Some people spend their Thanksgiving watching the Macy’s parade and the football game. Others spend the holiday binge-watching cartoons. If the latter describes you, the following list of five new and returning animated TV series, two movies and one half-hour holiday special should be among your prime viewing options for the month of November.
Though the entries on this list cover a wide range of art styles and genres, this appears to be a particularly noteworthy month for both computer animation and science fiction dramas aimed at more mature audiences. Cartoons from America, Japan and Europe are all represented in this list. There should be plenty of animation to be thankful for.
gen:LOCK Season 2
In 2019, Rooster Teeth launched its most ambitious animated series yet, the star-studded computer-animated mecha action series gen:LOCK. Season 1 had its kinks to work out, particularly in regards to its lack of a strong villain, but the show still has plenty of potential to improve. Two years later, Season 2 will hopefully keep up the first season’s thrilling action sequences while giving the series’ likable team of heroes a stronger overall story.
Created by Gray Haddock, Rooster Teeth Animation’s gen:LOCK stars the voices of Michael B. Jordan, Dakota Fanning, Maisie Williams, Kōichi Yamadera, Golshifteh Farahani, Asia Kate Dillon, David Tennant, Monica Rial, Blaine Gibson, Gray Haddock, Miles Luna and Chad James. Season 2 premieres on HBO Max Nov. 4.
Animaniacs Season 2
Prepare for maximum zaniness: the Warner Brothers and Sister, as well as world domination-seeking lab mice Pinky and the Brain, are back with 13 new episodes. Season 1 of the new Animaniacs was one of the smarter nostalgia reboots around, preserving the balance of child-friendly absurdity and sharp adult humor that made the original 1993 series a fan favorite, and Season 2 should be as good if not better. Expect plenty of pop culture parodies, cartoon violence and hilarious musical numbers.
Animaniacs Season 2 stars the voices of Rob Paulsen, Tress MacNeille, Jess Harnell and Maurice LaMarche and premieres on Hulu Nov. 5.
Whether or not you play League of Legends, the spinoff “event series” Arcane is shaping up to be one of the more interesting-looking of Netflix’s growing number of video game adaptations. Set in the seemingly utopian city of Piltover and its neighboring underground Zaun, this adult-oriented action drama centers around the tragic origin stories of sister fighters Xi and Jinx. Between this and Maya and the Three, Netflix has been really raising the bar visually for CG-animated miniseries.
Directed by Ash Brannon, Arcane stars the voices of Hailee Steinfeld, Ella Purnell, Kevin Alejandro, Katie Leung, Jason Spisak, Toks Olagundoye, JB Blanc and Harry Lloyd and will premiere three episodes a week on Netflix for three weeks starting Nov. 6.
Blade Runner: Black Lotus
If current patterns hold, it seems you can expect Adult Swim and Crunchyroll’s anime co-productions to premiere a month after the start of the rest of the anime season. That was the case with the recently-concluded first season of Fena: Pirate Princess, and it continues with the highly anticipated Blade Runner: Black Lotus. Sola Digital Arts, the CG animation team behind Ghost in the Shell: SAC 2045, is handling this latest incarnation in the classic cyberpunk series.
Co-directed by Shinji Aramaki and Kenji Kamiyama, Blade Runner: Black Lotus premieres on Adult Swim’s Toonami block Nov. 13 at midnight ET/PT and will stream on Crunchyroll at the same time.
After Raya and the Last Dragon had to do a simultaneous release on Disney+ Premiere Access and Pixar’s Luca bypassed theaters entirely, Encanto is hoping to make Disney animation into a theatrical event once again. The main character in this Colombia-set fantasy, Mirabel Madrigal, is the only member of her family who doesn’t have magical powers, but she’ll have to save the day anyway when magic is under threat. The movie also features original songs by Hamilton‘s Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Directed by Jared Bush, Byron Howard and Charise Castro Smith, Encanto stars the voices of Stephanie Beatriz, John Leguizamo, María Cecilia Botero, Diane Guerrero, Jessica Darrow, Angie Cepeda and Wilmer Valderrama and arrives in theaters Nov. 24.
Of the various projects presented as works in progress at this year’s Annecy International Animation Film Festival, Aardman Animation’s new half-hour Christmas special Robin Robin was among the most instantly charming. The hand-felted stop-motion animation from the team behind Wallace and Gromit looks absolutely adorable, and the story about a bird adopted by a family of mice seems primed to inspire emotion in viewers of all ages.
Directed by Daniel Ojari and Michael Please, Robin Robin stars the voices of Gillian Anderson, Bronte Carmichael and Amira Macey-Michael and premieres on Netflix Nov. 24.
The Summit of the Gods
If any international features aside from frontrunners Flee and Belle make it into the Academy Awards’ Best Animated Feature category this upcoming awards season, The Summit of the Gods seems well-positioned as a candidate. Premiering to strong reviews at the Cannes Film Festival, this European adaptation of Jiro Taniguchi’s classic manga about climbing Mount Everest looks to be a breathtaking experience. If you can’t see it on the big screen, make sure to add this to your Netflix queue.
Directed by Patrick Imbert, The Summit of the Gods premieres in theaters on Nov. 24 and on Netflix on Nov. 30.
Netflix’s line of Millarworld adaptations got off to a rough start with the quickly canceled live-action series Jupiter’s Legacy. Hopefully, the anime Super Crooks, based on the comic by Mark Millar and Leinil Francis Yu set in the same universe as Jupiter’s Legacy, will be more impressive on the action and storytelling fronts. Studio Bones is animating, and Dai Sato is writing. If you like this team of super-villains in animated form, they’re set to also receive a live-action series in the future.
Directed by Motonobu Hori, Super Crooks premieres on Netflix on Nov. 25.
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