Animation is usually considered to be the domain of children. Sometimes however, cartoons intended for adults come around, intending to entertain an older audience. If those shows are successful enough, they can even get their own movies, whether direct-to-video or theatrical! Indeed, there are several adult animated series that eventually received their own films. Their popularity has varied, as has their quality, but it’s clear to say that these toon movies aren’t for the younger crowd. Without further ado, here are the top 5 best adult animated movies of all time ranked!
5. Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story (2005)
Family Guy has been a fan favorite since its debut in 1999. Despite being cancelled in 2002, the show’s large DVD sales brought it back to TV in 2005. And what better way to celebrate a return to TV than to create a direct-to-video movie celebrating the occasion? In Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story, diabolical infant Stewie Griffin becomes convinced that his family may not be his real family after all. He decides to set out on a quest to find out who his real family is and along the way, he endures hilarious situations both in the episode proper and in the show’s immortal cutaway gags. Can Stewie discover the truth as to his lineage?
Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story doesn’t have the most complicated of plots, but it’s a good way to have some mindless fun. The jokes land more often than not and the writing is strong enough to justify its existence.
4. Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie for Theaters (2007)
Even for adult cartoon standards, Aqua Teen Hunger Force is among some of the most surreal and outlandish of shows. Featuring an anthropomorphic milkshake named Master Shake, an anthropomorphic box of fries named Frylock, an anthropomorphic wad of meat named Meatwad and their disgruntled next-door neighbor Carl, the show focuses on the quartet’s misadventures as they deal with the mundane and not so mundane.
In the theatrical adaptation, Shake creates an exercise machine known as the Insaneoflex. After it gains sentience, the four most find a way to defeat it, while embarking on many misadventures along the way. Can this not-so-fabulous foursome save the day?
Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie for Theaters features the same hilariously abstract plots and scenarios. Refusing to settle for the typical, it has the laughs and the imagination to elevate it even higher.
3. The Simpsons Movie (2007)
The longest running animated series in the United States, The Simpsons is a cultural touchstone that has shaped the modern animated landscape as we know it. Bumbling dad? Simpsons did it first. Mischievous youngster? Simpsons redefined the mold. Oafish, but well-meaning bar mates? Simpsons did it…you get the idea. Given its immense popularity, it only made sense that the series would get its own theatrical tale. And in 2007, indeed it did.
In The Simpsons Movie, Springfield lands in hot water when the EPA deems it too unstable to exist in the outside world. The solution? Seal it in a glass dome, of course! But Homer being Homer, he refuses to take this lying down and escapes to Alaska with the rest of the Simpson family clan! But after Homer has an epiphany (sudden realization, as the movie itself explains), he decides to head back home and set things right. Can our buffoonish protagonist save the day?
The Simpsons Movie escalates the relatively low stakes of its parent series to insane levels. Never before in the series was Springfield in such imminent danger. But the combination of big laughs and big action all work and the result is a wonderfully satisfying story featuring our favorite yellow family.
2. South Park: Bigger, Longer, Uncut (1999)
If biting satire is your preferred brand of comedy, South Park is just the show. Ever since its debut in 1997, the show has lampooned every issue conceivable, with a mentality of: “Either it’s all okay or none of it is”. In its 1999 cinematic outing, the show doesn’t stray from this mantra.
In Bigger, Longer, Uncut, protagonists Stan Marsh, Kyle Broflovski, Eric Cartman and Kenny McCormick become obsessed with a movie featuring their favorite comedians; Canada’s own Terrence and Phillip. After Kenny is killed (again) imitating one of the stunts from the films, Kyle’s overprotective mother Sheila blames the comedians for this tragedy and declares war on Canada. The three remaining boys must form a resistance against the nefarious MAC (Mothers Against Canada) and save both the world and the right to perform hilariously offensive comedy.
Bigger, Longer, Uncut features the series’ scathing wit, transposed onto an even larger scale. It feels right at home with its parent series and never falters when delivering its remorseless commentary on figures it despises.
1. Beavis and Butthead Do America (1996)
Before South Park emerged on the comedy scene, Beavis and Butthead were the quintessential youngster troublemakers and deliverers of searing satire. Their brand was much more muted and mundane, though it still sledgehammered ideas and conventions held dear to hilarious effect. As such, it received its own film to feature the same sophomoric snickering from the two.
In this movie, the dimwitted duo embark on a cross-country tour of the titular country when their beloved television set is stolen. Along the way, they get roped into a plot to destroy the capital by a duo of ex-husband and wife criminals. As they remain blissfully unaware of these malicious intentions, the two make their usual blunt observations and revel in their love for the scatological. Can the duo both find their tube and happen to save the day along the way?
Do America is fantastic because of how inadvertent the action is. The titular characters never show awareness for the larger plot that affects them and they continue on, blissfully enjoying their surroundings. The same characters and same hilarious observations make for a witty and surprisingly thrilling adult cartoon movie.