Some of my favorite characters in Disney Animation are those scene stealers that don’t even have any lines. Sometimes they are sidekicks, other times they are the title characters. I thought I’d take a look at some of my favorites through Disney cinematic history.
Starting with the first Disney animated feature film, Dopey is one of my all time favorite characters. He is so expressive without saying a thing. He emotes with his eyes and body language so well. I absolutely adore him as my favorite of the seven dwarfs providing so much comic relief in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
Cleo & Figaro
I group these two together as they are rarely seen apart. Cleo is Gepetto’s pet goldfish and Figaro is his mischievous cat in Pinocchio. They, like Dopey, provide some comedic moments in their short screen time. Figaro is a bratty little boy kitten who doesn’t take kindly to Pinocchio’s appearance at first, but eventually comes around.
He is the title character who doesn’t have any lines in his own movie. This makes the fact that the audience falls completely in love with him and feels for him even more impressive. To have a main character who doesn’t speak is one thing, but to have the protagonist not have any dialogue is a rarity. The baby elephant is one of Disney’s most endearing characters who is still very well known 70 plus years after his film debuted in 1941.
Okay, so I know she is no longer a voiceless character, but I haven’t seen any of the Fairy movies, so to me she’s still the pixie from Peter Pan. She is a feisty one and her bell sounds along with her twinkling can convey quite the range of emotions from anger to excitement to straight up jealousy. I have a strong connection to the Peter Pan story going back to when I was very little so she, although not my absolute favorite of characters, holds a place in my heart.
Not necessarily a fully fleshed out character, but one needed to move the plot forward. After all, if he didn’t get all greedy and touching stuff in the Cave of Wonders, how much of the rest of the plot of Aladdin would have come to fruition? Whether he is in troublemaker monkey form, or transformed into a useful elephant for Prince Ali, I love Abu. He is a rascal, but a darn cute one who proves to be a faithful friend to Aladdin.
Hercules was given his loyal flying steed as a baby on Mount Olympus, but Pegasus follows baby Herc down to Earth. Throughout his adventures, training, etc. Pegasus is always by Hercules’ side. He is skeptical of Meg at first, and rightfully so. Through thick and thin he always does right by the demigod.
Mulan’s cricket sidekick is a lucky one at that. He tries to help keep Mushu in check, while supporting Mulan on her mission to help defeat the Huns. He is a cute little bug who is along for the ride to save China. Cri-kee is important enough to not only make it into the sequel (don’t bother), but also to make it on the VHS/DVD/Blu ray cover above the title.
Pascal & Maximus
These two characters were actually what prompted the idea for this post. I was watching Tangled one day and thought how much I absolutely adore the chameleon and horse that practically steal the show. Pascal is Rapunzel’s only friend before she meets Flynn/Eugene. Maximus is like a bloodhound in horse form who is originally the bane of Flynn’s existence, but later the two join together to save Rapunzel. Some of the film’s funniest moments come from this pair.
Reindeer(s) are better than people, at least according to Kristoff in Frozen. If we are talking about his best bud, Sven, then I’m inclined to agree. Even though he is a reindeer, Sven acts as Kristoff’s conscience and confidante. I love his big goofy eyes that almost mirror Kristoff’s eyes.
So, these are some of my favorite characters spanning movies over the past 75 plus years of Disney Animated film history. This is not a comprehensive list, and yes, typically animals don’t talk, but many others do in their films, which is what makes these characters special. For instance, a cricket talks in Pinocchio, but the cat and goldfish don’t, Mushu is a talking dragon, but Cri-kee is mute. Did I leave off any of your favorite non-speaking roles from Disney animated movies?Share this article:
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