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PUZZLE: Notable Characters


A coworker who is a huge fan of Walt Disney recently hung a poster in her office that features a collection of a hundred or so animated Disney characters, past and present. I first saw the poster when I passed my coworker’s office on my way to the fitness center. I glanced at the poster for a few seconds and continued on my way. During my workout I thought about the poster. Since I looked at it only briefly I couldn’t remember all of the characters pictured, but I suspected that Mickey Mouse was not one of them. I also suspected that Donald Duck and Goofy would be absent. But then I thought of a classic Disney character who absolutely had to appear on the poster.

When I returned from the fitness center I took a closer look at the poster. I was right that there was no Mickey, no Donald, and no Goofy, but the other character I thought of appeared right where I expected: at the midpoint along the bottom edge of the poster. Who is this character?

ETA: Answer appears in comments.

5 thoughts on “PUZZLE: Notable Characters

    • There might be hidden Mickeys but no Mickey among the obvious characters featured in the poster. Gvaxreoryy is not who I had in mind, though that character also appears on the poster not too far from the character I was thinking of (a little bit up and to the right).

  1. Some people expressed confusion with how to approach puzzle so I have some clarifications.

    The Disney poster has a particular theme and figuring out the theme is necessary for determining the classic Disney character that appears, predictably, at the bottom center of the poster. The puzzle writeup contains some clues about the poster’s theme: The poster contains “a hundred or so” characters. The theme is such that it invites educated speculation on whether or not a Disney character is likely to appear. Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Goofy all are unlikely given the theme, but the classic character I had in mind is especially suited to the theme. Also, the theme dictates where within the poster that an eligible character is likely to appear.

    Readers have guessed Sebastian and Tinkerbell. Both of these characters appear in the poster and while both are predictable based on the theme I would argue that my character is more obvious. Also, neither Sebastian nor Tinkerbell would be suited for placement in the bottom center of the poster.

    I’ll add that, due to the theme’s constraint, the poster contains a number of lesser known Disney characters and even some non-character Disney references. For example, the Yacht Club resort at Walt Disney World appears.

  2. One person guessed the correct answer by email. Here are some additional hints: The poster’s exact “character” count (this includes animated characters and other Disney-related things like the Yacht Club) is 118. The character closest to the top-left corner of the poster is Hiro from “Big Hero 6.”

  3. Answer: The poster is a “Periodic Table of Disney.” The table is laid out as a traditional periodic table with the proper chemical symbols in place, but the element names are substituted with names of Disney characters (and other Disney terms) with similar letter patterns. So “H” is Hiro, “He” is Hercules, “Li” is Lilo, “Be” is Belle, etc. Mickey, Donald, or Goofy were omitted, persumably, because no chemical symbols lend themselves to their names. I did later think of molydenum (Mo) which could have worked for Mickey Mouse, but this symbol was reserved for future Disney princess Moana. The classic character Pluto was an obvious choice for the element plutonium. Sure enough Pu (92) at the bottom of the poster was Pluto.

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