Some of the best sitcoms on TV are cartoons. Animation helped the sitcoms break loose from the confines of the studio and live audiences and paved the way for the dynamic, multi-camera sitcoms we have today. And they’re not nearly as one-dimensional as they look. Here are our top five favorite animated sitcoms.
5. ‘The Flintstones’
‘The Flinstones’ is basically a cartoon version of ‘The Honeymooners’, but with dinosaurs. This prehistoric family comedy was the first TV cartoon to see the potential of melding sitcom with animation and, as it ran for six years, it must have pulled it off. Besides anything, it showed us how to use birds as household appliances.
4. ‘Spongebob Squarepants’
This sitcom made a real splash (see what we did there?). Often wrongly thought of as just a kids cartoon, the tale of a sea sponge and his friends has a classic sitcom set-up. Bob’s encounters with irked misanthrope Squidward are rooted in the sitcom’s annoying neighbour tradition. Perhaps that’s why it’s so beloved by adults.
3. ‘The Critic’
‘The Critic’ was a short-lived sitcom from the producers of ‘The Simpsons’ about a New York TV film critic who bears an uncanny resemblance to the late Roger Ebert. The movie parodies were spot-on (‘Dennis the Menace II’ Society, anyone?) but the show had real heart and true feeling for its less-than-perfect characters.
2. ‘King of the Hill’
You can hardly call this sitcom about a small-town Texas family animated. since it’s the most deadpan TV comedy of all time. But somehow those moving drawings observe the nuances of everyday life better than live-action ever could. The show is so warmly realistic you forget you’re watching a cartoon.
1. ‘The Simpsons’
A contender for the best sitcom of all time, it naturally tops the animated list. Because leaving aside all the slapstick, the parodies, the satire and the pageantry, it’s the show’s poignant, loving and true portrayal of family that makes it.