Animated Learning: Why Cartoons are a Must-Have in Studying English

Elly Kimreviewed bySana Liashuk / more about Editorial Process7 min
Created: Jul 27, 2023Last updated: Feb 13, 2024
English Cartoons for Learning

Although many people consider adventure cartoons childish and inappropriate for adults, we don’t share the same opinion. For us, it is an extremely great way to practice different language skills while simply having fun. Moreover, some animated films are created specifically for adult audiences, sometimes providing more exciting plots and character developments than actual movies. Today, we’ll help you discover the benefits of watching cartoons for English learning and provide the best options to get started.

Tips for Choosing Cartoons for Learning English

Watching English cartoons can enhance your listening skills, expand your vocabulary, and improve general language comprehension. However, you must find the most suitable option to achieve the best results. With so many English cartoons available, this task may be challenging. But don’t worry – we know how to help. Here are some useful tips to find the cartoon that will be perfect for you.

  1. Consider your current proficiency level. It is essential, as it makes your learning process easy and seamless. For beginners, opt for shows with simple language and clear pronunciation. As you progress, challenge yourself with more complex dialogues and vocabulary.
  2. Find cartoons in English that might be interesting to you. Language, themes, and storylines differ between shows created for kids, teens, and adults. Therefore, it is vital to choose the option that you really want to watch and that will keep you engaged while studying. 
  3. Determine your goals. Before watching, consider the results you want from a particular cartoon. If your final goal is to improve your listening skills, choose a show full of vivid dialogues and conversations. In case you want to expand your vocabulary, pick cartoons that picture daily life and casual interactions between characters. 

These tips are enough to find numerous cartoons to learn English and select the best one for yourself. We’ve compiled the best shows for various fluency levels to simplify the process even more. So, without further ado, let’s check them out!

From Beginner to Advanced: Best Cartoons for Learning English

No matter movie, documentary, or cartoon, finding the one that suits your proficiency level is vital. Otherwise, you will get lost in complex vocabulary, intricate lines, and hard-to-understand dialogues. If you don’t know your level, you can pass a quick test, but if you do, look at the list of the best English cartoons for learning English.

Peppa Pig

Suppose you are just starting your language-learning journey. In that case, you should begin with something straightforward to get acquainted with basic vocabulary and everyday situations. And this cartoon is perfect for it! It follows the adventures of Peppa, a loveable pig, and her family. Each episode explores typical scenarios such as going to school, playing with friends, and spending time with siblings. With its colorful animation, adorable speaking cartoon characters, and simple language, Peppa Pig is ideal for beginners. 

Dora the Explorer

Another great option for beginner learners is the cartoon about the adorable girl Dora and her monkey friend Boots. This interactive show encourages viewers to join the main characters in their exciting adventures, enhancing general problem-solving skills. Moreover, this English class cartoon emphasizes basic phrases, directions, and questions. The interactive nature encourages learners to respond in English, building their confidence in using the language in real-life scenarios.

Sesame Street

This iconic educational show is set on a diverse street where Muppets and human characters interact. Each episode combines entertaining segments, songs, and educational content to engage the audience. It is one of the best English cartoons for beginners, as it introduces various vocabulary and language structures in a fun and engaging manner. It also promotes cultural awareness and inclusivity by exposing learners to different accents and characters from around the world.

Phineas and Ferb

If you have an Intermediate English level, you can start watching more complex cartoons, and we can’t think of a better option than Phineas and Ferb. This show is about two stepbrothers who embark on wild and imaginative projects during their summer vacation. Another important character is their pet platypus, Perry, who leads a secret life as a spy. The cartoon is great for those seeking conversational language and humor. The witty dialogues and creative plots expose learners to casual language usage, idiomatic expressions, and much more.

The Simpsons

Of course, we can’t forget about the classic. It is our favorite long-running animated sitcom centered around the Simpsons family living in Springfield. The cartoon satirizes American culture, politics, and family dynamics. Also, some people believe that it predicts the future, so if you like conspiracy theories, it is another reason to start watching it. Intermediate learners can benefit from the cartoon as it offers sophisticated vocabulary, cultural references, and social commentary. 

Adventure Time

If you are looking for something unusual and exciting to watch and practice your English at the same time, look no further than this cartoon. It follows the adventures of Finn the Human and his magical dog, Jake, in the post-apocalyptic Land of Ooo. They encounter various quirky characters and face surreal challenges. The cartoon’s whimsical language and imaginative themes appeal to Intermediate learners seeking unique expressions and complex structures.


This cartoon might be familiar to those who were massive fans of the Tumblr era a few years ago (we were, too, and we’re proud of it). The show revolves around Daria Morgendorffer, a sarcastic and intelligent high school student who often finds herself at odds with the shallow and superficial world around her. It contains complex dialogues, sarcasm, and social commentary, making it a perfect choice for Advanced learners. Daria is great for those who want to enhance general fluency and comprehension.

BoJack Horseman

Our favorite cartoon on this list is a darkly comedic story that follows the life of BoJack Horseman, a washed-up, self-destructive actor who happens to be an anthropomorphic horse. This show should be your first choice if you want to enhance your general English with cartoons and explore complex emotions, societal issues, and dark humor. It challenges learners to grasp the nuanced language and cultural references, contributing to their overall proficiency level.

Ugly Americans

The last cartoon for today is a satirical comedy set in New York, where social worker Mark Lilly interacts with supernatural creatures seeking to assimilate into human society. The show’s blend of fantasy and dark humor provides viewers with a wide range of language styles and contexts. Also, learners can benefit from its witty jokes, idiomatic expressions, and social commentary.


Promova – Your Guide to English Fluency

Learning English with cartoons for beginners is extremely fun and engaging. But sometimes, studying a new language may require a bit more. It is quite hard to learn complex grammar rules, exceptions, and other inevitable aspects of English solely by watching cartoons. In that case, you might need some help from professionals. You may get it here, on Promova, an international language-learning platform created to help you achieve your goals.

We have a lot to offer, all suitable for language learners with different needs and levels. Join our personal or group lessons with certified tutors to improve your language skills. All you need to do is pass a quick fluency test to determine your current level, provide some basic information, and enjoy your studying. If you are hesitating, book a free trial lesson to get acquainted with all the nuances before making any commitments.

If your goal is to practice speaking, we are happy to invite you to our free Conversation Club. Here, you can meet English speakers worldwide and participate in exciting discussions on various topics. It is a great way to find new friends, chat about things you are interested in, and enhance your speaking skills.

For those who prefer to study alone, we offer a convenient Promova app available for all iOS and Android devices. It is a great opportunity to access tons of interactive lessons and learning materials and track your progress anywhere, and anytime you want. And there are many more! Join Promova today and find the perfect learning strategy for yourself.


To sum up, watching English cartoons is a great way to learn and have fun at the same time. All you need to do is find the most suitable show based on your current study goals, and enjoy! We hope that you will pick a great cartoon to watch in today’s compilation. By the way, what was your favorite animated series when you were growing up? Tell us in the comments! For us, it’s definitely Hey, Arnold!


Are there any potential distractions in using cartoons for language learning?

While cartoons can be valuable learning tools, they do come with potential distractions. Some of the most common ones include flashy animations, comedic elements, and captivating visuals that might divert learners’ attention from language-focused content. Additionally, if the plot is too engaging, learners might concentrate more on the storyline rather than actively processing the language being used.

Is watching cartoons useful for advanced learners?

Of course! Even though some cartoons are tailored to beginners and Intermediate learners with simpler language, many shows offer more sophisticated conversations and complex themes. For example, cartoons with British accents enhance your listening skills, while American shows acquaint you with the nuances of colloquial language, dark humor, and cultural references.

How to make the most out of watching cartoons for studying?

There are many strategies for maximizing the language-learning potential of cartoons. After setting up your final goals, you must choose the show to focus on. Start actively engaging with the content while watching it; make notes, summarize episodes, and discuss them with others. Also, use subtitles to aid comprehension and reinforce learning.

Can watching cartoons help you learn languages other than English?

Definitely! Many popular cartoons are available or have been dubbed or subtitled in various languages. You can adopt the same strategies, but instead of cartoons in English, watch the shows in other tongues. In any language, these simple animated films can help you improve your listening skills, vocabulary, and overall fluency level.


PromovaAug 31st, 2023
While cartoons offer numerous benefits, over-reliance on them can limit exposure to real-life conversations and more complex language structures. It's important to complement cartoon watching with other language resources and activities to ensure a well-rounded language proficiency.
Catheryn BlowAug 31st, 2023
Are there any potential drawbacks to using cartoons for language learning?