Public Opinion/Debate

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:

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

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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.

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