It’s Who You Know

As many of you know, Paw Prints recently conducted a survey of 100 students, teachers, and staff in order to determine which fictional characters are the most recognized. The results are as follows:

Clifford the Big Red Dog: 89% Recognition
Harry Potter: 87% Recognition
Blame the elder gods!
Cthulhu: 28% Recognition
Barney: 87% Recognition
Figment: 21% Recognition
The Martian Manhunter: 27% Recognition
Ebenezer Scrooge: 72% Recognition
Jane Eyre: 31% Recognition
Percy Jackson: 82% Recognition
Popeye: 86% Recognition
Mickey Mouse: 89% Recognition
Daffy Duck: 88% Recognition
Bugs Bunny: 88% Recognition
Barbie: 88% Recognition
James Bond (a.k.a. “007”): 86% Recognition
Count Dracula: 79% Recognition
Donald Duck: 88%
Mr. Monopoly: 81% Recognition
The Invisible Man: 57% Recognition
Dr. Jekyl: 46% Recognition
(Also in picture: Mr. Hyde)
Felix the Cat: 49% Recognition
Asterix the Gaul:  8% Recognition
Tarzan: 87% Recognition
Tintin: 66% Recognition
Sherlock Holmes:  88% Recognition
Merlin: 45% Recognition
Robin Hood: 87% Recogntion
Billy the Goat: 41% Recognition
Shrek: 88% Recognition
Santa Claus: 86% Recognition
Peeves the Poltergeist: 21% Recognition
Mulan: 80% Recognition
Blue from “Blue’s Clues”:  87% Recognition

The most recognized characters, at 89%, were Mickey Mouse and Clifford, with Shrek, Sherlock Holmes, Barbie, Donald Duck, Daffy Duck, and Bugs Bunny tied for second place with 88% recognition. That means that there are more people who recognize Clifford than there are who recognize Santa Claus. By contrast, Asterix the Gaul, the star of a long running comic strip and 13 movies and whose first volume was listed in a 1999 poll as the 22nd greatest book of the twentieth century , was recognized by only eight people.

Of course, it seems like with 89% recognition, Mickey Mouse is known by all, but that also means that there are eleven people who have never heard of Mickey Mouse. And while it is true that only 41% of people recognized Billy the Goat, that’s pretty good considering that he was made up for this survey. That’s right, Billy the Goat is not real. Well, none of these characters are real because they are fictional characters, but Billy the Goat isn’t even a real fictional character. Yet somehow, more people claimed to be familiar with him than there were who knew of Jane Eyre, one of the most celebrated literary heroines. If this survey is any indication, were he ever picked up by a company, Billy would already have a strong fan base.