At a party over the weekend a deliciously nerdy debate broke out about two things. One, what cartoon is the sexiest of all? And two, whether it is acceptable or creepy to find animated characters sexually attractive?

Fueled by strong margaritas, a battle against the rising sun, and too many active imaginations on one patio, the group came to the unanimous decision that sexy animated characters are just an added bonus from the directors to our awaiting eyes.

These characters are generated to appeal to both children and adults, and just like in tradition film the actors need to be attractive enough to keep us locked in. But what does our animated crush say about us?

Sexpot

We cannot have a discussion about the sexiness of animated heroes and heroines without nodding our head to the two queens of sexy—Jessica Rabbit and Betty Boop. Alone, these two buxom ladies stand as icons of animation, one is a genuine original from the early days of animated porn (and eventual cleaning up and mainstreaming). The other is a red-headed trophy wife completely comfortable with her husband motor-boating her chest in front of drooling on-lookers. They were both created for male ogling, and not even the most disciplined person can refrain from staring at the pieces of animated flesh on display.

Together briefly in 1989’s Who Framed Roger Rabbit, the two sexpots were able to appear next to each other on screen – Jessica, the torch singer and Betty, the cigarette girl at the club. The stable and popular icon of the sexification before World War II and her modern-day equivalent full of 80s Regan-era sexual energy and roundness mirrored each other, despite their differences in costume and construction. With that combined sex appeal, it’s incredible that movie screens didn’t melt. Today, Jessica Rabbit has far surpassed Betty Boop as the sexiest of sexy animated women, however both ladies will continue to dance circles around any babes coming after them. Remember, it did take over 50 years for anyone to overtake Ms. Boop.

Hipster Chic

While Jessica and Betty sit happily on their throne made of wet dreams and awkward feelings “down there,” a couple of animated men and one pretty princess turned self-awareness into an art form. The influence of the cigarette smoking, beret-wearing, too-cool-for-establishment Beatniks is seen all over Disney’s Robin Hood (Robin Hood) and Tramp (Lady and the Tramp). Yes, they both appear on screen as animals, but their attitude is what separates them from their contemporaries. They are selfish creatives and grifters who both hone their sights in on two ladies above their stations. Robin seduces the cloistered Maid Marian with his Devil May Care attitude and foxy sensibilities, showing her a world beyond the walls of the Prince’s castle walls. His sly, mysterious nature keeps Marion returning, even though she knows he’s bad news, and it’s that sex appeal that makes him both intriguing and untrustworthy—just like the best beatnik. I mean, he even has a band of bearded merry men. If that’s not enough to guarantee his hipsterdom then I’ll eat my shoe.

Meanwhile, Tramp is exactly that, a tramp. He grifts everyone around him, even having a sordid pre-Lady fling with a saucy Shitzu named Trixie before he settled into suburban-bliss with the woman who fixes him. Unlike Robin, Tramp does leave his thieving past behind him with the help of the genteel Lady who is completely responsible for his changing ways. He is the perfect fantasy of any woman who truly believes the bad boy can not only be redeemed but also assimilates into her world.

Redeemable Bad Boy

Speaking of redeemable bad boys, let’s talk about my favorite almost lost causes, Dimitri from Anastasia and Beauty and the Beast’s Beast. These two are the epitome of reformed bad boys. Dimitri cons Anastasia into believing she’s the surviving Romanoff heir so he can collect the reward money, but once she finds out he lied to her confesses his love and misdeeds. He repents for his actions, and growing up I truly believed any man who said “I’m sorry for lying” would turn out be just as secretly devastated as Dimitri. Ah, to be young and adorable again.

Despite his con artist past, Dimitri was a dream boat. He was the first cartoon character who made me fantasize about him, and not just a real boy who acted or looked like him. Girl confession: I may have even bought pencils with his face on them just so I could hold him in my hand. Yes, even at 12 I was already excited about holding boys.

Beast, on the other hand, took a little more work than Dimitri when it came to atoning for his past indiscretions. Luckily, Belle patiently put up with her kidnapping and hostage situation. She taught him about falling in love, despite his gnarly outward appearance directly reflecting the man inside, and he offered her protection, comfort, and support she hungered for from a partner. Together, they repaired each other, and in the end they fit together better than any other royal Disney coupling.

Royal We

There is just something so appealing about animated royals. Disney spends so much energy simplifying the fairy tale love between each royal couple. Kids leave the theater wanting to be princesses and in between hand twirls, adults ponder the realities of that lifestyle. Yes, it sounds pretty fantastic to be a princess, however when you think it over you realize you are a glorified babymaker and your darling hubby not only owns you but can also own a bunch of other women. That reality is why the fantasy works so well for Disney, a company dedicated to controlled individuality. We all want to feel special, that there is something separating us from all the other girls and boys out there, and the love between glamorous royal cartoons and their less royal (or royal in alternative kingdoms) co-stars encourage the viewer to buy into the well devised superiority inherent in royalty.

That brings us to the three sexiest animated royals. They stand above the overwhelming number of princes and princesses, fighting with their brains and sense of wonder just as much as with their good looks and supportive seashells. Sleeping Beauty is just as much Prince Philip’s story as it is Aurora’s. He falls in love freely with his future princess, unaware that she is also his betrothed. His dedication to her not because of their pre-determined bond, but rather his love and affection for the young princess makes him both gallant and sexy as hell.

Princesses Jasmine (Aladdin) and Ariel (The Little Mermaid) are both ladies of leisure who chose to flee their destined lives for something far beyond them. They are both beautiful, captivating, charming women who garner more attention than they can handle. As Ariel is recently 16, she remains sheltered by her father King Triton, who for some reason also lets his young daughter swim around with her boobs flapping in the water, but I digress. Her protective father is eventually replaced by a goofy, underdeveloped human prince who falls in love with her beautiful face. The film is most known for its intense close-ups of Ariel’s huge blue eyes, swimming in a mixture of tears and salt as her heart longs for something requiring feet.  While she is a perfect example of the sexification of innocent animation, Disney does a delightfully subtle job of both objectifying and toning down her Lolita qualities. She may swim around naked-ish for the majority of the film, but when she’s human she remains more than covered up. Those saucy mermaids, bearing all for everyone.

Obviously animated filmmakers create characters for children, but that doesn’t mean they intentionally make them fluffy or ugly. On the contrary, as the decades pass animated characters continue to get sexier. And it’s really not that creepy to think some dirty thoughts about them.

Drop that eyebrow and read more Reel Sex


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