I have always been of the belief that anyone can enjoy a good cartoon. I grew up with my dad coming home late at night to watch Tom & Jerry with a bowl of cereal in his hands, laughing away the graveyard shift with a classic. I’ve always loved shows like Powerpuff Girls and Transformers, and even today I am always on the hunt for a good ‘toon (especially for my baby nephews when I babysit). And so, in the middle of this ongoing pandemic, here are some shows I think anyone could get into, grouped into handy categories for your reference.
Background Noise for you, Entertainment for the Kids:
1.We Bare Bears
Fun, cute, exceedingly family-friendly and easy on the eyes. Three bears living in San Francisco go about their daily lives, getting into shenanigans with themselves or their human friends along the way. A big winner for when you’re cleaning up and need to keep the kids busy!
Join Molang and Piu Piu as they… do.. lots of random things for no apparent reason. At the end of the day, it’s just another marketing scheme for their toy line (think the old school Hello Kitty cartoon) but they’re so gosh darn cute I love watching my 1-year old nephew giggle at them. They don’t talk beyond gibberish, so you don’t have to worry about the kids picking up something vaguely off. It’s just a bunch of cute animals playing around.
3. Pokemon Sun & Moon: Ultra Legends
Great way to get the kids involved in Pokemon if you’re a fan yourself. The animation is cute and bubbly and you’d be surprised how charmed you can still get by this world. Plus, they finally stopped trying too hard to recreate the Ash dub voice from the original run, and it’s so much more tolerable.
4. Barbie: Life in the Dreamhouse
This show is insanely entertaining. I don’t have much else to say. I didn’t even grow up liking Barbie, this show is just stupidly funny and I have watched it multiple times.
Watch Alone or with the Family:
1. DC Super Hero Girls
DC’s first fun of super hero girls cartoonage fell a little bit flat, but now with Lauren Faust of My Little Pony fame behind the wheel, I can’t get enough of it. There’s drama, there’s fun, there’s villains, and Babs and Harley are somehow BFFs outside of their super-sonas and it is surprisingly engaging. Definitely recommend this one for family-friendly superhero fans!
2. Transformers: Cyberverse
This Transformers series takes a special spin on the “Oh no! Bumblebee lost his memory and his voice!” theme we’ve been seeing so much of lately by pairing him with Windblade and her Cityspeeker talents as they uncover the truth behind what went down on Cybertron and thereafter. It takes a lot of interesting turns and twists within the story that I found to be really refreshing, and there’s lots of humor spread over the whole show, so I definitely recommend giving it a watch! Plus, the episodes are super short as it was originally a web series.
3. She-Ra and the Princesses of Power
Normally I’m pretty tired of reboots, but if you have spent any amount of time in fandom spaces recently then you know that She-Ra and the Princesses of Power knocked it out of the park. This show constantly has me on my toes for its characters and the voice acting constantly draws me in. And what could be better than showing your kids some powerful women and their dynamics?
1. Tuca & Bertie
Created by Lisa Hanawalt (you may recognize her art from Bojack Horseman, but the two are incredibly different in tone), Tuca & Bertie is a story about two women adjusting to growing up in the most real and nitty-gritty ways. I was hesitant about this show at first, but as it went on I was sucked in deep. Unfortunately the show is not schedule to have a second season, but I still think the first is well worth the watch. There is a content warning for references to sexual assault, so please do go in with that knowledge.
2. Code Geass
It wouldn’t be me if I didn’t bring up an anime, and this one is more “adult” because it carries such dark themes. I’m always surprised at how many people haven’t watched Code Geass.. It’s actually the show that brought me teenaged self back into anime after falling out of it in my “younger years” (ha!). It’s mecha, it’s war, it’s interpersonal relationships with a lot of sci-fi and it’s amazing. There is also pizza. (The dub is also awesome. If you know Johnny Yong Bosch.. ’nuff said.)
3, A Silent Voice: The Movie
Another anime which could go for teens or adults, but very heavy themes. I still remember when the one-shot which inspired this series went viral on Tumblr, and everyone was crying their eyes out over the little deaf girl who uses ASL to communicate. This movie goes further than the one-shot did and follows the manga that continued after, all wrapped up neatly in a movie to take you for a ride.