Since this has sort of become an unintentional Disney month (Star Trek blog on the 1st aside), why not go all the way with it? I talked about the minor characters in my last two articles, but what about the sidekicks? Heroes and villains both have them, and mostly they are there to bring in some comic relief. Though once in awhile they do a little more than that.
I decided that there was no way to do this justice alone (as you’ll see I there are many Disney movies in my “still have to see” pile”). So my friend Les offered to help.
LES:Â Hi rich.Â Thanks for having me in on this one.
RichB:My pleasure my friend!Â So letâ€™s start with my #10 choice for the hero sidekicks â€”
#10.Flora, Fauna and Merryweather (Sleeping Beauty)
Staring with this because itâ€™s hard to say they are sidekicks, but there is no real â€œheroâ€ in this movie. There are only a couple things memorable in this movie. And none of them are Sleeping Beauty herself. The villain is memorable. The final action scene is memorable. And, yes, the three fairies are very cute characters.But what I like about them is that you truly feel they care for Aurora. And the way they try to help in the final battle is awesome! Theyâ€™re powerful little fairies!
LES:Â You make a pretty good point about the most memorable thing about the film isnâ€™t the heroine, but the villain, the final action scene and these 3 characters.Â Years after seeing the film, I still remember them and remember them being pretty funny.Â As for my #10, Iâ€™m going with a mass of protoplasm.
#10Â Morph(Treasure Planet)
This is an interesting character as heâ€™s the sidekick of pseudo-villain Long John Silverâ€¦AND hero Jim Hawkins.Â It might be his morphability is also prevalent in his personality.Â In fact one of the great scenes is during a firefight aboard the ship, Morph has the Treasure Map and Silverâ€™s on one side beckoning him to come to him, and Jimâ€™s on the other side trying to coax him as well.Â You can see poor Morph struggling between his two loyalties.Â The rest of the time, heâ€™s mischievous and clever, using his powers to imitate anything.
RichB:Sadly I may say this a lot, but I didnâ€™t see this one and so canâ€™t comment. Sounds like a cool character though!
#9.Tinkerbell (Peter Pan)
The funny thing is, I like Tinkerbell more as a a symbol of Disney than as a character. I smile every time she appears at the end of something, In Peter Pan she was kind of, well, mean. She was jealous and did mean things. But she was also a loyal companion and Iâ€™ve always been a fan of her. Anyone who can make people fly by sprinkling some pixie dust is OK in my book! I have not seen the movie with her name nor will I probably ever.
LES:Â Awwwwâ€¦but all you gotta do is clap your hands and shout â€œI BELIEVE IN FAIRIESâ€¦I DO!â€¦I DO!!!!!â€Â Well, considering sheâ€™s the companion of Peter Pan, a pre-adolescent who never grew up, sheâ€™s bound to be quite childish, herself.Â I like the fact that all her emotions are on the surface no matter what sheâ€™s feeling, she broadcasts it loudly.Â One interesting fact to noteâ€¦Tinkerbellâ€™s body was modeled after Marilyn Monroe.Â And so, for my #9 pick, Iâ€™m going with a very loyal bloodhound.
#9Â Toby(The Great Mouse Detective)
This is the dog of Sherlock Holmes, who Basil of Baker Street utilizes in his sleuthing.Â Heâ€™s just such a great character in his facial expressions and very energetic demeanor to find the criminal to bring to justice.Â I also adore the way heâ€™s animated so his ear can become a stairway for the heroes to climb onto his back.
RichB:Aw man, 0-2. So far youâ€™re definitely the bigger Disney fan, good think youâ€™re along. No I never saw this one either (as far as I remember), So letâ€™s go to my #8 who became much like Tinker Bell has become an icon.
#8.Jiminy Cricket (Pinocchio)
Yeah, Jiminy tends to pop up as a voice of reason from â€œFun and Fancy Freeâ€ up to â€œSnowed in at the House of Mouseâ€.Â I liked him in Mickeyâ€™s Christmas Carol more than I did in the movie to be honest. But of course this is not my favorite movie. You gotta love how he opens the film singing â€œWhen You Wish Upon a Starâ€, and the way he is always at Pinocchioâ€™s side. He is supposed to be Pinocchioâ€™sâ€Conscienceâ€ and he really does a good job. Even if Pinocchio doesnâ€™t always heed that advise. No matter what trouble he got himself into, Jiminy was always right there to help.Itâ€™s no wonder he is still around, who wouldnâ€™t want someone like him watching over them when they do stupid, stupid things?
LES:Â You never saw â€œThe Great Mouse Detective?â€â€¦.dudeâ€¦Go watch it nowâ€¦.one of the best Disney villains of all time is in it:Â Professor Rattigan(Vincent Price)â€¦butâ€¦getting back on trackâ€¦.AHHHH Jiminy.Â I love this character, and every incarnation Iâ€™ve seen of him(Love Archie the therapist in â€œOnce Upon a Timeâ€ but I digressâ€¦.).Â Pinocchio is actually the first film I ever saw(age 3) in the theater.Â I like how resourceful he is and his determination to help Pinocchio become a real boy.Â Ok, for my #8, Iâ€™ll pick one you probably knowâ€¦
This little robot MO(Microbe Obliterator) is a obsessive compulsive cleaning machine on the Axiom who spends 90% of his screen time following the contaminated trail of WALLe(the garbage compacting robot from Earth) all over the ship.Â When he finally catches up to him, he saves his and Eveâ€™s life by blocking the door of the garbage disposal.Â They become best of friends after that.
RichB:WALLe is a great movie and has a lot of heart. I never really watched it, but this is one I really should one of these days. That sounds like a well done character. Hey, speaking of Pixarâ€¦..
#7.Dory (Finding Nemo)
Ok, now weâ€™re talking! Ellen Degeneres turned this potentially boring character into one everyone remembers (was that a pun?)! Why else would they be planning a sequel movie? The gimmick of her having no long term memory could have been lame, but somehow the movie makes it work. We care for her just as much as we do Marlin or Nemo himself. I also like how Marlin helps her while she is trying to help him, they really need each other and donâ€™t see friends like that in Disney movies often aside from romantic relationships. Not much else to say, a loyal companion through and through and is easily the best remembered part of that movie.
LES:Â Great pick, my friend.Â I love Dory and will be first on line for the sequel. (Although itâ€™s her short term memory that doesnâ€™t workâ€¦.)Â Using Ellen DeGeneress was a slam dunk for this character and she made her unforgettable.Â Ok, for my #7, Iâ€™m going with a mythic character.
Yeah, sure, Disney did its usual butchering of mythology in this film combining several Greek stories to bring characters together in ways they never did before, but I really like that the fabled winged horse is made the companion to demigod Hercules.Â Heâ€™s got so much personality, that you can see several other horses in future films couldâ€™ve taken inspiration from him(Ultivo from â€œOn the Road to El Dorado, and Maximus from â€œTangled,â€ for instanceâ€¦.).Â Supremely loyal, he really backs up the hero when Hercules needs him.
RichB:Oops, short term memory. Maybe thereâ€™s something wrong with mine? Seriously that was an awesome choice (from yet another movie I haven’t seen….I am ashamed)!!
#6.Sebastian (Little Mermaid)
â€œUnder the Seaâ€¦â€ I freaking love that song! And I love Sebastian, how could you not? I talked the other day about Chef Louis and part of the fun in that scene is watching Sebastian reacting. Samuel E. Wright made this character so awesome. He was smart and clever, and could stand up for himselfâ€¦but he could also be a wimp at times too.Â Like when Triton gets the truth out of him about what Ariel is doing. You can clearly tell that he feels bad about it after, he is a real sweet character and always means well even if he isnâ€™t perfect.Great servant to King Triton and did a good job keeping an eye on Ariel. He really tries to get Ariel to listen to him about Ursual, but she is a teenager and is angry at him at the same time. So after he watches over her, the loyal friend. I love this character and he could sing too!!!!!
LES:Â Definitelyâ€¦I saw this film 12 times in the theater, and Sebastian was a big part of why I did.Â While he boasts of needing to be tough on kids, when it comes down to it, he really is a soft shell around Ariel, but when he needs to get tough, he pulls it off in the final battle with Ursulaâ€¦plus, I simply LOVE the way he used turtles, reeds, crickets and surrounding creatures to create the â€œKiss the Girlâ€ number.Â BRILLIANT!Â For my #6, Iâ€™m going with an Albatross.
#6Â Wilbur(The Rescuers Down Under)
I love John Candy, and this is one of his best characters ever.Â As the brother of Orville(The Albatross from the first Rescuers film), he flies Bernard and Bianca to Australia to save a kidnapped little boy.Â However, shortly after landing(one of the funniest scenes ever BTW), he throws his back out and they take him to a local doctor for TLCâ€¦that somehow involves a chainsawâ€¦..Anyway, after treatmentâ€¦er he escapes, he spends the rest of the film trying to find the mice to help them in their assignment.Â A great character and a perfect voice for him.
RichB:John Candy could make any character charming, and this one was no exception. He is still missed. This is a very underrated film.
Speaking of good voice actors that are missed terriblyâ€¦
Ah Robin Williams, how you are missed. What he did with this character is still being copied today. But you canâ€™t beat the original, and this Genie was funny as hell! It worked because Williams improv skills made the Genie feel natural and not forced. It was funny because..it was funny. But while he was silly and goofy, he could also be a true friend. He took Aladdin seriously and tried to guide him to the right path. I think Iâ€™ve said this before, but I think I like his serious moments more than the goofy oneâ€™s. Itâ€™s those moments where you really see his heart. Genie was one of the best characters ever I think.
LES:Â Absolutely.Â Robin OWNED that role and the film never wouldâ€™ve been as good without his magic.Â RIP Robin.Â For my #5, Iâ€™m going back to the classics.
Would Cinderella be the same without her mice friends?Â Not likely LOL!Â Jaq was just such a fun character who was fiercely loyal to Cinderella and his buddy Gus Gus as they worked hard to stay one step ahead of Lucifer the cat.Â I love how they had a whole network of secret passages throughout the entire Tremaine estate to flit through to get Cinderella the things she needed to complete her dress.Â Of course, the Fairy Godmother gets a lot of the glory for the night of the Ball, but Jaq was there every day and he made a difference.
RichB:I LOVED THE MICE!! The way they really want to help Cinderella. In fact that scene where they made the dress is one of my favorite Disney scenes ever. Jaq saved the day and that gets forgotten by people.
My next choice is a little more recentâ€¦
#4.Mr Potato Head (Toy Story)
Honestly any one of the supporting cast could be here. Rex, Slink, Wheezyâ€¦.well not Wheezy. So why then did I pick this one? Because Don Rickles did the voice. Yeah his personality is all over this character and to see that personality come out of what is considered an innocent toy for young children is just priceless! Heâ€™s the kind of friend who plays the tough guy and even acts like a jerk by complaining all the time, but when the chips are down he will be there. He is usually the first to feel guilty and/or apologize and want to help! What about Mrs.Potato Head? Perfect casting with George Costanzaâ€™s mother made that character a perfect companion.
LES:Â YEP!Â Mr. Potato Head is a wonderful sidekickâ€¦the way they used a tortilla as his body in part 3 was hysterical LOL!Â Iâ€™m still laughing at one of his first scenes.Â â€œWHAT ARE YOU LOOKING AT YOU HOCKEY PUCK!?â€(One of Don Ricklesâ€™ signature lines)â€¦and heâ€™s talking to a walking hockey puck!Â For my #4, Iâ€™m headed to Radiator Springs.
ALRIGHT!Â GIT â€˜R DONE!Â I know some people might not like this character, or Larry the Cable Guy who voices him, but I LOVE â€˜EM BOTH!Â Heâ€™s just the perfect down home redneck boy to pit with city slicker Lightning McQueen for a week while the later pays a traffic fine by repaving the road.Â Heâ€™s got a big heart and a glorious lack of sophistication and that makes for some great moments in the film.
RichB:Great story, so I went to see Disney on Ice with my nephew and when Mater came out he FREAKED OUT! He loved him, and who could blame the kid? Mater has such a big heart that there is no way you can not like the guy (er truck!).
So letâ€™s go from trucks to,â€¦.nah, this segue sucks 🙂
#3.Cogsworth and Lumiere (Beauty and the beast)
These two belong together! They play off each other almost as good asâ€¦. my #2 pick which weâ€™ll get to next. Before we get to that letâ€™s talk about LumiereÂ who is a candlestick and Cogsworth who is a clock. Lumiere is more casual and relaxed while Cogsworth is a bit more of an uptight worrywart. See how they work well? They are the opposite of each other, and while they tease and make fun you know that deep down they really care about each other. You really care about all the characters in this movie, and watching them defeat the horde of villagers at the end is glorious!! Oh what about Mrs.Potts? Angela Lansbury is awesome but the character really has no character beyond â€œKind mother to Chipâ€. But even with that said, this movie rocks!!
LES:Â Yeah, Lumiere and Cogsworth are fantastic in a â€œLaurel and Hardyâ€ kind of a way.Â Getting David Ogden Stiers and Jerry Orbach to voice them was inspired too.Â For my #3, Iâ€™m going with Aladdinâ€™s OTHER sidekick
Before the Genie even shows up, this little monkey with a fez(Fezes are cool(Matt Smith voice)) is a laugh riot every time heâ€™s on the screen.Â Voiced by Frank Welker, heâ€™s the perfect partner in crime for the street smart Aladdin as they steal their daily mealâ€¦but still donate some of it to those needier than they.Â Abuâ€™s a consummate pick pocket and that really comes in handy when Jafar thinks heâ€™s got the lamp and kicks them both back into the Cave of Wonders.
RichB:You know to be honest, I never really liked Abu. Heâ€™s a loyal companion donâ€™t get me wrong, but as a character he never really impressed me. Maybe because he never talked, that does make a difference.
#2.Timon & Pumbaa (Lion King)
I could be here all day talking about these two. I knew who they were before I ever saw the movie. Thatâ€™s how popular they were. They are like Cogsworth and Lumiere in that they play well off each other. Unlike those two, Timon and Pumbaa are flawed. Well Timon is anyway. He uses Simba when they first meet him, when Simba runs into Nala all he can do is think about how it affects them, and he even mocks Simba at points. Pumbaa has a big heart but needs Timon to help make his decisions, he probably would never survive on his own. So why are they here then? Because you know deep down they mean well, and in the end they are there, ready and willing to help Simba any way they can. Even if it mean dancing in a hula dress!
LES:Â Yeah, Timon & Pumbaa really did step up to the plate once Simba decided to retake the pride lands and take his place in the great circle of life.Â Besides, with Nathan Lane voicing Timon, you canâ€™t go wrong there LOL!Â As for my #2, Iâ€™m going with a glitch
#2Â Vanellope Von Schweetz(Wreck-It-Ralph)
I know what youâ€™re thinkingâ€¦WHY?Â Sheâ€™s a bratty, obnoxious little waif whoâ€™s selfish and orneryâ€¦and youâ€™re rightâ€¦but those are the very qualities that make her the perfect counterpart to Ralph.Â I just love her childishness and giddy excitement in everything she does. Plus, her chemistry with Ralph is just amazing.
RichB:We were doings so well! But that is another one I never saw, sad to say. I really got to catch up on my Disney films! I canâ€™t wait to see your #1, but first I have a very special choice for mine.
Oh my friend, we have to talk about Thumper! He was my favorite Disney character for a long time. I had the stuffed animal, andÂ loved him. I mean really loved it, so much that if I go to Disney World I usually buy another one (I never seem to hold on to them). He is adorable in the movie (in the first part anyway). I have seen that scene of him and Bambi ice skating a million time. Heâ€™s not perfect- he can be mischievous and tends to speak before thinking, but he always means well. I have made no secret that I hate the second part of the movie where they â€œfall in loveâ€. Gag me. But that first half or so when Thumper is cute and funnyâ€¦.canâ€™t get enough of him!
LES:Â Great pick, my friend.Â Thumper is one of those characters that everyone had a childhood friend just like him, or knew someone just like himâ€¦..at that age, I WAS him, but thatâ€™s a story for another day.Â Ok, my #1 pick?
#1Â Baymax(Big Hero 6)
OMG!Â Where to begin?Â I just love this big walking marshmallow!Â As a robot, heâ€™s amazing.Â His primary function as a medical companion makes him a gentle caregiver and watching him go though all the motions rating medical needs is quite amusing.Â However, when he sees that Hiro is depressed, heâ€™s willing to get an upgrade to be a flying, karate wielding battle robot if it will help cure his patient.Â Now THATâ€™S dedication, my friends.
RichB:Wow, I ha no idea! I gotta update my Netflix que. I have heard good things about that movie and character, and that is an awesome choice as #1!!
The funny thing my friend, despite this great list we still missed so many great oneâ€™s!
Timothy from Dumbo, Baloo from Jungle Book, Terk from Tarzan, Mushu from Mulan, the Gargoyles from Hunchback..well ok they werenâ€™t all great! Disney truly runs the gambit with supporting characters. They are funny and loyal friends and/or companions that we never forget!! By the way for the record, not a big Timothy fan and havenâ€™t seen the other two movies.
But we’re not done yet!! Come back next time asÂ Les and I resume with a look at the villain sidekicks! These characters can range from laugh out loud funny to scary as hell! Who are our favorite? Stay tuned my friends!!