Our Top 11 Animated Shows of the Year

By: Dylan Hysen

 

2019 has been such an amazing year for animation and in particular has felt so ripe with a large number of truly great animated show. This inspired us to come up with a consensus ranking for our top animated shows of the year! Here we count down our 11 best of the year (11 because there was a natural divide after that point in how the points shook out). Each of us ranked our personal top 10, and points were assigned based on placement: 10 for 1st, 9 for 2nd, etc. After summing those points together we have our list!

First, here are seven shows that didn’t quite make it, listed by show name and number of total points: Given (14), OK K.O.! Let’s Be Heroes (13), Young Justice: Outsiders (13), Amphibia (11), Rick and Morty (11), Summer Camp Island (10), Stars Align (10)

11) BoJack Horseman: 24 points

Alex Ally April Delaney Dylan Michael
8th 8th 8th 7th
Michelle Sam Sarah D. Sarah P. Steve
5th 6th

Despite only airing half a season this year, BoJack Horseman was as great as ever, narrowing the show’s focus more to BoJack’s arc involving his past mistakes. The way the season so far as taken the audience on a ride of ups and downs with BoJack’s efforts to make amends while continuing to show the negative impact he had on others has been very poignant. –Dylan Hysen

10) gen:LOCK: 25 points

Alex Ally April Delaney Dylan Michael
9th 4th 5th 7th
Michelle Sam Sarah D. Sarah P. Steve
5th

gen:LOCK is the show Voltron wishes it had been, from constant high quality episodes to well executed queer representation. In one season, gen:LOCK created a great relationship between the viewer and the main squad with the identity discussion within the show as its thesis. gen:LOCK delves deep, and is a true cerebral experience. –Delaney Stovall

9) Craig of the Creek: 26 points

Alex Ally April Delaney Dylan Michael
3rd 6th 4th
Michelle Sam Sarah D. Sarah P. Steve
5th
This may be the first ‘kids’ cartoon I’ve ever seen with with such a large black cast and diverse crew, and I appreciate that it hasn’t shied away from its diversity. The individuality and self-discovery themes, along with the pressure that the kids face with their peers and elders, really makes me feel like I’m their age again when I watch the show. –Ally Martin

8) Star vs. the Forces of Evil: 28 points

Alex Ally April Delaney Dylan Michael
2nd 6th 8th 6th
Michelle Sam Sarah D. Sarah P. Steve
10th 6th

One of the best animated shows on the air ended this year in a final season that initially may have had some questionable plot, but eventually became great featuring some of the best narrative and character work of the show. It culminated in the brilliant thematic piece that was the Star vs. series finale, with an ending I’ll always remember. –Dylan Hysen

7) The Promised Neverland: 29 points

Alex Ally April Delaney Dylan Michael
4th 7th 4th
Michelle Sam Sarah D. Sarah P. Steve
8th 3rd

I think we all know how great the Promised Neverland first episode was. How they fooled us with what kind of show it is was brilliant. I was worried once they pulled that twist that the show couldn’t maintain its high quality, but it did. Emma is a character it’s hard not to root for. –Steve Zec

6) Miraculous Ladybug: 33 points

Alex Ally April Delaney Dylan Michael
7th 3rd 8th 9th 5th
Michelle Sam Sarah D. Sarah P. Steve
1st

Miraculous Ladybug had its best season to date this year in a Season 3 that featured some complete zaniness, bold narrative shots, and continued the amazing, consistent character-work that’s always a stalwart to a show that can sometimes be all over the place. Ladybug and Chat may still not know who each other are, but the show continues to find innovate ways to make its current dynamic interesting. –Dylan Hysen

5) Undone: 36 points

Alex Ally April Delaney Dylan Michael
10th 5th 2nd 10th
Michelle Sam Sarah D. Sarah P. Steve
10th 2nd 2nd

As someone with mental illness, Undone made the greatest impact on me of the year. To experience what a character feels or thinks is not new, it is the very essence of storytelling, but very rarely is mental illness explored to such an extent. This was extremely meaningful for people with mental illness and it was done without judgement. In fact, you’re supposed to root for Alma, you’re on her side as you experience her reality. This also made for an incredible narrative journey with non-linear time accompanied with fantastic visuals. –Delaney Stovall

4) Tuca & Bertie: 50 points

Alex Ally April Delaney Dylan Michael
2nd 4th 10th
Michelle Sam Sarah D. Sarah P. Steve
2nd 4th 4th 1st
Like BoJack Horseman, Tuca & Bertie deals with serious issues like sexual assault, alcoholism, abuse, etc. in an incredibly natural way. On top of being a female-run show, it explores how complicated and worthwhile female relationships can be, which is something that is, unfortunately, very rare in media, let alone animated television. –Ally Martin

3) She-Ra and the Princesses of Power: 62 points

Alex Ally April Delaney Dylan Michael
5th 6th 1st 3rd
Michelle Sam Sarah D. Sarah P. Steve
1st 1st 7th

I’ve been waiting for a show to fill the Korra void for years. I think this is it. She-Ra features gorgeous animation and a journey to not only defeat the greatest evil in the universe but also to discover oneself. She-Ra’s main cast stands out as extremely relatable, endearing, and interesting. The dynamic between Catra and Adora and Catra’s spiral so far set the show apart. She-Ra is portraying both sides of its conflict fantastically and I eagerly await the conclusion next year. –Delaney Stovall

2) Infinity Train: 64 points

Alex Ally April Delaney Dylan Michael
3rd 6th 5th 3rd 4th 2nd
Michelle Sam Sarah D. Sarah P. Steve
3rd 3rd 6th

Part 1 of the long-awaited anthology series did not disappoint, providing a twisty look at a mystery train but doing a great job at not losing sight of its anchor, main character Tulip and the personal struggles that led her there. Impressive character and background design as well as effective comic relief from sidekicks One-One and Atticus kept the train rolling to its thought-provoking conclusion. –Alex Bonilla

1) Steven Universe: 95 points

Alex Ally April Delaney Dylan Michael
1st 1st 1st 2nd 1st 1st
Michelle Sam Sarah D. Sarah P. Steve
3rd 9th 2nd 4th 1st

A quasi-series finale in “Change Your Mind” and a whole feature film that distills the Steven Universe experience would have been enough to cement Steven Universe’s appearance in a top 10 list, but its Future continuation has rolled on to explore ever more angles in Rebecca Sugar’s world, from the growing teenage frustration of Steven to the role of those who feel left behind by changes in the status quo. It all adds up to another banner year for the series. –Alex Bonilla

 

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