Upcoming Animated Shows in 2023
Check out our most-anticipated animated premieres of 2023.
The animation industry took quite a hit in 2022, with a lot of surprise cancellations and an alarming new trend of companies removing finished series from their streaming platforms. But that doesn’t mean new shows aren’t still being made, and some old favorites are returning for new seasons, sequels, and reboots.
Here’s our most-anticipated animated premieres of 2023 from Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, and Amazon Prime.
Upcoming animated shows on Netflix
Netflix used to be a safe haven for all sorts of animated shows, from Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts to BoJack Horseman. However, it’s been canceling a ton of popular animated shows in recent years, like Tuca & Bertie, Q-Force, Inside Job, and (most tragically) Dead End: Paranormal Park.
But there are still a few shows left on the platform that they haven’t killed yet, so we’ll keep our fingers crossed (and hovering over the unsubscribe button).
We Lost Our Human | Interactive comedy adventure
Following in the footsteps of Carmen Sandiego: To Steal or Not to Steal and Battle Kitty, Netflix’s newest interactive special is called We Lost Our Human. It follows a cat and dog duo who find that every human on the planet has mysteriously disappeared. Will they ever find their human? Since it’s an interactive special, somewhere between a movie and a video game, that’s up to the viewer.
We Lost Our Human comes to Netflix on March 21.
Castlevania: Nocturne | Dark fantasy, horror
We were so glad to hear that this project hadn’t been canceled in 2022. Castlevania: Nocturne is the sequel series to 2017’s Castlevania, based on the hit video game franchise. The original series followed Trevor Belmont and Sypha Belnades as they teamed up with half-vampire Alucard to defeat his father, Dracula, and other creatures who go bump in the night.
Castlevania: Nocturne takes place years later, and will focus on the Belmonts’s descendant Richter during the French Revolution. Alucard will be there, too, of course. If you’re familiar with the games, you’ll notice it’s mixing plotlines from the Rondo of Blood and the Symphony of Night.
Castlevania: Nocturne comes to Netflix sometime in 2023.
Pokémon Concierge | Stop-motion anime
Netflix and The Pokémon Company recently announced a collaboration in the form of Pokémon Concierge, a stop-motion anime about a resort for Pokémon. We don’t know too much about this series yet, but it immediately looks super charming.
Pokémon Concierge does not yet have a release date.
Disenchantment | Fantasy sitcom, satire
We’re a little nervous about the fate of this cult animated show—it seems like if it were to be canceled, Netflix would have done it by now, but it’s also weird that we haven’t gotten any news about a renewal.
Despite that, we’re choosing to stay optimistic. Disenchantment is a wonderfully weird, plot-heavy comedy from the minds behind Futurama. It follows the rebellious princess of a fantasy kingdom as she battles demons, creepy cults, and her own family. Every season so far has ended on a cliffhanger. They legally have to finish the story, right guys? Right, guys?
Disenchantment part 5 does not yet have a release date, but we’re expecting late 2023 or early 2024. Part 4 released on February 9, 2022.
Upcoming animated shows on Disney+
Disney is well-known for its animated series. Even before Disney+, Disney Channel brought us classics like Kim Possible, Phineas and Ferb, and American Dragon: Jake Long. (Can you tell what generation I’m from?)
Disney Channel is apparently making a pivot to episodic content instead of serialized—so less Owl House and Star vs. the Forces of Evil, more Hamster & Gretel. In fact, a Phineas and Ferb revival is currently in the works, so you can look forward to 40 more episodes (and hopefully, songs?) at some point in the future.
But that trend doesn’t apply to Marvel animated content—and 2023 is going to be a good year to be a Marvel fan.
The Ghost and Molly McGee | Supernatural comedy
Now’s a great time to catch up on the first season of what critics are calling “a lot like Beetlejuice—if Lydia Deetz was a peppy optimist instead of a sullen goth.”
The Ghost and Molly McGee is about a girl whose family moves into a haunted house, complete with a ghost who’s hell-bent on sucking all the joy out of the world. Of course, Molly does what anyone would do, and befriends the ghost almost immediately. Shenanigans ensue. Also, a lot of singing.
Season 2 of The Ghost and Molly McGee premieres April 1 on Disney Channel and April 2 on Disney+.
The Owl House | Fantasy adventure
Disney may have cruelly cut this show’s final season down to a mere three episodes, but the crew behind The Owl House is certainly making the most of it. The Owl House is about a teenager named Luz who stumbles through a portal into a magical world, where she learns how to become a witch.
This isn’t a butterflies-and-rainbows magical world, though—the entire continent is carved from the carcass of a long-dead Titan, and sometimes deadly boiling rain falls from the sky. It’s a freaky nightmare world, and Luz fits right in.
The latest episode of The Owl House season 3, “For the Future,” is currently available to stream on YouTube and Disney+. The Owl House’s season (and series) finale is expected to air on Disney Channel on April 8.
Marvel’s Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur | Superhero adventure
If you’re not familiar with the last eight years or so of Marvel comics, you might not recognize this name. The first Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur comic came out in 2015, and quickly found a devoted audience.
Moon Girl is Lunella Lafayette, a nine-year-old girl who just happens to be the smartest person in the Marvel Universe. Yes, smarter than even Tony Stark and Bruce Banner. Also, she’s friends with a dinosaur. But that’s actually pretty common for Marvel. (Ever heard of Runaways?)
The upcoming show is an animated adaptation of those comics, and we love the art style they chose for it. If you need more motivation to give the show a chance, watch this clip of Lunella crime-fighting on rollerskates while listening to Childish Gambino:
It kicks butt.
Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur’s is now available to stream on Disney+.
X-Men ‘97 | Superhero adventure
Hang on, I think I need a tissue. It’s finally here—we’re finally, finally getting new X-Men content. New X-Men animated content. I don’t love Disney’s near-monopoly over the entertainment industry after purchasing Fox, but this is the one slim silver lining.
If you’re confused, Disney’s Marvel Studios used to only have the rights to certain characters from the comics. Fox owned the rights to all the mutants—otherwise known as the X-Men—although Disney got to use Scarlet Witch as long as they promised to kill off Quicksilver early on.
But now Disney owns Fox, and with it, the rights to every mutant. They’ve been sprinkling in mutant content in some recent MCU titles—namely, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Ms. Marvel, and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever—but this is the first new show with X-Men right there in the title.
Well, technically it’s not a new show. Like Castlevania: Nocturne, X-Men ‘97 is a sequel show. It takes place after the events of the 1992 X-Men animated series (hence the name). I’ve read the tie-in comic X-Men ‘92: House of XCII that came out last year, and if the show is anything like it, I am so excited.
(I’ve said it before, but if Disney ever decides to revisit the 00s show X-Men Evolution, I might just cry).
X-Men ‘97 will air on Disney+ sometime this fall.
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Upcoming animated shows on HBO Max
Like Netflix, HBO Max too used to be home to a lot of great animation. Remember Infinity Train? Unfortunately, recent cutbacks have led to shows not only getting canceled, but removed from the service entirely—sayonara, Looney Tunes.
It does seem that the service is doubling down on adult animation specifically, but with varying degrees of success.
Velma | Horror comedy
Few shows have garnered quite as much controversy as 2023’s Scooby Doo reboot, Velma. Reimagined as a super-edgy, gorey adult comedy, somehow the show managed to anger so many people that it has an abysmal audience score of only six percent.
It’s not all bad, though. The character designs and animation are solid, and the concept is pretty good too. There’s clearly an attempt to turn Velma and Daphne into the new Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy. It’s even zeroing in on that Riverdale-y melodrama. The problem is that even Riverdale was not very fun to watch in its first season.
That, and the fact that Velma is one of those shows that brags about being “a cartoon for adults,” and justifies that rating with shock-factor jokes. It’s giving mid-00s randomness, and it’s not working. Unfortunately, the show didn’t get better as the series progressed, either. But maybe the show will outgrow its South Park phase in its rumored second season.
Velma season 1 is now available to stream on HBO Max.
Harley Quinn: A Very Problematic Valentine’s Day Special | Superhero dark comedy
Speaking of Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy, while we don’t yet have a release date for Harley Quinn’s fourth season, we got a surprise this February.
The Very Problematic Valentine’s Day Special aired just in time for the titular day, bringing mayhem and a lot of R-rated jokes along with it. The third season explored Harley and Ivy’s budding relationship, but ended with the couple realizing they still have trouble communicating with each other.
I’m sure Harley’s “low-key” plans for Ivy’s Valentine’s Day surprise will go exactly as planned. Also, it looks like Clock King and the Riddler are getting married. Good for them! Finally, positive representation for people who have an analog clock as a face.
Harley Quinn: A Very Problematic Valentine’s Day Special is now available to stream on HBO Max.
Clone High | Science fiction, sitcom
The age of 00s nostalgia is officially upon us. Clone High is a cult favorite TV show from 2002 that only ran for one season on MTV, but gained new popularity years later through, of course, the power of memes.
Clone High was already doing the themed high school thing years before Monster High and Rainbow High. Although instead of monsters or personified colors, the students of Clone High are clones of famous figures throughout history. If you’ve ever wanted to watch Cleopatra, JFK, and Joan of Arc embroiled in teen drama, this is your lucky day.
Honestly, the concept is a little like the Margaret Peterson Haddix books, The Missing series. It was also about teenage versions of historical figures, but with more of a time-travel mystery vibe. I totally forgot that the series existed until right this moment, but now I kind of want to see it get a TV adaptation. Clearly, the time is right for it.
Clone High is expected to air on HBO Max sometime in 2023.
Upcoming animated shows on Amazon Prime Video
Amazon Prime doesn’t really have a big stable of original animated content like Disney or Netflix. But its thing is usually quality, not quantity.
The Legend of Vox Machina | Fantasy action
Critical Role is probably the most high-profile actual play show out there (that’s a show that chronicles people playing a tabletop role-playing game, or TTRPG), and a massive Kickstarter campaign brought it to an even larger audience through its animated adaptation, The Legend of Vox Machina.
The series follows a scrappy band of heroes who save their world from the threat of evil forces, from undead sorcerers to sinister dragons. It really feels like a Dungeons & Dragons game come to life (well, because it is). The second season begins right where the first one left off: with a horde of angry dragons coming to burn the heroes’ world to the ground.
WIth this series’ success and the upcoming Dungeons & Dragons movie coming to theaters in March, it feels like the year of the TTRPG. (At least, it would be if Wizards of the Coast was less weird about its licensing, but that’s a story for another day.)
Maybe Vox Machina will inspire more animated shows based on similar web series. Amazon recently announced it intends on making even more Critical Role–inspired shows and movies, including an adaptation of its Mighty Nein campaign.
It’d also be cool if Peacock finally remembered they bought the rights to The Adventure Zone podcast a while back. I, personally, would love to see someone give College Humor’s streaming service Dropout the budget for a Dimension 20 animated series.
The Legend of Vox Machina season 2 is now available to stream on Amazon Prime Video.