Anthropomor-what!!? For those not familiar with this term, please allow me a bit of explanation time. For those who are already in the know, please ignore the next sentence or two. The term anthropomorphism, or personification if you will, is when human characteristics are attributed to non-human objects, be they animal, vegetable, or mineral. Examples include everything from Bugs Bunny to Lightning McQueen. But today, we are narrowing this anthropomorphism down to just one small subset of this phenomena – the small subset of sea creatures, or in some cases, river or lake or stream creatures. So, without any further ado, I give you the 10 Best Anthropomorphized Sea Creature Characters.
And awaaaaaaay we go…
Special Mention: The Merman from that one Episode of Family Guy
It happened shortly after Stewie “killed” Lois. In case ya missed it, Stewie supposedly killed his mom in a 2007 episode “Stewie Kills Lois.” In the following episode, titled “Lois Kills Stewie,” we find out that Lois is still alive, as she recounts her days of recovery, which includes her rather bizarre rescue by the merman. Penis jokes abounded. As far as I know, this is the one and only appearance of merman (but Seth McFarlane does like to bring obscure characters back, so I might have missed a cameo at some point) and therefore I place him not on the list proper, but as a special mention. ie, my way of sneaking an eleventh spot onto my lists.[divider]
10.) King Shark
Born in Hawaii, Nanaue is a humanoid shark, and the son of the Shark God. He first came around in 1994, in Superboy comics over at DC. This maniacal madman…er, madshark, has been a member of the Legion of Villains and The Suicide Squad. Granted, King Shark isn’t one you tend to find at the top of many supervillain lists, but for the purposes of this anthropomorphic list, this toothy big-headed mofo is just alright with me. After all, he is a *&^%$#@ sharrrrrrrrk![divider]
Sure, this amphibious fish-faced baddie may be the king of all that lies beneath the oceans, but he’s still merely a pawn in the schemes of Skeletor, in his ongoing war with He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. Appearing either blue-skinned or green-skinned (depends on which incarnation of He-Man one may be watching), Mer-Man is a dangerous foe and a powerful mofo indeed. Oh yeah, and his real name is Squidish Rex. How freakin’ awesome is that!?[divider]
8.) Abe Sapien
Created by comic genius…er, I mean comic writer and artist Mike Mignola, Langdon Everett Caul was once nothing more than a normal human being. Then after the discovery of a jelly fish-esque deity, and an ill-advised arcane ritual, the one-time human was transformed into an Icthyo Sapien. Taking the name of Abraham Sapien, this seemingly immortal amphibious hero can be found in Hellboy and B.P.R.D. comics, as well as in his own self-titled series.[divider]
7.) The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
I’ve never been all that into the turtles, but even so, how could I make a list such as this and not include these Heroes in a Half-Shell? From the brave leader Leonardo to the brash Raphael to the quizzical Donatello to the goofy Michelangelo, these mutated turtles have been a sensation ever since Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird first created them back in 1984. There have been comics (IDW has a regular TMNT series out right now and it’s pretty darn good), movies (including one coming up later this year), TV shows, toys, games, and action figures galore. Okay, maybe I am into them a bit. Turtle power![divider]
6.) Ursula the Sea Witch
Sure, if I wanted to include a Little Mermaid character, I could have gone with the adorable Flounder or the snarky Sebastian, or even that titular red-headed bombshell Ariel (hands down, the sexiest of all the Disney Princesses!), but I wanted someone who could bring down the house – and therefore, Ursula! This monstrous sea hag does make an impression. A less-than-fit Octopussian sea witch (actually the term is Cecaelia, but Octopussian sounds funnier, so I’m going with it), Ursula is a multi-tentacled nightmare bitch from hell, and that’s just how we like it.[divider]
5.) Mr. Toad
One of the first books I remember reading as a kid, was Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows. Granted, Badger was always my favourite, but for the purposes of the theme here, it is Mr. Toad, master of Toad Hall, who makes the list. A classic literary character, Mr. Toad is the epitome of a spoiled rich kid grown up to be just an over-grown little kid. There is also Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride at Walt Disney World, of which I loved as a kid on our biannual family trips to Orlando, Fla.[divider]
4.) Sigmund the Sea Monster
Actually his name was Sigmund Ooze, and the show itself was called Sigmund and the Sea Monsters. Anyone who grew up in the 1970’s probably remembers this trippy kids show by those masters of unintentional kitsch programming, Sid & Marty Krofft. For those who are too young to remember (it is available on DVD and online) or just too old to care, Sigmund was a sea monster who is befriended by two kids when he is shunned by his family for not wanting to scare people. Perhaps not as strongly drug-referenced as some of the Krofft Brothers’ other shows like H.R. Pufnstuf and Lidsville (while the show’s writers were all admittedly high during their writing sessions, the older, squarer Sid and Marty were pretty much oblivious to it all) but it’s still quite the heady show.[divider]
3.) SpongeBob SquarePants & the Bikini Bottom Gang
Who lives in a pineapple under the sea? I think we all know the answer to that one. You just can’t have a list of anthropomorphic sea creatures without include good ole SpongeBob SquarePants. At first, I was going to give this spot to SpongeBob all by himself, but the ever-welcoming little guy insisted that I include all of his sea-faring Bikini Bottom buddies, so here they are. Oh, and didjya know that in 2011, a newly found species of sea sponge was named Spongiforma Squarepantsii? Yup. How freakin’ cool is that!?[divider]
2.) Dr. Zoidberg
Dr. John A. Zoidberg, questionable lobster man (aka Decopodian) doctor for Planet Express on TV’s Futurama, believes himself to be an expert on human physiology, but in reality, he is just an obnoxious, incompetent gluttonous idiot. But what would the gang on Futurama do with this crustaceous buffoon around? Probably live a less interesting life dammit! Gotta love the Zoidberg. And yes, the bumbling fool does finally find true love in the end.[divider]
1.) Admiral Ackbar
Come on, I titled the whole damn list after Admiral Ackbar’s most famous saying, so it should come as no real surprise that this squid headed military leader sits in the top spot on the list. A member of the Mon Calimari race, Admiral Ackbar, who first came around in 1983’s Return of the Jedi (and has made an even bigger splash in the expanded universe books and comics), is a born leader and the kind of squid man anyone would be willing to follow into battle. But don’t worry, it’s not a trap.
That’s it gang. See ya ’round the web.