Typically, in the world of animation, characters are over the top with positivity and happiness, as this is the way that they connect with audiences. The likes of Buzz Lightyear, Scooby-Doo, and The Genie are all examples of popular animated characters that have positive attitudes and sunny dispositions within their particular worlds.
However, every now and then, animation likes to provide a grumpier character, who isn’t always looking at the bright side of life. Showing a different side to people’s personalities is crucial, and that is often why the grumpiest characters end up being some of the most popular overall.
10 Hamm (Toy Story Franchise)
There are a couple of grumpy characters within the Toy Story universe, and even Woody himself can showcase that at times. However, Hamm is the best for this, and he is someone that really connects with adult audiences because he is constantly judging things, pointing out plot holes, and questioning silly decisions that get made.
He’s someone that older audiences can relate with when they have become jaded and that is why Hamm ends up being a lovable part of the franchise overall. The piggy bank brings some of the best one-liners throughout the movies, which helps him to stand out well, despite his grumpy attitude.
9 King Harold (Shrek Franchise)
While Shrek himself is grumpy at the start, it doesn’t take long for that frown to turn upside down. However, with King Harold, it takes a lot longer for him to shake his arrogant and angry attitude towards Shrek in particular, not approving of his relationship with Princess Fiona.
Despite actually being unlikeable at the start, King Harold does redeem himself later on and eventually approves of everything. In the end, King Harold is just an overly protective father who wants the best for his daughter, it just takes him a while to realize that is Shrek, and the fact he behaves that way does make him likable.
8 Zazu (The Lion King)
The Lion King has got a lot of brilliant characters, and Zazu is absolutely one of those. He is loyal to Mufasa and his family, and he wants to do his job of rounding up the news for the morning report to perfection, which leads to him becoming grumpy and strict with everything he does.
While Zazu is grumpy, which annoys Simba when he is young, the fact is that he does a great job. Because he is protective of the family and helps Simba later in life, he ends up being a lovable Disney sidekick.
7 Krusty The Clown (The Simpsons)
On stage when the cameras are rolling, Krusty The Clown knows how to put on a performance and appear to be as positive and happy as possible. However, in reality, Krusty is a grumpy person who loves to smoke, drink, and gamble, with the difference in his life and stage character being hilarious to see.
Krusty might be angry at times and he isn’t a people person, but that is something that people love. The Simpsons is supposed to show character in a realistic manner, so having Krusty being grumpy isn’t off-putting, and because he does come out with some hilarious comments, he is able to be lovable.
6 Marlin (Finding Nemo)
Marlin is another lovable character that is a grump. The reason for his grumpiness is simply out of fear of losing his son. However, Marlin often snaps at Dory throughout their journey, losing his patience quickly with her, despite the fact that she’s only trying to help him.
However, because he goes on such a journey and puts in so much effort to find Nemo once again, it is impossible not to find Marlin lovable, even if he can be grouchy and rude to people at times.
5 Carl Fredricksen (Up)
Pixar made the decision to build an entire movie around a grumpy old man with Up, and it turned out to be an excellent choice. Carl Fredricksen’s reason for being grumpy is valid, due to the loss of his wife and then his house being taken away from him.
However, pairing him up with an excited young child on their journey is something that creates an amazing, albeit unlikely friendship. The movie sees Carl go from grumpy to kind, and that change in character is something that makes him very lovable, although he never truly stops being grouchy.
4 Sadness (Inside Out)
Inside Out is a terrific insight into the different behaviors that people showcase, taking a look at the emotions that people have in their brains in a creative manner. Sadness is one of the main characters in the movie, and she is often glum, looking at the negatives all the time.
The fact that she is paired up with Joy for the majority of the movie is an overwhelming presence of excitement and happiness only makes Sadness’s grumpy attitude more obvious. However, she is lovable and comes out with some fantastic lines, and unlike most grumpy animated characters, she actually works as a reminder that people do need to feel that way at times.
3 Squidward (SpongeBob SquarePants)
SpongeBob SquarePants is one of the most popular animated television shows of all time, and it is one that really does push positivity at its core. SpongeBob himself is one of the most over-the-top characters in terms of happiness and energy of all time, which is why Squidward works so well as his grumpy neighbor.
Squidward is always looking at things in a negative manner, questioning everything that is going on. All he wants is peace and quiet to play his instrument and live his life, but that isn’t what he gets. This makes for a lot of humor throughout the show, which in turn helps Squidward become lovable.
2 Grumpy (Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs)
The clue is in the name with this one, but Grumpy is one of the most iconic animated characters of all time. The dwarf is one of the greatest characters from Disney’s original animated movie, and he more than lives up to his name throughout the movie.
However, despite the fact that he likes to moan and complain about everything, he does also make Snow White smile, and he proves to be loyal and protective of her as a character. He is a real leader and in the end, his grumpy responses become funny, making him a lovable character.
1 Eeyore (Winnie The Pooh Franchise)
When it comes to the greatest grumpy but lovable animated character, Eeyore takes the top spot. The world of Winnie The Pooh is filled with a range of personalities, from anxious Piglet to the excitable Tigger, and Eeyore comes in with a grumpy and glum look at life.
However, he’s a character that can be grumpy but still tries his best and goes along with all of their adventures, even if he doesn’t really want to be there. Eeyore has become a beloved animated character and someone that people can relate to.
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