10 best animated monsters

Everyone always has a favourite… Pick yours from the 10 best animated monsters. 

Big or small, evil or cuddly: the world of animation boasts a lot of different kinds of monsters. Here are ten of the best.

The Beast, Beauty And The Beast (1991)

Despite only being a kind of part-time monster – he was originally a prince, and turns back into one at the end once he’s won the heart of the beautiful Belle – the Beast is still pretty monstrous. His design was influenced by all sorts of creatures, with Disney animators choosing to give him the head of a bison, the body of a bear, the jaws of a lion, and the legs of a wolf. You wouldn’t like him when he’s angry, but look past the teeth and fur and he’s got a heart of gold. 


Jack Skellington, The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

Pumpkin King Jack’s quest to take over Christmas and give it a Halloween makeover is a kind of cautionary tale about sticking to what you’re good at. And as a living skeleton with a ghost dog for a pet, what Jack’s really, really good at is being spooky.


Shrek, Shrek (2001)

Another lesson in looking past scary exteriors, Shrek might be a green-skinned ogre who’s more interested in keeping people out of his swamp than in making friends, but he’s just a big softy underneath. Which is more than can be said for the evil fairytale-hating Lord Farquaad…


Dracula, Monster Family (2018)

What would Dracula be into if he were living in 2018? He’s still got the imposing gothic castle and the penchant for capes, but he’s also enthusiastic about modern technology – he’s even figured out a way to deal with his thirst for blood without all the inconvenience of having to bite someone’s neck. That doesn’t mean he’s not still fearsome, though: when this Dracula sets his mind to something, he won’t let anything stand in his way. Even if that means doing something as dastardly as blocking out the sun!  Monster Family is in cinemas and on Sky Cinema from 2nd March 2018.


Count Duckula, Count Duckula (1988-1993)

Don’t offer this vampire a steaming mug of O negative – he’s much more partial to broccoli. Created as a foe for Danger Mouse, Count Duckula was popular enough to merit his own spinoff series, which chronicled his constantly-thwarted efforts to make it in showbiz.


Sulley, Monsters, Inc. (2001)

Monsters, Inc’s Best Scarer is probably also the cuddliest monster on this list. Kids might scream when he appears in their bedrooms at night – he’s got a pretty terrifying silhouette, what with the horns and the claws and the giant stature and all – but Sulley’s soft blue and purple fur makes him seem snuggly, not scary.


The Hydra, Jason And The Argonauts (1963)

Legendary stop-motion animator Ray Harryhausen created all kinds of monsters for Don Chaffey’s 1963 take on the ancient Greek myth of Jason and the golden fleece, but the Hydra was probably the most complex: the creature has seven heads, all of which had to be animated. The guardian of the fleece threw up lots of problems for the film’s hero, too; even after Jason kills the beast, he has to fight an army of skeletons that grow out of the Hydra’s teeth.


Marceline, Adventure Time (2010-2018)

Former vampire hunter Marceline ends up becoming the most powerful of them all, having absorbed the vamps’ abilities as they died. But she doesn’t use her powers for evil (often). Instead, she chooses to feed on the colour red, and often ends up helping intrepid adventurers Finn and Jake on their quests. 


Toothless, How To Train Your Dragon (2010)

Night Fury dragons are the rarest and most dangerous kind of dragon: covered in black scales to camouflage them against the night, they breathe not just fire but also lightning, wreaking destruction wherever they aim their attacks. Toothless could be really scary, then, if he weren’t so cute and loveable.

Totoro, My Neighbor Totoro (1988)

Totoro is probably Hayao Miyazaki’s most famous creation: the forest spirit, a kind of mashup of a cat, an owl, and a tanuki, now serves as Studio Ghibli’s logo. In My Neighbor Totoro, there are actually several Totoros of varying sizes, all of whom live in the forest and help distract a pair of sisters from their mother’s illness by whisking them off on a magical adventure.


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