I’m very much a stay-at-home-and-binge-tv type of person. Although I try to balance my life with other hobbies like reading, writing, photography, and whatnot, I still watch a ridiculous amount of TV.
But what exactly do I watch all day?
Lots and lots of cartoons.
But seriously though, they are good. These shows are comfort food but for my brain and for my feelings. Just because these shows are animated doesn’t mean they’re solely meant for children. In fact, all of these shows cover a variety of adult topics from genocide to the apocalypse to difficult relationships.
If you’re looking for a new show to binge with me, be sure to give the following animated series a few hours of your time.
1. Avatar: The Last Airbender
Avatar the Last Airbender will always hold a warm place in my heart. I’ve been hooked for years, and I was there back in 2008 eagerly awaiting the release of the four-part finale. I watched the episodes on YouTube because I didn’t have access to Nickelodeon’s channel at the time.
Now, many years later, I’m so happy that I can stream the entire series on Netflix and let my daughter grow up watching its fantastic characters. I love that the show balances male and female characters, and every one of them grows and develops over the course of the show. The villains are complex and relatable, while the heroes don’t always make the right decisions.
And let’s not forget the gorgeous lore and world building. The makers of the show really pulled out the stops to give the show a sense of depth despite being 2D.
2. The Legend of Korra
Once I finish watching Avatar: the Last Airbender, I can’t help myself, and I absolutely have to watch its sequel series, The Legend of Korra.
The Legend of Korra picks up where Avatar left off, albeit a few years in the future. Many of the original characters have grown up and passed on, giving the next generation a chance to win me over with their complicated relationships, histories, and lives.
This animated series, like its predecessor, has a lot of strong female characters, and it doesn’t skimp on the world building and lore. The villains have unique arcs of their own, and I’m surprised at how well I relate to their ideologies despite their being the ‘bad guys.’
Whereas Avatar: the Last Airbender tends to focus more on a younger pre-teen audience, Legend of Korra gears its story more toward teens. Although it still has a sense of humor, it has a much more serious tone and asks more thought-provoking questions of its audience.
3. Voltron: Legendary Defender
I was really sad when Legend of Korra finished its run because it just felt so final. I honestly didn’t think there would be any other shows that would capture my attention quite like they did.
And then Voltron came out.
Voltron Legendary Defender is a reboot of an old series, but the reboot featured Lauren Montgomery and Joaquim Dos Santos, who worked on Avatar and Korra. They also brought along many of the writers from Avatar and Korra to make a winning team of creators for the show.
Voltron captures all the heart and soul of the Avatar series and then launches it out into space. The characters are fun and quirky and still have moments of depth and development. The world building is immense as well, or rather, I should say the “worlds” building because they visit multiple worlds in the universe throughout the series.
Action sequences in this animated series are no joke, and I got goosebumps on multiple occasions. The finale for each season topped the one previous to it, and the animation is absolutely gorgeous.
4. The Dragon Prince
In case you haven’t picked up on it, I seem to have a thing for the makers behind Avatar. Aaron Ehasz, who played a key role behind Avatar’s creation, went on to help make the Dragon Prince.
Whereas Voltron took the action to space, the Dragon Prince took things back to a medieval era and peppered it with more magic, more fun characters, and let’s not forget the most important detail of all – more dragons!
Dragon Prince has a unique animation style compared to the other shows, as it used 3D animation to create a 2D look. And though it took me a moment to adjust to the difference in style, it did not take me long to fall in love with the characters and the story.
And did I mention that the voice of Sokka from Avatar (Jack de Sena) came on to play the voice of Callum?
Currently, the Dragon Prince has 3 full seasons out on Netflix, and the finale of the third season wrapped things up in such a way that the show could be done, or it could keep going. It’s hard to say what’s going to happen with the show.
There are some rumors saying that the show will have 7 full seasons, while others are saying that it’s been canceled. It’s in a bit of a limbo right now – but the show that’s available right now is amazing and definitely worth a watch.
5. Kipo and the Age of Wonder Beasts
Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts took me by surprise last year. It started and finished all three of its seasons in 2020, and though the show wrapped up beautifully, I almost wish that it could give me just a little bit more of its animated magic.
Kipo was created by the same studio that made Legend of Korra and Voltron, and so it has the same beautiful animation style and world building as my other favorite shows. The characters are fun, spunky, and diverse.
But the real reason to watch the show is the music.
Music plays an integral role in Kipo’s story, and I often re-watch the series just so I can hear some of my favorite songs again. The world is colorful and the overarching message of kindness, patience, and understanding in a post-apocalyptic setting just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
What Are You Watching Right Now?
I love love love these shows and often have them playing in the background at my house. Of course, these aren’t the only shows we watch, and I could easily add a few more animated shows to my top favorite lists.
But what are you watching these days? I’m always open to new stories and new characters, so feel free to share your favorites in the comments section below!