Most Disney films have a few characteristics, one of which is the presence of animal sidekicks. Animal sidekicks may be found in all kinds of stories, from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to Raya and the Last Dragon. They’re sometimes quite useful, and other times they’re simply there to be adorable. It’s easy to see why we adore them because they’re practically the animated equivalent of pets. Animal sidekicks are a Disney classic, whether they’re incredibly clever and always ready for an adventure or merely along for the trip to keep their hero company. Here are our ten most favorite ones from Disney animated films.
10Meeko/Flit – Pocahontas
In Pocahontas, Meeko and Flit are on the verge of being charming and/or helpful. Pocahontas is quite self-sufficient; she doesn’t need much help standing up to her father, but Meeko’s kleptomania comes in useful when it comes to understanding her dream. Furthermore, their frequent squabbling with Radcliffe’s dog, Percy, motivates John Smith to meet Chief Powhatan in the first place, and the film would not have had a happy conclusion if it hadn’t been for that push.
9Gus and Jaq – Cinderella
Cinderella is never short on animal sidekicks. Her friendliness to all the furry and feathered creatures that cross her path makes her one of the kindest Disney heroines in the bunch. But her two most intrepid friends, Gus and Jack, do quite a bit to help her out of a tight spot. First, they gather all the furry creatures nearby and finish the dress Cinderella runs out of time on. But that’s not even their most incredible feat. When Cinderella’s stepmother locks her in her tower room, Gus and Jaq steal the key right out of Lady Tremaine’s pocket. They then traverse the tall staircase, lugging the heavy key the whole way. If it weren’t for these two brave animal sidekicks, Cinderella wouldn’t have ever made it out in time to try on that glass slipper and live happily ever after with her prince.
8Mushu – Mulan
Mushu’s contributions to Mulan are a little more circumspect. If it weren’t for Mushu, Mulan definitely would have gotten herself killed, but he also wasn’t in it for the best reasons. Mushu had an agenda all his own, trying so hard to prove himself to the ancestors so he could regain guardian status and all the glory he lost with his previous failures. But that doesn’t mean Mushu wasn’t a good friend and ally to Mulan while she was most in need. Even if Mushu hadn’t helped in a number of ways, including that last gambit with the fireworks on the roof of the emperor’s castle, his moral support paid off in dividends. Mulan needed a pal, a friend, a confidant while she tried to hide in plain sight, and Mushu provided that comfort.
7Timon and Pumba – The Lion King
There’s an argument to be made that Timon and Pumba are the opposite of helpful, and it’s definitely worth considering, but, ultimately, they put their lives on the line to get Simba to where he needed to be to stop Scar and the hyenas at the end of The Lion King. And that earns them the seventh spot on this list. Timon and Pumba also helped Simba in a time of great grief, by giving him a new way of life and a new mantra to live by. That help cannot be undervalued just because it doesn’t come in the form of battle.
6Archimedes – The Sword in the Stone
Merlin is one of the smartest wizards in all of fiction, even if he does come off a bit scatterbrained from time to time. In The Sword in the Stone, his genius feathered friend keeps him from forgetting things and tests him left and right. Archimedes is the tritagonist of the story, an ever-valuable third party tagging along after Merlin and Wart. The only reason that Archimedes is near the middle of the list and not at the very top is because he’s usually more interested in questioning Merlin and making jokes. But he’s definitely the smartest sidekick on the list.
5Pascal and Maximus – Tangled
While I wouldn’t exactly call Maximus a sidekick, especially since he is so not on Flynn Rider’s side at the beginning of Tangled. But by the end, he’s a trusted and valued friend, even if he and Flynn do love to bust each other’s chops all the time. Pascal, on the other hand, does everything he can to keep Rapunzel from being lonely and puts himself in harm’s way to help her gain her freedom. He may not have a ton of skills to add to the mix, but he’s dedicated in every way, and that counts for a lot.
4Sven – Frozen and Frozen II
There are so many ways Sven helps everyone in the Frozen crew. He has been Kristoff’s friend and comrade for a long time, and there’s no better help in the world than a faithful friend. He also raced Kristoff back to help Anna at the end of Frozen and lent a helping hoof at the end of Frozen II as well. There’s really just no limit to how much Sven helps the people around him. He’ll haul their sled, give them a ride, or just hang out and be a friend.
3Abu and Rajah – Aladdin
When it comes to the furry friends in Aladdin, Abu definitely gets the credit for helping out the most. While Rajah helps Jasmine fend off worthless suitors and provides a helpful step stool for escaping the palace, Abu gets his hands a little dirtier trying to help Aladdin eat, survive, and get the girl. Honestly, if it wasn’t for Abu, Aladdin would have probably been dead a long time before, and the loneliness would have driven him crazy along the way.
2Pegasus – Hercules
Hercules’ right-hand man, Pegasus, is helpful in all kinds of ways. But most especially when it comes to transportation and battle backup. Hercules has no shortage of enemies and people getting in his way. Hades’ plan to raise the Titans requires a helping hand, especially because Titans are very tall and Hercules is half-human. Pegasus helps to level the playing field in the Hercules finale. If it weren’t for the flying horse, Hercules would be hard-pressed to take down his enemies. There’s nothing more wonderful than a loyal, trusty steed.
1Sisu/Tuk tuk – Raya and the Last Dragon
In Raya and the Last Dragon, Raya’s sidekicks are more than valuable. While Tuk Tuk is there from the beginning, helping her beat booby traps when he’s small, and giving her rides after he grows up, Sisu is the biggest help. Sisu’s magic is all that stands between the world falling entirely into the hands of the Druun and the realms re-establishing Kumandra. Sisu is pretty much the ultimate animal sidekick, especially once you add her siblings and all their magic to the mix. It’s probably only fair to note that Sisu is meant to be a whole character all on her own, not just a sidekick. But, ultimately, she plays second fiddle to Raya, so she fits all the necessary criteria.
Professor Tom Morrow was originally a spacecraft missions director who oversaw spacecraft travels from Earth to the moon, notably with the Moonliner space-ship. In later attractions, Mr. Morrow is the mayor of Tomorrowland and a promoter of the latest technological advancements.
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