Disney Best Side Characters

Best Side Characters- This list is just the Disney Canon so no Pixar or Tim Burton included!

18. Pain and Panic (Hercules)- very clever devilish side characters that change their shape and are literally all about pain and panic.  Every scene they are in makes me laugh and they are probably my favorite villain sidekicks in Disney.

pain and panic17. Jiminy Cricket (Pinocchio) the warmth that is desperately needed in Pinocchio. Jiminy is crucial to the story as the moral compass in a morality tale.  He gets frustrated when Pinocchio won’t listen just as I’m sure God gets with us when we are stubborn.

jiminy16. Jock and Trusty(Lady and the Tramp)- Everything in Lady in the Tramp is oh so lovable including the sidekicks Jock and Trusty. The dialogue for them is very well written and when they decide to propose to Lady to make her feel better it is a sweet moment.

trustyjock15.Mushu (Mulan)- I still think it is Eddie Murphy’s best voice performance.  He is insecure and manic without being annoying.  Gets a lot of good laughs and helps to narrate throughout the film.  He starts out with selfish motives but the more he gets to know Mulan the more he grows to care for her and think less of himself.

Mushu_kh14.  Timothy Q Mouse (Dumbo) – I love Timothy.  He sticks up for a total stranger, an elephant no less, and pleads with others to understand things that are different.  It frustrates me Dumbo is discounted as racist by many when the heart of the movie is about embracing diversity.

Timothy_Q._Mouse

13. Thumper (Bambi)- There are a lot of characters you could pick from Bambi but Thumper is probably my favorite.  He is a smart alek  who always gets in trouble and has to apologize.  He introduces Bambi to a lot of new things and has a courage and general cheerfulness that is very appealing.  In a movie which is pretty sad Thumper’s optimism and cheerfulness is desperately needed and appreciated.

thumper

12. 7 Dwarves (Snow White and 7 Dwarves)- The first Disney sidekicks that set the standard for not only all Disney but all animated movies.  The Dwarves are easy to understand yet charming and when they are grieving it is remarkably touching for characters that should be one-note.  Plus their singing is still one of my favorites.  Love the harmonies!

7dwarfs11. Sebastian (Little Mermaid) – I want to put him higher because I love Little Mermaid so much but Sebastian isn’t that varied of a character.  Most of the movie he is yelling after Ariel trying to get her to stop misbehaving.  That said it is done with a lot of humor and flare. As the reggae crab who is also a symphony conductor he is kind of a strange mixture of personalities but that makes him so charming.  When he sings Under the Sea it is one of the most joyous moments in all of Disney canon.

sebastian mouth agape

10. Atlantis Crew (Atlantis: The Lost Empire)- Yep, I know some of you will be outraged but I call it like I see it.  I loved these guys! I thought they were hilarious and I loved the diversity and their unique personalities. Moliere is so funny as the mole man always wanting to dig and Audrey is a tom boy but still managing to be vulnerable.

Vinny is great as the cynical Italian who also likes to blow things up and I liked Joshua Sweet is a doctor and not much is made about his race.  Helga is a seriously tough woman who beats the tar out of a couple people.  I just love the combination of characters for a treasure hunting movie and I thought it totally worked for the type of story they were telling. This group kind of reminds me of a more diverse older version of the Goonies and I loved it.  I know I’m in the minority on that but I don’t care! Hey it proves I’m not just spewing out what is popular but giving my own unique opinion.

atlantis crew9. Olaf (Frozen)- I love Olaf.  He has such heart and is a sweet and sincere.  He dreams of being in summer despite being a snowman. How more hopeful can a character be?  His vocal performance by Josh Gad is perfect and his song is funny and sweet. They also use Olaf just enough so he stays charming and isn’t annoying.  When he is willing to melt for his friend it makes me tear up every time.

olafhappy

8. Timon and Pumbaa (Lion King)- On the surface our 2 sidekicks from The Lion King are silly characters who sing about flatulence and being lazy but they serve an important part of the story by offering Simba an alternative philosophy on life.  He can be carefree and happy or he can risk being miserable but actually do something with his life.  The choice is actually a tough one.  They are also loyal and very funny (and the only characters aside from Jeremy Irons that actually sing their songs in Lion King!).

timon and pumba7.  Gus Gus and Jaq (Cinderella)-  a lot of people find the mice in Cinderella annoying but I love them.  They are loyal and have such a sweet desire to help their friend.  They risk serious peril to get her dress made and when it is all destroyed it is one of the most devastating moments in all of Disney both for Cinderella but also for the mice who worked so hard to make it happen.

Cinderella-Clutch_JG_stairs3

6. The 3 Faeries- Flora, Fauna and Merrywether (Sleeping Beauty).  Watching the disastrous Maleficent made me realize how key to the story of Sleeping Beauty the faeries are.  They are the emotional heart of the film.  With the exception of maybe Phillip, the rest of the characters are kind of one note.  With the faeries we have anger, fear, jealousy, joy, silliness, courage, and hope.  Yes the scene baking the cake is comic relief but when you think about what comes after the audience needs that lightness.  They are smart and capable and the one’s who truly defeat Maleficent in the end.  The fact the new movie made them negligent idiots still burns me up!

Sleeping-Beauty-disney-18543904-640-360
this scene attending to the comatose Briar Rose is so heartbreaking
Flora-Fauna-and-Merryweather-sleeping-beauty-6461473-403-225
3 great ladies not given near enough credit! Fauna, Flora and Merrywether

5. Tinker Bell (Peter Pan)- Probably the most iconic sidekick of them all Tinker bell is probably the second character people associate with Disney after Mickey Mouse.  I really enjoy her own series of movies and the strong but sweet character there but I also find her fascinating in Peter Pan.  Aside from Tink dying they keep pretty close to the faerie in the original play.  She is jealous, angry, frustrated and yet she provides pixie dust and magic.  It’s kind of an interesting paradox.  In a strange way she is actually a very complex female character in an era when not many existed.

Tinkerbell Peter Pan 1953 Mirror4. Alice in Wonderland Cast (Alice in Wonderland)- I know a bit of a cheat but basically Alice in Wonderland is her meeting a series of great minor characters.  That’s the whole story and they all work equally well.  Whether it is the white rabbit, Cheshire cat, blue caterpillar, singing flowers, cards soldiers, March Hare and more they are endlessly engaging.  Some of them are mean, others cheeful, most complete nonsense and I love it! I think people that complain Alice in Wonderland has no story are missing the entire point of the story.  I didn’t appreciate it as much as a child but it is one of my favorites now and it isn’t because of Alice but all the wonderful characters she meets.

alice-in-wonderland-movie-poster-1951-10201981203. Baymax (Big Hero 6)- Call it recency bias if you want but I can’t think of a character I responded more to the moment I saw them than Baymax.  He is a symbol of the love of a brother and in many ways he symbolizes love and the need of all of us to be loved and taken care of.  That said, he isn’t really schmaltzy as you might expect.  Everything he says is simple and to the point but with great concern.  It strikes just the right note and the script allows him to be a part of humor as well as tenderness.  Most of these sidekicks I would never want in my life but I want my own Baymax.  I loved Big Hero 6 and you could certainly include the entire team as dynamic wonderful sidekicks but Baymax takes the crown!  I haven’t felt such affection for a character since the mice in Cinderella.

baymax2. Lumiere (Beauty and the Beast)- really all the characters in Beauty and the Beast are great side characters- Mrs Potts, Cogsworth, Lefou ect are all fantastic.  But if I had to pick my favorite it would be Lumiere.  He is on  one hand a smug showman who doesn’t listen but on the other he is generous, kind, and so much fun.  He definitely has Disney’s greatest sidekick song (with Under the Sea being a close second).  The voice performance by Jerry Orbach is one of the best ever and all in all he is simply charming.

Disney BEAUTY & THE BEAST 3D1. Genie (Aladdin)- The reason I picked the Genie as the greatest sidekick is he is the only one on this list that single-handedly makes the entire movie work.  Without Robin Williams manic performance in Aladdin there would be no movie.  Every other film I’ve mentioned I could take out the side character and the movie would suffer but be able to continue.  Without the Genie, Aladdin as a character never gets challenged or given an opportunity to grow.  Without Genie 2 of the songs wouldn’t exist and all the humor would be gone.  He is the magic for the story and in hoping for his freedom provides the real heart of the story.  I’d say it is not only the greatest Disney side character but one of the greatest period in all of movies. We would expect nothing less from the late great Robin Williams.

Genie-from-Aladdin-dancing

16 thoughts on “Disney Best Side Characters

  1. great list. the Atlantis crew are the only ones I’m not too familiar with because I only saw the movie once (when it came out)

    guess that means I should rewatch it to refresh my memory.

    Tnx for the reminder!🙂

    Genie is most definitely the best. It’s too bad Disney pissed off Williams so much he refused to come back for the sequel which coulda been much better with him hanging around

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the comment and welcome to the blog.

      I am in the minority on Atlantis but if you approach it like an action adventure movie such as Goonies, Indiana Jones or even National Treasure I think you will have a lot of fun with it. I love how they create a new culture using bits from lots of other groups and have an Atlantian language. All of these made it creative and fun for me. The animation is gorgeous and the crew diverse and hilarious with a good script. They have different looking characters who act differently than typical Disney and I found that refreshing. The plot is predictable but that’s always the case with this type of movie and there is a moment where I honestly thought the team was leaving Milo and they play it just right. I think a lotof people want it to be a movie it isnt. It’s a creative treasure hunting story with hints of steampunk thrown in. Like an old Jules Vern novel.

      But like I said definitely in the minority on that one but I call it like I see it! (I love action adventure treasure hunting movies! One of my favorite genres and they always have plot holes and silliness but that’s part of the fun. I mean look at Goonies. Tons of plot holes but the treasure hunt and characters are so much fun I love it).

      I agree on the Genie. I see why of course Disney had to promote Robin Williams but they shouldn’t have made the agreement they did with him. Renegging on their promise was super lame. Have you seen the 3rd Aladdin movie? Robin Williams is back for that so I guess they made up. He makes Aladdin

      Liked by 1 person

      1. of course Ive seen it, but it truly pales in comparison to the original even Williams felt subdued there.

        Love Goonies, Indiana Jones and National Treasure despite the holes, so hopefully i’ll enjoy Atlantis when I get to it (u’ve bumped it up my list, so maybe this week even )🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Totally agree. 3rd is slim gruel compared to original but was nice to see him back.

        Oh boy! Excited to spread the Atlantis love. Most people are very tough on it. I just think it does what it is trying to do so well. You should read my original review

        http://wp.me/P4VRGy-kC

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Cool! I totally get that. I hope you like it but I understand those who don’t as well. It will be interesting to see what you think. I didn’t care for it when I watched it in the theater but again I think I was expecting it to be something it wasn’t. When watching the canon again I was really charmed by it. It along with Hunchback and Treasure Planet are probably the biggest creative risks Disney ever took and when you take that kind of risk it will be divisive.

        Like

      4. Really like Pumba and Timone and who doesn’t love the 7 dwarves. U’ve actually now got me curious as to which disney movies I haven’t yet reviewed. Gonna have to check into that

        Liked by 1 person

      5. If you look on my Disney Canon page you see all the Disney films listed with links to the reviews.
        Totally agree with you on T and P and 7 Dwarves. They are so loveable

        Liked by 1 person

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