Best Animated Animal Companions

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What’s a brave heroine or dashing hero without a brave ally who sticks with them through thick and thin? While superhero sidekicks seem to be largely out of fashion as the cinematic Batman continues to distance itself from its theatre, we can always look to the world of animation to stock up on hilarious and cunning sidekicks. From Dory in The world of Nemo, to Iago in Aladdin, to Sven in Frozenhere are ten of the best.

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Dory in Finding Nemo (2003)


Finding Dory - Marlin Nemo Dory swimming with other fish

Doris (Ellen Degeneres) is adorable, frustrating, kind, hilarious, brave, and silly in equal measure. Even by normal Fish standards, she suffers from short-term memory loss and can easily forget what she’s doing in the middle of activity. She joins Marlin (Albert Brooks) on her titular mission and proves invaluable when she unexpectedly reveals that she can read English. In addition to providing laughs throughout the film, her health, her relentless optimism and friendliness, and her blossoming friendship with Marlin provide many trademarks. Pixar feels. She also has the rare sidekick accolade of her own spin-off sequel. So remember: when life gets you down, keep swimming…keep swimming…keep swimming, swimming, swimming!

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Mushu in Mulan (1998)


Mushu Mulan
Picture Via Disney

There is a button on each casting director’s phone labeled “Wisecracking Sidekick” that allows them to skip to Eddie Murphythe agent immediately. Her first bat came in the form of Mulan’s clever sidekick named Mushu, the motor-mouthed Chinese dragon who is determined to regain his status as the family’s guardian. A little like Robin Williams as Genie in Aladdin, Mushu is a vehicle for the talented comedian to reel off the gags and keep the film’s tone light. Unusually, Mushu also has his own sidekick, Cri-Kee, the lucky cricketer. Joe Pesci was also considered for the role, which would have made for a very different film.

The donkey in Shrek (2001)


shrek-donkey-eddie-murphy
Image via DreamWorks Animation

Eddie Murphy flexes his acting muscles and steps out of his comfort zone to portray a cunning sidekick, this time in the form of a donkey. The character must have been influenced by his performance in Mulanebecause it’s very similar, but Murphy pulls out all the stops, goes even bigger and shine in this classic romantic fairy tale. Going up against Mike Myers in his prime and stealing the show is no easy feat, but Murphy pulls it off effortlessly.


Iago in Aladdin (1992)


Image from the movie Iago Aladdin
Picture via Disney

Speaking of loud and wide comedic performances, Gilbert Gottfried does its best to destroy your TV speakers in this shrill output. Perfectly cast as the cantankerous and obnoxious parrot assistant to the antagonist Jafar (Jonathan Freeman), this legendary comedian brings humor and a bit of cynicism to the film, as Iago offers a sarcastic commentary on the proceedings whenever he hasn’t had his mouth full of crackers. It’s a rite of passage to adulthood to find that Iago’s voice is provided by a comic whose act is about as far removed from Disney’s own animated release as it gets.

Abu in Aladdin (1992)


aladdin
Picture via Disney

Sticking with the 1992 classic, we can’t put the dastardly Iago on this list without also considering the kleptomaniac ape with a heart of gold, Abu. Always by Aladdin’s side—well, until he was under Aladdin when he was turned into an elephant—he nevertheless frequently causes unnecessary trouble for the couple due to his larceny tendencies. However, when he (albeit reluctantly) offers stolen bread to starving children, it’s clear there’s a heart of gold somewhere, and he provides plenty of humor in the film in the tradition of the greats. silent actors.


Gromit in Wallace and Gromit (2005)


Wallace-and-Gromit-social

A masterclass in understatement and visual comedy from the kings of stop-motion entertainment, Aardman Animation, their flagship characters Wallace and Gromit have been with them since the early days and go from strength to strength with each new iteration of the franchise. While jokes and retorts have their place, the director Nick Park knows that sometimes less is more, and in the case of the silent beagle Gromit, a deadpan stare at the camera is often all that’s needed to bring the house down. A comic foil to the eccentric inventor of Wallace, Gromit is as expressive a character as ever imagined without ever having to say a word.

Sebastian in The Little Mermaid (1989)


the little Mermaid
Picture via Disney

Samuel E. Wright is absolutely jolly like the Trinidadian reggae crab who unsuccessfully tries to persuade Ariel to stay under the sea, convincingly arguing that it’s better off where it’s wetter while playing a clam like it’s a steel pan. Sebastian makes the most of his limited screen time, mostly appearing in the first act before Ariel undergoes the magic spell that gives her the opportunity to walk around on these… what do you call them? Oh, the feet. You could say The Little Mermaid’s sidekick is Flounder, but does Flounder have a great cod-reggae song about devoting all your time to floating? No? Case closed.


Timon and Pumbaa in The Lion King (1994)


the lion king simba timon pumba
Picture via Disney

Further bolstering the argument that Disney makes the best animal companions, who might not like the dynamic duo of philosopher-wise meerkats Timon (Nathan Lane) and the flatulent warthog Pumbaa (Ernie Sabella)? Introduced after the dark heavy stampede scene and Simba’s (Jonathan TaylorThomas) subsequent banishment, they mark a return to the light and airy tone of the first act, especially when they introduce their mantra in an extremely catchy style – “Hakuna Matata”. Providing comic relief in some of the scariest parts of the ending, perhaps their biggest laugh comes when they dress up in drag and perform the hula to distract the evil hyenas. “It’s a big pig.” “Yeah yeah.” “You could be a fat pig too! »


Louis and Ray in The Princess and the Frog (2009)


the princess and the frog picture
Picture via Disney

Another alluring comedy duo from Disney, this time in the underrated criminal The princess and the Frog, a beautifully hand-drawn adventure in the traditional style of early Disney animations. The New Orleans setting gives Randy Newman plenty of influence for jazzy, foot-tapping songs, and the hosts named the greedy, neurotic alligator trumpeter Louis after Louis Armstrong, the legendary New Orleans trumpeter. The biggest laughs are reserved for Jim Cummings as Ray (as in Ray Charles), a gap-toothed firefly with a gigantic glowing posterior.

Sven in Frozen (2013)


Sven-Frozen-Kristoff
Picture Via Disney

Sven follows the well-established tradition of non-human-speaking Disney sidekicks. From his adorable introduction as a chubby calf in the opening moments, to his welcome comic relief and sweet relationship with Kristoff (Jonathan Groff), loyalty, determination to help Anna (Kristen Bell), and his generally disheveled appearance as a weather-beaten adult reindeer, he is one of the non-musical highlights of Frozen. It’s easy to agree with Kristoff: reindeer are better than people!


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