What is the best animated series of all time? This is one question that is difficult to answer. If you go online and do your research, you will be confronted with a plethora of lists, each making a different claim. You might end up being confused with the different information that you will see.
Personally, I would say that Family Guy is one of the best TV shows ever. However, if we look at the rankings of some of the most popular websites, it is not part of their top five lists. To have a solid basis for this ranking, our list will be based in one article recently published by Vanity Fair.
- The Simpsons
This list is based on an article from Vanity Fair entitled The 30 Best Animated Shows Since The Simpsons. From the perspective of the latter, The Simpsons is their top pick. If you have watched the show, you will most probably agree with this popular opinion.
Released in 1989, it holds the record of being the longest-running TV comedy show with a total of 645 episodes. When it was released by Fox Network, there was an apparent shortage in comedy, which is perhaps one of the reasons why it instantly rose into popularity.
The story revolves around one family with five members – Homer, Marge, Bart, Maggie, and Lisa. It is a satirical depiction of the everyday lives of a middle-class American family. The setting is in a fictional town called Springfield.
From nasty jokes to cosmopolitan characters, it seems that The Simpsons has perfected a formula that captivated the global audience. Safe to say, The Simpsons is already a pop culture icon, despite the emergence of newer shows.
- South Park
When it was released in 1997, this offensive comic masterpiece has immediately gained traction. This is not one of the cartoons that are aimed towards children. It is an adult animated sitcom that revolves around four boys – Stan, Kyle, Cartman, and Kenny. It narrates their bizarre adventures in Colorado. The profanity and surreal humor depicted in the show are some of its best assets, which is why it is well-loved by mature viewers.
As a satirical program, this is not for everyone. In fact, when you first watch the series, you might end up being offended. After a few episodes, however, you will be glued and realize that the satire is what makes it popular and engaging.
For more than two decades, South Park has tackled a wide array of topics that many of us will find relatable. It has introduced a number of catchphrases and caught several controversies, fueling the success and popularity of the series. They may have a hypocritical ideology most of the time, which you might disagree with, but the show never fails to give its viewers deep realizations.
- BoJack Horseman
Although it was released only in 2014, it did not take long for this series to be considered as one of the best in animated entertainment content. Many reviewers also ranked it as one of the best original offerings of Netflix to date.
The title of the show is also its star, who happens to be a humanoid horse. He used to be the star of a 90’s sitcom who planned his big return in the industry. Similar to South Park, it also has a satirical take on different facets, such as the political landscape and show business.
BoJack Horseman is a show that is not far from reality. As a Hollywood has-been, BoJack has experienced mental illness, drug abuse, and anxiety – all of which are problems that are also commonly faced by artists today, making the show more relatable for its audience. Unlike other shows that are purely comedic or satirical, this series is deemed by many to be more profound. Some episodes can be devastating and melancholic, but the element of hilarity is never lost.
This is a show that ran from 1993 to 1998. It is not as long-running as the other popular animated shows, but it deserves a spot on this list. It has a total of 99 episodes and a film adaptation. In 2020, Hulu will release an all-new version of the show, which is made better by the fact that the executive producer will be Steven Spielberg.
The stars of the show are three toon siblings – Yakko, Wakko, and Dot. They were able to escape prison and throughout the different episodes of the show, which does not follow a strict format, they were interacting with a variety of Warner Bros. characters.
The debut season of the series has been bestowed a Peabody Award, which was one of its first major recognitions and also a reason why it became an instant hit. The show has also won Daytime Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Animated Children’s Program and Outstanding Achievement in Music Direction and Composition.
- Clone High
Vanity Fair ranked this as another best animated TV show, although the series was only from 2002 to 2003. There are many of you who might disagree with the inclusion of this program, but if you haven’t seen it yet, give it a sneak peek and you will easily understand why this is indeed deserving of such a recognition.
This Canadian-American series is targeted towards adult audiences. The story revolves around a high school setting with clones of some of the most iconic figures in history, including Mahatma Gandhi, Joan of Arc, Cleopatra, John F. Kennedy, and Abraham Lincoln.
In India, the series has been controversial because of their supposed foul depiction of Gandhi. This triggered a hunger strike amongst the activists. Nonetheless, despite the criticisms and blows, it has received a loyal following and critical acclaim from all over the world.
The creators of the show, Chris Miller and Phi Lord, were also the same people behind the blockbuster hits 21 Jump Street and The Lego Movie. They first pitched the show to Fox Broadcasting. They have been dumped by the latter and later on officially signed by MTV where the series was shown for only a year.