There are characters in TV and movies whose bodies may be smaller, but whose personalities are huge and have influenced the parents of many toddlers at Halloween. They prove to us that physical size has little to do with the impression they make up on us. They also prove that in battle they can be just as formidable as those who tower over them, even if it means resorting to sneaky little attacks from time to time.
Some of the characters who have made an impression upon us have sung their way in to our memories, others have battled their way in fantasy novels, and still others have used their superior intellect to make others look foolish. Some are magical, some are just plain evil. Writers and directors alike have had great fun in creating these characters in a way that leaves us talking about them for years to come.
What follows is a list of the most memorable little characters who continue to be talked about and worshipped at events the world over.
10: Mini Me (Austin Powers 2&3)
Nobody said that the little guy had to be a good guy, and without saying a word, Mini Me was the biggest supporter of the evil Dr Evil. He was the result of Evil’s minions cloning him, and the little guy manages to communicate with other characters only through writing words on pieces of paper. He was also quite adapt at using his middle finger to insult Austin Powers and other characters throughout the movie, including Evil’s son Scott.
His scenes always resulted in silliness, whether it was flirting with Foxy Cleopatra, pillow fighting with Austin Powers or being flushed through a toilet into outer space. His fame continued in music videos when Verne Troyer, who played Mini Me, showed up in a Madonna video for the song Beautiful Stranger.
9: Tinkerbell (Peter Pan)
J.M. Barrie discovered a legend when he created a jealous, sometimes angry faery to flirt with Peter Pan on his adventures. In the Peter Pan books, Tinkerbell tinkered with pots and kettles so that she could fix them, hence her name. When she spoke, she made the sound of a tinkling bell.
In the movie adaptation she was given magical abilities, pixie dust, and did not speak at all, but was still quite expressive and emotional. Apparently, the reason that she is this way is that because of her size she can only hold one emotion at any time. Tinkerbell became a bit of a mascot for Disney, and to this day we continue to see her weaving her pixie dust across the screen at the beginning of any of its movies.
8: Miles Finch (Elf)
It seems Peter Dinklage is something of a go-to for playing intimidating characters onscreen. In the movie ELF he plays a character who ends up being remembered by fans primarily for getting infuriated by the ignorance of Will Ferrell’s character, Buddy. If you have seen the movie, you probably laughed your way through the scene when Dinklage’s character runs from one end of the table to another to launch himself at Buddy.
When interviewed and asked a question about his height, Dinklage said that as young man he himself had been angry at the way he was treated by many of his peers. He eventually realized he should not worry about stuff like that, recognizing that the issue was the other person’s, not his.
7: The Munchkins
There is not one character who necessarily stands out amongst the Munchkins of Wizard of Oz fame; they collectively play an influential part in the journey of Dorothy through the strange and new land she finds herself. Their sense of dress could almost be compared to the people of Panem in the Hunger Games, but their personalities could not be further from that.
They are as colorful as their clothes and skin and are especially happy when the wicked witch of the East is crushed by Dorothy’s house as she lands in Oz. It is they who point Dorothy down the yellow brick road towards the castle belonging to the powerful wizard. The film adaptation was made in 1939, and the last of the actors to play a Munchkin died this year at the age of 85.
6: The 7 Dwarves In Snow White
There were seven of them, they were all equally fantastic, and they are here together on this list. The names featured in the 1937 Snow White movie by Disney were Doc, Grumpy, Happy, Sleepy, Bashful, Sneezy, and Dopey. These names differed from those in other films, such as the more recent Mirror, Mirror, but were revived in the TV series Once Upon A Time.
Who hasn’t tried to raise their spirits by singing a little “Hi-Ho” before going off to work. As Snow White’s allies and protectors, this little band of dwarfs definitely go down as fairytale classics.
5: Dobby From Harry Potter
If you have read the Harry Potter books or watched the movies, you probably have some fondness for the character Dobby. As a house elf belonging to Lucius Malfoy, he first showed up in The Chamber of Secrets at the Dursley residence, to cause havoc and get Harry in trouble. Not only were you fond of him, you also probably felt sorry for the sorrowful character who beat himself over the head every time he had done something wrong.
Imprisoned by the Malfoy family, he is finally set free when Harry tricks Malfoy into giving him an item of clothing. After that Dobby is unceasingly loyal to Potter, so much so that he (SPOILER) gives up his life to help Potter accomplish his mission in the Deathly Hallows. Tears flowed in theaters around the world when Harry carried the limp body of Dobby up a hill to be buried in the sand.
Warwick Davis played the lead character of Willow Ufgood in the movie Willow, released to the world in 1988. As in most fantasy novels, Willow is an unsuspecting farmer, hoping only to live his life out in peace and quiet with his family. Unfortunately for him, he is tasked with protecting a young baby princess who was prophesized to bring about the end of the reign of the evil Queen Bavmorda.
Of course the friendly farmer turns into the hero, ends up fooling the queen, and ensures the safety of the young princess. The movie received mix reviews, but with the teamwork of George Lucas and Ron Howard heading it up, it was bound to be remembered for years to come.
The most powerful of all the Jedi Knights was knee-high to his contemporaries and could reduce most of them to a trembling wreck with just his mind. At 900 years of age Yoda, though shriveled and green, stood tall amongst the many unique characters of the Star Wars series.
Memes with his quotes continue to flood the social media sites of the world and those who meditate regularly hold him up as an example of the benefits of a daily practice. Without him people the world over would not know the difference between doing and trying.
2: Tyrion Lannister
Talk about Game of Thrones characters and you will hear almost all fans allude to their admiration of Tyrion, the youngest of the Lannister kin. Despised by his father for killing his mother at birth, Tyrion has grown up inside of house Lannister and treated with disdain by all those who encounter him. Only his brother Jaime shows any respect for him and protects him better than he has any king on the throne.
Tyrion finds himself in some of the most challenging situations and has almost always got out of them using his brain and those little sarcastic asides that only makes him more likable to fans.
1: Bilbo Baggins
In the beginning Hobbits were unique to Tolkien’s works, showing up in his initial blockbuster novel The Hobbit, and then later in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. It seems Tolkien chose Bilbo to show the rest of us that it is not the brave warrior with his sword, or the most magical of wizards, that ends up saving the day. As Gandalf reminds us, it is the small acts of courage of everyday people that help to reduce the amount of evil that we face on the planet.
Gentle, kind, humorous, and comfort loving, most of us can relate to the Hobbit, if not in stature, then at least in qualities that we would like to embody a little more. Morphing from a simple burglar, to the most respected of warriors, Bilbo continues to enthrall readers and moviegoers nearly a hundred years after he was first penned.