Sutton’s Empire Cinema, part of the largest independently owned cinema operator in the UK, has revealed what film creature characters are our favourites in advance of the release of The Secret Life of Pets, out on 24th June 2016.

In new research which asked the public about some of our favourite cinema critters, the snappy Donkey from Shrek topped the list with more than one in four (27%) favouring the Eddie Murphy voiced character. Close behind was the well-loved Simba, from The Lion King, a favourite for 22% of us.

Simba was an even bigger hit with 18-24 years olds with a third adoring the tough tyke of a lion (33%), not far behind in the same age group was the absent minded Dory from Finding Nemo and the upcoming Finding Dory. Beloved Lassie was the clear winner with over 55’s with 28% of the vote.

The recent success of The Jungle Book seems to have certainly made an impact, with one in five of us (20%) declaring Baloo the bear a favourite.

The genders were also divided. While only 14% of men professed a love of Winnie the Pooh’s Eeyore, 23% of women did, showing his grumpy resignation to life did not go unappreciated. The biggest decider between the sexes was Marley from Marley and Me, with 23% of women loving the character despite only 10% of men feeling the same.

For their fifth fully-animated feature-film collaboration, Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures present The Secret Life of Pets, a comedy about the lives our pets lead after we leave for work or school each day. Comedy superstars Louis C.K., Eric Stonestreet and Kevin Hart make their animated feature-film debuts in The Secret Life of Pets, which co-stars Ellie Kemper, Lake Bell, Jenny Slate, Bobby Moynihan, Hannibal Buress and Albert Brooks. Illumination founder and CEO Chris Meledandri and his longtime collaborator Janet Healy produce the film directed by Chris Renaud (Despicable Me, Despicable Me 2), co-directed by Yarrow Cheney and written by Brian Lynch and Cinco Paul & Ken Daurio.

Jon Nutton, Marketing Director of Empire Cinemas, said “Animals are some of the most memorable and popular children’s cinema characters of all time. From computer animated favourites such as Simba and Baloo, to real, live (highly trained) four-legged actors such as Chance and Shadow in Homeward Bound – these friendly creatures have captured the hearts of cinemagoers through generations. The Secret Life of Pets is sure to be another family favourite, celebrating the connection between humans and their pets.”