This list of the top 20 cartoon characters shines a spotlight on the ones that have withstood the test of time. Check out and relive the childhood
- Bugs Bunny
Is there any more famous rabbit in the world? Bugs Bunny has been making people laugh with his catchphrase “What’s up, Doc?” since he made his debut in the 1940 Warner Brothers cartoon “Wild Hare.”
- Homer Simpson
Homer Simpson and his family have been entertaining TV audiences since they made their debut on “The Tracey Ullman Show” in 1987. Two years later, Homer and his family got their own show on Fox with “The Simpsons,” which is still in production in 2017.
- Mickey Mouse
As Walt Disney liked to say, it all began with a mouse. Mickey Mouse made his debut in 1928’s “Steamboat Willie,” voiced by Walt himself. It wasn’t just Mickey’s debut; it was also the first cartoon with synchronized sound. Although his most iconic role came as the Sorcerer’s Apprentice in the 1940 feature “Fantasia,” Mickey has appeared in a number of memorable shorts.
- Charlie Brown
Charlie Brown made his debut in Charles Schulz’s newspaper comic strip “Lil’ Folks,” in 1948, one of a cast of precocious kids. Charlie and the gang got a makeover as “Peanuts” in 1950 and first appeared on TV in 1965’s “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”
- Fred Flintstone
If not for Fred Flintstone, there may never have been a Homer Simpson and Peter Griffin. Fred and his family and neighbors made their debut in the 1960 TV show, “The Flintstones.” Modeled after another “The Honeymooners,” another TV comedy hit, “The Flintstones” was the first animated show in prime time. The show ran for six seasons and can still be seen in syndication
Like many classic cartoon characters, Popeye began life as a comic strip. The spinach-loving sailor, created by E.C. Segar, made his print debut in 1929 and quickly became a hit. Four years later, animator Max Fleisher brought Popeye to life on the big screen. Paramount Studios later took over theatrical production of Popeye shorts and also produced a TV series in the early 1960s.
- SpongeBob Square Pants
SpongeBob Square Pants and his pals from Bikini Bottom made their debut in 1999 on Nickelodeon and has become that show’s most successful show to date. SpongeBob and his pals Patrick Star, Squidward Tentacles, Mr. Eugene Krabs and Sandy Cheeks jumped to the big screen in 2004 with “The SpongeBob Square Pants Movie.”
- Scooby-Doo And Shaggy
If you were a kid in the ’60s, ’70s or ’80s, then after-school cartoons meant watching Scooby-Doo, Shaggy, and their teen pals solve mystery after mystery.
- George Jetson
Hanna-Barbera followed “The Flintstones” with “The Jetsons,” a space-age take on the same domestic comedy formula that made its predecessor so appealing.
- Tweety Bird and Sylvester
Tweety Bird made his debut in the 1942 Warner Brothers cartoon “A Tale of Two Kitties,” but it wasn’t until five years later that Sylvester appeared with him. The Oscar-winning 1947 short “Tweety Pie” set the standard for what became an endless attempt by Sylvester to eat Tweety Bird, who always escapes.
- Winnie the Pooh
This little bear who started as a doodle in a beloved children’s book has been a thriving franchise for Disney since they bought rights to him and his woodland friends in the ’60s. Winnie the Pooh has starred in many cartoons and specials, both on TV and in feature films.
- Donald Duck
As Mickey Mouse’s cynical sidekick, Donald Duck endeared himself to audiences with his eye-rolling attitude and endless capacity for exasperation. Donald Duck made his debut in Walt Disney’s cartoon “The Wise Little Hen” in 1934 and quickly became a star in his own right.
- Tom and Jerry
Created by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera at MGM, Tom and Jerry made their debut in 1940. Like a certain cat-mouse combo at Warner Brothers, Tom and Jerry chase each other, torment each other and generally try to defeat the other.
- The Powerpuff Girls
Girl power times three. Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup keep Townsville, USA safe from evil while dealing with the pressures of kindergarten. The visual style of “The Powerpuff Girls” sets it apart, though, along with the abundance of tongue-in-cheek humor.
Spider-Man is the everyman superhero. Created by Stan Lee for Marvel Comics in 1962, Spider-Man is the alter ego of high school geek Peter Parker.
Superman is the ultimate superhero because of his unerring loyalty to doing good. But is he a true superhero since he only has powers because he’s an alien, from another planet? Or is he just a guy who fell to the ground on the right planet?
Can you imagine a time when Batman wasn’t the Dark Knight we know now? Hard to believe the many transformations this superhero has seen through the years, especially on television.
- Wonder Woman
Wonder Woman made her debut in DC Comics’ “All Star Comics” in 1941. Over the decades, she’s appeared in her own comic book series, her own TV show, and her own feature film. She also was part of the ABC animated series “Super Friends,” which ran from 1973 to 1986.
- Bart Simpson
Bart Simpson is Homer Simpson’s son–and his arch nemesis. Bart lives torment Homer at every opportunity. Since his debut in 1987, Bart Simpson has become an icon in his own right, appearing in every episode of “The Simpsons” but one.
- Daffy Duck
Daffy Duck is to Bugs Bunny as Wile E. Coyote is to the Road Runner. He debuted in 1937’s “Porky’s Duck Hunt.” Over the decades he transformed from a clumsy clown to the sarcastic character we know today.