Movies are full of iconic characters and scenes, but finding ones starting with ‘N’ is perhaps not as easy as you would first think. So let’s go through this curated list of such characters to jog your memory.
Join me as we explore the letter ‘N’ and pick out some of the biggest characters in movies of the last few decades, see how many you recognize or which ones should have been included!
1. Nala (The Lion King)
The best friend of Simba since he was born, she teams up with Simba in order to reclaim the Pride Lands from Scar and the hyenas.
Appearing as a female tiger with blue eyes and a light brown nose, eventually she has two cubs with Simba, Kiara and Kion.
Nala is one of the strongest characters in Disney history, showing that she is not afraid to give back as hard as she gets it, and won’t let anyone take credit for her work.
She cares for Simba deeply, helping him through his lowest points and showing a lot of emotion when she thinks he is dead.
She is often the voice of reason as Simba is quick to use anger to resolve many challenges, but her firm tone, and steadfast resoluteness in her beliefs are her way to win arguments.
2. Nancy (Oliver Twist)
Bill Sikes’ former love interest, she appears as a world-weary woman with wispy blonde hair, in cahoots with Bill and seen in Fagin’s warehouse.
Taking an immediate liking to Oliver, she acts as a sort of mother figure to him and helps him out, although she is threatened by Sikes and forced to work for Fagin.
3. Nancy Drew (Nancy Drew)
A teen detective who always has an eye for clues, joining her father on a business trip leads her to solve a mystery surrounding the murder of a movie star Dehlia Draycott despite her promises that she would act ‘normal’ for the trip.
Finding it hard to fit into her new school, she instead takes up sleuthing for clues again.
4. Nani Pelekai (Lilo and Stitch)
Older sister and the legal guardian of Lilo, she is Lilo’s closest living relative after a car accident took their lives.
Nani is approximately 12 years the senior of the seven-year old Lilo. Nani has an intense schedule due to having to take care of Lilo, meaning she is constantly working, studying and doesn’t have much time for anything else.
Nani is mature and very kind, always wanting the best for Lilo, even at the expense of her own social life. Unfortunately the stress and likely lack of sleep often gets to Nani, causing her to lose her cool and snap at Lilo or not listen to the full story.
Nani also realizes that Lilo’s friends, Mertle, Elena, Teresa and Yuki, are actually bullies and does try to gently get Lilo to see this fact.
Nani is an accomplished surfer, having won many competitions but having to take a step back to look after Lilo.
5. Naoko Satomi (The Wind Rises)
Eventually becoming the wife of Jiro Horikoshi, she escapes the massive damage of the earthquake but has to assist her maid who has had her leg broken.
Appearing as a polite, demure woman, she is shy and not very keen on marrying Jiro until she has recovered from tuberculosis, but eventually she relents due to feeling so compatible with him and they have an impromptu traditional wedding.
Despite her declining health, Jiro pursues his dream as a pilot and even Naoko is feeling good enough to walk out and see him.
However, Jiro feels a burst of wind as he is soaring through the skies, and realizes that Naoko has died, and he only sees her alive in his dreams after this where she shows her kindness and loving character by insisting he continue to follow his dreams.
6. Napoleon Andrew Dustin Dynamite, Sr (Napoleon Dynamite)
A nerdy, thin social outcast from a country town, Napoleon is easily spotted by his ginger head of curls, glasses and distinctive way of speaking.
Frustrated with his annoying brother Kip who spends all day on the internet talking to hot chicks, Napoleon is a unique individual who often has awkward interactions with everyone he meets due to his strong personality.
Living at home with his grandmother, he eventually makes friends with another social outcast Pedro Sanchez and helps him with his election campaign for class president, including one of the most interesting dance performances to galvanize the base seen in movie history.
His lack of social skills means he is unable to realize that Trisha Stevens is out of his league and hates his guts, while not realizing that Deb Bradshaw has a crush on him.
Napoleon’s Uncle Rico comes to babysit them, making his home life even worse than before, especially after he insults Deb’s looks and makes Deb hate Napoleon.
However, his willingness to do anything to achieve his goals see Napoleon achieve some moderate success by the end of the film, even taming a ‘wild stallion’.
7. Nelson Muntz (The Simpsons Movie)
Always seen in his tatty blue vest and orange shirt, he is the school bully of Springfield Elementary School that is never far away from punching Millhouse or Bart in the stomach for no real reason.
Often teaming up with Jimbo Jones, Dolph Starbeam, and Kearney Zzyzwicz, he likes to laugh at others misfortune and always gets his way with physical violence.
His bullying is actually quite subtle, with Nelson having shown many times that the reasons why he laughs at someone or puts them down is sometimes quite well reasoned.
Having been held back several years, he often runs through the defense due to his superior size and strength when he plays football.
8. Nemo (Finding Nemo)
Having so many nicknames it’s hard to keep track, Nemo is known as Shark Bait, Fishy, Little Guy, Little Fella, Fabio, Chico, Harpo, Bingo, and Elmo among others.
Nemo is a young, orange clownfish with white rings tinged with black. He really doesn’t like being stuck especially in small areas, his father Marlin’s overprotectiveness, but at the same time really hates being separated from his father.
Quite friendly, he is a very energetic young fish and can’t wait to go to school but after getting scooped up scuba divers, he goes on quite the adventure.
Nemo shows he is also very brave, taking on certain actions which could lead to death or serious injury, such as jamming the fish tank filter willingly entering a net to help Dory and other fish to help them escape.
Nemo clearly matures and grows from his experiences, perhaps learning the hard way what ‘be careful what you wish for’ really means.
9. Neo (The Matrix)
‘Real name’ Thomas A Anderson, Neo is an ordinary guy living an ordinary life. After a strange interaction with his computer, he gets pulled into a meeting that will change his life, a meeting with a man by Morpheus.
After accepting the red pill, a metaphor for freedom and waking up, Neo is shown that he is actually living in a simulation called the Matrix, and has holes all over his body due to being the power supply for the robot hordes which have taken over the real Earth.
Appearing as a 30-something man, Neo is actually prophesied by the Oracle to be The One: A Prime Program that has vast superhuman abilities which even can be used to a lesser extent in the real world.
Taking some time to understand what this all means, he eventually comes to be told that he must try and save the world from the machines and end the Machine War.
Initially not understanding or believing in the severity of the situation or believing in his own powers, he begins to believe after some encounters with the Machines and their malicious programs known as Agents.
10. Neytiri te Tskaha Mo’at’ite (Avatar)
Na’vi princess of the Omaticaya clan, she rescues Jake Sully from viperwolves.
Being the second-born daughter of Eytukan and Mo’at and younger sister of Sylwanin, she eventually succeeded in becoming the spiritual leader of the clan, or Tsahìk.
Appearing as a typical Na’vi, she is very tall compared to a human and is all blue with some lighter shades of blue on her stomach and legs, and with striations across most of her body. With cat ears and a flat nose, she also has a tail.
Neytiri realizes Jake’s helplessness and becomes his teacher and helps him to complete several tasks. However, Jake’s revelation that he knew about the RDA’s plan and is partly responsible for the destruction of their home leads Neytiri to reject him.
However, Jake’s later redemption through showing he is trying to stop the destruction leads the Na’vi to accept him once more, even leading Neytiri to save him from being killed by Miles Quaritch.
11. Nick Chevotarevich (The Deer Hunter)
A steel mill worker who loves to go hunting with his co-workers, he finds identity in his Slavic roots, bonding with everyone else in the town with these shared ethnic backgrounds.
Appearing as a typical Pennsylvania laborer, he eventually ends up a shallow husk of a man wearing a red bandanna.
Engaged to be married to Linda, Nick heads off to Vietnam with Mike and Savage. All three getting caught by the Viet Cong, they are forced into a real life game of Russian roulette with a revolver, with their jailors betting on the outcome.
After Savage is broken mentally and is severely punished for his deviation from the rules, the remaining two decide to use the gun to kill their captors and escape. After being rescued, Nick is also clearly mentally disturbed by the ordeal and is thought to have deserted.
Tracking down Nick in Saigon, after a brief return to the United States of America, Mike finds his friend is a heroin addict who makes money via the Russian roulette game, seemingly not even recognizing his best friend Mike, shortly before killing himself with the revolver.
12. Officer Nicholas Piberius ‘Nick’ Wilde (Zootopia)
A male red fox who has a longtime hatred of other animals due to being ostracized just due to him being a fox, he hates muzzles.
Leaning into the general public’s perception of foxes as sly, vile and untrustworthy, he embraces this by becoming a successful con artist, although even then he finds a lot of prejudice stopping him from carrying out his schemes.
Working with another fox, fennec fox Finnick, to carry out his schemes, Nick has a slim build and is covered with red fur and a cream underbelly, with darker fur on his feet, hands and tips of his ears.
Generally seen wearing a Hawaiian shirt and dark necktie with gray pants, he eventually becomes a police officer due to Judy Hopps’ encouragement, with his easy going personality and charming facade helping quite a lot to get what he wants.
13. Nigel (The Wild)
An energetic yet immature koala, he has blown up in popularity due to being immortalized in a plush toy, causing him to have legions of (unwanted) fans.
Eventually kidnapped by wildebeests and made king, he enjoys this increase in power and separation from his annoying fans but it doesn’t quite work out when he realizes that his new subjects are keen to eat all of his zoo friends.
Eventually ending up with a yellow pineapple hat and green torch similar to that of the United States of America New York-based Liberty Enlightening the World statute, he is a typical koala of gray fur and a large black nose.
14. Norm (Norm of the North)
A polar bear who is the son of the current King of the Arctic, he discovers a genetic trait of being able to speak to and understand humans, which unfortunately gets him kicked out of the circle of animals.
After being drugged by a developer and brought to New York in the United States of America, Norm pretends to be an actor and auditions for commercials and is taken to dinner by Vera, the developer.
Realizing that the creation of houses and condos in the Arctic is causing issues with the long-term health of his home, Norm takes it upon himself to rid the area of the malign influence of the humans.
15. Norman Bates (Psycho)
The proprietor of the Bates Motel, he first murders his mother and then shows his multiple personalities. Norma Bates, likely a holdover from his domineering mother, urges him to commit more murders and controls the other personalitys such as Norman Bates.
A third personality, sometimes thought of as Normal Bates, is the one that is shown to the public and the guests. It is important for the overall running of the hotel as otherwise the disjointed and unhinged Bates won’t do much more than killing his revenue streams.
Having his aunt murdering his father when he was just a child, the abuse from his mother led to his twisted adult self being in complete isolation, eventually resulting in Bates killing his mother and her new lover with poison and passing it off as a murder-suicide.
As Bates further descends into madness, he starts killing every woman who comes near the hotel or stays at it, which soon becomes basically everyone since a new highway takes traffic away from the business completely.