October 21st, 2011
11:10 AM ET
From the moment Disney’s Steamboat Willie short enthralled audiences back in 1928, cartoons have been an indelible part of American culture. We couldn’t get enough of these whimsical animations, many of which reflected uplifting cartoon escapades.
Not today, however. In honor of Charlie Brown's annual return to TV next week with "It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown," we're celebrating the top five animated anomalies who weren't made of rainbows and cheer.
Whether you find them depressing, grumpy, melancholy or simply misunderstood (as we like to call them), tell us which characters we missed with your own list in the comments.
1. Charlie Brown - Let’s see, his famous line is “good grief,” and he wasn’t even happy on Christmas. On the bright side, he inspired the hilarious “Charlie Brown walk” gag on “Arrested Development.”
2. Moe Szyslak – I’ve strayed from “The Simpsons” in recent years, but some of my favorite moments occurred when we were given glimpses of Moe’s miserable existence. The most hilarious sad sack on the list, Moe is lonely, bitter and prone to oversharing.
3. Casper The Friendly Ghost – You just had to root for this adorable apparition with the meek voice and pudgy cheeks. After trying to find a friend and getting rebuffed every time, finally the cutest fox joins up with Casper but then, ZOMG - hunters KILL the fox.
And just when you think it couldn’t get any bleaker, Casper is BURYING his dead pal! Welcome to post-war children’s entertainment.
4. Eeyore – I'll admit, I don't get Eeyore. Hundred Acre Wood was an idyllic hamlet where an abundance of honey-fueled animals teamed up for mischievous adventures. What’s not to like? It’s not like somebody FORCED Eeyore to make his house out of flimsy twigs.
5. Daria Morgendorffer – Daria’s deadpan delivery was an awl puncturing the social fabric of any situation. She was Charlie Brown on steroids and became the queen of the disaffected, ironic crowd.
Honorable mentions: Grumpy Bear (at least he was honest about it), Meg Griffin, Wile E. Coyote (eventually you just started feeling bad for the guy), Dave Seville from “Alvin & The Chipmunks” (he could really use a decompression day at the spa), and Garfield.
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