It is a known fact that the heart of Disney’s glory is in the characters. From the heroes to the villains, we remember them from childhood to adulthood with a raging nostalgia that every time we rewatch them it is like meeting up with an old friend. This list focuses on the “little guys” of Disney. The wingmen who help see our hero to the end.
This list is focused on animated Disney films only, (Pixar not included, that is a category of its own), and the impacts they have on their respectful movies and to the Disney name. As you will see, most of these supporting castmates shine brighter than the hero and have even shaped Disney into what it is today.
10. Olaf – Frozen
Unless you live on the outskirts of Nepal, then you’ve definitely heard of Frozen, and even then you could probably find somebody on the peak of Everest screaming “LET IT GOOO!” (new bucket list idea!). There is no doubt that Frozen has firmly stamped its legacy in Disney history and with the dynamic characters and inventive story-telling, Disney struck gold in creating a new age character in Olaf.
9. Baloo- The Jungle Book
Just now, when you saw him on this list, your reaction was “Ah, I forgot about him, but yeah I agree he should be on the list.” And that is why he is on this list. That, and because he conjured the catchiest song in Disney history. I should warn you, it will be stuck in your head for the rest of the day.
8. Lumiere/Cogsworth- Beauty and the Beast
The long lasting impression that Lumiere and Cogsworth gives even after watching this movie puts them on the list as one entity. They are the quintessential narrators of the film and Beast’s right hand men, coaching and developing him towards happiness that they recognize he deserves. They are also the source of connecting Belle with the other character and Beast, proving them to be vital to the movies driving plot and to the love of children and Disney fans everywhere.
7. Tigger- The Many Adventures of Winnie-the-Pooh
What?! Not Piglet? I know, what an outrage! But Tigger’s bold and charismatic nature puts him at the head of Pooh’s entourage and propelling him to the main marketing source of the franchise. With his many catchphrases, recognizable voice, and zany personality, there is no doubting that he is the star of the franchise.
6. Mushu- Mulan
In a list of “funniest Disney characters”, Mushu would certainly be top 2, but beyond this point the titans emerge and alas he lands at a mere six spot on this list. His clumsy antics and brilliant voice performance by Eddie Murphy made this guardian an instant hit with the kids. There is no argument for him being on this list except that maybe he should be listed higher.
5. Sebastian- The Little Mermaid
Similar to the nature of Lumier and Cogsworth, Sebastian is the narrator of “The Little Mermaid” and the connecting force for Ariel to the rest of the story. He is the “Royal Court Composer”, following Ariel throughout the film and becoming the catalyst to the plot. His song spots (he has two!) highlight the films general feel and adds a new life to the world originally created by Hans Christian Anderson.
4. Timone and Pumba- The Lion King
You knew they would be on the list! Timone and Pumba (can’t have one without the other) soar to the upper part of this list with ease. They’re so pivotal to the franchise and to the world of Disney that the phrase “Hakuna Matata” proved to be more than a passing craze. Known by young kids and adults alike, these characters and the movie they hail from will be implanted on top ten lists everywhere.
3. Tinkerbell- Peter Pan
This is the part where you say to yourself, “that’s why Mushu isn’t higher”. You want to talk about a cash pot for Disney?! Tinkerbell is everywhere! She is the Vanna White of Disney, popping up in the background but always noticed and never forgotten. She earns her number 3 spot as Peter Pans trusty and relatable companion.
2. Jiminy Cricket- Pinnochio
The oldest character on this list, Jiminy Cricket is the maitre de of Disney, guiding us through magic and mystic at every corner throughout the history of Walt Disney’s legacy. He is the voice of all that is Disney and gives us the number one song that encapsulates the entire spirit of the massive empire. Arguably deserving the number 1 spot, Jiminy is just barely beaten out and rests at an impressive number 2.
1. Genie – Aladdin
Was there ever any doubt it was going to be Genie at number 1? I mean, he literally has a song where he describes why he is the best…you’ve just never had a friend like him. He not only guides Aladdin throughout the movie, but he saves his life on more than one occasion. He is so good to Aladdin that Aladdin uses his last wish to set him free. You don’t do this for just any guy. You do this for Big Blue.