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Adult animation through the years

‘Fantasia’ (1940) One of the first adult-minded feature-length cartoons, Walt Disney set out to put visuals to classical music in a series of vignettes, with often breathtaking results. Here a gathering a mushrooms dance to Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker Suite.” (Walt Disney Productions)
‘Fritz The Cat’ (1972)
Co-written by R. Crumb, Ralph Bakshi’s decidedly not-for-kids feature film about a college-aged cat’s adventures in the ‘60s earned an X rating. (American Cinematheque)
‘The Ren & Stimpy Show’ (1991)
The brainchild of Ralph Bakshi protege John Kricfalusi exploded on the scene with nearly as much force as it burned out. Centering around the twisted adventures of an irritible chihuahua and his simple-minded feline friend, the show had trouble meeting deadlines for new episodes before Kricfalusi finally left the show during a dispute with Nickelodeon 1993. The show was finished after 52 total episodes, but Kricfalusi brought the duo back for a brief, three-episode encore on SpikeTV in 2003. (TV Land)
‘Beavis and Butt-head’ (1993)
The MTV series featuring two snickering metalheads addicted to music videos and (naturally) fire was feared to tear at the moral fabric of our nation in the early ‘90s. Instead it spawned a hit movie featuring cameos from Bruce Willis, Demi Moore and David Letterman before the series finally wrapped in 1997. ()
‘Aeon Flux’ (1995)
Before it became a shoot-em-up starring Charlize Theron, it was an ultra-violent animated fixture on MTV’s “Liquid Television” series. Featuring a scantily clad and ultimately doomed secret agent, the series made the leap to the big screen ten years later. (MTV Networks)
‘King of the Hill’ (1997)
Mike Judge transitioned to a family comedy with this quietly subversive tale of a family living in Arlen, Texas. Led by propane salesman Hank Hill, the show began its life on the Fox Network and now regularly airs on FX with the voice talents of Stephen Root, Brittany Murphy and, of course, Mike Judge. (Mike Judge)
‘South Park’ (1997)
From Scientology to celebrities, the foul-mouthed Comedy Central series never met a sacred cow it couldn’t skewer--and usually in the most outrageous way possible. It’s 2005 “Trapped in the Closet” episode earned an Emmy nomination. (Comedy Central)
‘Futurama’ (1999)
Matt Groening’s story of a present-day pizza delivery boy’s adventures in the year 2999 never became a phenomenon on the same level as “The Simpsons.” Though cancelled after four seasons were produced, “Futurama” is rumored to return with four feature-length films to be released on DVD. (Matt Groening)
‘Rejected’ (2000)
Animated by hand and with no digital effects, Don Hertzfeldt’s bitter short film about an artist’s attempts to animate commercials was nominated for an Oscar in 2001. Hertzfeldt continues to animate short films and his most recent work, “Everything Will Be OK,” won a Special Jury Prize For Short Film Making at Sundance this year. (Apollo Cinema)
‘Waking Life’ (2001)
Richard Linklater’s R-rated headtrip featured various monologues and high-minded conversations as a young man (Wiley Wiggins) tries to determine if he’s dead, alive, awake or asleep. The groundbreaking film featured an animation technique called rotoscoping, where various animators drew over live-action video footage that was later transferred to film. (Divya Srinivasan)
‘Mutant Aliens’ (2002)
Bill Plympton’s unique, hand-drawn style has been seen in a variety of surrealist shorts, such as 1989’s “25 Ways to Quit Smoking.” This feature-length film featured his signature brand of extreme (and extremely absurd) cartoon violence. ()