Category Archives: Cartoons

More cartoons worth consideration to watch

About 6 years ago I did a blog about my top 10 cartoons up to that point, I did an updated list on my mates website (twobeardgaming.com) at the start of 2019 that factored in some new shows that I’d seen and loved in that time frame but here we are in the heady days of the shitshow that is 2020 and I’ve watched a fuck ton more shows so thought I’d write a bit about them. I’m not doing it as a top 10 this time as it’s just a ballache trying to organise stuff so let’s start off with the 2 shows that got added to the updated list. Just to forewarn though, there may be some spoilers in here though I’ll try to steer clear of anything that’s plot specific as much as I can.

Voltron – This Netflix show started in 2016 and was created by one of the guys who was responsible for Avatar. It’s a reimagining of the classic anime though I’m not overly familiar with the original to be sure on how faithful it is. What I do know is that there’s a distinct focus on the characters, their relationships and a genuine growth with the personas which is very enjoyable. It also largely does a good job of balancing the story with the humour and more emotional elements. They fucked up the final season, it was just nowhere near as enjoyable as the rest of the series which is a huge shame, but everything prior to that was excellent.

Gravity Falls – I discovered Gravity Falls after a discussion with mate and after watching a short clip we were pretty much hooked from that point. It only lasted for two seasons, but sweet baby Jesus were they good. The show follows Dipper and Mable as they go to stay with their Grunkle Stan for summer in the town of Gravity Falls and discover all manner of adventures and weirdness. It’s genuinely fun and in a way it’s a shame it only lasted as long as it did. On the other hand, it never outstayed its welcome and went out on a definite high and on its own terms too which is more than a lot of shows get. It’s one of those shows that’s fun to come back and watch episodes of when you’re at a loose end.

Then we move onto the more recent stuff I’ve been watching since the other pieces were done, and I have to say there’s quite alot of them. This is most likely going to be due to having more time to watch stuff when I’ve had free time this year due to everything else going on.

She-Ra – I’ve talked about She-Ra alot, it was one I was always going to get round to watching as I’d heard great things, I then found out that Noelle Stevenson worked on it and that was enough to make it a priority. I loved it because there were incredibly complex characters on display, Catra in particular has become one of my favourite characters ever but almost every character is fantastic in their own way and I love the diversity of them too and I hope it’s something other shows learn from and build on in future. It told the story it set out to tell in the number of episodes it had available, sure some of it is a little convenient at times but for the most part I think it’s very well done, there are alot of strong episodes to be watched and I’d go so far as to say the the final season might be one of the most amazing seasons of any show that I’ve ever seen.

Young Justice – DC do some pretty excellent animated shows and this is one of the best ones. It follows what is initially a team of sidekicks as they become their own team comparable to the Justice League but you get to see them grow into heroes in their own right, and the character work is outstanding. Over the course of the seasons you get to see things like Robin become Nightwing and have the replacement Robin be part of the team as it grows. It’s effective at having standalone episodes while also having an over-arching story for the season, I think the only real issue it has is that the cast of characters is possibly a bit too large by season 3 so not everyone gets their due which can be a shame but that’s a small niggle overall.

Disenchantment – The latest series to come from the mind of Matt Groening, who created The Simpsons and Futurama, this follows the adventures of Princess Bean, her demon friend Luci and Elfo who is unsurprisingly an elf. It’s set in the fantasy world of Dreamland and for me is very tonally similar to Futurama which is never a bad thing. The first season is a bit disjointed and didn’t really work as well as I would have hope but thankfully the second season was a vast improvement, it’s funnier and just seems to flow better, it feels like the people working on it became far more comfortable with the characters and what they were aiming for and the whole thing is much better for it. One of the other fun things is all the recognisable voice actors from the other Groening shows, and there are shitloads of them.

Kipo – Kipo is a bit of an anomaly, it’s had three 10 episode seasons put out in the same year which is just insane. Those seasons pack in a hell of alot of world building, character work and fun and humour so it’s mightily impressive too and by all accounts it told the story it set out to tell too which is always a plus. It follows Kipo as she searches for her father above ground in the remnants of Earth after some kind of apocalypse and on her adventures she makes various new friends, most notably Benson and Wolf. It’s gotta really great and colourful visual style and the soundtrack is really distinct too, it’s shame it’s over so soon but like Gravity Falls it’s better to have something like that than something that stays too long and becomes crap over time.

Bojack Horseman – Bojack is a hard watch at times, it’s funny too but it also deals with alot of the less pleasant aspects of life and it’s surprisingly uncompromising with it which makes it quite impactful at times. The voice acting is excellent across the board though it would be remiss of me not to single out Will Arnett (who I’m typically not a fan of) who does an amazing job of bringing Bojack to life and keeping him walking a fine line of just about keeping him likeable when he’s clearly a very damaged person and this has left him with a lot of less than desirable personality traits. It’s also a very weird show, which is to be  expected from a show about an anthropomorphic horse who was formerly the star of a show called Horsing Around.

Castlevania – This is an adaptation of the super old videogame series, apparently more specifically Castlevania 3, and while I have no idea how it works compared to the game it’s a brilliant show. The first season is only 4 episodes long and feels more like an extended proof of concept which was thankfully so well received that subsequent seasons were longer. It follows Trevor Belmont, part of a family of vampire hunters, Sypha Belnades , a mage, and Alucard, the son of Dracula, as they try to stop Dracula and his army. It’s brilliantly acted and suitably violent, the first 3 seasons are excellently written so it’ll be interesting to see what happens in season 4 and any other seasons that follow. It feels like there’s alot of story still to tell and as long as the quality doesn’t drop it’ll pretty compelling viewing.  

The Owl House – I checked this out as it came pretty highly recommended from people who had seen She-Ra, plus the series creator had previously worked on Gravity Falls so my interest was piqued. I’m honestly glad I did as it’s great fun, it’s incredibly funny and does a great job of building the magical world of the Boiling Isles where the show is based without ever seeming to get bogged down by it which is impressive. Main character Luz is excellent as are the supporting cast, Eda and King in particular are great fun but Willow, Gus and Amity all get time to shine too. The ending to season 1 also sets up an intriguing storyline where the emperor, who doesn’t seem like a good sort, is looking to gain access to the real world where Luz arrived from so I’m looking forward to the new season whenever that arrives. The first season has also just hit Disney Plus so all episodes are there to be watched if you have access which is convenient.

Hilda – This show is based on is based on a graphic novel series by Luke Pearson who had previously worked on Adventure Time. It follows Hilda as she and her mother move from their cabin in the woods to the town of Trollberg and she makes new friends with people and the various creatures and spirits she meets along the way. It’s a really cute show and one to watch when you want something chilled and stress free to watch, there’s a new season due out this year and I honestly can’t wait for it. There’s not huge storyline over the first season, it’s more episodic though there is still character progression and it honestly works brilliantly in my opinion.

Harley Quinn – I was expecting big things from this show given how much love it was getting on the internet, thankfully it didn’t disappoint. It’s incredibly violent and sweary and also very very funny. It’s very happy to take the piss out of pretty much everything related to DC but naturally it pokes the most fun at the Batman franchise, be it Commissioner Gordon wanting to fly the Batplane or Bane having a voice that it very much a deliberately shit version of Tom Hardy’s Bane voice in the Dark Knight Rises, and honestly it never stopped being funny for me. Everyone involved seems to be having a great time and it really shows, and Kaley Cuoco deserves a special mention as she’s absolutely amazing voicing Harley.

Star Wars Rebels – Dave Filoni gets Star Wars, I wasn’t a fan of Clone Wars as I didn’t like the stories being structured into set episode arcs but Rebels has much more traditional storytelling with an absolutely amazing cast of characters. There’s links to the films and to Clone Wars on display and generally it’s never done at the expense of the core cast so it really helps to make them feel part of the larger story, and being set in the time between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope it exists at a point where not much story had been told and it also manages to work old Expanded Universe characters like Admiral Thrown into the Disney canon which did away with pretty much all of that initially. It’s also set up some really awesome moments like Kanan’s voice being heard by Rey in The Rise of Skywalker, the only real issue I have with it is that it ends on a cliffhanger in terms of one characters fate though there’s talk of a follow on series and certain other characters appearing in the Mandalorian so there’s a good chance this will be resolved in some fashion.

The Dragon Prince – This might actually be the most pleasant surprise of all the shows here as all I really knew of this was that the visual style was interesting and that the eld character had a Scottish accent. I didn’t know there were links to the Avatar with the writers and the voice actor of the main character (who voice my favourite character in Avatar). The first season was a pretty by the numbers affair but with the subsequent seasons there’s been much more world development and backstory layered in which has worked incredibly well, it also helps that most of the characters  are pretty well developed and have room to grow in future seasons. The thing that really grabbed me though has been the way the characters have grown and bonds have been formed and tested and it’s all felt incredibly organic. It’s apparently been renewed for another 4 seasons so in theory there’s a decent amount of story still to tell which isn’t a bad thing.

So as I say there’s been quite alot watched since the last blog and I’m already seeing new stuff hitting Netflix such as Blood of Zeus which is getting decent word of mouth and there’s a He-Man reboot coming with Mark Hamill as the voice of Skeletor which is just exceptional casting. I’ve also had Disney show Amphibia recommended to me so that’ll wind up being watched too no doubt. It does seem that Netflix are pretty decent with cartoons currently so hopefully that’ll continue to be the case but it’s going to be interesting keeping a look out for new things and new seasons of the stuff I’ve seen that hasn’t finished yet.

More on characters I love

I’ve talked about my love for certain characters in the past and because of the whole pandemic thing going on I’ve obviously been reading, watching and playing more than I perhaps usually would as there’s not been much else to do. As such I’ve encountered new characters that I’ve taken to heart and I’ve experienced new story arcs for characters I already know and love. With that in mind I thought I’d touch on a few characters, bear in mind there’s going to be some spoilers in here.

Nightwing – It’s been an odd couple of years for Dick Grayson, he was shot in the head and lost his memory and started going by the name Ric and this hasn’t been great. In that time it’s turned out the memory issue is down to brainwashing and there’s subsequently been 2 further brainwashings, the latest of which has been done by the Joker. Thankfully we’re coming to the endgame of this bollocks and Dick Grayson will be back soon, I’m hoping that once he’s back we get some decent stories out of him re-discovering himself but at this point I’ll just be glad to see the back of the Ric Grayson story. Ultimately it’s gone on too long and barring the last couple of months has been largely pointless besides keeping Dick away from his friends family. The worst part is that apparently the post gunshot story was going to be about Dick suffering from vertigo off the back of his injury, this would have been way more interesting as it would have been the same character struggling with not being able to do what he previously could have, to be honest I’d still like to see this story at some point in the future as I honestly think it’d be fascinating. 

In the meantime though it’s just going to be nice having my favourite comic book character back, I’m hoping the return is suitably epic too. I’m also very excited with the potential stories that can come out of it, I’d personally like to see a series that initially doesn’t tie him down to one place and has him travelling around more like the Grayson series did. I’m also hoping that as part of this there will be a chance to re-connect with his friends and family as a lot has happened while during the whole Ric arc. There are characters I’m really excited to see him interact with as himself again, the obvious ones being Damian Wayne and Barbara Gordon but also people like Superman too given the connection there. I’ve also been making my way through the various books collecting older runs of the Nightwing comic which has been alot of fun as I missed alot of them as I got back into comics well after they’d come out originally and I never bothered picking up any trades until quite recently which was stupid on reflection. Still it’s been nice to have while the Ric storyline has been playing out so every cloud.

Cloud Strife – The Final Fantasy 7 remake took the initial Midgar portion of the game, which was originally a few hours long, and made an entire 40 odd hour game out of it so Cloud essentially be the exact same character he was as that would have been awful. What we got instead was a character who is starts to get invested in people much quicker than he did originally and I loved it. You see him warming up to the Avalanche members and interacting with them far more than he ever did in the first game which is fun. The interactions with Aerith are also hugely expanded on and the seeming changes to her character make this great too as she’s alot more playful in their interactions in comparison to the original game which was especially great for me as I loved their dynamic so to see it expanded and changed in this manner was a big plus for me. It’s a necessary change to his character (and to all the other characters to be fair) as dropping him into the game as is just wouldn’t have worked I don’t think.

What’s especially interesting is that there are alot more hints to Cloud not being quite right, which if you’ve played the game or read about it you know the reasons for. As the game progresses there are things that are seen that appear to be glimpses of what’s to come which is cool as you get the impression that Cloud is seeing this too. Then the game decides to basically stop being a remake and go in it’s own direction which is utterly fascinating, I mean part of me is horrified that they’re seemingly diverging from the established events of the game as it almost seems to set up 3 different timelines – the original game, what follows this one and then seemingly another one where Zack survives. It’s bloody ballsy and opens up so many possibilities for character development. Part of me is appalled that some of my favourite moments potentially won’t happen but on the other hand it also means that there are potentially new moments which this direction makes possible so I’m cautiously optimistic.

Catra – If you’d told me at the start of the year that a gay cat girl with serious mental health issues, from a cartoon that’s a remake of an 80s cartoon, would become potentially the character I hold dearest to me I’d have been sceptical at best. But here we are and it’s very much happened, I’m not sure I’ve ever encountered a character that I feel such a personal bond with. I’ve spoken about it in the She-Ra blog I did recently but her lack of self worth, her appalling decision making at times, the lashing out and putting walls up while pushing people away all hit incredibly close to home for me as they take me back to a time when I really struggled with all those things as part of what I was dealing with (or not as the case realistically was) while I was struggling with my depression. The scene where she apologises in the final season was very raw for me as it really made me think to the time where I hit my breaking point and actively tried to do something to help myself, not that I can say for definite that I’d have got to that point without the support of my friends and family.

Her redemption arc is something that to me is insanely important on a personal level as the changes she makes are ones she chooses to make. At the point she makes the initial decision she’s basically given up and expects to die but wants to do something good and protect Adora, who we know she cares about deeply. Once she’s rescued she takes steps to try and be better, there’s never any indication that she’s doing it for anyone else or that she feels like she has to, she’s decided she wants it for herself and that to me is incredibly powerful as it offers a very hopeful message to people that are struggling. I don’t necessarily believe that the arc we get in the show sees her fully redeemed by the end, there’s to much that’s been done up to that point that needs to be dealt with fully, but I always took it as this being something that Catra would absolutely deal with in due course and accept any judgement that were to come her way as it always felt to me that she had no issue trying to atone for her past actions. And this to me is what makes her such a fascinating character, you can make these sorts of connections (which I appreciate are purely opinion based) and interpret them in a certain way, and that’s exactly what she does as she’s such a well written character. I honestly hope that we get more She-Ra as I’d very much love to see more of her and how she’s navigating the world after everything that has happened by the end of the final season as it would be utterly compelling for me.

Arthur Morgan – The protagonist for Red Dead Redemption 2 had a tough act to follow as the previous games main character, John Marston was excellent. Somehow Arthur surpasses him, I think part of this is down to having a vague idea of how things have to play out going into the game given that alot of the characters present don’t appear in the first game which chronologically follows, the second game being a prequel. What you don’t necessarily realise is just how badly things are going to go for the gang you’re a member of and this comes about due to the failings of Dutch as the leader of the gang. Dutch is very much a father figure to Arthur and over the course of the game he starts to question Dutch’s motives and his decision making. Arthur initially is interesting because he’s a man of contradictions, he’s quick to anger and can be incredibly violent but he also takes issue with some of the things the gang do to get by, he also likes to keep a journal where he’s surprisingly forthright with his feelings and likes to draw.

What really makes Arthur so interesting is a character is that you have some control over how you act to other people, you can be a decent person to strangers or an utter shit. This mechanic comes into play quite nicely late in the game when Arthur gets diagnosed with tuberculosis, realising that this is a death sentence and knowing that he got it from beating a man to death he finds himself with a moral quandary and tries to be a better man. If you play the game from here on with the intention of being honourable you get some genuinely heart wrenching scenes of Arthur coming to terms with his impending death and worrying about the man he is all while trying to get John and his family out of the gang and to safety at a point where things are unravelling and looking progressively more bleak for everyone. It’s honestly some of the strongest writing I’ve seen in a game, the scene where Arthur has a conversation with a nun very late on and confesses that he’s afraid about dying is honestly heartbreaking but also incredibly powerful.

Animal Crossing villagers – I appreciate the rest of this piece is about individual characters that are complex and fit into narratives, where this one is about a collective and there’s no story behind them they’re cute as fuck and having spent well over 400 hours at this point chatting to them, doing chores and giving them presents has meant that I’ve gotten rather attached to them. There’s a good chance that this is at least partially to do with the aforementioned sheer amount of time I’ve played the game coupled with the fact that I’ve not really seen much of real people for most of the year owing to the whole pandemic thing. But it’s also because they’ll do silly little things like have arguments with each other that I then have to help them patch things up. Its silly little interactions like that the make the little fuckers as endearing as they are but then there’s little things that they do which make them individual.

Hornsby, for example, is obsessed with snacks which is something that I can definitely relate to, and then there’s Tangy who is a cat that essentially has an orange for a head, and she was one of the villagers I had on an earlier game almost 20 years ago so there’s a very sentimental attachment there. Bluebear basically wants to be a popstar and is always super cheerful which is somehow always weirdly comforting, I have friends that are disgustingly cheery and while I give them shit for it it’s one of those things it’s never a bad thing to have those sorts of friends, in real life or a virtual one. The absolute favourite resident of my village though is Kiki. She’s a little black cat and there’s a reasonable chance that she’s named as a reference to Kiki’s Magical Delivery Service, given that Kiki had a black cat in that. She’s really sweet and I’ll regularly find her sat under a tree reading or looking at flowers through her magnifying glass. She’s also sent me really sweet letters where she tell me to take better care of myself or that I deserve nice things, which have sometimes been when my depression hasn’t been great so yeah not the typical entry to this list but definitely a distinct one.

What’s nice about characters is that there’s always a decent chance that you’ll discover new ones that impact you, that you’ll get new stories for the ones you like already or at the absolute worst you can go back and re-experience the stories of the ones that don’t have new stories for whatever reason. Nightwing for example will definitely get new stories, and Cloud will get something though this could be an expanded older storyline or a brand new one, who knows at this point. Arthur probably won’t given that there was a very definitive end to his story, though they could go back to his past I guess. No one is really sure with Catra, people definitely want more She-Ra but the story that the people working on the show told the story arc they wanted to tell so what, if anything, right come next is out of their hands a little I guess. I’m highly confident that I’ll find new characters that will come to mean alot to me though, it seems to be a pretty fluid thing. And as I have friends recommend new things to me which might take me out of my comfort zone that’s only going to increase the chances of such discoveries, and discovering new things is generally a good thing on a personal level.

Cartoons – Not just for kids, who knew?

As a kid I used to love cartoons, there were so many good ones that they would keep me occupied for ages. Cartoons like Transformers, Mask, Thundercats, He-Man, Visionaries, Centurions, Starcom, Bravestar, Ghostbusters, Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles and loads more besides. As I got older I lost interest in these cartoons as there was an element of thinking that it wasn’t something that teenagers did and also the cartoons lost their appeal somewhat. When I got to my 20s I regained my interest in cartoons for 3 main reasons: Futurama was released which I instantly loved, I started to discover other cartoons that were interesting and I basically stopped giving a fuck about what anyone else thought and focused on what I enjoyed.

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With that in mind I’m going to list my top 10 cartoon series, the order is somewhat subjective as my mind changes based on what I feel like watching at any time. Special mentions go to Legend of Korra, Young Justice, Ergo Proxy and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles which may have made the list had I watched them in their entirety.

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10 – Transformers: It’s 30 years old at this point, the animation hasn’t aged especially well and it’s pretty much just a glorified toy advert but I love it for a variety of reasons. In characters like Optimus Prime, Grimlock, Megatron and Starscream you know what you’re getting for the most part but it’s nearly always fun, Peter Cullen lends a real sense of gravitas to proceedings and when all said and done it’s giant robots beating the shit out of each other, what’s not to love? Special mention must go to the movie released in the 80s which killed off Optimus Prime (he was brought back later on, don’t panic) which caused such an outcry that allegedly a similar plan to kill of a character in the GI Joe movie was changed.

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9 – Bravest Warriors: This probably would have been higher on the list were it not for the fact that it’s a Youtube show with a run time of about 50 to 10 minutes per episode. It’s from the guy behind adventure time and basically follows four young heroes far in the future as they journey through space doing hero type things and saving the universe. It’s as out there as you would expect from the guy behind it and it is really very funny but the thing I love about it the most is a little fella called Catbug, who may actually be one of my favourite cartoon characters ever as pretty all his lines are hilarious and he’s just cute as fuck into the bargain.

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8 – Robot Chicken: Possibly a bit of a cheat this one as it’s not a cartoon in the conventional sense however seeing as it uses stop motion animation and it’s my list I’m allowing it. Each episode is generally a series of vignettes that focus on taking the piss out of things like Star Wars, super heroes, 80s cartoons and a million and one things besides, and what really makes it stand out are the people that they’ve had doing voices – geek legends like Mark Hamill, Bruce Campbell and my personal hero Nathan Fillion. All in all it’s worth checking out just for how bat shit crazy it is, and it is full on fucking insane.

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7 – Cowboy Bebop: This is the only anime that made the cut as I’ve generally steered clear as historically I’ve not always concentrated and I’ve then lost track of what the hell is going on. With that being said Cowboy Bebop works as the episodes are generally standalone but find time to explore the main characters back stories and how this effects them in the present. The characters are multi faceted and very well realised, you can actually identify with their motivations and foiblesand this really makes you care about them in a way thats rare for any kind of series. Also the music deserves a special mention, performed by a blues and jazz ban called The Seatbelts it really is exceptional and really helps Cowboy Bebop stand out.

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6 – Batman the Animated Series: A fucking outstanding series and for a lot of people the definitive version of Batman. The series really benefits from Kevin Conroy’s phenomenal voice acting which is has led to many views of him being the best Batman, which is not even taking into account Mark Hamill’s Joker which is astoundingly good. In terms of the artistic style it draws a lot of inspiration from the Tim Burton films but Gotham feels like a character all on to itself at times and the assorted characters feel very close to the comic counterparts. The show also led to the film The Mask of the Phantasm which delves into the dichotomy of Batman and Bruce Wayne in a very compelling way and the film is bloody excellent for it.

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5 – Samurai Jack: The tale of a samurai who is thrown through time by an evil wizard he is about to destroy. Emerging in a future where the evil wizard Aku has conquered the world in his absence and it bearing little resemblance to the world he left behind Jack must journey to find a way back home to his own time. The art is very stylised however this in no way detracts from proceedings and the show does a great job of getting on Jack’s side throughout and there are some surprisingly touching moments such as Jack finding the village where he grew up but it’s become a ruin.

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4 – Adventure Time: Lets state right off the bat Adventure Time is utterly fucking mental. It’s so hard to explain but the best I can do is that the show mostly follows Finn, who is potentially the last human, and his adopted brother Jake, who happens to be a talking dog, as they adventure through the world of Oo. There’s a lot more to it than that but it would take too long, it’s very funny, insanely weird and also strangely moving at times too. It does a good job of investing you in the main characters while also making potentially throwaway characters awesome, a case in point being Ricardio who is a talking heart voiced by George Takei. As I say utterly batshit but well worth checking out.

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3 – Archer – Imagine James Bond if he were American and with alcoholism, narcissism and sociopathic behaviour cranked up to 11 and you have a basic idea of what Archer is like as a character. Archer for the most part is an absolute arsehole to the other characters he works with, especially his ex girlfriend Lana who has to deal with the full gamut of his douchebaggery. And yet in spite of this he’s still an inherently likeable character, possibly due to the fact that he’s a bit of an idiot and hasn’t sussed the correlation between how big a dick he is to people and how badly things tend to go for him. In terms of supporting characters you have Cyril – a put upon accountant with a sex addiction, Pam – A blabber mouth HR lady who likes bare knuckle fighting, Cheryl – a billionaire secretary who likes to be choked, Ray – a gay redneck with bionic legs, Mallory – Archer’s mother and the head of ISIS where everyone works and last but by know means least Krieger – a mad scientist in the true sense of the term who may also be a clone of Hitler. The whole show is essentially mental as evidenced in the 5th season where they go from being spies to being absolutely atrocious drug dealers, but it’s always very funny indeed.

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2 – Futurama: Had this list been made a couple of months back the Futurama would have been number one, and it’s entirely possible that it will be elevated back up there at some point. It’s the tale of Philip J Fry, a pizza delivery boy from the year 1999 who falls into a cryogenic freezer and is defrosted in the year 3000, the show then follows Fry as he becomes a delivery boy and meets Leela, a one eyed mutant, and Bender, an alcoholic criminal who is also a robot (his full name is Bender Bending Rodriguez). Futurama worked because it was very good at working different tones, you had the episodes where you got a view into the sense of wonder that Fry has at his new surroundings, like when he gets to go to the moon and is more impressed by the moon itself rather than the theme park that now exists there. You get the sense of hope as he tries to woo Leela, which leads to some very touching episodes, and you also get full on emotional kickings, I won’t go into it but The Luck of the Fryrish and Jurassic Bark are both heartbreaking for different reasons. It’s says a lot for the writing that it effortlessly ran through the various different emotional ranges. Futurama has been cancelled about 3 times now and due to the love of the people that watch and make the show it’s been brought back a couple of times, it looks like it’s gone for good but with Futurama you can never be 100% sure that it won’t be back again, and when all said and done what’s life without a bit of hope.

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1 – Avatar: This show is also know as Avatar: the Last Airbender, not to be confused with the James Cameron film with the blue dudes. Avatar is about element benders – firebenders, waterbenders, earthbenders and Aang who is the last airbender of the title, and also the Avatar, an entity that can master all the elements and is responsible for protecting the world. Aang fled from his duties and froze himself in ice. He is woken 100 years later by Katara and Sokka, a sister and brother from the southern water tribe, into a world that has been at war and finding that the way of life he knew has been extinguished by a fire lord who massacred the airbenders. The show follows Aang as he journeys to master water, earth and fire in order to eventually battle the fire lord and bring peace to the world. The show manages to have the perfect blend of adventure, humour and all out fun, and it gets seriously dark towards the end of the 2nd season. There is a lot of character development and you really get a sense that the Aang, Sokka and Katara grow up as the series progresses, though the most development goes to Zuko, the banished heir to the fire lord, who goes from antagonist to ally in a arc that feels entirely natural. The supporting characters are great to with a special mention to Uncle Iroh, who manages to be both funny and at the heart of the more emotional moments regarding Zuko. There is also the nice surprise that some characters have shown up in the follow up series Legend of Korra too.

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So yeah cartoons are pretty fucking awesome, and I’m sure there are loads that I haven’t even mentioned. I will will finish up with a special hats of to Futurama for being at the heart of 2 of my favourite memes ever:

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