2023 has been a groundbreaking year for animated content across films and TV shows. Several animated films have found incredible success at the box office
List hai toh hit hai
2023 has been a groundbreaking year for animated content across films and TV shows. Several animated films have found incredible success at the box office, while a few have left an indelible mark in the industry and have redefined animated films for years to come. The second half of 2023 also witnessed back-to-back releases of outstanding animated shows – both American and Japanese. For today’s List Hai Toh Hit hai podcast we are counting down the best animated films and TV shows of 2023.
8. The Super Mario Bros. Movie. - JioCinema
At number 8, we have the blockbuster animated film The Super Mario Bros. Movie. The animated adaptation of the iconic video game franchise raked in over $1.3 billion at the box office. Despite mixed reviews from critics, the film starring Chris Pratt, Anya Taylor-Joy, Seth Rogen, Jack Black, Keagan-Michael Key, and Charlie Day among others became a fan-favourite. The story follows Mario and his brother Luigi as they embark on an adventure to rescue Princess Peaches. The film’s endearing story, trademark humour, and star-studded ensemble elevated it to dizzying heights.
7. Nimona - Netflix
At number seven is the underrated animated film Nimona. Chloë Grace Moretz plays the lead as the titular character, a shape-shifting teen in a Mediaeval-era-inspired futuristic kingdom who is on a mission to help a disgraced knight accused of murdering the Queen. The narrative explores several socio-political themes and serves as a satire for contemporary society. The film is helmed by Nick Bruno and Troy Quane, and it received praise for its compelling story and stunning animation. Acclaimed British actor Riz Ahmed also plays a pivotal role in the film.
6. Castlevania: Nocturne - Netflix
Castlevania: Nocturne, the spin-off to the acclaimed animated series Castlevania, takes the number six spot on this list. Set in 18th-century France against the backdrop of the French Revolution, the story follows Richter Belmont, a descendant of Trevor Belmont and Sypha Belnades, as he battles against vampires. A vampire who calls herself the ‘messiah’ threatens to plunge the world into eternal darkness. The series, created by Clive Bradley, might not have matched the lofty standards set by its predecessor, but it still manages to deliver a gripping story with stunning animation, and rich subtext.
5. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem - Amazon, Apple, & Google VOD
Moving on to number five on the list, it is the sleeper hit Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem. The reboot of the iconic franchise stars Micah Abbey, Shamon Brown Jr., Nicolas Cantu, and Brady Noon as the four young turtles, and Ayo Edebiri as April. They are joined by a star-studded supporting cast that includes Jackie Chan as the guardian of the turtles, Splinter, along with Maya Rudolph, John Cena, and Seth Rogen. Rose Byrne, Giancarlo Esposito, Ice Cube, and Paul Rudd. The film received universal acclaim for its riveting story and doodle art-style animation.
4. Pluto - Netflix
At number four, we have picked the Japanese anime series Pluto. Created by Naoki Urasawa, the anime is Inspired by Osamu Tezuka's iconic Astro Boy franchise. Pluto features a more grounded and serious tale set in a futuristic society where the delicate peace between robots and humans is under threat. When prominent robots and their human allies are murdered one by one, a detective is tasked with solving the mystery before chaos ensues. The series received praise for its philosophical subtext, thought-provoking narrative and excellent animation style.
3. Scavengers Reign - JioCinema
The Max original series Scavengers Reign takes the number three spot on this list. Created by Joseph Bennett and Charles Huettner, the animated series tells the story of a space freighter and its crew who are stranded on a mysterious planet. The crew soon discover that the deceptively beautiful planet is rife with strange Lovercraftian-type monsters. The series is a thought-provoking exploration of survival and existentialism told through a unique art style inspired by ‘80s graphic novels. It has also borrowed elements from David Cronenberg’s body-horror style of filmmaking. The series has attracted rave reviews from critics and audiences since its premiere in October 2023.
2. Blue Eye Samurai - Netflix
The most surprising hit of the year is the American animated series Blue Eye Samurai. The Netflix original series is a close second on this list of best-animated content of 2023. Set in Edo period Japan in the 17th century, it follows the tale of a mixed-race Samurai on a quest for vengeance. The series offers a nuanced examination of themes of race, nationalism, xenophobia, misogyny, and other socio-political themes. The series received immense praise for its scintillating fight sequences and stunning art style and animation. Created by Amber Noizumi and Michael Green, the series will go down in history as one of the best-animated shows of all time.
1. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse - Netflix
The undisputed number one on this list is Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, the sequel to the Academy Award-winning 2018 film Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. It would be an understatement to say that the animation style of both films has revolutionised the landscape of animation and its ability to tell compelling stories. The sequel follows the young Spider-Man Miles Morales as he follows Gwen Stacey to parallel dimensions in an effort to stop a multiverse-ending threat. The film leans on visual storytelling flourishes through vibrant scenes which significantly enhance the overall experience. Helmed by Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers, and Justin K. Thompson, the film stars Shameik Moore and Hailee Steinfeld in lead roles with Jake Johnson, Oscar Issac, Greta Lee, Daniel Kaluuya, and Mahershala Ali among others in supporting roles.
Well that's all for today, until the next time it's your host Nikhil signing out.
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Written by Ryan Gomez