These days, there’s no shortage of great streaming options out there if you’re keen to watch cartoons online. Whether you’re looking for cute cartoons for your little ones, anime for your teens, or even more mature animation for your late-night watching sessions, there’s sure to be something out there for you. But how do you know which streaming service suits your needs the best? Read on as we break down all the major streaming services out there and take a look at what each offers and for how much.
It makes perfect sense to expect the House of Mouse to have the largest variety of cartoons out there. If you’re keen to dive into the best cartoons ever, you can’t go wrong with Disney+. The streaming service has almost every Disney movie ever made, along with all of Pixar’s output including the Toy Story series, Cars, Soul, and much more.
If you prefer cartoon shorts, you’ll love that Disney+ offers many classic Disney shorts from the very first one — Steamboat Willy — right up to more modern fare from Pixar. Alternatively, you can also check out the likes of Darkwing Duck, Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends, and Gargoyles. There’s truly something for everyone here.
Disney+ is also home of The Simpsons so you can spend hours binge-watching the near countless number of the best Simpsons episodes of everyone’s favorite dysfunctional family. Want to watch the latest Disney movies? Disney+ Premier Access means you can choose to buy titles like Raya and the Last Dragon ahead of its Disney+ release too.
Disney+ costs $8 per month or $80 per year. There’s no Disney+ free trial for it right now but it works out as great value if you’re a keen cartoons watcher, especially if you also want to dabble in other types of TV or movie content from time to time.
Amazon Prime Video
Amazon Prime Video offers a fairly diverse range of animation options among the best shows on Amazon. We’re not entirely sure if there’s one area that’s Amazon Prime Video’s strength but with so much variety, it doesn’t entirely matter.
One of the most recent standout animations on the service is Invincible — an Amazon Original show about 17-year-old Mark Grayson, a boy whose father is the most powerful superhero on the planet, and who is developing his own powers as he grows up.
If you’re keen for something a bit more familiar, however, Amazon Prime Video is also the home of Spongebob Squarepants — a familiarly surreal hit for everyone of a certain age. It’s a great way to kick back and relax, forgetting the adult world for a time.
Keen on more mature fare? There’s always Avatar: The Last Airbender or Sonic X for you to binge-watch. Other anime includes Vinland Saga, Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku, and many more, making Amazon Prime Video a solid choice for anime lovers.
Alongside that is extensive cartoon content for your little ones such as Peppa Pig, Dora the Explorer, and Garfield. You can even introduce them to Looney Tunes via this service too.
It’s possible to subscribe to Amazon Prime Video alone for $9 per month. A better value proposition is to sign up to Amazon Prime for $13 per month and gain extra perks such as free two-day delivery along with unlimited reading and music streaming via Kindle Unlimited and Amazon Music. Alternatively, you can pay $119 per year for everything, working out as the best value overall. There’s a one-month free trial to get you started.
Like Amazon Prime Video, Hulu has a very diverse selection of cartoons and animations. Whatever age group you’re looking for, there’s something for you here.
Hulu is keen to stress its extensive adult animation content offering possibly the best variety out of all the streaming services. Included in your subscription fee is access to all of American Dad, Archer, Bob’s Burger, Family Guy, Futurama, King of the Hill, and much more. Like Disney+, it also has The Simpsons with new episodes added faster on this service than the House of Mouse alternative.
Hulu doesn’t stop there though. Loved the wackiness of cartoons in the 1990s? You’re going to love the next thing we say — Animaniacs. Yup, besides the zany antics of the Animaniacs, there’s also room for Pinky and the Brain, Tiny Toon Adventures, and even Thundercats. It’s a hugely nostalgic catalog of options.
Kids content includes some big names like the Shrek movies, Rio, Teen Titans Go!, Ben 10, and more. Thanks to access to Cartoon Network, you get plenty of additional options including Adventure Time, The Powerpuff Girls, and Steven Universe.
Finally, add on the HBO Max add-on for $15 per month and you can include South Park, along with a selection of kids’ movies to your streaming collection. Alternatively, add Starz for $9 per month and get access to Inside Out, Frozen, and many other popular Disney movies.
Hulu has a 30-day free trial available. Alternatively, you can pay $6 per month for Hulu (ad-supported), or $12 per month for no ads. Sign up for the Disney+ Bundle and there’s also the option of Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+ for just $14 per month.
Netflix is arguably the biggest streaming service out there, but when it comes to animation and cartoon options, it’s a little less of a heavyweight than others. For adults, cartoon options include the highly acclaimed animated series like Bojack Horseman, along with Big Mouth, and extensive coverage of anime series such as Castlevania, High-Rise Invasion, Dragon’s Dogma, and much more.
Where Netflix is stronger is with animation options for kids. These include My Little Pony, Disenchantment, Carmen Sandiego, and Angry Birds. There’s a huge range of other lesser-known animations too that are sure to charm your little ones but bear in mind that the best content is squarely aimed at younger kids.
Netflix has a one-month free trial if you somehow have never used it before, and costs from $9 per month depending on how many screens you want to watch it on concurrently. You can check our list of the best Netflix shows to help you make your decision.
Previously known as CBS All Access and recently rebranded, Paramount+ has a limited but potent mix of cartoons and animations for different needs. Perhaps its biggest hit is Star Trek: Lower Decks, an irreverent take on the sci-fi franchise, looking at life for the below-decks recruits with a sharp sense of humor and a series of great in-jokes. It’s part of Paramount+’s original programming and easily one of its best shows.
Alternatively, for all the family, there’s the existence of The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run and Kamp Koral: SpongeBob’s Under Years too. Alongside that is also Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Inspector Gadget, Bob the Builder, Polly Pocket, and other family fare.
Paramount+ might not have the largest supply of cartoons (and it’s no good for anime) but the quality is there if not the quantity.
Paramount+ costs $10 per month or $100 per year with a one-week free trial.
Sling TV is aimed at the cord-cutters among us, offering the best that cable provides. That means you get access to channels like Cartoon Network, the Disney Channel, Nick Jr, or the likes of Comedy Central and FX depending on what Sling TV plan you choose.
Comedy Central means access to South Park while FX and FXX have Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Bob’s Burgers, The Simpsons, and Family Guy. For younger viewers, Cartoon Network means they can watch Ben 10, Steven Universe, The Powerpuff Girls, and more. Nick Jr builds upon that with the shows like Paw Patrol, Paddington, Peppa Pig, and Blue’s Clues.
Love anime? Cowboy Bebop, One-Punch Man, Naruto: Shippuden, and much more are available through the service too.
The downside here is that there’s no free trial for Sling TV. However, Sling Blue costs $35 per month with a three concurrently-watching device limit while there’s Sling Orange for the same price but a one-device limit. The difference here is in which channels you get access to with Orange offering more sports channels. For cartoons, you should be just fine with Sling Blue. Bear in mind that Sling TV is aimed more at those breaking away entirely from conventional TV viewing than anyone looking to supplement with a streaming service, hence the higher price tag.
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