The coolest animated movies and shows worth watching

While general audiences may limit their perception of animation to the next big-budget movie theaters, the medium has made great strides in recent years as more people realize just how diverse it can be. HBO was reportedly working on one or two Game of Thrones animations in its early development stages.

But for now, the animation has arguably been a saving grace for video game adaptations and other IPs that might struggle to get the green light or successfully translate into a live TV show or movie. Netflix and Amazon Prime Video have many of these productions, with HBO Max also being a prominent streaming platform for noteworthy animation.

Castlevania

Netflix Castlevania It was the first great video game adaptation in a while, with the medium floundering after cheap live cash acquisitions in the theater. But with some strong writing and excellent animation from Powerhouse Animation Studios, this series has proven to be a love letter to fans of the long-neglected Konami gaming franchise.

The animation-inspired character designs and action are clean and dynamic, the voice acting and character drama are compelling, and they make innovative use of the games. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventurelike science. Even with a criminally short first season and a few somewhat hasty events at the end, Castlevania is an intriguingly elegant dark fantasy series with an intriguing world-building and a satisfying overall story.

Broadcasting location: Netflix

mysterious

Netflix's Arcane crew character collage poster.

League of LegendsThe first TV series and one of the latest game adaptations on Netflix, mysterious It was a hit that won critical acclaim and not many expected. Visually, the show boasts some of the most impressive animation in television – and it has an incredibly well-written story and a matching cast.

Hailee Steinfeld delivers the stellar, stellar performance that fans have come to expect of an Academy Award-nominated actress, but the talented cast also includes lesser-known but equally well-known actors Ella Purnell, Kevin Alejandro, Jason Spisak, Tox Olagunduy, and others. The animation is impressively brilliant, mixing both 2D and 3D action sequences, and it tells one of the most emotionally resonant stories – from the main characters to the supporting ones – that you’ll find in an animated show.

Broadcasting location: Netflix

The Witcher: The Nightmare of the Wolf

Vesemir in a promotional poster for The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf.

Following in the footsteps of the Netflix support column Weird thingsAnd the the magician She has quickly made a name for herself in the past few years thanks to her live-action adaptation. The streaming device appears to be recognizing this, with Netflix expanding the on-screen world of the Witcher beyond the main show. There’s more to come, but the first of these sub-elements was animation The Witcher: The Nightmare of the Wolf film.

The team at veteran studio Mir did a great job animating the prequel into a cartoon-like design CastlevaniaDirected by Kwang Il Han. Actors Theo James and Graham McTavish collaborate on them Castlevania Also in his post, the former made a charming show of a “young” version of the teacher Geralt of Rivia Vesemir. It’s a good, succinct plot that tells a poignant origin story amid all the elegant and destructive action, even if Han and Studio Mir could easily have had a longer runtime.

Broadcasting location: Netflix

DOTA: Dragon’s Blood

The main trio of DOTA: Dragon's Blood, with the Great Dragon flying overhead.

Another adaptation of the MOBA video game, DOTA: Dragon’s Blood This is a dark medieval fantasy show on Netflix. Its second season recently went live in January, building on the foundation and drama laid by the first. Studio Mir also animates the series, with the premise centering on a young Dragon Knight whose soul fuses with a large dragon to prevent the demon from becoming omnipotent.

The cast includes video game industry veterans such as Yuri Lowenthal (Spider-Man from Marveland Troy BakerBatman City) as well as Lara Pulver from nightmare wolf. DOTA: Dragon’s Blood He has a sympathetic cast of characters worth paying attention to, and Season 2 shows just how high and intriguing the stakes of the story can be.

Broadcasting location: Netflix

Legend of Vox Machine

The lead actor of The Legend of Vox Machina responds to a wanted ad for mercenaries.

Although not on the same level of mainstream acclaim as mysteriousamazon prime video Legend of Vox Machine With another well-received surprise that delivers a delicious dose of adult comedy combined with sparkling action. It’s also a good example of a cool concept and conditioning that might not have seen the light of day if its only option was to go to live action.

It is a modification of the Dungeons & Dragons web series decisive role, featuring a crew studded with video game industry veterans such as Ashley Johnson, Matthew Mercer, Liam O’Brien and Laura Bailey. The show embraces and enjoys tabletop RPG roots, assembling an unforgettable team of lovable characters who each have personal connections and dynamics that are worth investing in emotionally.

Streaming place: Amazon

Invincible

Mark, the indomitable, flies over the city skyline.

Prime Video has made a big statement with its commitment to original animation content with Invincible. The series was an acclaimed success, so much so that it was green-lighted for seasons 2 and 3 at the same time. Invincible It is an adaptation of the Image Comics series of the same name by Robert Kirkman, Corey Walker and Ryan Otley, and has an artistic style reminiscent of classic superhero cartoon shows of the past such as Justice Squad.

With a stacked cast including Stephen Yeon, JK Simmons, Sandra Oh, and others, the shows are a highlight of the show, which tells the relentless story of a young man who stands above his head but is determined to do the right thing. Invincible Violent, gory, and shocking, but not aimless. Everything serves the emotional significance of the story. The show earns its no-holds-barred TV dramas with its portrayal of a hero who can fail – even miserably – but with the will and support of those close to him making a comeback to make things right.

Streaming place: Amazon

Harley Quinn

Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn hang out together, with Clayface and Doctor Psycho in the background.

The superhero genre tends to be more present in live action, and while these films certainly make money at the box office, Harley Quinn TV series shows that there is still a place for animation fare. The fan-favorite, dark, sinister humor is endlessly entertaining, and Kaley Cuoco’s vocal performance brings out the characters in an insane sense of humor.

Fans will easily tell how Harley Quinn Its loose scruples are revealed in censorship, but it also contains some surprisingly honest comments from its characters. Likewise, he also deals with nostalgic jokes and fan service in an exceptionally witty manner. Although Harley Quinn started out as the super villain on the popular Batman show of crooks, this HBO Max series makes a good case for her role as an anti-hero.

Broadcasting venue: HBO Max

smiling friends

Pym and Charlie stand in a forest in Smiling Friends.

Undoubtedly the strangest moving production of this group, smiling friends It is a surreal and hysterically strange watch. This adult animated comedy — now also available on HBO Max — is a must-see for those with nostalgia for YouTube and early 2010s Newgrounds with a sense of humor.

It’s one of those TV shows that’s surprisingly even there, with a creative mix of comedy from the time cleverly used along with a mix of 2D and 3D animation, stop-motion, and live-action to create gags as hilarious as they are gruesome. It’s an easy watch if you’re a fan of the absurd humor, and watching all eight episodes is like watching a short movie.

Broadcasting venue: HBO Max

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