10 TV Series That Are Only Worth Watching For The Animation – CBR – Comic Book Resources

Some animated shows are only pretty to look at. They’re missing key elements like plot, fleshed-out characters, and worldbuilding.
Everybody is a critic. With today's level of technology, the standard for animation has increased exponentially. This applies even to shows catered toward children. Cartoons made for children have an excuse for having barely anything to offer besides pretty colors and funny characters.
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But TV series that are targeted at a wider age range have a higher standard to live up to. In general, TV series are expected to have layers of excellence. Be it a well-written plot, fleshed-out characters, or fantastic worldbuilding, animated series are held accountable to the same standard. Unfortunately, a select few do not reach this bare minimum.
After Johnny Test, Scott Fellows' reputation in the entertainment industry went down the drain. Despite this, and a name less promising than Johnny Test, many still gave Supernoobs the benefit of the doubt.
Supernoobs raked in a decent following, with people giving it a chance it didn't deserve, but by no means does this make it a good show. The obnoxious characters, the cringe-worthy voiceovers, and the mediocre story isn't something anyone would want to subject themselves to. The only saving grace Supernoobs has is its well-flowing animation.
Hilda follows a valiant blue-haired little girl embarking on the adventure of a lifetime. Abandoning the only home she has ever known in a forest filled with mystical supernaturals, Hilda trudges through mountains to reach the concrete jungle she has always wondered about.
For an infantile show, Hilda's animation is gorgeous. The simple art style plays with colors and different landscapes to capture the calm, fantasy aesthetic perfectly. Replace its dialogue with lo-fi music, and it's every other sensory-numbing Youtube video that has millions of views. It's a feel-good light watch that settles the nerves and sets the tone for a relaxing work-from-home day. The ethereal animation makes all the difference in following Hilda's big adventure.
Midnight Gospel's format and overall screenwriting may be an acquired taste, but its gorgeous animation certainly isn't. The psychedelic visuals created to follow Clancy's thought-provoking podcasts are mesmerizing to a fault. The mix of bright colors, the stop-motion-esque flow of animation, and Clancy's adorable, pink, shape-shifting character designs are impossible to say no to.
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Since Midnight Gospel was created for a pre-existing podcast, the non-stop dialogue can get rather tedious. Anyone keen on philosophy would fall head over heels for Midnight Gospel. However, casual watchers looking for a fun light watch may not feel the same about multiverses and life purposes. Regardless, Midnight Gospel's electrifying animation makes the series a must-watch.
Before the internet, television was the go-to source of virtual entertainment. This means that generations of today's young adults grew up on more or less the same material, one being the iconic Shaun the Sheep. Everyone's favorite sheep doesn't have very much to offer in terms of dialogue, but the stop-motion animation makes up for it.
No one watches Shaun the Sheep for its plot. Frankly, it barely has one. In general, stand-alone plots aren't a turnoff, but Shaun the Sheep's storyline has nothing to do with its success. The entire appeal of the show is the visual sensory stimulation that works for children and adults alike.
If history teaches anyone anything, it's that film awards aren't one-way tickets to the top. In 2010, Uncle Grandpa won an Emmy for Outstanding Short-format Animated Program. This does nothing to persuade fans into loving the series and, by extension, some of the most annoying characters animated TV history has ever seen.
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Animation-wise, Uncle Grandpa adopts a 90s-like art style that Cartoon Network is notorious for. Besides that, it plays with different character designs, like introducing a live-action tiger in the midst of a fictional cartoon world. It's nothing extraordinary, but the simple design, style, and flow of animation make Uncle Grandpa an easy, mind-numbing watch.
Danny Phantom was involuntarily trudged into leading the double life of a ghost/ghost-hunter and a normal 14-year-old boy shoved into lockers at lunchtime. At the time, the supernatural hero angle hadn't been as overplayed. For 2004, the dialogue provides just the right amount of sass and sarcasm. However, 2022 and the journey thus far haven't been kind to Danny.
Nevertheless, the iconic silver-haired ghost has incredibly underrated animation, especially for how well it flowed with the not-so-advanced technology at its disposal. Butch Hartman's animation style really made Danny Phantom sing, even with a decade's worth of progress in the entertainment industry.
Rugrats is an iconic '90s cartoon that raised generations of children through CRT glass. Despite this, Rugrats does nothing to boost the lack of hype around All Grown Up!. If anything, the latter drags its legendary predecessor down with it.
Anyone who grew up with Tommy and the gang would be curious about how everyone turned out. Is Angelica still as mean-spirited as ever? Is Chuckie's aloof innocence still adorable? Nevertheless, even with the strong nostalgia angle, All Grown Up! has poor dialogue and virtually no character development. The show's only redeeming factor is its audience's sentimental value for the animation and character designs. Watching All Grown Up! for its story is a mistake, but dissociating the '90s visuals and fluid animation from the mediocrity gives it a solid chance.
The ThunderCats was a classic in the '80s. The franchise received its 15-minutes of fame from a younger audience in 2011 with a short-lived reboot. ThunderCats Roar, however, received nothing of the sort. Instead, it dragged the ThunderCats' name through the mud.
Taking on the perspective of the actual target audience for ThunderCats Roar, the show has a chance of being halfway decent. Through the eyes of children, the infantile tone of voice is indeed much appreciated. However, for longtime fans of the show, the cutesy art style and kiddish voice doesn't do the franchise any justice. To judge it as a stand-alone animation, ThunderCats Roar is an adorable animation any child would enjoy. Though basically buried by Cartoon Network, the show still has a shot at being somewhat enjoyable for the art.
Satire may not be for everybody, but Rick & Morty gives a whole new meaning to dark humor. The sci-fi cult classic revolutionized the adult animation landscape. Addressing topics and creating storylines some creators won't even come near, Rick & Morty is in a league of its own. However, this also alienates it from the general public.
At best, Rick & Morty is controversial, but its beautiful animation makes it all worthwhile. The psychedelic art style adds to the intergalactic feel of the whole show. It helps the audience swallow darker story arcs, like the truth behind Froopyland or the cursed King Jellybean episode. Multicolored aliens, ethereal toilet utopias, and chaotic multiverses put Rick & Morty at the top of the charts in animation.
The Ben 10 franchise has degraded with each new adaptation. The classic Ben 10 has more to offer than any of its newer reimagines. The unique aliens and the typical 2000s art style make Ben Tennyson's "dweeb" characterization much more bearable.
In the original cartoon, Ben was the typical, selfish, power-hungry child not ready for the monumental amount of responsibility on his shoulders. Despite ending the series on a mature note, all the character development Ben underwent was practically erased in Alien Force. Regardless, any adult willing to watch Ben 10 now shouldn't be excited about anything but the awesome character design of every alien on the Omnitrix. Be it the haunting feel of Ghostfreak or the E.T.-Yoda-esque design of the genius Grey Matter, Ben 10's character designs and art style are worth the rewatch.
NEXT: 10 Cartoons That Everyone Seems To Either Love Or Despise
Arletta is a 21-year-old Politics and Communications double major. She enjoys watching anime and k-dramas, but also reads non-fiction books in her spare time. She loves all things poetry and has an unruly obsession for coffee.
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