1. Bugs Bunny
"What's up, doc?" Bugs Bunny is, perhaps, the most recognizable and famous cartoon character. Looney Tuneswere first created as lead-ins to feature films. Bugs first appeared as a rabbit with no name in 1938 in "Porky's Hare Hunt." Tex Avery later named him Bugs Bunny after the infamous West Coast mobster. Decades later, Looney Tunes cartoons became a Saturday morning staple. Bugs Bunny is still tops.
2. Homer Simpson
Homer Simpson is known throughout the world. Having been on TV for over 20 seasons, this patriarch is not the father who knows best, but he certainly tries. Homer Simpson is based on creator Matt Groening's father, who is also named Homer. And if you look at Homer's profile, a bit of his hair and his ear form the initials "M G."
3. Mickey Mouse
Mickey Mouse represents Disney in all its forms. He started life in black and white in 1928's Steamboat Willie, the first synchronized sound cartoon. Mickey Mouse was first voiced by Walt Disney, himself, then later byJim MacDonaldand Wayne Allwine. Mickey Mouse isn't just a cartoon character; he's an icon.
4. Bart Simpson
The second favorite character from The Simpsonsis Bart. His catchphrases are "Ay caramba!" and "Eat my shorts!" He opens every episode at the chalkboard,writing out a punishmentthat might say, "I will finish what I sta..." He is a prankster, but a loyal friend and brother. We all knew a kid like Bart, and sometimes wished we were like him.
5. Charlie Brown
Introduced on TV inA Charlie Brown Christmasin 1965, this comic strip staple became a holiday tradition. The kid who never kicks the football, whose dog is more popular than he is and who has a crush on the red-headed girl steals our hearts every year with a variety of cartoon specials.
Fred Flintstone is the forerunner to Homer Simpson and Peter Griffin. The Flintstones premiered in 1960, modeled afterThe Honeymooners, the first made-for-TV primetime cartoon. Fred was the first portly animated husband who had an attractive wife, not enough brains for his schemes and a bad temper. Yet, he loved his family.
7. The Grinch
Dr. Seuss created many characters who made the leap from books to TV, but none as easily and successfully as The Grinch. How the Grinch Stole Christmasanimates Dr. Seuss' book about the grouchy green cave-dweller who attempts to ruin Christmas for the Whos down in Whoville. The holiday special, starring Boris Karloff, first aired in 1966. His turn from selfish to selfless promotes the true meaning of Christmas.
Like many TV cartoon characters, Popeye began life as a comic strip. Then in 1933, he starred in aPopeye the Sailor. His catchphrases include, "Well, blow me down!" and "I eats my spinach!" His bulging forearms, squinty eyes, and a staccato chuckle are recognized by many generations.
9. Wile E. Coyote
Poor Wile E. Coyote. We don't want him to catch the Road Runner, but we sure feel bad for him. Director Chuck Jones created the tenacious coyote along with Michael Maltese. The Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote were introduced in 1948'sFast and Furry-Ous.
10. Rocky and Bullwinkle
Stan and Ollie. Hope and Crosby. Martin and Lewis. In the animated world, Rocky and Bullwinkle are the comedy team who saves the day. Rocky's unending optimism coupled with Bullwinkle's lucky mishaps save their pelts every time. The duo starred in Rocky and His Friends, which premiered in 1959. Their cartoon included the segments: "Fractured Fairytales," "Aesop and Son," "Peabody's Improbable History" and "Mr. Know It All."