10 Smartest Disney Sidekicks, Ranked

Baloo dancing in The Jungle Book, Pascal pointing his finger in Tangled, and Sisu from Raya and the Last Dragon. 

In Disney’s animated films, the hero is often a strong-willed human trying to fight to better themselves, those around them, or even save the world. However, many of these movies also feature sidekicks that help the hero along the way. These trusty sidekicks are often the comedic relief, cracking jokes and doing foolish things to make the audience laugh.

Related: 10 Worst Disney Sidekicks

However, some of these funny characters, like the iconic Olaf from Frozen and Mushu from Mulan, are more than they appear. These sidekicks are often some of the smartest characters, concocting plans and offering words of wisdom that demonstrate their intelligence and wit.

10 Olaf Is A Bit More Intelligent Than He Seems

Frozen & Frozen II

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Frozen is one of the longest Disney movies and therefore has more time for character development. Though Olaf is loved by fans for his goofy personality and his happy daydreams, a closer look would reveal he’s more intelligent than initially assumed.

One of his notable lines is in Frozen II when he’s traveling with his companions, and he says, “My theory that advancing technology will lead to our doom?” Though quotes like this are still portrayed in a comedic way, they prove Olaf isn’t just a goofy, unhelpful sidekick.

9 Pegasus Is Hercules’ Most Loyal Ally


<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Hercules with Pegasus and Phil in the Hercules Disney movie.

Pegasus is first introduced in Hercules when Zeus creates him as a gift for baby Hercules. They are reunited when Hercules learns he’s a god and begins his journey to becoming a hero. Pegasus isn’t always the brightest sidekick, but he’s loyal to his lifelong friend.

Related: 15 Disney Characters Who Never Got A Solo Movie (But Probably Should)

Though he’s portrayed as an animal with a horse and bird-like mentality, it’s his loyalty to Hercules that proves he’s an intelligent creature. He can tell when Hercules is excited or grieving, there to comfort his human companion. He’s also there to jump in whenever Hercules needs his steed, knowing when to jump into the fray to help out.

8 Timon Helped Simba Out Of A Hard Time

The Lion King, The Lion King II, & The Lion King 1 1/2

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Timon doing the hula to distract the hyenas (The Lion King)

Though Simba isn’t the best role model in The Lion King, he has friends and mentors that send him on a path to finding himself. Timon and Pumbaa are well-known from this classic for their song, “Hakuna Matata” but they were far more to the young lion than just a fun musical number.

While both of them are quirky and mainly there to make the audience laugh, Timon became more of a father figure for Simba. The two largely work as a united team in the first two films, but Timon proved his intelligence when he saves the day (and his family) in The Lion King 1 1/2.

7 Pascal Helped Rapunzel Throughout Her Journey


<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Pascal In Tangled

There are two animal sidekicks in Tangled: the palace horse Maximus and Pascal, Rapunzel’s iguana and only friend growing up isolated in the tower. While Maximus is a sidekick that almost ruins Rapunzel’s plan, starting off as an antagonist, Pascal is a loyal companion that wants her to explore the world outside her tower.

Out on their journey, Pascal is protective of Rapunzel, keeping an eye on Flynn Ryder until he can trust him. In the end, it’s Pascal that trips Mother Gothel, sending her out the window to ensure she can’t cause any more harm. Tangled‘s Pascal isn’t a strong or skilled sidekick, but he’s intelligent and dedicated to his princess.

6 Lumiere Was Out To Help Everyone

Beauty & The Beast

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Lumiere, Cogsworth, And Mrs. Potts In Beauty & The Beast

In Beauty and the Beast, all the enchanted objects are hoping the Beast can be restored so that they can also be transformed back into humans. However, it’s Lumiere, Cogsworth, and Mrs. Potts that meddle with the Beast and Belle to make them comfortable enough to fall in love and break the curse.

Related: 10 Disney Princes Ranked By Likability

These three are the ones really responsible for the happy ending. However, Lumiere is the voice in the Beast’s ear, encouraging him to not leave Belle in a cell and encouraging his master to give Belle the library as a gift to make her more comfortable. Lumiere is the most intelligent of the trio in Beauty and the Beast, acting as the Beast’s conscious.

5 Iago Was A Mastermind Behind Jafar’s Plan


<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Iago in Aladdin.

In Aladdin, Jafar is the iconic villain that tries to steal Jasmine and the Sultan’s throne by using the Genie’s magic to manipulate them. However, it’s Iago that comes up with the evil plan to trick the Sultan into marrying Jasmine to Jafar. Though Iago is portrayed as the obnoxious henchman to the villain in Aladdin, he demonstrates that he’s more intelligent than his master.

When Jafar is upset about how Jasmine will eventually marry a man, and they’ll become the Sultan, it’s Iago that suggests Jafar is the one to marry her and take the title for himself. While the plan doesn’t work out, that has to do with Jafar’s faults rather than Iago’s plan.

4 Jiminy Cricket Tries To Make Pinocchio Do The Right Thing


<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>An image of Jiminy Cricket whispering to Pinocchio, while standing atop Pinocchio's long nose

One of the most helpful characters in Disney movies is Pinocchio’s conscience. This old tale about The Wooden Boy focuses on Pinocchio’s journey to becoming a real boy, which depends on him learning to do the right thing and being honest. Pinocchio makes a lot of mistakes and gets into trouble before he makes a great sacrifice that leads to him becoming a real boy.

However, Jiminy had a lot to do with the success at the end of Pinocchio. He acts as the boy’s conscious, encouraging him to do the right thing and not lie. He is one of the most intelligent sidekicks in Disney, knowing which path will lead Pinocchio to becoming a real boy.

3 Baloo Teaches Mowgli How To Survive The Jungle

The Jungle Book

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>The Jungle Book Mowgli and Baloo on the river

In The Jungle Book, Baloo is depicted as a carefree bear, known for his catch song, “Bare Necessities,” which is similar to Timon and Pumbaa’s attitude in The Lion King. However, he also immediately becomes a mentor to young Mowgli, teaching him how to fight and survive in the jungle.

Related: 15 Actors Who Voiced Multiple Disney Characters

When Mowgli joins a village and returns to a man-made civilization, Baloo is initially disappointed, not wanting to let go of his human companion. However, with the help of the panther Bagheera, he realizes Mowgli is where he belongs. Despite his carefree attitude, The Jungle Book‘s Baloo is one of the smartest sidekicks because he is both able to teach Mowgli how to survive while learning something himself along the way, demonstrating growth.

2 Mushu Is A Villainous Mastermind In Mulan II

Mulan & Mulan II

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Mushu Cropped

Mulan has one of the best animal companions, featuring the dragon guardian Mushu in both installments of the series. Though Mushu is often the comedic relief, cracking jokes and acting silly, he also pushes Mulan through her training and assists her in fighting the Huns. Mushu’s intelligence is clear in the first film, which makes his evil plan more believable in Mulan II.

Though he redeems himself by the end of the movie, in the sequel, Mushu plots to break up Mulan and her fiancé Shang when he learns he wouldn’t be a guardian anymore after the union. He’s a villain in most of the film, using his smarts to lay out an intricate plan to turn the lovers against one another.

1 Sisu Is The Ultimate Disney Sidekick

Raya & The Last Dragon

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Raya and Sisu from Raya and the Last Dragon

In Raya and the Last Dragon, Sisu is the last dragon. They go on a mission to restore dragons and restore the people of the land, fighting against enemies along the way. Sisu first showcases her intelligence when she’s awaken by Raya and learns she can use the power of her younger sister, realizing she’s linked to the other pieces of the Dragon Gem.

Though Sisu seems foolish in wholeheartedly believing in trust, which leads them into danger, it’s her belief and sacrifice for trust that inevitably leads Namaari and Raya to work together to restore the world to normal and bring the dragons back.

Next: 10 Disney Characters Who Overstayed Their Welcome


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