Alright, so chances are if you found your way to Glitterati Lobotomy, you already know that cartoons aren’t just for kids.
Whether it’s an animated television show or a full-on animated feature film, there’s a lot that these pieces of artful entertainment can offer to audience members of any age.
That said, we still wanted to stitch together a concise list of relaxing cartoons for adults.
We’ve also been careful to select animated content that will serve as a nice entry point for any grownups out there who might not be too familiar with animation.
Whether you need a break at the end of a long work day or you just prefer your entertainment to be on the lighter side in general, here they are, five relaxing cartoons for adults that you can easily find on the good ol’ internet.
If you’re over the age of 30 and you don’t happen to have any kids in your life, you may have missed the Steven Universe craze.
Several years after the show first came out on Cartoon Network, it has been gathering a massive fanbase, and lots of those fans are adults just like you and me.
So why has this show appealed to so many different kinds of people?
Well, this might be a bit abstract, but Steven Universe has a very tangible sense of heart, especially several seasons in.
Like the best animated shows that appeal to adults and kids, it manages to touch on difficult subject matter without directly addressing the real-world equivalents of those problems.
But fear not! Though the show can get more than a little heavy, the atmosphere that it returns to time and again is one of serenity, peace, and comfort.
The setting alone, the fictional Beach City, feels removed from real life, and at times it can even feel like some of the most comforting locales from popular anime titles.
Every once in a while you’ll get some action-packed episodes with wild superpowers and ships that look like body parts, but it always returns to a baseline of calm.
Bee and Puppycat
Steven Universe might borrow certain elements from anime, but Bee and Puppycat feels quite strongly like a bona fide anime series that was expertly dubbed with the help of talented American voice actors.
It’s not, of course. This is an American show any way you slice it. Coming from Frederator/Cartoon Hangover (who also helped spawn Adventure Time and Steven Universe), this web series attracted attention from an early short then launched a crowdfunding campaign to create additional episodes.
Aside from the calming visuals, music, lovely color palette, and boatloads of side-stepping humor, the entire series is available on YouTube right now, making it one of the most accessible entries on our list.
If the show has an overarching story or theme, it’s to do with growing up and becoming an actual person who can pay for their own life. But we rarely encounter serious problems in the episodes, outside of the fantastic adventures Bee and her friend/pet Puppycat have during otherworldly temp work assignments.
Pixar Short Films
Sure, if you’ve kept up with Pixar’s work through the years, then you’ve likely already seen most of their short films, but they’re absolutely worth revisiting.
While the underlying concepts are simple, the execution is always artful, and they provide a wider range of visual styles than the feature-length movies themselves.
You’ll get to feel sophisticated for watching short films while also enjoying the easygoing storylines.
And if you subscribe to Disney+, then you should be able to watch most of them for no extra charge.
Even after all these years, Pixar is home to some of the most skilled CG animators in the industry, and the short films tend to highlight those animators and their talents.
This animated comedy series from Bob’s Burgers creator Loren Bouchard originally aired on Adult Swim and lasted only four seasons.
But with voice acting from series co-creator Brendon Small, H. Jon Benjamin (Bob of Bob’s Burgers and Sterling Archer of Archer) and guest appearances by Laura Silverman (Andy Pesto of Bob’s Burgers) and Eugene Mirman (Gene of Bob’s Burgers), every episode features comedic conversations that feel more than a little improvised.
The visuals are nothing to brag about, but overall it’s a wonderful low-stakes show with plenty of jokes for the grownups in the room.
This show also provides an extra bit of fun for any cinephiles out there.
The main character, Brendon, makes home movies with his friends, and just about every one of them is a direct reference to a real-world movie, whether popular or obscure.
It’s hard to describe exactly why, but every time I catch a new reference, it makes the episode just that much funnier.
Clearly, Bouchard and Co. understand how funny that contrast can be: kids doing things that kids probably would never do. Instead of being painfully precocious, it’s just plain entertaining.
Creature Comforts was originally an Oscar-winning animated short film from Wallace and Grommet creator Nick Park.
The animals are all in Park’s signature style, but the dialogue is made up of documentary-style recordings of real people in the UK.
They chat about common aspects of everyday life and the animators match their words to animals, so that it all feels like you’re getting insights into the animal world.
Each episode is short, and there were only two seasons total, but this is one of the best background shows imaginable. Just switch it on and enjoy the humor that comes from simply being a person.
That’s all for now. Please let us know what your suggestions would be for relaxing cartoons that adults can enjoy.
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