When it comes to cartoons, they aren't just for kids anymore. Netflix understands this all too well, as the streaming giant has developed some of the highest-ranked animated original series airing today. However, many of these Netflix original series are meant just for adults, and cartoons like Big Mouth are something that young children should never watch until they're of a certain age.
What's rare, however, is when Netflix creates a new animated series that's not just children's entertainment but is also something their parents fall in love with as well. Not only are these animated shows age-appropriate, but they transcend their initial demographic. Here is a look at the 10 best cartoons on Netflix that adults love as much as kids.
When Guillermo del Toro announced he was making an original animated series for Netflix, it was cause for excitement. That series, Trollhunters, lived up to all expectations, lasting three seasons before spawning a sequel series titled 3Below.
Trollhunters follows a young man named Jim (Anton Yelchin) who learns that he is the first human Trollhunter. He has to lead a double-life as a hunter and a high school student. The series went in unexpected directions as it went on and received critical acclaim, including nine Daytime Emmy nominations in 2017 alone.
This sequel to Trollhunters changed the story and the established formula while still setting it in the same world, keeping close to the quality as the original series. Unlike Trollhunters, which dealt with a boy dealing with the new knowledge of a world of monsters, 3Below followed aliens sent to Earth.
The Netflix original cartoon focused on two alien siblings who escaped their planet with their bodyguard and pet. They took human forms on Earth to hide from intergalactic bounty hunters. There are two seasons with a third on the way.
8 CARMEN SANDIEGO
Carmen Sandiego has been around since 1985 with the original video game Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego before expanding into comic books, book series, and television shows. In 2019, Netflix acquired the rights and created their own original animated series.
Carmen Sandiego premiered in January 2019, introducing the famous sleuth to a new generation of children. It's been almost 20 years since the last series and critics called the revival a return to form for children of the '90s. There were nine episodes in its first season on Netflix, possibly with more to come.
7 STRETCH ARMSTRONG AND THE FLEX FIGHTERS
Stretch Armstrong was an action figure in the '70s who had arms and legs that kids could stretch out. The Hasbro toy was turned into a new Netflix animated cartoon in 2017 with new teammates, with the show called Stretch Armstrong and the Flex Fighters.
The Netflix original cartoon saw Stretch teaming with Wingspan (who can flatten his body to fly) and Omni-Mass (who can change his size and mass). The Netflix cartoon is made for kids but has some great action and remains a fun watch for adults sitting down for some TV time with their kids.
6 THE HOLLOW
Released in 2018, The Hollow was an interesting cartoon. The first season was a mystery where viewers had to figure out what was going on as the characters had to find their way through the world.
The Hollow saw three kids wake up in a small room with no idea as to who they were or what they are supposed to do. They had to solve puzzles, learn that they had powers, and battle various bosses until the truth was finally revealed. The mystery was great for adults, and the fantasy elements kept the kids interested until the end.
5 VOLTRON LEGENDARY DEFENDER
The entire universe is in danger, and it is up to warriors to reassemble Voltron to save the day. The lion mech is just as cool as ever, and there have been eight seasons on Netflix with 78 total episodes, ending in 2018.
4 DRAGONS: RACE TO THE EDGE
The most successful of DreamWorks Animation's movies was the wildly popular How to Train Your Dragon series. While many DreamWorks Animation features continued their stories with cartoons, How to Train Your Dragon did things differently.
The Netflix DreamWorks Dragons franchise consisted of three series, each taking place in between the movies and connecting the films. Riders of Berk was followed by Defenders of Berk and then six seasons of Race to the Edge. The last series was the best, but all eight seasons are worth watching for adults and kids.
3 THE DRAGON PRINCE
In 2018, Netflix released the original fantasy The Dragon Prince. The series was an immediate hit, receiving a second season just five months later, with a third season and a video game in the works.
The Dragon Prince takes place in a fantasy world with magic derived from the primal elements. When humans learned black magic which hurt the animals in their lands, the dragons drove them out. Over a thousand years later, humans killed the dragon king, and now a human prince sets out to return the king's egg to the dragons to prevent a war.
When it comes to anime on Netflix, there's not a lot that could be called kid-friendly. While still violent and probably only suitable for teens at the youngest, Castlevania has been a pleasant surprise for Netflix in the realm of cartoons.
There are two seasons of Castlevania, with a third one on the day. Based on the video games of the same name, Castlevania is set in a dark worl where Dracula declares war on humanity after people burn his wife at the stake. It's up to a monster hunter named Trevor Belmont and Dracula's son Alucard to stop him.
It has been over 50 years since Ultraman first arrived. The original Japanese series in the '60s starred a man named Hayata, a member of the Terrestrial Defense Force who could transform into the giant Ultraman to battle alien monsters that threatened the Earth.
Interestingly, the Netflix series was not a reboot but a continuation of the original story. Here, the Ultraman did not grow into a giant. As different as it was, it was still a fun new take on the story with Shinjiro as a high school student who learns his lineage will make him the next Ultraman.