entire episodes, you can find plenty of Spanish cartoon clips on FluentU.
Other sites use scripted content. FluentU uses a natural approach that helps you ease into the Spanish language and culture over time. You’ll learn Spanish as it’s actually spoken by real people.
FluentU has a wide variety of videos topics, as you can see here:
FluentU brings native videos within reach with interactive transcripts. You can tap on any word to look it up instantly. Every definition has examples that have been written to help you understand how the word is used.
Plus, if you see an interesting word you don’t know, you can add it to a vocab list.
Review a complete interactive transcript under the Dialogue tab, and find words and phrases listed under Vocab.
Learn all the vocabulary in any video with FluentU’s robust learning engine. Swipe left or right to see more examples of the word you’re on.
The best part is that FluentU keeps track of the vocabulary that you’re learning, and gives you extra practice with difficult words. It'll even remind you when it’s time to review what you’ve learned. Every learner has a truly personalized experience, even if they’re studying with the same video.
Some of these cartoons were created in Spanish-speaking countries and are originally in the language. Others are Spanish-dubbed versions of cartoons from other countries. It might be interesting to compare the English and Spanish versions of some episodes and see how the dubbing differs from the original language.
Are you ready?
Let’s start watching those cartoons!
“Peppa la cerdita” (“Peppa Pig”)
Peppa is so famous worldwide that I would be very surprised if you did not know her.
This pretty pig lives with her parents and younger brother, and grandpa and grandma are around most of the time, too.
Each episode revolves around a specific topic that Peppa or one of the other characters needs to learn about. More often than not, Peppa and her little brother will get in trouble in order to learn the lesson of the episode, but all in all, she is a very nice girl.
“Peppa Pig” covers topics like sports, food, holidays, professions, hobbies, means of transport, etc., so it is a great cartoon to boost your vocabulary. Check out the different compilations of videos in Latino Spanish. Each video includes complete episodes on a specific topic. Have fun!
Caillou is a sweet four-year-old boy who is observing and learning about the world around him with the help of his dad, mom and sister Rosie.
What I like the most about this cartoon is that it really presents the world from a four-year-old’s perspective, depicting situations and problems that can be relatable to other kids. You can see Caillou buying a new pair of shoes and thinking he is the fastest boy in the world, having a toothache, going to the amusement park or visiting the ice-cream parlor.
You will find some episodes in the YouTube channel linked above, usually compiled into hour-long videos. However, many of the shorter videos feature original stop-motion animation of Caillou and his family and friends, created by WildBrain.
Even though Caillou is four years old, you will realize his family talks to him as if he were an adult. Because of this, it would be good to already know a little bit of Spanish before watching this.
“Muzzy” is a language program for kids created by the BBC, and it can be yours for as little as $4.12 a month!
Muzzy is a giant, lovely alien who wants everybody to learn new languages. He will start teaching you basic vocabulary and adding more and more words along the way. The program uses the immersion approach and focuses on repetition and practice in order for you to remember the new words.
The course includes many features that can be used on many different platforms: a website and an app, online games, learning movies, songs, vocabulary builders, printable activities and even an online language recording studio so that you can record your own voice!
If what you want is to learn Spanish vocabulary like a kid would, this is your program.
“Bob Esponja” (“Spongebob Squarepants”)
Who doesn’t know Spongebob, the sponge that lives under the sea in a pineapple?
I confess Spongebob is one of my guilty pleasures. I find this cartoon hilarious, and it has helped me a lot while learning Polish.
Spongebob is not specifically created to teach Spanish to kids, so the level can be considered upper-intermediate to advanced. However, you can switch on the subtitles and get submerged (literally) in a sea of silly and funny adventures that will catch you by surprise time and time again.
Make your Spanish shine like a diamond with Bob, Patricio and Calamardo. You will thank me later!
As a nice bonus, the channel linked above is the official Spanish-language account of Nickelodeon, where you can watch clips from “Bob Esponja” episodes (or sometimes even watch livestreamed episodes!) as well as clips from other classic kid toons from the channel in Spanish.
I think all of us have been a Noah at some time in our lives, so I am sure he will be very relatable to you.
Noah is a nine-year-old boy who is visiting his grandma in a place where everybody speaks Spanish except for him.
We all make mistakes, and Noah is the first one to admit it! By using the trial-and-error technique, he tries to learn the language and improve his skills with the help of the people around him, who have a lot of fun with him.
If you choose to watch this cartoon, you will learn basic Spanish everyday-life vocabulary along with Noah, who will make mistakes himself so that you do not have to.
“Minimalitos” is an animated series for little kids who are learning Spanish.
Created in Argentina, it presents stories and adventures with the help of different animals who get along just great, in an attempt to make children understand the importance of accepting our differences and loving each other no matter what.
The series of videos are all available for free on the webpage. Additionally, you can download the app, play games, read, sing songs or do the proposed activities.
Ger ready to learn about rainbows, stomach-aches, families, birthdays and more, animal style!
“Los Lunnis de leyenda” (“Legend Lunnis”)
I was introduced to the “Lunnis” by my 2-year-old nephew and, surprisingly enough, I got so impressed and hooked that I watched the first two seasons in one sitting with him.
“Lunnis de Leyenda” is a great way to learn about history and its main characters through songs. Let Lucrecia and the Lunnis teach you about Quevedo, Velázquez, Ulises and Marie Curie and sing along while you discover interesting world facts you may have not heard before.
Even though the series was created for little kids, it is not a program specifically developed to teach Spanish, so the language might be a little bit difficult at the beginning. However, the songs are so catchy that you will be singing them by heart in the blink of an eye, so do not worry if you do not understand everything at the beginning!
Connor, Amaya and Greg are three little superheroes who are constantly trying to save the world at night while living a normal life during the day.
It is a great cartoon if you want to learn Spanish vocabulary related to being a good person in general. Each episode tackles a topic related to human behavior and what you can do to be a good example. You will not only learn Spanish but also learn to be a model citizen!
Be a hero and help the PJ Masks fight crime and teach you a lesson or two.
“La patrulla canina” (“Paw Patrol”)
Do you like puppies? Do you like being a good person?
Then you will love puppies teaching you—in Spanish!—how to be a good person.
“La patrulla canina” is literally a puppy patrol that is always helping those in need. The pups teach kids that it is important to help other people and be kind to everyone, even if they are “different.”
These cute puppies are awesomely skilled and will surprise you with their tricks every episode. They use a language that three- and four-year-olds can understand easily, so it should not be very difficult if you already have a little background in Spanish vocabulary.
Linked above is the official Nick Jr. channel, which uploads clips and, sometimes, full episodes of their shows. Search their video content for a title in Spanish to see clips from cartoons beyond “La patrulla canina.”
From the creators of “Minimalitos,” if dinosaurs are your thing, you cannot miss this cartoon!
“Dinopaka” tells the story of Felipe, an Argentinian teenager who gets a strange computer as a present. The computer allows him to travel inside a prehistoric game, where he is surrounded by dinosaurs. Each episode teaches him one aspect of the lives of these big animals, from how they feed to how they are born.
It is an amazing cartoon if you are a fan of the “Jurassic Park” saga and want to learn anything and everything about dinos in Spanish!
“Minieinsteins” (“Little Einsteins”)
The Minieinsteins are four super-bright children who will help you discover classical music, art and photography while you learn Spanish.
Each episode is packed with amazing visuals and wonderful music, which are used to teach lessons on how to work as a team. The cartoons are interactive and try to engage children in helping to solve problems (much like “Dora the Explorer” does) and accomplishing different missions.
If you do not have Disney Junior, you can always go to YouTube and search for “Minieinsteins.” Get ready to learn everything from parts of the body to musical instruments and sea animals with this cute and creative cartoon based on songs and repetitions of words.
Do forget to shout misión cumpida (mission accomplished!) at the end of each episode!
I did not know about the existence of “Kazoops!” until I started doing research for this post, but as soon as I watched a couple of episodes, I fell in love because of the concept.
“Kazoops!” tells the story of Monty Kazoop and his pet pig and best friend, Jimmy Jones. In each episode, they are presented with a preconception, a way of how we adults look at the world through our adult eyes.
Monty and Jimmy then go on an imaginary adventure to learn more about that preconception and try to understand it through the eyes of a six-year-old, reaching funny conclusions that will make you see the world around you in a completely different way.
If you want to know what kids really think (in Spanish!) about birthday presents, keeping secrets or being different, do not miss this amazing cartoon.
You can change both the language and subtitles on Netflix to Spanish to enjoy maximum learning from this show, recommended for intermediate to more advanced learners!
“Masha y el oso” (“Masha and the Bear”)
Do you feel like watching a little girl and her bear discover the world? I’ve got you covered!
In this cartoon, originally in Russian, Masha is a sweet, curious girl who goes everywhere with her friend, Oso (a.k.a. Bear).
This unusual friendship is actually a metaphor for a little kid and an adult, and how adults can help little children understand the world around them. (And how sometimes, just sometimes, kids can drive adults crazy—but we still love them!)
The show deals with topics like friendship, love, creativity, music, food, painting and more. Dialogue is minimal, so this is a great way to learn basic Spanish vocabulary for absolute beginners… with a twist! Plus, each episode is only about seven minutes long, so you can definitely find time for it in your schedule, no matter how busy you are.
“Masha and the Bear” is also available on Netflix with Spanish dubbing.
“El pájaro loco” (“Woody Woodpecker”)
“El pájaro loco” (literally: “The Crazy Bird”) is one of my all-time cartoons. Although I used to watch the old episodes created in the 60s and 70s, what I am suggesting you watch is the new version, created between 1999 and 2002.
The remake is unambiguously a throwback to the original series. This means you will see stereotypes galore, mild violence and injuries that disappear magically from one scene to the next.
However, if you do not mind the occasional weapon or bomb, the crazy bear Cupid, who attacks his victims with an arrow machine gun, missiles and a lot of aliens, I am sure you will learn plenty of advanced Spanish with this cartoon.
No wonder we call it “The Crazy Bird” in Spanish!
“Pororo el pequeño pingüino” (“Pororo the Little Penguin”)
Pororo is a little penguin who lives on a snowy island with his friends Poby the bear, Loppy the beaver, Eddy the fox, Crong the dinosaur and a few other fun characters.
Each of them has a unique personality and traits that help them step up in specific situations. Together, they try to solve the everyday problems they find on the island and do their best to support each other, despite their differences.
The episodes are around five minutes long, which makes them perfect for little bites of Spanish vocabulary when you have some free time. You can also find the show on Netflix (just turn on Spanish dubbing to enjoy the learning benefits!).
You are going to love naughty Pororo and his friends while you learn about friendship and positivity (there is always a happy ending and a short, positive message for the viewers at the end of each episode).
And that is all for today, my big kids.
As you can see, you do not have to be a toddler in order to enjoy some cartoons while you learn the language you love.
We all have a bit of a kid inside of us, and what better way to make them happy than learning Spanish with fun cartoons and reminiscing about our childhood?
Get your popcorn, take a seat and enjoy the show. In Spanish, of course!
Stay curious, my friends, and as always, happy learning.
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn Spanish with real-world videos.