Animated shows take so many forms. There’s something for everyone. This list includes the silly and the serious, the comic and the creepy. A small disclaimer though – I haven’t seen some of the newer series which have gathered a huge following like Adventure Time, Gravity Falls and Steven Universe. So deserving as they may be, they won’t be found here. With that out of the way, here are my personal favourite animated shows.
7. Cowboy Bebop
This is one of a mere handful of anime series’ I have watched, but man did it hook me! Before the titles had rolled, I was tapping my feet to the wickedly catchy theme tune. The main characters are all different, and interesting. The development of their relationships with each other was a treat to watch. And each episode could stand alone – there was a greater arc, but it’s a show that’s easy to dip in and out of if you feel so inclined. It has it’s problems, particularly with it’s paper-thin villains, but it’s a thoroughly enjoyable show. It was pitched to me by a friend as ‘Firefly in space’ – I think that’s apt.
6. Courage The Cowardly Dog
This one’s here more because it’s memorable than enjoyable. I still can’t believe that this was shown in the mornings. For children. I’m pretty sure my parents didn’t actually know how messed up it was – a cursory google search brings up plenty of lists of creepy episodes and moments. For the uninitiated, the show follows Courage, a dog who lives in the middle of nowhere with an elderly couple. They often have brushes with the Supernatural, and several jump scare moments. Claymation violin girl still haunts my dreams.
5. Spongebob Squarepants
You know, I always dismissed Spongebob without ever giving it a fair chance. Thanks to one of my best friends, I now thoroughly endorse it. I feel confident that if you shouted out the question ‘Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?’ in the middle of a pub a singsong would immediately break out. Besides, Squidward is the animated embodiment of every millennial in the country.
Who doesn’t love this show? It was one of the best things about my primary school years! While at DCC this year I picked up a set of the Indigo League badges, and it made me so happy. With it’s catchy theme tune, awesome pocket monsters, hilarious villains, and some genuinely heartbreaking moments, Pokémon will always be special. It’s something I’m definitely going to show to my kids in years to come. I just hope they make the right decision – Charmander.
3. House of Mouse
I actually mentioned this show a few weeks ago, but there was no way it wasn’t getting mentioned in this list. This show made Sunday mornings awesome. A Disney fans dream come true seems an apt way to describe it. It was a thrill to see the characters from all of the different movies in the same place, and sometimes working together. It was a surprise every week, as you were never sure what characters were going to feature in the week’s shorts. They also had the most amazing Christmas special ever – I defy anybody to watch that special and not feel festive. Even now, all these years later, this show can put a smile on my face.
2. Rick and Morty
Rick and Morty is my favourite currently-airing animated show. It’s insane in the best way possible. With many episodes serving as parodies of existing movies or shows, it’s a great deal of fun to see the show’s take on them.
One of my personal favourite episodes centres around a singing competition.. Only, Rick and Morty‘s version was a battle among the different planets, with the losers being destroyed by giant heads. That’s not even the craziest thing the show has done. The show is consistently funny, and never goes quite where you expect it to go. It features an impressive array of guest voice actors – Jim Rash, Stephen Colbert, Keegan-Michael Key, Keith David and John Oliver all make appearances throughout the series. If, for whatever reason, you have not seen this show yet – get on it. It’s time to get schwifty.
I love this show. A good story needs to do two things. Make you think, and make you feel. A great story needs to do that, and make you laugh. Futurama succeeds in all three. There will never come a point where too many good things can be said about this show. It was clever. It was quotable – *insert literally anything that Zapp Brannigan ever said here.* It was consistently funny.
But the one reason, above all of these, that I’ll always love this show – it could kick you right in the feels. Most of the time, you wouldn’t even see it coming. Fry discovers that his nephew was named after him. Seymour dies. The Professor gets one last chance to play with his parents. Fry entering his mother’s dream. Fry staying by Leela’s side while she was in a coma. The list goes on and on. Why this show had to fight so hard to stay on air as long as it did I’ll never understand. It’s not just one of the best animated shows ever. It’s one of the best shows ever. Period.
And there, my friends, you have it! So what did you think? Is there something I missed? Did I get the order right? Let me know in the comments below! In the meantime, I’m going to sit on the couch for the day and watch all of these.