The list of the 10 best animated movie characters include classics from decades past and current favorites, both hand-drawn characters and animated personalities. Adults and kids alike enjoy animated movies and some characters are so indelible they become part of pop culture. Animated movies can make us laugh and make us cry, whether they’re human or even candlesticks.  

  1. Cinderella Cinderella has become such a household name that we even use her name generically to describe a rags-to-riches story. She is the ultimate fairy tale princess, going from a downtrodden nobody to the love of royalty, all thanks to her own pluck and the help of her Fairy Godmother.

  2. Buzz and Woody  This one’s a twofer. These guys were the leads in three “Toy Story” movies, the first of which put Pixar and full-length CGI movies on the map. These flicks couldn’t be made without either one of these guys, leading them to both share a spot. At first, Woody’s foil, the space doll Buzz, eventually became best buds with the cowboy.

  3. Ariel Ariel is the star of “The Little Mermaid,” the flick that started the Disney film onslaught at the end of the twentieth century. She is plucky and determined and after she gets her wish to become human, she has to get her love's attention without her best asset: her voice.

  4. Snow White This gal started it all. She was the center of Walt Disney’s first animated full-length feature, for which he won an Oscar (actually nine—the real one and then seven mini-Oscars, one for each dwarf). We all know that after she bites that poison apple everything is going to work out.

  5. Shrek Shrek came on the scene as the anti-Disney, anti-hero, lovable ogre who turns from surly to sweet. He taught us about love, friendship and gallantry in ways animated characters never had before.

  6. Timone Timone is not the star of “The Lion King,” but he steals absolutely every scene he is in, making him one of the ten best animated movie characters ever. This little precocious meercat with quick-thinking skills was voiced by Broadway’s Nathan Lane, launching them both into superstardom.

  7. Peter Pan Peter Pan is the boy who would never grow up and became so memorable that he’s certainly one of the ten best animated movie characters. Peter tries to get the Darling children to enjoy life, all the while taking them on a daring adventure.

  8. The Beast This, uh… guy… makes up the second half of “Beauty and the Beast,” one of the early 1990s mega-hit Disney films. He starts off as a scary-but-misunderstood deformity, the recipient of a curse. Belle is able to see through his tough outside and touches his soul, ultimately breaking the curse. This complex figure was an icon of the '90s.

  9. Genie Genie carries the show in “Aladdin,” the “Indiana Jones” of the cartoon world. Aladdin starts off as a street rat, but with the help of Genie wins the princess. Voiced by Robin Williams, Genie is a frenetic whirlwind, leaving the audience in stitches.

  10. Dumbo Dumbo is a lovable elephant who gets picked on for his big ears. His buddy, Timothy, helps him get through some traumatic experiences at the circus and go on to become a media sensation.