Best Adult Animated Movies of All Time (2022)

Best Adult Animated Movies of All Time (2022) – Animated movies (call them cartoon movies if you like, but don’t call them “Anime” if you don’t want to offend fans of either) can be a lot of fun since they transport you to a different world, one that is both emotionally and intellectually thrilling. However, while most animated films are aimed at children and families, many of them have been really good. There is also a sizable body of adult animated films that tackle issues that are far more complicated and adventurous than the usual ones. They not only include intricate nudity and explicit sex, but they also have cuss words and everything else that a PG-13, NC-17, or R rated movie would have – the only difference being that they’re animated and don’t have any flesh and bone characters.

Regardless, the MPAA has awarded suitable classifications to each of these based on the sexual material, violence and gore, and intended explicitness connected to profanity. These are films that use strong language and depict sensuality and violence in exceptionally daring ways. This qualifies them for a R or NC-17 rating from the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). Let’s take a look at the top adult animated movies of all time — the road less traveled (or rarely traveled, as we haven’t seen a solid film since Anomalisa). Some of the best adult animated movies are available on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu.

Renaissance (2006)

‘Renaissance’ is one of the most enthralling animated films I’ve ever seen. The film, set in Paris in the not-too-distant future, follows a cop on a manhunt for a kidnapped scientist who holds the key to perpetual life. The film employs an unusual motion capture animation style in which the majority of the pictures are black-and-white, which works well for the film’s grim depiction of a dystopian future. It’s a stunning blend of genres that results in an exhilarating experience that, despite its occasional narrative hitches, comes off as a well made thrilling sci-fi film.

Heavy Metal (1981)

This anthology cartoon film follows a brilliant green orb that scares a young girl with odd fantasy horror and sensuality stories. The narrative is divided into multiple stories, each of which is based on a story published in Heavy Metal magazine. The picture undoubtedly appears old in places, but it is an engaging affair thanks to the score and atmospheric intensity. It has several scenes that are quite explicit in their representation of sensuality and violence, and it was worked on by multiple animation firms on separate segments of the film.

Heavy Traffic (1973)

‘Heavy Traffic’ illustrates a young cartoonist’s unusual, surreal ideas, for whom the most peculiar, weird personalities serve as true inspiration for his paintings. Ralph Bakshi’s commanding presence could be felt in every frame as he creates something outrageously original, controversial, and demanding while remaining immensely personal and intimate without ever being self-indulgent. The picture was granted an X classification by the MPAA at the time due to its visually explicit nature, yet it was a huge critical success and is recognized as one of Ralph Bakshi’s best works.

Mutant Aliens (2001)

Bill Plympton’s obscure animated sci-fi film is a satire of B grade monster flicks. The story revolves around an American astronaut who relates his adventures living on a planet teeming with mutant aliens. The humour is oddly toned, but it has a pleasant quality to it that helps to alleviate the film’s visual hysteria. The animation in the film is pretty remarkable in that it creates a really distinct experience, both visually and emotionally. It contains a lot of sequences that depict violence and sex and was given a R rating by the MPAA, yet the film was never released theatrically despite being presented at several festivals.

$9.99 (2008)

‘$9.99,’ a stop-motion animated sex drama, centres around an unemployed man named Dave and a group of other people living in the same apartment complex in Sydney, and how they strive to figure out the true purpose of their life. The title of the film comes from a magazine advertisement that offers to discover out the meaning of life for the modest price of $9.99. The crux of the story is formed by dissatisfied persons, banal peculiarities, a struggle some way of life, and suggested humour. The MPAA gave the picture a ‘R’ rating due to sex scenes, nudity, gore, and mild profanity.


Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters (2007)

A fantastic journey with an odd combination of hilarity and strangeness. The first Adult Swim series to be turned into a feature picture was ‘Aqua Teen Hunger,’ which was an adaptation of the animated series ‘Aqua Teen Hunger Force.’ The picture, however, got mixed reviews, with critics condemning the film’s general superficial approach and ridiculous storyline while its usual fanbase praised it. It was rated R because of its mature humour, graphic visuals, and strong language.


Appleseed (2004)

‘Appleseed,’ a manga-based post-apocalyptic animated film, opens in the aftermath of a global third world war that has killed out the majority of the planet’s population. Knute is a warrior who now lives in a city of biomechanical clones known as Bioroids, set in the city of Olympus. Appleseed is essentially a data cache with information about swarming Bioroids that dwells in Olympus. Aside from the ruling groups — which include the Prime Minister, General, and Council of Elders – Olympus is also plagued by belligerent factions led by Colonel Hades. The remainder of the film follows the fight between the governing and opposing factions, with Knute caught in the middle of it all. ‘Appleseed’ earned mixed reviews due to its complex storyline and multiple characters, but it gained a lot of praise for its presentation and animation.


A Scanner Darkly (2006)

Richard Linklater’s underappreciated animated sci-fi thriller follows an undercover detective who becomes a drug addict and begins to lose his identity. The cast of the film includes Keanu Reeves, Robert Downey Jr., Woody Harrelson, and George Clooney. It’s a visual pleasure that’s also extremely intellectually stimulating. While not as clinically brilliant as ‘Waking Life,’ the film has its moments and ultimately comes across as a risky experiment from a filmmaker who is continually experimenting with the form of cinema.


American Pop (1981)

Ralph Bakshi is widely regarded as one of the best animators of all time. While he has not been the most consistent filmmaker, his best works have aggressively probed and strained the medium’s constraints in ways never seen before. ‘American Pop,’ one of his most complex projects, follows four generations of a Russian Jewish family of musicians. While the film’s wide plot suffers from a lack of focus, it remains an enormously meaningful experience. The film got mixed reviews at its initial release, but it is today considered one of Bakshi’s best works, as well as one of the finest animated musical dramas ever produced.


Anomalisa (2015)

‘Anomalisa’ is about a lonely customer service representative who thinks the world is the same until he meets a gorgeous young woman with whom he creates an intimate rapport that grows increasingly complex after they spend a night together in a hotel room. It’s a heartfelt tale that, like most Charlie Kaufman films, manages to get under your skin. The film has a renowned sex scene between the two lead characters, which elevates the film to the level of an adult animated film and earned it an R-rating.


The Simpsons Movie (2007)

As is customary for the Simpsons franchise, there is no shortage of sex, violence, or profanity in the film, prompting the MPAA to assign it a PG-13 rating. ‘The Simpsons Movie,’ with many hidden references to multiple movies and television series, begins with an environmental concern after Green Day, who were performing on a barge in a lake, sinks along with the barge. Despite Grampa’s prediction of the town’s collapse, Marge believes it is critical that they pay attention to environmental concerns. Meanwhile, Homer pours pig feces into the lake, inviting further disaster. Following the arrival of a mutated squirrel, US President Arnold Schwarzenegger is provided with five alternatives for containing the rampant pollution, one of which is to surround Springfield in a dome. When people find that it was Homer’s fault that the town’s pollution worsened and plot to assassinate him, the Simpsons flee to Alaska, only to return and release the inhabitants from the big dome’s captivity. The film gained critical accolades for its candid representations, genuine satire, and unexpected appearances.


Bad Cat (2016)

To begin with, ‘Bad Cat’ is a Turkish film about a foul-mouthed cat named Shero (stylized as ero) who travels with two buddies, particularly a seagull and a rat. Ero and his gang, like any other group of outcasts, engage in all manner of immorality, crimes, and binge drinking on the streets of Istanbul. When they come into contact with people, particularly Cizer, the owner of a cat named Pirta, Ero’s love interest, their extravagance comes to a halt. The pranks of Ero and his ragged company are worth a try in yet another movie where animals walk, talk, and behave like people.


Paprika (2006)

‘Paprika,’ a Japanese animation, is set in the near future, where a technology called the ‘DC Mini’ has been produced that allows people to look into other people’s dreams. Originally marketed as a psychotherapy gadget, the item has not been controlled, and if it falls into the wrong hands, it might have unfathomable implications. Dr. Atsuko Chiba, the project’s leader, employs an alter-ego named Paprika to assist her patients with the gadget by explaining the significance of their dreams and bringing them to a close. Following the capture of Paprika and the appearance of a bizarre phenomenon in which dreams and reality have mixed, Chiba takes it upon herself to destroy the project’s Chairman, who is eventually shown to be the true culprit, and free humanity from a dream vs reality limbo. ‘Paprika’ garnered great reviews for its unique tale, captivating characters, and depiction of the evil side of scientific developments.


Tekkonkinkreet (2006)

‘Tekkonkinkreet,’ another Japanese manga story on this list, depicts the lives of two orphans Kuro and Shiro (literally translating to ‘Black’ and ‘White’ in English), who dominate Takaramachi, a once-thriving metropolis that is now a run-down slum. Shiro is more reclusive and inventive than Kuro, who is revealed to be street smart. They are up against a rival gang named Snake, which dispatches a trio of super-assassins – Dragon, Tiger, and Butterfly – to murder Kuro, which would aid Yakuza (the Snake’s boss) in redeveloping Takaramachi as a theme park. Kuro falls into a condition of sadness as Shiro is brought into police custody, symbolizing Yin and Yang. Kuro and Shiro are reunited at the end of the film. ‘Tekkonkinkreet,’ while a touch hackneyed, is an engaging and comforting viewing.


Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust (2000)

‘Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust,’ set 12000 years in the future, is one of the most distant future films in the cinema today. D is a vampire hunter who is also a half-breed, having been born to a human mother and a vampire father. The vampire population has been steadily declining over the years, with only a few bounty hunters remaining, and D is one of them. After a human child is kidnapped by a notorious vampire, the girl’s father, an affluent celebrity, pays D and a slew of D’s rivals to track down the kidnappers and free his daughter. It is eventually discovered that the girl may have accompanied the vampire on her own. The film was described as a “beautiful affair with superb animation” by American critics, and they were completely correct.


South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut (1999)

The film ‘South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut,’ based on the iconic animated TV series ‘South Park,’ is about four boys who are caught watching an R-rated film starring Canadian actors Terrance and Philip, as their mothers now pressurize the nation to fight a war against Canada for corrupting their children. It is the only South Park feature film to date, and it too had to fight the MPAA over censorship difficulties, eventually receiving a R rating around 15 days before its debut.


Sausage Party (2016)

‘Sausage Party,’ a dark comedy at first, is one of the few American adult comedies on this list. The film centres around the anthropomorphic forms of groceries in a grocery shop named Shopwell’s and features an ensemble star cast that includes but is not limited to Seth Rogen, Paul Rudd, Kristen Wigg, Jonah Hill, Bill Hader, Salma Hayek, Edward Norton, and others. Apparently, all types of foodstuffs assume that they are in some kind of comfort zone when at the store and must prepare themselves for the “great beyond” once they accompany people. Frank, a sausage, and Brenda, a hot dog bun, who are dating. As they prepare for the great beyond, Honey Mustard warns them about the lies of the great beyond and how there is no such thing. In an unusual turn of events, a brutal conflict breaks out between the foodstuffs and the humans, resulting in the human consumers and store employees being drugged and slain in the combat. The film was acclaimed for its language, which is appropriate for an adult film, as well as its gag comedy moments. Watch it before the celebration is over!


Waking Life (2001)

Richard Linklater’s unrivaled masterwork is a breathtaking examination of life, dreams, reality, awareness, and the meaning of existence. It follows a man as he transitions from one dream to the next in search of answers to profound questions about life and existence. The film creates a weird, dreamlike atmosphere that draws you into its universe, hypnotizing you and painting such beautiful images one after the other that you remember long after the credits have rolled. It was Fox Searchlight Pictures’ debut animated picture, and it was classified R for its strong profanity.


Loving Vincent (2017)

A one-of-a-kind biographical drama portraying the life of iconic painter Vincent Van Gogh, the film begins after his suicide with his sons Armand and Theo. Joseph, a postman, has a letter for Theo that Armand must deliver to him. As Armand returns to Paris, expecting to find his brother, he discovers that Theo, too, has died six months after Van Gogh. In the story that follows, Armand gets caught in the middle of a complex series of circumstances that indicate differently — Van Gogh did not commit suicide, but was murdered by marauders. ‘Loving Vincent,’ a visual stunner, is more artistic than most mainstream animated films and remains underappreciated to this day.


Fantastic Planet (1973)

Draags are the ruling species of a remote world called Ygam. They have a gigantic humanoid body and a blue color, and they have imported much smaller humans from Earth to pet them. While a few humans, known as Oms on the planet, live with Draags as collared pets, the majority of the human population roams the wilderness, where they are caught, slaughtered, or heckled. Terr, an orphaned Om, is caressed by Tiwa, a young Draag who receives her education via headphones, but due to a flaw in Terr’s collar, he listens in on the classes and learns everything he can about the Draag species. As time passes and Tiwa becomes more conscious of her surroundings, she begins to dislike Terr, who elopes and establishes his own gang of humans, hatching a plot to flee the planet due to Tiwa’s stolen headphones, which allow him to listen in on all the information concerning Draags. Draags and Oms reach an accord to cohabit peacefully on the earth after sensing danger from human knowledge and witnessing their meditation statues being destroyed by “petty” people. ‘Fantastic Planet,’ a mind-boggling journey, shows us surrealistic pictures of what a parallel planet could suggest and the perils of it, as well as being a visual pleasure.


Perfect Blue (1997)

Horror-animated films are popular, and ‘Perfect Blue’ is one of the best examples. ‘Perfect Blue’ revolves around Mima, a J-Pop singer who is dissatisfied with her mundane work. She auditions for the lead actress role in the film Double Blind, in which she plays a rape victim. Things get extremely realistic while filming the rape scenario, and she believes she is being raped. To Mima’s surprise and dismay, the film’s crew members are systematically killed or found dead, in an unusual turn of events. It is eventually revealed to the audience that Mima has a split personality condition and struggles to distinguish between what is real and what is imaginary. The film concludes with Mima escaping a mental facility uninjured, despite the fact that her best friend Rumi has been “imprisoned” there due to Mima’s actions. A captivating tale, vivid sex scenes, and brutal crimes form the core of the film, which was well appreciated by reviewers and audiences alike.


 Cowboy Bebop: The Movie (2001)

Another Japanese sci-fi film on this list, ‘Cowboy Bebop: The Movie,’ is set in a dismal future on Mars in 2071. Bebop is a spaceship used to travel around Mars. Following an unusual explosion in the capital city, the government offers a $300 million bounty, and Bebop, comprised of legalized bounty hunters — Spike, Jet, Faye, Edward, and Ein – embarks on a quest to find and hunt the savage killer. In terms of critical reception, the film was deemed a must-see for anime fans while being passable for general audiences. When paired with near-flawless animation, the action-packed storyline, background music, and characterizations function like clockwork. ‘Cowboy Bebop: The Movie’ is a must-see for any sci-fi fan.


Pink Floyd: The Wall (1982)

‘Pink Floyd – The Wall,’ a cult classic among rock music fans, is around a young rocker who loses his mind after the death of his father and tries to build a universe for himself, guarding himself from the emotional perils of life outside the bounds of his own psyche. It’s a truly unsettling depiction of paranoia and self-destruction, and the film creates a tremendously interesting, strange universe that’s incredibly cathartic. The picture was rated R for its violent, graphic depiction of sensuality, violence, and gore. It is widely regarded as one of the best animated films ever made.


Waltz With Bashir (2008)

‘Waltz With Bashir,’ one of the greatest documentaries ever made, recalls filmmaker Ari Folman’s experiences of the 1982 Lebanon conflict, when he was a teenage soldier. It’s a harrowing portrayal of one of history’s bloodiest conflicts, delving deep into the harsh reality of war. Its examination of ideas is highly provocative and psychologically harmful, making for a very painful viewing experience. The film contains profoundly upsetting graphic imagery, one nudity, and strong sexual and violent content, earning the picture a R rating.


Akira (1988)

‘Akira,’ a manga-based post-apocalyptic film, is set in 2019 after the Third World War of 1988, when Tokyo is replaced with a futuristic Neo-Tokyo. Tetsuo Shima, a member of the infamous gang The Capsules, accidently smashes his bike into Takashi, an escapee psychic on the run from a government research center studying psionics. Tetsuo develops telepathic and telekinetic talents as a result of the accident, and a slew of government agencies begin seeking for him. Akira was a once-powerful psychic who was allegedly responsible for the destruction of Tokyo, and Tetsuo’s skills and abilities are similar. Tetsuo, unable to control his abilities and on the run from rival gangs, the government, and others, changes into a singularity that engulfs the majority of his opponents. The surviving espers then choose to awaken Akira, who creates an even larger mass of singularity, teleporting Tetsuo to another dimension. ‘Akira,’ one of the modern anime’s towering giants, is brutal, violent, and incredibly active, enticing you to watch it. Without a doubt, one of the best-animated adult films of all time.