Netflix Top Picks: Animated Superhero Edition

With so much content on Netflix Instant it is easy for some titles to just get lost in the shuffle, and with so many gamers now using their consoles to watch movies and TV shows on Netflix, someone needs to start sorting this all out. Welcome to Netflix Top Picks, where every week I will select two items from the Netflix Instant service you just have to add to your queue.  This week we take a look at a couple of the best instances of animated Superheroes.  When done right, comic book characters are perfectly suited for animation, and these choices did it right.

Title: X-Men
Type: TV
Genre: TV Shows, Kids’ TV, TV Cartoons, Comic Book & Superhero TV
Rating: TV-Y7
Run Time: 76 episodes approximately 21 minutes each
Released: 1992 – 1996
Starring: Cathal J. Dodd Cedric Smith Norm Spencer Lenore Zann George Buza Catherine Disher Alyson Court Chris Potter Alison Sealy-Smith Lawrence Bayne

Synopsis: From lethal Wolverine to powerful Cyclops to the psychokinetic Dr. Jean Grey, the X-Men represent a pantheon of half-human mutant superheroes in this animated action series based on original characters from Marvel Comics.

My Analysis: The 1990’s animated X-Men series was fantastic for a number of reasons. The first was that the artists behind it were amazing and stuck through for almost every episode, meaning that not only did it look like a comic in action but the quality never dipped.  Beyond that, the stories were not only mature, but carried on for several episodes at a time, whole seasons even.  If something happened in a past episode it could, and often did have long lasting effects on the show. This is almost the exact opposite from most kid’s cartoons, which rarely if ever have continuing story lines.  This is simply a great one for both adults and kids alike.



Title: Batman Under the Red Hood
Type: Movie
Genre: Action & Adventure, Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Comic Book and Superhero Movies, Crime Action & Adventure,
Rating: PG-13
Run Time: 75 minutes
Released: 2010
Starring: Jensen Ackles, Neil Patrick Harris, Jason Isaacs, Bruce Greenwood, Vincent Martella, John Di Maggio, Wade Williams, Alexander Martella
Synopsis: There’s a mystery afoot in Gotham City when a shadowy vigilante known only as Red Hood (voiced by Jensen Ackles) sets his mind to stalking Batman (Bruce Greenwood) and his former sidekick, Dick Grayson (Neil Patrick Harris) — who now goes by the heroic name of Nightwing. But the duo can’t get too distracted, lest they fall prey to three familiar nemeses: the Joker (John Di Maggio), Ra’s al Ghul (Jason Isaacs) and Black Mask (Wade Williams).

My Analysis: Despite the description and the cover art, Batman Under the Red Hood is not nearly as adult themed as you might first expect.  Reminiscent of the 1990’s animated Batman series, or the Batman Beyond series that followed in art style, Under the Red Hood has a solid “mystery” story core with plenty of action and excitement throughout.  Things do get a bit gritty at times, but nothing an eight year old can’t handle.  I found the movie enjoyable, my eight year old nephew loved it.


Since pretty much all of these picks are kid friendly I decided to just include a third entry to this week’s subject rather than a “kid pick.”


Title: Spider-Man
Type: TV
Genre: TV Shows, Kids’ TV, TV Cartoons
Rating: TV-Y7
Run Time: 65 episodes, approximately 20 minutes each
Released: 1994-1997
Starring: Christopher Daniel Barnes Roscoe Lee Browne Sara Ballantine Rodney Saulsberry Jennifer Hale Edward Asner

Synopsis: In this high-flying animated series, high school science whiz Peter Parker is bitten by an irradiated spider and he uses his new super powers to fight villains such as the Green Goblin and Dr. Octopus, while also trying to maintain a normal life.

My Analysis: While not quite as good as the X-Men series that it shared the airwaves with, Spider-Man was another fantastic 90’s adaptation of a classic comic book franchise.  It is safe to say that for many adults today, the animated Spider-Man and X-Men shows were the first and most influential sources on these classic characters.  One of my favorite aspects of the 90’s Spider-Man cartoons was how often other Marvel characters would show up, such as Iron Man, Punisher, Blade and even the X-Men in a two episode story arc starring the cast from both shows.  Odds are if you like one you’ll like the other.


Due to Netflix constantly updating and changing the content on their service we cannot guarantee that the content listed in this article will be available for any particular length of time, nor can we guarantee it is available in all regions.  We do make a genuine effort though to never include any item that Netflix has marked with a limited availability.


About Tristan Rendo

I've made movies, written and performed music, and in January of 2011 got bored and started the awesome gaming site you see before you. My gaming roots began with the original NES, and endless hours spent spilling quarters into machines at the local arcade. I have a personal collection of over 200 Nintendo 64 games, and for many years it was the only system I owned. I re-entered the modern generation of gaming consoles when I decided to purchase a 360. I typically prefer the single player experience of games, so I’m usually playing through some single-player campaign, but can occasionally be found doing some damage in Halo Reach.