10. Jessica Rabbit
Jessica Rabbit is Roger Rabbit’s human Toon wife in Disney’s 1988 film Who Framed Roger Rabbit. In the book, she was an amoral, up-and-coming star and former comic character, over whom her estranged husband, comic strip star Roger Rabbit, obsessed. She is re-imagined in the film as a sultry, but moral cartoon singer at a Los Angeles supper club called the “Ink and Paint Club”. Here, she is one of several suspects in the framing of her husband, who is a famous cartoon star.
9. Inspector Gadget
Inspector Gadget is a 1999 American live-action comedy film loosely based on the 1983 animated cartoon series of the same name. It starred Matthew Broderick as the title character, along with Rupert Everett as Dr. Claw, Michelle Trachtenberg as Penny, and Dabney Coleman as Chief Quimby. Two new characters were introduced, Brenda Bradford and the Gadgetmobile. The film tells the story of how Inspector Gadget and Dr. Claw came to be in the cartoon.
8. Fred Flintstone
The first Hannah Barbera entry on our top 10 cartoon characters of all time is Fred Flintstone, a brilliant pastiche of the typical husband and one half of one of the best comedy parings in cartoon history (the other half of course being the equally iconic Barney Rubble).
7. Mickey Mouse
Mickey Mouse is one of the most recognizable cartoon characters ever. He is the leader of the Disney toons and the mascot for the Walt Disney company.
The original character design for Mickey was later introduced as Mickey’s rival, Mortimer.
Cartman is aimed squarely at adults being highly foul mouthed and insidiously twisted. However that’s what makes the character so great and still consistently funny despite the South Park franchise being over a decade old. It’s a testament to the character that despite being so despicable, the audience are always secretly routing for him…
5. Bugs Bunny
Just as Mickey is the flagship character for Disney, so Bugs Bunny is the flagship character for Warner Bros. However unlike Mickey, Bugs Bunny is actually full of character and very funny to watch. Bugs Bunny is a typical ‘trickster’ archetype and was said to inspire Johnny Depp’s take on Captain Jack Sparrow.
4. Buzz Lightyear
Buzz Lightyear of Star Command is an American animated science fiction/adventure/comedy series produced by Walt Disney Television. The character is from the planet Zurtron.
3. Optimus Prime
Optimus Prime is the awe-inspiring leader of the Autobot forces. Originally a mere civilian, he was chosen by the Matrix to command, the first in a number of heavy burdens he has been forced to bear. Another is his bringing of the Transformers’ conflict to Earth. The complete opposite of his mortal enemy Megatron, every casualty, human or Cybertronian, weighs heavily on his spark.
2. Homer Simpson
Homer Jay Simpson is a fictional main character in the animated television series The Simpsons and the patriarch of the eponymous family. He is voiced by Dan Castellaneta and first appeared on television, along with the rest of his family, in The Tracey Ullman Show short “Good Night” on April 19, 1987. Homer was created and designed by cartoonist Matt Groening while he was waiting in the lobby of James L. Brooks’ office.
However the number one spot on this list of top 10 cartoon characters is reserved for a certain blue/grey cat called Tom. The character himself – particularly during the Fred Quimby era – is brilliantly evil and sadistic while always seeming put upon at the same time. With brilliant facial expressions and a wicked sense of humour, Tom was well ahead of his time when the first MGM cartoons came out and many of the other top 10 cartoon characters on this list wouldn’t exist without him.