In anticipation of this week's release of 'Happy Feet Two,' starring the cutest penguins in Hollywood, Moviefone is celebrating the most disgustingly cute animated characters ever. Full disclosure: narrowing the list down was difficult. Not rocket-science-difficult, but definitely up there. Not only because there are just too many heart-burstingly adorable characters, but because whittling the list down led to many hours wasted staring at movie stills and YouTube videos, giggling like children.
It's quite the feat to turn thousands of individual pictures into a singular character an audience can connect to; even more so when it garners a lifetime appreciation from kids and adults alike. These characters are some of the most beautifully crafted art in film. We're warning you, they may cause unusually high-pitched "awws" and a desire to start a stuffed animal collection.
Gallery | The Most Disgustingly Cute Animated Characters
Curious George in 'Curious George'
A children's book beloved by many, 'Curious George' was finally made into a feature film in 2006. With his oddly named owner, The Man in the Yellow Hat, Curious George has a knack for getting himself into the most random of situations.
Why Kids Love Him: They can relate to his curious nature, from finger painting the walls to making a mess out of his food.
Fun Fact: 'Curious George' was originally planned to be a live-action film.
Bullseye in 'Toy Story 2'
Bullseye is Woody's loyal and trusted companion, making his first official appearance in 'Toy Story 2.'
Why Kids Love Him: Put simply, he's the best bud a cowboy could have.
Ash in 'Fantastic Mr. Fox'
In 'Fantastic Mr. Fox,' Ash's father, Mr. Fox, calls his son "different.' We couldn't come up with a better term.
Why Kids Love Him: He's okay with wearing his superhero costume (a towel tied around his neck and his pants tucked into his socks) in public. Every kid's dream.
Fun Fact: Wes Anderson created a stop-animated thank you speech. It was screened after winning an award for "Special Filmmaking Achievement" at the National Board of Review Awards Gala.
Dalmatian Puppies in '101 Dalmatians' (1961)
There are fewer things cuter than a litter of newborn pups. These black and white animals are made cuter by their colorful personalities.
Why Kids Love Him: Every child's dream is to own a pet that they love. What's better than one hundred and one of them?
Fun Fact: The dog barks in the film were done by Clarence Nash, better known as the voice of Donald Duck.
Winnie the Pooh in 'Winnie the Pooh'
Winnie Pooh is fueled by one thing, the desire for honey.
Why Kids Love Him: Forever the optimist, Winnie the Pooh makes it his mission to help his friends. Oh, and did we mention he loves honey?
Fun Fact: 'Winnie the Pooh' has been the star of Disney's 22nd and 51st theatrical release.
Dug in 'Up'
With a collar that translates every thought into the English language, we get a glimpse into Dug's hyperactive, lovable mind.
Why Kids Love Him: He's loyal, he's adorable, and he loves unconditionally. Squirrel!
Fun Fact: As an homage to another adorable pup, Dug has a similar color scheme to Disney's Pluto.
Gru's Minions in 'Despicable Me'
There's a lot of them, and they're all green. What makes them disgustingly cute is not only the wacky language that they use, but their undying devotion to their master, Gru.
Why Kids Love Them: They're funny, they're small, and they do ridiculous things. And they remind us all of the squeaky alien toys in 'Toy Story.'
Fun Fact: The Minions speak an actual made-up language in the film. The directors called it "minion-ese".
Dumbo in 'Dumbo'
Dumbo utters not one word of dialogue throughout the film, but he definitely causes us to shout some "oohs" and "awws."
Why Kids Love Him: Dumbo teaches that if you stick to your dreams, they make actually come true.
Nemo in 'Finding Nemo'
This tiny clown fish never thought the ocean was too big for him.
Why Kids Love Him: Nemo is the kind of character a kid can look up to. Even with a disability, Nemo never shies away from a promising adventure.
Fun Fact: Nemo's first appearance was in 'Monsters, Inc.' as a stuffed toy on a couch in Boo's room.
Totoro in 'My Neighbor Totoro'
Arguably the least known on this list to American audiences, Totoro has been a much beloved character in Japan since the late 80s.
Why Kids Love Him: In 'My Neighbor Totoro,' Totoro helps two young sisters handle the absence of their mother due to illness. Plus, he has the ability to take them on a flying trip using an umbrella, much like Mary Poppins.
Despereaux in 'The Tale of Despereaux'
Despite it's tepid reviews, 'The Tale of Despereaux's' main mouse is absolutely adorable.
Why Kids Love Him: Brave and unconventional, Despereaux is the first to stand up for what's right. Not to mention those big, goofy ears that will turn anyone to mush.
Squirt in 'Finding Nemo'
Squirt's a minor character in 'Finding Nemo,' but he left a lasting impression on audiences. Sweeeet.
Why Kids Love Him: Because he's the cutest sea turtle from the Eastern Atlantic Current.
Fun Fact: Squirt is also the name of a citrus-flavored soda brand in the U.S. So is Crush, the name of Squirt's father in the film.
Thumper in 'Bambi'
After being reprimanded by his parents in an adorably awkward moment every child has experienced, Thumper teaches us: "If you can't say something nice, don't say nothing at all."
Why Kids Love Him: Thumper taught Bambi how to ice skate. How cool is that?
Fun Fact: 'Bambi' was based on a novel written by Felix Salten. Thumper does not appear in the original book.
Wall-E in 'Wall-E'
He may only be a robot, yet Wall-E loves with the intensity of the Sun.
Why Kids Love Him: He's a robot with the cutest voice in the galaxy.
Fun Fact: After Wall-E is fully charged by the Sun, he emits a sound, the same sound that is heard when an Apple computer is turned on.
Baby Mumble in 'Happy Feet'
Baby Mumble tapped-tapped-tapped his way right into our hearts.
Why Kids Love Him: As a penguin who lacked a good singing voice, Mumble was picked on by his peers. Yet he stayed true to himself and his passion of dancing, ultimately saving his community and winning the love and respect he always deserved.
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