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10 Recent Movies & TV Shows That Prove Animation Has Never Been Better

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It has been over eighty years since Disney’s ‘Golden Age’ of animation began. And yet, nearly one hundred years later, a wide variety of animated releases continue to blow audiences away.

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From animated shows to feature films, there is no shortage of beautiful work, with a recent wave of must-watch releases proving that the medium has never been more alive.


‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ (2018)

The amazing Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse isn’t just a great animated movie, it might also be one of the greatest films Sony Animation has ever released. With visual revolutionarys and a heartfelt story, this 2018 superhero film prioritizes quality in every way, winning the title of Best Animated Feature at the 91st Academy Awards.

Set in an alternate dimension in which the heroic Spider-Man is no longer around, the movie revolves around Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) as he takes up the mantle of Spider-Man. When a plot by the Kingpin (Liev Schreiber) threatens to tear his universe apart, Morales joins forces with some unusual allies to save the multiverse from annihilation.

‘Encanto’ (2021)

It’s only up for disney from here, thanks to 2021’s smash-hit Encanto. A complex musical fantasy drama, with songs by hamilton‘s own Lin-Manuel Miranda (Tick, Tick…Boom!), Encanto proved that Disney animated features are ready to usher in a new era of happy endings.

Encanto tells the story of the magically-gifted Madrigals who, with their matriarch Abuela Alma (Maria Cecilia Botero) at the helm, lead and serve the people of a rural Colombian community. When the members of Madrigals begin to lose their unique abilities, it falls to the ordinary Mirabel Madrigal (Stephanie Beatriz) to save her family and their magical house.

‘Arcane’ (2021-present)

A must-watch animated series from Riot Games and Fortiche, the Emmy Award-winning Arcane is one of the best shows ever produced. Based on the video game franchise that began with the widely popular League of Legends, netflix‘s incredible animated action drama is an incredible work of art.

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Arcane‘s incredible opening scene tells audiences all they need to know: the series revolves around Vi (Hailee Steinfeld) and Jinx (Ella Purnell), two estranged sisters caught up in a war that threaten to tear their city in two.

‘Wolfwalkers’ (2020)

The underrated Wolfwalkers represents the best of animation. This stunning fantasy adventure is the third entry in director Tom Moore‘s series of Irish folklore films, and the final installment in his underrated trilogy of gorgeously animated films.

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Wolfwalkers tells the story of an unlikely bond between wolf-hunter Robyn (Honor Kneafsey) and the young girl Mebh (Eva Whittaker), a member of a mysterious tribe rumored to be able to turn into wolves.

‘Entergalactic’ (2022)

The outstanding drama Entergalactic revealed the untapped potential of animation. Created by Scott “Kid Cudi” Mescudi and Kenya Barristhe 2022 television special details the romance between Jabari (Mescudi), a gifted artist, and his next-door neighbor, Meadow (Jessica Williams).

While Entergalactic doesn’t necessarily deliver anything new by way of plot, its beating heart lies in its visuals and its inventive, distinct style. The movie shows that execution matters just as much as a film’s ideas, and demonstrates how animation can reinvent the stories that we thought we knew.

‘Wish Dragon’ (2021)

Netflix’s Wish Dragon is a film that many audiences might have missed. It was released in 2021 alongside Raya and the Last Dragon. As a result, Disney’s own great dragon movie may have overshadowed Wish Dragon on release, but that doesn’t make the latter animated comedy anything less than a top-notch film.

Wish Dragon tells the story of Din, a working-class college student from Shanghai, who dreams of reuniting with childhood-friend-turned-famous-celebrity Li Na Wang.

‘Love, Death + Robots’ (2019-present)

The acclaimed series Love, Death + Robots is a perfect goodie bag of animated shorts. With several great and sympathetic characters to follow, and more than a few dark and tragic plots, this groundbreaking anthology belongs on everyone’s watch list, whether you’ve heard of it or not.

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Each episode is an ideal mix of weird and wonderful animated art. From adorable 2D shorts to bombastic 3D blockbusters, Love, Death + Robots has a little something for everyone.

‘The House’ (2022)

This British stop-motion anthology would be perfect for a Halloween viewing. The House consists of three short films that feature different characters and plots. Each short, however, shares the same setting: a single eerily-picturesque house.

Each animated film will leave you uneasy, yet it will keep you wanting more. The House is difficult to explain; you’ll have to watch it for yourself.

‘Cyberpunk: Edgerunners’ (2022)

If you need proof that game adaptation and animation go hand-in-hand, then look no further than Cyberpunk: Edge Runnersan anime released in 2022. The series is based on the setting laid out in Cyberpunk 2077an action role-playing game that starred Keanu Reeves in a leading role.

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The critically-acclaimed sci-fi action anime introduced fans to David Martinez, an impulsive teen living a life of crime in the futuristic, corporate dystopia of Night City.

‘Klaus’ (2019)

This flawless animated Christmas movie would suit a Winter watch list well. Klaus is an underrated Netflix film with gorgeous visuals that will blow you away.

In a heartwarming, cozy Christmas sort of way, Klaus is an origin story of sorts. It tells the story of the narcissistic postman Jesper (Jason Schwartzman) as he befriends the reclusive toy-maker Klaus (JK Simmons). The unlikely friends forge a curious bond and learn the value of generosity together.

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