The other dayÂ we discussed Disney hero sidekicks, but the real fun comes from the villain sidekicks! They are there to help the villains with their plans, and to fill a role that the villain lacks (usually in the comic relief area). Serious villains have goofy sidekicks while the goofierÂ the villain usually the scarier the sidekick. Let’s not waste any time let’s dive right in…….
RichB:Let’s talk about a nasty pair of sidekicks which are often forgotten.
#10.Desoto and Roscoe (Oliver & Company)
These Dobermanâ€™s meant business! It seemed to be a rule that the goofier the villain, the more serious the sidekick. And these guys were not kidding around. They spoke with soft Italian accents and were just menacing. When they chase our heroes, you really feel they are in jeapordy! These guys are a bit underrated, but are totally worth remembering!
Well Les after the other day I am dying to see your choices. What is your first?
LES:Â Well, I gotta applaud your choice, as many people seem to forget all about Oliver & Company(likely because itâ€™s the film right before â€œThe Little Mermaid,â€ but I digressâ€¦Yeah, Desoto and Roscoe were definitely intimidating and a good match for their master, Mr. Sykes(Robert Loggia)Â For my #10, Iâ€™m going with a robot with an attitude
This little robot does the dirty work for AUTO, the automatic pilot whoâ€™s following an emergency protocol to keep the Axiom from ever returning to Earth(despite the fact that EVE just brought proof that the environment is becoming livable again).Â While this character couldâ€™ve been done as emotionless, you really get a sense he gets a sinister kick out of being mean.
RichB:I really should see this movie, I was turned off by the fact there is no dialogue a bit of it (with ADD that could make me bored real fast) but that doesnâ€™t mean it wont work. Good choice my friend!
#9.Magic Mirror (Snow White)
There was a time when Disney would use the Magic Mirror for all kinds of things like hosting TV specials and introducing attractions in the theme parks. And why not? Itâ€™s a creepy character. What is the story anyway? Is it a living mirror? Is there a man trapped in there? And before anyone comments, I have never watched Once Upon a Time. And how in the world does he know that Snow White is the fairest of them all? Ever notice if he just lied and said it was the evil queen, the whole story would have never happened?? This is a mirror with not heart or soul and that is what makes it creepy.
LES:Â AH Magic Mirror, yes, I used to watch â€œThe Wonderful World of Disneyâ€ every Sunday night, and I remember a few of them using Magic Mirror(The one where he showcased villains was hysterical as Madame Medusa was the current Disney villain at the timeâ€¦)Â Well, heâ€™s magic mirror for a reason.Â He knows who the fairest of them all isâ€¦why?â€¦BECAUSE HEâ€™S MAGICAL LOL!Â Ok, for my #9, Iâ€™m going with a candy character.
#9Â Sour Bill(Wreck-It-Ralph)
The right hand candy of King Candy(Alan Tudyk), this perpetually gloomy sour ball is a laugh riot who perfectly counters King Candyâ€™s giddy enthusiasm.Â Plus, I LOVE the scene where Ralph pops him in his mouth as an interrogation technique.
RichB:That sounds interesting! As I noted this is another I have yet to see but his collab is really making me curious about what I have missed.
#8.Molt (Bugs Life)
I commented that Desoto and Roscoe are examples of a serious sidekick to compliment a goofy villain. This is the opposite. Since Hopper is dead serious, Molt is a goofy kind of sidekick. Richard Kind makes this grasshopper likeable, and we understand that he isnâ€™t really evil he just has to obey Hopper. In the end he is redeemed actually, which is really no surprise since itâ€™s clear through the whole movie he isnâ€™t really a bad guy. More of a spineless wimp.
LES:Â Yeah, thatâ€™s another tradition of Disney and Disney/Pixar:Â The sidekick trapped in a relationship to serve the villain whoâ€™s too afraid to leave them.Â Good pick on that one.Â For my #8, Iâ€™m going with 2 bumbling thieves.
#8Â Horace and Jasper(101 Dalmatians)
Remember when you said some of the sidekicks are funny to make up for the maliciously evil villains?Â Well hereâ€™s two REALLY good examples of that.Â These two couldâ€™ve been the inspiration for Marv and Harry(The â€œWet Banditsâ€ in â€œHome Aloneâ€).Â Theyâ€™re like an old married couple in the way they argue with each other.Â Theyâ€™re bumbling and stupid, but they do seem to enjoy doing their jobs.Â
RichB:The only problem with these two is that they donâ€™t outshine the villain. Everyone remembers Cruella but people donâ€™t remember these guys as easily. They were good and memorable (they even got into the â€œHouse of Villainsâ€ dance number) but for me, not the best example of a Disney sidekick. But thatâ€™s just me my friend.
Some sidekicks need a gimmick, like my next choice :
Another Doberman? Well, yeah but this one has a gimmick. All the dogs have devices that allow them to talk. But a malfunction makes Alpha sound like a chipmunk with a squeaky voice. It works because rather than making the character goofy, Alpha is a dead serious threat. And the voice makes logical sense (well, in the movieâ€™s universe anyway) so while we laugh when we first hear it, but the end the voice is not what we are focusing on and we take him seriously.
LES:Â Yeah, Alpha is a pretty good villain sidekick, and the voice is a humorous touch too.Â Iâ€™m kind of curious if Russell and Mr. Fredrickson kept him after they â€œinheritedâ€ the Muntz blimp.Â Ok, for my #7, Iâ€™m going to choose a dumped upon valet.
#7 Lawrence(The Princess and the Frog)
The valet of Prince Naveen, this guy was power hungry to get out from under his master, and the Shadowman, Dr. Facilier gave him his chance.Â And BOY did he ever take it, using the voodoo talisman and the blood of Naveen, he underwent a transformation to take his place.Â He really reveled in his new power and fought vociferously to keep it.
RichB:Iâ€™ve seen how cool the villain was and the firefly Ray almost made my last list, but i had no no idea about this character. Sounds like a real awesome one!
#6.Experiment 625 (aka Reuben) (Stitch! The Movie)
I wonâ€™t lie, this is the slot I had the hardest time filling. This guy wasnâ€™t even in he original movie. And if you watched the TV series as I did you forget that heâ€™s a villain because heâ€™s such a laid back and lazy character. But the truth he is Gantuâ€™s sidekick and seems to be mostly there to point out what a loser Gantu is. Though he is smart and does provide valuable information. But he is still a fun character and does get a redemption in the only ok Leroy and Stitch.
LES:Â Ok, Iâ€™ll concede heâ€™s a fun character(with a serious infatuation with sandwich making).Â Iâ€™m not sure if Iâ€™d consider him a good sidekick, as he doesnâ€™t seem to do a whole lot, but heâ€™s definitely fun to watch.Â
For my # 6, Iâ€™m going with a consummate suck up.
#6 LeFou(Beauty and the Beast)
OMG!Â This guy wouldnâ€™t know what to do with himself if it werenâ€™t for Gaston, the master he serves.Â He worships this guy!Â He also takes delight in bullying anyone Gaston tells him to(The scene where he goads Maurice into talking â€œcrazyâ€ before the asylum master is quite cruel).Â Plus, he gets, hands down, one of the best villain sidekick songs ever â€œGaston.â€Â â€œNooooo Oneâ€™s Slick as Gastonâ€¦or as Quick as Gastonâ€¦No oneâ€™s got a swell cleft in his chin like Gastonâ€ LMAO!
RichB:Man, only #6? This guy is one of the silliest villain sidekicks ever and the why he worships Gaston is justâ€¦..I donâ€™t have a word for it. He is just great, even if he is a bit dim witted, and itâ€™s impossible not to love this guy! I like that Gaston does seem to like the guy, of course he uses hims mercilessly like any good villain would. The only complain is that his ending is kind of weak, he deserved a more fitting exit.
(just looking at this pic and I hear “Oh Sing Nightingale” in my head)
What can you say about Anastasis and Drizella? It isnâ€™t bad enough that Cinderella has to deal with the meanest stepmother ever. But Lady Tremaineâ€™s two daughters are two horrible people. They fight, they bicker, and they refuse to give Cinderella a break! These characters were pretty stock in the classic movie, which is why i was glad to see the otherwise horrible sequels try to develop Anastasia’s character. She isnâ€™t evil just insecure, and does not follow her motherâ€™s orders happily, and Cinderella shows her she can have a happy ending also. Drizella is not as lucky as she tends to migrate more toward her awful stepmother and refuses to change her ways (though she does accept that her mother may not be perfect). Those sequels were awful but it was nice to these two become characters rather than caricatures. As for the original, itâ€™s always fun to listen to their petty bickering.
LES:Â YEP! Anastasia and Drizella are simply HORRIBLE to poor Cinderella and quite irredeemable in the first film.Â Having daughters, I did see the sequels and I, too, did appreciate what they did for Anastasiaâ€¦which makes here sort of a reformed villain of sorts.Â For my #5, Iâ€™m going with a woman who is turned on by power.
#5.Â Mirage(The Incredibles)
The right hand woman of Sindrome, Mirage is a lot like those femme fatales of the James Bond films.Â Sheâ€™s mysterious, not what she first appears to be, and is alluring and quite loyal to her masterâ€¦that is, until he gambles with her life, but thatâ€™s another story.Â I like her character arc through the film.
RichB:Another movie I never saw. I know, shame shame. I am glad that they gave that character an â€œarcâ€ and she wasnâ€™t just there to, well, be there.
#4.Si and Am (Lady and the Tramp)
I already talked about Aunt Sarah so it seemed only fair to give some attention to the other instigators of the movie. Si and Am are Siamese Cats (duh) and just love mischief! They arenâ€™t cute, theyâ€™re damn creepy! Itâ€™s pretty clear they like sucking up to Sarah to make sure that other get the blame for the mean things they do. In this movie that includes trying to kill a fish and stealing milk from a baby!. Itâ€™s funny because they only really get that one scene in the movie, they never appear again! That shows how memorable they were that everyone remembers them, rather than Aunt Sarah who had more screen time and was truly responsible for the harm that befalls Lady in the movie. I know that scene always stood out for me, itâ€™s a great scene in aâ€¦mediocre movie in my opinion. (and yes I still count Sarah as a minor villain since there really isnâ€™t one primary antagonist in this movie).
LES:Â â€œWE are Siameeeese if you pleeeeeaseâ€¦..â€ Yep, I remember them, my friend.Â They are quite diabolical in their mean deeds.Â You just want to see a pit bull come along and bite their heads off with a satisfying SNAP!â€¦erâ€¦I meanâ€¦yes, they are pretty evil.Â OK! MOVING ON!â€¦.My #4 is an Australian lizard.
#4.Â Joana(The Rescuers Down Under)
This is a villain sidekick whoâ€™s both menacing and funny as hell.Â The â€œpetâ€ Goana of Percival C. MacLeach(George C Scott), Joana is pretty much at the top of the food chain in her environment(Save the crocodiles at the end of the film, but I digressâ€¦).Â She loves lording over all the poor trapped creatures MacLeach will skin as a poacher.Â She also loves to eat eggs, which gives the film a hilarious scene where she steals a whole lunchbox full one egg at a time while MacLeach is contemplating how to get Cody to tell him where the Great Golden Eagleâ€™s nest is.Â Extremely expressive, sheâ€™s a great character.
RichB:I knew about the good guy we talked about last time but not this one, another one I have to check out.
Letâ€™s go from a Goana to Eelâ€™s with my #3 choiceâ€¦.
#3.Flotsam and Jetsam (Little Mermaid)
I am not sure why these two are so memorable. They are Ursulaâ€™s underlings and seem to enjoy every bit of it. They are slimy and evil and you wonder why Ariel even agrees to go with them to see Ursula. She does say no, but in a moment of teenage rebellion does go because she is mad at her father. That seems totally believable. The other scene I think everyone remembers them for is when Eric and Ariel are about to kiss, and they keep it from happening by tipping the boat over. With just these two scenes we see that without these two, Ursualâ€™s plans would have ended quickly. She seemed to actually care for them, as we saw when they were finally killed. As awesome a villain as she was, and she really was, she needed the two and they were fantastic sidekicks who did what they were told successfully!
LES:Â Yeah, those two were really good sidekicks who were very good at their jobs.Â I salute that choice.Â For my #3, Iâ€™m going for one of the goofier sidekicks.
#3.Â Kronk(The Emperorâ€™s New Groove)
If you donâ€™t laugh at this guy, thereâ€™s something wrong with your funny bone.Â Heâ€™s amazingly thick(bulky and headed) and makes for some really funny exchanges with his boss, Yzma(Eartha Kitt).Â Getting Patrick Warburton to voice him is the frosting on the cake.Â
I ADORED these two villains. Kronk was a dope but Warburton was able to make his so funny and likable. The way their chemistry worked was just fantastic, and this may be the one Disney movie I laughed my a** off while watching. Itâ€™s almost as if they new the movie wasnâ€™t very much so they went out of their way to make the voices memorable, I even like David Spade and John Goodman as the good guys.
While Kronk was a goof you could never take seriously, my next two are three sidekicks youâ€™d better take seriously!
#2.Shenzi, Banzai, And Ed (Lion King)
Most of the sidekicks to villains are not respected, they are obstacles (or comic relief). They are either dolts who just blindly follow the villain, or are smart but itâ€™s still clear that the villain is the one in charge. These three are the exception! The Hyenaâ€™s are taken dead seriously. Mufasa warns Simba not to go anywhere near them, Simba almost loses is life because of them, and even Scar knows that he has to watch his words to keep them on his side. If not he could be in troubleâ€¦which is what happens in the end when his doubletalk catches up to him and causes the Hyenaâ€™s to turn on him. And results in one of the nastiest villain deaths in any Disney movie (Hopper from Bugs Life was a bit nastier). Yeah they are goofy (especially Ed) and a little dim at timesâ€¦but donâ€™t push your luck with them!!
So you may wonder, if I liked Shenzi, Banzai, And Ed so much then why arenâ€™t they #1? Itâ€™s because of that one scene where they had to be stupid to keep the movie going. Of course thatâ€™s the scene where they let Simba run away, even though weâ€™ve already established how nasty they can be. Iâ€™m not saying itâ€™s a bad scene at all. I get that we need that moment to keep the plot moving, but itâ€™s a contrivance and hurts the characters in the end. So who is my #1?
But first we need to discuss your #2 Les. So what will it be my friend?
LES:Â Well, I do have to say BRAVO on Shenzi, Banzai and Ed.Â Youâ€™re absolutely right that theyâ€™re a genuine threat at all times.Â For my #2, Iâ€™m staying with goofy sidekicks.
#2.Â Mr. Smee(Peter Pan)
Captain Hookâ€™s faithful shipmate, Mr. Smee is just so much fun to watch no matter what is going on.Â Heâ€™s just so jubilant and passionate in his desire to help Hook catch Peter Pan and not get killed by the crocodile.Â Heâ€™s also incredibly obtuse(as evidenced by the scene where a seagull lands on Hookâ€™s head during a shave and Smee mistakes it for Hookâ€™s head, for instance).Â Bill Thompson voiced this character and every line was golden.
RichB:Mr.Smee is one of those characters that is almost more popular than the main villains. Almost. Not sure what it was but everyone seems to love this guy. I swear when they did the live action Hook movie Bob Hoskins had the animated character in mind. Fantastic choice my friend!
And now, I present my #1. Itâ€™s a character who I think may be the perfect villain sidekick of all!
Yep, Iago (from the original movie) was a fantastic villain sidekick who hits every single note you can. Heâ€™s mean and nasty himself, we know Jafar is the boss but Iago isnâ€™t just blindly following him like LeFou followed Gaston. Heâ€™s actually smart and not a blithering idiot, coming up with good schemes for Jafar. He does work for the villain and even enjoys the rewards, punishing the Sultan later with crackers. And when usually the competent sidekicks are also dark or mean and not very amusingâ€¦Iago is sarcastic and funny, with some of the best lines in the movie. Heck how many times does the sidekick share the final fate of the villain, as happens here when both get captured in the magic lamp in the end?Â Gilbert Gottfried put his heart into this character and he was just so memorable. So much so that his role expanded in the TV series and sequel films. He was even added to the Tiki Tiki Room in Disney World (before a fire destroyed the animatronic and the original Tiki Tiki Room was restored which was a good thing since everyone in the world but me hated that change). Iago is a classic villain we loved to hate. And yes they ruined the character later by making him a good guy, but man was he fun in that first movie.
Ok Les, I canâ€™t wait! Who is your choice?
LES:Â YES!Â Iago is definitely one of the best villain sidekicks ever.Â Gilbert Gottfried did just as much with this character as Robin Williams did for the Genie.Â Heâ€™s just so unforgettable and deliciously nasty you almost root for him instead of the hero!Â Ok, for my #1, Iâ€™m going back to the classics.
YEP!Â The original evil cat was the pet of Lady Tremaine.Â The way he takes such malicious glee in being mean to poor Cinderella and her mice friends makes those Siamese cats from â€œLady and the Trampâ€ look like amateurs.Â Even something as simple as waiting until Cinderella is almost done polishing the marble floors to jump in the fireplace ashes and tramp over the entire floor leaving dirty paw prints are an absolute delight to him.Â In the final scenes where the mice are desperately trying to get the door key to Cinderella before the Grand Duke leaves after testing all eligible maidens in the house with the fated glass slipper, Lucifer takes childish glee thwarting mice attempt after mice attempt to get past him.Â All in all, heâ€™s magnificently bad.
RichB:Oh yes! I mentioned him the other day (which in hindsight was a huge mistake since he is clearly a sidekick not a secondary villain. Oh well). There is just something about this kitty which elevates him into a memorable character we all hate! He just loves the horrible things he does which makes us all love to hate him!
Les, thanks for doing this with me since I can safely there are a lot I would have missed otherwise. Hope we can do another collab again real soon!
LES:Â Thanks a lot richb.Â I hope we can do another collaboration soon, as well, my friend.Â Peace.
Disney villain sidekicks are truly in a class all their own! Even at their worst they are still fun and memorable. Thatâ€™s it for now my friends, till next time be good to yourselves.