Currently there is no Naruto Kai and Naruto Cut to Manga isn't seeded. If people want to watch a shorter, more reasonable version of Naruto, they have no choice but to watch the episodes from the actual series as they aired. But that doesn't mean they have to watch every single episode in that series. There's a different way to cut the series into a shorter, more manageable size. That's Naruto Abridged.
It's possible to watch all the canon episodes of Naruto -- I've done it multiple times. But it's not for the fainthearted. It's a colossal endeavor with very variable payoffs, to the point that you might start to hate the series. To avoid that outcome, it's better to watch only the genuinely good episodes of the series, the ones that are rewarding and have a lasting impact, that you'll remember fondly forever. Abridging the series to a 'best-of' slideshow will miss some important details and be a little confusing, but it's more than made up for by getting to avoid all of the trash and pitfalls that bedevil this series. If you don't trust this abridged guide, just try watching Naruto without it. You'll come running back to me soon enough, trust me. ^_^.
How to watch Naruto Abridged, the only plausible way to watch Naruto, until at least Naruto Kai comes out:
From the original 'Naruto' series, watch episodes:
1-6, 8-10, 12, 15-17, 23-25, 28-33, 38-51, 56, 59-62, 64, 68, 70, 72, 74-80, 84-85, 87, 90, 93-96, 107-109, 115-117, 124-135 = 77 episodes in total.
From the 'Naruto Shippuuden' series, watch episodes:
1-4, 11, 20-27, 114, 119-120, 123-124, 127, 136-138, 143, 153, 157, 163-168, 175, 199, 201-211, 215, 246-249, 261, 322, 325, 330, 332-334, 339, 345, 363-365, 371-373, 375, 383, 389-390, 451, 459, 463, 470, 473, 475-477, 479, 485, 487-488 = 80 episodes in total.
All together, that's 157 episodes. If you watch all canon Naruto for the full experience, that will cost you 442 episodes and 2 full length movies. So Naruto Abridged just saved you around 300 episodes worth of viewing hell. Or in other words, Naruto Abridged is a pleasant 1/3 as long, bare-bones version of the original canon. This will save years off your life and your sanity. Until or unless a Naruto Kai is released, Naruto Abridged is the only solution. Tired of underperforming arcs and endless flashbacks? Consult Naruto Abridged! Don't care about minor characters and their meaningless problems? Consult Naruto Abridged!
One interesting discovery from compiling Naruto Abridged -- the Shippuuden series was, at the very least, around as good as the original. It actually has more genuinely compelling episodes than the original, by a small amount, though it may be true that the impact of each original Naruto episode is still higher than even the quality Shippuuden ones. In any case, Shippuuden gets a bad reputation not because the writing suddenly got bad, but simply because it was dragged on too long. Shippuuden is over twice as long as the original, so of course it feels awful. Once you shrink it down to just the good episodes, the abridged version of Shippuuden can stand toe to toe with the original series. Kishimoto still knew how to write well when push came to shove, it's just that the series was more interested in wasting time than actually shoving in the later half.
If Naruto Abridged were the story instead of the actual Naruto we have, it would probably be my #1 anime, (which is currently ranked #10). Naruto Abridged is 157 episodes of top-notch anime, that could stand toe to toe with anyone. It could, for instance, out compete PapaKiki (15 episodes), Angel Beats (15 episodes), Sora no Woto (14 episodes), Majikoi (12 episodes), Rocket Girls (12 episodes), High School of the Dead (13 episodes), Vividred Operation (12 episodes), Anohana (12 episodes), Hai to Gensou no Grimgar (12 episodes), Record of Lodoss War (13 episodes), Madoka Magica (13 episodes) and Shukufuku no Campanella (13 episodes) combined (156 episodes in all, though two are actually movies so this assemblage is longer, not shorter than Naruto Abridged).
Each ep of Naruto, from the abridged version, is competitive with series that are designed to be dense, act fast, and get their points across immediately. Because that's what the abridged version does too. It values every second of every ep, and only delivers the best.
In a couple weeks Naruto will end and Bolt will begin, marking the conclusion of a series 15 years in the making. This is the perfect time to watch all of Naruto from beginning to end (like I've been doing.) But that doesn't mean you have to torture yourself watching the entire series, filler, flashbacks, and foolish mistakes by the author all rolled together. Watch Naruto Abridged and find out why this show is so loved the easy way. If it's okay to abridge War and Peace (which, by the way, I've also read in full), it's okay to abridge Naruto. Come to the abridged side -- we have cookies!