A group of young kids dressed in Mayan armor pose together in "Maya and The Three"
(Netflix)

The Best Animated Shows on Netflix Right Now

Animated television shows aren’t just for kids. Most of us know that already, I mean The Simpsons isn’t a children’s show and that’s on its 34th season.

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As Guillermo del Toro once said, animation isn’t a genre. It isn’t just comedy or a pastime for children, it can literally be anything. The only limits are what the storyteller and the artist can create. On Netflix, there are a lot of different types of animated series. You’ve got the classics for kids, funny shows leaning way more toward the adult crowds, and anime galore that can be enjoyed by all. Many of them also have mind-blowing animations that are so amazing you need to see them to believe them. I’ve gone ahead and put together a list of the absolute best animated shows you can find on Netflix right now. You can start watching now and then thank me later.

Inside Job

An animated female doctor has a conversation with a man in a run down hospital room in "Inside Job"
(Netflix)

A hilarious grown-up comedy that throws some great jabs at politics and conspiracy theories, Inside Job is a fantastic show. In an alternate version of America (or is it real?), the government is really controlled by shady organizations including Cognito, Inc. Reagan Ridley is a brilliant robotics engineer at Cognito, Inc. who tries to distance herself from her father’s legacy at the company. She’s short-tempered and socially awkward yet she’s so relatable. With her team of humans and other species, she’s just trying to do her job.

Blood of Zeus

An animated muscular man stands calmly wearing a toga in "Blood of Zeus"
(Netflix)

If Disney’s Hercules was a favorite of yours growing up, you’ll love the very adult Blood of Zeus. Set in a fictional version of Ancient Greece where gods interfere with humans, the series follows Heron. Similar to Hercules, he grows up not knowing his father is actually Zeus. He must go through trials to become worthy of his godliness. To me, the even more interesting character is his half-twin brother Seraphim, who leads demons to take down the gods.

Q-Force

An animated group of queer people have a lively conversation while standing behind a van on "Q-Force"
(Netflix)

Another government-type show from Netflix, Q-Force is about a subgroup of LGBTQ spies of the American Intelligence Agency. Steve Merryweather was passed over as the golden boy of the agency because he was gay. Along with the other members of Q-Force, he proves to be just as good, if not better, than the basic hetero agents. They’ve got a master of drag, a lesbian mechanic, a transgender lesbian hacker, and a token straight white guy. In a lot of ways, it’s like an LGBTQ version of Archer, only it’s really hilarious.

Love Death + Robots

Two people dripping in jewels and gold dance sensually in "Love, Death, and Robots"
(Netflix)

If you like other anthology series, like Netflix’s Black Mirror, you’ll probably enjoy Love Death + Robots. Each episode is a story set in different realities, from post-apocalyptic Earth to life on other planets. The common theme in all the episodes is the inclusion of love, death, and/or robots. Some short pieces are funny while others are thought-provoking, but each one has stunningly crafted animation.

My Dad the Bounty Hunter

An animated Black family have a conversation while wearing space suits in "My Dad the Bounty Hunter"
(Netflix)

My Dad the Bounty Hunter is like if Boba Fett had his kids follow him to work. Lisa and Sean feel like they never see their dad due to his job and their parent’s separation. When their dad can’t spend the weekend with them because of work, they sneak into his car to be with him. Only their dad is an intergalactic alien bounty hunter and doesn’t have an average normal paper-pushing job. It’s all the stress of being a parent—but in space!

She-Ra and the Princesses of Power

Two animated warrior princesses fight using their swords in "She-Ra and the Princesses of Power"
(Netflix)

She-Ra‘s first iteration came in the 1980s and was supposed to be a girl-friendly version of the hyper-masculine He-Man. This version of She-Ra and the Princesses of Power took characters and stories from the original series and remade the show into a modern classic. Adora grows up under the tyrannical Horde alongside her best friend, Catra. On her first time out of the compound, she discovers the power of the legendary She-Ra and that the Horde is a lot more evil than she ever thought. Every princess she meets is a unique treasure. It makes it hard to pick a favorite … who am I kidding Mermista is the best.

Karma’s World

Four animated children smile happily on a playground with their small dog in tow in "Karma's World"
(Netflix)

Created by rapper Ludacris and his daughter, Karma’s World follows the adventures of Karma and her friends. The kids love art, music, and expressing themselves. They take pride in who they are and their communities. Some episodes deal with emotional topics that children face, but the writing keeps it at the right level so it feels real and the message gets across. The music is fun and the inventions Karma’s younger brother Keys comes up with are hilarious.

Maya and the Three

Maya and her crew get ready for battle on "Maya and the Three." (Netflix)
(Netflix)

Maya and the Three may have been created to entertain children, but the animation will knock anyone’s socks off. This show has much more to offer than just beautiful graphics. Maya is the youngest in a family of warriors. On her 15th birthday, the gods rise from the underworld and say she owes a debt on behalf of her family, but Maya won’t go along with them so easily.

Hilda

A small animated girl with blue hair runs alongside floating fantasy creatures with her small dog in "Hilda"
(Netflix)

The Hilda television show is based on the children’s graphic novels written and illustrated by Luke Pearson. The titular Hilda is about a girl who lives in the fictional Trolberg. A walled city surrounded by forests and mountains, Trolberg always has some secret mystery unfolding and Hilda does her best to keep peace between humans and mythological creatures. Many of the creatures come from Scandinavian mythology but they tend to be more cute than scary. Between the baby troll and Twig, Hilda’s deer fox, you’ll want to live in Trolberg too.

The Last Kids on Earth

Four animated kids pose outside as they get ready to take on some zombies in "The Last Kids on Earth"
(Netflix)

The Last Kids on Earth is the perfect blend of zombie apocalypse and family fun. Yes, I know it sounds like a strange combination, but it works. Based on the book series of the same name by Max Brallier, The Last Kids on Earth follows 13-year-old Jack Sullivan and his friends as they try to survive the apocalypse. Jack, Quint, June, and Dirk fight zombies and monsters while hanging out in their super tricked-out tree house. Besides the regular show, Netflix also released a choose-your-own adventure-type special, Happy Apocalypse to You, where you made the choices to help the heroes have a happy holiday.

(featured image: Netflix)


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Author
D.R. Medlen
D.R. Medlen (she/her) is a pop culture staff writer at The Mary Sue. After finishing her BA in History, she finally pursued her lifelong dream of being a full-time writer in 2019. She expertly fangirls over Marvel, Star Wars, and historical fantasy novels (the spicier the better). When she's not writing or reading, she lives that hobbit-core life in California with her spouse, offspring, and animal familiars.