Another year another round of art and entertainment to sort through. I thought it would be fun to make a list of some of my personal favorites of the year and what better place to start then with toons! The 2010’s has been a phenomenal decade for animation and 2018 was no exception! So with out further ado let’s get started!!
18. Unikitty (Warner Bros. Animation/Cartoon Network)
Cute, Colorful and full of hyperactive energy Cartoon Network & Warner Animation’s Unikitty is everything one would expect from a cartoon about everyone’s favorite Cat-Unicorn Hybrid! Along with her brother Puppycorn and her friends Doctor Fox, Hawkodile & Rick and Frienmies like Brock and Master Frown there’s no end to the classic cartoon style antics the group can get-up to! However like it’s elder sister show Teen Titans Go! The level of hyper-activeness mileage will vary by viewer
17. Trolls The Beat Goes on! (Dreamworks Animation/Netflix)
Picking-up where the 2016 film left off Trolls: The Beat Goes on is an adorable and somewhat retro style continuation of the charming all-ages tale. The series visually is somewhat reminiscent of many direct to video features from the late 90’s-mid 00’s but the series uses this aesthetic to its advantage to keep young viewers engaged with bright colors and catchy songs, and some of the morals might just be relevant to its adult viewers as well.
16. Disenchantment (Rough Draft/Netflix)
After conquering modern life with The Simpsons and the future with Futurama Matt Groening and co are finally tackling the past with a medieval fantasy series that is equal parts action, fantasy and comedy! And while the series may be a bit rough around the edges the main story of the series in engaging enough to keep viewers interested in checking out more! And Luci is the best pet cat er demon ever!
15. Megaman: Fully Charged (DHX/Dentsu/Cartoon Network)
A Modern interpretation of the classic Blue-Bomber, Megaman: Fully Charged was a series with a lot of heart and love of the source material while still daring to move foward with origional concepts and ideas! However like many third party shows on modern television it was mishandled by the network and seems to be another instance into which the Blue Bomber is denied his chance to capture the imaginations of a whole new generation. However if you are able to catch the series on Cartoon Network’s app, I recommend giving it a shot as it is a truly delightful take on the character for fans of all ages!
14. The Shivering Truth [Adult Swim]
While i’m not usually a fan of pseudo-nihilistic existentialist horror I can’t deny the impressive labor and craftsmanship that went into making this stop-motion animated series! Truly this may be [Adult Swim]’s most impressive outing yet in terms of visual quality. Though again the actual content of the show is not for everyone and some may indeed find it too disturbing to watch.
13. Littlest Pet Shop: A World of Our Own (Boulder Media/Hasbro/Discover Family)
Hasbro’s latest attempt to bring interest to the Littlest Pet Shop franchise resulted in a genuinely well animated and well written cartoon that is leaps and bounds better then their previous attempt in 2012! The series may have shorter episodes but the main cast was extremely enjoyable to watch. Sadly it seems these pets may be a one hit wonder as it seems nothing was ordered past the initial 52 episodes. Still it was a fun little slice of furry life while it lasted.
12. Amazing World of Gumball Season 5 (Cartoon Network)
The witty, irreverant and savage series Amazing World of Gumball continues to be one of the networks most entertaining series with disturbingly on point jokes about online culture, modern life and the every increasingly disturbing socio-economic and political climates around the world. Gumball continues to be the catharsis we all need, after all as they say if you don’t laugh you’ll just cry.
11. Pokemon The Series: Sun & Moon Ultra Adventures (Viz/Disney XD)
Pokemon’s Sun & Moon seasons continue to be a great and refreshing revitalization of the series with the softer animation style and more slice of life and comedic stories mixed in with epic battles and adventures, Pokemon finally feels like it’s reached its full potential on the islands of Alola!
10. Transformers: Cyberverse (Hasbro/Cartoon Network)
A entertaining and well crafted mixture of some of the best elements of Generation 1, The IDW Publishing Comics and The Modern Fillms, Cyberverse is both familiar and new leading to an enjoyable viewing experience for fans of all ages!
9. My Little Pony Friendship is Magic Season 8/ Equestria Girls (DHX/Hasbro/Discovery Family)
The long running smash/cult hit series eighth season proves that modern animations age like a fine wine as the show not only continues to grow the Mane Six and Crusaders Characters but introduced a whole slew of new ones as Twilight & Co. open a school of friendship where sure to be new fan favorites like Silverstream, Occellus, Sandbar, Yona, Gallus, Smoulder and Cozy Glow come to learn about the magic of friendship! We also got new species like the Kirin/Nirik and an adorable StarTrix travel episode! Though I am still salty about how the season 8 finale was mishandled, but the other 24 episodes in the season are golden and this may just be one of the series best yet! Plus the Best Gift Ever Holiday special was pretty fun.
On the Equestria Girls Side of things we got some of the BEST specials the spin-off has ever produced with Forgotten Friendship which hit all the emotional beats just right and gave-us a pseudo-beach episode, some feels filled moments with Sunset Shimmer and new fan favorite Wallflower Blush! Then Rollarcoaster of Friendship which was filled to the brim with Rarijack goodness, oh and something about not misusing social media or what not. Not to mention all the fun online shorts! Overall 2018 was probably the best year for this spin-off since 2014’s Rainbow Rocks!
8. Summercamp Island (Cartoon Network)
A Heartwarming and whimsical new series that could be one of many successors to Adventure Time, this odd fusion of Arthur and the Busy World of Richard Scary set on a magical island hosting a summer camp to adorkably awkward tween and teen toons is a relaxing and refreshing viewing for animation fans young and old alike!
7. Adventure Time Series Finale (Cartoon Network)
After eight years and ten seasons The Grandaddy of modern animation went out with a bang! An epic final battle, countless heartfelt moments, a catchy song or two and we finally got that Bubbline kiss! Overall a fantastic end to a fantastic series! *And hey if you still want more there’s always the season 11 comic from Boom Studios!
6. Hanazuki (Hasbro/Discovery Family
Admittingly cheating with this one a bit as it premiered on Youtube last year, but given it just recently made its U.S. television debut i’m gonna count it anyway! Hanazuki is a series about a young moon-flower who uses magical treasures fueled by her emotions to grow magic trees and fight the darkness. It may sound simple and silly to some but the series message of learning to be in control of your emotions both positive and negative and use them in constructive ways is one people of all ages and from all walks of life would do well to take to heart!
5. Steven Universe Season 5 (Cartoon Network)
The long running Cartoon Network series about sentient alien Gem stones continues to be one of modern animations most impressive and progressive series as it gave animation fans the network’s first major lesbian wedding between Ruby and Saphire and also still has enough great music and tear inducing moments to fill-up an entire ship! And with a sixth season and movie coming next year the Steven Universe series seems to have plenty of gas left in the tank!
4. Final Space ( Team Coco/TBS)
A Surprise hit from Olan Rogers and TBS, Final Space is an “Adult” animation that like its all-ages counterparts actually attempts to have a well-written and thought out story and interesting characters instead of just being low-brow or mean spirited jokes like many of it’s breatheren and for that it is easily my favorite series in its genre and easily the best “Adult” animation of the decade!
3. Criag of The Creek (Cartoon Network)
A Delightful All-Ages Slice of Life series about a young boy named Craig and his best friends Kelsey & JP. This series is basically Bridge To Tarabithia without any of the super sad stuff as it primarily consists Craig and his friends hanging out at the Creek and the interesting DIY society the kids there have built around it to hang out at on the weekend or after school. If you grew-up as a fan of shows like Codename: Kids Next Door or Recces definitely give this show a chance!
2. Hilda (Netflix)
A Whimsical and enticing tale of a young girl and her adventures befriending magical creatures, Hilda is a simplistic yet intricate animated series that is sure to delight animation fans young and old alike. Though sadly we have to wait till 2020 for season 2. *Though that gives you all plenty of time to check out the books the series is based on!*
1. She-Ra & The Princesses of Power! (Dreamworks/Netflix)
Taking a cliche 80’s cartoon spin-off and turning it into something beautiful, unique, complex and full of diverse characters and intricate relationships woven throughout it’s first season She-Ra & The Princesses of Power isn’t just another successful revitalization of an 80’s I.P. but also proof of how far animation has come compared to its often poorly written and error filled 80’s counter-part! The Modern She-Ra is a true Feminist Icon worthy of sitting aside the likes of Wonder Woman herself! And I would argue like ATLA/Korra and older series like Gargoyles it may just be one of the best animated series of the past twenty-five years! If you haven’t checked the series out I highly recommend you do, I promise you won’t regret it!
*P.S. Entrapta is BEST Princess!!*
And there you have it, my top 18 animated series of 2018! So what do you think? Did you see your favorites on here? What were your favorite animated series of 2018!? Feel free to reply below and thanks for reading!