I believe we can break down and classify all cartoon characters according to a system that is analogous to that used in Biology. As under the biological system, the Cartoon Kingdom can be broken down into Phyla, Classes, Orders, Families, Genera, and Species.
Major Phyla: Classic cartoons, TV cartoons, and Alternative cartoons
I think we’re all familiar with Classic cartoons and TV cartoons. The former is much easier to classify, however, since they fall into a relatively few major categories; they are analagous with Vertebrates in the animal kingdom. Classifying TV cartoons presents a challenge much like trying to classify invertebrates: something that would take years of study by specialists. Alternative cartoons represent an esoteric field of knowledge, and might belong to another Kingdom altogether; something like fungi.
Examples of Classes:
Classic cartoons > Major Studios: Warner Brothers, Disney, MGM, etc.
Classic cartoons > Minor Studios: Max Fleischer, who else besides?
Examples of Orders:
Classic cartoons > Major studios > Warner Brothers: Loony Toons, Merrie Melodies
Classic cartoons > Major studios > Disney: Feature films, Shorts
Examples of Families:
Classic cartoons > Major studios > Warner Brothers > Loony Toons: the Bugs/Daffy cycle; the Foghorn Leghorn cycle; the Roadrunner cycle; etc.
Classic cartoons > Major studios > Disney > Shorts: Mickey-centered 'toons, Donald-centered 'toons, etc.
Examples of Genera and Species:
Classic cartoons > Major studios > Warner Brothers > Loony Toons > the Bugs/Daffy cycle > Pigs > Stuttering Pigs (species porcus stutterus, to which Porky Pig belongs)
Classic cartoons > Major studios > Disney > Shorts > Mickey-centered 'toons > Dawgs > Human dawgs (species canis homii, to which Goofy belongs). And hey, if you don’t believe me, ask Unca Cecil
Suggestions, comments, recommended improvements or additions to this system? I’m thinking of basing my masters thesis on this theory.