Movies – Genndy Tartakovsky Movies & TV Shows, Ranked
Genndy Tartakovsky has been behind some fantastic animated TV shows and movies, and here’s a ranking of his work from worst to best.
Here’s a ranking of animation director Genndy Tartakovsky’s work thus far. Genndy Tartakovsky got his start in the animation industry working on shows like Batman: The Animated Series and The Critic, before creating his own series with the cult favorite Dexter’s Laboratory, with debuted in 1996. Since then, Tartakovsky has been behind many great animated series and films, with each bearing his distinct style.
In particular, Genndy Tartakovsky has a talent for crafting fast-paced action that still carries a lot of heart and humor. Samurai Jack is probably the best example, with the series balancing memorable characters with inventive setpieces. A lot of his shows tend to be light on dialogue and make great use of both silence and music.
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Here’s a ranking of Genndy Tartakovsky movies and TV shows from worst to best, focusing in particular on work he created himself or acted as director on.
This entry is a technicality, as Genndy Tartakovsky only created the three-minute animated prologue for Priest, a failed franchise starter from 2011 starring Paul Bettany and Maggie Q. The prologue bears Tartakovsky’s distinct look, depicting the destructive war between humanity and vampires, and in addition to being surprisingly gory for a PG-13 rated movie, it does a better job conveying the terrifying speed of both the Priest warriors and the vampires. While the movie was poorly rated, this intro was the highlight.
The Hotel Transylvania Trilogy
Genndy Tartakovsky made his feature film directing debut with 2012’s Hotel Transylvania and returned to direct both sequels. The story centers around the titular hotel, run by Adam Sandler’s Dracula and his daughter and it only serves monsters. All three entries are entertaining, fluffy kids’ adventures full of homages to classic monster movies and littered with Tartakovsky’s visual trademarks, but they feel a little lightweight compared to some of his best work.
Sym-Bionic Titan is a short-lived Cartoon Network series that blends a sweet high-school drama with an anime-inspired giant mech series. There’s also a liberal dash of John Hughes caked into the series’ DNA, with Sym-Bionic Titan probably being Tartakovsky’s most underrated work, and it’s a shame it only lasted one season. Its early demise is credited to CN being unable to launch a toyline from it.
Star Wars: Clone Wars
It feels like the Genndy Tartakovsky Clone Wars 2D cartoon has been overlooked due to its 3D successor, but it’s an incredible show in its own right. It saw Tartakovsky evolve the style he had developed over four seasons on Samurai Jack while filling in the gaps between Episodes II & III. It introduced fan-favorite villain Asajj Ventress and features arguably some of the best action sequences of the expanded universe, and with the whole series running just over two-hours combined, so it makes for a solid Star Wars movie in its own right.
Dexter’s Laboratory was based on a Genndy Tartakovsky student short that evolved into a show in 1996, focusing on the title boy genius and the various inventions he concocts in his hidden lab. While the animation isn’t quite as fluid as Tartakovsky’s later work, its humor and zaniness made it a major success and showed that even at a young age Tartakovsky was bound for bigger things.
In many ways, the Primal cartoon on Adult Swim is the show Genndy Tartakovsky has been building towards his whole career as its pure visual storytelling. It bears the sleek action and vivid color palette of his past work, and features (nearly) no spoken dialogue. The show focuses on a caveman teaming with a T.Rex to survive a harsh fantasy world of dinosaurs and giant monsters that feels like a Frank Frazetta painting come to life; it’s also unashamedly adult and the blood runs freely.
Samurai Jack is still Genndy Tartakovsky’s crowning achievement and details the title character as he’s cast into the distant future run by his mortal enemy, the demon Aku. The Samurai Jack creator really established his signature style on this series, which let him experiment with storytelling techniques like using silence to build anticipation. The show received its belated final season on Adult Swim in 2017, which took a darker approach.
Next: Primal: Genndy Tartakovsky’s Latest Animated Series Is As Stunning As It Is Brutal
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