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21 Disney Characters That Have Delighted Us Since We First Met The Mouse 87 Years Ago

Mickey Mouse’s debut in "Steamboat Willie" paved the way for hundreds of entertaining characters.

On November 18, 1928, a certain mischievous mouse was introduced to the world in the animated short film "Steamboat Willie."

It was one of the first cartoons with synchronized sound, and it was those wacky sound effects that amped up the comedy and had the audiences rolling in the aisles. The success of "Steamboat Willie" brought worldwide fame to both Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse, and a powerful empire was born.

In the 87 years since then, we’ve been introduced to tons of Disney characters, from brave heroes to zany sidekicks to chilling villains. So on this anniversary of Mickey’s big-screen debut, we’re listing some of the other Disney characters that have captured our hearts and minds.

  1. Stitch, "Lilo & Stitch"

    Stitch is rude, crude, and socially unacceptable. And we love him for it. Not only is he totes adorbs, he constantly cracks us up with his antics.

  2. Dug, "Up"

    Squirrel! The loveable, pudgy pooch is made even more endearing by the collar that translates his fun-loving thoughts into speech.

  3. Simba, "The Lion King"

    The bewildered WTF look on baby Simba’s face when Rafiki holds him up to all the rejoicing animals is priceless. From that point on, we’re all in emotionally while he fights for his pride – both literal and figurative.

  4. Dumbo, "Dumbo"

    Look at that face! How could anyone make fun of that cutie patootie even if he does have ginormous ears?

  5. Ariel, "The Little Mermaid"

    Ariel’s fascination with human gadgets and gizmos and her passion to be part of our world give us a new appreciation for the thingamabobs we take for granted.

  6. Baymax, "Big Hero 6"

    Who wouldn’t want to by hugged by a cuddly, inflatable healthcare robot? “Are you satisfied with your care?” Yes, Baymax, we most certainly are.

  7. Goofy

    Is he a dog? Is he a man? Who cares – he’s funny! This dimwitted friend of Mickey’s has been appearing in cartoons since 1932, making us laugh by getting himself in trouble.

  8. Tod and Copper, "The Fox and the Hound"

    These two go together because it’s their relationship that makes them so aww-worthy. Two animals that are mortal enemies instead become best friends. Then the misunderstandings and acts of bravery once they’re older? *sniff * We can’t even.

  9. Dory, "Finding Nemo"

    Dory’s short-term memory loss is played for laughs, but it also makes us feel sorry for her. However, it’s her eternal optimism that really makes us adore her.

  10. Scar, "The Lion King"

    Scar may not be a nice guy, but he sure is a fascinating one. And with the voice of Jeremy Irons purring in our ears, we could listen to Scar plan evil deeds all day.

  11. Mushu, "Mulan"

    Although Mushu starts out selfish because he’s trying to get reinstated as a guardian spirit, he really does have a good heart. Plus he’s high-larious!

  12. WALL-E, "WALL-E"

    WALL-E might just be a Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-class robot, but that doesn’t mean we love the goofy little guy any less.

  13. Elsa, "Frozen"

    Besides singing pretty much the catchiest song of all time, Elsa is fascinating because she walks the line between good and evil. She’s totally a sympathetic character, but for a chunk of the movie, she’s kind of a bad guy. Thank goodness for sisterly love!

  14. Robin Hood, "Robin Hood"

    Is it just us or is Robin Hood kinda foxy? Maybe it’s weird, but with his charisma and gallantry, we can’t help having a bit of a crush on him.

  15. Pluto

    We’re not sure why Goofy gets to wear pants and talk and Pluto doesn’t, but even without uttering a single word, Mickey’s dog can always make us laugh.

  16. Ray, "The Princess and the Frog"

    The firefly with the big back porch is brave, funny, and wise. And his unwavering love for Evangeline, the Evening Star, makes us a bit sniffly.

  17. Ursula, "The Little Mermaid"

    The sea witch has a wicked sense of humor and a knack for persuading people to do the very thing they shouldn’t. But we really dig the softer side she shows through her love for her pet eels.

  18. Rex, "Toy Story"

    With his tiny little arms and dread of confrontation, this very non-scary Tyrannosaurus Rex had the potential to be pathetic. But his gentle, caring nature and enthusiasm makes him a fav.

  19. Baloo, "The Jungle Book"

    Although he may claim to only care about the bare necessities, the chubby bear totally adores Mowgli. And his silly efforts to scratch his itchy back, along with his laidback attitude, make us want to be BFFs with Baloo.

  20. Merida, "Brave"

    Merida is a badass princess with a bow. She’s bold and daring and doesn’t need no man to rescue her.

  21. Pumbaa, "The Lion King"

    The warthog was the first Disney character to fart onscreen, which automatically makes him awesome. But it’s his loyalty and caring nature that makes him so lovable even though he can clear the Savannah after every meal.

Seriously, the Disney machine has produced so many entertaining characters that we could go on and on and on, so we’re just going to stop here before we list every Disney character ever created. Which ones would you add to the list?