One of the magical things about animation is that you can make your characters do anything, and while animation is expensive, you don’t have to worry about sinking millions of dollars into a scene in order for it to look “real.”
As children, we looked upon these feats of cartoonish power and thought about how awesome they were, but we rarely thought about how powerful these characters really were. When I was a kid, I thought, “cooool big explosions!” But now I think, “damn, that dude just blew up five city blocks.”
There are characters in animation like Goku and Superman that we know are super powerful, but we want to give credit where credit’s due. There are plenty of characters who don’t get mentioned enough when talking about who’s insanely powerful, and while they may not be able to destroy entire galaxies (like Goku literally can by the end of the Dragon Ball saga), they definitely bear mentioning. So, here it is, the 15 Animated Heroes You Didn’t Know Were Extremely Powerful.
This one may not be a shock, but Elsa definitely deserves to be on this list. Elsa is the Ice Queen from Frozen, which is a little Disney movie that you may have heard of. She is capable of controlling temperature, ice, and snow to dazzling effect. One of the most impressive feats that Elsa was able to perform was during that little ditty Let it Go where she was able to build an entire castle made out of ice. And that was before she was able to fully control her power! Her powers are comparable to X-Man Iceman, who is listed as a Class 5 mutant – the most powerful class of mutant possible. Once under control, it’s feasible to think that Elsa would be able to cause major destruction in large urban centers. This isn’t even mentioning that Elsa is a queen and also holds considerable influence and political power.
14. Care Bears
The Care Bears are the loving group of bears that live in the clouds and ensure that people everywhere are exposed to love and acceptance. Their arch enemy is Professor Coldheart and they use beams of concentrated happiness to fend him off, but their powers extend beyond that. In addition to their ability to perform the Care Bear Stare, they are also capable of creating objects with their bellies. Not just simple inanimate objects either, but they’ve created bridges and even cars. It has never been clear whether they’re conjuring these objects, or if they’re simply teleporting them to the necessary location, but you must consider that the Care Bears are performing some seriously powerful magic either way.
Freakazoid! was another one of those manic 90s television shows to the tune of Animaniacs and Pinky and the Brain. The premise was that high school geek, Dexter Douglas, accidentally entered a code into his computer that turned him into a blue skinned superhuman. Freakazoid has elevated strength and endurance, but also the ability to move at the speed of light. Also he knows everything that is available on the internet. He is characterized as being nice, but also insane – just like much of the internet. The concept of knowing everything that was available on the internet may have been lost to a lot of people in 1995 when the show first aired, but with the internet’s development and the philosophical ponderings that have come along with it, we can now actually grasp what that knowledge means. Aside from Wikipedia giving him knowledge in basically everything, he would also know passwords, logins, and content to pretty much everything. If his knowledge base also includes the dark web, he’d also be capable of any illicit activity going on anywhere.
Beetlejuice was a hit movie starring Michael Keaton, but if you’re like me, you probably remember him more as the animated protagonist from the cartoon of the same name. While the film’s depiction of Beetlejuice was antagonistic, the cartoon’s rendition featured a more benevolent ghost. The story is about a young girl named Lydia who often travels to the ghost world to hang out with her disgusting but well meaning friend Beetlejuice. Beetlejuice – or BJ as Lydia often called him – had the ability to change shape, conjure objects, and perform other spells. While he was only able to perform these tasks in the ghost world, it is still an impressive list of abilities.
Bender is the potty-mouthed robot that we all know and love from Futurama. Although he’s not recognized for being an overly powerful character, his feats tell another story. His basic ability is that he’s able to bend steel girders, a skill which definitely throughout the show. In the pilot, he struggles to bend iron prison bars, but later on in the show he bends an unbendable girder. He also serves as the comedic deus ex-machina for the Planet Express crew throughout the series, including being able to store anything in his chest compartment, and having any nifty device needed to save the day. The most notable feat for Bender is in Bender’s Big Score, in which he memorizes a code that sends him back in time, something he does several times throughout the movie proving that he is also nearly immortal.
Roadrunner is the mischievous protagonist from the classic Looney Tunes cartoons. The premise of the cartoons is simple. A hungry coyote tries to catch a roadrunner using various devices. While the cartoons are slapstick and benign, a closer examination of Roadrunner’s abilities show how powerful he really is. First of all, he’s fast – like really fast. Wile E. Coyote tries to catch Roadrunner using a jet pack, and not only can he not keep up, but Roadrunner switches gears and completely burns him. Roadrunner is so fast, that he’s been known rip the asphalt straight out of the ground. He also seems to have a certain amount of precognition. Wile E. Coyote takes care to hatch his plans carefully, and Roadrunner always seems to be one step ahead, not only that, but he seems to know exactly what to do for the plan to backfire in the most disastrous ways possible. I’m telling you, this bird is up to something.
9. Jake the Dog
Adventure Time is a weird but great show, and one of the main characters of the series is Jake the Dog. You may have seen images of Jake growing much larger than his regular size, but his power goes beyond that. Jake the Dog is able to grow and shape shift himself into almost anything (think T-1000 from Terminator 2). He can’t replicate complex machinery, but pretty much everything else goes, including shifting his size. It’s not just his shape shifting ability, but also his control over his powers. He was able to shape shift his liver to 51 times its normal size so that he wouldn’t succumb to poison. He was also able to grow several times his own size and overpower his enemies, or make his arms into weapons to defeat them. But Jake’s an easy-going dude, and doesn’t really care for the whole fighting thing, so while he’ll always help out his buddy Finn, he usually leaves the fighting to him.
Yes, Krillin. It’s easy to get fixated on some of the other characters in the Dragonball series, what with their glowing hair and their yelling, but don’t count out the little bald dude. Sure, he dies more times than we can count, but when he is alive, Krillin is the strongest human in the universe. That’s right! Who else would it be, Yamcha? He also has a special move called the Destructo Disk, which even Frieza underestimates.
Fortunately there are power levels in Dragonball which help us determine the characters’ strength. Vegeta was able to destroy earth when he first arrived there, and he had a 18,000 rating at the time, but by the time Krillin stopped fighting, he had a 75,000 power level, so it’s worth noting that Krillin was probably able to destroy our whole solar system. Damn, Krillin.
7. Rick Sanchez
Rick Sanchez is one of the eponymous characters from Adult Swim’s Rick and Morty. He may be an alcoholic grandpa, but he’s also widely regarded as the most brilliant mind in not only this dimension, most other dimensions as well. His signature device is his portal gun which allows him to travel to any planet in any dimension, a technology not even thought of in the likes of Star Wars, Star Trek or even Charlie Sheen’s Twitter account. There’s also an episode where Rick successfully transforms earth’s entire human population into “Cronenberg” monsters, and he’s forces to find another dimension where he can fill the spot of a recently dead Rick and Morty. Aside from all of this, Rick is also considered an inter-dimensional terrorist, being able to single handedly stand up to a government body which controls the entire known universe. And that’s… the way the news goes!
6. Sterling Archer
Sterling Mallory Archer, code name: Duchess, is the title character of FX’s hit Archer and the world’s deadliest spy. While he is childish and refuses to read mission dossiers, there’s no denying Archer’s effectiveness. He’s a skilled fighter, being trained in krav maga, and his endurance is unparalleled as he claims to have been shot 34 times. He’s also an expert marksman, notably showcased when he was able to shot the driver of a speeding car half a block away with a pistol. Archer is also an extremely capable driver and holds an almost savant like ability to count, knowing exactly how many bullets are left in a gun’s clip. He’s also a premier mixologist, being able to make a palatable cocktail with any array of liquors available. This is because he’s not just an alcoholic, but perpetually drunk.
5. Danny Phantom
Danny Phantom is about a teenager named Danny Fenton who gets ghost powers and must face off against spirits and other dangers. Danny has super strength and speed in his ghost form, as well as the ability to fly, but he also develops several other abilities such as the Ghostly Wail in which he screams towards his opponents, and is able to take out whole buildings, let alone any enemies he might face. He’s also able to take over people’s bodies and shoot beams of energy, much like a Dragon Ball character.
“All mighty cosmic power, itty bitty tiny living space,” that’s how Genie described himself to Aladdin. Genie is the comedic mystical force trapped in Aladdin’s lamp who is famously voiced by Robin Williams. While his power is obvious in the movie, his omnipotence becomes clearer upon closer inspection.
One thing that might be easy to miss are Genie’s frequent pop culture references. Throughout the movie Genie pulls out impressions of Jack Nicholson, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and more. While hilarious, it begins to show the implications of what Genie meant by, “all mighty cosmic power.” It appears as though Genie is not only able to conjure up anything he wants, but also has an ability to see through time and space. It is unclear how much Genie can see and predict through time, but this at least shows us that he has some sort of idea. It also appears as though he doesn’t lose any of his powers after Aladdin sets him free.
3. Stewie Griffin
Stewie Griffin is the beloved malevolent baby from Family Guy. Although he begins the series as single minded evil genius, Stewie’s personality seems to have chilled out a bit as his character develops. There’s even an episode about it when he tries to revert back to his evil ways, but accidentally makes an evil clone of himself instead. The evil clone shows what Stewie could be capable of if he truly did go evil, including being able to cut a human fully in half with a machete. Stewie also has a technological knowledge that makes him extremely powerful. He built a time machine and with it is able to drastically alter the fabric of time, even finding himself in a void before time and matter even existed. Through this device he also discovered that his invention was the catalyst which set off the Big Bang. Family Guy isn’t a show which takes itself too serious, but these are some impressive feats.
2. The Magic School Bus
It’s a good thing that Ms. Frizzle and the Magic School Bus were bent on educating children, because they had some real reality-warping powers. The Magic School Bus was able to travel through time and space, and shrink to cellular levels. It was also able to transform its body to fit the needs of any situation, demonstrating that it could likely turn into a Mad Max style spike-bus if it had the inclination. Not to mention that it was a sentient bus that could just run you over if it wanted. We should all be happy that it was a happy go-luck bus, because it could have done some serious damage.
1. Scrooge McDuck
Scrooge McDuck is the president and CEO of McDuck Enterprises, the richest duck in the world, and main character of the 1980s classic Duck Tales. Although he owns many companies and investments, his wealth is summed up in his famous Money Bin, in which he dives through with ease. I believe Peter Griffin of Family Guy most accurately sums up why this is particularly impressive.
Aside from Duck Tales, Scrooge also had his own comic series called Uncle Scrooge. In the comics, Scrooge performs crazy tasks such as pulling down trees and building a cottage by himself. He pulls down two smoke stacks that his arms are chained to, that’s Hulk level strong. He can also run away from a lion, creates flutes which can summon moose, and casts fear in wild bears. With all of these abilities, plus being the richest duck in the world, Scrooge is definitely more powerful than you would have ever realized.