When it comes to the colliding worlds of video games and animation, the first thing people usually think of is anime, especially classics like Pokemon and Yo-Kai Watch. Even card games have gotten anime adaptations. But Western animation has had a few adaptations of popular games, too.
In fact, some classic game characters have appeared in both Western cartoons and anime. And many of these cartoons still have cult followings to this day, to the point where even shows that lasted one or two seasons have their fair share of fans. In fact, for some viewers, the cartoon might have been their introduction to the games.
10 Nightmare Ned: The Show & The Game Were Made Alongside Each Other
When it comes to Nightmare Ned, there is some debate regarding which came first, as both the video games and the cartoon were made alongside each other. However, the video games were released later. In the Disney-produced cartoonNed falls asleep and finds himself having a nightmare revolving around whatever problem he’s facing in real life.
Ned’s problems can revolve around anything from a family of pigs wanting to eat him to him accidentally getting married to a corpse. While most of his dreams end on a scary note, he usually wakes up safe and sound in his bed, with all the monsters being in his head — except for that one episode with the aliens.
9 Viva Piñata: Animal Piñatas Were The Stars Of This Saturday Morning Cartoon
In the Viva Pinata game, players get to breed their own pinata animals. It later got a tie-in Saturday morning cartoon. Generally more energetic and comedic than the games, individuals from each species were adapted into characters.
The Horstachio piñata, often used as a mascot for the games, was used as one of the main characters. Hudson Horstachio is a self-proclaimed celebrity who similarly serves as a flagship character. Other characters include the cowardly Ferdy Fudgehog, who is terrified of actually being used as a piñata, the deadpan fox-like Paulie Pretztail, and the friendly Franklin Fizzlybear.
8 Dragon’s Lair: This Cartoon Tried To Translate The Gameplay As Much As Possible
Tea Dragon’s Lair video game franchise is already famous for its animated graphics, to the point where people who watch scenes out of context often mistake them for something from an animated movie. The game later did, however, get a short-lived series of the same name.
Although there are a few differences between the Dragon’s Lair game and the cartoon, such as new characters being added, there were many attempts to translate elements from the game into the series. Before cutting to the commercial breaks, the narrator would ask viewers what they think Dirk’s next action should be, then show what would happen when the show resumed. One episode also featured Dirk slowly turning into a skeleton, a reference to his infamous death scenes in the game.
7 Wing Commander Academy: The Series Was Lovingly Accurate To The Games
Most cartoons spun off from video games attempt to keep the story going or retell it all together, but the ’90s cartoon Wing Commander Academy is something of a loose prequel to the wing commander game. The main focus of the series is a group of young cadets fighting against the Kilrathi warrior race.
Known for being relatively faithful to the wing commander games, even details like the instrument panels were accurate in Wing Commander Academy. The series also had a notable voice castlike Malcolm McDowell, Thomas F. Wilson, and Mark Hamill, who would even appear in the games themselves.
6 Where On Earth Is Carmen Sandiego?: This Cartoon Had A Prominent Cast
Where on Earth Is Carmen Sandiego? revolved around the exploits of world-famous thief Carmen Sandiego and the two agents, Zack and Ivy, tasked with finding her. In addition to being based on the series of games, the series is implied to be a video game in-universe that is played by an unseen character known as “The Player.”
Where on Earth Is Carmen Sandiego? was notable for its voice cast. Rita Moreno voiced the title character and Rodger Bumpass, who would later become known for voicing Squidward Tentacles on SpongeBob SquarePantsvoiced the computerized Chief.
5 Clash-A-Rama!: This Web Series Hosts The Characters From Clash Of Clans & Clash Royale
The characters from Clash of clans and Clash Royale get their own stories in Clash-A-Rama!, an animated comedy web series. In the games, characters appear as identical units and the cartoon follows suit. Instead of individualizing them, characters normally appear as the various lookalikes with identical voices.
Sometimes the limitations of the games are poked fun at. In one story, a Balloon skeleton tries to travel around the world and discover new lands, only to find himself traveling around in a circle. Prominent voice actors like Tom Kenny and Tress MacNeille provide voice work for Clash-A-Rama!.
4 Wakfu: This French Cartoon Is A Sequel To The Dofus Game
wakfu is a French animated series based on the fantasy setting of the Dofus video game and is known for its anime-inspired art style. Intended as something of a sequel to the game, the series is set 1,000 years after the game and is centered around a band of adventurers, led by Yugo, who is searching for his lost family.
wakfu later had a sister series of sorts in Dofus: Kerub’s Bazaar. It also had a spin-off, Mini Wakfuwhich was animated in a chibi-esque style.
3 Earthworm Jim: The Cartoon Is Just As Silly As The Games
Earthworm Jim revolves around a normal earthworm who becomes a powerful superhero thanks to his superpowered spacesuit. The series is famous for being just as silly as the game it’s based on and its lack of a fourth wall. Jim’s sidekick is Peter Puppy, who can transform into a monster thanks to the demon who is behind his anthropomorphism.
Jim also has a love interest and an ally in the Insectican Princess Whats-Her-Name, who was locked away by her evil sister, Queen Slug-for-a-Butt, for her hideous appearance. The joke, however, is that she’s actually considered quite lovely by Earth’s standards.
2 The Cuphead Show: Both The Game & Cartoon Are Love Letters To Animation
Tea Cuphead game is a love letter to classic animation, particularly to the work of Fleischer Studios. It makes sense that the series would eventually get a cartoon spin-off, Netflix’s The Cuphead Show.
Brothers Cuphead and Mugman find themselves in a series of strange adventures, including things like running afoul of the Devil and befriending a character who’s secretly a ghost. As with the game, the series is filled with references to the world of animation, from classics like The Skeleton Dance and Betty Boop cartoons, and even animated video games like Dragon’s Lair.
1 Castlevania: The Japanese Video Games Got An Anime-Influenced Series On Netflix
Castlevania is an adult animated Netflix series based on the Japanese video game series, notably Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse. Animated in an anime-influence style, many of the cartoon’s crew members have actually worked in the Japanese animation industry, although the cartoon is generally considered Western-made.
In Castlevania, Dracula declares war on the living after his wife is burnt as a witch. Fighting the dark forces falls upon the surviving monster hunter, Trevor Belmont, and his allies, including Dracula’s own dhampyr son, Alucard, and the magical scholar, Sypha.