When it comes to animation, the possibilities and genres are endless. For instance, I am not a big fan of the South Park or American Dad types, even Adventure Time I find just a little too meta, though Princess Bubblegum and Marceline have my heart. You will find below five shows that fall in the perfect vibe for me: funny but not nihilistic, magical but not mind-bending. Furthermore, it makes me happy to see 3 out of 5 shows have “openly LGBT+” characters in central roles which goes to show that representation done right can pay off. The rest still don’t come far behind for they all offer a whimsical and nuanced approach to life. It is a breath of fresh air.
#5 Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts (2020) Post-Apocalyptic Fun
Do you like futuristic post-humans story lines with friends that stick together? Then this show is for you! It doesn’t cut corners or rely on obvious plot lines to move the story forward and you get to navigate a whole new world. You will find really funny episodes, endearing moments and a bunch of strange creatures!
Imdb rating & synopsis: A girl explores the possibilities in a post-apocalyptic world. 8.4/10
Creators: Radford Sechrist, Bill Wolkoff
#4: Carmen Sandiego (2019) Super-spy Adventures
This was a welcome surprise for a show I randomly took a chance on. The plot line is rich in twists and adventures and the characters are engaging: the elusive Carmen, her endearing sidekicks, her genius best friend and of course, Miss Argent… It also does a great job at showing nuance between “good” and “evil” and steps out of the box. You learn, you travel, you defeat bad guys. It’s great fun (and I ship Carulia)!
Imdb rating & synopsis: The adventures of Carmen Sandiego, a globe-hopping master thief. 7.9/10
Creator: Duane Capizzi
#3 Harley Quinn (2019) Dark Comedy Gold
A whole lot darker than the other ones, this show is definitely NOT FOR CHILDREN. Join the crew and (re) discover Gotham through Harley Quinn’s eyes, a world of villains fighting for status their share of the cake. Beneath the jokes and the gore, the show portrays Harley in the aftermath of a toxic relationship, her coming to terms with her past and develops a darker critique on modern society.
Imdb rating & synopsis: The series focuses on a single Harley Quinn, who sets off to make it on her own in Gotham City. 8.5/10
Creators: Justin Halpern, Dean Lorey, Patrick Schumacker
#2 Bob’s Burgers (2011) Wholesome to the Right Degree
The least whimsical show on this list but not any less magical and heartwarming. Bob’s Burgers is relatable and fun and this close-knit family will surprise you at every turn -especially Louise with her dark sense of humour. Musical, funny, full of puns, just give it a try!
Imdb rating & synopsis: Bob Belcher runs his dream restaurant with his wife and three children as their last hope of holding the family together. 8.1/10
Creators: Loren Bouchard, Jim Dauterive
#1 She-Ra and the Princesses of Power (2018) Mystical Masterpiece
You may have to get a little into it at first but once you are, you will never want to leave your new best friends. Nate Stephenson did such a beautiful job in this 2018 reboot and the story was significantly altered to give She-Ra a story-line of her own. Inspiring, enchanting, brave, fierce, passionate, the list goes on. This show gives-off such a unique sense of freedom, you can only hope it stays with you.
Imdb rating & synopsis: She-Ra, Princess of Power, leads a rebellion to free her land of Etheria from the monstrous invaders the Horde. 7.8/10
Creator: Nate Stevenson