Disney movies have a special ability to deliver characters that stick with us for our whole lives. While princes and princesses are the obvious choices in popular characters, Disney animal sidekicks are equally as important in most storylines. These cute creatures often add humor and emotion to the plot, causing viewers to fall in love with these characters just as much or even more than the protagonists they help. At least, that's the case most of the time.
While many of the best Disney animals get the appreciation they deserve among fans, some underrated Disney sidekicks fall through the cracks. Whether they're not given fair appreciation for their actions, their contributions to the storyline are ignored, or their limited screen time interferes with our ability to love them appropriately, certain Disney animal sidekicks are consistently forgotten. These characters may not have the immediate impact of other helpful critters, but they deserve love and appreciation just the same.
Well, that changes today. Vote up the most underappreciated Disney animal sidekicks so they can finally get the recognition they deserve.
The dedicated nurse to the Darling children only appears for a short moment in Peter Pan. Despite her brief time on screen, however, it's obvious that Nana runs the Darling house.
While Mr. and Mrs. Darling prepare to head out for the evening, they leave their children alone with the family dog. Thankfully, this is no ordinary hound. Nana balances medicine on her head, cleans up after her charges, organizes the children’s room, and all the while puts up with an angry Mr. Darling. She even helps Mr. Darling lock her outside when he decides that she's not fit to be a nurse anymore. She's a pure little pup, and she never gets the recognition she deserves. It's not easy to raise three children, but Nana does it with the love and care that most parents would envy.
- Appears In: Peter Pan
- Photo: Lady and the Tramp / Walt Disney Pictures
How could we ever forget about this loyal Bloodhound from Lady and the Tramp? Trusty is best friends with Jock, the opinionated Scottish Terrier who is close to Lady. Trusty used to be a service dog who tracked down crooks, but he supposedly lost his sense of smell in his old age. At first, Trusty agrees with Jock's negative assessment of Tramp. But after Tramp saves Jim Jr. from a rat, Trusty decides that he misjudged the street dog.
Although both Trusty and Jock set out to free Tramp from the dog catcher, it is Trusty who takes the lead on this mission. He reveals he still has a keen nose and is able to track down the wagon. However, while trying to free Tramp, Trusty is caught under the wheel of the wagon and is seriously hurt. He suffers a broken leg, yet he's rarely remembered for his heroic actions. Pair that with his sweet, polite, and giving personality, and it's easy to see why Trusty deserves much more appreciation than he gets.
- Appears In: Lady and the Tramp
While Mushu gets all the credit as the ultimate animal sidekick in Mulan, Cri-Kee is important nonetheless as the sidekick to the sidekick. He's Mushu's right-hand pal, and he's always eager to please and put his limited skills to good use.
Although Cri-Kee eventually admits that he's not a lucky cricket, as Mulan's grandmother believed him to be, he's still a crucial part of many of Mushu's plans. He writes out the letter to General Li to put Mulan's unit into battle and he fires the Chinese firecracker at Shan Yu. More importantly, he convinces Mushu to go after Mulan in the first place. If it weren't for Cri-Kee, both Mushu and Mulan wouldn't have much of a story.
- Appears In: Mulan
Big MamaPhoto: The Fox and the Hound / Walt Disney Pictures
Big Mama is undoubtedly the sweetest character in The Fox and the Hound, and that's saying a lot! This motherly owl first coordinates Tod's adoption by Widow Tweed. She later looks out for her fox friend as he continues to grow up, revealing some harsh truths about his friendship with his hunting dog neighbor, Cooper. Lastly, Big Mama brings Tod and Vixey together to ensure that Tod survives in the wild.
Basically, Big Mama is the reason that Tod is able to survive. She looks out for him throughout his entire life, expecting nothing in return and receiving no thanks for her actions. She's an important part of the story who often takes a backseat to the friendship between Tod and Cooper, even though she deserves much more recognition for her selfless decisions.
- Appears In: The Fox and the Hound