Cartoons and comics often feature many anthropomorphic characters, mostly cats and dogs. But birds make also an important group of unforgettable characters we like to follow in these stories. Often talkative and specific in a certain way, birds make a memorable appearance in mostly every cartoon they can be found in.
Penguins, parrots, macaws, seagulls and many other different species, all of them have certain personality traits that make them worth mentioning. Even though there is really a vast number of interesting bird characters, we have tried to make a list of the 20 best birds from cartoons and comics.
One of the most famous birds in animated movies is definitely this cure little canary named Tweety that was introduced in the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies series of cartoons. In the beginning, Tweety was depicted as an aggressive and nervous bird who always caused problems for Sylvester, another pet belonging to Tweety’s owner Granny.
Later on, Tweety’s character was toned down a bit and the audience associates it nowadays with its cute and cool behaviour, always keeping to itself and trying not to cause any harm and problems to the rest of the household, at least not deliberately.
The Road Runner
Another famous bird from the Looney Tunes series of animated cartoons is the roar runner, who is always accompanied by a coyote, named Will E Coyote who is trying to catch her throughout the cartoon. Coyote is devious and mean and never gives up on his plans of catching it and eating it. He is successful on rare occasions, but he never manages to eat it.
The roadrunner is concentrated and alert and always prepared to run away from the coyote who most of the time ends up in an accident, very often in a creative and slapstick manner. The bird is calm and never shows any sign of fear, and its only vocalising consists of a now-classic “beep, beep.”
Iago (from Aladdin)
One of the most popular bird antagonists is the talking scarlet macaw Iago from the beloved Disney cartoon Aladdin. He was named after the villain in Shakespeare’s Othello, making a homage to this cunning character. Iago is the secondary antagonist in the cartoon, being the main villain’s pet, the one who is going places Jafar can’t.
Iago has blue tipped wing feathers, a blue tail and white around his eyes, he speaks English fluently and can mimic other characters’ voices. He is very nervous and gets easily frustrated and has no problem showing his frustration on any occasion. He can be very evil and mischievous when needed and can perform various tricks, which he learned from his master.
Donald Duck is a Disney cartoon character, Mickey Mouse’s complete opposite and a character that is often entertaining us with his funny appearance and way of behaving. He is famous for his speech which is often difficult to understand and he is pretty temperamental, with a mischievous and pompous personality.
He is usually seen wearing a sailor shirt and a cap with a bowtie. He is involved in a romantic relationship with Daisy Duck and we can often see his three nephews in the cartoons as well. But Donald was also featured in various comics which helped him expand his world and give the audience more interesting moments with him and his friends.
Blu (from Rio)
Blu is the Spyx’s Macaw, a blue feathered bird featured in the cartoon Rio, who is believed to be the last male of his kind. Blu is shy and introverted and socially awkward and a complete opposite of his mate Jewel. He is able to perform numerous fascinating things, such as open birdcages or use a skateboard, but, unfortunately, he was always unable to fly.
Until he met and fell in love with Jewel, who was a huge inspiration for him to check to see if he is really so incapable, or if he was just being scared all that time. Rio is a lovable character who often makes the audience laugh, especially with his problems to express himself properly. But everyone loves him for his beautiful personality, soft heart and smarts.
One of the most memorable cartoon characters, probably due to its interesting personality and the way of speaking, Daffy Duck is a black duck who is not your everyday cartoon hero. He is complex, a bit different and a complete opposite of other main characters at the time when he was introduced.
Daffy was also introduced as a character in a series of comics and his popularity never seems to fade, making him one of the most beloved cartoon characters of all time. He is one of the signature characters in the Looney Tunes, together with Bugs Bunny and the previously mentioned birds.
Margalo (from Stuart Little)
Margalo is the main female character in Stuart Little and Stuart Little 2, being his best friend and love interest. She used to work for Falcon for whom she used to steal various household objects, such as jewellery. She is nice, kind and very sweet, but just like Stuart, wants to play and have fun most of the time.
In the movie, Margalo wears a jet pilot’s helmet and a small blue scarf and has extremely small goggles. She has golden orange feathers, a white stomach and an orange nose. She is definitely one of the cutest and most likeable birds ever in an animated movie.
Soren (from Legends of the Guardians)
Soren is the main protagonist in the beautiful cartoon Legends of the Guardians, a dreamer, often seen as the one who “lived in dreams”. But this is one of his strongest and most important traits, giving him the power and belief to follow his dreams and his father’s words, as well as having faith in the Guardians.
He is a good friend and an owl who always wants to do what’s good and best for the sake of others. He believes in equality and is always up for meeting and befriending other owls, the ones outside his species. He is a young barn owl with amber eyes and golden brown feathers.
Buzzie, Flaps, Ziggy and Dizzy (From The Jungle Book)
Even though minor characters from the beautiful 1967 animated movie The Jungle Book, these three vultures are those kinds of characters that often steal the show. They are so specific and interesting that you simply must remember them. It was stated that they represent The Beatles, as their parody.
Close to the end of the movie, when Mowgli runs away from Kaa, they are bored and trying to figure out what to do (this features Buzzie’s question What are we gonna do? and Flap’s answer I don’t know.). When they spot him, they decide to investigate him, but involuntarily hurt his feelings by commenting on his looks. Feeling bad for him, they start singing That’s What Friends Are For, making it one of the most memorable sequences in the movie.
Orville (from The Rescuers)
Orville is a supporting character in one of the most heartwarming and heartbreaking cartoons of all time. He is serious but can be funny, he loves his job and takes it seriously, being one of the pilots in the Albatross Air Service. He has a brother named Wilbur who is featured in The Rescuers’ sequel.
Orville is a strong, proud and sometimes a clumsy albatross who wears a pilot’s helmet and a purple scarf around his neck. He was replaced by Wilbur in the sequel since the actor who gave Wilbur a voice died before the sequel was made.
Skipper (from Madagascar)
This intelligent penguin is one of the major characters in the cartoon Madagascar, being the leader of a group of four penguins, his brothers Rico and Kowalski and their adopted brother Private. He was born in Antarctica and is often described as a peculiar individual, at times hard and complex, but also deluded, especially after he married his girlfriend who is an inanimate object.
He can’t read and can sometimes be paranoid, has a fragile ego according to his brothers and dislikes hippies, but at the same time believes in the unthinkable, such as an apocalyptic future. All in all, he is one strange penguin, but with a particularly soft spot for his brothers, especially Private and a good friend and brother.
Woodstock (from Peanuts)
Woodstock is a fictional character in the comic Peanuts, best known for being Snoopy’s friend. He was named after the Woodstock festival of 1969. He is a yellow bird with a specific way of speaking and Snoopy is the only non-bird character who is able to understand him. He works as Snoopy’s secretary and caddies for him when he plays golf.
He is a small and kind-hearted bird who is always there for Snoopy, backing him up, but also without problems standing up to him when he believes he’s gone too far. Even though we have never learned what kind of a bird species he belongs to, he always gets mad when someone mistakes him for the wrong type of bird.
Zazu (from The Lion King)
Zazu is the most important bird in the cartoon The Lion King, being a majordomo to Mufasa, Simba’s father and later Simba. He is a red-billed hornbill, uptight with a fragile temper so he is very often not taken seriously. He is stern and diplomatic, he knows many things and takes his position as a royal advisor with pride.
Due to the seriousness of his job, he is prone to panic attacks and can be often irritable and is often the first one to be teased, even by Mufasa, but especially by Simba and Nala. Mufasa’s brother Scar saw him as a menace so he captured him, hoping that it would be easier to operate on his terms in the kingdom since Zazu knows all and tells all.
This very large rooster with a Southern, Virginian accent was inspired by Senator Claghorn, a Southern politician played by Kenny Delmar on Fred Allen’s 1940s radio show. Leghorn is the tallest of all Looney Tunes characters, he is pretty blunt and unrefined and shows a knack for mischief.
He can get on his friend’s nerves since he is often very loud, with a fast mouth and the need to overexplain everything. His most famous quote, among many unforgettable, is “I say”, which he uses as a form of interjection in his speech.
This anthropomorphic woodpecker was created in 1940 and it is the official mascot of the Universal Studios. His character and design changed over the years, from an insane bird to a more defined personality. He even has a motion picture star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and made a cameo appearance in the 1988 blockbuster Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
In the earliest cartoons, he was a combination of Duffy Duck and Bugs Bunny’s characters, being energetic and quirky as Duffy and wise as Bugs. But his character changed when the change between the directors in the studio happened.
Archimedes (from The Sword in the Stone)
Merlin’s pet owl in the hilarious and beautiful cartoon The Sword in the Stone is an anthropomorphic character with the ability to speak, which he gained when he met Merlin who took him under his wing. He is known for his sarcasm and sometimes cynicism, especially in the morning and he never has a problem with criticising Merlin, even though he is one of his best friends.
He is wise, well educated and possesses a great deal of practical knowledge. He befriends Merlin’s protege Wart and teaches him to fly. He is a true companion and a friend that everyone would like to have, honest and loyal, but never afraid to speak his mind.
Nigel (from Finding Nemo)
Nigel is a supporting character in one of the most beloved cartoons of all time, Finding Nemo. He is a brown pelican who enjoys spending time in the dentist’s office window, sharing his opinion on the dental problems together with his fish friends in the tank.
Nigel met Nemo when he joined his fish friends in the tank and afterwards befriended Marlin and Dory. He plays an important role in saving them from seagulls and immediately bringing them to the office to show them where Nemo is.
Scuttle (from The Little Mermaid)
One of the most memorable and popular birds in cartoons is definitely Scuttle from The Little Mermaid, a seagull and Ariel’s friend who appears to be an expert on human objects, but most of the time speaks complete nonsense. He is the most eccentric of all her friends, but also the only one who can fly which happened to be of great use in many dangerous situations.
Ariel wasn’t very fond of him when they first met, finding him too talkative and weird, but after he saved Sebastian from a group of pirates, he started to grow on her and slowly became one of her best friends, someone she could always rely on and a good shoulder to cry on, too.
Mordecai (from Regular Show)
He is one of the seven main characters in Regular Show. He is a tall and skinny blue jay and like most of them, he has curved, crested blue feathers on his head. He never wears any clothes and if he does, it is mostly a shirt with no pants.
He has a big heart, is mild-mannered and very laid-back, enjoying singing karaoke and playing video games, hoping to work only when he’s needed. He is very intelligent, responsible and patient and he tries to cause as less problems as possible, very often solving problems that his best friend Rigby caused.
Kowalski (from Madagascar)
Another important Madagascar character is Kowalski, Skipper’s brother and lieutenant, the highest and most intelligent of them all. He is the one who makes plans for the group and takes notes for Skipper. Due to his intelligence, he could take up positions such as being the team’s medic, chief scientist and inventor.
He is loyal and a good brother and friend, but he never allows his intelligence to fall under the radar, due to his narcissism and confidence, both in his brains and looks. He never misses showing how much knowledge he has and can be a real show-off, but he has some disadvantages, especially over-analysing things and being completely fascinated by science, which can be tiring.