This past Friday marked the theatrical release of Frankenweenie, Tim Burton’s full-length animated adaptation of his 1984 live-action short of the same name (which he was fired from Disney for making). We loved the original (we’re pretty sure we wore that VHS tape right out), so we’ve always had a soft spot for Sparky that hasn’t been the least bit dampened by his, ahem, reanimation. As a side effect (there are always side effects for these kinds of things), the film’s release has had us meditating on some other cute monsters from cinema, so we’ve put together a list of the most lovable movie monsters of all time — according to us, of course. Click through to saw “aww” at some adorably grotesque faces, and if we’ve missed your favorite, be sure to add to our list in the comments!
Sparky in Frankenweenie
If you had a dog as adorable as Sparky, you’d want to resurrect him too. Well, probably every kid whose dog, regardless of cuteness, gets hit by a car wants to resurrect him, but not everyone is as resourceful (or fictional) as Victor. Unlike the original Frankenstein’s monster, there’s no bitterness and revenge against humanity — just a series of hijinks, terrified neighbors, and a pretty adorable love story with a familiar-looking poodle. Aww.
Maurice in Little Monsters
Remember when Howie Mandel and Fred Savage were all the rage? We yearn for the days — well, sort of. Mandel’s Maurice looks scary, but you couldn’t wish for any cooler, goofier monster to take up residence under your bed. After all, every little boy could use a blue-faced buddy in a leather jacket to show him how to take a walk on the wild side.
Sully and Mike in Monsters, Inc.
These two wisecracking blue-collar monsters are pretty impossible not to love. After all, there’s nothing like a monster buddy comedy to warm our human hearts.
Gizmo in Gremlins
Mogwai care is very simple. If you just follow the rules, you’ll get to have this adorable little fellow as your best friend. And he won’t accidentally spawn hundreds of tiny demons that go on a murderous rampage. Plus, how can you resist that little face?
Eli in Let the Right One In
Eli is sort of the outlier on this list — she may be just as cute as Sully or Sparky, but she’s a hell of a lot more dangerous and frightening. That said, the tender love story and Eli’s emotional depth make us love her as much Oskar does. We probably wouldn’t let her come in, though.
Jack Skellington in The Nightmare Before Christmas
Poor Jack. Haven’t we all felt, at one time or another, like a skeletal monster dreaming of but ill-equipped for the sparkly, apple-red things in life? No? Well. Jack is in many ways a tragic figure, well-intentioned but unable to truly comprehend the world he longs for, and we love all tragic figures. Especially those with bat-shaped bow ties wider than their shoulders.
Shrek in Shrek
Well, obviously. This mighty green ogre is maybe the most popular of all lovable monsters — cuddly, good-hearted, and flanked by equally adorable but slightly less monstrous pals to give him a bit of flavor.
Chewbacca in Star Wars
Chewy might technically be an alien, we guess, but look at the guy — he’s huge and hairy and looks like Bigfoot (he was famously inspired by George Lucas’s dog, Indiana) — so he’s a monster by our standards. Though incapable of English, a better co-pilot and first mate there never was.
Harry in Harry and the Hendersons
And now for the actual Bigfoot — sweet, (relatively) gentle Harry. Whom you love even if he eats your fifteenth birthday corsage that you’ve been saving for six! Whole! Months!
Ludo in Labyrinth
Though he looks mighty monstrous and ugly, Ludo is a sweet and playful creature, and somewhat amazingly given his apparently limited intelligence, is one of the few Labyrinth residents who doesn’t bow down to Jareth. Plus he has that awesome rock-summoning ability, which is rather handy in a pinch.