Elmo's character debuted on "Sesame Street" in 1979, but it wasn't until Kevin Clash, Elmo's puppeteer, started performing him in 1984, that the effervescent red monster became the huge international sensation he is today.
Who knew an aardvark could be so loveable? "Arthur," a PBS TV series based on books by Marc Brown, continues to be a success, stressing the importance of family interaction and education in kids' lives.
Lewis Carroll's "Alice in Wonderland" continues to captivate children and adults. A recent remake of the film, seen here with Mia Wasikowska, reached out to more mature audiences that likely grew up with the character.
Bert and Ernie became a "Sesame Street" staple for many kids growing up. Recently, efforts have been made to declare the two a couple, but "Sesame Street" has denied the two longtime pals are gay because, they say, puppets don't have sexual orientation.
Actor Donovan Patton appears With Blue, his animated co-star on the set of Nickelodeon's "Blue's Clues." Donovan replaced Steve Burns, the show's host since the children's show debuted in December 1996.
What's cuter than Curious George? The popular children's book character -- created by Margret and H.A. Rey -- has been well represented on TV and the big screen. The adorable monkey is featured in an animated PBS series and was the subject of a fun 2006 movie.
Madeline is a character in books by Ludwig Bemelmans, an Austrian-born American author, and now, by his grandson, John Bemelmans-Marciano. The stories tell of a loveable little girl's life and adventures while at a boarding school in Paris -- and beyond. The Madeline series has become a television series and film.
Who doesn't love Looney Tunes? The characters got their start in movie theaters during World War II and became highly popular on TV and in films.
Sylvester the cat, Tweety Bird, Daffy Duck, Tazmanian Devil and Bugs Bunny arrive at the 'Scooby-Doo! Pirates Ahoy' premiere at the 32nd Deauville Festival Of American Film on September 9, 2006 in Deauville, France.
Popeye was first a newspaper cartoon and then became a film strip and TV cartoon staple, endearing himself to generations of fans. The character shows just how one person can make a difference -- if there's a can of spinach lying around.
"Rocky and Bullwinkle" have staying power. Several TV shows since 1959 have shown told the story of the dopey moose and his squirrel friend. Here, Natsha Fatale, played by Rene Russo and Boris Badenov, played by Jason Alexander, plot against Rocky and Bullwinkle in the live action film "The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle."
Superman a.k.a. Clark Kent, is an American iconic character first appearing in DC comics in 1938. Since then, the Man of Steel has appeared in many TV shows and films. George Reeves (TV) Christopher Reeve (mobies) are perhaps the most well-known Superman actors.