Disney has given us well-loved (and utterly hated) animated characters for decades. From the lovable Flounder to the brave Mulan and iconic Cruella De Vil, we’ve learned quite a few life lessons about love, friendship, power, and living happily ever after.
Let nostalgia give you butterflies in the stomach as we take a trip down memory lane to find out who are the best Disney characters of all time.
Top 15 Characters in Disney History
1. Mickey Mouse
Created in the 1920s, Mickey Mouse is a cartoon character that also serves as the endearing mascot of the Walt Disney Company. Mickey Mouse is the world’s most notable fictional character, with his famous red shorts, white gloves, and huge yellow shoes. In the film Steamboat Willie, Minnie Mouse appeared alongside Mickey as his love interest.
2. Genie of Aladdin
Yep, you’ve never had a friend like Aladdin’s Genie. Despite his outrageously funny antics, this fast-talking blue fellow has a heart of gold, treating Aladdin more like a friend than a master.
Genie is not just a magical being who can grant your wish, he’s also the ultimate icon of selflessness, even after Aladdin freed him from Jafar. He’s a massive element in every childhood and something that reminds us of one of Robin Williams’ most-loved performances in movies.
3. Donald Duck
Another recognizable Disney character is Donald Duck. Together with Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, and the rest of the gang, Donald goes off on different adventures wearing his recognizable sailor shirt, cap, and bow tie. Donald is a fiery anthropomorphic duck who always falls victim to bad luck, but we love him, anyway. And so does Daisy Duck.
Well, Goofy is exceptionally goofy as his character. Walt Disney Productions created Goofy in the 1930s and is tagged as a tall, black dog that talks with a Southern accent we’re all familiar with. You’ll find him donning his favorite turtle neck and vest, and a tall fedora hat. Goofy is described as clumsy, intuitive, and eccentric, making him unique in his own way.
5. Sebastian of The Little Mermaid
If you’re looking for a friend who’s willing to break the rules for your happiness, there’s Sebastian from The Little Mermaid, King Triton’s spirited advisor slash entertainer. Despite his loyalty to the King, he gave his “reluctant” support to Princess Ariel on her quest to find true love and be part of this world. With Sebastian’s memorable songs and infectious personality, life is indeed better under the sea.
6. Simba, the Lion King
As the pride of the Pride Lands, we watched how Simba grew from an insecure cub into a fine, strong lion full of love for family and friends. We all cried when Simba lost his father, and we loathed Scar and his minions for luring little Simba into leaving his family. But like they say, all’s well that end’s well, as evidenced by the sequels.
7. Cruella de Vil from 101 Dalmatians
She’s cruel. She’s vile. Just look at her name, folks! But she made it to the list, anyway. With Cruella de Vil, you know instantly that it’s bad news. Why hurt those poor little puppies, right?! It’s her ruthlessness, however, that’s made her into an iconic villain. Those scary snarls and the catchy theme song have got us hooked, though.
Check our list of the most popular Disney villains here.
8. Timon and Pumbaa from The Lion King
“Hakuna Matata” is a wonderful phrase as a matter of fact. Coming from a meerkat and a pig - a warthog, rather - this catchphrase gave us a boost when the going gets tough. Overall, the Lion King is one of the most well-loved Disney movies of all time.
Timon and Pumbaa were carefree (and funny) jungle dwellers who took in Simba after he was driven out of Pride Lands by his own uncle. The presence of this duo made heavy scenes in The Lion King bearable if we might add.
Olaf is the reason why we all want to build a snowman! He’s the only snowman we know who likes warm hugs and particularly loves summer. Created by Elsa and Anna when they were young, Olaf then became a fragment of their imagination up until he magically formed while Queen Elsa was fleeing in the woods. He can be a bit naive at times, but this innocent and good-natured character made him a trusted friend to the sisters.
Stitch is a short-tempered yet charming blue alien in the Lilo & Stitch franchise. He’s a genetically-engineered extraterrestrial that started off as a seemingly crazy character designed to create chaos wherever he may go. Until he was befriended by Lilo Pelekai and became “ohana” in the end. Stitch resembles a koala and acts quite mischievously all the time.
11. Tinker Bell from Peter Pan
Tinker Bell is a feisty and hot-tempered fairy best remembered as Peter Pan’s trusted sidekick. Tink doesn’t like humans, though, and we certainly saw that after she acted quite murderously towards Wendy during one of her intense fits of jealousy.
Despite her rough character, she is a devoted friend to everyone she loves, eventually accepting Wendy and her brothers as members of the team. Since her creation in the 1950s, Tinker Bell became a spokes-character alongside Jiminy Cricket and Mickey Mouse.
Sheriff Woody Pride is the main fictional character in the Toy Story franchise by Pixar. He is a stuffed cowboy rag doll tagged as one of the toy leaders in the movies. Woody is old-fashioned and skeptical most of the time, but this changed when he became friends with Buzz Lightyear.
Their adventures together with the other toys were mostly out-of-this-world yet very heart-warming. Since his debut in Toy Story, Woody remained one of the most beloved Disney personas today.
13. Baloo from The Jungle Book
If you’re an orphaned boy raised by wolves in the jungle and on the run from a cunning Bengal tiger, how will you cope with life? By looking for the “bare necessities”, of course. At least that’s what we learned from Baloo, the bear who took Mowgli in after the poor boy lost everyone he loved.
Baloo stuck with Mowgli and accompanied him in his misadventures right until he found the right home. He may not be the best tour guide and life coach, but he’s definitely a reminder that we should enjoy life and let loose once in a while.
Dory is a regal blue tang, a major character in Disney/Pixar Film’s Finding Nemo and Finding Dory. She is characterized as ditzy, which may be attributed to her short-term memory loss. Her forgetfulness is what drove us to pity and love her at the same time, though. Despite her condition, Dory was loyal and kindhearted. In the end, Marlin and Nemo considered her family.
15. Jiminy Cricket
In The Adventures of Pinocchio, Jiminy Cricket serves as the wooden boy’s conscience right after being brought to life by the Blue Fairy. If you’ve watched the Disney film, you’ll see that most of Pinocchio’s misfortunes were consequences of ignoring Jiminy’s advice. As one of the best characters, Jiminy teaches us to listen to the voice of reason as we journey towards achieving our dreams.
Who is the cutest Disney character?
We think Chip from the Beauty and the Beast film is the cutest Disney character. With those big sparkling eyes, teeny voice, and chipped edge, there’s no teacup as adorable as Chip. No wonder Belle got smitten with him as soon as they met.
Who is Walt Disney’s favorite character?
Goofy is considered Walt Disney’s favorite character. He is a clumsy and gangly dog that first appeared in the 1932 film, Mickey’s Revue. Goofy is known for his slapstick comedy style, and you’ll almost always find him alongside his friends, Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck. When it comes to Disney princesses, Princess Cinderella was Walt’s favorite.
Who was the first character to fart?
Pumbaa, the warthog from The Lion King hold the honor of being the first-ever character to fart in a Disney film. His weird diet of bugs and worms might have something to do with it.
Who was Disney’s first villain character?
The Evil Queen from Snow White and the Seven Dwarves was the first Disney villain character. She was so envious of Princess Snow White’s beauty that she resorted to doing every ruthless thing she can come up with, like those poison apples. Snow White lived, of course. Thanks to the equally iconic true love’s kiss.
Who is the most beautiful Disney character?
Princess Jasmine is thought to be the most beautiful character in the Disney world. She has warm brown skin, strikingly beautiful eyes, and a vaguely exotic aura that captured not just Aladdin’s heart, but of the entire Disney fandom. We consider Mulan, Princess Ariel and Princess Belle as runners-up in this category.
Wrapping Up The Best Characters in Disney Fandom Today
While there are quite a few characters that made the top spots, we’re pretty sure the list of the best Disney World characters in history will go on. Over time, new characters will surface and capture your heart the way these iconic and classic characters did. Ariel taught us that true love exists. Belle showed us that it’s okay to dream big.
From the Hunchback of Notre Dame and the Mad Hatter to the most recent Mulan, Princess Anna and Wreck-It Ralph, people will always find somebody new to take an interest in. These characters from Disney television and Disney films never cease to make people smile, whether they’re seven years old or seventy-seven.
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