2022's Best Animated TV Shows

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There is plenty of animated series across the television universe.

From family-skewed shows to adult animation, there's plenty to watch to scratch the animated itch.

There were some duds, but we're here to celebrate the wins!

2022's Best Animated Shows

Animation is an essential and underappreciated storytelling medium, and this list includes only some of the year's best!

Check out our list below!

Central Park

Central Park (Apple TV+)

The third season of this Apple TV show came with the excellent news that Kristen Bell was returning to a new role as Aunt Abby.

Few can deny that Kristen Bell is always a plus, and her over-eager aspiring actress didn't fail to deliver.

Not that this show needs any new characters with the hilarious gender-switched due to ultra-rich snoot Bitsy (Stanley Tucci) and her overstressed lackey Helen (Daveed Diggs) providing such great laughs.

In the interim, the interracial Tillerman family -- Owen (Leslie Odom Jr.), Paige (Kathryn Hahn), Cole (Titus Burgess), and Emma Raver Lampman (Milly Tillerman) -- provide the heart. Just watch the Mother's Day episode and try not to tear up.

Solar Opposites Halloween

Solar Opposites (Hulu)

The Solar Opposites returned for the third season (and a Halloween special), and things were as insane as ever.

Their family dynamic continues to make the series unique from Rick and Morty (both created by Justin Roiland), while keeping the Science-Fiction aspect fresh and fun.

The best part of the show, however, comes from the people of the wall.

The wall storylines have had us at the edge of our seats, and Season Three's cliffhanger has us feeling very grateful that the series got renewed for seasons four and five.

SpyxFamily Key Art

Spy x Family (Hulu, Disney+, Netflix, and Crunchyroll)

When Agent Twilight must infiltrate an elite private school, he adopts an orphan girl and marries a city hall employee. He soon learns that his daughter is a telepath and his wife an assassin.

Along with their adorable dog, they learn to become a family while working on completing the mission and maintaining world peace.

This Japanese manga series remains true to its roots while incorporating the classic feel of a Pixar movie.

Full of fun storylines, heart, charm, and unexpected comedy; if you’re not watching, you should check it out.

Dragon Prince Season 4

Dragon Prince (Netflix)

Finally back for another season with the same characters we've grown to love and some new faces, Dragon Prince Season 4 was epic.

Claudia has become a full-fledged villain, willing to cross any lines to keep her father alive and by her side. She also has a new boyfriend, and the two are adorable together.

Meanwhile, Callum is reeling from his breakup with Rayla, and as the Royal Mage, he's at risk of going down the same path as Viren. Speaking of Viren, more is revealed about his mysterious benefactor, Aravos. King Ezran is trying to bring a time of peace between the magical and non-magical, but it's an uphill battle.

Amaya faces a similar struggle as she and her girlfriend, Queen Janai, attempt to marry. There are dragons, magic, love and politics, everything you could want. This animated fantasy show captures children and adults alike. 

Lois in Forrest Gump - Family Guy Season 21 Episode 1

Family Guy (Fox)

There's a reason why the Seth McFarlane creation has been around for 21 seasons while other Fox animated series drown in its wake. It's not because it features sophisticated, British drawing-room comedy.

No, it's the polar opposite. It's proudly lowbrow and doesn't hesitate to take shots at everyone and to speak truth to power.

Then there's the comfort of a consistently fine voice cast, including MacFarlane, Alex Borstein, Seth Green, and Mila Kunis. Sure, there are often misfires in its staccato pace.

But where else will you find the male lead fighting with a giant chicken? Now that's refined humor.

Names and Faces - Star Trek: Prodigy Season 1 Episode 16

Star Trek: Prodigy (Paramount+)

Ostensibly created to target the 9-13 demographic, Star Trek: Prodigy has proven its appeal to Star Trek fans of all ages and all levels of canon expertise.

With a phenomenal voice cast anchored by Kathryn Janeway herself, Kate Mulgrew, and including the likes of John Noble, Jimmi Simpson, Dee Bradley Baker, and Ella Purnell, the excitement hasn’t let up from the moment a ragtag crew of enslaved orphans found a buried starship and escaped their captivity.

The twenty-episode season aired over fourteen months and demonstrated a deep understanding of Trek’s history and a commitment to the message of acceptance, curiosity, and freedom that Trek has spread for over six decades.

Rick and Morty Season 6 Still

Rick and Morty (Adult Swim)

Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland's bizarre, twisted, and ridiculously entertaining sci-fi series shows no signs of slowing down in its bonkers sixth season.

Even if you didn't think it was possible to get more meta, they absolutely do.

Filled with film parodies, an impressive roster of guest stars (Susan Sarandon, Peter Dinklage, Lisa Kudrow, and more), and frenetic pacing, Rick and Morty has surpassed iconic and become a cultural touchstone that outdoes itself at every turn.

It gets weirder and more imaginative with every episode.   

Still From Dicktown Season 2

Dicktown (FX)

John Hodgeman and David Rees pitched this show with the concept "What if Encyclopedia Brown never adulted as he grew up?"

The two central characters, John and David, are a pair of 40ish detectives who aren't taken seriously by anyone except high schoolers.

It would be sad if David weren't self-deluded into thinking his life is going well and John wasn't so good at what he does.

The second season offers upward progress for the pair, so that's a plus.  

Louise Scared Bob's Burgers

Bob's Burgers (FOX)

Bob's Burgers has become a staple during FOX's animation domination.

With two Emmy awards to its name, Bob's Burgers' quality hasn't let up in its 13 seasons.

Season 13 has brought many of the usual antics while adding unexpected emotional depth.

Hopefully, Bob's Burgers lasts for just as long as its fellow animation domination series, Family Guy and The Simpsons.

Legend of Vox Machina Season 1

The Legend of Vox Machina (Amazon Prime)

The Legend of Vox Machina is based on the Dungeons and Dragons campaign (campaign one) featured in the web series Critical Role.

The original cast from Critical Role reprised their roles to voice the characters on the show.

The show, funded by a Kickstarter, garnered critical acclaim, and Amazon renewed it for seasons two and three.

The series is visually stunning and gives fans old and new something to love.

Sterling Archer Mad

Archer (FXX)

Archer's 13th season had a big hurdle: continuing the show without Mallory Archer.

Jessica Walter, the voice of Mallory, tragically died in 2021, and season 12 featured her final voice-over work.

The series gave her a brilliant sendoff, and season 13 picked up where the sendoff finale left off: the selling of the agency.

Season 13 gave us plenty of antics and a great new storyline that proved the show can survive without its matriarch.

Primal Key Art

Genndy Tartakovsky's Primal (Adult Swim)

Genndy Tartakovsky has a lot of animation under his belt, being the mastermind behind Samurai Jack and The Hotel Transylvania franchise.

The ten-episode second season of Primal continues (and ends) the incredible story of Spear and Fang.

The series has garnered acclaim across the board and earned itself a whopping five Emmys: four juried for individual achievement in animation and one for best-animated series.

With limited dialogue and sweeping imagery, Tartakovsky created a visual masterpiece, and season two exceeded all expectations.

Primal Season 2

What do you think of our list?

Anything you'd add?

Sound off in the comments below, and tell us if we missed your favorite!

Michael Stack is a former writer for TV Fanatic..

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