When it comes to streaming content on Netflix, you have a lot of choices. A lot. We’re here to help you narrow the vast library down to something a little more manageable. And if you’re looking for classic cartoons, world-famous anime series, or the latest in computer-generated animation, then you’ve come to the right place!
Each month, we’ll comb through Netflix’s collection of animated series, from traditional childhood favorites to the streaming provider’s own original series. If you’re an anime fan, there’s a lot here to be excited about, though Netflix does struggle with providing the entire run of some of the longer series, often offering up only the first season as a teaser. However, they’re also the only place to find current, ongoing series like the rebooted Voltron Legendary Defender and the Emmy-winning Trollhunters from Guillermo del Toro. And if you want to relive some of your favorite childhood moments, or share then with younger audiences, shows like The Magic School Bus are a great start!
As Netflix continues to add new shows, we’ll revisit Netflix’s new additions and updates to ongoing series to bring you the best of the best of their animated TV series offerings. Be sure to come back to see what’s changed, and let us know your favorites in the comments and we’ll make sure they get added to the list! In the meantime, check out the best available animated TV series below.
Created by: Luke Pearson
Cast: Bella Ramsey, Ameerah Falzon-Ojo, Oliver Nelson
A heartwarming and surprisingly insightful story about a girl named Hilda (Bella Ramsey) who moves from the edge of the woods with her mother to the walled-in city of Trollberg. Set in a pastel-colored fantasy world where elves and trolls and witches exist, Hilda is fun for younger audiences and for adults as well. With lessons about being open to what is foreign to you and accepting those who are different, Hilda is all about sharing life lessons through the lens of a cartoon world. The artwork of Mercury Filmworks combines muted color tones with rounded simply drawn 2d characters to create an idyllic life. Still, the intriguing city of Trollberg isn’t all fun and games, as they are often threatened by trolls from the woods. Hilda and her friends explore and eventually learn the truth of what is going on at the heart of the issue. A highly entertaining and soft-spoken series, this is one to enjoy with the kids or binge-watch all on your own. — Therese Lacson
Kotaro Lives Alone (2022-present)
Cast: Rie Kugimiya, Kayleigh McKee, Jennifer Losi, Heather Gonzalez
Based on the Manga, Kotaro Lives Alone is a cute series about a Manga artist named Shin Karino and his 5-year-old neighbor boy, Kotaro, who lives all by himself in a dilapidated apartment building. Not only does Kotaro’s mysterious circumstances find him without parents, but the series doesn’t dwell on the intrigue. An adorably shrewd animated show, Kotaro Lives Alone can lean a tad dark at times but seems more interested in introducing a slew of distinct characters who are neighbors in Kotaro’s building. Kotaro Lives Alone is strange, entertaining, and unexpectedly wholesome. – Yael Tygiel
The Fairly OddParents (2001-2017)
Created by: Butch Hartman
Cast: Tara Strong, Susanne Blakeslee, Daran Norris
Timmy is an average kid that no one understands. If you were a frequenter of Nickelodeon in the early 2000s, odds (pun intended) are good that you remember this show. The series follows Timmy Turner (Tara Strong), a 10-year-old boy who gets by with a little help from his fairy godparents: Cosmo (Daran Norris) and Wanda (Susanne Blakeslee). The two of them can grant any of Timmy’s wishes, often to help him deal with his evil babysitter Vicky (Grey DeLisle) or crazy teacher Mr. Crocker (Carlos Alazraqui). These wishes usually backfire – to comedic effect. Quirky and hilarious, check out The Fairly OddParents for a trip down memory lane, or introduce younger kids, nieces, or nephews to it. – Taylor Gates
Created by: Gabe Liedman
Cast: Sean Hayes, Matt Rogers, Wanda Sykes, Patti Harrison
Q-Force centers around a group of unappreciated LGBTQ+ super spies headed by Steve Maryweather (Hayes). Though he was a rising star at the American Intelligence Agency before coming out, after revealing his sexuality, he found himself discriminated against. When he decides to prove himself to the AIA, however, he must work not only with his team but also accept a straight man into the fold. Q-Force is not only hilarious but also surprisingly heartwarming. – Taylor Gates
Pacific Rim: The Black (2021-2022)
Created by: Guillermo del Toro and Travis Beacham
Cast: Calum Worthy, Gideon Adlon, Erica Lindbeck, Ben Diskin
There are some worlds that you encounter in the realm of genre fiction that just feel ripe for expansion beyond their initial forms — Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim being among them. From the very first glimpse of the war between kaiju and humans, the latter of whom are forced to pilot large armed robots known as Jaegers in order to fight back, it’s clear that this long-spanning conflict has plenty of mileage to fuel stories beyond what initially premiered on the big screen. Enter Pacific Rim: The Black, which was released a year ago today and which follows two siblings whose parents have left them behind to fight the kaiju war but never return. Determined and driven, they uncover an abandoned Jaeger and decide to enter the battle themselves while searching for their parents at the same time. And if that sparks your interest, you should know that there’s already a Season 2 in the works. – Carly Lane
Love, Death & Robots (2019-present)
Developed by: Tim Miller
Underground gladiator fights, three robots wandering through an abandoned city after a post-apocalyptic event, a tiny civilization growing inside an antique fridge, farmers who pilot mecha suits to defend their land from giant insect creatures — these stories only scratch the surface of what can be found within the anthology series Love, Death & Robots, with each episode hailing from a different set of creators and animation teams across the globe to absolutely staggering effect. The success of said stories might vary depending on the viewer, but some installments will leave you thinking as hard as marveling, and another volume of episodes is slated for release sometime this year. – Carly Lane