Whether they’re working with pixels or pencils, animators fill us with awe. They create not just worlds from scratch but characters whose eyes and body language alone speak volumes, even if they never utter a word.
The first trailer for The Good Dinosaur, opening in November, enchanted us from the moment Arlo, a young Apatosaurus, locked eyes with a mop-topped cave boy who offered him berries. We were enthralled with glimpses of this simple friendship, from howls at the moon to Arlo twirling through the grass around the boy to whip up a swirl of fireflies.
We now know that Arlo talks (!), although the cave boy, whom Arlo names Spot, is still a bundle of growls and soulful gazes. We don’t hate on Arlo for being articulate, but the charm of that first trailer reminded us how some of the most-affecting animated characters are the ones who say the least.
What follows is a roundup of some of our favorites, in alphabetical order.