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Best Animation on TV

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Best Animation on TV


I was wondering what everyone's opinion would be in these areas of TV animation?

I have a bit of time over the next couple of weeks to watch some animation and I thought I should catch up on some TV that end....

1) Which show is the best animation program and why?

2) Which show is the best animated- from a skills standpoint and why?


Larry L.'s picture
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Off the top of my head Samurai Jack and Jimmy Neutron.Samurai has feature like attention to art direction IMO. I like the way it tells the story visually and is not afraid to slow down and let the scene explain itself. Perhaps that is an influence of foreign (non American) live action.

Jimmy Neutron has close to feature quality animation imo and the stories are cute.

I like the new Astro Boy . Astro boy maintains the whimsical qualities of the Tezuka strip but the best animated of any of his versions. Mainframe's Spiderman; people either love or hate but I think it is the best TV incarnation of Spiderman and if it wasn't for the movie would've been the best. Good direction and writing.

Spongebob funny!

King of the Hill is currently the best animated show - or the best I'VE seen - since it's the most believable and has the most interesting characters and stories. It has its flaws, but it really stands out from the other television cartoons.

Harvey Birdman frequently surprises me with the comedic animation TIMING, and the writing is gradually improving.

The new Ren & Stimpy show had some nice animation, but they don't seem to know how to hire good writers, so - again - it's cancelled.

And I almost forgot South Park. It's consistently funny and the character animation - though ironic (purposely childish and cheesy-looking)- is gradually improving.

I agree with Graphiteman that Spongebob is a very good show for children. Time Squad is another show that I'd probably love if I were six years old.

Is there anything else? I'm probably forgetting something, but if it's forgettable then it can't be very good. There are tons of animated TV shows, but few that are unique: not unlike the other television genres (sitcoms, cop shows, teen angst dramas, etc.).

1. X-Men Evolution was the most normal Cartoon on tv lately over the past 8 years.
2. Yu-Gi-Ho 's animation is fairly poor, but the game it self makes it worth while.

Visit my site

Has anyone seen Alphanim's "Potatoes and Dragons"? This one is really nice. It reminds me a bit of Micheal Dudok DeWitt's ("the monk and the fish")style. It was co-produced with Cinar. I've not seen it on television yet, but I was supposed to direct the animation on it a couple years ago, and it looked absolutely brilliant. Would be one of my fav's for sure due to it's quirkiness!


"Don't want to end up a cartoon in a cartoon graveyard" - Paul Simon

So Far so good...

So far so good...

Very thoughtful selections and comments...

...more,more, I need more...


The only animated shows I even try to see are The Simpsons and Harvey Birdman.

As I wrote in the Pimp, Birdman has a great rhythm to it. Like hanging out with--take your pick-- the mentally ill or a group of five year olds.

The Simpsons gets overlooked because the show set such high standards after Season 4 and 5, but the writing is, if not consistently good, still very strong and easily above any other animated shows out there.

One thing that does bother me about the Simpsons. I remember when the show was accused of being anti-family...but I find that the series is actually remarkably conservative. They will take things to a certain line and then restore order--especially family order. For eg. Homer has been tempted by other woman, but hasnt physically cheated. I think if the show were an honest reflection of modern society, Homer would at least sneak a kiss...or some tongue. But they never allow this.

anyway..just a musing for a future pimp perhaps.

Chris Robinson

Unfortunately, i don't watch tv( and , NO, i'm not one of those guys that just doesn't like tv, heck, i GREW up on Tv, and believe I am still growing .. i just don't have thetime, and, furthermore, lol, no connection where i live right now... so.. yeah, this is a cry for help!)

I was in Annecy a few weeks ago, and..
allthough these weren't really tv show.. i was very , very very very very very impressed by the"prophetie des grenouilles"
for tw reasons..
One was because the story was great , ( finally a story that does not talk down to people , but on a level to level basis!), and , second, the artwork wasawesome in the sense that , they have managed to take an illustration style( and by this , I mean something that has more expression to it than actual academism) , and made some animation with it that looks and feels very good!

If they were to make a series of that , It would the number one on my top ten list..

Now.. To fill the others..

They had some shows that were to be , in previews over there...
little vampire, which is already playing , based on the graphic novel by joan de sfar, has very good art ( not a rugrat type of art , but definitevely not a "classic" type of art either),

and they were previewing a lot of cg series also.
some of them actually looked really good( they were rendered with radiosity !)
but i didn't stick around to watch them all.!


I have a question though..
what are the shows that have gotten YOU involved when you were kids!
( or even just younger..!)

I've recently become somewhat obsessed with Futurama, even though the animation is pretty typical Groenig. I guess I'm attracted to the writing and the character development more than anything.

Just in terms of aesthetic quality, I think Samurai Jack and the early Dexter's Laboratory are some of the strongest animation and design on TV.

I''m also in love with Home Movies, but thats for the writing and voice work more than the animation.

Hey Larry, hope you have a good break.

Currently one of my favorite TV toons is Disney's Kim Possible. I really like the design and look of the show, esspecially the character designs, beautiful rhythm. The animation is really well done to. It's pretty much geared towards girls, but it has fun stories and nice action sequences as well. Also funny comic relief in sidekick Ron Stopable. I love that name.

I also like the Jackie Chan Adventures, pretty much for all the same reasons I listed above, except with all straights instead of curves. I think they also captured Jackie Chan's movements and guestures really well. Once again, good mix of comedy and action/adventure. I don't think the animaton is as tight as it could be though.

I always laugh when I watch Family Guy. The Simpson-esque designs aren't very earth-shattering but I like the writing, and they have a lot of fun with the timing of gags and stuff. Only really funny it you like kinda random, twisted humor, which I do.

Another show to check out is on Cartoon Network. It has great character and background designs, a great premise, strong character driven stories and kick @$$ animation. The show is "Foster's Home For Imaginary Friends." "Cough, shamelessplug! Cough!" :D but it doesn't air till sometime in August. The site isn't fully up yet but you can check it out here "cough! shamelessplugnumber2! cough!"

Happy couch surfing Larry.

The Ape

...we must all face a choice, between what is right... and what is easy."

We're discussing the Onion's animation interviews in another thread, which got me digging through their archives:

THE ONION: We've touched on this, but how do you feel about television animation today [June 2000]?
CRAIG MCCRACKEN (Dexter's Lab, Powerpuff Girls): There's a lot of... People are trying to do different stuff. A lot of the networks are like, "Here's our new show, and we're trying to do this and get something original and unique." It's good that networks are looking for the next great cartoon, and they haven't completely brushed it off as something that's just for little kids. But I don't think there's been... The Simpsons is great. I like South Park; those guys really know what they're doing. A lot of the other shows just don't seem to be hitting. It seems like networks are so desperate to find that Simpsons or South Park that they're finding people who really might not be ready to do it, or might not be fans of animation. They might be guys who want to write scripts for sitcoms, so they're like, "Oh, I'll do a cartoon!" They don't have a love for the medium, so they're not really taking advantage of it.

my favs

I think most of these have already been mentioned but....

Samurai Jack
Kim Possible
Jackie Chan Adventures
Star Wars (the shorts on cartoon network)
and Dora the Explorer.

ps. just kidding about dora!

Family Guy??

I thought Family Guy was supposed to be part of the FOX primetime line-up again. Whatever happened to that? And what's up with the two hours of WWF? Woody Allen was right - the viewers' standards ARE being systematically lowered by increasingly bad TV.

My votes for good TV animation shows - the same as two years ago:

1.) King of the Hill
2.) The Simpsons
3.) Family Guy

We don't have cable which narrows my exposure to Cartoon Network stuff, etc.,.


I don't watch much TV anymore, just some HBO series (Deadwood is friggin' excellent) and a few cartoons.

Family Guy for writing

Kim Possible for style

Mucha Lucha to support fellow Flash animators

Samurai Jack for even MORE style

Sponge Bob for when I wanna be annoyed and entertained at the same time.

and I'm REALLY looking forward to seeing Fosters Home For Imaginary Friends.

I don't watch much TV anymore, just some HBO series (Deadwood is friggin' excellent) and a few cartoons.

Thanks for the link, Harv. I guess I'll have to wait another year then. Oh well.

I mostly stick to PBS (they have Brit-coms:) ) and Star Trek Voyager. Beyond that - videos.


My TV cartoon favs are: X-Men and Inu Yasha (I love the artwork) and Samurai Jack, although at first I didn't like the style; however I soon grew to appreciate it. I'm in Canada though, and I hear what is shown here, doesn't compare to what they show in the US (i.e., Anime).

The Ren and Stimpy show was groundbreaking in terms of style and content, but struggled when they changed the writers.

I always thought 'The Tick' was very underated, a very funny show indeed!