It started with a mouse—and thank God they didn’t name him Mortimer. Walt Disney may have whiffed it with the name he originally proposed for Mickey, but his eye for character design was clear from the start. And it’s a tradition that Disney, as a company, has continued in the 100 years since Walt founded his studio. Of course, beautifully drawn characters would still fall flat without great writing to back them up, but Disney tends to excel there, too, with complex antagonists like Hades and protagonists worth cheering for, like Ariel. Here are our picks for the 50 best Disney animated characters of all time, from heroes to villains to sidekicks and everything in between.
As Disney celebrates its 100th anniversary this year, The A.V. Club marks the occasion with a series of lists, essays, and more.