In a strange twist on cultural fate, animation in this hemisphere – that is cartoons, films, short films, commercials etc. – seems to speak only in jokes and mostly only with children. Western cartoons are funny and every year the American animated films that raise Oscars over the head are consumed by children and marketed for families and are supposed to make everyone laugh and feel good about themselves and their anthropomorphized feelings. TV shows? Yes, there is an Emmy for animation, although it's usually a tennis match between just a few consistent comedies.
But it's not like this everywhere – especially in Asia, where dramatic animations deserve praise in addition to live action television ̵
And with darker, heavier, more violent content, the animation begins to have its adult moment again (this time without the empty madness of Beavis and Butthead or South Park ; we will watch these classics anyway. BoJack Horseman and Archer have proven that dull comedies can still have a lot of heart, and series like Amazon Undone find creative ways to tackle challenges for mental health, and shows like Big Mouth prove that you can be as disgusting as an old Eddie Murphy set while still having a lot of meaningful things to teach.
Still, we love the older comedies still and animation classics of the past, and hey, even the toons designed for children are still some of the best there have ever been e 31 best animated TV shows that fall in love with the medium.
Harley Quinn (2019 – Today)
Batman and Joker have been in the spotlight for decades, but now it's the turn of the Joker's assistant. Harley Quinn, formerly known as Dr. Harleen Quinzel, now a slightly crazy ex-joker buddy, has a moment as the title star of her own, very confident, animated superhero comedy series in the DC Universe app. Now in its second season, Harley Quinn is recording Harley's life after Joker, mocking both superhero and macho tropes and making you laugh hysterically. World-class language skills (Kaley Cuoco is Harley and Lake Bell is Poison Ivy to start with) help, just like Batman and Joker, to remind you that Gotham was a dark knighthood before it was Harley's world.
– Ebenezer Samuel
Stream Harley Quinn on DC Universe
SpongeBob Schwammkopf (1999 – today)
In relation to cultural capital SpongeBob should probably be much higher (or lower here) on this list. The show is the collective feverish dream of millennial nostalgia, something so mainstream that it somehow turns into a cult and is basically the only way to communicate with each other. There are more SpongeBob memes than probably any other show ever. Law? * Tired naked SpongeBob on her knees *
Stream SpongeBob Squarepants on Amazon Prime
Robot Chicken (2005- Present)
Seth Green & # 39; s Robot Chicken ] the only piece of stop motion on this list (okay, South Park started a kind of stop motion), may have the most unique kind of humor of all series. As much connected to the cultural zeitgeist as The Simpsons but intended for adults, the series is probably the most viewed by eighth graders. But that's ok. We love it.
Stream Robot Chicken on Amazon Prime Video
Rocky and Bullwinkle (Various)
We'll be real with you. Every version of Rocky and Bullwinkle (which first appeared on TV in 1960) is fantastic. This moose and this squirrel are frankly comedy gold together. It's a classic duo – big, idiotic and pure-hearted elk and tiny, air-bound squirrels. Who could resist?
Even the highly malicious film from 2000 (with Robert De Niro, Jason Alexander and Rene Russo) is secretly great (they were all asleep). You can stream a traditionally animated (not CGI!) Restart of the timeless duo produced by Dreamworks on Amazon Prime. A hot tip? It’s still great.
Stream Rocky and Bullwinkle on Amazon Prime
Beavis and Butthead (1993-1997, 2011)
One of the earliest contributions from comedy master Mike Judge ( ) King of The Hill, Office Space, Silicon Valley, Idiocracy ) was this legendary MTV cartoon from the 90s. Partly goofballs sitting on their couch, partly researching new music, maybe there is no series that exemplifies what MTV was all about in the 90s.
Stream Beavis and Butthead Here
Big Mouth (2017 – Present)
It might be a little early to add Big Mouth . to this list, but it's so funny that we have to do it. Nick Kroll leads the cast of this show on puberty, and with John Mulaney, Fred Armisen, Jenny Slate, Jessi Klein, Jordan Peele and Jason Mantzoukas ( among many others) cast is absolute stacked. This show is just weird and fun enough to play for a couple of hours straight.
Stream Big Mouth on Netflix
King of the Hill (1997-2010)  Another Mike Judge classic! This series is more in the form of Simpsons than in the form of Beavis and Butthead since it follows a family from Texas who does … well, typical family sitcom stuff . But it's definitely fun. And with 258 episodes, this is a binge that will keep you busy for some time.
Stream King of the Hill on Hulu
Futurama (1999-2003), (2008-2013)
This series by Simpsons creator Matt Gröning has had many lives and lived in a first run on FOX for four years before moving to Comedy Central for half a decade. In reality, however, it takes away the spirit and fun of The Simpsons (and a very similar animation) and moves it to a new environment. A normal Joe is cryogenically frozen for about a thousand years and wakes up to make friends with aliens, robots, and crazy scientists. There is serenity.
Stream Futurama auf Hulu
Like many entries in this list is the animation series X-Men Perhaps the best thing to remember nowadays is a timeless meme: Wolverine longs for everything in his picture frame. But among the memes and before the live action films, this series told the stories of the mutants on one level – if not better – than the original comics. And since Disney now owns 20th Century Fox and Marvel, this series can be streamed to Disney + at any time.
Stream X-Men on Disney +
Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008-2020)
For every fan of the Star Wars films , The Clone Wars pick up exactly between the stories that you saw on the big screen in the early morning (or that you saw about 100 times on your TV despite all the bad acting and hackneyed dialogues). . Clone Wars feels animated despite animation Star Wars . Between creating new heroes (like Ahsoka Tano) and reviving old enemies (Darth Maul), Clone Wars is a fun ride in a distant galaxy.
Stream Star Wars: The Clone Wars on Disney +
One Punch Man (2015)
A satire of almost all power-up anime ( Dragon Ball-Z Naruto Yugioh etc.), One-Punch Man shows a bald, sluggishly drawn hero who is literally invincible. Follow Saitama's journey as he searches the cosmos for an enemy to overcome all his boredom. It's one of the funniest and smartest versions of the superhero genre, which is sometimes very emotional.
Stream One Punch Man On Hulu
Gravity Falls (2012-2016))
Gravity Falls, every middle school summer camp is in a nostalgia bottle and the full embodiment of “Ich can believe that this is a children's show ”. Sonically inspired by The X-Files and Twin Peaks Gravity Falls make mysteries and intrigue better than most adult dramas.
Stream Gravity Falls on Hulu
Tom and Jerry (Various)
No show has ever been so simple in concept, so brilliant in execution, so recognizable in all its iterations and parodies. Tom and Jerry were first broadcast in 1940 and have entertained four generations of children. A little humor never changes.
Stream Tom and Jerry on Amazon Prime
Like many other items in this list, Scooby-Doo existed In many forms over the years, and the format is simple enough: Clever teenagers (and their seemingly stoner boyfriend) drive around in a car for some reason, with their dog, who inexplicably talks. Then they examine a puzzle. And find out everything by the end of the day. These meddling kids and this dog! We agree with every form of it, including the weird live action version of the early 2000s. A new animated film, Scoob! will be out very soon.
Stream What's New Scooby-Doo on Netflix
Steven Universe (2013-2019)
Created by Rebecca Sugar (a storyboard artist on our number 14 below) , Steven Universe was one of the healthiest shows on TV and managed to communicate topics like love and acceptance without being obnoxious or preaching. It's the kind of show your kids should see (also because you really want to see them).
Stream Steven Universe Here
Spider-Man: The Animated Series (1994-1998)
There were many different versions of Spider-Man (including Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield , Tom Holland and the Spider-Verse crew), but no one has ever felt as pure as the cartoon that aired in the 90s for four seasons and 65 episodes. Bend this bad boy if you love superheroes as much as the rest of us. (Pro tip: This is also the best representation of the famous alien symbiote / Venom story that was made. Excuse the pure camp of Spider-Man 3 and Venom.)  Stream Spider-Man: The cartoon series on Disney +
Over the Garden Wall (2014)
Although the series runs in less than two hours, its story grabs a lively fall beat. After the forested adventures of two brothers and a bird, OTGW finds himself in the best escapist areas and pays homage to literary traditions as diverse as Mark Twain and Dante Alighieri. Best for Halloween.
Stream Over the Garden Wall on Hulu
Adventure Time (2010-2018)
The show you saw when you were high and have been watching every week since then , Adventure Time is perhaps one of the most unique cartoon series ever designed. Ridiculous, hallucinatory, strangely emotional, Adventure Time is somehow both the stupidest show ever and the one that film students will deconstruct by the end of the animated period.
Stream Adventure Time on Hulu
Samurai Jack (2001-2004, 2017)
Inspired by the series Kung Fu Genndy Tartakovskys Samurai Jack combines elements of the West, samurai, fantasy and science fiction. The first episode contained ridiculously bold ten minutes of dialogue-free action, and the series' animation style (characters drawn without black outlines and in a minimalist style) was like nothing before on television. It only kicked serious ass.
Stream Samurai Jack on Amazon Prime
Rick and Morty (2013 – today)
Dan Harmon and Justin Roilands Rick and Morty are postmodernism three drinks and reaches for a joint. But the show never feels overly dull or cynical for cynicism. In fact, Rick and Morty is more about loneliness and the search for connections than interdimensional doppelgangers and portals – which ultimately cannot completely compensate for loneliness.
Stream Rick and Morty on Hulu
Family Guy (1999-2002, 2004- Present)
You probably don't need much explanation about what Family Guy is. It's a goofy show and pretty much the definition of "turn your brain out of humor". But Family Guy has become such a massive success and cultural phenomenon that people today may not realize that the show was canceled by FOX in 2002. Only when the reps on Adult Swim received a strong rating did the network decide to bring the show back in 2004.
Fast forward almost two decades later, and Family Guy has this Simpsons ] feel – it will be there forever. And the good thing is that you can watch every episode at any time. Seth MacFarlane and his gang are fearless – a joke could rub you in the wrong direction from time to time, but there will likely be 4-5 big laughs right behind them.
Stream Family Guy on Hulu
Bob & # 39; s Burgers (2011- Present)
Everyone likes to talk about The Simpsons, Family Guy , ] and South Park as titans of the animated show world for adults, but Bob & # 39; s Burgers has long been an underestimated challenger. This show, which has been broadcast for 10 seasons, is just funny. As you will see in another entry on this list, H. Jon Benjamin simply has one of the funniest voices in the business and he does a good job here. Watch, laugh – you know the exercise.
Stream Bob & # 39; s Burgers on Hulu
Neon Genesis Evangelion (1995-1996)
In this well-known field of post-apocalyptic Japan, Neon Genesis is considered one of the best examples of animated television in the 90s. The series was a deconstruction of its own genre and helped revive the Japanese anime and became a cultural touchstone.
Stream Neon Genesis Evangelion on Netflix
Archer (2009 – today)
Austin Powers who? Since Archer's debut on FX in 2009, it has been the best espionage parody in the game, including a star-studded and hilarious voice that includes H. Jon Benjamin, Judy Greer, Chris Parnell and Jessica Walter. The show feels like a series comic from a long time ago, but with a quick mind that makes you laugh, you have to rewind and make sure you haven't missed anything. The new season the 11th of the show has been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but don't be mistaken: it is coming. And probably not soon after.
Stream Archer on FX on Hulu
Batman: The Animated Series (1992-1995)
The fact that so many people Batman: The Animated Series consider to be on an equal footing with Batman movies basically says everything that needs to be said about this 85-episode classic. With Kevin Conroy as the spokesman for Batman / Bruce Wayne and Mark Hamill's absolutely classic vocal work as The Joker, this is a great place to land for any fan of a particular Dark Knight looking for Gotham City adventures.
Watch Batman: The Animated Series via DC Universe
South Park (1997 – today)
Another golden sitcom of the 90s that was still strong is today. While the show's early seasons followed some pretty slick adventures of some 8-year-old boys and their crazy Colorado city, the show was really built to last when it started mocking current events. An episode of South Park is filmed in a much shorter amount of time than something like The Simpsons or Family Guy, so the show is much more adept at responding to something immediately. Bonus? The movie South Park: Larger, longer and uncut is justifiably great. Don't skip it.
Stream South Park on Hulu
Stream South Park: Larger, longer and here uncut
Cowboy Bebop (1997-1998)
A bounty hunter science fiction noir drama, Cowboy Bebop is basically animated Quintin Tarantino. The series is one of the most popular and influential anime series ever. (We're excited to see what comes out of Netflix & # 39; live action version in which John Cho will play the leading role.) And if it wasn't our next choice, maybe the best animated drama ever.
Stream Cowboy Bebop on Hulu
Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood (2009-2010)
In many ways, FMA is the R version of our number 1 selection below and many succeed for the same reasons. Following the manga by Hiromu Arakawa the FMA traverses various genres – naturalistic science fiction, fantasy, historical allegory, horror, war – each of which encompass a completely original television drama. It may be the darkest and most violent show on this list, but it's also one with a big metal heart and a core that's as much family drama as a war episode between generations.
Stream Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood on Netflix
BoJack Horseman (2014-2020)
BoJack Horseman is almost that Realest Cartoon series that was ever broadcast. Obviously there have been cartoons for adults, drama and action and almost every other genre before. But Bojack deals with very adult issues such as depression, drug abuse and failure in a way that hardly dares to address on television. The fact that it does it while still being incredibly funny? Genius. Will Arnett, Alison Brie, Aaron Paul and Amy Sedaris lead this great cast.
Stream BoJack Horseman on Netflix
The Simpsons (1989-Today)
It can be difficult to capture Matt Groening's creation in all 31 (!) Seasons pursue, but we would be naive not to recognize the place of the series on American television. The Simpsons were simply the yellow standard for animation for more than two decades and contained the world's most famous characters on television. At best, the show was a sincere mockery of dysfunctional America – families stuck to TVs, neighbors who were always at odds, alcohol, clowns, sexism, determination, and everything that went on in Maggie's head. But despite the humor, the series never felt cruel or cynical. And it will probably stand the test of time for that. (Or at least the first 20 or so seasons.)
Stream The Simpsons on Disney +
Avatar: The Last Airbender (2005-2008)
Before the television shot For Mania of Adaptation and Quest for Game of Thrones Style Adventures there was an original fantasy series that included dozens of rich characters, political and social realism, and moral complexity – a world with its own kingdoms and belief systems and violence and tyranny – all of this was completely original and, we think, quite astonishing considering that the series by Nickelodeon was lit green and basically marketed to ten-year-olds.
Avatar trusted his audience. It respected its viewer and became one of the few serialized animated children's dramas. The 3-season drama is a fusion of thoughts, history and religion from the east and one of the hottest and most efficient hero's journeys since the original Star Wars trilogy . Fun, sincere, surprisingly difficult and emotional, we think it's the best animated series ever.
Stream Avatar: The Last Airbender on Amazon Prime Video