Adults have always had access to animation, but it’s generally assumed that it’s only for children. Listed here are some of the best animated films for adults.
As long as animation has existed, it has been underappreciated. Commercial interests have constrained its creative potential, despite the fact that it is an infinitely malleable medium. For starters, big companies don’t believe that adults are interested in so-called “cartoons,” hence most animation is geared at youngsters. However, if done correctly, animation can be a terrific genre for adults to watch.
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Adult-targeted animated films can be fantastic for a variety of reasons, including the fact that they often explore themes that children’s films are afraid to tackle, or the fact that they often feature graphic stuff you wouldn’t expect to see in a Pixar film. So, here are some of the best adult-oriented animated movies.
It was updated by Jake Koran on November 3rd, 2021.
Adult animated films are rare compared to children’s films because of the nature of animation. In spite of this, there are some excellent adult cartoons that manage to slip between the cracks. As with any other collection of films, these films cover a wide range of genres, so viewers will always be able to find something they enjoy.
1. Beavis And Butt-Head Do America (1996)
‘Beavis and Butt-Head Do America’ was Mike Judge’s big-screen adaptation of his beloved Beavis and Butt-Head characters. They don’t just sit around and watch TV as they did on the MTV show; they go on the road to find their stolen TV.
Adult-oriented cartoons on television were pioneered by Judge’s work on Beavis and Butt-Head, and he was one of the first animators to carry that style over to the big picture.
2. The Lord Of The Rings (1978)
Initially, Ralph Bakshi planned to make two movies of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. However, Bakshi was only able to produce the first one, which only coveredThe Fellowship of the Ring and the first half ofThe Two Towers, because to complications behind the scenes.
In spite of this, Bakshi’s version has become something of a cult favorite over the course of the last few decades. Several decades later, Peter Jackson recognized its impact on his own adaptation of Tolkien’s writings.
3. Ghost In The Shell (1995)
While its live-action remake may have damaged its image, Mamoru Oshii’s originalGhost in the Shellmovie from 1995 is still a cult masterpiece in the cyberpunk world. While the plot touches on some heavy topics, the animation is beautiful and well-crafted.
When the Wachowskis approached studios about making a live-action version of Ghost in the Shell, they reportedly screened the film and said they intended to basically replicate the same thing but in live-action.
4. Mary And Max (2009)
Author-director Adam Elliot was inspired by his own pen friend in New York to make Mary and Max, a stop-motion animated film about an isolated Australian girl and the overweight American with whom she corresponds.
Max’s bleak noir-tinged palette and Mary’s warm sepia tones are both excellent examples of the film’s use of color to portray its characters, and the story itself is a passionate monument to the advantages of human interaction in all its forms.
5. Grave Of The Fireflies (1989)
Anime classic from 1989
Grave of the Fireflies tells the story of two siblings in Kobe, Japan, at the close of World War II. An early scene shows that both of them had died, and the movie then flashes back to their voyage.
Because of the film’s powerful emotional impact, it has been hailed as one of the best dramas of the decade in which it was released.
6. Fantastic Planet (1973)
Humans on the planet of Ygam are dwarfed by the Traags from this world, who rule the galaxy.
As a result, humans are kept as pets, hunted, and so on. After the mother of a human infant is killed by Traag children, a young Traag adopts the child. It’s the beginning of a chain of events that reveals just how vast the universe truly is.
The animation is excellent, and the world’s characteristics make the environment absolutely distinct.
As a pioneer in the field of animation, Fantastic Planet has had a lasting impact on the industry.
7. Fritz The Cat (1972)
Ralph Bakshi also directed the X-rated cartoon satireFritz the Cat in addition to adaptingThe Lord of the Rings, or at least part of it. Although Fritz the Catcan’s humorous sensibility doesn’t hold up today, its revolutionary impact cannot be overstated.
Here are the 10 scariest stop-motion animation films ever made.
Because ofFritz the Cat, we wouldn’t have hadThe Simpsons orSouth Park if not for his pioneering work in the early ’70s with cartoon content and mature topics.
8. Jay & Silent Bob’s Super Groovy Cartoon Movie! (2013)
Jay and Silent Bob are always a treat to watch when Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith reunite for a new episode.
A Super Groovy Cartoon Movie starring Jay and Silent Bob!!
adaptations of Smith’sBluntman and Chroniccomic novels for the movie.
The filthy humor in Smith’s script is perfectly suited to these characters, despite the simple animation style. A post-credits stinger in which a cameoing Stan Lee recruits the film’s titular duo to the Avengers is one of the film’s many highlights.
9. The Breadwinner (2017)
When the Taliban ruled most of Afghanistan in 2001, The Breadwinner focused on the 11-year-old protagonist, Parvana.
After her father is imprisoned unjustly, Parvana is forced to take care of her family on her alone. She disguises herself as a boy in order to evade the Taliban’s strict clothing code and rescue her father.
I loved this movie because of its heartfelt and inspiring story about a little girl’s desire to help her family. The film is occasionally called a family film despite its PG-13 rating, however some of the on-screen action may be better suited to an older demographic.
10. The Animatrix (2003)
The Animatrixis an anthology film set in the setting of the Matrix trilogy that tells a range of stories about a number of people using a variety of animation styles.
The Animatrixis a step up from the sequels, but not as good as the first chapter in the Matrix trilogy, which is a masterpiece of both thought-provoking science fiction and visceral action filmmaking.
11. Isle Of Dogs (2018)
Isle of Dogs is not a family film, despite the presence of several adorable canines in the cast. There is some violence but it isn’t enough to warrant a R classification; the historical traumas that the novel deals with are not for the faint of heart.
In the wake of Fantastic Mr. Fox, Wes Anderson returned to stop-motion animation for the narrative of a near-future Japan in which canine disease causes all canines to be banished to a garbage-filled island.. Bryan Cranston, Greta Gerwig, and Bill Murray are all part of the voice cast. In spite of the low box office returns for many adult animation and stop-motion picture productions, Isle of Dogshas been a financial success for Wes Anderson and is certain to be a favorite among fans.
12. Sausage Party (2016)
‘Sausage Party’ is set in a universe where food products have personalities and are able to communicate with one other. In their minds, they imagine making it to “the Great Beyond,” only for them to learn that they will be devoured. They brought their R-rated sensibilities to an otherwise joyful animated romp that contains drugs, suicide, and a prolonged orgy sequence from Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg of Superbad.
Jonah Hill and Kristen Wiig, Paul Rudd, and Danny McBride are just some of the A-list stars who provide their voices to the soundtrack.
13. Persepolis (2007)
In Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi adapted her own autobiographical comic book for the cinema, telling the narrative of a young girl growing up during the Iranian Revolution.
In many ways, it was inspired by Satrapi’s personal life. Even though it’s based on Iranian events, the narrative has universal elements and may be enjoyed by anybody with an open mind.
14. Akira (1988)
One of the most influential works of cyberpunk cinema, Aki is set in the futuristic city of Neo-Tokyo. A motorbike accident leaves Tetsuo Shima with telekinetic powers, which he utilizes to fight corruption in the city and eventually target the repressive governmental authorities.
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Japanese animation was popularized in the West thanks to the worldwide popularity ofAkira. After completingThor: Love and Thunder, Taika Waititi will helm a live-action remake.
15. It’s Such A Beautiful Day (2012)
But this is not the purpose ofIt’s Such a Beautiful Day, which has a complicated plot. The story of the protagonist’s life is depicted in a remarkable visual style in this experimental composition. Animation style is highly unique and elicits a wide range of emotions from viewers, even at first glance, though viewers may not realize it.
As the film progresses, the artistic approach is constantly being experimented with, with the image being superimposed on top of various backgrounds.
16. Loving Vincent (2017)
Armand Roulin, a courier who travels to deliver Vincent Van Gogh’s final letter to the late painter’s brother, is the subject of Loving Vincent, the first totally painted feature film. Armand is on a quest to find more about the death of Vincent Van Gogh, who had only been missing for a year.
Dedicated to one of the greatest artists of all time, each frame was painted in the artist’s signature style by a team of talented artists.
17. Waking Life (2001)
Richard Linklater’s second feature,Waking Life, is an animated journey about a guy searching for the answers to life’s greatest problems through a surreal, intellectually intriguing twist on the structural style of his debut feature, Slacker.
On existentialism, meaning of life, and conundrum of free choice, the video touches on these topics and more. Digital video of actors was shot, and Linklater recruited animators to rotoscope over it, and it is considered one of his best films by many critics.
18. Heavy Metal (1981)
When it comes to violence and nudity, Heavy Metalis an R-rated anthology film that revolves around a luminous green orb that purports to be the root of all evil.
This is an adaptation of stories from Heavy Metal magazine, and the animation does a great job of capturing their essence. From Guillermo del Toro to David Fincher, this film has been cited as a visual inspiration by a wide range of filmmakers.
19. South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (1999)
It wasn’t long before Paramount asked South Park founders Trey Parker and Matt Stone to adapt their show for the big screen after it became one of the most popular sitcoms on television. Critics have been South Park’s largest satirical target to date, and the film, titledBigger, Longer & Uncut, attacked that subject.
A new R-rated Terrance and Phillip movie, which the lads had snuck into, had their parents calling for the comedy duo’s death.
20. Anomalisa (2015)
Anomalisa, a stop-motion animated film based on a play written by Charlie Kaufman under the pseudonym Francis Fregoli, stars David Thewlis and Jennifer Jason Leigh as puppets who are made to feel human by their engaging vocal performances.
As a customer service expert, Thewlis portrays a woman, played by Leigh, who stands out from the rest of the world. It’s a lovely, subdued portrait of a character.