The Best Old Man Cartoon Characters from Disney

Old man cartoon characters

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Old man cartoon characters are often the best part of an animated series. Sometimes, it’s a lovable geezer dispensing helpful advice through a toothless grin. Other times, it’s a cranky fossil, making his inability to get with the times everyone else’s problem. Sometimes, a character comes along that’s the best of both worlds. The perfect mix of old-timey wisdom and crotchety indignance blended into one endearing codger. 

The following list represents ten such characters from stories across the Disney universe.

10. Genie from Aladdin

Genie from Aladdin

The first entry on the list feels like a bit of a cheat. While Genie is technically thousands of years old, he sure doesn’t act like it. Rather than a wrinkly old prune, Genie comes off as a bouncing blue ball of energy—so spry he doesn’t look a day over a thousand. 

Despite his young appearance, Genie definitely acts like a classic old man cartoon character. 

He constantly references things Aladdin isn’t old enough to know about, his jokes are corny, and his stories often go nowhere. Like an old wise man, Genie uses the experience and knowledge he’s collected over several millennia to help his friends out when they’re in a jam. A true blue companion—literally—Genie is one of the coolest old men in the Disney pantheon.

9. Zummi Gummi from Adventures of the Gummi Bears

Zummi Gummi

Zummi Gummi certainly has the rhymiest name of all these old man cartoon characters, but that alone isn’t enough to snag him a spot on the list. Instead, Zummi earns his place at number nine by being the oldest denizen of Gummi Glen—the secret forest hideaway of the Gummi Bears—and the keeper of the Great Book of Gummi, a magical artifact that is considered the Gummi’s greatest treasure. Zummi uses the book, along with his trusty Gummi Medallion, to perform spells and other magical feats to aid his fellow Gummi Bears in times of need.

Occasionally, Zummi can get a little absent-minded, leading his spells to turn out differently than he planned. It’s understandable, given all of his duties as the elder Gummi Bear. Keeping the history of the Gummi Bears while also recording their new adventures is quite a task, and if any of the Gummi Bears deserve a little slack, it’s Zummi.

8. Rafiki from The Lion King

Rafiki from The Lion King

Don’t let Rafiki’s silly talk fool you: this is one old man cartoon character with the wisdom of a sage. Be careful, though, because some of his lessons can hurt—just ask Simba. Rafiki is a monkey of many talents, serving as both a shaman to the animals in the Pride Lands and an advisor to King Mufasa and his son. 

He may seem old and feeble on the outside, but like many of the elderly men on this list, he can kick butt when he needs to. Rafiki is a skilled martial artist who employs his trusty walking stick as a weapon when threatened. 

7. Doc Hudson from Cars

Doc Hudson from Pixar's Cars

When hotshot racecar Lightning McQueen finds himself stranded in the town of Radiator Springs, he immediately butts heads—er—fenders with the town’s resident curmudgeon Doc Hudson. Hudson initially comes off as the anti-McQueen, a cranky old car that is well past his prime and seems to hate fun. Underneath his gruff exterior, however, hides a heart—um, engine?—of gold.

Doc was once as brash and headstrong as McQueen, but after his racing career fizzled out, he turned to medicine and found that helping others and enjoying life with friends was more important than winning races. Hudson might not be as fast as he once was, but he more than makes up for it with all of his small-town wisdom.

6. Merlin from The Sword in the Stone

The old man cartoon character from The Sword in the Stone, Merlin

Merlin the Wizard is one of a kind when it comes to old man cartoon characters. Blessed with the rare ability to see into the future, he often forgets that others can’t. As a result, Merlin often confuses his medieval friends by talking about things from the 20th century with no context whatsoever. Merlin is as wise as he is absentminded, possessing magical abilities that allow him to shapeshift into any animal he can think of—if he can remember the right spell, that is.

A firm believer in brains over brawn, Merlin is the perfect mentor for a young King Arthur, instructing the boy—then known as Wart—in how to solve his problems with his wits rather than his sword.

5. Professor X from X-Men: The Animated Series

Professor X

Charles Xavier has a bit of an ego. He did name his team the X-Men, after all. When you’re the most powerful telepath on Earth, however, it’s okay to be a little narcissistic. The good that Professor X has done for the mutant population of the Marvel universe more than makes up for the man acting a bit smug sometimes. 

Whether he’s helping Wolverine deal with his past or calming Storm down during a claustrophobic panic attack, Professor X is always there to help his friends and students. Armed with the mutant-detecting computer Cerebro and his stylish yellow hover chair, Xavier fights a never-ending battle to protect his fellow mutants and keep them safe from a world that hates and fears them.

4. Gruncle Stan from Gravity Falls

The old man cartoon character from Gravity Falls, Gruncle Stan

Of all the old man cartoon characters out there, only one can say he faked his death, stole his brother’s identity, did jail time in three different countries, and is permanently banned from New Jersey. Gruncle Stan spends his days operating a tourist trap called the Mystery Shack in the town of Gravity Falls, Oregon, where he routinely swindles the locals out of their hard-earned cash.

Underneath Stan’s con-man exterior, however, is a devoted family man. Stan may act like a scheming grump, but he loves his niece Mabel and nephew Dipper more than anything in the world. When he’s not busy running the Mystery Shack, Stan is working tirelessly, trying to figure out how to bring his twin brother Ford back from the alternate dimension he accidentally stranded him in.

3. Geri from Geri’s Game and Toy Story 2

Pixar's Geri

Geri isn’t exactly a household name. Better known as the old man who fixes Woody in Toy Story 2, he is nevertheless an important figure in the Pixar universe. Geri’s first appearance and biggest role to date was the Pixar short Geri’s Game, where he plays both sides of a competitive game of chess. The brilliant short shows the lovable old coot playing both colors on the board as if he’s two different people. At one point, the game becomes so heated Geri fakes a heart attack in order to distract his “opponant” so he can switch the board around, effectively cheating against himself.

Geri’s Game went on to win an Oscar for Best Animated Short in 1998, and Geri went on to appear in Toy Story 2 and as an easter egg in Toy Story 4. Now that he’s something of a mascot for the animation studio, fans greatly anticipate the next time Geri will appear in one of Pixar’s films. 

2. Carl Fredricksen from Up

Carl Fredricksen from Pixar's Up

Carl begins Up as a cantankerous old man, not sure what to do with his life after the passing of his wife, Ellie. Devastated that he could never make her dream of traveling to South America and living in a house above Paradise Falls a reality, Carl gets a crazy idea. He fills thousands of balloons and attaches them to his home, hoping to fly the whole house to South America.

Several adventures ensue, and with the help of Junior Wilderness Explorer stowaway Russell, Dug the talking dog, and Kevin, the giant bird, Carl eventually learns to enjoy life again. By the end of UP, Carl has cemented his status as one of the greatest old man cartoon characters ever and one worthy of the #2 spot on this list.

1. Scrooge McDuck from DuckTales

Uncle Scrooge

Scrooge McDuck embodies the qualities of every other old man cartoon character on this list and then some. Scrooge has the adventurous spirit of Carl, Gruncle Stan’s love of money, Professor X’s ego, Genie’s timelessness, and a cane he won’t hesitate to weaponize like Rafiki. Scrooge is the richest duck in the world and is always on the lookout for ways to get richer.

 Scrooge and his nephews Huey, Dewey, and Louie often embark on adventures to find new treasures and rare artifacts. Despite exhibiting all the greed of his namesake, Scrooge always puts his family first, even if it means missing out on new riches. Many times, he’s been forced to leave some unique jewel or other bauble behind to rescue his nephews. Keeping those three out of trouble is almost a full-time job for Scrooge, but no matter how busy he gets running around after the boys or defending his money from one of his many enemies, he always makes time to go swimming in his enormous money bin.

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