The main heroes and villains usually get all the attention in Disney movies, but what about their sidekicks?
Sure, sidekicks clearly aren’t the main focus of the movies. Even still, they’re usually pretty important to the story. From loyally helping our favorite princesses to providing comic relief, these animal sidekicks are awesome!
Some are what you would traditionally expect, like Hercules’ bestie Pegasus. While others, like Raya’s pill-bug/armadillo/off-road vehicle Tuk Tuk and Princess and the Frog‘s trumpet-playing alligator, are anything but expected! All of them are loyal, lovable, and pretty magnificent, though. And they all deserve a spotlight of their own.
So here we go! These are some of the best animal sidekicks Disney has given us in their animated films. Which one is your favorite?
Tuk Tuk from Raya and the Last Dragon is certainly a unique animal sidekick! Part pill-bug, part armadillo, and part high-speed off-road vehicle? This guy has been by Raya’s side since they were both young and he could fit in the palm of her hand.
Raya’s best friend might be easily distracted, but he never waivers from his loyalty to his best friend. These two stick together through it all, with Tuk Tuk acting as both her rock and her noble steed. It’s pretty safe to say that Raya wouldn’t have been able to find Sisu or gather all the pieces of the Dragon Gem without Tuk Tuk’s help!
A loyal and loving best friend, Sven is the ultimate sidekick to Kristoff in the Frozen franchise. They’ve also been together since they were young, and it’s easy to see that they understand and trust each other completely. What more could you ask for in an animal sidekick?
Sven may not be able to talk, but he is definitely smart, strong, and capable. He is always there to support Kristoff and quickly helps Anna when they first meet her, too. We can also count on Sven to be sweet and goofy, providing a source of comedic relief. Reindeer are better than people, after all.
We can’t talk about Sven without talking about Olaf, too. And while I know a sentient snowman isn’t an animal, I think we can make an exception just this once, because Olaf is a wonderful sidekick!
Olaf has a really big heart, and he always puts others’ needs before his. He loves fiercely and will even melt to save a friend’s life because “some people are worth melting for.” Like his friend Sven, he is always incredibly helpful and is a goofy source of comedic relief, too.
In The Little Mermaid, Ariel has three animal sidekicks: Flounder, Sebastian, and Scuttle. While all three of them work together to help Ariel, Sebastian comes out on top as the best of the three – in my opinion, anyway. The others might be helpful, but Sebastian is definitely smarter and more mature.
Sure, this little crustacean is a little cynical and a stickler for rules, but he is also fun-loving and entertaining at times. And as a sidekick, you can’t get any better than Sebastian’s loyalty and kindness. He may be strict, but it’s because he loves Ariel and wants to protect her at all costs.
The little chameleon Pascal is Rapunzel’s bestie in Tangled, and I love him too! He doesn’t talk, but he certainly has plenty to say. He uses his facial features and even his ability to change colors to express himself.
You’ll always find Pascal nearby, usually right on Rapunzel’s shoulder. He provides emotional support, entertainment, and even just a listening ear when she needs it. Sometimes she just wants to play hide and seek, and he’s down for that, too! And he may be small, but he is always ready and willing to protect Rapunzel or help her take down a foe.
While we’re talking about Tangled, let’s talk about Maximus. Like Pascal, Maximus doesn’t talk – but that doesn’t prevent him from getting his point across. He is highly expressive through facial expressions, sounds, and body movements.
Maximus is also headstrong, determined, and devoted. And while he always wants to uphold the law (he is the Captain of the Guard’s horse, after all), he also has a desire to always do what’s right. This eventually leads him to team up with Flynn and Rapunzel.
Although Pua is one of the most adorable Disney animal sidekicks ever, he gets left behind when Moana leaves the island. We never really get to learn a lot about him. That seems like a missed opportunity by Disney, but at least we got another animal sidekick for Moana.
Hei Hei the rooster inadvertently stows away on Moana’s boat, finding himself in the middle of her epic journey to save the island. Unlike other animal sidekicks, Hei Hei is the “village idiot.” He’s oblivious, accident-prone, and easily distracted. Even still, he ends up actively risking his life to help Moana during the climax of the movie, saving the Heart of Te Fiti from being lost at sea.
A hero like Hercules needs an amazing animal sidekick, and who better to fill that role than Pegasus? He was created from clouds by Hercules’ father, Zeus, to be his companion. (This is, of course, only limited to Disney’s interpretation, and isn’t really a part of Greek mythology.) As such, they are extremely close, and Pegasus is always quick to help. You’ll find that he’s very protective of his best friend and never hesitates to guard him.
Described by Zeus as “a magnificent horse with the brain of a bird,” Pegasus exhibits the behaviors of both a horse and a bird. He has plenty of endearing quirks, but he is also extremely powerful.
In Aladdin, Princess Jasmine is alone in the palace with no real friends – except for Rajah, of course. This big tiger is loving, docile, and gentle with the princess, and the pair are always together.
Rajah is extremely loyal and protective over Jasmine. To others, it can make Rajah seem aggressive or intolerable, perhaps even dangerous. That’s because Rajah is intent on being a fierce protector and dislikes anyone that Jasmine isn’t pleased with. Just annoying the princess could put you on Rajah’s bad side!
Louis is an enormous alligator that dreams of playing the trumpet in a jazz band. That alone makes him one of the coolest animal sidekicks from Disney. He, along with a firefly named Ray, guide Tiana and Naveen to meet Mama Odie, the voodoo queen of the bayou, in the underrated classic The Princess and the Frog.
Although Louis is gentle–and maybe kind of a scaredy-cat at times–he has a heart of gold. He seems to always put others’ needs before his own, like when he stops playing with a jazz band in order to help his friends. He also helps Tiana finally buy her restaurant by intimidating the sellers of the building.
Pain and Panic
Most of the animal sidekicks listed here belong to the good guys, but sometimes the bad guys need a bestie, too. In this case, Hades has not one, but two sidekicks. I don’t know if demons necessarily qualify as animals, but for the sake of this list, they do!
These minions are capable of morphing into any shape they want to, and they act as a duo to carry out Hades’ dirty work. Pain and Panic basically do everything he asks, probably because he owns their souls. While watching Hercules, you can always count on them for comic relief!
Like Princess Jasmine, Aladdin doesn’t really have any friends besides his animal sidekick. Abu is an adorable monkey, but he’s also an expert thief who serves as Aladdin’s loyal partner in crime.
Although Abu can be a little selfish at times, he is always by Aladdin’s side through thick and thin. He doesn’t care if Aladdin is a “street rat” or a prince. Companions don’t really get more loyal than Abu!
Pint-sized and fast-talking, Mushu might be small, but he’s mighty… and he’s not a lizard, he’s a real dragon! Although he comes to Mulan’s aid out of selfish motives (because he wants to be reinstated as a family guardian again), he comes to realize this was wrong. Mushu learns to be a little less selfish. He starts to care about Mulan and places her safety and happiness above his own. He loyally follows her and tries to do his best to help.
It’s worth noting that Mushu is hilarious. He’s probably one of the funniest animal companions in all of Disney history. Eddie Murphy voices the character, and he is comedy gold here! Am I the only one who was disappointed that Mushu got the boot from the live-action remake of Mulan?