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TV Shows & Series: Best Animation TV Shows/Series

Animation is a dynamic medium in which images or objects are manipulated to appear as moving images. In traditional animation, images are drawn or painted by hand on transparent celluloid sheets to be photographed and exhibited on film. Today most animations are made with computer-generated imagery (CGI). Computer animation can be very detailed 3D animation, while 2D computer animation can be used for stylistic reasons, low bandwidth or faster real-time renderings. Other common animation methods apply a stop motion technique to two and three-dimensional objects like paper cutouts, puppets or clay figures. The stop motion technique where live actors are used as a frame-by-frame subject is known as pixilation. Commonly the effect of animation is achieved by a rapid succession of sequential images that minimally differ from each other. The illusion—as in motion pictures in general—is thought to rely on the phi phenomenon and beta movement, but the exact causes are still uncertain. Analog mechanical animation media that rely on the rapid display of sequential images include the phénakisticope, zoetrope, flip book, praxinoscope and film. Television and video are popular electronic animation media that originally were analog and now operate digitally. For display on the compute... [Wikipedia]

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The Simpsons(1989)

TV-PG
| 22min per episode | Animation, Comedy
3.6/5 (with 751 votes)

Set in Springfield, the average American town, the show focuses on the antics and everyday adventures of the Simpson family; Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie, as well as a virtual cast of thousands. Since the beginning, the series has been a pop culture icon, attracting hundreds of celebrities to guest star. The show has also made name for itself in its fearless satirical take on politics, media and American life in general.

Family Guy(1999)

TV-14
| 22min per episode | Animation, Comedy
3.3/5 (with 564 votes)

Sick, twisted, politically incorrect and Freakin' Sweet animated series featuring the adventures of the dysfunctional Griffin family. Bumbling Peter and long-suffering Lois have three kids. Stewie (a brilliant but sadistic baby bent on killing his mother and taking over the world), Meg (the oldest, and is the most unpopular girl in town) and Chris (the middle kid, he's not very bright but has a passion for movies). The final member of the family is Brian - a talking dog and much more than a pet, he keeps Stewie in check whilst sipping Martinis and sorting through his own life issues.

South Park(1997)

TV-MA
| 22min per episode | Comedy, Animation
3.9/5 (with 419 votes)

Follows the misadventures of four irreverent grade-schoolers in the quiet, dysfunctional town of South Park, Colorado.

Rick and Morty(2013)

4.3/5 (with 416 votes)

Rick is a mentally-unbalanced but scientifically-gifted old man who has recently reconnected with his family. He spends most of his time involving his young grandson Morty in dangerous, outlandish adventures throughout space and alternate universes. Compounded with Morty's already unstable family life, these events cause Morty much distress at home and school.

Futurama(1999)

TV-14
| 22min per episode | Animation, Comedy, Drama, Science-Fiction & Fantasy
4.1/5 (with 315 votes)

The adventures of a late-20th-century New York City pizza delivery boy, Philip J. Fry, who, after being unwittingly cryogenically frozen for one thousand years, finds employment at Planet Express, an interplanetary delivery company in the retro-futuristic 31st century.

American Dad!(2005)

TV-14
| 22min per episode | Animation, Comedy
3.1/5 (with 247 votes)

The series focuses on an eccentric motley crew that is the Smith family and their three housemates: Father, husband, and breadwinner Stan Smith; his better half housewife, Francine Smith; their college-aged daughter, Hayley Smith; and their high-school-aged son, Steve Smith. Outside of the Smith family, there are three additional main characters, including Hayley's boyfriend turned husband, Jeff Fischer; the family's man-in-a-goldfish-body pet, Klaus; and most notably the family's zany alien, Roger, who is "full of masquerades, brazenness, and shocking antics."

Archer(2009)

TV-MA
| 22min per episode | Action & Adventure, Animation, Drama, Comedy
4.0/5 (with 201 votes)

Sterling Archer is the world's most daunting spy. He works for ISIS, a spy agency run by his mother. In between dealing with his boss and his co-workers - one of whom is his ex-girlfriend - Archer manages to annoy or seduce everyone that crosses his path. His antics are only excusable because at the end of the day, he still somehow always manages to thwart whatever crises was threatening mankind.

Directed by Adam Reed

Avatar: The Last Airbender(2005)

TV-Y7
| 25min per episode | Action, Adventure, Animation, Fantasy
4.1/5 (with 165 votes)

In a war-torn world of elemental magic, a young boy reawakens to undertake a dangerous mystic quest to fulfill his destiny as the Avatar, and bring peace to the world.

Directed by Michael Dante DiMartino

Death Note(2006)

TV-14
| 22min per episode | Animation, Mystery
4.1/5 (with 161 votes)

Light Yagami is an ace student with great prospects—and he’s bored out of his mind. But all that changes when he finds the Death Note, a notebook dropped by a rogue Shinigami death god. Any human whose name is written in the notebook dies, and Light has vowed to use the power of the Death Note to rid the world of evil. But will Light succeed in his noble goal, or will the Death Note turn him into the very thing he fights against?

Attack on Titan(2013)

3.8/5 (with 158 votes)

Several hundred years ago, humans were nearly exterminated by Titans. Titans are typically several stories tall, seem to have no intelligence, devour human beings and, worst of all, seem to do it for the pleasure rather than as a food source. A small percentage of humanity survived by walling themselves in a city protected by extremely high walls, even taller than the biggest Titans. Flash forward to the present and the city has not seen a Titan in over 100 years. Teenage boy Eren and his foster sister Mikasa witness something horrific as the city walls are destroyed by a Colossal Titan that appears out of thin air. As the smaller Titans flood the city, the two kids watch in horror as their mother is eaten alive. Eren vows that he will murder every single Titan and take revenge for all of mankind.

Dragon Ball Super(2015)

TV-14
| 24min per episode | Action & Adventure, Animation, Mystery
3.5/5 (with 109 votes)

Set just after the events of the Buu Saga of Dragon Ball Z, a deadly threat awakens once more. People lived in peace without knowing who the true heroes were during the devastating battle against Majin Buu. The powerful Dragon Balls have prevented any permanent damage, and our heroes also continue to live a normal life. In the far reaches of the universe, however, a powerful being awakens early from his slumber, curious about a prophecy of his defeat. Join Gokuu, Piccolo, Vegeta, Gohan, and the rest of the Dragon Ball crew as they tackle the strongest opponent they have ever faced. Beerus, the god of destruction, now sets his curious sights on Earth. Will the heroes save the day and prevent earth's destruction? Or will the whims of a bored god prove too powerful for the Saiyans? Gokuu faces impossible odds once more and fights for the safety of his loved ones and the planet.

SpongeBob SquarePants(1999)

TV-Y7
| 30min per episode | Animation, Comedy
3.5/5 (with 107 votes)

Deep down in the Pacific Ocean in the subterranean city of Bikini Bottom lives a square yellow sponge named SpongeBob SquarePants. SpongeBob lives in a pineapple with his pet snail, Gary, loves his job as a fry cook at the Krusty Krab, and has a knack for getting into all kinds of trouble without really trying. When he's not getting on the nerves of his cranky next door neighbor Squidward, SpongeBob can usually be found smack in the middle of all sorts of strange situations with his best buddy, the simple yet lovable starfish, Patrick, or his thrill-seeking surfer-girl squirrel pal, Sandy Cheeks.

Cowboy Bebop(1998)

4.1/5 (with 104 votes)

In 2071, roughly fifty years after an accident with a hyperspace gateway made the Earth almost uninhabitable, humanity has colonized most of the rocky planets and moons of the Solar System. Amid a rising crime rate, the Inter Solar System Police (ISSP) set up a legalized contract system, in which registered bounty hunters (also referred to as "Cowboys") chase criminals and bring them in alive in return for a reward.

Batman: The Animated Series(1992)

TV-PG
| 30min per episode | Action & Adventure, Animation, Drama, Mystery
4.0/5 (with 104 votes)

Batman: The Animated Series is an American animated television series based on the DC Comics superhero Batman. The series was widely praised for its thematic complexity, dark tone, artistic quality, and faithfulness to its title character's crime-fighting origins.

Directed by Boyd Kirkland - With Melissa Gilbert, Kevin Conroy, Bob Hastings, Robert Costanzo, Loren Lester, Ingrid Oliu, ...

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood(2009)

TV-14
| 25min per episode | Action & Adventure, Animation, Drama, Mystery
4.2/5 (with 100 votes)

Edward and Alphonse Elric's reckless disregard for alchemy's fun­damental laws ripped half of Ed's limbs from his body and left Al's soul clinging to a cold suit of armor. To restore what was lost, the brothers scour a war-torn land for the Philosopher's Sto­ne, a fabled relic which grants the ability to perform alchemy in impossible ways. The Elrics are not alone in their search; the corrupt State Military is also eager to harness the artifact's power. So too are the strange Homunculi and their shadowy creator. The mythical gem lures exotic alchemists from distant kingdoms, scarring some deeply enough to inspire murder. As the Elrics find their course altered by these enemies and allies, their purpose remains unchanged – and their bond unbreakable.

Directed by Yasuhiro Irie

Pokémon(1997)

TV-Y7
| 22min per episode | Action & Adventure, Animation
3.1/5 (with 98 votes)

Join Ash Ketchum, accompanied by his partner Pikachu, as he travels through many regions, meets new friends and faces new challenges on his quest to become a Pokémon Master.

Bob's Burgers(2011)

TV-PG
| 21min per episode | Animation, Comedy
3.9/5 (with 97 votes)

Bob's Burgers follows a third-generation restaurateur, Bob, as he runs Bob's Burgers with the help of his wife and their three kids. Bob and his quirky family have big ideas about burgers, but fall short on service and sophistication. Despite the greasy counters, lousy location and a dearth of customers, Bob and his family are determined to make Bob's Burgers "grand re-re-re-opening" a success.

Dragon Ball Z(1989)

4.0/5 (with 94 votes)

Dragon Ball Z is a Japanese animated television series produced by Toei Animation. Dragon Ball Z is the sequel to the Dragon Ball anime and adapts the last 26 volumes of the original 42 volume Dragon Ball manga series created by Akira Toriyama The series Debut in 1988-1995 on Weekly Shounen Jump. Dragon Ball Z depicts the continuing adventures of Goku and his companions to defend against an assortment of villains which seek to destroy or rule the Earth. The anime first aired in Japan from April 25, 1989, to January 31, 1996, and was dubbed in several territories around the world, including the United States, Europe, and in Latin America.

One-Punch Man(2015)

24min per episode | Action & Adventure, Animation, Comedy
4.1/5 (with 91 votes)

Saitama is a hero who only became a hero for fun. After three years of “special” training, though, he’s become so strong that he’s practically invincible. In fact, he’s too strong—even his mightiest opponents are taken out with a single punch, and it turns out that being devastatingly powerful is actually kind of a bore. With his passion for being a hero lost along with his hair, yet still faced with new enemies every day, how much longer can he keep it going?

BoJack Horseman(2014)

TV-MA
| 25min per episode | Drama, Comedy, Animation
4.0/5 (with 88 votes)

Meet the most beloved sitcom horse of the 90s - 20 years later. BoJack Horseman was the star of the hit TV show "Horsin' Around," but today he's washed up, living in Hollywood, complaining about everything, and wearing colorful sweaters.

The Flintstones(1960)

TV-G
| 30min per episode | Kids & Family, Animation, Comedy
3.5/5 (with 83 votes)

The misadventures of two modern-day Stone Age families, the Flintstones and the Rubbles.

Dragon Ball(1986)

4.1/5 (with 80 votes)

Long ago in the mountains, a fighting master known as Gohan discovered a strange boy whom he named Goku. Gohan raised him and trained Goku in martial arts until he died. The young and very strong boy was on his own, but easily managed. Then one day, Goku met a teenage girl named Bulma, whose search for the dragon balls brought her to Goku's home. Together, they set off to find all seven dragon balls in an adventure that would change Goku's life forever. See how Goku met his life long friends Bulma, Yamcha, Krillin, Master Roshi and more. And see his adventures as a boy, all leading up to Dragonball Z and later Dragonball GT.

King of the Hill(1997)

TV-PG
| 30min per episode | Animation, Drama, Comedy
3.5/5 (with 79 votes)

Set in Texas, this animated series follows the life of propane salesman Hank Hill, who lives with his overly confident substitute Spanish teacher wife Peggy, wannabe comedian son Bobby, and naive niece Luanne. Hank has conservative views about God, family, and country, but his values and ethics are often challenged by the situations he, his family, and his beer-drinking neighbors/buddies find themselves in.

Directed by Mike Judge

Gravity Falls(2012)

TV-Y7
| 22min per episode | Animation, Comedy, Mystery, Science-Fiction & Fantasy
4.1/5 (with 77 votes)

Twin brother and sister Dipper and Mabel Pines are in for an unexpected adventure when they spend the summer helping their great uncle Stan run a tourist trap in the mysterious town of Gravity Falls, Oregon.

Directed by Aaron Springer, Rob Renzetti, Stephen Sandoval

Naruto(2002)

TV-PG
| 20min per episode | Animation, Comedy, Action & Adventure
3.8/5 (with 74 votes)

A powerful beast known as the Nine-Tails attacks Konoha, the hidden leaf village in the Land of Fire, one of the Five Great Shinobi Nations in the Ninja World. In response, the leader of Konoha at the time, the Fourth Hokage, seals the fox inside the body of the new born Naruto Uzumaki, making Naruto a host of the beast; During this process it cost the fourth Hokage his life, requiring the Third Hokage to return from retirement in order to become leader of Konoha again. As a child, Naruto is shunned by the Konoha community, who treat Naruto as if he were the Nine-Tails that attacked the village.

Dragon Ball GT(1996)

2.8/5 (with 74 votes)

Ten years have passed since Goku left his friends and family to hone his skills. But Goku soon finds himself helpless against the mystical power of the Dragon Balls and an accidental wish made by the devious Emperor Pilaf. His desire; that Goku once again become a child! Not daunted by this small setback, Goku, together with Trunks, and his own granddaughter Pan, blast off into the outer reaches of space in search of the mysterious Blackstar Dragon Balls. But these Dragon Balls have a fatal secret: if not collected within one year Earth will be destroyed.

Naruto Shippūden(2007)

TV-14
| 22min per episode | Animation, Comedy, Drama
3.8/5 (with 70 votes)

Naruto Shippuuden is the continuation of the original animated TV series Naruto.The story revolves around an older and slightly more matured Uzumaki Naruto and his quest to save his friend Uchiha Sasuke from the grips of the snake-like Shinobi, Orochimaru. After 2 and a half years Naruto finally returns to his village of Konoha, and sets about putting his ambitions to work, though it will not be easy, as He has amassed a few (more dangerous) enemies, in the likes of the shinobi organization; Akatsuki.

Neon Genesis Evangelion(1995)

TV-14
| 25min per episode | Science-Fiction & Fantasy, Animation, Drama
4.0/5 (with 68 votes)

At the turn of the century, the Angels returned to Earth, seeking to wipe out humanity in an apocalyptic fury. Devastated, mankind's last remnants moved underground to wait for the day when the Angels would come back to finish the job. Fifteen years later, that day has come... but this time, humanity is ready to fight back with terrifying bio-mechanical weapons known as the Evangelions. Watch as Shinji, Rei, Asuka and the rest of the mysterious shadow agency Nerv battle to save earth from total annihilation.

Directed by Hideaki Anno

Star Wars Rebels(2014)

TV-Y7
| 25min per episode | Action & Adventure, Animation
3.5/5 (with 66 votes)

Set between the events of Star Wars: Episodes III and IV, the story unfolds during a dark time when the evil Galactic Empire is tightening its grip of power on the galaxy. Imperial forces have occupied a remote planet and are ruining the lives of its people. The motley but clever crew of the starship Ghost — cowboy Jedi Kanan, ace pilot Hera, street-smart teenager Ezra, the “muscle” Zeb, warrior firebrand Sabine, and cantankerous old astromech droid Chopper — is among a select few who are brave enough to stand against the Empire. Together, they will face threatening new villains, encounter colorful adversaries, embark on thrilling adventures, and become heroes with the power to ignite a rebellion.

Directed by Dave Filoni

The Legend of Korra(2012)

3.9/5 (with 66 votes)

The Legend of Korra is an American animated television series that premiered on the Nickelodeon television network in 2012. It was created by Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino as a sequel to their series Avatar: The Last Airbender, which aired on Nickelodeon from 2005 to 2008. Several people involved with creating Avatar, including designer Joaquim Dos Santos and composers Jeremy Zuckerman and Benjamin Wynn, returned to work on The Legend of Korra. The series is set in a fictional universe where some people can manipulate, or "bend", the elements of water, earth, fire, or air. Only one person, the "Avatar", can bend all four elements, and is responsible for maintaining balance in the world. The series follows Avatar Korra, the successor of Aang from the previous series, as she faces political and spiritual unrest in a modernizing world. The series, whose style is strongly influenced by Japanese animation, has been a critical and commercial success. It obtained the highest audience total for an animated series in the United States in 2012. The series was praised by reviewers for its high production values and for addressing difficult sociopolitical issues such as social unrest and terrorism. It was initially conceived as a miniseries of 12 episodes, but it is now set to run for 52 episodes separated into four seasons, each of which tells a separate story.