12 Best Supporting Pixar Characters

Edna Mode in The Incredibles

The Character: Voiced by Brad Bird and boasting more than a passing resemblance to diminutive actress Linda Hunt, Edna Mode is the epitome of the word ‘firecracker’.

Half German and half Japanese, she made a living as a fashion designer for the world’s top superheroes before all those lawsuits shooed them into hiding.

Screen-time: Punctuating the film with her brassy, no-nonsense attitude, Edna has a few key scenes, most memorably the fiery test display for her new fabric.

Lasting Impression: Beating Elasti-Girl around the face with a newspaper, flame-grilling model babies...

Want proof she’s not been forgotten? Edna presented Pierce Brosnan with the Best Costume Design Oscar at the 77th Academy Awards ceremony...

Ellie Fredricksen in Up

The Character: Ellie started life as a talkative tomboy who dreamed of exploring the world. But things just kept getting in the way. Luckily she managed to create a happy nest with childhood-friend-turned-hubbie Carl, even though they can't have children.

Screen-time: She’s in the film’s elegant opening montage, but sadly dies of old age. Her presence is felt throughout the rest of the film, though.

Lasting Impression: Ellie will go down in Pixar history as one half of one of the most moving and beautifully crafted openings in a film. Ever.

Aliens in Toy Story

The Character(s): “Ooooooh!”

Officially known as the Squeeze Toy Aliens, these three-eyed, three-fingered intergalactic residents of the claw machine arcade game were originally going to be plastic pizza prizes.

Somewhere along the way they morphed into these adorable critters. They're forever searching for a leader.

Screen-time: The little green men make sporadic appearances throughout both Toy Story movies.

Lasting Impression: They were so well-received in the first Toy Story that they cropped up again in the second. They’ll go for gold with a third appearance in the new sequel.

Hal in Wall-E

The Character: Pet to lone Earth survivor Wall-E, Hal is, yup, a cockroach.

Though he’s not given any backstory, we can assume he survived because he’s, yup, a cockroach, and therefore indestructible. As evidenced when Wall-E accidentally runs him over to no great harm.

Screen-time: Hal’s the only living interaction Wall-E has for the film's mostly wordless opening stretch, so he’s around for a bit. Sadly he stays on Earth when Wall-E leaves.

Lasting Impression: According to the film’s press kit, Hal’s named after producer Hal Roach. That reference also extends to the infamous computer in 2001: A Space Odyssey . You don't forget a name like that in a hurry.

Crush in Finding Nemo

The Character: Crush is, like, totally old... dude. He’s 150, to be exact. Doesn’t stop him from cruising the EAC as nimbly as his nipper offspring, though. A purveyor of 'fins off' parenting, he gives clownfish Marlin some inadvertent tips on how to bring up the young 'uns without suffocating them.

Screen-time: One scene. Saving Marlin from killer jellyfish, Crush helps him on his way as Marlin searches the ocean for his son.

Lasting Impression: He so, totally, rocks! A massive crowd-pleaser, Crush keeps it real and we like that. He's also responsible for a whole generation of pre-teens adding the word "dude" to their expanding vocabulary.

“Righteous! Righteous!”

Abominable Snowman (aka Yeti) in Monsters, Inc.

The Character: “Abominable! Can you believe that? Do I look abominable to you?”

Poor old Yeti used to be in the employ of Monsters, Inc. But he got fired (probably for not being scary enough) and ended up banished to the Himalayas.

Screen-time: Another one-scener. When Mike and Sully are similarly banished, Yeti welcomes them into his open cave and looks after them.

Lasting Impression: Now there’s a lesson here, kiddies. He looks mean, but he’s actually cute as a button. An “Adorable Snowman”, if you will. One of the many highlights of Monsters, Inc.

Bullseye in Toy Story 2

The Character: Bullseye was once the trusted steed of cowboy Woody, and a star in his own right on Woody’s Roundup . The toy version that we meet in Toy Story 2 is a sweet, voiceless collectable item.

A fair bit from about the midway point of the film. More than Emperor Zurg, at least.

Lasting Impression: Once Woody arrives at Al’s apartment, Bullseye quickly endears himself to the cowboy, and to us. His character verges on Wallace & Gromit homage, with his big eyes doing much of the emoting. Expect him to turn up in Toy Story 3 .

Mater in Cars

The Character: Originally a shiny new powder blue shade, International Harvester L-170 Mater has rusted down to almost nothing.

His hood is MIA, while his left headlight has been lost to time. He’s a gentle and kind soul, though, even if he is on his last wheels.

Screen-time: The vehicular hillbilly gets his fair share of screen time and boasts more than a few moments in the spotlight – even if it is mostly for being a bit long in the tooth.

Lasting Impression: “I don’t care who you are, that’s funny right theeerrre,” the buck-toothed automobile guffaws, seducing us with his hick charms.

Cars was Pixar’s first filmic skid, garnering less favourable buzz than its predecessors. But Mater will forever live in our hearts, the barmy rust bucket.

Anton Ego in Ratatouille

The Character: Voiced by Peter O’Toole, Ego is a savage and unforgiving food critic. His reviews can elevate a restaurant to leader of the pack, or have it condemned.

Free of humour or any discernable saving graces, Ego is nicknamed the ‘Grim Eater’ and widely considered responsible for Chef Auguste Gusteau’s untimely death. See, Gusteau died not long after Ego removed a star from his restaurant.

Screen-time: Ego is a mostly-absent threat who only makes a few cursory appearances.

Lasting Impression: That final scene, where a plate of ratatouille transports Ego back to a happy childhood is a great moment and set the bar high for any following Pixar adventures.

Heimlich in A Bugs Life

The Character: “Someday I will be a beautiful butterfly, sen everything will be better!”

A clown in PT Flea’s circus troupe, Heimlich is of German descent and a chirpy little fella. Like most characters of gross proportion, he just loves to eat. And dreams of one day spreading his wings.

Screen-time: An instrumental part of various rescue missions against the villainous grasshoppers means Heimlich gets quite a bit of screen-face action.

Lasting Impression: Hilariously voiced and grossly endearing (ahem). The bit where Heimlich sprouts tiny little butterfly wings is a highlight of A Bug's Life . We want A Butterfly's Life soon, please.

Deb in Finding Nemo

The Character: Ordered by mail to take up residence in a dentist’s tank, life as an incarcerated fish hasn’t been kind to Deb. In short, she’s gone a bit nuts, and thinks her reflection is her sister Flo...

Screen-time: She only gets a few lines here and there, but Deb effectively demonstrates to little Nemo that life on the inside is no life at all.

Lasting Impression: Probably more memorable as part of the fish tank ensemble, we’re still hopeful Deb will make a belated reappearance in another Pixar movie. Maybe one called Finding Flo ...

Roz in Monsters, Inc.

The Character: Whiny, miserable old slimebag (no, really, we’re not being unkind, she’s really quite slimy) Roz is the keymaster for Scare Floor F.

She’s a bit of a rockin’ granny, with a hella-cool Mohawk and some very ‘now’ horn-rimmed glasses. Rumours persist that she’s somehow related to Jabba The Hutt.

Screen-time: Roz pops up here and there with a moan and a gripe.

Lasting Impression: With those ever pervasive Monsters, Inc. 2 whispers refusing to fade, we can’t help but wonder if Roz would take a more dominant role in a sequel after revealing herself as lead agent of the Child Detection Agency.

If not, she could always pair up with Jabba for Star Roz ...

Josh Winning has worn a lot of hats over the years. Contributing Editor at Total Film, writer for SFX, and senior film writer at the Radio Times. Josh has also penned a novel about mysteries and monsters, is the co-host of a movie podcast, and has a library of pretty phenomenal stories from visiting some of the biggest TV and film sets in the world. He would also like you to know that he "lives for cat videos..." Don't we all, Josh. Don't we all.