Top 5 Disney Animal Sidekicks

Lea Jaratz

I’ve always preferred to think of my dogs as sidekicks or companions instead of pets. They go on adventures with me, help me out of jams, and listen to me monologue, only expecting a hug and a snuggle in return. Which is why my favorite part about any Disney movie is the animal sidekicks.


With the release of the live-action Beauty and the Beast in just a few days, I feel my inner nine-year-old fangirl-self getting pretty excited to see how the characters are re-imagined.  But, it also makes me think about some of the animated sidekicks that remind me a little of my own companions, and which are my faves. For your consideration, in no particular order, my top 5:

Pascal: It’s not just his colors that change with the background, but his emotions seem to change with Rapunzel’s. This little green guy is so in tune with his companion, and would defend her at all costs against strange men that invade her tower.

For the record, it was hard for me to decide between Pascal and Maximus, the royal guard horse to represent Tangled on this list. Seriously harder than it should have been for someone in their 30s. But even my husband agrees this grumpy white horse is eerily similar to our first dog, who was also hard-headed, but a great cuddler.

Hei Hei: I’m not sure why Disney gave Moana a pig sidekick, because he wasn’t willing to follow her to the open ocean. Well, that’s assuming Hei Hei knew what he was doing when he ended up on the canoe, (and that’s assuming a lot) but this chicken brings more than his fair share of comic relief to the film.

Sven: The song says it all. Reindeer are better than people. Especially when some of those people are trying to steal your kingdom. But this doe-eyed kindred spirit is just the kind of buddy I’d want by my side if I had to venture up the north mountain.

Dug: I’d be remiss if I left Dug, the affable Golden Retriever, off a list that had anything to do with cute, funny, adorable, loyal buddies. Dug has a heart of gold and an eye for speedy squirrels. But, seriously? Who wouldn’t want to cuddle up on the couch (in a house transported by balloons) with Dug?

Bullseye: This is a curve-ball, because, so far, I’ve featured critters that are companions to humans. But this toy sidekick to another toy is the sweetest and most affable toy horse you’ll ever meet.

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