When I was a kid I used to get up early on weekends to watch cartoons like Bugs Bunny and Donald Duck. There was a special charm to that hour or so before my parents got up and imposed structure on my day. All of us would’ve found it a little strange if they’d started getting up to watch cartoons with me.
Nowadays, the animated form has evolved in an unexpected way. There are many – many – animated shows that are not only unsuitable for kids, but more adult than anything on television. Having cartoon characters stand in for real actors gives writers a chance to play out some of their most risqué ideas.
We’re at a point at which some of the most innovative and profound shows are animated. The good news is, most of them can be found on streaming services. If they’re not available on a service in your country, find the best VPN for streaming and simply use a server in an appropriate location.
The following are 3 incredible animated series on streaming services today.
- Bojack Horseman
If you had told me ten years ago that one of the most profound TV shows of all time would be about a talking horse… well, I probably would have shrugged and gotten on with my life. Bojack Horseman follows the life of a washed-up actor who starred in a popular ‘90s sitcom. He is a functioning alcoholic, suffers from depression, and constantly sabotages his relationships.
Bojack Horseman has been praised at offering a more unflinching look at issues such as alcoholism, depression, and even asexuality, than anything else on TV. All of that takes place in a world filled with anthropomorphised animals, and a whole lot of animal puns. It is really a very funny show, making its many serious moments all the more poignant.
You can find it on Netflix – it is an original created for the service.
- Rick and Morty
Rick and Morty has a reputation for having the most unbearable fan-base around. People who think that you have to have an above average IQ to “get” it. But the truth is that while anyone can understand it and its most vocal fans are more low EQ than high IQ, it is incredibly smart. Its premise has a genius scientist, Rick, going on adventures with his idiot grandson, Morty.
Unlike Bojack Horseman, it is not particularly emotionally resonant, although when it does get emotional, those moments are particularly poignant. But it is a very clever take on the multiverse theory, and a great satire of the search for meaning in an uncaring existence.
It streams on Netflix and Hulu, depending on your location.
- Big Mouth
This Netflix original about puberty is neither as emotionally moving as Bojack or as clever as Rick and Morty. But it is genuinely one of the funniest series I have ever seen. Big Mouth follows a bunch of twelve/thirteen-year-olds as they meet their particular “puberty monsters.” Their escapades are both humiliating and endearing. And we can all relate to the unexpected horrors of puberty, whether it’s surprise erections or first periods.
There’s also an extended storyline about a character who has a lovechild with his pillow. Starring Andrew Goldberg, Nick Kroll, Maya Rudolph, and Jason Mantzoukas, among other great comedic actors, Big Mouth is well worth a binge.
Find it on Netflix.