From comic strips to cartoon television shows and claymation films, animals have always played prominent roles in the world of animation. There are many memorable characters, but some stand out.
We've put together a list of our favorites. These animated animals have a strong sense of self and each bring their own unique and witty personalities to their imaginary worlds. Some gained our affection for showing loyalty to their human or animal companions and others intrigued us with their mischievous (and sometimes sassy) nature.
These 16 animated animals make the cut as our favorites not only because they're adorable, but because they stand alone as prominent characters in the films, shows and comic strips within which they live.
Captain Eugene H. Krabs, or Mr. Krabs from "Spongebob Squarepants," may be known for being cheap, but he's also determined and a good friend and father. He'll do whatever it takes to make his daughter Pearl happy and he goes to extreme measures to help protect his fast-food business.
Who hasn't wondered what their pet was thinking? "Up" gives us a taste of what it would be like if dogs could talk and it seems they're as scatterbrained as expected, or at least Dug is. And, he's obsessed with squirrels. He may let the film's other dogs boss him around, but when it comes down to the wire he finds the strength to stand up to them to protect his new human friends. Successful or not, Dug is as motivated, friendly and loving as any real pup would be, if not more.
When Snoopy was first introduced to the "Peanuts" comic strip, he seemed to only have characteristics similar to your average pup. But as the strip evolved, so did Snoopy's character. Snoopy heads off to imaginary worlds and brings us along with him. One can envy his creative, mischievous and perpetually happy state of mind.
Since 1969, the cartoon dog Scooby-Doo has been munching on Scooby snacks while helping the Mystery Incorporated gang solve crimes. Scooby and his best friend Shaggy spent more time running, hiding and screaming their way through the cartoon than any of the other characters, but Scooby was still able to help solve the mystery, sometimes. Scooby is loved for facing his fears, while not being ashamed to admit them.
Remy, the talented rat from the 2007 film "Ratatouille," followed his dreams and achieved what many believed to be impossible. Just a small rat, Remy was able to cook up big dishes at a famous restaurant. But, he didn't achieve his goals without a little help from his human friend, Linguini.
Who knew one little clown fish could possess so much love, strength and devotion? Marlin risks his life to protect son Nemo countless times throughout "Finding Nemo." He even faces his own fears during his journey to find the wandering clown fish. He may have been overprotective, but his instincts were certainly well-founded.
Ren and Stimpy
"The Ren and Stimpy Show" debuted on Nickelodeon in 1991, pushing the boundaries of cartoon violence and definitely having fun with gross-out humor. The show was canceled after five seasons, but left us with two memorable characters: Ren, a moody Chihuahua, had a spunky attitude who would often go through a range of emotions during each episode; and Stimpy, a not-too-bright cat who was always happy-go-lucky and had his head in the clouds. Together, the two characters formed a humorous and memorable dynamic.
Sebastian, from the 1989 film "The Little Mermaid," is strong-willed while trying to keep his friend Ariel out of trouble. He wants to help Ariel stay level-headed, but eventually encourages her to enjoy herself. Without his persuasive song, "Kiss The Girl," Ariel may have never had her happily ever after. He is able to help teach Ariel to appreciate what she has in order to welcome greater things. In the wise words of Sebastian, "the seaweed is always greener in somebody else's lake."
Sven, the reindeer from the 2013 film "Frozen," helps to bring both humor and a sense of loyalty to the film. In one of the movie's crucial scenes, Sven convinces Kristoff to head back to Arendelle to save Anna's life. Sven helps him realize his feelings for Anna and, like a true friend, he helps him ultimately make the right choices.
"Ted," a furry teddy bear voiced by Seth MacFarlane, has starred in comedy "Ted" as well as its sequel, "Ted 2." He may be a teddy bear, but he acts like a human.
Klaus of "American Dad" (initially on FOX, now on TBS) is gloomy and bitter, but who could blame him? He's a former German Olympic athlete transferred into the body of a goldfish by the CIA. Quick with a witty jibe, don't get on this fish's bad side; he'll jump in a small glass bowl, scoot along and find you.
Why do we love Garfield? His extensive love of pizza is reason enough. But, he also has a love of hotdogs, spaghetti and just about anything else edible. In comic strips, cartons and films Garfield is known for being a lazy, food-obsessed cat who seems generally unfazed by the craziness of the world around him.
A flock of chickens put their lives in the wings of one brave, strong-willed chicken named Rocky in the 2000 stop-motion animation film "Chicken Run." All this creative chicken needed was a single spoon to dig his way under barbed-wire fences to help the rest of the hen house escape death.
Hobbes, a cartoon stuffed tiger in the comic strip "Calvin and Hobbes," is known as the loyal companion of a 6-year-old boy. Together, the pair partake in mischievous and imaginary adventures. "Calvin and Hobbes" ran from 1985 to 1995.
Brian Griffin may be a dog on "Family Guy" (FOX), but he rarely acts like one. A struggling writer, Brian has a deeper sense of opinion and darker view of the world than we'd expect most pups to have (if they could talk).
Many know Puss In Boots as the animated cat from "Shrek," but Puss was originally the main character of a European fairy tale where he was known as "Master cat." His name and appearance may have changed from book to film, but his deceitful tendencies and greed remained.