Saturday was the Chinese New Year and the beginning of the Year of the Rooster. According to the Chinese Zodiac (or at least how some choose to interpret it), children born this year will be trustworthy, with a strong sense of timekeeping and responsibility at work. So, if the Zodiac is correct, one day corporations around the world will be managed by children born during this year.
To help celebrate the Chinese New Year and kick off the Year of the Rooster in style, here's five of our favorite fictional roosters!
The most famous rooster in all of comics, Poyo is the US's secret weapon on the war against food terrorism. The recently wrapped Image series Chew was set in a world where millions died to due a mystery bird virus, resulting in a wholesale ban on chicken consumption. As more and more people exhibited food-based powers, the USDA recruited a host of cyborg animals to serve as partners for their human agents.
Tony Chu, Chew's primary protagonist, first encountered Poyo while investigating murders related to a cockfighting ring. Wearing a luchador's mask, Poyo was a fighting machine and people literally killed for the chance to own him. When Chu rescued Poyo and turned him into the US government, the USDA gave Poyo cyborg implants and turned the rooster into their ultimate trump card. Poyo busted crime rings, stopped monsters, and even conquered time and space before he eventually met his demise at the hands of his partner John Colby. While Colby loved Poyo, he felt that Tony's only chance to defeat his archnemesis the Collector was to eat Poyo and absorb his fighting skills.
While Poyo passed away, he had a happy ending of sorts. Poyo's many killings over the years earned him a place in hell, where he became an unstoppable spirit of vengence, complete with a Ghost Rider-esque fiery head.
Foghorn Leghorn is a genteel and well-spoken rooster from the deep South who has appeared in countless Looney Tunes and Merry Melodies cartoons. Most of Leghorn's cartoons involved playing tricks on the Barnyard Dawg, a basset hound that has a weird rivalry with the rooster. Foghorn also has an odd relationship with a young chickenhawk named Henery Hawk, who often tries (despite his small stature) to kill and eat him.
If you're wondering how a Looney Tunes character ended up with the accents and mannersisms of a Southern gentleman, it's because Leghorn's character was largely ripped straight off a 1940s radio character, right down to the catchphrases. While the radio died out, Foghorn Leghorn lived on....even if he's largely just a background character in most modern Looney Tunes cartoons.
Ernie the Giant Chicken
Family Guy is known for its recurring jokes and there's none more epic than Peter Griffin's fights with Ernie the Giant Chicken. It was unclear at first whether Ernie was a man in a chicken suit or an anthropomorphic chicken, but his massive knock out, dragdown fights were the things of legend.
Ernie and Peter's epic rivalry began in an second season episode when Ernie gave Peter an expired coupon during a flashback. When Peter confronted Ernie, the two fought through downtown Quahog until they both plunged off an office building. Peter won by using Ernie to cushion his fall and left the chicken dead on the street.
Since then, Ernie has appeared on multiple occasions to fight Peter and even played Boba Fett during the Family Guy Star Wars episodes. We even got an origin story for Ernie: he's the result of a failed cloning attempt and is in fact a giant, hostile chicken.
If you grew up during the 1990s, you might remember the movie Rock-A-Doodle, which started an Elvis impersonating rooster named Chanticleer. Chanticleer was responsible for waking the sun up every morning at his local farm. Unfortunately, an owl (who hated the sun because he's nocturnal) tricked the other farm animals into kicking Chanticleer out, leading to eternal darkness on the farm.
Chanticleer turned to show business and became a big hit, as everyone wants to see a rooster impersonate Elvis. When Chanticleer's friends from the farm try to find him, they run into the owl's many henchmen and deal with Chanticleer forgetting how to call the sun because he was too busy pretending he was Elvis.
Rock-A-Doodle was directed and produced by legendary animator Don Bluth, the mind behind The Secret of NIMH and An American Tail. Unfortunately, Rock-A-Doodle flopped in theaters, although the movie lingered on the discount shelves of many a video store for years.
Alan-A-Dale is the rooster version of one of Robin Hood's Merry Men that appeared in the Disney classic Robin Hood. Alan-A-Dale is the movie's narrator, providing several songs as he tells viewers about Robin's adventures and occasionally even helps Robin in his fights against Prince John and the Sheriff of Nottingham. While Alan-A-Dale isn't much of a fighter, he does use his trusty mandolin to fire an arrow to take out one of the Sheriff's goons during the archery competition. Alan later sacrifices his musical instrument to protect several small children from arrows....which seems surprisingly dark for a Disney movie.
Alan-A-Dale is voiced by famous country singer Roger Miller, who's best known for songs like "King of the Road" and for writing the music to the "Big River" musical.