3 Underappreciated Animated Shows

A lot of people think cartoons are "for children only", or that they're silly and not to be taken seriously, but I completely disagree! Animated shows have evolved to become a medium for great, quality story-telling. Just like it was last year with shows like Young Justice, Green Lanter TAS and Tron Legacy. But this year, there's three new shows that deserve everyone's attention! May it be for their artwork, the stellar writing, the strong vocal work or the surprisingly smart humor.

Reminder: Add to "TO WATCH" list.

Nickelodeon's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles


I can't imagine anyone not knowing the Ninja Turtles! They've probably been part of most of our childhoods! I grew up with the goofiness of the classic 80's Sunday morning cartoon and the 4 player 2D arcade game where pizza meant life. I even had a Raphael stuffed toy that sorta became my safety toy when I was a kid. Basically, the turtles were the shiz back then!


But Nickelodeon's TMNT (2012) is the definitive turtles for this generation. And honestly, I think this is the BEST version of the turtles I've ever seen! There's so many reasons to love this show, I don't even know where to start!
  • The turtles have the same classic traits but the stories are modernized
  • Familiar supporting characters have a slightly altered origin and they're so much better because of it. (E.g. Splinter and Shredder having known each other in the past.)
  • The humor is smart and not mindless silliness (well, sometimes it is, but it's still pretty funny). It sometimes even references its past incarnations or even familiar shows in other genres.
  • The character designs are cute and loveable (so unlike Michael Bay's TMNT). And each turtle is distinct. (E.g. Donnie is tall and lanky, while Raph is short and bulky.)
  • The Donne and April puppy love dynamic deserves it's own entry just coz I'm a huge shipper.
I feel ya bro.
  • The action is great and well thought out and most of the time reaches epic showdown levels! Because here, the Turtles are actual NINJAS! They practice stealth, they say stuff in Japanese and they do this thing where the turtles eyes go white when in full ninja mode, and it's badass and all sorts of awesome!
It's on now!
  • And most important of all, is that it has a lot of heart. The turtles' brotherly bond makes for some really touching and heartfelt moments in the sho.
These guys make the 80's turtles look like the village idiots. (Sorry 80s turtles. But they do.)

Avatar: The Legend of Korra


There is a grave lack of strong female action heroines in animated show but Korra inspiringly fills a huge part of that void.

This is the perfect show to binge watch as they're already entering their final season. (insert sad face) The Avatar series is about a fantastic world where people can control elements. And the story revolves around the Avatar - the one person who can use ALL of the elements. 

Wonderfully choreographed fights that are always visually stunning!

This show is everything you want in visual story-telling. The writers bring a prefect balance of humor and gravitas in their amazing and intricate stories. (And it REALLY gets dark sometimes.) The production value is superb - from the glorious cities to the gorgeous "bending" effects, everything makes you feel like you were watching fireworks! (ooooooohhhh!!!! aaaaahhhhhh!!!!) The action and choreography is obviously meticulously researched and are almost always visually stunning. And their incredible and colorful world is brilliantly realized; one that continues to grow to this day!

Meet Team Avatar

There have already been 2 avatars the series has focused on, Aang and Korra. If you haven't watched The Last Airbender (featuring Aang), I suggest you watch that first so you can get the references in Korra. The Last Airbender was a fun adventure epic whereas Legend of Korra is layered with social and political undertones (while still maintaining its superhero-ey appeal). Watch as these two characters genuinely evolve to become the pillars they're meant to become.

NOTE: DON'T BOTHER WATCHING THE MOVIE "THE LAST AIRBENDER"!!! Let's just all forget it happened and move on.

Teen Titans Go!

TV's version of a happy pill!

There's only one reason why I love this show....IT'S FREAKIN' HILARIOUS!

This is a show that really knows how to make fun of itself! Robin is the over enthusiastic leader who's unrequited love for Starfire is both sad and amusing. Starfire is the ignorant alien girl desperate to understand earth's ways. Cyborg and Beastboy are bromantic and really the show's only true couple. And Raven, who only wants to be alone and tries to be apathetic about everything but beneath it all lies a very sweet, sensitive little girl. And I don't know why, but Raven eventually became my favorite.

Raven. is. adorable!

I had my apprehensions at first. From the initial clips and previews, it looked like DC's attempt to make their teen sidekick show more "child-friendly" (Coming from the original Teen Titans and Young Justice). But one episode in and I fell. in. love. While it IS very childish, it's also plenty of fun for grown-ups, especially if you're a DC fan. It's surprisingly witty, and at times becomes very meta. Teen Titans Go it s the Spongebob of DC, AND the Community of animated shows. (I hope that made sense.)

550px-Teen_Titans_Go!_Season_One,_Part_One_()_-_TV_Spot_Sandwich maxresdefault2 TTG11
To summarize: Cute characters, sidekicks just having fun and not saving the world, DCU references, consistently crazy and funny and crazy fun!


Now go, watch these shows. You owe it to your 5 year old self to still believe animated shows can bring wonder and merriment to your adult life!

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