Children and grown-ups all over the world are familiar with Scots accents thanks to the power of cartoons.
Some are still drawn frames in comics, newspapers and magazine, and many are animated (with varying degrees of being convincingly Scots!), and here we highlight the Scottish influence on our top ten iconic cartoon creations.
1 Groundskeeper Willie, The Simpsons (1991)
Easily spotted with his flaming red hair and sporting a seriously bad attitude, Willie has been the groundskeeper at Springfield Elementary since 1991. The proud Scot often reminisces about his native land and his home on the Orkney Islands, telling anyone who will listen of Scotland’s beauty. And in the run-up to the Scottish referendum, he even offered himself as a candidate to lead the country with an ‘Aye or Die’ motto emblazoned on his yellow chest.
2 Nanette, Gnomeo & Juliet (2011)
3 Stoick, How to Train your Dragon (2010)
Stoick the Vast, voiced by Gerard Butler, is the fictional Scots-Viking chieftain who is father to Hiccup and protector of the village of Berk from Cressida Cowell’s hugely popular books. The gruff Stoick digs his traditional heels in against the ideas of a younger generation and – much like many a Scottish male – rails against the inevitability of change.
4 Lobey Dosser (1949)
Bud Neill’s pint-sized county sheriff of Calton Creek in Arizona (all the inhabitants were from Glasgow’s Calton district) has been thwarting baddie Rank Bajin’s (‘rank bad yin’s’) plans since 1949. It first appeared in the Evening News mixing Glasgow vernacular with puns and surreal drawings that now attract a cult following.
5 Minnie the Minx, the Beano (1953)
Appearing in The Beano since 1953, the Scottish tomboy is the third-longest running Beano character behind Dennis the Menace and Rodger the Dodger. Created by Leo Baxendale, Minnie’s popularity grew until she got her
own full-colour page, which is when the red hair and striped jersey first appeared.
6 Merida, Brave (2012)
The main character in Disney Pixar’s animated film Brave, Princess Merida of DunBroch is the movie studio’s 11th princess and its first female lead (voiced by Kelly Macdonald). Shunning her parents’ traditional ways, Merida is a modern miss through and through, determined to control her own destiny. The movie took a not-too-shabby $555m at the worldwide box offi ce, with the funny and feisty Merida proving a popular princess indeed.
7 Jock, Lady and the Tramp (1955)
Scottish terrier Jock won over audiences with his broad brogue and loyal ways. Small in stature, the bold Scotty has a big heart and went on to make a cameo appearance in 101 Dalmatians.
8 Ben and Lon, Pocahontas (1995)
Inspired by the folklore surrounding the 16th century Native American woman Pocahontas and her encounter with Englishman John Smith and the Jamestown settlers, this was Walt Disney Pictures’ 33rd animated feature film. Widely criticised for being historically inaccurate, the film still grossed $346m worldwide. Billy Connolly voices dark-haired Ben, who, with best friend Lon, are pioneering settlers of the Virginia Company, sent to the new world in search of a better life.
9 Oor Wullie (1936)
Sporting dungarees, spiky hair and perched on an upturned bucket, Oor Wullie first appeared in D.C. Thomson’s The Sunday Post in 1936, created by R.D. Low and drawn by Dudley D. Watkins. Recently the city of
Dundee created a ‘Bucket Trail’ by placing 55 five-feet-tall Oor Wullie statues around the city.
10 Shrek (2001)
Canadian Mike Myers – brought in to replace American actor and comedian Chris Farley who died of a drug overdose in 1997 before the film was finished – gave Shrek a Scottish accent in tribute to his Glaswegian father. One of the first animated movies to combine adult-themed jokes with a plot and humour that also appealed to children, Shrek was an instant hit, winning the fi rst-ever Academy Award for Best Animated Feature and being nominated for six BAFTAs.