A meme on Facebook and Twitter about Make Me Choose Between Two Movies” has spawned multiple conversations with friends and family about what animated movies I have enjoyed. This lead to a long conversation about growing up and then in college watching cartoons and anime. It got me to thinking how much animation has inspired me. These shows impacted my gaming hobby, my love of fantasy and science fiction, my love for adventurous stories, my love of large robots, and more. So, here are some of the animated shows and films that have inspired me over the years.
Like most children of the 80s, I grew up on Saturday Morning Cartoons and After School Cartoons (for me they happened during a show called Happy’s Place on WFFT). My two favorite cartoons to this day are Super Friends and Thundarr the Barbarian. I even have a Super Friends poster on the wall of my office at work.
- Dungeons & Dragons
- G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero
- The Pirates of Dark Water
- Schoolhouse Rock!
- Super Friends
- Thundarr the Barbarian
Growing up in the 80s in small town Indiana, we had limited access to anime. Only a few series were aired on over-the-air stations and it wasn’t until college that I found a friend who had VHS tapes of fan translated anime. So what little anime I found, I watched religiously, so I could see all the episodes. The animation style was so different than Saturday morning cartoons, and the stories much more complicated. Growing up, my favorite of the anime on TV was Star Blazers. That giant space-worthy battleship and her crew fascinated me. Then in college I was introduced to Cowboy Bebop and Record of Lodoss Wars. The depth of those stories and the animation inspire me to this day. I love science fiction and fantasy literature, movies, and gaming, so those two anime series still are my favorites to watch every year or so. Now I am sharing Cowboy Bebop with one of my daughters and she is inspired by it as well (especially the jazz soundtrack). We are both very curious about the upcoming live action Cowboy Bebop series coming out on Netflix soon.
- Battle of the Planets/G-Force: Guardians of Space (Science Ninja Team Gatchaman)
- Cowboy Bebop
- Ghost in the Shell
- Mobile Suit Gundam
- Record of Lodoss War
- Robotech (Super Dimension Fortress Macross)
- Speed Racer
- Star Blazers (Space Battleship Yamato)
- Voltron (Go Lion)
The animation in movies gets better year after year, but there are still older animated films that inspire me the most. My wife and I have been enjoying the Disney and Pixar animated movies since we were dating in college, and recently have enjoyed the live action re-imagining of many of them. The first animated film I fell in love with and still do to this day is Disney’s Robin Hood. It is likely the reason why I love anthropomorphic animals in cartoons, games, and others shows like Winnie the Pooh, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Beast Wars, Zootopia, Mutant: Genlab Alpha, and more.
- Disney’s Robin Hood
- The Incredibles
- The Iron Giant
- Lord of the Rings
- The Prince of Egypt
- Spirit – Stallion Of The Cimarron
- Titan A.E.
- Toy Story
Do you enjoy cartoons, anime, and/or animated films? What animation has inspired you over the years?