The history of animation has featured thousands of unique and charming characters, but to make the list of the best is a tough prospect. Here are some of the most influential and interesting cartoon characters of all time:
Walt Disney had ventured into the world of animated shorts several times before he made Steamboat Willie, which featured the first appearance of Mickey Mouse, but once he drew those iconic ears he knew he had something special.
Created by Tex Avery and other animators at Warner Brothers, Bugs provided an aggressive, fast-paced alternative to the Disney style. His shorts helped define the rhythm and look of American animation for decades.
The Hanna-Barbera formula may have played itself out over the decades, but the Flintstones opened the door for animation during prime time, taking inspiration from The Honeymooners and transporting it back to the prehistoric era.
Created by Art Clokey, the genial green clay boy showed that animation isn’t just drawings on paper. His adventures in a fantastic world helped advance animation into a new generation.
Matt Groening’s long-running prime time cartoon has become one of the world’s universal cultural touchstones, and the wise-cracking Bart fits perfectly in the lineage of characters we’ve established here.