The Most Popular Cartoons Of All Time, Ranked
Every viewer has their own opinions about the best cartoons of all time. While all different animated shows have specific aspects that make them appealing to the audience, some cartoons have reached a wider audience and have impacted pop culture.
RELATED: 15 Classic Cartoon Network Shows That Still Hold Up
Cartoons such as Scooby-Doo, Looney Tunes, and Pokémon have influenced generations of viewers, withstanding the test of time while evolving with modern culture. Others, such as SpongeBob SquarePants and Avatar: The Last Airbender, are great kid shows that even adults enjoy watching. These hit cartoons are among some of the best of all time.
10 Adventure Time (2010-2018)
Adventure Time is one of the best modern cartoons for both adults and children. While aimed at a younger audience, the characterization, and fantastical elements have enticed many adult viewers. The show follows Finn and his magical dog, Jake, who fight evil in the Land of Ooo.
While Adventure Time is one of the darkest Cartoon Network shows, this only adds to the intrigue of the overall story. The cartoon quickly became an iconic show, backed up by an impressive 100% critical rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
9 Foster’s Home For Imaginary Friends (2004-2009)
Foster’s Home For Imaginary Friends is one of the most impressive cartoons from Cartoon Network. The charm of this series is evident in the concept. Madame Foster takes in imaginary friends that kids have outgrown, giving them a community and home.
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The concept was just quirky enough to create intrigue, and the storyline and characters were amazingly crafted, giving the audience everything they wanted from a children’s show. In addition to the goofy situations and characterization, the overarching theme is a wholesome focus on the importance of friendship.
8 Courage The Cowardly Dog (1999-2002)
Courage the Cowardly Dog was short-lived, with only four seasons, though the show is well-remembered as one of the overall best ’90s cartoons. The titular character is a fearful dog that lives in an area of strange occurrences. Despite his cowardly nature, Courage works hard to protect his owners from dangerous paranormal villains.
Courage the Cowardly Dog is another cartoon beloved by children and adults alike. The creepy atmosphere and themes are a rare addition to cartoons, leaving a lasting impression on lovers of darker shows.
7 Samurai Jack (2001-2017)
Samurai Jack is about a warrior transported into the future by a villainous wizard. As he tries to get back to his own time, Jack makes friends and fights the evil henchmen of the wizard. This show is another beloved one from Cartoon Network that has withstood the test of time.
The storyline of Samurai Jack is enticing, offering an action-packed sequence that adds to the charm and danger of Jack’s journey. The likable protagonist and creative antagonists make this cartoon a family watch. The animation style of the cartoon is an icon of early 2000s animated shows, placing it among the best of the time period.
6 Avatar: The Last Airbender (2005-2008)
Between the animation, characterization, storyline, and themes, Avatar: The Last Airbender is a timeless cartoon that has not lost its charm throughout the years. Focusing on Aang, the 112-year-old boy frozen in ice for a century, and his friends, the storyline has natural progress as he learns all four elements to defeat the Fire Nation and save the world.
RELATED: The Most Powerful Avatar: The Last Airbender Characters, Ranked
ATLA is an epic fantasy TV show perfect for fans of all ages. The scale of the world-building in this cartoon is exceptional, offering beautiful imagery and a diverse cast of characters. The Legend of Korra sequel has added to the world’s intrigue, ensuring the original series’s legacy lives on.
The Pokémon Universe is massive, including eight shows, dozens of movies, and many video games. Originating on TV Tokyo, the anime series quickly became a worldwide sensation. Though fans love young Ash and his pal Pikachu, the universe is expansive with dozens of characters and thousands of Pokémon with complex and fascinating lore.
Some of the most popular shows are Pokémon Origins, Pokémon Generations, and the original series. From collecting and trading Pokémon Cards to playing the sensational Pokémon Go! phone game, the franchise continues to have a prominent influence on pop culture.
The original Scooby-Doo cartoon, Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!, aired in 1969. Though the shows have had different levels of success, there’s no denying the immense influence this sensational cartoon has gained. Scooby and his gang are iconic characters who have kept their charm throughout the generations.
Scooby-Doo is another franchise with many shows, movies, and games. From live-action adaptations to cross-overs with other popular shows and pop culture icons, Scooby-Doo has changed throughout the ages while maintaining the general themes and characters it’s known for.
3 The Simpsons (1989-Present)
Among the top-rated cartoons, The Simpsons is one of the few truly designed to appeal to the whole family. Hilarious and entertaining for all ages, The Simpsons has maintained its appeal since the late ’80s, making history as one of the longest-running shows of all time.
RELATED: Best Simpsons Parodies Of Popular TV Shows
This satirical animated sitcom depicts the most ridiculous themes associated with a typical American family. Adapting to appeal to new generations with different storylines and references to pop culture icons, The Simpsons remains relevant.
2 SpongeBob SquarePants (1999-Present)
Running since 1999, with a four-year break from 2012 to 2016, SpongeBob SquarePants is a cartoon that a couple of generations can say they grew up watching. This undersea sponge in his pineapple home and his sea critter friends are beloved by adults as much as kids.
SpongeBob SquarePants has changed as animation became more advanced. However, the charm of the animated series has lasted throughout the alterations, staying true to the silly and humorous plots that are also endearing and wholesome.
1 Looney Tunes
Arguably the most influential American cartoon of all time is the Looney Tunes franchise. Originally shorts that began in the 1930s, the series has expanded to many animated series. Characters like Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, and Elmer Fudd are pop culture icons referenced and mimicked in different shows and movies.
Though many of the original Looney Tunes shorts haven’t aged well, the silly and fun themes of the franchise have entertained generations. Recently, Max has released the Looney Tunes Cartoons, which capture the charm of the original shorts with fresh storylines.
NEXT: 10 Best Looney Tunes Spin-Offs, Ranked
25 All-Time Best Cartoon Characters Ever Created, Ranked
The entertainment world is full of diverse voices and mediums that are extensions of people’s creative minds. As much as we all love a hard-hitting drama or a spectacular action scene in a live-action blockbuster, the sense of nostalgia and timelessness that surrounds animation is in a category all on its own. Cartoons are a childhood (and adult) staple for visual entertainment, and with their long history, some of the most recognizable characters and personalities have come from these cartoons.
Cartoon characters are celebrities in their own right. From merchandise to their ability to never lose their touch, animated cartoon characters have made names for themselves in popular culture, entertainment, and beyond. Narrowing down the best of the best is not going to be easy. However, we are here to give some much-needed recognition to 25 of the best cartoon characters of all time, some new and some old. Here is our ranking.
25 Finn and Jake — Adventure Time
Some may argue that cartoon may have lost their touch. Modern-day cartoon characters have evolved with more complex character dynamics, animation styles, and storylines. Adventure Time came out in 2010, ran for 10 incredible seasons, and cemented Finn The Human and Jake The Dog (the iconic duo) into our cartoon character hall of fame.
Related: Cartoon Characters With Dark Histories Behind Them
24 The Belchers — Bob’s Burgers
The character ensemble in Bob’s Burgers has made the rounds in popular culture. The show is absolutely hilarious and showcases characters that resonate with adults and young adults. We oftentimes associate cartoon characters with childhood. However, cartoons like Bob’s Burgers offers a fantastic bridge between audiences through families like the Belchers. Also, we have to give credit to the «memeability» of these characters and the animation. Tina dancing? Bob Belcher just existing? Perfect.
23 Rick and Morty — Rick and Morty
If we want to talk about popular culture and branding, the widespread reach of the sitcom Rick and Morty. When the show came out in 2013, it was an instant hit. Both Rick (a crazy scientist) and Morty (his grandson) have become an iconic cartoon, tag-team duo for the ages as they travel through universes in the name of science. With that in mind, recent controversies have forced this show to consider major changes.
22 The South Park Crew — South Park
Paramount Media Networks
Adult comedy mixed in with adorable cartoon characters? Count us in. Anyone who has not been living under a rock could recognize a character from South Park a mile away. Cartman, Kenny, Kyle, and Stan are adult comedy gold. Clothing, posters, and fan art are all aspects of this brand and the main cartoon characters are some of the best out there.
21 Betty Boop — Betty Boop
Time for some throwbacks. Old-school cartoon characters will never get old. Betty Boop, visually, is one of the most charming cartoon characters ever created. There is no other animated character like her and that in itself, is part of the appeal. She is innocent looking with a pinup girl style. The vintage and slightly mischievous look had her setting a sort of blueprint for this kind of character in animation. She also was the star of multiple projects since her debut in 1930.
20 The Jetsons — The Jetsons
Famous families are a common theme in entertainment. If you think about famous animated families, it is really hard to leave out The Jetsons, a family living their lives in the far future. The Jetsons is an animated sitcom that came out in 1962, talk about vintage! The show and these characters, despite running for only three seasons, made their mark in animated character history.
19 Strawberry Shortcake — Strawberry Shortcake
Strawberry Shortcake is one of the best-branded cartoon characters out there. Especially now, the aesthetic of a vintage strawberry shortcake has become so trendy and desirable among people that many are now revisiting the old cartoon. Waves of nostalgia paired with equally adorable animation give Strawberry Shortcake a rightful place on this list.
18 Dora the Explorer — Dora the Explorer
Dora has taken on a life of her own. Dora the Explorer had the daunting task of having to help young kids solve problems and find their way. The show itself is interesting with how interactive it is but having Dora as the face of it makes it memorable. Dora the Explorer has become so popular that even a live-action movie adaptation of the show was released in 2019 called Dora and the Lost City of Gold.
17 The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles — The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Round of applause for Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael, and Michelangelo! The group known as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are iconic in the world of cartoons and animation. These four crime-fighting turtles live in the sewers of New York, have impeccable martial arts skills, and love pizza.
16 Popeye — The Popeye Show
King Features Syndicate
Warner Bros. Television Studios
Who knew that a spinach-loving sailor would charm so many people for so many years? Popeye may not be a cartoon character that can ride on overreaching storylines and character development. In fact, he seems to have the same habits and mannerisms throughout his existence. However, he is still an easily recognizable character and everyone knows what to think of when we mention Popeye.
15 Casper the Friendly Ghost
Casper the Friendly Ghost has been through every transformation in the entertainment world. From the original animated show to the fantastic live-action films featuring the adorable ghost, Casper has touched many generations of young people who fell in love with him. Casper challenged the belief that ghosts and the paranormal are things to be feared and presented it in this adorable white apparition that we know as Casper the FRIENDLY ghost.
14 Peter and Stewie Griffin — Family Guy
Family Guy is an adult comedy show that has been on air since 1999. The charm of this show has not been lost in popular media one bit. Even though there are multiple characters in the show that people know and love, Peter Griffin and Stewie, in particular, take it to a whole new level. Peter, the main character in the show as well as the intelligent and charming Stewie are both voiced by Seth McFarlane. Their hard-hitting punchlines and how much they are «memed» on social media make them some of the best cartoon characters of all time.
13 Courage the Cowardly Dog — Courage the Cowardly Dog
Warner Bros. Television Distribution
Courage the Cowardly Dog, although 100% marketed to children, had some deep, dark, and terrifying undertones. The ominousness of this character sent his overall appeal to different audiences. Courage is a cowardly dog who lives out in the middle of nowhere with humans Thea and Lionel. Courage’s wholesomeness paired with Lionel’s insistent efforts to get rid of him make audiences root for him, feel for him, and become his #1 fans.
12 Snoopy and Charlie Brown — Peanuts
CBS and Apple TV
The holidays throughout the year mark some of the most memorable moments of our lives. No other cartoon characters define big life moments and holidays like Snoopy and Charlie Brown. Honestly, from the merchandise and the catchy theme song to the whole theme park built around it (Knotts Berry Farm), Charlie Brown and Snoopy have the «it» factor. The animation is spotty, simple, and pretty extraordinary. However, the way these two made us feel defined the childhoods of families all over the world.
Related: The Super Mario Bros. Movie TV Spot Brings Back the 80s Cartoon Show Theme Song
11 Garfield — Garfield and Friends
In terms of animation subjects, animals will always have a certain charm to them. Garfield is one of the most famous cartoon cats out there. With his sly smile and mischievous look, Garfield is one of the first faces to come to our minds when we think about popular cartoon characters. In fact, seeing any orange cat makes us think about Garfield. Garfield and Friends came out in 1988 and since then, the cat has been the main character in more animated shows and movies, including an upcoming live-action film.
10 Buggs Bunny — The Looney Tunes
The Looney Tunes sit high in our ranks of animation. The cartoon characters in this franchise have continued to take on popular and mainstream media by storm. However, one particular bunny shines a little brighter than the others. Bugs Bunny is a chaotic and pretty unhinged character in his own right. Throughout his appearances in entertainment, people have grown a certain comfort with his presence on screen with the knowledge that he will always bring a good time.
9 Phineas and Ferb — Phineas and Ferb
When there are 104 days of summer vacation, we would not want to spend with anyone other than Phineas and Ferb. Phineas and Ferb is a show that came out on Disney Channel in 2007 and is expecting a reboot that we cannot wait for. These brothers, the animated geniuses of our generation, get involved in some of the most intricate, complicated, and insane antics you could possibly think of. These two defined a child’s dream summer on-screen.
8 Scooby-Doo — Scooby-Doo
Warner Bros. Animation
Scooby-Doo is the face of the franchise for a reason. The Mystery Gang, consisting of Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy, and Scooby are a group of friends and one dog that end up solving paranormal mysteries, credited for being just a group of meddling kids. However, Although each member of the group plays a part in the franchise’s success, Scooby is the icon of it all.
7 Ash Ketchum and Pikachu — Pokémon
TXN (TV Tokyo)
International roots and notoriety will never be ignored here. Ash Ketchum and Pikachu are the stars of the main Japanese animated adventure show Pokémon. Pokémon is the type of franchise that has taken over every corner of the world and Ash and Pikachu, being the friendship of our childhoods, are recognized and emulated through merchandise, cosplay, fan art, and much more. Growing up with these two is unforgettable, and they have rightfully cemented their place on this list
6 The Powerpuff Girls — The Powerpuff Girls
Warner Bros. Television Distribution
There is no way we could only pick one Powerpuff Girl to make this list. These sisters are the cutest little superhero out there. Bubbles, the quiet and bubbly one, Buttercup, the rough around the edge hard-headed one, and Blossom, the control and kind of leader of the team make up The Powerpuff Girls. These cartoon characters, from their aesthetic to them just being badass superheroes are full of fun and heartfelt family dynamics. Also, who is not curious to see how the possible live-action film could turn out?
The best Disney cartoons
Several generations of children have grown up on Disney cartoons, and all of us, even as adults, continue to love them for their kindness, beautiful music, eternal stories and consistently high-quality animation. We recall the main masterpieces of the Mouse House released in the history of the world famous studio.
Encanto is Disney’s 60th animated film. Events unfold in Colombia, where the Madrigal family lives in an unusual house named Cassie, lost somewhere in the mountains. This place is called Encanto. Every child in this unique family has magical abilities — someone has superpowers, someone knows how to heal. But young Mirabelle was born without a magical gift. Realizing that Encanto’s magic is in danger, it is Mirabell who will try to find a way to save this amazing corner of the Earth.
Frame from the cartoon «Encanto»
«Raya and the last dragon»
The cartoon tells about a warrior girl named Raya, who is destined to become the guardian of the Dragonstone. But while the girl was growing up, the world around her was changing. Tribes that were once friendly with each other are now in a state of constant hostility. Only the last surviving dragon can save the situation — Raya goes in search of him. As in other Disney cartoons, the main character has a companion — a pretty animal named Tuk-Tuk.
Frame from the cartoon «Raya and the Last Dragon»
The young princess Elsa has magical powers from birth. The girl can freeze objects, covering them with a layer of ice and snow. After the death of her parents, the sorceress inherits the throne of Arendelle and receives patronage over her younger sister Anna. One fine day, a conflict arises between relatives. Frustrated, Elsa runs away to the mountains and, by an absurd accident, casts a freezing spell on the kingdom. To bring summer back to Arendelle, Anna has to find her sister and oppose herself to a powerful element.
Frame from the cartoon «Frozen»
Ralph is one of the heroes of an old computer game that children play in the arcade. And everything would be fine, but he is not only a minor character, but also a villain. He is not respected by his colleagues, with whom he takes part in the game, and he lives alone in a landfill. Gradually, Ralph gets bored of being a bad guy and, in order to become a hero and get the coveted medal, he sets off on a journey through other arcades. Ralph learns that such a coveted reward can be obtained in the Hero’s Duty game, but he just can’t go the honest way. Together with the received medal, Ralph finds himself in another game — «Sweet Fast and the Furious», where a funny girl named Vanellope von Keks blocks his way.
Frame from the cartoon «Ralph»
«The Lion King»
Justice and friendliness reign in the animal kingdom, headed by a majestic lion. Sunlight floods the lands where everyone can feed. But when the king dies from the betrayal of his envious brother, and his little son, undeservedly accused by his uncle, runs away, everything changes tragically. Devastation, hunger, the power of evil hyenas are replacing the former happiness. Will the grown-up heir be able to find the strength to return home and restore order in his own possessions? Over time, royal blood makes itself felt …
Frame from the cartoon «The Lion King»
«Beauty and the Beast»
The arrogant prince does not allow the old woman to rest in his castle. In retaliation for the arrogance of the young man, the sorceress turns the guy into a monster. Now the prince needs to wait until a girl appears in his life who can fall in love with a shaggy freak. Years later, a local craftsman accidentally enters the castle. His daughter Belle goes to find her father. She finds dad in the castle and asks the monster to let the parent go. As a tribute, she stays with the monster herself — from that moment on, a touching love story begins between the enchanted prince and the beauty.
Frame from the cartoon «Beauty and the Beast»
«The Little Mermaid»
Real feelings can go through any, even the most tragic trials. When the princess of the underwater world Ariel accidentally saved a beautiful young man from death, her cherished dream was to see him again. The girl turned for help to the sorceress, whose dark magic could grant legs to the marine inhabitant. The voice of the beauty was supposed to be a small payment, but if her lover does not experience sincere feelings for the heroine, she will have to die … Everything is not so scary when true friends are ready to come to the rescue, who stand by the mountain for the princess and amusingly struggle with the intrigues of the evil witch.
Frame from the cartoon «The Little Mermaid»
Relatives are trying to prepare young beautiful Mulan for marriage. At the same time, difficult times are coming for the country: the Hun tribe goes to war against China. Mulan’s father is old, but there is an imperial order: a warrior will go to fight from every house. The girl dresses up in her father’s outfit, takes his sword and sets off towards danger and feat. She is accompanied by the funny dragon Mushu, who looks more like a small dog than a mythical monster. By the way, the cartoon is based on the story of a real person, the heroine of a medieval Chinese poem.
Frame from the cartoon «Mulan»
The story is based on old Arabian fairy tales about a homeless but fair Aladdin who managed to marry a beautiful princess. Prior to this, the young man had to live on the street and hunt for petty theft in order to satisfy his hunger. His faithful and only friend, participating in all the tricks, is the monkey Abu. One day, Aladdin meets Princess Jasmine in the bazaar, who has escaped from the palace, and falls in love with a girl. The insidious vizier Jafar, accusing the tramp of kidnapping the beauty, throws him behind bars and forces him to get a magic lamp in which the powerful Genie languishes…
Frame from the cartoon «Aladdin»
«Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs»
The evil stepmother forces the meek Princess Snow White to do housework. But this is not enough for her: with the help of a witch’s mirror, a woman regularly inquires who is the most beautiful in her state. As soon as an innocent rival surpasses the queen, she will try to destroy her. But amazing forest creatures will not allow tragedy to happen. The hard-working and sincere beauty must regain the throne, but first she has to go through the most terrible test.
Still from the cartoon «Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs»
One fine day, the circus elephant Jumbo has a baby who gets the nickname Dumbo. The world around him meets him not with a smile, but with mockery. And all because of the ears, too large even by «elephant» standards. Circus actors, spectators and even relatives mock Dumbo, calling him a «freak». The offended mother tries to protect her son, for which she falls under the castle and in iron shackles. The unfortunate child is left alone. Even on stage, he fails, stammering about his own ears. After ruining an ambitious stunt, Dumbo is cast as a clown. The only way to earn the respect of others and find your way is to present a brilliant performance to the public. In this, the baby elephant will be helped by his faithful friend-mouse and his most important, cursed «flaw».
Frame from the cartoon «Dumbo»
A small deer was born on one of the picturesque forest clearings on a wonderful sunny day. All the forest inhabitants came and flew to look at the charming newborn. The baby was named Bambi. Having learned to talk and walk, the fawn makes friends — a skunk named Flower and a rabbit named Thumper. While walking through the meadow, Bambi meets Faileen, a sweet and pretty deer. However, forest life is sometimes cruel. Bambi also encounters the world’s most feared predator, Man, once hearing the sounds of gunshots in the forest.
Frame from the cartoon «Bambi»
The servants of the evil Hades, the ruler of the kingdom of the dead, are trying to poison the newly born child of the gods Zeus and Hera. But the baby survives and ends up with foster parents. Soon Hercules grows up and goes on an adventure, because it turns out that he is the most powerful person living on Earth. The strongman finds his own father and friends: the winged horse Pegasus and the satyr Phil. They help him overcome his most important enemy and find love.
Frame from the cartoon «Hercules»
Left without a mother, Cinderella is forced to live with an evil stepmother and two stepsisters who consider her their servants. The poor orphan works from morning until late at night, but even in this situation she does not lose her kindness and optimism. One fine day, Cinderella receives an invitation to the royal ball, which, in fact, is the bride of contenders for the prince’s hand and heart. This chance comes only once. In order not to miss it, the girl will have to deal with piled work, believe in magic and reincarnate as a princess. Exactly until midnight . ..
Frame from the cartoon «Cinderella»
Young Rapunzel lives in a high tower. All day long she is engaged in combing and braiding her beautiful magical hair. They are able to give youth and beauty. It was not of her own free will that she was imprisoned. An evil witch posing as Rapunzel’s mother uses the girl to stay forever young. But everything changes when a real robber, a handsome man named Flynn, climbs into the tower. Love, adventure and amazing discovery await the heroes….
Frame from the cartoon «Rapunzel: Tangled»
In a fairy-tale kingdom, a king and his wife had a daughter, whom they dreamed about for a very long time. Naming her Aurora, they decide to have a grand celebration of the event. They invited a huge number of guests, but did not invite the evil witch Maleficent, who was offended by this and sent a curse on their newborn girl: when Aurora turns sixteen, she will prick her finger on a spindle and die. Fortunately for the good fairy, Maryweather managed to change this terrible spell, and now Aurora will not die from the injection, but simply fall asleep and only a kiss of true love can awaken her.
Still from the cartoon «Sleeping Beauty»
«Lilo and Stitch»
The Council of the Intergalactic Federation condemned Dr. Jookib for creating an aggressive, intelligent and dangerous organism. It was decided to get rid of him by deporting him to a desert planet. But on the way, the little monster escapes and ends up on Earth. They send a chase after him, and the object, hiding, disguises itself as a pet named Stitch. The disinterested love and patience of the little girl Lilo turns the harmful evil into a kind and faithful friend. And he, who always felt lonely and rejected, becomes part of a happy family. But will he be allowed to stay on Earth?
Frame from the cartoon «Lilo and Stitch»
Zootopia is a city of equal opportunities for tiny rodents, huge elephants and towering giraffes. Predators and herbivores can use all the benefits of civilization here, interspecies disagreements are over, and thanks to successful evolution, bloodthirstiness is a thing of the past. But is everything all right in this prosperous society? After all, not everyone got rid of stereotypes and prejudices. Cheerful Judy Hopps became the first bunny cop in history. However, it is not easy for a furry little animal to compete with fellow thugs. But she had a chance to prove her professional suitability when the boss allowed her to do a serious job instead of issuing fines for improper parking — the search for a missing resident of the capital. As assistants, Judy took the fox Nick Wilde — a petty swindler, a cunning and a rogue. When investigating the circumstances of the mysterious disappearances, the partners will have to overcome many obstacles, face a lot of bureaucratic problems, find themselves in the lair of the mafia, learn about the real conspiracy and, in the end, prevent the threat of animal civilization.
Frame from the cartoon «Zootopia»
Raised among a tribe of gorillas, a boy named Tarzan earned respect on his own. The animals did not want to accept the human cub for a long time, they mocked him. Only thanks to perseverance, and even his kind heart, he managed to survive and find many new friends, as well as become strong and courageous. Only bad luck: for some reason they didn’t teach a guy in the jungle how to deal with girls.
Frame from the cartoon «Tarzan»
A ship with our hero John Smith leaves Europe for the New World. The crew, as the captain explains, is sailing towards adventure, success and wealth. However, John finds love on a distant shore — the daughter of an Indian leader named Pocahontas. Will they be able to be together, given the enmity between their peoples?
Frame from the cartoon «Pocahontas»
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Cultural move: 25 brilliant animators and their best cartoons
Movie directors become widely known after the release of a sensational picture. With multipliers, everything is more complicated. Their heroes find fans in all corners of the earth, but the artists themselves seem to remain behind the scenes: we only see their names in the credits — and it will be a great success if the announcer says them aloud (the credits are rarely read by anyone).
Nevertheless, there are animators whose works are considered cult. For example, Hayao Miyazaki or Walt Disney. They created entire universes, so it’s not surprising that these names are on everyone’s lips. But there are many wonderful cartoons. Now we’ll tell you who helped bring your favorite characters to life on TV 👇🏻
Initially, the Italian animator was a designer in the magazines of his native country, later he moved to work on comics. In France and Luxembourg, he worked on animation projects, then to return to Italy and put all the experience he had gained into practice. Iginio opened the Rainbow Studio and began creating cartoon products for children. His most famous work was the Winx Club franchise 🧚🏻♀️
Winx Club (2004)
Fantastic cartoon about fairies and witches, released in 2004. The main storyline tells the story of the girl Bloom, who lived with foster parents on Earth, but suddenly discovered magical powers in herself. She enters the Alfea School, where she meets other fairies and specialist boys from the Red Fountain School. Together they will go through many adventures, fight powerful magicians and monsters, and help Bloom uncover the truth about her past ✊🏻
The great Japanese animator and founder of Studio Ghibli, who gave us Princess Mononoke, Howl’s Moving Castle, Spirited Away, Laputa Castle in the Sky and many more beautiful pictures. While still in his last year of high school, Hayao wanted to become an animator when he saw Taiji Yabusita’s The Legend of the White Snake. Now among the creations of Miyazaki there are more than 20 full-length cartoons 😯
My Neighbor Totoro (1988)
The girls Satsuki and Mei move to the village, to an old house with a small garden. The sisters’ mother is in the hospital, so all the cares for the house and children fall on the father and eldest daughter. One day, little Mei meets susuwatari, shy spirits who introduce her and Satsuki to Totoro, the guardian of the forest. A kind creature gives the girls seeds that, thanks to him, sprout in the garden, and even helps to find the lost Mei. Together with the spirits, children explore the forest, play in nature, and even visit their mother in the hospital on a Cotobus. A kind story about a fluffy guardian of the forest has become popular all over the world 😍
God told the American director to become an animator, because his father is a man of this profession himself. Matt was the editor-in-chief of the newspaper at the university, showed talents as a journalist, and his interest in illustration was discovered when he began to draw mini-comics. Already at 23, Groening published his famous biographical work on life in Los Angeles, Life in Hell. The young talent was noticed by producer James Brooks and invited Matt to do animation. Among Groening’s cartoons: «Futurama», «Disappointment» and, of course, «The Simpsons» 👏🏻
The Simpsons (1989)
A satirical cartoon about family life in the fictional city of Springfield. Groening ridicules many of the clichés and stereotypes of the «average American» lifestyle. He’s not shy about talking on The Simpsons about controversial topics such as politics, religion, feminism, legalization, and more. The Simpson family and their neighbors constantly get into funny situations that are fun to watch, and the series itself has repeatedly predicted the future, for which fans loved it so much 🔥
The difficult fate of the Soviet animator did not prevent him from achieving his goal and becoming a production designer. Rusakov went through the Great Patriotic War, was wounded and shell-shocked, but, after demobilization in 1946, he studied at the art department of VGIK and worked at the Soyuzmultfilm studio until his retirement. Together with his colleagues, he created many wonderful cartoons, but the most famous characters were the heroes of «Well, you wait!» 😉
Well, wait a minute! (1969)
An animated series of 20 episodes about the Wolf’s comical pursuit of the Hare, which always ends in failure. Whatever the Wolf did to catch his prey: he pursued the Hare, and set traps, and even reincarnated as other heroes. But the cunning Hare always revealed the deception and left the unfortunate hunter with a nose. A kind cartoon not only entertained viewers of different ages, but also taught that, although evil can be insidious, good always wins ✊🏻
The most famous American animator, director, screenwriter and producer. He founded Walt Disney Productions, which is now the real multimedia empire of The Walt Disney Company. Disney created over 100 works and produced 576 more works. Among them are cartoons about Mickey Mouse and his friends, «Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs», «Pinocchio», «Dumbo», «Cinderella» and many more chic films 🎬
Classic full-length cartoon with a touching story of Bambi the deer. The Little Prince of the Forest meets other animals, the bunny Stomper and the skunk Flower become his friends. Bambi’s mother is killed by a hunter, and his father, the Great Prince of the Forest, helps his son survive the loss and grow up. Later, the grown-up Bambi defeats his main human enemy and saves friends and other animals from a terrible fire. He falls in love with the deer Falin, and at the end of the cartoon we see how Bambi raises cute deer with her and becomes the Prince of the Forest himself 🥰
One of the most titled Russian cartoonists. Nominated for the César Award for Best Short Film «At the End of the Earth». Konstantin was twice nominated for an Oscar in the Best Animated Short Film category for Lavatory Story — A Love Story and We Can’t Live Without Space. Thanks to him, the cartoons “Dwarf Nose”, “Cat and Fox”, “Princesses” and other popular stories appeared 🤯
Alyosha Popovich and Tugarin the Serpent (2004)
The unlucky hero Alyosha was born in Rostov. He often got into funny troubles: he would chop off the tail of a cow, then he would kill everyone in a fist fight, then he would hit the granny with an arrow. But it is Alyosha who will have to save the city from the invasion of the warlike horde of Tugars led by Tugarin Zmey. Together with Tikhon, Lyubava, granny and donkey Moses, they come up with a plan to defeat the invaders. Along the way, they get acquainted with the horse Julius and successfully capture Tugarin the Serpent, giving him to the Kyiv prince. Later, the unlucky Alyosha will become one of the three heroes who defended Rus’ from danger more than once 😎
One of the Walt Disney cartoonists who founded his own studio in Ireland. Bluth has wanted to make cartoons ever since he was a child, after watching Snow White and falling in love with animation. He dreamed of getting into the staff of Disney artists and was able to achieve this. True, he once left the company and returned only after the death of its founder in 1971. Don Bluth is credited with the famous cartoons «The Fox and the Dog», «Robin Hood», «The Secret of the Rats», «All Dogs Go to Heaven», «Pete’s Dragon» and many others 👏🏻
Bluth directed this film. The cartoon tells the story of the last Princess Romanova — Anastasia, who, at the age of eight, does not have time to escape from the Winter Palace, where the 300th anniversary of the dynasty was celebrated, and ends up in an orphanage. After 10 years, the girl no longer remembers her past and calls herself simply Anya. Instead of going to work at a factory, Anya goes to St. Petersburg, and from there she dreams of going to France. By a happy coincidence, at this time, Maria Fedorovna is looking for her missing granddaughter. Anya will have to go through many trials and learn palace etiquette to prove that she is a true Romanova and defeat the evil sorcerer Rasputin 🤷🏻♀️
French animator, director, screenwriter and storyboard artist with an impressive track record. He worked on such cartoons as Enchantress, Totally Spies!, Asterix and Obelix: Mission Cleopatra. Thomas was inspired by comic books that he collected as a child, and therefore from childhood he studied different styles of drawing and character creation. His most famous work was the now popular franchise «Lady Bug and Super Cat» 🦸🏻♀️
Ladybug and Super Cat (2015)
In modern Paris, a girl Marinette Dupain-Cheng is studying at a regular school. She is secretly in love with her classmate Adrian Agreste, heir to a famous fashion corporation. It could have been a simple love story, but the characters are not ordinary teenagers. When the city is threatened, Marinette and Adrien, with the help of magical kwami creatures hidden in artifacts, transform into Ladybug and Super Cat and save France time after time. The irony is that Super Cat is in love with Ladybug, but the guys don’t know who is behind the masks of heroes 😯
The American cartoonist became world famous for his black humor, gothic elements and dark retailing of traditional fairy tale and mythical plots. He creates not only cartoons, but also feature films. Among the director’s most famous works are Alice in Wonderland, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Vincent, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Beetlejuice and Frankenweenie. centuries, a young guy Victor is stolen right before the wedding and dragged to the Underworld, where he is married to the mysterious Corpse Bride. The real bride of the hero, Victoria, is waiting for her betrothed and does not understand what is happening to him. Victor, on the other hand, likes the inhabitants and customs of the underworld much more than the strict way of Victorian society, but the guy understands that he will not exchange his true love for anything. Now Victor must end his marriage to the Corpse Bride and still marry Victoria 🤯
Another talent from America. Docter is not only a director-animator and screenwriter, but also a voice actor and film producer. He is a true anime fan and has even worked with Hayao Miyazaki. Now Pete is a key figure at Pixar: he has been nominated for 9 Oscars, won 6 Annies and 5 BAFTAs. Without Docter’s talent, the world would not have seen Monsters, Inc., Inside Out, Up! and many other masterpieces of the studio 😍
This cartoon won 2 Oscars — for best music and best animated film. The comedy-drama tells the story of Joe Gardner, a school music teacher who has always dreamed of playing jazz. He accidentally enters the other world when he falls through the hatch. The hero is not ready to die, and together with soul 22 he tries to find a spark that will help him return to the world of the living. Joe will not only have to travel through the magical universe of souls, but also save 22, getting a second chance at life 🤔
Soviet and Russian animation director, winner of the Nika Prize. Alexander has, probably, one of the most recognizable styles among Russian animators, because he creates plasticine cartoons. Tatarsky founded the Moscow studio «Pilot» and gave us such famous characters as the Kolobok brothers. He is also the author of the screen saver «Good night, kids!» and cartoons «Plasticine Crow», «The Other Side of the Moon» and «Elevator 1» 🎬
Last year’s snow was falling (1983)
The main character of the cartoon is a simple peasant, lazy, simple-minded, a little stupid and greedy. His speech seems funny due to many defects. The man likes to drink beer and constantly gets into stupid situations. His wife sends him to the forest to get a Christmas tree, but the little man gets lost in the New Year’s miracles, and returns home empty-handed. Watching his adventures is a lot of fun, and in the end we find out that the man still found the Christmas tree. True, in the spring, so the needle-like beauty had to be carried back to the forest 😅
American cartoonist known for his creepy work. Together with Tim Burton, he created the films James and the Giant Peach and The Nightmare Before Christmas. Celic is called the genius of puppet animation, most recently, together with Netflix, he gave the world a chic full-length cartoon «Wendel and the Wild» 😯
Coraline in the Land of Nightmares (2008)
The adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s story «Coraline» turned out to be really creepy thanks to Selick’s talent. The girl moves with her parents to a new house known as the Pink Castle. She meets a stray black cat and a boy, Zaki, who gives Coraline a doll that is very similar to herself. Through a strange door, the girl finds herself in a parallel world, in exactly the same house, where copies of her mother and father with button eyes live. Now Coraline needs to escape the evil witchcraft, find her missing parents and return to her world 🤨
Japanese director and animator whose work Your Name was at one time considered the world’s highest-grossing anime of all time. Shinkai was inspired by the work of Hayao Miyazaki, and called Laputa Castle in the Sky his favorite cartoon. Makoto was dubbed the new Miyazaki, but the director did not agree with the comparison, because he wanted to create his own unique style of animation. Among the works of the Japanese «Voice of a Distant Star», «Garden of Fine Words», «Suzume Closes the Doors» and many others 🧐
Weather Child (2019)
High school student Hodama Morishima is a loner. He lives in seclusion, but still decides to move from one of the islands to Tokyo. There, the guy becomes a writer in an agency that sells stories about the supernatural to the press. Every day it rains in the city, and one day, in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the metropolis of Morishima, he meets a girl, Hina Amano. She is strong and cheerful, lives with her younger brother. A little later, it turns out that Hina can stop the rain. What will the friendship of a young writer and a child of the weather lead to?
Joseph Barbera and Willa Hanna
These animators simply cannot be mentioned separately, because they are a real successful creative tandem, which not only gave us chic animated series, but also founded their own studio Hanna-Barbera. By the end of the 60s, their company became the most successful television animation studio, as they created stories that many children all over the world grew up with. It’s Scooby-Doo, The Flintstones and The Addams Family 😏
Tom and Jerry (1940)
Animated series about domestic cat Tom and mouse Jerry. The cunning cat is trying with all his might to catch the smart mouse, but he never succeeds: either the trap will not work, or the neighbor’s dog will interfere, or the mistress will return home at the wrong time. In each episode, viewers watch the funny antics of animals and follow the development of their relationship. Sometimes Tom and Jerry even save each other from a common enemy or help in difficult situations 🥺
American animator, screenwriter, producer, storyboard artist and director. He wanted to become a cartoonist consciously, even graduated from the appropriate university. Tibbit is currently working for DreamWorks Animation. He became famous for his work on Family Guy, 101 Dalmatians and Catops. Paul often becomes a consultant to other animators and directors, and also acts as a voice actor 🥳
SpongeBob SquarePants (1999)
The characters of the cartoon are anthropomorphic marine inhabitants: fish, crabs, seahorses, snails and even one squirrel that miraculously fell to the bottom of the ocean. They all live in Bikini Bottom. The most recognizable of them are sponge Bob, Patrick the starfish and Squidward the octopus. Bob, Patrick and Squidward are neighbors, but the octopus is constantly fed up with noisy youth. Bob’s childlike enthusiasm often leads to funny adventures, from which the sponge gets out with the help of friends. One of the main confrontations of the series is Plankton’s pursuit of the secret of Eugene Krabs Krabsburgers, for whom Bob works 😓
Since 1961, the Soviet animator has been working at the Soyuzmultfilm studio. He still tries to work without computer animation, so Norshtein’s paintings have a recognizable style and atmosphere of good old cartoons. Yuri received international recognition, Hayao Miyazaki and Kunio Kato admitted that they admire him as an artist. Norshtein gave us the paintings «Fox and Hare», «Heron and Crane», «Tale of Tales», «Overcoat», «38 Parrots» and «Cheburashka» 🤭
The Hedgehog in the Fog (1975)
One day the Hedgehog went to visit his friend Bear cub to drink tea with raspberry jam and count the stars. He had to go through thickets in the forest and deserted fields, and in the evening fog fell on them. In this white ocean, the Hedgehog sees strange images that surprise and even frighten him. The traveler even falls into the river, from where an invisible Someone saves him, and only the voice of the Bear cub, calling for a friend, helps the Hedgehog find his way home in this fog 💔
- Princess Iron Fan (1941)
They are considered the pioneers of Chinese animation. Chaocheng, Dihuang, Guchang, and Laiming were not originally associated with the art world. Since 1919, they independently comprehended the basics of animation, and it took them 8 years to study. The first success was a commercial, only a minute long, but more successful colleagues learned about the talent of the brothers. Later, Wang created the first Chinese cartoon with sound «Dance of the Camel», and the work «Princess Iron Fan» received special recognition 👑
The Monkey King: Trouble in the Heavenly Halls
This cartoon is an adaptation of the Chinese classic Journey to the West. The legendary hero Sun Wukong was born from stone and lives under a waterfall on the Mountain of Flowers and Fruits. The monkey people do not know how to handle weapons, and then the hero decides to show his skills, but the sword breaks. In search of a new weapon, Sun Wukong solves the mysteries of the cunning Sea Dragon, but draws the wrath of the Heavenly Emperor. Now the impudent Monkey King must not only defeat the enemies, but also defend the honor of the people 🤔
Pixar co-founder, creative producer, and director at Walt Disney Animation Studios. He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and many Oscar nominations. After reading the book «The Art of Animation» by Bob Thomas, young John Lasseter also decided to devote himself to creating cartoons. During his career, he created many paintings: «Circus Star», «The Adventures of Flick» and «Toy Story». John was the executive producer of Volta, Ratatouille, Inside Out and many more Pixar masterpieces 😍
Full-length animated comedy filled with speed and drive. Daring rookie racing Lightning McQueen, Master King Tuning and cheeky Chico Hicks tie the Piston Cup race. The decisive race is to be held at a stadium in California, but on the way there, Lightning accidentally ends up in the town of Radiator Springs. He is arrested for speeding and damaging the road. Now McQueen must win the favor of the inhabitants of the town, fix their road and have time to prepare for the main race of his life 🤷🏻♀️
Despite being a cartoonist, Tony is most often remembered as a voice actor. Since 1986, the famous Disney character Donald Duck and his nephews have been speaking in his voice. He has worked on Mulan, Hoofless, The Lion King, The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Hercules. It was this artist who gave us Jasmine from Aladdin and Sarah Hawkins from Treasure Planet 😯
The Little Mermaid (1989)
Princess of the Atlantic, 16-year-old Ariel is fascinated by the human world. Secretly from her father, she collects things that fell into the ocean from ships: beautiful trinkets, household items and, in general, everything that glitters and seems to her a curiosity. One day, she, Flounder the fish, and Sebastian the crab come up to the surface to watch Prince Eric’s birthday party. Ariel falls in love with a young man and asks the witch Ursula for legs, instead casting her vote. Can Ariel and Eric be together?
American cartoonist, character designer and story artist. He directed the movies Volt, Rapunzel: Tangled, Encanto, Lilo & Stitch, Brother Bear and other Walt Disney Animation Studios products. He was born in Japan, but, oddly enough, his eastern homeland did not affect his drawing style in any way. Although he put his hand to Mulan as well. But Byron’s most popular work, where he also worked as a director-screenwriter, was Zootopia ✊🏻
Comedy-adventure animated film tells the story of Judy Hopps, a rabbit who wanted to become a police officer since childhood. It seemed to her that the profession would be exciting, fraught with danger and saving the city. But so far, the miniature rabbit is only allowed to patrol the streets and issue fines for improper parking. One day, she spots Nick Wilde the fox, who is doing something suspicious. In order not to fall into the clutches of justice, Nick agrees to help Judy investigate a serious crime, the scale of which turned out to be much grander than they expected 😅
In 2013, this cartoonist was named a Disney legend for his great contribution to the development of Walt Disney Animation Studios.