50 Greatest Talking Movie Animals

Howard the Duck

The Real Animal: Um, a duck. Has a bill instead of a mouth. And webbed feet.

The Movie Animal: Howard’s an alien, which instantly makes him awesome. His film’s a not-entirely-successful cult curio, but Howard himself is a wise-cracking flapper that we can’t help loving.

Best Quote: “That’s it, no more Mr. Nice Duck.”

Jiminy Cricket in Pinocchio

The Real Animal: A cricket – yeah those annoying things that sky-bomb you when you’re in the garden, then play strings all night when you’re trying to sleep.

The Movie Animal: Not just a cricket, but also Pinocchio’s conscience, Jiminy’s a chipper little fellow with some really natty togs.

Best Quote: “You buttered your bread. Now sleep in it!”

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

T he Real Animal: Turtles, of course, though in real life they’re generally not human-sized.

The Movie Animals: They’re not exactly the smartest quartet, but the TMNT sure are handy with a weapon or two. They also sound like surfers (a clear inspiration for Finding Nemo ), and have an appetite for pizza. What’s not to love?

Best Quote: Leonardo: We were awesome!
Michaelangelo: Bodacious!
Raphael: Bitchin'!
Donatello: Uh...
Michaelangelo: Gnarly!
Leonardo: Radical!
Raphael: Totally tubular, dude!
Michaelangelo: Wicked!
Leonardo: Hellacious!
Donatello: Uh, mega...

Mickey Mouse

The Real Animal: Another mouse, though we’ve never seen one that looks quite like this.

The Movie Animal: Probably the most recognisable talking animal on this list, and the logo for Walt Disney Pictures. Mickey’s starred in over 180 long and short films, making him the most prolific Disney character ever.

Best Quote: “She likes my body and my mind. In the same place, that is.” (in short Runaway Brain)

Bletch in Meet The Feebles

The Real Animal: A walrus, notable for their massive tusks and whiskery faces.

The Movie Animal: A blue walrus, Bletch is manipulative, miserable and stand-offish. He directs porn on the side and has mob connections. A deliciously sinister character in a mad little film.

Best Quote: “Do you really think people are interested in nasal sex?”

Blood in A Boy And His Dog

The Real Animal: Y’know, man’s best friend, enjoys going for walks, chasing squirrels and howling at the moon.

The Movie Animal: Blood sounds like a scholarly intellectual… except he’s a dog. Which means as well as being a telepath, he’s on a constant hunt for food – and in particular popcorn.

Best Quote: “I'd certainly say she had marvellous judgment, Albert, if not particularly good taste.”

Po in Kung Fu Panda

The Real Animal: A massive bear native to China. Loves bamboo. Like, a lot.

The Movie Animal: Son to noodle-shop-owner Mr Ping, Po is a wannabe warrior whose clumsiness generally gets in the way of him ever doing anything right. Until, that is, he learns to kick animal behind.

Best Quote: “The Sword of Heroes! Said to be so sharp you can get cut just by looking at - ow!”

Horse singers in Three Amigos!

The Real Animal: Horses again. They’re generally accompanied by flies and the rotting smell of sun-baked faeces.

The Movie Animals: The amigos discover, quite by accident, that their horses have the ability to sing – which comes in handy when you’re sitting round a campfire with nothing to do.

Best Quote: “Good Night, Ned!”

Falcor in The Neverending Story

The Real Animal: A luck dragon. Which sadly doesn’t exist in our world.

The Movie Animal: He’s got an infectious laugh that’s like a foghorn, one of the most addictive smiles ever – and he likes getting scratched behind the ear. And did we mention he can fly?

Best Quote:
“Having a luck dragon with you is the only way to go on a quest.”

Timothy Q Mouse in Dumbo

The Real Animal: The last mouse on this list, we promise.

The Movie Animal: A little critter with a massive heart, Timothy Q Mouse is a force of nature, single-handedly helping Dumbo become the “ninth wonder of the universe” by teaching him to fly. Whatta fella.

Best Quote: “You all oughta be ashamed of yourselves. A bunch of big guys like you, pickin' on a poor little orphan like him. Suppose you was torn away from your mother when you was just a baby…” etc

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.