It takes real work to keep track of how to watch your favorite cartoons. Many shows are available to stream, yet they also tend to bounce from service to service, or disappear altogether for stretches. One solution to that annoyance: Own something you can hold in your hand and cherish, or at least always know where to find. Prime Day is offering some great deals on DVD or Blu-ray sets of animated series; we selected ten that are particularly worth owning. All are comprehensive collections with plenty of behind-the-scenes extras, easily justifying their (reduced) price tags.
We update links when possible, but note that Prime Day deals can expire and prices are subject to change.
Adventure Time may be the most influential American children’s cartoon of the 2000s, and while the entire show is streaming on HBO Max, there’s plenty to appreciate in this collection of all the episodes from the original run. (The set was released in 2019, so the spinoff miniseries Adventure Time: Distant Lands isn’t included.) Serious fans will surely enjoy the hour-plus of documentary material, along with one big physical media bonus: a 25-page storybook with a pop-up centerpiece. The fun will never end, the show’s theme insists, and while that isn’t true, strictly speaking, watching these 238 episodes should last you a long, long while.
The pricing here alone is worth it: $37.99 for seven seasons of these shows together is, to put it mildly, fire. (And water, and air, and earth.) Special features include making-of featurettes, audio commentaries, and animatics. And while both shows are streaming on Netflix, the Blu-ray treatment does wonders in highlighting the shows’ dynamic combat scenes in particular, giving the series a visual pop that longtime fans should find worth the investment. The fate of Netflix’s live-action reboot of Avatar remains unclear but that shouldn’t stop you from revisiting the original, which remains one of this decade’s greatest feats of televised serial storytelling.
Seeing the shiny new HD transfer of this show a few years ago, after more than a quarter century of experiencing it via tube TVs, DVDs, and bootleg downloads, was thoroughly mind-blowing. There’s a crispness to Batman’s fluidly animated movements that wasn’t there before, and a full color to the moody, “Dark-Deco” process that Bruce Timm and Eric Radomski used to shape Gotham City. Above all, B:TAS — a show made up of intentionally self-contained mini-noirs — has never looked or felt more intimate. The episodes are available to stream on HBO Max, but the set comes with a wealth of episode commentaries and behind-the-scenes extras from Timm, Radomski, Paul Dini, and their many other collaborators (which were recorded for previous releases), plus a 60-minute documentary, Heart of the Batman, that was produced specifically for this set.
This handsome box set was made with collectors and Looney Tunes aficionados in mind when it dropped last year. Of the 60 included Bugs Bunny shorts, 40 have either not been remastered in HD or not been seen on DVD or Blu-ray releases at all. That’s a quarter of Bugs Bunny’s total 160 released shorts. The rest are considered “essential” Bugs cartoons like “The Rabbit of Seville,” “A Wild Hare” and, of course, “What’s Opera, Doc?,” among others. Animation historian Jerry Beck estimates that with this collection and others released, collectors could now own approximately 90 percent of the Bugs Bunny shorts. The set is also packed with extras, commentaries, and documentary materials that you’re unlikely to find on HBO Max.
Nineteen dollars and ninety-nine cents. For the greatest anime series of all time. Remastered in HD in its original aspect ratio. In both the English dubs and the subtitled Japanese. On Blu-ray. Just in time for a rewatch before Netflix’s live-action series hits the streaming service this fall. That should be enough to convince you, even if you have a Hulu subscription and can currently stream the show. If not, the set comes with lots of audio commentaries — including from Faye Valentine’s iconic English-language voice actor Wendee Lee — and a handful of exclusive interviews, plus a handful of other extras that weren’t available outside of Japan until this set was released in 2014. Oh, and the soundtrack by Yoko Kanno, who’s set to return for the live-action series, remains perfect. Saddle up, space cowboys.
Fred, Wilma, Barney, Betty and the gang turned 60 recently and remain some of the most enduring cartoon characters of all time. This set, released last year, collects all 166 episodes, plus eight animated films and specials, in one set for the first time. While you can stream the show on Tubi and HBO Max, the set also includes featurettes, documentaries, and archival clips of William Hanna and Joe Barbera and their staff. The Flintstones — originally inspired by The Honeymooners but so wildly successful with children that Jackie Gleason didn’t want to be the guy who sued its creators off the air — is still genuinely funny, even if its humor is decidedly grounded in laid-back nostalgia, laugh-tracked slapstick, and a 1960s vision of the Stone Age.
Long ago, in a distant land, Genndy Tartakovsky created one of the liveliest American animated series ever made, a show centered on a man flung across time to a future where evil — embodied by the wise-cracking, shape-shifting wizard-spirit Aku — has won. Samurai Jack is legendary for its use of mood-setting music, eye-popping visual flair, sword-swinging action, and a stoic lead character voiced by the incomparable Phil LaMarr. And all of those discrete elements that make the show great are reflected in the extras on this release, which includes creator commentaries, animation tests, and “pitch movies” for the episodes, and a doc on the real-life martial-arts moves used in animating the show (which itself is currently on HBO Max). In HD, the first four seasons animated in the early aughts look great alongside the more-adult fifth season that debuted in 2017.
Okay, cards on the table: By modern standards, there are more complex and dynamic shows out there than classic Scooby-Doo. The stiff animation and repetitive plots weren’t made for bingeing, and plenty of its jokes didn’t age well. That said, there’s no denying that Ken Spears and Joe Ruby’s Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! is a historic television artifact for collectors — and had some of the most striking painted backgrounds of any television show of its era. The HD transfer hugely improves on previous DVD releases, and it also comes with several newly produced featurettes that honor the franchise’s many iterations, voice actor Frank Welker’s contributions to the title character, and a mini-doc on its merchandising over the years. That’s in addition to all the extras originally included in the DVD releases that were retained here, which aren’t available on Boomerang, HBO Max, and the other streaming services hosting Scooby-Doo.
Steven Universe has come to save the day, especially if it’s too hot or rainy out and you’re stuck indoors with time on your hands. This collection is indeed complete, including the original series, Steven Universe: The Movie, and the follow-up series Steven Universe Future. HBO Max has the show streaming, but the highlights for hard-core animation fans are plentiful here: animatics from a score of episodes — providing insight into how the show was produced — and a documentary on how the movie was made, too, among a handful of commentary tracks. And for those who just want to bask in the beauty of showrunner Rebecca Sugar’s original music, the set comes with five music-video performances of some of the show’s most iconic songs — including ending theme “Love Like You” and Estelle showcase “Here Comes a Thought” — and a sing-along version of the movie to boot.