Animated TV shows became popular in the 1950s with “Felix the Cat” and “Crusader Rabbit.” The genre grew through the 1960s with Disney productions and the rise of major animation producer Hanna-Barbera Productions. But most of these were cartoons and made very little effort to develop a plot or more than one or two characters.
The sitcom has been another popular TV genre. Among the early shows, “I Love Lucy” was the giant. It first ran from 1951 to 1957 and topped the Nielsen ratings for several years. (These are the best live-action sitcoms of all time.)
Some of the more successful TV shows of more recent times have been marriages of the two genres – and the best of them all is “Rick and Morty.”
No discussion of animated sitcoms would be complete without mention of “The Simpsons.” First introduced in a series of shorts on “The Tracey Ullman Show” in the late 1980s, the iconic family kicked off their own debut season in December of 1989. The show soon captured the zeitgeist in every direction, changing the standards of television comedy, rocking the culture at large, and paving the way for more animated fare. One might say that we have been living in the shadow of those early seasons ever since.
Another feat pulled off by “The Simpsons” was its ability to tackle adult subject matter without losing a cartoonish edge. While successors such as “Family Guy” and “South Park” dialed up the mature content, they nevertheless kept the visual aspects of classic animation. Then we have shows like “Bob’s Burgers” or “King of the Hill,” which are mostly family-friendly despite the occasional adult theme.
To determine the best animated sitcoms, 24/7 Tempo reviewed all animated television shows tagged with the keyword “sitcom” on IMDb, an online movie database owned by Amazon. Only those with at least 5,000 IMDb user votes were considered. We ranked the shows we reviewed based on an index consisting of average IMDb user rating and IMDb popularity score. Data was collected in October 2021. (If you want something longer than a TV sitcom, these are the greatest animated movies of all time.)
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