Research: On-Screen Animals – Who is the Champion?

February 24, 2022

More time at home has meant that there has been a profound increase in the number of us sitting in front of the television set. Deciding what to watch is always tough but there’s always that age-old question... “What should we watch?” We solve this by Googling recommendations, of course.

But not all bugs, mice and rats are pests, some critters chose the glitzier path towards Hollywood and the big-screen. And to great success too. There has been a 60% increase in Google Searches of famous on-screen animals stars in 2021 compared to 2019.

So we thought, why not help screen-lovers with a handy ranking table of all the very best on-screen animals.

We have trawled through millions of Instagram hashtags, eBay merchandise listings and Google News postings, along with billions of Google Searches to reveal the very best on-screen animals. This handy interactive tool sheds some light on the very best...

Best On-screen animals

Before we split the animals into separate groups (see below), we decided to give each an overall ranking. From Spiderman to Yogi Bear and from Peppa Pig to Krypto the Superdog.

Spiderman actually ranks at the top of our scoring, pipping Black Widow, Godzilla and Batman to the top place. Stitch from Lilo & Stitch makes up the top five - an alien dog may be a little far fetched but he was just too cute to ignore.

The notorious Spiderman ranks as the most popular amongst the press with over 11,000,000 recent Google News results - way over the average searches per on-screen animal of around 1,300,000. Batman is the second most popular on-screen animal with the press with just 100,000 fewer results than Spiderman. Truly a battle for the ages.

Black Widow - the superhero based on her arachnid namesake - ranks as the biggest riser in terms of online popularity with searches for the hero up 900% from 2018 to 2021. Remy from Ratatouille has also seen a high increase over the past few years. Peppa Pig and Antman have seen decreases, maybe time for them to retire to their respective cartoon universes permanently.

Another icon of the cartoon animal world Woody Woodpecker has been named as the worst on-screen animal. The data reveals that Woody ranks towards the bottom for social media presence, press presence and Google searches.

On-screen animals found around the home

Removing the super animal dominance of the overall rank, we can start to analyse common animals from around the home. Stitch the alien dog ranks as the best thanks to its merchandise. Snoopy and Garfield also make the top four for on-screen cartoons typically found around the house, beating Scooby Doo and Tweety to top rankings.

On-screen animals found around the home and the farm

Going into the sticks, it is Mickey Mouse and Jerry that dominate the on-screen animals from the farm. Mickey Mouse has the biggest social media presence of all with Jerry being named the most popular with the press. Donald Duck beats Daffy Duck in the big battle of the ducks and Sonic beats Alvin the Chipmunk in the battle of the four legged critters.

Wild Animals We Are Wild For

Further afield from the house and the farm are animals in the jungle and forests. Simba from The Lion King is crowned the wild on-screen animal champions with a high social presence in the category and the second most Google News results - second to just the Pink Panther. Dumbo also appears in the top performers here, alongside Winnie the Pooh and Bambi.


Our new on-screen animal ranking index combines four data points: online search popularity, social media presence, eBay merchandise listings and press popularity. We have combined each on-screen character's score to create a ranking per datapoint and an overall ranking. We have carefully selected the most popular lead animal characters from some of the biggest on-screen productions.

We've turned our houses upside down, headed into the jungle, scoured farmland and even been into extravagant super dimensions to categorise the on-screen animals. Of course, we know that an alien dog is a far fetched domesticated pet but then again it has been a while since we have seen a talking duck of a farm! There are over 125,000,000 Instagram hashtags, 7,000,000 eBay listings and 2,000,000,000 Google searches in this study - admittedly we haven't gone through all of those searches but we think that's a pretty thorough job.