Do you think Thumper is more adorable than Bambi? OK boomer.
There’s a generational split over which of the two stars of Disney’s 1942 animated classic is the cutest-ever TV and movie cartoon character, according to a new survey conducted by opinion-research firm YouGov. The poll found that Gen Z and millennial respondents favored Bambi — while Gen Xers and boomers picked the paw-pounding bunny Thumper.
In fact, Thumper placed No. 9 among the younger cohort. Meanwhile, “The Lion King’s” Nala — No. 2 among Gen Z/millennials — wasn’t even in the older group’s Top 10.
Here’s the breakdown of America’s picks of the cutest cartoon characters by generational groups of the cartoon characters:
|Gen Z/Millennials||Gen X/Boomers|
|Character||Win %||Character||Win %|
|2||Nala (“The Lion King”)||74.7%||Bambi||85.3%|
|3||Simba (“The Lion King”)||72.2%||Lady (“Lady and the Tramp”)||79.5%|
|4||Lady (“Lady and the Tramp”)||72.1%||Tweety (Looney Tunes)||79.4%|
|5||Winnie the Pooh||72.0%||Lucky (“101 Dalmatians”)||77.8%|
|6||Yoshi (Nintendo)||71.2%||Patch (“101 Dalmatians”)||75.8%|
|7||Patch (“101 Dalmatians”)||70.9%||Winnie the Pooh||74.3%|
|8||Kirby (Nintendo)||69.4%||Snoopy (“Peanuts”)||73.1%|
|10||Berlioz (“The Aristocats”)||67.0%||Simba (“The Lion King”)||72.6%|
What inspired this urgent examination of the question over which of Hollywood’s anthropomorphic toons are the most appealing?
Much of the recent research from U.K.-based YouGov has centered around the COVID-19 crisis, and the firm decided the project would serve as some welcome “counterprogramming,” according to a spokesperson. The company plans to launch a “Cuteness Tracker” on its website, which will be populated in the coming months with new characters, in the hopes it “will have a special kind of resonance,” the rep said.
For the record, the overall winner across all age groups was Thumper — by a nose, beating out Bambi by just one-tenth of a percentage point. Those two were followed by Lady, Patch, Winnie the Pooh, Lucky, Tweety, Simba, Nala and Dumbo.
For the survey, YouGov generated a list of 114 characters based on suggestions from 448 panelists; only fictional, non-human characters were included. It then polled 2,485 U.S. adults, randomly assigning each respondent 20 different characters, which appeared in 10 head-to-head matchups. For each pairing, respondents were asked to indicate the “cuter” character of the two (telling them “cute” means behaviors or traits that are “cuddly, affectionate, playful, and so on.” The characters were then scored based on their “win percentage” (i.e., how often were they selected as cuter in a head-to-head matchup).
Here’s the overall Top 20 ranking, per the survey: