Cartoons not (just) for kids – drawn worlds with LGBTQ+ plots

This article won’t be your average live-action series recommendation, but rather a review on my recently watched cartoons. An animation can be made for kids, for example two of these four is especially child-friendly, but if you want to binge something unusual, these stories are perfect for that.

Cartoons are way less expensive than live-action ones, but that does not make them worse, what’s more. These four ones are on my list for their fantastic storyline, lovable characters, and they all have a strong LGBTQ+ plot.


She-Ra and the Princess of Power

A Netflix series, which is pink, glittery, with princesses, what you’d think was meant for young girls, especially with the age rating of 7+. Including this the five seasons are a well-rounded story, with greatly written characters, with bi, non-binary and many queer representation, and with Sandra Oh as a voice actress. The story starts with Adora and Catra who are the Horde’s, an evil army’s apprentices, whose aim is to subjugate Etheria, the planet of princesses. At the end of the first episode we’ll learn that Adora is actually the guardian of the ancient Etheria, and with the help of a magical sword and a bit of a Sailor Moon vibe she can transform into She-Ra, who is meant to fight alongside the princesses to save the planet. So Adora has to leave the Horde, and Catra behind, that’s where the conflict starts, and we’ll root for Adora and Catra that they can sort their dissension out, throughout all five seasons. The creator of the show herself, Noelle Stevenson, is non-binary and they live happily in America with her wife. If you ever loved Sailor Moon, you’ll dig this series as well!


Dragon Prince

A fantasy series from the writers of Avatar- The Last Airbender. Even though I never particularly liked Avatar, this cartoon is really good! The basic lineup is that there are humans, elves, dragons and all kinds of being living in Xadia. Before humans, talking dragons ruled Xandia in peace, but then years of civil war between dragons, humans and elves ended in a divided country and many conflicts. The greatest issue is humans can only use dark magic, which corrupts magic. In the meantime dragons are close to extinction, and humans possess the last dragon egg. Ezran the heir to the throne and his step-brother Callum get the egg and decide to return it to The Dragon Queen. A Moonshadow elf, Rayla aids them. The world is based on a video game, but unlike many video game-based movies, this one has a great storyline and authentic characters. I loved Ezran and Callum from the start, the villans’ motive is always clear, which is great, obviously there is an LGBTQ+ plot here as well.


DC’s Harely Quinn

This cartoon is a bit different from the others as it was meant for a grown-up audience. My first motive to watch was Kaley Cuoco, as she voices Harley. I know, everyone knows her from The Big Bang Theory, but she also played in the last season of the original Charmed and I’ve loved her ever since. The plot starts with Harley and Joker’s break up. Just as in the movie, these two seasons also show how Harley Quinn becomes the greatest villain in Gotham. We also get a few known side characters, like the entire League of Assasins, Clayface a clay monster, King Shark, who is humanoid shark, Dr. Psycho and Sy. Poison Ivy has the biggest role along Harley, and she’s there as a basically invincible best friend for our protagonist. Harley Quinn’s character in the comics is bisexual, which Hollywood didn’t dare to incorporate. The cartoon however did, and they were right to do so! So if you like adult cartoons, be sure to give it a try, because it’s just as funny as Family Guy and in addition has a strong, independent female lead.


The Legend of Korra

The story takes place 80 years after Avatar - The Last Airbender, which to me did not mean a thing as I haven’t seen the movie, but I’ve read so many things about this animation that I decided to give it a try. The whole story is made up of four books, to which there are four seasons, and the story is about Korra, the new avatar. Korra is a teenager girl, who in the beginning can only bend three of the four elements (fire, earth, water and air), she is only mastering airbending. In the meantime there is a group of people fighting for equality, who don't believe in benders and regular people being able to live in peace, so they are threatening the world of taking away the bender’s skills. Obviously there is an LGBTQ+ plot as well, later on Korra has a love interest in Asami, the daughter of a multimillionaire. The characters are interesting, the story is exciting, but Korra and Asami’s story line is the overall best.

Translated by Noémi Rusznyák

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