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5 must-watch animated series of 2021

Still from Prime Video's Invincible (Image via IMDb)
Still from Prime Video's Invincible (Image via IMDb)
Shruti Kotiya

2021 was not just the year for action-packed epics and biopics but also for the brilliant animated series' that won hearts all over.

As the year comes to an end, it's time to look back at the best or perhaps must-watch animated series of 2021. Here is a look at the top five animated series, ranked from top to bottom.


5 animated series of 2021 that are a must-watch

1) Marvel's What If...?

An animated anthology series created by A. C. Bradley, What If...? explores alternate timelines in the multiverse that show what would happen if certain events from MCU films occurred differently. The series is supported by a narration from the Watcher (Jeffrey Wright) alongside many MCU characters reprising their roles. It is available to stream on Disney+.

What If...? tops the list of must-watch series not because it's part of the Marvel universe but because it's a visual treat to the eyes of the viewer. Each episode has a different plot revolving around a different character and their major moment. Seeing certain events unfold differently will send all Marvel fans into a frenzy, especially due to its stunning action sequences.

Marvel's What If...? has an IMDb rating of 7.5 and a 93% Rotten Tomatoes score. The series has been renewed for another season after such a positive response from critics and viewers. According to the Chicago Sun-Times:

"It's a relatively breezy and often humorous series that puts a quirky and borderline goofy spin on the Marvel timeline as we know it."

2) Dug Days

Pixar's animated shorts, Dug Days revolves around the beloved Dug from the movie Up as he discovers the dangers of suburbia. His adventures are set immediately after the film, along with his owner Carl Fredricksen. The series is directed by Bob Peterson and is available to stream on Disney+.

Dug Days feels like a cute little reminder of the beautiful Pixar movie Up, which is why it's a part of this list. Anyone who loved this adorable golden retriever in the film is bound to love his daily adventures as he tries to adjust to the suburban lifestyle. The animated series also has appearances from Russell along with old man Carl as one of the leads.

Dug Days has an IMDb rating of 8.2 and a 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes because who wouldn't love an animated series about a dog? According to Common Sense Media:

"Pixar has captured the magic of the movie 'Up' once again in this delightful series of shorts."

3) Invincible

Invincible is an adult animated superhero series that revolves around Mark Grayson/Invincible, a 17-year-old teen who is struggling to deal with his personal life and superhero duties. He aspires to live up to his father, the legendary Nolan Grayson/Omni-Man. The series is based on the Image Comic series of the same name by Robert Kirkman, Cory Walker, and Ryan Ottley. Invincible is available to stream on Prime Video.

Invincible is an interesting watch as the comic-to-film adaptation world has been ruled by Marvel and DC. The animated series shows a different side of being a superhero, which the cinematic universes don't usually shed light on, along with the fact that the characters have been voiced by brilliant actors like Steven Yeun, Sandra Oh, and J. K. Simmons.

Invincible has an IMDb rating of 8.7 and a 98% score on Rotten Tomatoes. According to USA Today:

"The old-school animation, married with deep character work and a thoughtful plot that sticks with you, make the series stand out proudly among the comic book crowd."

4) Monsters at Work

Disney's favorite monsters made a comeback with Monsters At Work, an animated series set after the premise of the movie Monsters, Inc., where Henry J. Waternoose III was arrested and the famous duo of Mike and Sulley took over the company.

The series revolves around Tylor Tuskmon, a recent Scare Major graduate from Monsters University. Tyler gets appointed as a mechanic in the factory's facilities team and dreams of working alongside Mike and Sulley. The series is available to stream on Disney+.

Monsters At Work is yet another cute continuation of one of Disney's most loved movies by Disney. Anyone who had seen the film Monsters, Inc. and needed an answer about the aftermath of Mike and Sulley changing the company's minds, Monsters At Work is it for them. Unfortunately, there is no Boo in the series, but she is mentioned every now and then, which means they still think about her.

Monsters At Work has an IMDb rating of 7.1 and a 65% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. According to Rolling Stone:

"Combine them with some well-executed slapstick set pieces that evoke the two movies without feeling like rehashes, and the early episodes set up the foundation for a solid all-ages comedy."

5) Star Wars: The Bad Batch

Star Wars made a comeback only this time it was animated. Created by Dave Filoni, the series revolves around the 'Bad Batch' of elite and experimental clones that make their way through an ever-changing galaxy in the immediate aftermath of the Clone Wars. Star Wars: The Bad Batch is part of the Star Wars franchise and is available to stream on Disney+.

Star Wars: The Bad Batch is a must-watch animated series for every Star Wars fan, not just because of its stunning animation but because it acts as a sequel as well as a spin-off to Star Wars: The Clone Wars. The series received a positive response from its viewers and was renewed for another season due next year.

Star Wars: The Bad Batch has an IMDb rating of 8 and holds a score 88% on Rotten Tomatoes. According to News.com Australia:

"The Bad Batch is catnip for the dedicated Star Wars fans. It's an animated action-adventure series with thrills, relatable characters on the right side of the war, blaster guns and enough lore and easter eggs to invoke a few excited squeals."

Honorary Mentions: Animated Series version

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Honorary mentions for must-watch animated series include Dota: Dragon's Blood, Middlemost Post, Star Trek: Prodigy, Eden, Marvel's M.O.D.O.K., Spidey and His Amazing Friends, Aquaman: King of Atlantis, Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness, and Blade Runner: Black Lotus.

Stream the best of 2021's animated series on OTT platforms and kickstart the inner child.


Edited by R. Elahi

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