Disney has built a literal kingdom of recognizable and memorable characters that not only propel films to massive box office success but stay with you well into adulthood. While there are plenty of princesses and villains to single out, where would a Disney movie be without a classic sidekick? A great Disney sidekick often outshines the hero, and so, in honor of these awesome characters, we've taken on the task of ranking the top 10 Disney sidekicks!
Note: This list is pure blood Disney. You won't find any Pixar characters on this list (they likely warrant their own list). You also won't find any villain sidekicks (sorry Iago fans), who really fall into a category all their own.
Taking into account categories like humor (sidekicks are often comic relief), personality, song, and lasting impact, this list was constructed from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs all the way to Moana. Whether you agree or disagree with our picks, let us know in the comments below!
10. Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather
The three color-coded good fairies from Sleeping Beauty have more than earned their place in the top 10. Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather are highlights of their debut film and have stuck around ever since. In a time when Disney was still trying to figure out lead female characters, the fairies completely outshine Aurora in the personality department, and steal the show with their playful bickering anytime Maleficent isn't around.
Lumière debuted in Beauty and the Beast and in a movie jam-packed with memorable sidekicks, the talking candelabra stands above the rest. With his swagger and wit, Lumière was a key figure in setting the mood for Beast and Belle (candlelight makes everything more romantic). Lumière also sings "Be Our Guest," arguably the best song in the whole film. Admittedly, he works best when played against Cogsworth the clock, but Lumière's one of the only ones with a French accent in a movie set in France, so, points.
8. Jiminy Cricket
This one needs no introduction. First appearing in 1937's Pinocchio (the second Disney animated film ever) and voiced by Cliff Edwards, Jiminy Cricket has held a nearly constant presence in Disney Animation. The master of right and wrong, Jiminy is more the heart than the conscience of Disney, symbolizing morality for kids to follow. The only reason he isn't higher on this list is because his personality is a tad bland when compared to some of the more memorable sidekicks.
Back when Frozen practically took over the world in 2013, you couldn't go anywhere without seeing Olaf. Now, a few years later, he's just as lovable. A scene-stealer in every way, Olaf is quite often hilarious, if a bit annoying at times, and as a magical snowman, he's one of the most creative Disney characters ever. His song "In Summer" is a delightful toe tapper full of character beats, even though it's completely eclipsed -- like everything in Frozen -- by "Let It Go."
Nobody made licking an anthill look so good. The Jungle Book is almost structured in chapters, and just about everyone would rather skip right to the Baloo one. Voiced to lazy perfection by Phil Harris, the easy-going Baloo is the unquestionable highlight of The Jungle Book and his song, "The Bare Necessities," is one of the most iconic odes in the Disney library. While some sidekicks like to be worry warts, Baloo would rather chill out and dance, man, but he also steps up big time when he has to. Baloo even works in live-action, though having Bill Murray's voice certainly helps.
Arguably the first modern Disney sidekick of Disney's Modern Renaissance period, Sebastian has one of the biggest personalities of all Disney characters, in no small part due to his inexplicable Jamaican accent (provided by Samuel E. Wright). Either under the sea or on land, he goes above and beyond for Ariel in The Little Mermaid -- often times at his own peril -- and, if he could get one, he'd definitely have an ulcer. Sebastian is ultimately willing to do anything to protect Ariel, even brave a chef with crab-related bloodlust. Sebastian is also notable for having TWO amazing songs, "Under the Sea," and "Kiss the Girl."
You don't get put into the Disney opening logo for nothing. The source of the magic arch over the Disney Castle, Tinkerbell has been a mainstay ever since _Peter Pan _(1953), arguably eclipsing the title character of their shared movie. Though she's pretty petty and jealous in the actual film, it only speaks volumes that Tink has managed to flourish for so long, despite that negative attitude (an attitude that got rebooted in later years). Tinkerbell even has her own series of successful straight-to-DVD animated movies, one of the only sidekicks able to boast such an accomplishment.
3. The Seven Dwarfs
It doesn't get any more OG than these guys. The Seven Dwarfs are the original sidekicks, debuting in the very first Disney animated movie, 1937's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Humble coal miners, Doc, Grumpy, Happy, Sleepy, Bashful, Sneezy, and Dopey found Snow White sleeping in their cabin and instead of throwing her out, let her stay so she could cook and clean for them (it was the 1930s). The Seven Dwarfs are irrefutable icons and do more in Snow White's movie than she does. And don't even pretend like you've never bellowed "Heigh Ho" even once in your life!
The Genie is one of Disney's most hilarious and unforgettable creations, in large part due to Robin William's terrific performance. Who else could get away with impersonating Rodney Dangerfield and Peter Lorre (among many others) in a 1993 kids movie? Williams brought his signature manic non-stop energy to Genie, creating a unique character full of humor and heart. Genie is a full-fledged character at the center of Aladdin, and finally getting his wish to be free is the most emotional moment in the entire movie.
1. Timon and Pumbaa
It was impossible to separate these two. It can't be overstated how much Timon and Pumbaa took over The Lion King, one of Disney's best films. This is an iconic screen duo; the two of them steal every scene they're in; provide excellent comic relief; sing the best song in the entire movie ("Hakuna Matata"); all while making bugs look delicious. Their presence far extends beyond The Lion King, appearing in its direct-to-DVD sequel, their own animated series, and several other Disney-related materials. They even got their own prequel spin-off, The Lion King 1 ½, wherein they are present/responsible for some of the major events of The Lion King. Any sidekicks that become the all-consuming face of their franchise is worthy of the No. 1 spot and all of this makes Timon and Pumbaa the best Disney sidekicks.
Matt has lived in New Jersey his entire life, but commutes every day to New York City. He graduated from Rowan University and loves Marvel, Nintendo, and going on long hikes and then greatly wishing he was back indoors. Matt has been covering the entertainment industry for over two years and will fight to his dying breath that Hulk and Black Widow make a good couple.
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