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Top 10 Classic Disney Animated Characters

VO: Rebecca Brayton
When you think of Disney, it’s hard to not associate the animation studio with its many memorable cartoon characters. They can be funny, cute, heartbreaking, mischievous or all of the above. What can’t be argued is that they’re always memorable! For this list, we’re limiting it to animated characters that appeared in the Disney canon prior to 1989 and the Disney Renaissance. So iconic characters from movies, short films, and more from that year on won’t be here but you can look for them on our modern list. We’re also excluding villains because we’ve already got you covered there. Join WatchMojo.com as we count down our picks for the top 10 classic animated Disney characters. Special thanks to our users Jloves-pp, TheMrOrange614 and Nicholas Joseph Whiteway for submitting the idea on our Suggestions Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest.
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It all started with a mouse. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 classic animated Disney characters.

For this list, we’re limiting it to animated characters that appeared in the Disney canon prior to 1989 and the Disney Renaissance. So iconic characters from movies, short films, and more from that year on won’t be here but you can look for them on our modern list. We’re also excluding villains because we’ve already got you covered there.

#10: Winnie the Pooh


Created by A.A. Milne in the 1920s, Winnie-the-Pooh is just about the cutest honey-loving bear you’ll ever see. After the character was licensed to Disney in the 1960s, the stories of Pooh and friends were quickly adapted into cartoons. But it was the 1977 musical feature that truly transformed the kind, brave and loyal bear and his forest friends into a media franchise.

#9: Baloo


Loosely based on Rudyard Kipling’s character, Disney’s Baloo made us “forget all our worries and our strife” while enlightening little Mowgli about the ways of the jungle in the process. He’s so laid-back and oh-so-caring that you can’t help but love him. And we weren’t the only ones: in fact, Baloo inspired multiple characters with similar names and personalities in later Disney productions.

#8: Tinker Bell


Thanks to Disney’s adaptation of J.M. Barrie’s play, Tinker Bell went from being a Peter Pan supporting player to the film studio’s unofficial mascot. Don’t let her size fool you: Tink is a strong and passionate fairy who gets her point across with facial expressions, body language and pixie dust. With a fiery temper and unwavering loyalty to Peter, it’s no wonder she’s got her own franchise built around her.

#7: Dumbo


He may not do any talking, but this endearing young elephant didn’t need to: with his expressive eyes and ears too big for his body, Dumbo toyed with our emotions and we couldn’t help but love every minute of it. As the world’s only flying elephant, he also made us believe in ourselves while cheering for the underdog at the same time.

#6: Pinocchio


Based on the Carlo Collodi-conceived character, this wooden puppet knew just how to tug at our heart strings. While he starts off innocent and happy-go-lucky, Pinocchio soon learns it’s not going to be easy to become a real boy. Fortunately, he’s got the wise and cheerful Jiminy Cricket by his side and eventually proves himself “brave, truthful and unselfish”– making us believe wishes can come true too.

#5: Snow White


As the protagonist of Disney’s very first animated feature film, this fairy tale princess used her hopeful tone and innocent longing for Prince Charming to entrance the seven dwarfs. Though she’s not as complex as subsequent Disney heroines, we’re still as entranced by her purity and sweetness entranced today as we were back then. To top things off, she’s the first fictional female character to earn a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame!

#4: Minnie Mouse


What’s a mouse without his girl by his side? With her delicate giggle, bubbly personality and sweet heart, Minnie is the ideal female companion to Mickey Mouse. And though she has played the damsel in distress a few times, she’s also a unique and adorable character in her own right: with her trademark polka dots, matching hair bow, and musical talents, Disney truly wouldn’t be the same without her!

#3: Goofy


Clad head-to-toe in bright attire, this clumsy-but-lovable dog stands on two feet and calls Mickey and Donald two of his closest friends. While he’s not the brightest of the pack, he certainly knows how to make us laugh - and boy can he holler! Aside from appearing in many Disney shorts, Goofy has also spent time on the big and small screens, often alongside his son Max.

#2: Donald Duck


Easily annoyed and sometimes hard-to-understand, there’s just something about this sailor suit-wearing duck that we can’t help but love. Unlike his friend Mickey, he doesn’t wear any pants, but he sure knows how to rock a bow tie. With over 170 movie appearances, Donald has never failed to tickle our funny bone thanks to his mischievous nature and distinctive quacking. Let’s not forget his girlfriend Daisy, uncle Scrooge and his nephews Huey, Dewey and Louie.

Honorable Mentions


Peter Pan
Cheshire Cat
Bambi
Pluto
Cinderella

#1: Mickey Mouse


After making his debut in the 1928 “Steamboat Willie” short, this little mouse quickly stole our hearts. With his cute voice, friendly demeanor and adventurous side, this big-eared, gloves-and-shorts wearing rodent has appeared in over 130 movies and in many other media. The sweet, charming and funny Mickey isn’t only Disney’s mascot, but also one of the most well-known cartoon characters on the planet.

Do you agree with our list? Which is your favorite classic animated Disney character? With new top 10s published every day, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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