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Top 10 Characters in Suspended Animation

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Written by Craig Butler Sometimes there’s nothing like a good long sleep to make a person feel energized, refreshed – and a few hundred years older. Join as we count down the Top 10 Characters in Suspended Animation. For this list, we’re looking at characters in TV and films who experienced some form of suspended animation, whether through science, nature or magic. Special thanks to our user cwbutler2 for submitting the idea through our Suggest Tool. If you want to see your idea become a WatchMojo video then be sure to visit WatchMojo.comSuggest

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Written by Craig Butler

Top 10 Characters in Suspended Animation

Sometimes there’s nothing like a good long sleep to make a person energized, refreshed – and a few hundred years older. Welcome to, and today we’re counting down the Top 10 Characters in Suspended Animation.

For this list, we’re looking at characters in TV and films who experienced some form of suspended animation, whether through science, nature or magic.

#10: Daniel McCormick
“Forever Young” (1992)

Captain Daniel McCormick discovers that Helen, the girl he loves, has fallen into a coma. Unable to bear the pain of watching her die, Daniel volunteers to be put into suspended animation for one year – but by accident is not revived until over 50 years later. He finds that Helen is still alive and makes it his mission to reach her. He also discovers that the suspended animation process has a flaw: his age is beginning to catch up with him – quickly.

#9: Princess Aurora
“Sleeping Beauty” (1959)

Due to a curse from an evil fairy, the beloved Princess Aurora is fated to prick her finger upon the spindle of a spinning wheel and fall into a deathlike sleep until she is awakened by true love’s kiss. When the curse comes true, a trio of good fairies puts the rest of the kingdom to sleep as well – with all being revived when a dashing prince overcomes deadly thorns and the evil fairy in dragon form to awaken the princess. Fairytale endings don’t come happier than that.

#8: Captain America
“Captain America: The First Avenger” (2011)

Patriotic weakling Steve Rogers wanted to help his country win World War II and so volunteered for the experiment that created the superpowerful Captain America. After he crashes an enemy plane filled with explosive weapons into the Arctic, he wakes up in what appears to be a 1940s hospital. But in fact, he has been frozen in ice for 70 years and is now a man very much out of time. Fortunately, Nick Fury is on hand to introduce him to some new friends.

#7: Aang
“Avatar: The Last Airbender” (2005-08)

The people of another world were divided into four nations: the earthbenders, airbenders, firebenders and waterbenders. Each generation has one individual, called the Avatar, who is capable of uniting the four nations and bending all four elements. 12-year-old Aang, an air bender, is the latest incarnation of the Avatar, but he becomes frozen in ice for 100 years – and is revived to discover that all the other airbenders have been destroyed and he must reunite a world at war.

#6: Robinson Family
“Lost in Space” (1965-68)

In the distant future of 1997, America launches a family into space in order to explore a distant planet that may be able to support life. In both the TV series and the later film, the family and their pilot Don West are placed in suspended animation for the trip – but are unfrozen when an enemy agent’s plot to derail the mission causes them to be really and truly lost in space.

#5: John Spartan
“Demolition Man” (1993)

After wrongly being blamed for the death of civilian hostages captured by psychopathic crime lord Simon Phoenix, LAPD Detective Sergeant John Spartan is punished by being put into suspended animation, or CryoPrison – as is Phoenix. After Phoenix is revived decades later in the year 2032 and starts rampaging in a chillingly dystopian and Orwellian new world, Spartan is also thawed out to stop him. His ways may seem primitive and thuggish to his new colleagues – but they get results.

#4: Capt. William Anthony ‘Buck’ Rogers
“Buck Rogers in the 25th Century” (1979-81)

A life-support failure ends up putting astronaut Buck Rogers into a deep sleep for more than 500 years. He revives in the amazingly futuristic 25th century and quickly becomes a valued agent for the Earth Defense Directorate. Aided by the lovely Colonel Deering, the cute robot Twiki and a sentient computer called Theo, Rogers’ bravery, brains and skill enable him to outwit even the wiliest of 25th century villains.

#3: Philip J. Fry
“Futurama” (1999-2003; 2008-13)

Lesson to delivery boys: watch your step when bringing pizza to a cryogenics lab. Fumble-footed Philip J. Fry slipped into a cryonic tank and didn’t come out of his sleep for one thousand years. The dimwitted, unambitious but sweet-natured Fry takes to the future surprisingly well; he may not understand much about what’s around him; but, then again, that was true back in his own time as well. At least in the future he has a more interesting group of pals.

#2: Austin Powers
“Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery” (1997)

When the evil Dr. Evil places himself in cryogenic sleep in 1967, the mod and shag-a-delic secret agent Austin Powers does likewise. When both are returned to consciousness 30 years later, Powers must fight Dr. Evil’s plans for world domination – even though it’s a world that no longer appreciates his taste, his jokes, his approach with women, or his bad teeth. Fortunately, Powers is a bit too self-absorbed to realize just how out of place he is.

Before we unfreeze our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- Ellen Ripley
“Alien” (1979) Corporal Bower
“Pandorum” (2009) Linkovich ‘Link’ Chomovsky
“Encino Man” (1992)
- David Aames
“Vanilla Sky” (2001)
- George Taylor
“Planet of the Apes” (1968)

#1: Han Solo
“Star Wars” original trilogy (1977-83)

By the end of the saga’s second film, things are seemingly not going so great for the Rebel Alliance. Darth Vader plans to lure Luke Skywalker into a suspended animation trap – but decides to test it on Han Solo. Encased in carbonite, Solo is given to Jabba the Hutt, who is after the smuggler-turned-rebel; seems Solo owes the Hutt for a smuggling job gone wrong. Fortunately, Princess Leia manages to sneak in and free him from his deadly sleep – though that doesn’t mean their troubles have ended.

Do you agree with our choices? What other characters who experienced suspended animation should we have put on this list? For more enthralling top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to

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