While I do enjoy watching fantasy shows like Game of Thrones, or even some of the latest Netflix originals, like Squid Game, sometimes I just need a break from live-action TV shows. This is what leads me to this article today, featuring some of the best animated TV shows that you can watch right now - most of which adults can enjoy.
In my opinion, these are some of the best shows on Netflix to binge watch, from classics like Avatar: The Last Airbender to Netflix TV shows like Big Mouth or BoJack Horseman. If you’re looking for some great animated TV series to enjoy, check out some of the best animated shows on Netflix.
In this Netflix original series, BoJack Horseman follows the titular character, a former star in Hollywood who has since faded into obscurity. Now, he plans to make a comeback by releasing his tell-all autobiography, with the help of a ghost writer by his side.
BoJack Horseman is one of the best Netflix originals out there. Its characters are extremely compelling, from the depressing story of BoJack to the stories of his friends around him, to how he tries to accept himself for who he is. It also tackles themes of self-loathing, eating disorders, depression, alcoholism, and so much more, mixed in with some funny comedy along the way. It’s truly a show that deserved all the praise that it got in its run, and you should definitely check it out if you’ve never done so before.
From the creator of The Simpsons, Matt Groening, this much newer cartoon is the fantasy series Disenchantment. In this Netflix original, set in the medieval European kingdom of Dreamland, we follow Bean, a rebellious, alcoholic, adventurous princess with a heart of gold, and her companion, Elfo, along her crazy adventures.
I think what I enjoy the most about Disenchantment is, honestly, the animation. With the same animation style as The Simpsons, the Netflix original takes it up a couple of levels, offering some truly beautifully animated scenes mixed in with some hilarious takes on fantasy shows and movies, often parodying them. Bean is also a great character to follow, from her selfless deeds to her adventurous acts, she absolutely will never bore you.
Another Netflix original, Big Mouth, created by Andrew Goldberg and Nick Kroll, centers on teens that are being raised in suburban New York, exploring puberty while embracing an openness about the human body and sex that’s not often talked about when it comes to younger teenagers.
Personally, I’ve never been the hugest fan of Big Mouth, just because the animation style isn’t my favorite. However, that doesn’t change the fact that the show is still great in many ways, from it’s openness about sexuality, enjoyable characters with entertaining storylines, and it’s star-studded cast. Maya Rudolph, John Mulaney, and many other stars voice some of the characters, creating a truly hilarious yet touching TV show.
Love, Death & Robots
In this animated series, Love, Death & Robots consists of several stand-alone episodes, all under 20 minutes long, produced by different casts and crews, with each episode have a thematic connection to the episode’s title.
I’m sure reading that probably made your head spin a little. It doesn't seem like there’s a plot in Love, Death & Robots, and that’s because there really isn’t one. What makes Love, Death & Robots so good is that every episode is different, and you can really tell with the different creatives that they bring in. But, each episode provides a new enriching story that will captivate you from beginning to end, having some sort of connection to the title. Will the episode be about love? Or death? Or robots? All three, or some other combination? There are so many questions - all of which will be answered.
The Midnight Gospel
Created by Adventure Time creator, Duncan Trussell, The Midnight Gospel is set in a world known as the Chromatic Ribbon, with a space caster known as Clancy Gilroy who owns an unlicensed multiverse simulator. Through that, he travels into bizarre worlds on the brink of disaster, interviewing residents for his space cast.
When I was younger, Adventure Time was one of my favorite shows to enjoy. Watching The Midnight Gospel feels like that, except for older people. The interviews that Duncan uses are actually derived from interviews on his real-life podcast, called The Duncan Trussell Family Hour, and features really cool animation style with some actually insightful interviews that will surprise you by coming from an animated series.
Avatar: The Last Airbender
Avatar: The Last Airbender is all about Aang, the Avatar. Once there were four nations who lived in harmony, but when one of them wants to take over the world, it’s up to the Avatar to somehow bring the world back to peace. However, Aang is young, and still needs to learn the other three elements of water, fire, and earth in order to defeat the Fire Lord from taking over the world.
Oh, Avatar. I love this show with such a deep passion. Avatar: The Last Airbender started blowing up in 2020 when the series came to Netflix, and even more so when it was announced a new live-action of the series would come out on the platform. But, please, trust me when I say this - watch Avatar: The Last Airbender. It’s such an amazing show, from its animation style to its themes to its characters, there’s so much I love about this show, and so much you can love as well.
In this Netflix original, Castlevania follows Trevor Belmont and his allies as they defend the nation of Wallachia from Dracula and his minions, trying to protect them from a world of utter darkness.
Castlevania often reminds me of many anime series with its animation style, sort of how Avatar: The Last Airbender did it, but Castlevania is certainly more for adults. It’s a dark fantasy series with plenty of blood and violent moments, but it’s still incredibly stunning, influenced by gorgeous Japanese animation, and has a story that will entertain anyone who’s into fantasy or vampires, or both.
The Winx Club
In this popular animated series, The Winx Club follows a group of five teenage girls, each with individualized powers of the elements, who have chosen to defend the universe, preventing it from turning to darkness.
To be honest, The Winx Club is a series I watched as a kid, just like Avatar: The Last Airbender, but it’s a series that many adults can enjoy as well. The animation style is different than a lot of other cartoons, but the real draw is the friendship of the five girls, creating life-long bonds that truly show just how much they mean to each other, and the power of friendship. Don’t go to the Netflix remake - just stick with the cartoon for a good time.
Next up, we take a look at a current take on a classic cartoon character, Carmen Sandiego. In this Netflix original series, the viewers get to see a serialized look into the character that is Carmen Sandiego, from her backstory to how she became the icon that she is now.
Again, I grew up with the character Carmen Sandiego as a household name in my home, so a show about her was pretty exciting to hear about. Now, with four seasons, it’s clear that other viewers felt the same. Voiced by Jane the Virgin cast member, Gina Rodriguez, Carmen Sandiego offers a compelling and interesting backstory to this legendary character, and has a fun animation style that pairs well with the action adventures Sandiego often goes on.
F Is For Family
Last but not least, we take a look at F is for Family. Created by Bill Burr, F is For Family follows a dysfunctional, suburban Irish-American family, set in the fictional town of Rustvale, Pennsylvania, in the 1970s.
While a lot of these other cartoons might have serious themes or beautiful stories, I’ll be honest here - F is for Family is all about its comedy. It’s hilarious, and its four seasons (soon to be five) is proof of that. Bill Burr voices Frank, the patriarch of the family, alongside a great cast including Laura Dern, Justin Long, and many others. It’s seriously funny and you’ll be holding your sides from laughing so much. Give it a shot.
Another show I'd recommend checking out is Attack on Titan. While only the first season is on Netflix, it's a fantastic anime that I think anyone would enjoy, especially if you love a good story. The rest of the show is available to stream on Hulu, Funimation, or Crunchy Roll.
There are so many fantastic animated TV shows to watch, so truly, you’ll never go wrong with a bad pick. If you’re looking for something awesome to stream, check out any of these. You won’t regret it.
Big nerd and lover of Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire. Will forever hate season eight. Superhero and horror geek. And please don't debate me on The Last of Us 2, it was amazing!
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