Who Are the Best Disney Animated Sidekicks?

Top 10 Sidekicks in Disney Animated Movies

The sidekick is a staple of cinematic history and Disney's animated films, in particular, are filled with memorable sidekicks of all shapes, sizes, and even species. You could probably create a whole list comprised solely of villainous sidekicks, but we’re limiting ourselves to the easy-going counterparts of such heroic figures as Simba, Snow White, and Cinderella.

01
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Timon & Pumbaa (The Lion King)

© Disney

There aren’t too many sidekicks within the Disney canon that can claim to have saved the hero’s life, which instantly cements Timon and Pumbaa’s place right at the apex of this list. After rescuing protagonist Simba from heat exhaustion and a wake of vultures, the duo, a meerkat (Timon) and a warthog (Pumbaa), introduce the adorable cub to their laid-back lifestyle and raise him as if he were their own. The characters have proven to be so popular that they’ve since spawned a direct-to-video sequel to The Lion King and their own television series.

02
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Rutt and Tuke (Brother Bear)

Voiced by Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas, Rutt and Tuke certainly peaked the interest of comedy fans right out of the gate – as Moranis and Thomas are essentially offering up an animated interpretation of their most famous characters, Bob and Doug McKenzie of SCTV fame. More than that, however, Rutt and Tuke prove instrumental in helping the central character (Joaquin Phoenix’s Kenai) see the importance of friendship. Really, that’s about all you can ask from a sidekick.

03
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Mushu (Mulan)

Anchored by Eddie Murphy’s frenetic, frequently hilarious voice-over performance, Mushu, a tiny Chinese dragon, offers comedic relief in an otherwise action-packed story that follows the title character as she assumes her father’s identity and heads off to war. Mulan marked Murphy’s first foray into the world of animation, and while Mushu doesn’t quite have the staying power of Shrek’s Donkey, the character remains a key part of the film’s success.

04
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The Seven Dwarfs (Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs)

In the decades since Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ 1937 release, it’s become a rite of passage for children to memorize the names of each and every one of the seven dwarfs (for the record: Doc, Grumpy, Happy, Sleepy, Bashful, Sneezy, and Dopey). The irresistibly varied nature of their respective personalities has surely played a strong part in their enduring popularity, and it’s also worth noting that the diminutive characters play a significant role in the villainous Queen’s applause-worthy demise.

05
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Jiminy Cricket (Pinocchio)

Standing just a few inches tall and dressed to the nines, Jiminy Cricket loyally accompanies Pinocchio on his various escapades and provides the walking, talking puppet with sage advice and life-saving tips. Though a minor presence within the source material, Jiminy Cricket’s personable nature and silky smooth singing voice has cemented his place as one of the most beloved sidekicks of all time.

06
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Thumper (Bambi)

Though he doesn’t have much screen time, Thumper, Bambi’s faithful, furry compadre, helps cheer up the title character after his mother’s death by teaching him how to speak and, eventually, how to ice skate. The perpetually upbeat hare, whose "if you can't say something nice, don't say nothing at all" philosophy has come to be known as Thumper’s law, has since appeared in a straight-to-video sequel and a storybook entitled Thumper Goes Exploring.

07
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Gus and Jaq (Cinderella)

Gus and Jaq, tiny yet resourceful mice, prove themselves as the title character’s most tenacious allies in her fight against her wicked stepmother, with their ingenuity and willingness to crawl into tight situations ultimately paving the way for Cinderella – or Cinderelly, as they charmingly nickname her – to slip on her lost glass slipper and marry Prince Charming. The irresistible chemistry between the two rodents – Jaq is a born leader, while Gus is slow yet loyal – has played an instrumental role in the characters’ presence within Cinderella’s life.

08
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The Genie (Aladdin)

It’s easy enough to forget that the Genie isn’t actually the star of Aladdin. The film follows the title character as he attempts to overcome his humble origins to marry the beautiful Princess Jasmine. However, the incredibly entertaining and thoroughly inventive vocal performance from Robin Williams overshadows everything else within the proceedings. Williams, who offers up uncanny impressions of everyone from Jack Nicholson to Rodney Dangerfield to Ed Sullivan, steals scenes with ease, yet there’s little doubt that the Genie ultimately possesses all the qualities that one has come to expect from an honest-to-goodness sidekick.

09
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Sebastian the Crab (The Little Mermaid)

Sebastian’s place as a loyal sidekick isn’t quite the same as some of the other characters on this list. The ebullient crab spilled the beans about Ariel’s infatuation with Prince Eric to her stern father, which inadvertently gives the villainous Ursula the upper hand. The singing crustacean made up for his transgression by assisting Ariel in her battle against Ursula, and his energetic performance of “Under the Sea” also helped the movie win an Oscar for Best Song.

10
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Baloo (The Jungle Book)

Baloo’s fun-loving antics ensure that he primarily comes off as the textbook definition of a sidekick, as the gregarious bear teaches protagonist Mowgli how to cut loose and have fun. It’s easy to credit Baloo’s larger-than-life personality to his enduring success over the years, with his massive popularity eventually landing him a starring role on the Disney series TaleSpin. This is arguably one of those rare cases in which the sidekick is more popular than the hero.

 

11
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Pascal and Maximus (Tangled)

Tangled Ever After
Walt Disney Pictures

Though this chameleon (Pascal) and horse (Maximus) don't initially see eye-to-eye, these non-speaking sidekicks become fast friends. The oddity of seeing a tiny reptile and large horse riff off one another's antics has won over audiences. They later starred together in an animated short sequel, Tangled Ever After.

12
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Olaf (Frozen)

Frozen
Walt Disney Pictures

Though there is much to love about the highest-grossing animated film of all time, Frozen, Olaf is likely the top of everyone's list. The short snowman who loves summer doesn't understand the irony of his love of the sunshine, and his various non sequiturs and hilarious voice acting by Josh Gad make even one of the most popular modern Disney animated characters.

Edited by Christopher McKittrick