Give a person a fish, they eat for a day. Teach a person to fish? They’re going to pull in the top 10 fish cartoon characters in cinema history, and who can blame them?
Let’s be grateful we’re talking about creatures that live in the water, because we’re all about to get thirsty.
These aren’t your Long John Silvers’ fish sticks, they’re not your local pub’s fish and chips. These are gilled creatures you want to smash like you were brawling with Mario and Pikachu. Or maybe it’s just a tongue-in-cheek article to make you laugh while you’re on the tube/toilet. Either way, your eyes are in for a seafood feast that even Poseidon himself would envy.
For decades, animated movies have captivated audiences with their unforgettable and iconic characters that strike a chord with viewers. These animated figures have the power to stir up an array of emotions, ranging from laughter to empathy, and can even become emblematic representations of the movies they grace. In this article, we’ll not only admire the visual charm of these aquatic characters but also explore their impact on the films they inhabit and their meaningful contributions to the realm of animation.
Aquaman, Justice League/Various (played by Jason Momoa)
We’re starting you off in the shallow end of the pool with an obvious choice: Jason Mamoa’s Aquaman. First appearing in Joss Whedon’s Justice League, a movie pretty much universally panned except for this hot piece of fish tail right here, he’s been making waves with audiences since the Conan remake and his Game of Thrones roles, but he truly became a household name with this wet and wild role. You know you’d be lying if you said you didn’t want to share a long piece of kelp with him, eating from opposite ends a la Lady and the Tramp.
Mer-Man, Zoolander (played by Ben Stiller)
While this movie only features Mer-Man Derek Zoolander for a little bit, the impact he made on our hearts and other parts is impossible to measure. It showcases Derek Zoolander’s versatility as a model and adds a humorous touch to the movie. This memorable cameo leaves viewers wondering what other absurdly delightful personas Zoolander has up his sleeve.
If I was in charge of the script, the movie would’ve been Aquariumlander with Mer-Men and Mermaids with Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Will Ferrell, and the rest of the cast in fishtails the entire time. In the film, Derek sees himself in his Mer-Man ad as he tries to forget about his modeling career. In the ad, he says, “wetness is the essence of beauty”, predicting this list way ahead of its time. One of the funniest fish movies ever made.
Lola, Shark Tale (voiced by Angelina Jolie)
Sending thrills and chills to your gills, up next is Angelina Jolie’s uncanny valley femme fish-tale, Lola from Shark Tale. Someone, somewhere thought up the idea, “what if we took big names in Hollywood like Jolie and Will Smith then turned them into sexy aquatic creatures?” Whoever that man, woman, or plankton is, I want to shake their fin, because damn, have you seen the lips on this fish? They give real Jolie’s lips a run for her sand dollars.
Lola’s character adds intrigue and complexity to the underwater world of Shark Tale, as her charm and seductiveness often leave other characters swimming in circles.
Mrs Puff, Spongebob Squarepants (voiced by Mary Jo Catlett)
We’re not talking about this or this… we’re talking about this. Mrs. Puff is a thicc pufferfish who will make anyone sing Van Halen’s “Hot for Teacher”. She’s Bikini Bottom’s most eligible bachelorette with charms so undeniable, even Mr. Krabs opens his wallet to shower her in gifts in the “Krusty Love” episode. Real pufferfish are often toxic if you ingest them, but who wouldn’t die for a taste of this underwater hotty? I’d even let Spongebob Squarepants drive me around for some of that sweet Puff.
Mrs. Puff’s unwavering patience and dedication to teaching Spongebob how to drive adds a touch of relatability to the show. As a caring and responsible educator, her character helps to ground the series in a sense of realism amidst the zany antics of Bikini Bottom.
Bruce The Shark, Finding Nemo (voiced by Barry Humphries)
Sharks are perfect partners – so many rows of teeth for love bites. Bruce the Shark, from Pixar’s fish movie Finding Nemo and named after Jaws‘ prop shark, is no exception. He’s big, he’s a health-conscious vegetarian, and he’s great with kids. He’s got the bad boy looks with a golden heart and some real big shark dick energy. Plus, who can resist a shark with an Australian accent?
Bruce the Shark’s struggle to overcome his natural instincts and become a vegetarian reflects the film’s theme of personal growth and transformation. His character’s journey to self-acceptance adds depth and poignancy to the adventurous tale of Finding Nemo.
Ariel, The Little Mermaid (voiced by Jodi Benson)
Haunting the dreams of anyone who grew up watching the Little Mermaid with her siren song, Ariel makes the list as the hottest fish character in a Disney movie. She’s a fiery redhead with a shell bra and a total babe. In fact, her whole family is hot – King Triton has nipples on his pecs that could cut glass. In the beloved Disney fish film, she risks it all to get some lovin’ from a human, so we know our readers are at least partially her type. In the end, she even becomes fully human, avoiding the problem that plagued Futurama’s Fry; “Why couldn’t she be the other kind of mermaid; with the fish part on top and the lady part on the bottom?” Just don’t look up what happens to her in the original Hans Christian Andersen story.
Ariel’s curiosity and determination to explore the world beyond the sea drive the central narrative of The Little Mermaid. Her character’s brave pursuit of love and self-discovery has inspired generations of viewers to follow their hearts and dreams.
Larry the Lobster, Spongebob Squarepants (voiced by Mr. Lawrence)
When big Larry came ‘round just to put him down, Spongebob turned into a clown, and I melted into a puddle of hot boiling lobster love. Larry the Lobster is the biggest muscle daddy in Bikini Bottom, and his persona screams power bottom. He may not be the most famous fish character, but he can get it. I write fan mail to Spongebob creator Stephen Hillenburg every day hoping he’ll set me up with this ripped crustacean, but all I get back is a reminder of the restraining order he took out against me. Doesn’t he know we all want to see this tasty meal covered in a wedge of lemon and butter and served with a few new potatoes? Life is hard for us fish freaks.
Larry the Lobster’s character epitomizes the idea of a strong and confident role model, inspiring others in Bikini Bottom to pursue fitness and healthy living. His presence in the series adds a layer of aspiration, encouraging characters and viewers alike to strive for personal improvement.
Kit Fisto, Star Wars, Episode II: Attack of the Clones (played by Zachariah Jensen)
What phrase comes to mind when you think of the Star Wars prequels? Worst movies ever, right? For one reason only: they killed the sexy, tentacle-haired Nautolan before he had a shirtless scene. I will forever hold a grudge against George Lucas for this. Luckily, he’s minorly atoned for this crime against his fanbase by including Kit Fisto in the Star Wars spin-off Clone Wars cartoons. I just want to reenact the infamous Japanese octopus painting, Dream of a Fisherman’s Wife, with his hair. Is that too much to ask?
As a skilled Jedi Knight and a member of the Nautolan species, Kit Fisto adds a layer of diversity and uniqueness to the Star Wars universe. His character’s distinctive appearance and combat prowess contribute to the rich tapestry of species and cultures in the galaxy far, far away.
Hot Squidward, Spongebob Squarepants (voiced by Rodger Bumpass)
You didn’t think we’d end this list without including this cranky, clarinet-playing bad boy? He even has hot in his name. Hot Squidward is the Mona Lisa of animated fish. The creators of the show knew that fans were drooling any time old Squiddles came on the screen, and they gave us this tempting piece of tentacled fan service right here. Who cares if his looks only came from a horrible accident? Sometimes you gotta suffer for beauty, baby. His suffering paid off, as this iteration of this intellectual cephalopod became a meme with staying power.
Hot Squidward’s transformation showcases the character’s potential for change and growth, offering a refreshing break from his usual grumpy demeanor. This fan-favorite version of Squidward brings a sense of levity to the series and reminds viewers that even the most unlikely characters can surprise us.
Goldeen, Pokemon (voiced by Rachael Lillis ((English version))
In my most recent text to Goldeen, I told her, “there may be over 900 Pokemon, but you’re the only one I need.” I know, I know what you’re thinking – 1) that’s pretty corny, and 2) police, help, this man on the internet is lusting after an actual fish. However, I need to remind you that this is a silly list meant to make you laugh, and I’ve lost all control over my life due to my obsession with this pocket monster. Please, send help or send me this foxy water type.
Goldeen’s elegant design and graceful swimming style make it a visually stunning addition to the Pokemon roster. As a Water-type Pokemon, its presence in battles and competitions has made it a fan favorite, adding variety and excitement to the world of Pokemon.
In conclusion, these animated fish characters not only captivate us with their stunning designs and vibrant colors but also play significant roles in their respective films. They contribute to the storytelling and emotional depth of the movies, leaving a lasting impact on viewers. By appreciating these characters, we also celebrate the creative genius of the animators, voice actors, and filmmakers who brought them to life and enriched the world of animation.
Now that we’ve dived into the depths of cinema’s hottest fish characters, it’s your turn to weigh in! Did we miss any of your favorites, or do you agree with our top picks? Share your thoughts in the comments below and let’s keep this fishy conversation swimming!
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Jon Holmes is a writer based in the UK. Alongside his work writing for film, he is a multi-accoladed filmmaker in his own right, and also performs. He can be followed on Youtube at Hans HS and on Twitter on @jonnyjonjon1