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The Master Chief returns
The 50 Best Animated Movie Characters
The greatest hand-drawn, CG and stop-motioned personalities out there
Back Page 38 of 50 Next
13. Buzz Lightyear
Buzz Lightyear

Toy Story, Toy Story 2, Toy Story 3

Toy Story (1995)

Tim Allen
13. Buzz Lightyear
Buzz Lightyear

The beauty of Buzz Lightyear is that, beneath the superficiality of the initial premise he's an utterly delusional toy who thinks he's a real Space Ranger there's real emotional depth and endless capacity for reinvention. Witness Toy Story 3's neat reprogramming gag, wherein Buzz becomes a flamenco-flecked Spanish-language toy, complete with an eye for the ladies and neat dance moves. But we love Buzz for so much more than that. We love him because of his bluster. We love him because of his never-say-die spirit. We love him because he's a leader of plastic men. We love him because he's faintly ridiculous. We love him because Tim Allen's macho voice work is so perfect that it almost removes the universe's need for William Shatner to exist. We love him because he has a little light that blinks. We love him because he. Is. A. Toy. And sometimes that's all you need.
Stroke of genius
At the end of Toy Story 2, when Buzz witnesses Jessie's astonishing acrobatics, and suffers a slight case of premature ejection. Bit of blue there, for the dads.
Have Your Say
Should Buzz Lightyear be higher or lower on our list? Vote now!

Fun fact
Buzz Lightyear's name was inspired by astronaut Buzz Aldrin. Aldrin acknowledged the tribute when he pulled a Buzz Lightyear doll out during a speech at NASA, to rapturous cheers. He did not, however, receive any endorsement fees for the use of his first name.
Back Page 38 of 50 Next


Have your say
Which is your favourite animated character from our list? Any we've missed? Register or login now to have your say.

Your Comments
Posted on Saturday February 21, 2015, 15:49 by Animation_critic
How can you miss KUNG FU PANDA?????? and characters from LION KING???? They should be in top TEN!!! Read More

Posted on Friday April 11, 2014, 22:23 by thegiant55

3 Edit this list! and how?
Posted on Wednesday October 16, 2013, 19:36 by Darren47
Read More

4 2 Steps to make it better
Posted on Wednesday October 9, 2013, 00:24 by Darren47
Read More

Posted on Saturday January 5, 2013, 01:38 by Sam elder
Surely Genire should be number 1? For Robin Williams vocals alone. With Mike in number 2. Toy Story's supporting cast need more love too, like Mr. Potato Head, Hamm, Rex, Slinky and even the army men. No Bambi or Shere Khan also saddened me. As well as Catbus from My Neighbour Totoro who is a great creation. Kaneda is also superior to Tetsuo for just being unfathomably cool. Read More

Posted on Thursday December 20, 2012, 03:48 by MoneyMike
I don't know when this list was made, but where's Frollo from The Hunchback of Notre Dame? Read More

7 That´s not Fiver
Posted on Sunday October 7, 2012, 17:00 by Kirin
The rabbit market on this picture is not Fiver, it´s Dandelion. The grey one is Hawkbit, the brown one Hazel. Read More

8 Bring In Petrie!
Posted on Sunday September 23, 2012, 06:14 by steck
I didn't see any of the "Land Before Time" characters included. That needs to be changed! Read More

Posted on Wednesday February 29, 2012, 20:18 by scottclarke98
Russell from UP should be the best animated character!:D Read More

10 i thought this was an ANIMATED character poll!!!
Posted on Wednesday February 29, 2012, 20:09 by something clever
last time i checked gromit is STOP MOTION not handrawn animation! its different he shouldn't be on the list! heathens!!! Read More

Posted on Sunday July 24, 2011, 15:40 by Ignitron
The best character in "Up" is Ellie. You know, Carl's wife. Read More

12 Rhino? Are you freaking kidding with me!?
Posted on Thursday January 27, 2011, 18:24 by carlminez
I just cannot take this list seriously knowing that Rhino, perhaps the most annoying, one-dimensional and shallow character the animated genre has to offer, was added to the list! But THE WORST THING is that Bolt, a character that has been grossly underrated by critics but still has one of the most touching, contrasty and rich personalities ever was NOT mention, besides being from the same movie! Bolt has depth. The loud and stupid comic relief known as Rhino should appeal the dumbest half of the audience, exclusively. Read More

13 RE:
Posted on Monday November 22, 2010, 14:41 by Johnny_A
Gotta give another heads up to The Lion King. So many great characters from THE best Disney movie of all time, and none of them mentioned at all. Simba at least should be in the top 3, if not #1 period. There are great songs, action, ambiance, character development, love story, the works. This movie has it all. So why no mention? Travesty I say! Travesty! Read More

Posted on Thursday November 11, 2010, 13:00 by white mage
I think Empire did a good job with this list, thinking how many animated films are out there now. I think to fit everyones expectations the flist wou;d be well over a hundred. I happy to see Carl and Dug from Up in there, but it's strange that the villians from Snow White, 101 Dalmations and Peter Pan but not the lead charaters. Gormit was a clever for a winning, he's an unslung hero Read More

Posted on Tuesday November 9, 2010, 15:32 by pete_traynor
L: princemadonna I don't count Pixar as animation, animation you draw with your hands - using talent. CGI is not animation in my book. font=arial]Christ on a bendy bus! What the fuck are you talking about? It takes a ludicrous amount of talent to 'animate' to the level that Pixar do. Pencil, paint brush, chalk, clay, pen, graphics tablet or mouse… all are simply tools, nothing more. Regardless of the method, it takes imagination and talent to produce great animation. And be under no narrow minded, misguided illusion… Pixar animators are animators of the highest order. Some of the very best working today.   Not liking the sound of your book... Read More

Posted on Wednesday November 3, 2010, 13:22 by mystra
L: princemadonna I don't count Pixar as animation, animation you draw with your hands - using talent. CGI is not animation in my book. So what about stop-motion? that's not drawn with your hands? that's a pretty narrow minded view to have of animation! Although i do agree Tinkerbell deserved to be on the list Read More

17 RE: If its not MY top 50 it must be sh*t! Waaaa!
Posted on Tuesday November 2, 2010, 15:41 by clownfoot
L: captainamazing Honestly - its the article writer's choices. No matter how impartial they try to be, it's incredibly unlikely their choices would match anyone else's - film is an art form and 'best' is equal to 'favourite', which is not measurable or definable by any scale. Stop crying. Even when these kind of top 50 lists are voted for by the readers people inevitably disagree and whinge that the list is terrrible. You've only to look at the top listings of films on IMDB to realise that majority rule can be a terrible thing! Like what you like, and let other people like what they like! sp; Unfortunately, such undoubted good sense would make a popular film Forum, informed on subjective divisive opinion, really rather dull... Read More

18 RE: Eric Cartman
Posted on Tuesday November 2, 2010, 12:55 by Gimli The Dwarf
Some great characters and a perfect choice for number one, but I'm baffled by some of the choices. Lilo and not Stitch? Insectosaurus? Hiccup? And so many classic animated characters missing. Read More

19 come on!!
Posted on Friday October 29, 2010, 18:11 by kirsty13
times new roman"]seriously disagree wit da whole thing...alot of the characters should be there but not where they were placed. and come on nothing from The Lion King, Alice in Wonderland or Pinocchio. GROMIT no way deserved top billing  Read More

20 RE: No Donald Duck or Goofy?!?
Posted on Thursday October 28, 2010, 17:05 by teemto
I mean, for the sports goofy shorts alone, Goofy should have a spot in the top 10. Read More

21 RE: 50 Greatest Animated Characters
Posted on Thursday October 28, 2010, 15:03 by mystra
L: Luggen The list does'nt say that it is for animated characters in feautre lenght movies. So lot's of the characters should have been out of the list. But there are lots of charcters in feautre length films missing. What about Donald Duck? Has been in lot's of movies. More than Daffy. Jimmini Cricket? The best character in Pinocchio. Merlin from the Sword in the Stone? Winnie The Pooh? Or at least Tigger should be on the list. A couple of the characters from Oliver and Co could be on the list, Tito f.ex. Scrooge McDuck should have been on the list. He has had many appearences in movies. Ducktales the movie among others. And even though Mickeys Christmas Carol was a short, it was shown in theatres right before The Rescuers. And as other people have said. No Lion King characters? urrgh not Winne the Pooh and Tigger etc... Disney killed them for me, much preferred the original EH Shephard creations in the original Milne books, much nicer and not embezzled oRead More

22 RE: 50 Greatest Animated Characters
Posted on Thursday October 28, 2010, 13:26 by JIm R
y the worst assembled list ever on these type of compilations that the magazine has ever put together, not sure which half witted f*ckwit put this toegther but they've go no idea. Read More

23 RE: No. 1
Posted on Thursday October 28, 2010, 11:16 by elab49
I think you're forgetting that most of these Disney and Looney Tunes characters started in shorts on the big screen /b] they were shown on TV. Therefore, unlike Gromit, first seen in the movies even though, since TV took over in the 50s, most everyone solely knows them from TV now.   That said, Empire does film and TV lists - I'd have thought any character was fair game rather than just cinema, anyway? Read More

24 RE: MOVIE, guys.
Posted on Thursday October 28, 2010, 10:48 by mystra
L: The Tingler I'm against a few choices there, even against a lot of commenters - specifically Mickey Mouse, Daffy Duck and Homer Simpson, because they're great on TV, not on film. Satan's debatable, but as he's only really been a main character in the South Park movie rather than series I'll let him pass. Otherwise an interesting list! A real surprise No. 1 too. thank you! Most of the characters people are complaining about seeing didn't have much in the way of movies (i'm not denying they did at all, i know they were in films) - but had a primary presence on TV rather than on the big screen..that's why i'm not sure about Gromit being first... W&G only had one feature film (so far) and have featured predominantly on TV. Whoever called Mickey a twat i agree lol i always hated him! But yes where is half the cast of the Lion King..also the dinosaurs from Land Before Time? And Edna Mode!!! Was this a public survey they did for this or their own by the wRead More

25 RE: Hello ???
Posted on Thursday October 28, 2010, 09:24 by Drew_231
What about King Louis from the Jungle Book? King of the Swingers is one of the greatest moments in film history!! Read More

26 RE: Hello ???
Posted on Thursday October 28, 2010, 03:51 by manofwords
This seems like quite a strange list to me. No characters from the last great disney, The Lion King? No Pinocchio, King Louie, Dopey, or Bambi? Saddam was far funnier than Satan in South Park. Kim Jong-Il in Team America (and even Matt Damon) was hilarious. Read More

27 RE: Why do people hate these lists so much?
Posted on Thursday October 28, 2010, 00:28 by jamiezechner
L: hemibell I hate to be a peskerino, but the picture for Tetsuo has Kaneda's face. Although I suppose the stuff surrounding him technically is Tetsuo. was going to note that also. it's still technically Tetsuo, but i would have liked to have seen a better picture of him; like the scene where he puts on the red cape Read More

28 RE: what?
Posted on Wednesday October 27, 2010, 21:23 by musht
L: JoKeRJaMeZ a personal favourite of mine are the mice from Cinderella otally forgot bout these fucking legends, make me go looking for this ted Read More

29 RE:
Posted on Wednesday October 27, 2010, 19:16 by musht
Insectosaurus ove B.O.B. . . . NO!!! Also i've always thought Timothy the mouse was the unsung hero of Dumbo. Agree with Gromit though, he's an utter legend I don't think Gollum would count as animated, maybe i'm wrong but he doesn't jump out as animated BBrandon Read More

30 RE: NA
Posted on Wednesday October 27, 2010, 17:34 by elab49
So as that's 10, you mean any list that doesn't agree absolutely with you isn't a good one?   THe link doesn't appear to be working from the forum or findable from the site - but doesn't the post above actually say Gromit no, 1? Read More

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