Anyway, I also mentioned this when I did something I didn't with that previous, devote a whole blog to just the Honorable Mentions and ones that didn't make my ballot, you can find that blog here:
Now, I normally would never do that, I didn't bother doing that with my TV Series Ballot, and believe me I could've easily talked about two or three hundred other TV series that could've been on my ballot, but series are much more easier to rank, characters in general are really difficult, especially when given such a wide scope. There were a few standards and rules, but even still, how do you compare characters who may have been in one memorable short to those that have been in four or five hundred of episodes of a series, or those who have lasted throughout time in multiple variations and versions to ones that are remembers for maybe one amazing feature film. And what is the standard of "Character", how to defend that part. What makes a great animated character? Importance, longevity, relevance, complexity, and which of those is more important? You see, I can kinda rank shows and movies on similar levels quite easily, they're pieces of art themselves, and technically animated characters are too, but character is something different. There's plenty of great pieces of animation with characters that not particularly memorable or important or relevant or complex even, but that doesn't mean they don't stick out in the subconscious and in pop culture in general. To paraphrase Chief Justice Potter Stewart, I can't exactly diagram or explain why one character is greater or more important than another, not every time anyway, but eventually, as I continued on and eventually completed my ballot, I knew the differences when I saw them.
Still, animation is ingrained in us. And for my generation, we grew up with it, taking it as seriously as live-action, which really hadn't happened beforehand much, although there were periodic attempts throughout film and television to show that animation was a more adult art form, it rarely succeeded until very recently, at least in America. So, we're inundated with legitimate and memorable animated characters. I never thought of myself as an animation guy, if anybody's ever seen my handwriting, they'll know that I am somebody who should never draw, ever, (And I'm not exactly great with computer graphics, as you might have noticed by the sleek vintage basic, totally under-designed simplest look possible for this blog.) but I think it's amazing how many of us have truly grown up with these characters and frankly how really strong they are, which is quite amazing considering these characters are basically created out of thin air. Some of them might not even have a voice actor, just images on a paper can be so powerful and deep, emotional even.
So yeah, this was a shockingly difficult list to construct, but now that it's done, time to reveal the results. At least of MY BALLOT, remember the full results of Geekcast Radio Network's Poll will be revealed in time. I'll put on Facebook and Twitter when their podcasts hits their website, which is below, as well as their Facebook page and Twitter, below:
98. Speedy Gonzales
I think Cartoon Network put a ban on airing Speedy Gonzales cartoons 'cause of racial stereotyping, but I'm not sure I agree with that wholeheartedly. Especially compared to some of the really racist cartoons, Speedy Gonzales is mostly fairly tame. Most of his cartoons play out like a Robin Hood tale, he the one only who can come and save the day and it's not like I can think of any other huge Latin American animated characters; he's a cultural icon through much of Mexico and I would he's a good representation of the country, and a great Looney Tunes character. Always funny, always out-thinking, out-speeding others usually to help those who can't. There's a lot to like about Speedy Gonzales.
97. The Beast
I think you can make a legitimate argument that "Beauty and the Beast" is the best animated movie of all-time. I mean, we know this story works, and essentially the film is just a really good version of it, but that said, Disney, not only created two complex main characters, this is really the first romantic-comedy they made. It's a movie about two very different young, complex people, falling in love. The Prince in nearly every other Princess film they did was a construct more than a character. Here, he's somebody we actually give a damn about.
96. Elmyra Duff
Okay, I'll never argue that she's the most beloved character of all-time, but she might've been the most unique and original among the Tiny Toons gang, She's arguably one of the most demonic characters of all-time, just obsessive with animals, she's like the original version of the Dentist's daughter in "Finding Nemo". Apparently she's supposed to be the reverse of Elmer Fudd, where he hunted animals she loves them. That went over my head as a kid; I mean, she was the one who had a semi-successful spin-off from that show, which is weird in of itself, but they threw Elmer Fudd so far the other way they ended with seven-year-old version of Glenn Close from "Fatal Attraction".
95. Robert "Bob" Parr/Mr. Incredible
I gotta admire how Brad Bird, never takes an easy way out. On one level Mr. Incredible, is the most basic and generic superhero you can come up with, but in the context of the world of "The Incredibles" where the ask the question, what do superheroes do when they can't or aren't being super, he comes up with far more thoughtful and interesting results. It's one of the best superhero films of all-time, and the things that separates it from the others is how Mr. Incredible goes from somebody who wants to go and fight crime to somebody who needs to fight to save something he loves. That's not a superhero story you usually here, and it's actually one then most of the other ones are.
94. Wreck-It Ralph
The first thing I noticed about "Wreck-It Ralph" was that, clearly the filmmakers knew and loved video games. Wreck-It Ralph is not a video game creation that's adapted to film, although that's probably a good thing 'cause that's almost never worked out that well, and creating a character like this from scratch to really explore the world of video games, was a really good idea, 'cause using a regular established would give expectations and here, creating a better one from scratch, allow us to explore the world through somebody we empathize with and not have to, just be in the know. It's the same trick Roger Rabbit did, and it's almost as effective here.
There's something very ingrained in us, even in western culture, the idea that the common person can someday become royalty; that's why Cinderella stories and myths persist throughout the world, but it takes a lot to do it well. As a character Cinderella is quite complex. She's imprisoned, degraded, basically a slave to her step relatives, but she doesn't whine, she doesn't argue, but the first chance she gets to rebel and fight, she takes it. She's always looked on a passive character, but the Disney one is not.
92. James P. "Sully" Sullivan & Mike Wazowski
You know it's one thing when the baby comes in and changes everyone's lives happens in "Three Men and a Baby", but in "Monsters, Inc.", really was a fresh take on that. And these are the definitely the most memorable monster characters I can remember. I know the criticisms of "Monsters, Inc." is that this wasn't a new twist, the lives of the monsters has been done, yeah but it wasn't done this well, and it wasn't done with two really fun, different characters that are so realistic that you could see them walking down the street and not really think twice about them. They're just heading to work for the day.
91. Darkwing Duck
Darkwing Duck was hilarious. I mean, he predates "The Tick" in cartoon form, first of all, 'cause it's a superhero parody, but it's a unique and twisted one. He's the superhero doing it for the fame and fortune, you don't see something that generally. It was very different than any other show at the time too, partly because of that, partly 'cause it stood out even by Disney standards. Other than the fact that it's in the "Duck Tales" universe, and has ducks, it doesn't feel like a Disney cartoon at all. He's joking, he's self-referential, he's got a thousand catchphrases; Darkwing Duck is like Disney's version of "Deadpool" essentially.
90. Tommy Pickles
"Rugrats" was the first, really big breakthrough show for Nickelodeon, and I think you can argue that it's still the best. There's nothing terrible deep about it either at least on the surface or anything, it's a show about babies, and in essence, how they see the world. There was a lot more than just that to it as well, Tommy, is sorta the designated main one, and there's not really a reason for why him; it's just sorta accepted that he's the wise one of the bunch, which itself is weird, but he owns up to it. He's not like Charlie Brown who, if he was in charge it would almost certainly fail, but Tommy Pickles, you just trusted and he usually succeeded eventually. He was the lead explorer of the world for a bunch of young explorers who are discovering it for the first time.
89. Boris Badenov & Natasha Fatale
It does remain, somewhat surreal to me that Boris & Natasha are still my go-to examples of a couple who are scheming and being bad in general. Watching "Rocky & Bullwinkle" when I was younger, it didn't even dawn on me that they were parodying the Cold War and spies in other media, it was just, "They're Boris & Natasha, of course, they're bad," but they were funny bad, they were trying to find an angle, they weren't in charge; they answered to Fearless Leader, which also flew over everyone my age's head. Yeah, Boris & Natasha are like the perfect comedic villains in my mind. You can shove these characters anywhere, and they'd fit and they try to take over and it'd be funny.
88. Pinky & the Brain
The thing that I really admire about a lot of the "Animaniacs" side characters, especially "Pinky & the Brain" is how they played with perspective. Like Chicken Blue was always from everyone else's perspective for instance, and "Pinky & the Brain" were essentially the same way, they were the villains trying to literally take over the world, but you saw it from their point of view. It wasn't necessarily about them getting caught, it was more about or who caught them or how'd they get caught, it was about, how does this blow up in their face? That's the great uniqueness of them, how is this not gonna work, and that's what ultimately hilarious about their futile attempts.
87. Cruella De Vil
I didn't have too many Disney villains on my ballot, but I made an exception for Cruella De Vil. You know, it's always difficult to come up with a reason why someone's evil, sometimes they just are, and Cruella tends to just fit in that category, without having like a real longterm game at stake, but even still, Cruella, you gotta really be demented and sick to come up with-, I mean who even thinks of puppies for fur, or even dogs at all! And the Evil Queen in Snow White is just vain for her looks, I mean, goddamn, all for a fashion statement. Even the hunter that shot Bambi's Mom,is thinking, "What the fuck, lady!"Talk about a fucked up psyche, the leaps and hoops you have to jump through and the height of power you have to attain to come up with that goal and how to try to achieve it.... As a character, I'd put her up there with nearly villain in film history.
86. Kyle Broflovski
Kyle Broflovski is definitely Cartman's perfect antagonist. Easily the one that will fight the hardest against him, but more than that, he's almost his exact opposite and, it's almost just comical how he's just, sick of his shit. He's probably the one that goes through the most existential crises of the group, especially when he's not sure he's in the right, but that what makes him a great character. Always undermined because he can't quite think low enough to go under his enemies. He's smart enough to go over them, but how that doesn't always work is key to Kyle. He's probably the character I'd consider my favorite from "South Park" overall.
85. Sgt. Bill Dauterive
"King of the Hill", even from the beginning, always seemed to try to have their characters evolve over the run of the series, and they do the same with Bill, but at the same time, he's definitely the one who is barely capable of circumventing the world. It's not that he fight change, it's that he's not capable of handling it.
84. Scrooge McDuck
It's really kinda strange in hindsight how Scrooge McDuck became a character that evolved so thoroughly over time. He was only supposed to be a one-shot in a Donald Duck cartoon, and then he kept growing into one of the more elaborate and interesting Disney characters. There'd be rich animated characters before the miser archetype, but I can't think of too many that were really that interesting. It doesn't that they chose to name him Scrooge, which was perfect for Mickey's A Christmas Carol", which is where I tend to associate him most, and then of course with "Duck Tales", another strange layer to his character. He's a bit eccentric, just into a pool of his money for a swim but it's such an iconic image too. It's so weird that we associate him as a good guy most of the time now and that a tribute to Disney for be able to pull that off over time.
83. Jay Sherman
Any list of the most underrated animated shows of all-time, has to include "The Critic". I think it was a little too over everyone's heads at the time, now it would fit right in but back then, I don't think anybody really knew what to make of it. Jay Sherman, a film critic, a profession you already don't see on television to begin with, I know how thankless that kind of job feels at times, and it's really good on two levels, one is creating this hilarious but smart character who's just not in a world where his work is appreciated by anybody and as a sharp satire of Hollywood it holds up well too. That's a show that really was a lost opportunity.
82. Michigan J. Frog
I didn't do the math, but I'm pretty sure Michigan J. Frog, of all the characters on my ballot, has the least amount of screen time. of all of them. Take away his run as the mascot of the WB Network and the two sporadic appearances on "Animaniacs" and "Tiny Toon Adventures" he was in a total of two short cartoons and they were forty years apart, and the only thing I remember is "One Froggy Evening". And yet, if you were only gonna be in one, that was the one to be in. It's this brilliant one-joke cartoon too, that he's this singing, dancing frog but only for the one guy. You only need one and you're one of the most iconic cartoon characters of all-time, from this brilliant six-minute short.
81. Mr. Peabody & Sherman
I guess in a way, they were really the original Doctor Who. There's so much to like about Rocky & Bullwinkle, and I always looked forward to Mr. Peabody & Sherman, as they were the more educational characters on the show. There's was never like a real explanation of how this dog talked or how he built this machine, or why he has Sherman, it's just, Mr. Peabody, here he's gonna teach Sherman about the history of golf of whatever. I'm sure this was a parody of something, "Mr. Wizard" or something like that, but I never read it like, I took it seriously. It's how Rocky & Bullwinkle show would do a segment like that to me, and it works so much they're still around, they got their own film, now. Two of TV earliest and best time travelers.
80. Judy Jetson
You can legitimately make an argument that Judy Jetson was one of the first and most interesting portrayals of a teenage girl on television. I'm not sure why that is, I mean, even in the '60s, there was Gidget, and that about it, and she was such a goody-two shoes, that I always found Judy Jetson more interesting. She loves boys, she's got crushes, she goes to the mall, she's hip and cool, she's basically the prototype of teenage girl on television, and there weren't a whole lot after. There were a lot of shows that focused on teenage boys in a family, but teenage girls, (Shrugs) I don't know why that wasn't as common.
79. Marge Simpson
It's kinda easy to be dismissive of Marge. You don't immediately identify her as the typical TV mom, she's the one who puts up with a lot and it's kinda refreshing those rare moments when we see her in some of her more conflicted lights. There's always the cliche of the long-suffering wife, and I don't think anybody's had more suffering for longer than her. She's quite an admirable character for being able to put up with all she does as well as a very-eh, as well as a very complex one.
78. Ren & Stimpy
"Ren & Stimpy" were definitely the first show I remember that went out of their way to really challenge most of the conventions of animated cartoons. It wasn't just that it was sorta gross-out twisted humor, but it was done itself in a strange, barely-linear format. The show really kinda seemed like complete randomness way more than some of their other contemporaries, and yet through all, "You eeeeediot!" you end with two really bizarre and strange characters at the center. It's one of those shorts that was unique for the time, as well as ahead of it's time.
77. Betty Boop
One of the oldest characters on my ballot, Betty Boop came in, at a time when the Hayes Code hadn't been enacted and a lot of early cartoons, were meant as much for adults at the time and she was-eh, especially her early cartoons, really racy, titillating, in some cases, disturbing even. She was still a '20s remnant, the good-time girl in the beginning, and then after the Hayes Code was enacted, they kinda turned her into a domesticate, and her cartoons, which were already, Max Fleischer, in many ways ahead of his time, in many other ways, just complete surrealist. He wasn't as interested in narrative as much as seeing what animated can do, and what that did help do was help create great characters and Betty Boop is definitely one of his best.
76. Lady & Tramp
When it comes to Disney films that basically are about detailing the stages of life, as much as I wrote about "Bambi", I rank "Lady and the Tramp" as the best of those films. Maybe because it's because it's more hopeful or maybe it's about the romance and doesn't just have a romance subplot, in a bigger story. And it's also, not just an average romance, it's the upper class lady, with the chain, it's the rough rabble-rousing Tramp from the streets and together they share each other's world and fall for each other. It's an ideal romance, sure, but you know, it wouldn't work that well if you didn't find too great characters to begin with.
75. Peppermint Patty
There's so many great characters from "Peanuts" that it's easy to skip over one or two of them. Peppermint Patty, I doubt is anybody's favorite, apart from maybe Marcie, but she's definitely a unique character. I certainly have known a few Tomboys who are totally unaware of how overpowering their presence can be. I always like Peppermint Patty, 'cause she means well, but is shockingly oblivious to how others react to her. She knows sports and she knows there's other things outside her purview but she's completely clueless she supposed to think they care or matter. You always forget about her, and then she shows up and just takes over the scene, and it's always really observant and funny.
I'm not 100% "Shrek" holds up anymore as a movie, but Shrek the character definitely does. And he is definitely the best thing about the franchise, he evolves the most. He goes from selfish and alone to in love with a family and Donkey, and he's always trying to figure out who he is, and what it means to be accepted for who you are, that's actually kinda unusual for a cartoon character one that so self-contemplative like that, and let's not forget that this was the character and movie that completely circumvented and twisted the fairy tale formula on it's head, so there's a lot going on with "Shrek".
73. Waylon Smithers
I suspect it could've been easy to group together both Smithers and Mr. Burns, but Smithers is a really unique character as well on his own, and not simply because he came out as gay recently. That closeted part of him was always a major aspect of his character, the fact that he was so devoted to his employer to an uncomfortable degree. You always had to wonder why, and I doubt he was simply in love with Burns; he's not bling to his atrocities, he's just chooses to be the devoted employee. He wants a job, he wants to work, he wants his private life private, and everything else to be separate. That definitely makes him interesting and, I think people usually grew to appreciate and like him over the years more than most Simpsons characters.
72. Barney Rubble
Barney Rubble, you know he's not original good-hearted second banana, but you know that shouldn't be held against him. He's always the reliable good guy to have around, and you know, it's to suspect that Fred or somebody would take advantage of him, but I don't think you can claim he never-eh, was torn apart over that. Barney Rubble's the ultimate good guy, "Barney Rubble, what an actor, what a guy!" as my Uncle used to say, and yeah, he's right. Well, he's not an actor, but you know.... Funny as hell too.
71. Lisa Hesselman
It's not important why the main character in "Anomalisa" sees Lisa as special, but it's the fact that he does see her as special, and therefore we see her as special and because of that, she is special not just to him, but to us. "Anomalisa" is one of those movies where the more you dig into it the better it gets, but even with that acknowledgement, the movie completely wouldn't work if this character doesn't capture our imagination and amazement, and thankfully she does.
70. Foghorn Leghorn
I say, I say-a, Foghorn Leghorn was always a bit of a strange anomaly of a character to me. He was this big awkward, rooster and he seemed to just exist. Like, I guess they paired him with Henery Hawk, who I always thought a was a great character himself, but was really one-note and other than that, he sorta seemed to just exist. I was never fully sure why but it was always weird delight to this fascinating yet obnoxious over-the-top character. It seems like he wants to be left alone and yet he always something always bugs him, but he always gets distraction enough by it, that he let's whatever that was get the best of him and take over his obsession. I'm told he was originally based on an old Southern Senator, and yeah, that sounds about right. He seems like an overblown politician in the body of a rooster. He's almost too strange and creative not to like.
69. Harley Quinn
One of the rules of this ballot, was that, I was asked not to use characters that may be more well-known or famous from other media sources, comic books in particular; they really wanted to avoid superheroes, and I did that, but Harley Quinn wasn't originally a comic book character; she was created for the "Batman" animated series, and she's arguably one of the best characters in the whole franchise. She's a very dark character too for, what was still pretty much promoted as a kids' show. She's a Joker fangirl, who the Joker barely liked it seems. He beat the shit out of her much of the time it seems and all that entails. A mysterious girl who suddenly shows up and is basically a villain, but more of a tragic one, who more or less, can't get out of her way. She's of course evolve greatly from the original character, but she was just utterly fascinating.
68. Stan Smith
I always kinds saw "American Dad!" as Seth MacFarlane's real modern version of "All in the Family", just taken over the top. Have a main character who's so prideful, boisterous, patriotic, that you can't wait to see him get his comeuppance and see his views challenged by everyone. He's really Archie Bunker with a licensed to kill, It's actually a sharp combination and Stan Smith, the best episodes to me, were always seeing him go through a crises and figure out how he's gonna scheme or cheat his way out of it. I've always appreciated Stan Smith and always want to see what he does next.
Droopy is kinda, the first anti-cartoon character. That's what I like about him, he's so the opposite from what you expect from a cartoon character, especially at the time. Especially from Tex Avery of all people, who created Droopy, but it makes perfect. Slow, lethargic, monotone voice, this breaking the 4th wink at the screen; it's the perfect setup for pure insane anarchy. Especially of that era of cartoons, Droopy really stands out as one of the most unique and original characters.
66. Roger Rabbit
I still have my Roger Rabbit doll, after all these years. I'm not ashamed at all; I'm a little ashamed he's a beat up and played with but still got him. You know the great thing about Roger, is that within the world of the movie, he's a great character, this celebrity rabbit on the run for murder, that alone is interesting, but outside of just the movie, he's still a great character, who if he had existed at that time, would've been incredibly funny. The few cartoons they've made since have been strong and memorable as well and sometimes funnier now that we have the context of the film, but they'd hold up on their own.
65. Princess Nausicaa
Miyazaki does not do, "Princesses" in the normal terms we associate with, as far as I can tell, and that started right from the beginning. "Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind" originated as a Manga that Miyazaki wrote that was very successful, and became his first feature film, and Nausicaa, is kind of an environmental freedom fighter, I guess. She's protecting her father's throne but she's also flying planes into battle and that's with the dangerous poison gaseous air, and she's prepared to battle. She doesn't want to, necessarily, and tries not to, when she finds that the Earth is recovering from underneath the ashes of everything above, but she's totally willing to lead. There's something about her that's almost like Braveheart more than any other Princess character. A more thoughtful and conflicted version than Gibson's character, but if you were American and coming into that film blind back, 20 or 30 years ago, I don't know what you would've thought you'd be in for, but I know you wouldn't have expected this.
64. Madeline Fogg
When I think of the cartoons I truly loved as a kid that I still love as an adult, "Madeline" is one of the first ones that comes to my head, if not the first one. There's something so instinctual and natural about it, it's almost so perfect you can't understand how it could've possibly never existed. It's based on a book series, but I only know the cartoon and it's simple stories, but it's the interest and curiosity from this smallest, rebellious character, that makes them so heart-warming. This little orphan, who's fearless and yet very fragile. I was always the smallest one in line at school too, I'm only 5'6'' now, so maybe it's a bit personal to me, but I stand by it. She's an inspirational character, you feel what she feels, you can share the emotions she has and how she is so willing to experience the world and learn something new and have that effect her profoundly for a minute or a lifetime. I think animation would be a lot better if more characters and animation in general was inspired by "Madeline".
You know, it's kind of amazing how much mileage Disney has actually gotten with Pluto. He easily, could've just been a Disney footnote. Mickey's dog's name, but he's not just Mickey Mouse's dog. He has a lot going on. He has a lot of cartoons on his own, he's got his own fights and battles, he can get caught up in Mickey's plan, there's a lot going on. He's also one of the first, post-sound characters who was, for the most part, silent. Most of his humor is physically; it's not only physical, that's the key. Tom & Jerry, are basically only physical, at least at their best they are, or are mainly physical at least, Pluto starts out with something emotional and then it becomes physical comedy.
62. Marvin the Martian
I guess a lot of animated character try to take over the world, or destroy it, but usually it's somebody trying to take their own planet. I don't know how many cartoons he shows up in, but he's one of the strangest Looney Tunes villains and arguably the most successful. He comes closest to beating his rivals whoever they are. He's a weird one too, where you can kinda throw him in anywhere and it would kinda make sense. There's a few characters like Elmer Fudd, where he's best in context, Marvin the Martian can just show up out of nowhere and ruin everybody's day. And you can combat him against anybody and you've got a wonderful surreal fight. This quiet, soft-spoken martian, who's like the exact opposite of every other major name in the Looney Tunes canon.
61. Marjane Satrapi
Okay, I'm kinda cheating with this pick, one of the rules, is that-eh, I was kinda asked to avoid was that I shouldn't be picking animated characters of real-life people; I think the people GCRN made that rule, so that I wouldn't pick like Michael from "ProStars" or M.C. Hammer from "Hammerman" or Rick Springfield from, whatever the hell that was in the '70s, (and hell, I'm not probably not allowed to ALF either, not that I would but... [shrugs]) that said, I've seen "Persepolis" and therefore I can't not include Marjane Satrapi. It's a biopic based on her own autobiographical graphic novel and-eh, yeah, she's had a very interesting life. And you see it all here and from perspective and she's not shy about it. From youth to adulthood and across multiple continents, so..., if you've seen the movie, you get it, if you haven't, so see it and you'll understand.
I'll admit that I went back and forth for awhile on-eh, whether or not I should include Woodstock, but can you really imagine "Peanuts" without him? Or at least, Snoopy without him? He needs a best friend, a buddy, to be there and react to all his crazy antics, somebody to argue with, somebody to have help out, and Woodstock's perfect. Somebody who's not a great bird, he can barely, he doesn't want to fly south for the winter, he's rather walk. He's got his own little quirks, that Snoopy can accept, and help take care,while also, Woodstock is the one person who can argue and criticize him without Snoopy getting even. If Snoopy's just this eccentric dog, who causes everyone else a lot of pain, it doesn't completely work; he needs to, be humanized for lack of a better term and Woodstock is his perfect little buddy for that.
59. Charles "Montgomery" Burns
Montgomery Burns is another one-note character that "The Simpsons" managed to, find a lot more out of then they probably should've or even needed to. He's probably the most cartoonishly evil character ever created. I don't think that was their intent, I think he was supposed to be taken a little more seriously originally, but as time went on, this perversion of a Scrooge McDuck character. He's evil, he, probably knows he's evil, but he clearly doesn't care. He runs a nuclear power plant, he's hated by everyone in town, but he's the richest and more important person in town and you can't seem to get rid. The cliffhanger where he was shot, is one of the best things "The Simpsons" ever did. I remember Vegas, putting a betting line up, the list of potential murderers was five times as long as when J.R. Ewing was shot and it was totally deserved. And then, they found ways of humanizing and justifying how he can exist in this world and it's surprisingly how good some of the Burns-focused episodes are. You wouldn't think that, but they surprisingly are.
58. Linus Van Pelt
It's interesting how Linus is portrayed; he's the most cerebral character, but he's also, sometimes portrayed as the weak character, as well as the one that's wise above his years. He's younger than Charlie Brown, and yet Charlie look to his for wisdom and he delivers it. And yet, what's he most famous for, holding that blanket, fighting for that blanket. I think it was Roger Ebert that said, about Miranda July, how she holds onto a yellow t-shirt for decades, since she was a kid, "If you cling to a t-shirt, you must not do it out of weakness, you must do it out of fierce determination." and the same can said of Linus, he is fiercely determined to keep that blanket, You're under a lot of pressure to fit in and go with the flow of everyone especially if Lucy is your sister, and he doesn't. You know, I haven't had a haircut in 15+ years, and I completely get it. It'd be easy to cut it, probably be better for me, overall, but, nope. He probably knows there's no Santa Clause or Great Pumpkin, but he's gonna keep on believing elsewise and he's wiser for it.
Oh, goddamn Brad Bird is a genius. It's just a good idea, when it's a written, a rat who wants to be cook and eat French food, but believe it or not there's a thousand ways to tell that story, many of them wouldn't even involve human characters. It could be a Tom & Jerry short, Bird, is not satisfied with that, he's not satisfied until he does it as well as he possibly could, and he found a way to really make you care that this rat achieve his dream and become a French chef. I don't think people fully get hard difficult this is, and how really strong your main character must be. It's an easy, our character's want something and in the movie they do everything in order to achieve and strive towards this goal, and he is a master at filling up that space in-between and in doing so, he makes better than most anybody and more importantly more great, memorable animated characters than anybody else.
56. Glenn Quagmire
Giggity! Um, there is a tradition in film about the single lecherous next-store neighbor, off the top of my head, Larry from "Three's Company", Charly from "Empty Nest", Howard, to some extent from "The Bob Newhart Show", um, Quagmire is a bit amalgam of all of those characters. He's even a pilot like Howard. You gotta remember, "Family Guy"'s prime influences are classic television, meets Mel Brooks meets Gary Larson, so there's a lot of differing influences at work there, and into that swirl, you can create some memorable characters and Glenn Quagmire is one of the best ones and you can then, play off of him and layer and develop him more and more. The fact that he's not a throwback to those other characters, he's a modern version of those characters, is enough really. He's full of different levels and depths to him; he's not blindly just a leach, or a partier or not looking for love; he's done a lot and this is, where he's ended up and he's come to that conclusion very organically. Most other modern versions of this characters, it's about how they evolve from this, not how they became and accepted as themselves, that's a great that separates Quagmire from the rest.
Of course, I notice you Eeyore. He's one of those few characters in literature that you can use as an adjective and everybody would get it. If you said you felt you were in a Eeyore mood, you would get it. Probably the real hidden accomplish of "Winnie-the-Pooh" is how every character is basically an emotion or a trait, but it's kinda fascinating that A.A. Milne came up with a character like Eeyore at that time. I don't they made too characters for kids that were about how it's okay to be sad and morose sometimes. We all feel like we've lost our tale once in a while; there's so much power in those little moments of "Winnie-the-Pooh", which is all little moments, but outside of Pooh, the really enriching stuff I think belongs to Eeyore.
54. Mallory Archer
There's so many twisted things about "Archer", the show, the characters, everything got something twisted and become more and more twisted, and yet no matter what happens, the fact that, essentially he's basically working for his mother, is near the top of that list, and this mother on top of that! It is so hard to describe Mallory Archer, but imagine the Chief from "Get Smart" was the mother from "Arrested Development". I know it's the same voice actress and it's supposed to be that reference and that combination, but it still doesn't explain it enough. So many horrible aspects, she's the most unmaternal mother ever, and that somehow, led to him still being under her and her running this global mercenary spy agency that's basically just a way for her to do her own illegal international doings. It's so over-the-top and ridiculous and bizarre, that, it's-, almost impossible to imagine her not getting involved in something, if she can find some kind of gain in it. One of the most fascinating selfish characters of all-time, and you can say that about nearly any character on the show, and yet she's still above almost all of them.
53. Tina Belcher
It's kinds funny that it's called "Bob's Burgers", 'cause as I was going through this, because the shows that I realize it most reminds me of is "The Bob Newhart Show" and even moreso "Newhart", because like the typical Bob Newhart formula, the main character is always the least interesting character on the show, so you end up with a show with a bunch of more interesting characters all around instead of the main character, and in particular his kids. Tina Belcher, almost instantly re-created this archetype of the lovesick teenage girl, and thinks she's single and ready and she's completely unaware of how so far off out-of-her-element she is. She's got this manly, baritone voice, no game, no natural physical beauty, none of which would necessarily be problematic if she wasn't so earnest in her attempts and beliefs that she can get somebody to fall for her. She's basically somebody who is really a Daria Morgendorffer, but she thinks she's Quinn. There's something tragically real about her that's also very funny, but very misguided, which makes her incredibly fascinating.
52. Anjelica Pickles
Anjelica Pickles, is the perfect example for a character that thinks she has way more power than actually does. A 3-year-old brat who thinks she can order and control a bunch of literal babies, 'cause she's a year or two older. You couldn't have tried to conceive a character so perfectly. She's definitely the anomaly on the show, everybody else is exploring the world, she comes in, and has emotions, can talk to the adults, doesn't wear diapers, etc., she believes that she's seen the world and doesn't realize that she's still got emotions to mature and that, she also hasn't seen as much of the world as she thinks and those moments when you suddenly see her, having to confront changes to her world, are some of the very best moments of the show. She's the most evil character, but she's also the most secretly fun character and you don't get combination as often as you think.
I do think there's some who are correct when they say that, animation, isn't as great as it was, now that, all the celebrity and famous voices populate most of the major animated features, and now we even know most of the great voice-over artists anyway, I do agree with that, but if there was ever a case where even the most diehard defenders of that argument have to bow down and concede, it's Genie. Robin Williams was born to play this character, and it's not just that, it's perfect character, in the best place for this character. He's done animation before and since, but this is a character where you need someone like him. There's not much else in the movie, without him, before or after and you need this one, magical over-the-top hilarious character to be the glue of the movie, and he is. He's the only reason to really watch the movie.
END OF PART I
PART II of MY BALLOT, on my next blogpost. Keep an eye out for it!