Top 10 Most Important Animated Characters

From classic cartoon characters like Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny to modern-day anime heroes like Goku and Naruto, the world of animation has given us some of the most beloved and memorable characters in pop culture history.

Whether you grew up watching Saturday morning cartoons or binged on animated movies and TV shows as an adult, there's no denying the impact these characters have had on our lives. They've made us laugh, cry, and even taught us important life lessons. And while we all have our personal favorites, there are certain characters that have stood the test of time and cemented their place in animation history.

But who are these characters? Which animated icons are truly the most important to the world of animation? It's a question that's sure to spark some debate, but that's what makes this list so exciting - it's open to your input! If you see a character that you believe should be on this list, feel free to add them and make your voice heard.
The Top Ten
1 Mickey Mouse (Disney) Mickey Mouse is a funny animal cartoon character and the official mascot of The Walt Disney Company. He was created by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks at the Walt Disney Studios in 1928. The first cartoon featuring Mickey Mouse was the iconic "Steamboat Willie" released in the year 1928.

I mean, this guy means a lot, even if you're not a huge Disney fan. I used to make fun of Disney until I put my pride aside. Now I realize how big this mouse is.

If Mickey never existed, anime wouldn't exist because he was the inspiration for the first anime character ever, Astro Boy.

2 Bugs Bunny (Looney Tunes) Bugs Bunny is an animated cartoon character, created by the staff of Leon Schlesinger Productions (later Warner Bros.) He is one of (if not) the most famous cartoon characters, and he is in the show Looney Tunes. His famous quote is "What's up doc?". He is a gray colored bunny with big teeth and big... read more

While Porky may have been the first major Looney Tunes character, Bugs Bunny surpassed all of them and became the face of Looney Tunes.

3 Homer Simpson (The Simpsons) Homer Jay Simpson is the main protagonist of the American animated television series The Simpsons as the patriarch of the eponymous family.
4 Fred Flintstone (The Flintstones) Frederick "Fred" Flintstone, is the main character of the animated sitcom The Flintstones, which aired during prime-time on ABC during the original series' run from 1960 to 1966. Fred is the husband of Wilma Flintstone and father of Pebbles Flintstone.
5 Pete (Disney)

Without him, Mickey Mouse wouldn't have existed, Donald wouldn't have existed, and Goofy wouldn't have existed. Even all the Disney villains owe it to the original Disney villain.

He made his first appearance in the Alice Comedies by Walt Disney as an antagonist three years before the debut of Mickey Mouse.

6 Felix the Cat (Felix the Cat) Felix the Cat is a funny-animal cartoon character created in the silent film era. The anthropomorphic black cat with his black body, white eyes, and giant grin, coupled with the surrealism of the situations in which his cartoons place him, combine to make Felix one of the most recognized cartoon characters... read more

First appearing in 1919, Felix was one of the first images ever to be broadcast on television. He was also the first animated character popular enough to draw movie audiences.

Sorry if I'm taking this too far, but should he be higher than Mickey?

Felix the Cat was the first cartoon star and deserves more attention.

7 Snoopy (Peanuts) Snoopy is a character in comic strip Peanuts. He first appears in the strip from October 4 1950. He often sleeps on the top of his dog house. He belongs to Charlie Brown. He was created by Charles M. Schulz. He also appears in all the specials and the 2015 Peanuts Movie.
8 SpongeBob SquarePants (SpongeBob SquarePants) SpongeBob SquarePants is a fictional character and the titular character and protagonist of the American animated television series of the same name.

I spent my childhood watching this show, so naturally, when I hear "animated character," SpongeBob is the first thing that comes to mind.

Perhaps no other Nickelodeon character is more iconic or has had as much success as the yellow sponge himself.

9 Betty Boop (Betty Boop) Betty Boop is an animated cartoon character created by Max Fleischer, with help from animators including Grim Natwick.
10 Private Snafu (Snafu)

Voiced by none other than Mel Blanc.

The Contenders
11 Porky Pig (Looney Tunes) Porky Pig is an animated cartoon character in the Warner Bros. Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies series of cartoons.

Without him, Bugs Bunny wouldn't have existed, Daffy Duck wouldn't have existed, and all of the Looney Tunes characters wouldn't have existed without Porky Pig.

12 Mabel Pines (Gravity Falls) Mabel Pines is one of the lead characters of the Disney XD animated series Gravity Falls. The character is voiced by Kristen Schaal, and designed by the series creator, Alex Hirsch. She is inspired by Hirsch's own twin sister, Ariel Hirsch. She is a caring, boy-crazy 12 year old girl that spent the... read more
13 Fritz the Cat (Fritz the Cat)

Before there was South Park, Rick and Morty, Family Guy, or even Drawn Together, there was the character who started the whole adult cartoon genre. Back when the idea of a cartoon for adults was unheard of, Fritz the Cat, brought to life by Ralph Bakshi, explored the world of sex, drugs, and violence.

14 Bart Simpson (The Simpsons) Bartholomew JoJo "Bart" Simpson is the oldest child, and the only son, in the 1987 show The Simpsons. He was created by Matt Groening. His hobbies are pranking people including Lisa Simpson and Homer Simpson.
15 Larke Tanner (Beverly Hills Teens)
16 Tennessee Tuxedo (Tennessee Tuxedo & His Tales)
17 Eric Cartman (South Park) Eric Theodore Cartman, often referred to just by his surname, is a main character, as well as a major antagonist and occasional antihero in the animated television series South Park, created by Matt Stone and Trey Parker, and voiced by Parker. He is one of four central characters in South Park, along... read more
18 Batman (Batman: The Animated Series)
19 Pikachu (Pokemon) Pikachu (Japanese: ピカチュウ) are a species of Pokémon, fictional creatures that appear in an assortment of video games, animated television shows and movies, trading card games, and comic books licensed by The Pokémon Company, a Japanese corporation. A mascot of the Pokemon franchise, it's... read more
20 Goku (Dragon Ball Z) Son Goku (Kakarrot) is the main protagonist in Dragon Ball franchise created by Akira Toriyama in 1984. He has many abilities like, super strength, utilization of ki, flight, teleportation, super speed, enhanced reflexes, and Super Saiyan transformation that increase strength, speed, and durability... read more

While not technically a cartoon character, he is still animated. And come on, it's the true legendary Super Saiyan himself! He's pretty much the reason so many people are into anime. I might even consider him a modern-day Superman in a way, and possibly even better than the Man of Steel himself.

For most people, *Dragon Ball Z* was their introduction to anime, and no other anime character is more iconic than Goku.

21 Rose Quartz (Steven Universe)
22 Tom (Tom & Jerry) Thomas "Tom" Cat is a fictional character and one of the title characters in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's series of Tom and Jerry theatrical cartoon short films.
23 Lincoln Loud (The Loud House)

I love all the characters from *The Loud House*!

24 Arnold Shortman (Hey Arnold)
25 Jerry (Tom & Jerry) Gerald "Jerry" Mouse is a fictional character and one of the title characters in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's series of Tom and Jerry theatrical cartoon short films. He is a mouse that gets chased by Tom, but tries to trick Tom so he won't catch him.
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