Animated shows can often be discarded for being too childish or having their artistic merit called into question for the same reason. Unless they’re lucky enough to enter the cultural zeitgeist, such as Family Guy or The Simpsons, they’re very often forgotten or only enjoyed by a niche audience. I’ve compiled a short list to give those unsure on what to watch in the animated world a chance to enter the goldmine that awaits.
The Head was a show on MTV that follows the exploits of a man who wakes one day to find he has a huge growth within his head. When the doctor’s are stumped, he worries he’ll never know what has happened. Then, he finds that an alien is using the inside of his skull as a temporary home on Earth. The show’s two series follow these two and a band of misfits as they fight against an alien hellbent on Earth’s destruction.
Rick and Morty
The most recent release on this list, Rick and Morty follows a young boy and his grandad on their sci-fi travels. Co-created by Dan Harmon (the creator of television show Community) Rick and Morty is one of the best things on television at the moment. The episodes tackle issues such as independence, the ethical issues of inaction and slavery, jumping between light and dark at a moment’s notice.
This show didn’t do brilliantly during its first series on Netflix and I found myself urging my friends just to keep with it. In a way that is opposite to Rick and Morty, Bojack Horseman’s strength comes from its flowing narrative that takes place over the entire series rather than just dropping everything at the credits. Heavily depressing at times, the story of the anthropomorphic washed up actor is still highly absorbing. When series 2 was released, it seems the critics began to agree.
Bob’s Burgers is an incredibly funny comedy that follows a family who live above the burger restaurant they all work in. With a fantastic cast and brilliant characterisation, much of the humour comes from each individual’s reaction to the same event. Definitely worth a look.
Invader Zim was a show from the mind of Jhonen Vasquez, a man who usually works with the medium of the graphic novel. When Nickelodeon approached him for a more adult oriented cartoon, Invader Zim is what they got. Since its cancellation, the show has gathered a huge cult following, many finding the silly comedy, unusual characters and general bleak atmosphere (which can also be found in spades throughout Vasquez’ printed work) perfect when wrapped in the animated visuals. I find myself agreeing.