Mickey Mouse tops the list as the world’s favorite Disney character

by Samantha Davis-Friedman

Walt Disney once said “it all started with a mouse,” so it’s no surprise that Mickey Mouse is the favorite Disney character in the world.

World's Favorite Disney Characters
Images courtesy of PoundToy

Mickey earned his spot as the world’s favorite Disney character based on research by PoundToy — the UK’s fastest-growing online toy store — that analyzed Instagram hashtags, worldwide Google searches, GIFs on Giphy, and movie appearances to determine which popular Disney and Pixar characters the world loves most.

The World’s Favorite Disney Characters

Favorite Disney Characters
  1. Mickey Mouse (7.06 out of 10) – PoundToy’s research reveals that Mickey Mouse is not only Disney’s most recognizable character; he’s also the world’s best-loved, based on more than 1.3 million Instagram posts with the hashtag #MickeyMouse and over 34 million Google searches for the iconic mouse across the globe. Mickey’s #1 status is also based on the fact that he has over 500 GIFs on Giphy and has appeared in six major films, including “Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas.”
  2. Tinker Bell (6.41 out of 10) – Right behind Mickey is Peter Pan’s sidekick, Tinker Bell, with over 500,000 Instagram posts that tag #TinkerBell and over 10 million worldwide searches for the Disney pixie in the past year. Tink also has nearly 6,000 GIFs and has appeared in ten major movies. Her popularity even led to the spinoff franchises Disney Fairies and Pixie Hollow.
  3. Cinderella (6.28 out of 10) – Princesses are an essential part of the Disney brand, and Cinderella (the second Disney princess to reach movie screens) ranks the third most popular Disney character around the world with over 1.5 million Instagram posts tagged #Cinderella. In addition, the classic Disney princess who has made six Disney movie appearances — including three self-titled feature films and a cameo in “Ralph Breaks the Internet” — has been searched on Google over 20 million times worldwide in the past year
Favorite Disney Character List

The World’s Favorite Pixar Characters

Favorite Pixar Characters
  1. Woody (8.59 out of 10) – “Toy Story” is one of Pixar’s most successful movie franchises, so it’s no surprise that Woody would be named the world’s favorite Pixar character with over 2.5 million tagged posts on Instagram and more Google searches in the past year than any of his Pixar pals at almost 10.8 million. There are also nearly 800 GIFs of Woody on Giphy, and he has appeared in seven major Disney and Pixar movies.
  2. Buzz Lightyear (6.06 out of 10) – Woody’s onscreen partner, Buzz Lightyear, ranks #2 with over 1.2 million Instagram posts tagged #BuzzLightyear. The astronaut figurine has appeared in nine Disney productions, including the Toy Story spinoff animated series “Buzz Lightyear of Star Command,” and over the past 12 months, there have been about seven million Google searches worldwide that included Buzz’s name.
  3. WALL-E (6.58 out of 10) – Pixar’s charming animated robot rose to fame with the release of “WALL-E” in 2008, but 13 years later, he’s still among the world’s best-loved Disney characters with over 2.5 million Instagram posts tagged #WALLE and 9.6 million Google searches in the past year.
Favorite Pixar Character List

Favorite Disney Character by Category

  • The character with the most Instagram hashtags is Woody, with over 2.5 million posts.
  • The character with the most Google searches is Mickey Mouse, the clear winner with over 34 million searches over the past 12 months. Following Mickey is Moana, with almost 27 million searches.
  • The character with the most GIFS is Tinker Bell, with almost 6,000 – the most of all the Disney and Pixar characters.
  • The character with the most movie appearances is also Tinker Bell with ten, from her first appearance as Peter Pan’s sidekick to movies of her own like “Tinker Bell” (the story of Tink’s birth and childhood) and “Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue” which is based in magical Pixie Hollow.

Who is the Favorite Disney Character in Each Country?

World's Favorite Disney Characters - World Map

Mickey Mouse is the most searched-for Disney character in 38 countries, including the United States, Mexico, and India. Another favorite — Moana — topped searches in 14 countries, including the UK and Australia; in Pakistan and Afghanistan, the favorite Disney character is Aladdin; and in Bangladesh, the best-loved character is Tarzan.


PoundToy used Wikipedia, ThoughtCatalog, and ListChallenges to compile their list of Disney and Pixar characters (eliminating names that might return other results, like ‘boo’ and ‘the beast’), and while Disney character names can differ by country and region, only English language names were used. Then, the number of Instagram hashtags, GIFS, and Google searches from October 2020 to September 2021 for each character were calculated to determine the rankings. Finally, the number of major film appearances was gathered from TheDisneyWiki (excluding live-action films).

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