The last decade brought animated shows like Adventure Time, Regular Show and The Amazing World of Gumball. Cartoons post-2010 were notably more “quirky and random” with ludicrous plots and candy-colored characters. While there was creativity and innovation, audiences are ready for animated content that’s less psychedelic and more cohesive. As we move into 2019 and 2020, a variety of new shows are cropping up and seeking to target older audiences by telling long-form stories and exploring spooky subject matter.
Here’s a look at cartoons you should keep an eye out for in 2019:
Gravity Falls storyboard veteran Matt Braly invites viewers to the world of talking frogs and mysterious swamp magic. The series follows a Thai-American girl named Anne Boon-Chuy and her frog companion Sprig. Gravity Falls fans can expect more comedy, adventure and humor from the world of Amphibia.
The Owl House
The Owl House is a horror comedy about a teenage girl named Luz who makes an unlikely friendship with Eda, a rogue witch, and King, a tiny demon warrior. The series is created by Dana Terrace who has storyboarded on Gravity Falls and directed on Disney’s successful Ducktales Reboot.
Invader ZIM: Enter the Florpus
Invader ZIM returns with it’s original creator Jhonen Vasquez at the helm to bring us a TV movie, Enter the Florpus. This will no doubt attract fans new and old to the disturbing series. If this special does well, it could lead to a revival. Invader ZIM was produced as a comic and then, lo and behold, we have a TV special. Samurai Jack also had a comic run before returning to TV. I’d like to see Danny Phantom revisited in the same way.
Villanos started as a Mexican-American web-series based around the adventures of supervillains. The series gained popularity online by lampooning popular Cartoon Network Shows. The series poster child, Black Hat, has special episodes where he critiques other Cartoon Network bad guys on their villainy techniques.
The series pokes so much fun at Cartoon Network’s 20-plus years of history that it’s a blast to watch for those who grew up on the network. Cartoon Network is currently developing Villanos as a fully-fledged show, so stay tuned for more info in the coming year.
In Hazbin Hotel, the Princess of Hell attempts to rehabilitate her fellow demons so that they won’t be routinely slaughtered by warrior angels. Most adult cartoons opt for an “ugly on purpose” art-style, but Hazbin Hotel’s design is a strikingly fresh mix between burlesque and Dr. Seuss. It’s a testament to the creator, ViziPop for producing something this stylish independently. The world and characters are original and fully developed. If networks are smart, they’ll consider developing Hazbin Hotel into a full series.
You can check out more clips from Hazbin Hotel on ViziPop’s YouTube Channel.
Infinity Train is about a teenage girl named Tulip who is stuck on a never ending train. The individual compartments of the train can lead to traps and pocket dimensions. While there are still improvements to be made in terms of a more interesting art direction and smarter humor, the premise and mystery are intriguing enough that I’m stoked for the series.
Final Space Season 2
Final Space is the example of what the modern cartoon landscape could look like–richly detailed science fiction worlds and long-form storytelling geared towards older audiences. It’s also worth noting that Final Space’s creator, Olan Rogers, has made use of some of the best fan interaction for a TV show, with numerous online events and an eight-part documentary on the production of the series. The first season was a blast with its endearing team of renegades and truly frightening villain. Viewers looking for an animated space epic should tune in to Final Space Season 2.