Why Do Cartoons Have Four Fingers? The Reasons Will Surprise You!

Christian Mba
Oct 12, 2023 By Christian Mba
Originally Published on Oct 26, 2021
Know why all the cartoon characters have four fingers.

Are you wondering why cartoons have four fingers or three fingers, and a thumb?

Four-fingered cartoon characters were in fashion even before the innovation of animation. Their popularity spans across countries and continents.

There are many surprising facts behind making cartoon characters have four fingers. The main reason your favorite cartoon characters are four-fingered is mainly because of the laziness of their creators.

Creating cartoon characters was always considered an innovative task. The creators wanted to make a unique and cute cartoon character for children to watch all day long.

Cartoon characters and many animated characters like SpongeBob, Mickey Mouse, Bugs Bunny, and even Felix the cat, are four-fingered. There are many reasons why Disney and other animation companies made their cartoon characters have four fingers rather than five.

It was observed that five-fingered cartoon characters were weird-looking, similar to a tree with too many branches attached to it. Since the early days of cartoon characters, creators and animators have preferred to give their characters four fingers and not five fingers.

After reading these exciting facts about cartoons, you should also read our articles on why do doctors have bad handwriting and why do we fall.

What is the history of four-fingered hands?

When animation was not as highly advanced as it is today, most cartoons were designed and created with basic geometrical shapes. These geometrical shapes easily allowed the creators to modify every character to fit into their story.

Due to the fewer animating tools available to design characters, creators thought minor detailing could make their work easier and save extra money and effort. Four fingers made characters much easier to draw and fit into the video or book that they were working on.

When there were no advanced animating tools, cartoon characters were created with the basic shapes we see around us. The basic geometrical shapes we learned growing up were used to build a cartoon character for a comic book or television show.

To date, animators find it easier to draw animations using characters with four-fingered hands than those with five fingers. Another reason for choosing four-fingered hands for cartoons was the fluffy hands of each character.

Most of the characters have fluffy and squishy hands, which only fit four fingers. Five fingers were added to a character as a test, but it seemed nothing less than a branched, thick tree.

Reasons Why Cartoon Characters Have Four Fingers

Have you ever wondered why Disney characters have four-fingered gloves? Why do Mickey Mouse, Genie, Homer, and Felix the cat have one finger lesser than humans?

It is easy to understand that putting less effort into drawing fingers can save money and reduce costs. Furthermore, drawing four fingers instead of five can save time when using cartoon characters in advanced animations.

Animations are the most creative way to play around with characters. Each character is drawn over and over again in separate frames with slight movements. This allows people to animate them and make a video.

It takes a lot of time and effort to prepare each story. Animators have to prepare every second of a story to be televised. Drawing a thumb and three fingers for a cartoon is simpler.

This is why so many four-fingered characters exist. Furthermore, SpongeBob having five fingers would have looked like a bunch of bananas stuck to his body. Giving characters four fingers makes them more enjoyable for children to watch and laugh at.

Do all cartoon characters have four fingers?

Simpler hands create funnier cartoon characters. Humans find it fascinating to watch Walt Disney characters that are different from them. Humans like to watch and know more about the characters which are different. If animators draw one less finger on a character's hand, it may increase children's interest in them.

You will notice that most of the Walt Disney's characters are four-fingered. Unlike humans, they have one thumb and three fingers instead of five.

This characteristic gives them a unique identity different from humans. A cartoon character with four fingers per hand will draw more attention from its viewers than a typical character with five fingers per hand. No doubt, it costs less for animators to create a character with four fingers.

The trend of drawing characters with four fingers was adopted by each new animator in the animation industry. Later on, the love and acceptance shown by fans towards these characters also made creators more confident about their decision.

What are popular cartoon characters with four fingers?

Some of the most popular and iconic cartoon characters have four fingers (one thumb and three fingers), including Felix the Cat, Homer Simpson, SpongeBob SquarePants, Bugs Bunny, Aladdin's Genie, Mickey Mouse, and many more. These characters have always grabbed viewers' attention the most. Some of the most hated include Scrappy Doo (from 'Scooby-Doo') and the Roadrunner from 'Looney Tunes'.

There are some Disney characters that were created with five fingers. This gives them realistic features.

Disney princesses are the most iconic cartoon characters with five fingers, making them more similar to a human hand. Animators have tried to make the princesses as similar to humans as they can.

At the same time, four-fingered Mickey Mouse is also popular. Walt Disney himself said that if the character of Mickey Mouse had been made with five fingers instead of four, it would have looked like a bunch of bananas. Your favorite cartoon characters, like Winnie the Pooh, Mushu the Dragon, and Dora the Explorer, have four fingers.

Their four-fingered hands differentiate them from humans. The difference creates interest from human viewers and causes them to watch these shows repeatedly.

Cartoons are imaginative characters made for humans to have fun in their free time. Four-fingered characters attract humans' interest more, which empowers animators to create more shows for their fans.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for why do cartoons have four fingers, why not take a look at why do we need elections, or why do we need government.

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Written by Christian Mba

Bachelor of Science specializing in Computer Science

Christian Mba picture

Christian MbaBachelor of Science specializing in Computer Science

Christian Mba is an experienced blogger and content writer with over a decade of experience. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Nigeria and has a keen interest in Python programming. Along with his writing and blogging expertise, he is also an SEO specialist with more than six years of experience. Chris, as he is commonly known, has a passion for music and enjoys playing the piano.

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