From old Classics to Modern Masterpieces, Here are Five Animated TV Series to Binge This Spring


Taylor Smith

I have developed a love for the art of animation during my lifetime. I find that complex storylines with vivid and memorable characters are one of the best ways to relax and enjoy your time. There are so many different series that I can suggest, but here are just a few of my favorite animated series!

Steven Universe and Steven Universe Future

Steven Universe is a musically inclined animated series that I fell in love with when it first premiered on Cartoon Network. It did many things that other television series never bothered to do. Some have tried, but they could never get it right like the creators of Steven Universe did.

The series follows Steven Universe, a 14-year-old boy tasked with learning how to control his abilities as someone who is half-gem, while also navigating his daily life and friendships in the small town of Beach City. The Crystal Gems; Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl, are accompanying main characters that aid him in this coming-of-age journey. As he learns to overcome his own obstacles, he also helps the gems come to terms with the loss of Steven’s mother, their friend and leader, Rose Quartz.

Steven Universe includes themes such as grief, the LGBTQ community, mental illness, and the effects of trauma in a person’s life. No matter how small or insignificant they may seem at that moment. These are things that, despite often being considered taboo subjects, are talked about openly in a way that younger audiences can digest through age-appropriate content.

Gravity Falls

This show elicits a keen sense of nostalgia within me. It is hard to believe that the show is almost as old as the twin main characters Mabel and Dipper Pines. The series starts off with the 12-year-old siblings establishing themselves for the summer at their Great-Uncle Stanely “Stan” Pine’s tourist trap and gift shop, lovingly dubbed: “The Mystery Shack.” While here, Dipper uncovers a strange journal adorned with a gilded six-fingered handprint. This journal is an integral guide through the mysteries in the town of Gravity Falls.

Gravity Falls took so many ideas and pulled them together into a mind-boggling series of paranormal events and mysteries, putting the Pine twins at the heart of the adventure. The series consists of comedy, touching moments, the paranormal, and of course, a cast of beautifully written characters.

Hazbin  Hotel

This musically inclined series pits angels and demons against each other in a tale as old as time. The twist is that it skews the perspective of this common trope, putting angels in the position of the bad guys while the demons in hell are the under-dogs. This series focuses on the endeavors of Charlie Morningstar, the princess of hell, and her dream to rehabilitate the souls of sinners to help them get to heaven.

Hazbin Hotel has a lot going on. There’s a cast of extremely talented voice actors, almost all of whom have a direct background in musical theater. There’s an interesting and diverse cast of characters, villains, and a lot of excellent potential. But despite the lighthearted and up-beat music you immediately encounter, this series does not shy away from dark and difficult to discuss topics either. Sure, there’s a lot of crude humor, but this series offers a serious perspective on topics difficult for anyone to swallow. You will regularly encounter themes such as abusive relationships, drug use, and the damage war brings to average people.

This is one that I’ve been excited about since I saw the pilot in 2019, and I believe it’s a series everyone should watch at least once. Again, it’s important to note that this is a series for an 18+ audience, so kindly keep the kids away from it.

The Original Rugrats

I grew up watching shows on Nickelodeon, and this was always my absolute favorite. Maybe because it played on the childlike wonder and imagination of the characters, or maybe it was because as an adult I started to notice the jokes and references that completely went over my head when I was younger.

The original Rugrats ran from 1991 to 2004, and as a child I remember that it was one of the few shows I had memorized the premiere times for. Although I don’t care much for the reboot, this is still one of my favorite animated series.

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic

This is the show that taught me it’s ok to love feminine things. I remember as a child, I joined the masses in complaints about how “bad” franchises like My Little Pony were. It wasn’t until I gave MLP a chance that I realized such things weren’t inherently bad. We are often inclined to associate certain “girly” things as being “cringe,” so we very rarely give them the chance they deserve and sometimes isolate the people who enjoy them.

Interestingly, it was the “brony” community that led me to give this show a chance. I absolutely fell in love with the characters, designs, and stories MLP show had to share. The characters, including those who are not part of the main cast, are complex, multifaceted, and each have their own flaws and strengths.

Growing up, I watched a lot of animated series and movies on television. They inspired a love for creating stories, characters and for the art of animation that brings them to life. These were just some of the most captivating animated series in my opinion and I hope you’ll be willing to give them a chance in the future.



Note: This is the correct spelling, disregard spell-check. [MC1]

About Taylor Smith

Taylor is pursuing a degree in Graphic Design. They plan to graduate in Fall 2023 and finish their education at a 4-year university.
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