Our Top 20 Characters | Page II

(11) Luta

From the Russian 3D computer-animated film The Snow Queen by Wizart Animation.
Species: Weasel, non-specific

Luta is the pet of the main character Gerda. She does not know how to speak, and accompanies the girl in the first part of the film. In the following sequel, Luta becomes the companion of another character – the troll Orm.

Although no specific weasel species was given, its likely Luta is either a long-tailed weasel or stoat in her white winter coat.

(12) Mr. Badger

From the 1996 TVC (Television Cartoons) animated film The Willows in Winter.
Species: European badger

There have been many animated versions of The Wind in the Willows, but few capture Mr. Badger’s species as well as this. It’s only a shame all the least weasels and stoats in this film looked like wrinkled shrews…

Out of the 3 other badger species and 2 of their distant relatives with “badger” in their common name, more than half of the badgers that appear in animation are European badgers.

(13) Kesha (Russian: соболя Кеши)

From the animated cartoon Старые знакомые.
Species: Sable

Kesha the sable was the mascot of the V Winter Spartakiad of Peoples of the USSR in 1982 and 1984, and become one of the most recognizable symbols of the era. In the year 2000, Kesha became the mascot of winter Siberia in Altai Baranul. In 2004 he once again became the mascot for the Olympic Winter of Krasnoyarsk in the Games of the Peoples of Siberia.

There are many amazing quality trinkets of this character representing the Spartakiad of Peoples of the USSR. Learn more about Kesha and his creator at the Kasyanovsky House.

(14) Name Unknown

From the Yakari television series. (EP114 – A Wolverine in Need)
Species: Wolverine

We actually found a wolverine in animation that has nothing to do with Marvel Comics… This wolverine appears to either have a cold, or dealing with allergies; as he sneezes a lot throughout the episode. He also appears to have trouble seeing well.

Considering we rarely see an actual wolverine in animation, the animators did a decent job capturing the anatomy and movements of this character’s species.

(15) The Otters

From the Disney/Pixar animated film Finding Dory.
Species: Sea otters

These sea otters live in the fictional Marine Life Institute of Morro Bay, California. Many of these sea otters appear in the film, and they’re all portrayed very well. A few even escape their exhibits and come up with a plan to be reunited with their loved ones still in captivity.

(16) Wooster Q. Weasel, alias T.C. “The Creeper”

From the Animalia Productions television series Animalia.
Species: Long-tailed weasel

T.C is a male long-tailed weasel who is the main antagonist of the Animalia series. Not much is known about his past other than he was once a decent ruler of Animalia, and friend of the current ruler, Livingstone T. Lion. Something happened along the way which caused him to become an oppressing tyrant. After being banished from Animalia, he became obsessed with revenge and overthrowing his old friend to once more become ruler of Animalia. Unlike most cartoon villains, T.C. is well-spoken, very intelligent, cunning and manipulative; using these skills to his advantage.

The animators captured his long-tailed weasel anatomy and movements very well. However, there is one issue—mainly their decision to give him almost bird-like hind paws, which don’t seem to match the same style or level of detail as the rest of his body. Despite this minor issue, he looks more than decent to make this list.

(17) Name Unknown

From the Nickelodeon Animation Studio animated series The Wild Thornberrys. (S2E15 – Show Me the Bunny)
Species: Stoat

Throughout this episode, a stoat attempts to catch an arctic hare that eludes him due to Eliza protecting the creature. He waits for what seems like weeks outside Eliza’s family RV (because his coat changes from summer, to an autumn transition, to pure ermine by the end of the episode). This is an interesting episode that actually teaches viewers a few things about stoats. Like how its coat changes colours, how stoats will focus on one hare while hunting and pose no threat to other nearby hares, and how they reputedly confuse or disorient their prey by performing a dance. (sometimes referred to as the “weasel war dance”).

This is a great representation of a stoat in its natural habitat, but for all the anatomy detail and knowledge of the species shown in this episode, the stoat’s iconic black-tipped tail is missing; making it look more like a dark-eyed white ferret or farm-bred mink. This stoat was clearly not meant to be albino either, because it changes coats throughout the episode. Also the summer coat phase of this character looks nothing at all like a stoat… not even close. Despite these overlooked details, the rare educational value of this episode helped this stoat make the list.

(18) Badger

From the Nelvana animated television series Franklin.
Species: American badger

Badger is a young female badger who is disabled, and must use crutches to move about. Despite this, she is still capable of climbing. Though afraid of public speaking, Badger is kind, intelligent and helpful. Although it is not officially stated on the show, according to the official Nelvana character description of her, Badger has cerebral palsy. She appears in several episodes. Both her mother and father appear in the series as well.

American badgers in animation are rare compared to European badgers. It is also refreshing to see a mustelid character bringing attention to youth with disabilities; giving children with special needs a character they can relate to and be inspired by.

(19) Names Unknown

From the Kratt Brothers Company animated television series Wild Kratts. (S4E11 – The Other Martins)
Species: American martens

These two martens appear in this educational children’s series that teaches biology, zoology, and ecology. Each episode typically starts off as live action, then turns into animation, as the two Kratts brothers put on suits to share the powers of the animals they are studying, to save them from certain threats. This series is surprisingly informative for its targeted audience, which is nothing short of a rare gem. The animation is very simple, but pretty accurate in regard to anatomy and fur patterns all things considered.

Although they call the martens in this episode “pine martens”, they are referring to the American marten, and not the European pine marten. This cartoon series also feature a few other mustelids, such as the Asian small-clawed otter (S3E13 – Slider, the Otter), the black-footed ferret (S3E3 – Bandito: The Black-Footed Ferret), and the honey badger (S1E10 – Honey Seekers).

(20) Pantalaimon (stoat form)

From the New Line Cinema, BBC One and HBO TV series Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials.
Species: Stoat

This is British fantasy TV series is based on the book series of the same title by Philip Pullman. Pantalaimon is a dæmon, and is the companion of the heroine Lyra Belacqua in the series. He changes into many forms, but among his favorite is the stoat. According to an article written by Intelligent Life magazine in 2007, Leonardo da Vinci’s Lady with an Ermine portrait helped inspire Mr. Pullman to create the character.

Similar to the European pine marten form of Pantalaimon, this stoat form is depicted quite well for CGI, and appears to always be in ermine. Pantalaimon’s personality in the book series is portrayed as a cautious and level-headed counterpoint to Lyra’s impulsive, inquisitive, and sometimes reckless character.

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