Moviefone has come up with a list of the 25 best animated characters of all time. For the top spots, the editors selected the "Toy Story" duo of Sheriff Woody and Buzz Lightyear but didn't forget a recent addition to the cartoon canon, with Carl Fredricksen from "Up" landing in the 23rd spot.
Moviefone aimed for characters who are unforgettable. Here is its list, which could spark hours of debate and discussion. The penguins from "Madagascar" before "WALL-E"?
1. Sheriff Woody ("Toy Story" films, 1995 and 1999)
Woody is cranky and jealous - and loses his cool when he's replaced with the shiny new Buzz Lightyear. Tom Hanks voices the gruff but lovable cowboy toy; despite the town "not being big enough for the two of them," Woody eventually comes around, reclaiming the affections of his owner and his pals. We've all got a friend in Woody.
2. Buzz Lightyear (‘Toy Story" films, 1995 and 1999)
"To infinity and beyond!" is the battle cry of Space Ranger Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, who refused to believe he was a toy until he meets Buzz No. 2. The top-heavy toy, voiced by Tim Allen, confronts himself, meets his father and saves his rival, Woody. In 2008, a Buzz Lightyear action figure was on board the Space Shuttle Discovery.
3. Mickey Mouse ("Fantasia," 1940)
‘The Sorcerer's Apprentice" was originally a stand-alone short that made its way into this surreal classical music cartoon. Dopey was the first choice for the lead, but Walt Disney eventually chose Mickey for the role. The world-famous rodent was given a modern look (including eyes with pupils!) for the film. The animators secretly used Disney as a model for the sorcerer's character.
4. Cruella de Vil ("101 Dalmations," 1996)
Poor Cruella de Vil was so misunderstood - all she wanted was a new fur coat ... well, one made from dozens of spotted pooch pelts. The glam villainess was inspired by the colorful, chain-smoking actress Tallulah Bankhead, who was known for her "Hello, dah-ling" phrase. Cruella was drawn and created by animator Marc Davis, who also created the piqued pixie Tinker Bell.
5. Genie ("Aladdin," 1992)
The always animated Robin Williams was perfectly cast as the big blue Genie of the lamp. The frantic funnyman Genie does dozens of impersonations, from Rodney Dangerfield to Jack Nicholson, Arnold Schwarzenegger to Groucho Marx and back again. The movie won an Oscar for Best Music, Best Score and Best Song, ‘A Whole New World.'
6. Nemo ("Finding Nemo," 2003)
Nemo is a cute clownfish from the Great Barrier Reef who's captured by a diver and ends up in a dentist's office fish tank. His overly protective pop and a memory challenged friend go in search of the lost fish who never gives up hope. ‘Finding Nemo' managed to hook an Oscar for Best Animated Feature - not too shabby for a little fish tale.
7. Donkey ("Shrek" films, 2001, 2004, 2007)
"Are we there yet?" Eddie Murphy's dragon-loving, Tic-Tac popping sidekick steals the show as Shrek and Princess Fiona's wisecracking noble steed. Murphy's ass was modeled after him and a miniature donkey named Pericles of Barron Park in Palo Alto, Ca. The gag-filled comedy by DreamWorks received an Oscar for Best Animated Feature.
8. Thumper ("Bambi," 1942)
"I'm thumpin'! That's why they call me Thumper!" The funny bunny, originally named Bobo, was created for comic relief in the film and didn't appear in the novel by Felix Salten on which the movie's based. The cute and cuddly pal teaches Bambi how to talk - and how to slide on ice. Six-year old Peter Behn was the voice of the young Thumper in this brilliant animated classic.
9. Dumbo ("Dumbo," 1941)
The blue-eyed flying elephant, with his enormous ears and cuddly cuteness, is one of the most beloved Disney characters of all time. The orphaned Jumbo Jr., aka Dumbo, uses his enormous ears to help him soar above the circus crowds; he uses those enormous baby blues to melt our hearts. ‘Dumbo' scored an Oscar for Best Music.
10. Queen ("Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," 1938)
"Magic Mirror on the wall, who is the fairest one of all?" asks the wicked Queen in Walt Disney's first animated feature-length film. Snow White's jealous stepmother is also a heartless old hag who wants to be the fairest in all the land at any cost. Disney received a special Oscar and seven miniatures for the flick.
11. Baloo ("The Jungle Book," 1967)
Baloo, "bear" in Hindu, is the scatting sage who teaches the man-cub, Mowgli, the facts of life and the true meaning of friendship. The happy-go-lucky ursine was voiced by Phil Harris, who voiced another bear, Little John in Disney's ‘Robin Hood.' The toe-tapping ‘Jungle Book' was Disney creator Walt's last film.
12. Wilbur ("Charlotte's Web," 1973)
Long before Babe went to the big city, little piglet Wilbur captured our hearts in this enchanting film based on the classic E.B. White children's novel. The titular barn spider is so taken with the tiny oinker that she goes to great lengths to save him from becoming a farmer's breakfast. He's one spectacular pig.
13. Penguins ("Madagascar" films, 2005 and 2008)
The seemingly innocent penguins - Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private - steal the show and help save the day. The penguin commandos tunnel out of the zoo and find their way back to home base. In reality none of the main characters of ‘Madagascar' are housed in the Central Park Zoo - except the penguins. Remember to just smile and wave, boys. Smile and wave.
14. WALL-E ("WALL-E," 2008)
WALL-E, an acronym for Waste Allocation Load Lifter-Earth-class, is a scrappy scavenger robot who beguiles us, despite the fact that he communicates in beeps and urps. In the course of this futuristic story, he finds his true love, Eve (Extraterrestrial Vegetation Evaluator), loses her and gets her back. "WALL-E" even cleaned up an Oscar for Best Animated Feature film.
15. Sebastian ("Little Mermaid," 1989)
Horatio Thelonius Ignatius Crustaceous Sebastian, voiced by Samuel E. Wright, is a tough little crab with a soft shell at heart. He's Ariel's best buddy and helps her find her prince - when he's not reporting to her father, King Triton. ‘Mermaid' was the last Disney film to use hand-painted cells and won two Oscars, for Best Music Score and Best Song, ‘Under the Sea.'
16. Tinker Bell ("Peter Pan," 1953)
The pouting pixie and Peter's pal was created by animator Marc Davis, one of Walt Disney's inner circle pals, who were known as the "Nine Old Men." The three-inch sprite helped the gang fly with her pixie dust, was trapped in Wendy's drawer, caught in a keyhole and eventually captured by the evil Captain Hook.
17. Jiminy Cricket ("Pinocchio," 1940)
Be careful when you wish upon a star - the singing bug voiced by Vaudeville veteran and famed ukulele player Cliff Edwards became Pinocchio's conscience and guide along the straight and narrow path, after a wave of a Blue Fairy's wand. The vagabond bug was never far from his buddy and just a whistle away - well, most of the time. Toodle-oo!
18. Remy ("Ratatouille," 2007)
"If you are what you eat, then I only want to eat the good stuff," says Remy the rat. Words to live by. Comedian Patton Oswalt lent his voice for the rodent gourmand who dreams of becoming a five-star French chef. The pink-nosed vermin charms and serves up the best meals - and laughs - in all of Paris. So tasty and delicious, the movie won a Best Animated Feature Film Oscar.
19. Timon & Pumbaa ("Lion King," 1994)
A wise-cracking meerkat, Timon, and a flatulent warthog, Pumbaa - can't you feel the love? Nathan Lane and Ernie Sabella, who voiced the dysfunctional duo, were supposed to play hyenas Banzai and Shenzi (Whoopi Goldberg and Cheech Marin took the roles). The outcasts befriend Simba, teach him Hakuna Matata and help him regain his spot as king of the jungle.
20. Scrat ("Ice Age" films, 2002, 2006, 2009)
Scrat is an acorn-obsessed prehistoric squirrel/rat always in search of the elusive nut. The nutty character was just supposed to appear in the film's opening sequence, but he tested so well that director and voice Chris Wedge added more scenes. According to ‘Ice Age' lore, the silent and silly character is responsible for the continents we have today.
21. Mike Wazowski ("Monsters, Inc.," 2001)
Billy Crystal regretted turning down the role of Buzz Lightyear, so jumped at the chance to play Mike Wazowki, a green Cyclops living in Monstropolis, where children's screams are converted into power. Mike and his big hairy pal Sulley have their hands full when cute little Boo enters the picture. Who knew that monsters were afraid of kids?
22. Lumiere ("Beauty and the Beast," 1991)
Voiced by Jerry Orbach (best known as Lennie Briscoe on ‘Law & Order'), Lumiere - the Beast's chef who was turned into a candlestick - gives his boss advice on how to impress Belle. Orbach based his take on suave French actor/singer Maurice Chevalier. ‘Beauty' was the first animated movie nominated for a Best Picture Oscar; it lost to ‘The Silence of the Lambs.' C'est la vie.
23. Carl Fredricksen ("Up," 2009)
The cantankerously lovable 78-year-old Carl Fredrickson is an instant classic. Ed Asner is the older voice of Carl, the grumpy old man who's a combination of Asner's ‘Lou Grant' TV persona and Walter Matthau's role in ‘The Bad News Bears.' Fredrickson's dreams of a South American adventure in his fly-away house really picks ‘Up' up and away in this fun fable.
24. Cheshire Cat ("Alice in Wonderland," 1951)
The mysterious striped cat with a crescent-moon smile befriends poor Alice in this Lewis Carroll classic. The floating feline prankster can disappear and reappear at will and gives our heroine cryptic directions that usually get her into more trouble. Character actor Sterling Holloway - also known for his work in ‘Winnie the Pooh' - lent his falsetto voice for the trickster.
25. Jessica Rabbit ("Who Framed Roger Rabbit," 1988)
"I'm not bad. I'm just drawn that way." True that. Kathleen Turner provided her sultry voice in this animated/live action mix that won three Oscars; the bombshell's look was inspired by Tex Avery's Little Red Riding Hood and classic Hollywood stars like Lauren Bacall, Rita Hayworth, Veronica Lake and Lana Turner. Va va voom, indeed.
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