Features
Film's best animated animals


Date Posted: 19 April 2011

If it's one thing about animation that gets to us other than the wonderful life-like animation itself, is the adorable, funny and crazy animals in it that makes the movie a whole lot better! In conjunction of the recent release of anticipated animations "Hop" and "Rio", we recently conducted a poll on our website to find out which animated animals won the hearts of our visitors and based on the results we've compiled, (that had some hefty competition with ties and some barely making it to the top 10!) we present to you a top 10 list counting down to the number one of most favourite animated animal in a movie!

 

10. Alex the Lion ("Madagascar" & "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa")
"Did he just say "Grand Central Station," or "My aunt's constipation"?"

Ben Stiller does not only lend his voice to Alex the Lion, but his mannerisms and bright blues eyes are also some of the common traits the both of them share in the "Madagascar" movies. From being the diva-like star of Central Park Zoo in New York, Alex's personality at the beginning of "Madagascar" is somewhat vain and self-absorbed. He is used to the life of comfort in the zoo, but learns to adapt to the wild when he gets stranded in the jungles of Madagascar with his friends and then later in the African savannah in "Madagascar 2". Alex is best friends with Marty the Zebra (voiced by Chris Rock), and their scenes of 'bromance' serves as the highlight of the movie. One of the interesting facts to note would be that Alex's 50,000 hairs on his mane are individually animated strand-by-strand to give it a fluidity and flow of a real mane.

9. Bugs Bunny (Warner Bros)
"Eh, what's up, doc?"

When most people think of rabbits, they think of the legendary cartoon character, Bugs Bunny. For those who has never heard of Bugs Bunny before, he's the suave gray rabbit from the popular Looney Tunes cartoons. The personality for which Bugs Bunny is famous for, first emerged in 1940 on "Tex Avery's Wild Hare" cartoon. It was in this episode that for the first time, Bugs Bunny would come up out of his rabbit hole and utter the now famous quote "Eh, what's up, doc?", in his nonchalant accent which is a cross between a Brooklyn and a Bronx accent. Without Bugs there would have been no Sylvester, no Wild E. Coyote, Road Runner, Speedy Gonzales, and Pepe Le Pew. Bugs was in more cartoons than any of them, and has played a very large part in the American cartoon culture.

8. Garfield ("Garfield: The Movie" & "Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties")
"Once again, my life has been saved by the miracle of lasagne."
Garfield was born in the comic pages on 1978 as cartoonist Jim Davis' prized character. Garfield appears in a humorous strip centred on the life of a fat, lazy, cynical orange cat that loves lasagne, coffee and his remote control. People relate to Garfield because Garfield IS them. "He's a human in a cat suit," as creator Jim Davis likes to say. Garfield loves TV and hates Mondays. He'd rather pig out than work out. In fact, his passion for food and sleep is matched only by his aversion to diet and exercise (he prefers lay-downs to sit-ups). In 2004, Twentieth Century Fox immortalized the fat cat with two feature films called "Garfield: The Movie" and it's sequel in 2006 "Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties", where the droopy-eyed cat was voiced by comedian Bill Murray.

7. Scrat ("Ice Age","Ice Age 2: The Meltdown" & "Ice Age 3: The Dawn of Dinosaurs")
"Manfred: [to Scrat] Hey, buddy. Have you seen any humans go by here?
[Scrats mimes charade game]
Sid: Ooh, ooh, ooh! I love this game! I love this game!"

Scrat is named after a squirrel and rat whose species is assumed to be the common ancestor of both the rodents today. Scrat's a non-verbal acorn-obsessed prehistoric squirrel/rat always in search of the elusive nut. The nutty character (pun intended) was just supposed to appear in the film's opening sequence in the first "Ice Age" movie, but he tested so well that director and Chris Wedge and Carlos Saldanha added more scenes. The character is enormously successful and Scrat is viewed as a breakout character, the most popular of the franchise compared to the mammoth Manny (voiced by Ray Romano) and Sid (John Leguizamo) the sloth.

6. Pascal ("Rapunzel: A Tangled Tale")
"Flynn Rider: [Pascal smiles at him smugly] Why is he smiling at me?"
In 2010's animated musical "Tangled", Rapunzel's friend and confidante up in her high tower is Pascal the chameleon. Even though he can't communicate verbally, it's clear that he is one of the driving forces in helping Rapunzel see that she needs to leave the tower. Pascal is constantly cheering her up, rooting her on and refusing to allow her to take steps backwards. Artists for the movie that received rave reviews from critics and a worldwide gross of US $628m said that they played with various colours and patterns to show of Pascal's ability to blend into even the most ornate backgrounds. Always suspicious of Flynn Ryder's intentions, the little reptile provides much hilarity in the scenes where he tries to foil Ryder. Who knew that icky reptiles could be this cute!

5. Mickey Mouse (Disney)
"Well, you know what we always say, "When you wish upon a star, your dreams come true."
Originally named Mortimer Mouse, Mickey is probably the most recognisable animated character of our time. Created in 1928 by Walt Disney who also provided the mouse's high pitched voice, Mickey was created as a replacement for Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, an animated star that was initially created as the face of Disney but fell through when the original animator was fired. The beloved mouse's most famous role is in the 1940 film "Fantasia". His role as the Sorcerer's Apprentice, set to a symphonic poem, is perhaps the most famous segment of the film. In November 1978, in honour of his 50th anniversary, Mickey became the first cartoon character to have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Throughout the decades, Mickey Mouse competed with Warner Bros.' Bugs Bunny. But in 1988, in a historic moment of motion picture history, the two rivals finally shared screen time in the 1988 film "Who Framed Roger Rabbit". Disney and Warner signed an agreement so that each character had exactly the same amount of screen time right down to the microsecond.

4. Alvin, Simon & Theodore ("Alvin and the Chipmunks" & "Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel")
"Alvin: [singing] Don't cha... Yeah, yeah, come on, come on... Don't cha wish your girlfriend was hot like me, don't cha wish your girlfriend was a freak like me."
Alvin and the Chipmunks is an American animated music group created by Ross Bagdasarian, Sr. in 1958. The group consists of three singing animated chipmunks; Alvin, the mischievous troublemaker, who quickly became the star of the group, Simon, the tall, bespectacled intellectual and Theodore, the chubby, impressionable one. The trio is managed by their human (adopted) 'father' David Seville. In reality, David Seville was Bagdasarian's stage name and the Chipmunks themselves are named after the executives of their original record label. The characters were an exceptional success and the singing Chipmunks as well as their manager were given life in several animated productions, and eventually films. The original voices of the group were all performed by Bagdasarian, who sped up the playback to create higher pitched voices. For the feature films however, Alvin, Simon and Theodore are voiced by Justin Long, Matthew Gray Gubler and Jesse McCartney respectively.

3. Donkey ("Shrek", "Shrek 2", "Shrek the Third" & "Shrek Forever After")
"Are we there yet? Are we there yet?"
Eddie Murphy's dragon-loving, Tic-Tac popping sidekick steals the show as Shrek and Princess Fiona's wisecracking noble steed. Donkey who is modelled after Murphy's facial features is a hyperactive, desperately insecure, unfailingly loyal friend one could ask for (if you don't mind being constantly annoyed that is!). Eddie Murphy goes a notch nerdier and sillier than his usual characters and it pays off in spades. Sure, we have yet to forgive him for making us wonder how a donkey and a dragon mate, but apart from that, the former stand-up comedian is a raving success in bringing Donkey to life.

2. Puss in Boots ("Shrek 2","Shrek the Third" & "Shrek Forever After")
"Pray for mercy... from Puss, in boots!"
The tiny setback of the "Shrek" series is that the title character has always been a little bland and always overshadowed by the more colourful supporting cast. But who cares when they're this entertaining? A glorious re-imagining of the swashbuckling charm of "Zorro" and a dash of Latino swagger into the body of a ginger cat with boots, cape and a feathered hat. Puss In Boots gave "Shrek 2" a welcome shot just as Shrek and Donkey's banter was beginning to wear thin. Voiced to perfection by Antonio Banderas of "Zorro" himself, it's Puss' funny Don Juan-like demeanour and his ability to make his eyes go as big as the moon that makes him more than worthy of his own spin-off, which is thankfully due out November 2011. The only mercy we'll be praying from Puss; is to stop making us laugh so hard at his funny yet adorable antics on the screen.

And....for our number one champion.....

1. Po ("Kung Fu Panda")
"There is no charge for awesomeness... or attractiveness. Skadoosh!"
In the film, the clumsy pot-bellied panda is seen as a loser who has low self-confidence and stuck with a future of taking over his father's noodle shop. But Po who has dreams of being a Kung Fu hero does not give up and somehow manages to learn and eventually be the famed Dragon Warrior under the tutelage of Master Shifu (Dustin Hoffman) and the Furious Five. Sure there's Tigress (Angelina Jolie), Mantis (Seth Rogen), Viper (Lucy Liu), Monkey (Jackie Chan) and Crane (David Cross), but who's paying attention to them when we have the hilarious Po who's voiced by Jack Black (Could there be anyone more suited to play Po other than Jack Black? We think not). With the first Kung Fu Panda movie making whopping US$630 million gross revenue worldwide, it's no surprise that producers are keen for a sequel that will be out this May for the Kung Fu hungry fans of Po!

Writer: Naseem Randhawa




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