Many animated series are targeted for adult audiences, including well-known shows like "Sealab 2021," "Family Guy," "The Critic" and classic anime like "Cowboy Bebop" and "Samurai Champloo." These programs cover a wide slate of audience age ranges, and many cartoons straddle the gap between appealing to children and appealing to adults.
Animated sitcoms like "The Simpsons" were early forerunners of animation aimed at adults. In film, movies like Ralph Bakshi's "The Lord of the Rings" also targeted adult audiences. Animation is very popular among all age ranges but tends to be more of a niche market with respect to adults.
Animated shows like "Avatar: The Last Airbender" and "The Legend of Korra" incorporate adult elements into their plots. They are billed as shows for children and young teenagers but command followings incorporating huge numbers of adults who engage in the programs alongside younger audiences.
The number of animated shows targeting adults is tremendous. Japan's anime market contributes dozens of programs each year to this market. American animation and French animation are also sizable contributors and the demand for animated comedy programming, where comedic happenings are limited only by the time necessary to animate them, is considerable given the tight budget constraints faced by many sitcoms and comedy shows.