Disney: some of us watched it as kids, some of us didn’t. Depending on how forward-thinking our parents were, we all have varying levels of experience with this creative company. Their animations, however, seem to have a way of getting into the zeitgeist regardless of how much we might try to avoid it. Timeless classics (and a few new creations) have done well to establish Disney as a giant in the cartoon world. Spin-off shows, blockbuster movies, even innovation in the technique of animation itself; it seems like there’s nothing Mickey doesn’t have his gloves in. We’re very grateful for that too, as many of their recent movies are making it clear that self-love, bravery, and hard work are the real superpowers we need, rather than knights in shining armor. That being said, though, there is more than the damsels and knights.
There’s also the sidekicks, which tend to be some of our favorite parts of the movies. Sidekicks are the hapless friends of both the Disney heroes and the Disney villains, offering advice, support, and humor when the plot needs it. Essential to some of these movies, but seldom named. True Disney fans will recognize them and their names. We’re adding on the challenge of doing it in under two minutes. Ready, set...GO!
This little dragon:
This little dragon was one of our favorite Disney sidekicks, if only for the reason that his sassiness was always holding jewels of wisdom. We personally loved his fire (literally and figuratively) and think that he is really one of the reasons that Mulan was as endearing as it was. While it’s been a while since we watched it, we’ll never forget the words of encouragement this little guy would spout off at the perfect points. He had a friend (who may or may not appear later on in this list) but this dragon was really the main sidekick of the movie.
This Lion King bird:
The Lion King might have revolved around the one lead lion, but a variety of characters really made for an excellent cast of supporting characters. Some even got their own spin-offs, which we’ll discuss a little later on. This bird was a great sidekick, even if they weren’t necessarily the star of many scenes, or seen all that regularly throughout the movie. Iconic in its own way, we love the way that this bird would break out into song sometimes; not to mention all that quick humor and clever pieces of advice it was in the habit of dropping. (Lion King Fandom Wikia)
This cute rabbit:
Who doesn’t remember watching Bambi? The sweet deer baby was the perfect animal friend for us as kids. Curious, kind, and amazingly brave, we’ve all cried at least once watching Bambi. Bambi lived in a forest, which might explain why there’s such a variety of animal friends to help that little deer find its legs. This rabbit tended to be everyone’s favorite, and we couldn’t agree more. Adorable, clever, and just trying its best, this bunny might have had some problems, but the adorable curiosity and energy it exuded in every scene more than made up for it. (Bambi Fandom Wikia)
This sweet little fairy existed in the Peter Pan universe, though she’s really taken on a life of her own at this point. Not only is she an icon, in the world of Disney, but she’s just a fairy icon in general now. We love the fact that she’s such an easy costume to pull off when Halloween rolls around too. Maybe that’s part of the reason she’s so popular; her looks are simple and sweet, making the sheer scope of her powers a total surprise. This fairy packs a proverbial punch! Not to mention how totally relatable her need for attention is.
This groovy emperor's friend:
Disney fans of a certain age will likely remember this movie more than any other ones that Disney released. The Emperor’s New Groove is one of our personal favorite Disney cartoons, and is one that we’re excited to rewatch whenever it comes on the TV. We seem to remember a TV show by the same name, which fleshed out the characters (including this level-headed, cautious sidekick to the emperor) a little more thoroughly than the movie did. The only thing left to do is to figure out what his name was! Real fans will definitely remember; other fans, go take a best guess!
This little piggy:
Seriously, who doesn’t know this little pig’s name? Winnie the Pooh might not seem like it should appear on a Disney quiz, but this iconic group of Hundred Acre friends is technically owned by Disney, and has a variety of movies and shorts under than franchise umbrella (IMDb). While we can’t necessarily speak about the newest movie since we technically haven’t seen it, but we are definitely big fans of the older versions. There’s something special about cartoons, which is what Disney does well. Anyone would be pleased to hang out with this sidekick after Disney brought them to life!
This dynamic duo:
Setting aside the overall historical issues with the Pocahontas movie that Disney released back in 1995 (IMDb), it’s actually got some really great sidekicks. These two are a dynamic duo, which seems to be a running theme in Disney movies. Inevitably there’s a pair of sidekicks who provide a few scenes’ worth of comedic relief. Mulan had them, as did Cinderella. Pocahontas also has them, though they’re not always seen together being the hilarious and dynamic duo that we’ve come to love them as. We personally consider them the saving grace of the movie, and would love a spin-off that follows these two around the forest.
This big ol' bear:
The Jungle Book is a story that many of us know and love. We appreciate a musical as much as the next person, which is why we can’t help but love this coming together of comedy, music, and animal families. The Jungle Book might have some problems in it, but it’s easy to see why people love it regardless. We know that animals can’t talk, and that a bear sidekick like this one would probably be bad news in a real life context. However, Disney makes it possible to suspend our disbelief. This bear is a perfect example of a friendly, Disney sidekick. But what’s its name?
This mythological horse:
Hercules is actually a mythologically-based story, but many of us know it from the Disney movie instead. This movie was released in 1997, and has aged fairly well, despite being more than two decades old (IMDb). Yeah, we know, we feel old too after reading that sentence. Maybe it’s because of this sidekick that the movie has held up so well. After all, everyone loves a sassy horse. We love magical horses too. Put them together and it’s a recipe for a perfect sidekick! The sassy, magical horse is certainly one of our favorite animal sidekicks in the Disney canon. But what’s it called?
This red crab:
Crab or lobster; however we want to label him, this little fellow is one of the reasons the Little Mermaid is as sweet as it is. While Disney has specified that he’s a crab, he’s anything but crabby (Little Mermaid Fandom Wikia). His songs are some of the most well-loved in the whole movie, and his wise words will be remembered for years to come. We personally love the fact that he’s got solos, as it really makes him feel like more of a lead than just a sidekick. He also had a friend, whose name we tended to mix up with his. True fans wouldn't do that, though.
This mousy pair:
While Cinderella has been remade in a variety of ways, there’s something about the original Disney cartoon that will never falter. We’re big, big fans of the story, even if it’s not the greatest sentiment in the world. Defying those that try to keep us squashed down is admirable, though, and is something that we struggle with a little today. To watch a woman come up against that and then overcome it, achieving her goals and dreams with the help of a little magic, is heartwarming. Not to mention the hilarious moments between these two sleepy, but lovable, mice friends!
Anyone above the age of 20 will likely be tired of hearing poorly belted renditions of “Let It Go” by now, but that doesn’t stop us from secretly liking the original version still. Frozen was one of Disney’s original stories, and they certainly did a great job with it (IMDb). The story itself features the similar character dynamics classic to other Disney movies, but it also features a few creative elements too. Take, for example, this snowman. Sweet, innocent, and totally optimistic, we couldn’t help but fall in love with him; maybe even more than the human characters in this tale!
Remember when we talked about how we all tend to love sassy horses, especially in Disney cartoons? Here’s a great example of another sassy horse, but one that’s not so magical this time. Not that that's a fault; if anything, this horse is magic in its own, pedestrian way. Featured in Tangled, this horse has a loving (but motivating) relationship with the two leads. We personally think that this horse could do with a story all to itself. Maybe this forward-thinking horse and Hercules’ Pegasus could go on an adventure? We’ll happily hash out the details, but first we need to figure out what its name is!
This little monkey:
This sidekick is one of those characters that could never be taken out of a story. With the remake of Aladdin on the horizon, and a select few preview photos coming out of the woodwork, it’s clear that the casting folks didn’t think they could cut this essential sidekick either! Not only does he offer a whole lot of mischievous actions, but he generally increases Aladdin’s mischievousness too. We’re big fans of this monkey, and think that the rest of the world is too. While the live action casting will be an adjustment, we’re sure he’ll be just as clever and cute as this cartoon version.
This adorable couple:
This couple is one of the pairs that have achieved fame both on screen and on the stage. Not only do we have the Beauty and the Beast movie, but we also have the Beauty and the Beast stage adaptations too (Disney Fandom). We appreciate the fact that the relationship between these two has withstood the test of time. Even more so, we’re happy that they have constantly and consistently been played with love and good humor; at least, in our opinion! These two are almost the heart of the house, despite the fact that they might not have been quite so heartwarming in their human form.
This pair of friends:
These two are some of the most hilarious sidekicks in the Disney canon, at least in our opinion. We personally love the fact that they were given their own spin-off movies, as well as features in tv shows and cartoons, etc. The Disney Fandom Wikia search results for them actually give us multiple pages of results when we type in their names. While they might straddle the border between sidekicks and lead characters, we had to add them into this quiz. Hakuna matata as the saying goes, right? Why worry about sidekick or lead definitions when it comes to comedy gold?
This musical alligator:
Who doesn’t love a musical alligator? We’re always up for some alligator rock; or anything the alligator wishes to play for us. This particular alligator is very happy to oblige with a song or two, which is part of what made the Princess and the Frog so charming. We appreciated this alligator’s musical genius, and especially the way that the animators took him from being cowardly to having the biggest, bravest heart we’ve personally seen (Disney Fandom Wikia). His musical stylings are second to none, but unfortunately this charming character is technically counted as a second-in-command. That is, a sidekick!
This good dog:
Everyone needs a good dog in their life, and for many of us as kids that good dog had a truly sweet heart. She helped us when we were sick, sad, or just annoyed. She’s one of those characters that really helped to improve our state of mind just by putting the movie in and pressing play. Could it be because she’s so well trained that she’s almost like another one of the kids? Or could it be because she’s got those adorable floppy ears? Regardless of why this pup is so pleasing, there’s no debate amongst Disney-watchers that she might be the sweetest dog of the whole sidekick canon.
This big tiger:
It wasn’t just Aladdin who had a sidekick in the self same titled Disney movie. Jasmine also had a sidekick, and her’s was a little bit bigger than Aladdin’s monkey. This tiger was certainly one of the strongest sidekicks throughout the whole of the Disney series, though we’re always surprised that few people know its name. While many of us could rattle off the names of the other Disney sidekicks no problem, niche characters like this tiger tend to get us stuck. Luckily for those of us who know our stuff, this name should come back more or less easily.
This well-loved bunny:
Okay, okay. We know that this bunny version isn’t exactly the classic cartoon rendering that all of us know and love. Our childhood nostalgia aside, technically this wasn’t a Disney story originally (though many associate Alice in Wonderland with Disney) (Disney Fandom Wikia). This rabbit is present in every version of Alice we’ve seen; sometimes it might take the form of a different character, animal, or even a human, but the plot line of the character remains roughly the same. This is a tricky sidekick, and we’re never sure whose side he’s on. He’s certainly a popular, well-known one, though!
The other half of the dynamic Little Mermaid duo, this little fish is one of our personal favorites. We’re surprised he never made a cameo in Finding Nemo, but hey: Disney can only cross so many universes before we start to raise an eyebrow. Plus, then they’d have to add Ariel into the Finding Nemo mix, and that would just be a bigger headache for animators and the storytellers alike. While this underwater couple is almost never seen apart, they’re almost always referred to by their names that should help when we have to name each of them separately, right?
Disney seems to be doubling up on animal sidekicks now, as this little dapper gentleman isn’t the only cricket to be featured in the movies. Mulan also features a cricket friend who partners up with Mushu, though they have very different personalities. This cricket is a little bit more creative, and can give out different advice depending on his mood. That being said, he would never let a mood come in the way of doing some good work and helping out his friends. His magic and mystery is second to none, which might be why he’s so well known in the Disney canon.
This set of seven:
No, we won’t ask anyone to accurately name all seven. That’s just too much, even for a steadfast Disney fan. Besides, these characters are almost never referred to outside of their grouping, as the seven seem to want to stick together, no matter what. There’s not much reason for them to be considered outside of their little group, as they’re happy together. We wish we were part of such a close-knit group. Family or friends, these seven are sticking together for life. That’s probably why it was so heartwarming to see Snow White joining them! Sorry, we hope that wasn't a spoiler for anyone.
This other little pig:
Part of the contemporary Disney canon, this little pig is one that is often thought of as being underrated. For example, we don’t seem this little piggy for much of the movie; especially when Moana leaves home. However, the scenes that this pig is in are definitely stolen by its adorable face, kind actions, and intelligent glares at its chicken friend. We’re big fans of this pig and think that anyone who’s seen the movie will be too. However, just knowing about Moana’s pig friend doesn’t mean we remember the name of her pig friend. That’s something totally different. So, what's its name?
This helpful friend:
We might have spoken too soon when we called Nana the sweetest dog in the Disney canon. We forgot about this sidekick, who added so much positivity to Lady and the Tramp. Not only was this dog a thoughtful addition to the story, but he’s also a retired service dog. The respect and stature that he brought to the neighborhood in Lady and the Tramp was a great touch, and was one of the best personalities in the film (Disney Fandom Wikia). At least, that’s in our opinion. We’re a sucker for floppy-eared dogs, though, which might have something to do with it.
This classic co-star:
This is another sidekick who ended up being promoted to lead thanks to a spin-off film. This scatterbrained fish is one of our favorites throughout the movie. She’s an incredibly kindhearted soul, even if she doesn’t always remember what she was doing. She’s got a good head on her fish shoulders too, even if it’s not always screwed on straight. That’s okay! She always finds her way in the end, and she ends up being one of the reasons that Nemo is reunited with his dad. Oops; spoilers! But c’mon; if we haven’t seen the movie by this point, there’s no reason to complain about spoilers.
This Candyland character:
This boss lady is not only a true sweetheart, but she also turns out to be crowned at the end of one of the movies. This kind of powerful personality deserves a powerful position in our opinion. We’re also pleased that she’s another strong and powerful female character in the Disney canon. Not to mention the fact that she’s not really a side character. Technically, yes. She’s not as big as Ralph in the movies, but she’s also not necessarily a character that can be easily overlooked or forgotten. Her name, however, might have been, as it’s a little uncommon.
This puppy-like reindeer:
Who doesn’t love a good dog? Well, what about a good reindeer? Those of us that like animals will happily admit that this character was our favorite in the entirety of the movie. While the human characters were fine, this was one side character who really stole the show for us. He didn’t have much to say, but his actions and silence were totally appreciated in the grand scheme of the plot. He was one of the funniest parts! He’s one of our favorite animals in the recent Disney movies, and will likely stay that way in our hearts for a long, long time.
This little bug:
Remember when we talked about how there was another cricket who appeared in the great, grand list of Disney sidekicks? This is that cricket. Originally bonded to Mulan, this cricket is one that immediately stole our hearts. The next time it appears is when Mulan and Mushu start to work together, which was hilarious to us as kids. A lizard making friends with a bug? Hilarious! Sorry, Mushu; we meant to say dragon. A tough dragon, who’s just looking out for his cricket friend. Right? Right! Now, if only we could remember this cricket's name. True fans will be able to remember!
These three gargoyles:
These gargoyles are absolutely rock solid friends (pun intended), which is probably why we fell in love with all three of them at once. Their dynamic made for an excellent addition to the movie, and is actually part of the reason that we appreciate gargoyles on buildings now. Rationally we know that real life gargoyles can’t come to life and chat with us. But they seem so real in the movie that we’re not taking any chances. Not to mention the fact that the movie gargoyles are always quick to offer advice or a clever word. Watching and waiting means they know our name; but what are their names?
This wise owl:
We’re getting into the more niche Disney movies, which means many of us might not know this older sidekick character. Not exactly as fresh and young as Moana’s pig, but not quite as old as some of the original Disney stories, this owl comes from a movie called The Sword in the Stone. Released in the early ‘60s (Disney Fandom Wikia), this movie featured a variety of characters which could now be considered Disney classics; yes, that includes this friendly owl. There’s something about animals that act (and sometimes talk) like humans which screams “Disney”. We don't blame them, as it's good entertainment!
This hapless sidekick:
The Emperor’s New Groove was our favorite Disney movie when we were kids. We know we’ve said that about a few movies so far, but we really mean it this time. This story was all about an emperor who ends up finding his humility and humanity thanks to the help of his friends and foes. This woman and her hapless sidekick were two of the most iconic “hapless villain” duos ever to grace our TV screens. We remember their shenanigans well. If anyone doesn’t remember their names, just remember the famous phrase: “Pull the lever, so-and-so!” (C’mon, we’re not giving it away that easily.)
One of the older Disney cartoons, this is a cat who’s still totally cool in our books. Not only did it end up getting involved in lots of different adventures, but it also gave us those “aww” moments that this movie needed. The story of a wooden boy who comes to life, it’s no surprise that this story was received well. It’s relatable, after all, and taught many of us a lesson about not telling the truth. This little kitty was certainly some of the comedic relief throughout all of that solid storytelling, though, which might be why we remember it so well! That is, if we can remember its’ name...
This blue friend:
Recently seeing a resurgence in the world of online memes, there are some things that are better left to the cartoon realm; this sidekick’s blue hue being one of them. We’ve all seen the pictures floating around, right? Painting a person blue does not necessarily mean that they’re definitely getting into the role, though this character is going to be amazing no matter what with such a great actor behind it. Having a great sidekick is one of the keys to every good Disney movie. That’s probably why Aladdin, the movie this sidekick is from, is still so very well-loved.
This green ball:
Last but not least on our list, this green ball is one of the best characters we’ve seen in the world of Disney/Pixar movie creations. He’s another character that’s on the fence between being a leading character and a sidekick character. Not only does he have a heart of gold, but he also happens to be running around after Sully the whole movie, and often getting into adventures of his own. This full support of the monster business is part of what we love about the dynamic duo, but this character has a mind of his own that far exceeds other sidekicks in the Disney canon.