A lot of conversations leading into the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi were about the cute little alien seabirds called porgs. This was by design of course, which doesn't mean that there weren't also some concerns about little creatures internally. The Last Jedi's creature designer Neal Scanlan admits that there was a fear that the creatures would actually be too cute and that would result in the little guys not going over well with the fans. According to Scanlan...
It was a huge worry. I knew there was always going to be split opinions, but there is a fine line in Star Wars, where if you're not careful, it can cross over. I knew that if people responded to them so well from the trailers that they would continue to respond that way to them, in the film. I don't believe they ever step into overly cute or slapstick-y. They remained believable to me. They could almost be the little critters that live in your back garden.
There certainly were split opinions as not everybody loved the porgs. Not everybody loved anything about Star Wars: The Last Jedi, but the general feeling on the porgs seems to be that they're cute, without being too cute. According to Neal Scanlan's comments to Collider, this is exactly what they were going for. They were fun little additions to the story, without drawing focus away from the things that were important. If anything, considering how many people feel about some aspects of The Last Jedi, the fact is the porgs may have come out of the movie looking better than anything else overall.
It will be interesting to see what kind of staying power the porgs have. Will the cute little birds continue to be popular merchandise when Star Wars: The Last Jedi is no longer new? There's a decent chance that the porgs will make an appearance in Star Wars: Episode IX as at least one traveled with Chewbacca on board the Millennium Falcon. We may see them again, even though the movie itself may not travel back to their home planet.
Even if we don't see much of the progs in the next film, they could still become major cultural icons. While the general perspective on the Ewoks has changed somewhat over the years, they are, generally speaking, popular characters and they only ever appeared in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. Porgs are very similar to the Ewoks in many ways, not the least of which being the fact that neither creature is ever given a name in the film in which they appear, and yet we all know their names.
Porgs are cute but not too cute. They're funny, but not too funny. Overall it looks like the creature team did a great job bringing the birds to life.