Everybody needs a friend, it's practically one of the essentials of survival. And Walt Disney Pictures has provided generations of fans with prime examples of friendships that have long stood the test of time. From the likes of Bambi and Thumper to more contemporary examples like Nick and Judy, the studio has really made some stellar sidekicks.

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However, not all characters are created equal. While most friends are here to help, many sidekicks to Disney's heroes do a lot more harm than good. The road to Hell is paved with good intentions, but only some characters truly lived up to their friendship goals.


Helped: Olaf

Frozen might not be everyone's favorite Disney movie, but this quirky little snowman was a near-universal hit with fans. While he's a bit saccharine at first, he does get more and more useful as his story progresses. After all, he does play a big part in Elsa's rescue.

It's not till the sequel, however, that Olaf truly lives up to his usefulness. Going from comic-relief sidekick to wellspring of information and exposition is quite a step, but it's definitely one in the right direction.


Hurt: Mushu

He might be one of the funniest characters on the list, he might be an all-time favorite Disney character for many diehard fans of the studio, but let's not forget that the attack at the mountain pass by the Huns was only possible because Mushu gave away his position with that misfired cannon. The look of shame on his face absolutely says it all.

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Mushu might be a fire-breathing dragon, but he's little better than a talking gecko in the grand scheme of things. Not only does he assist Mulan under false pretenses, but he also impersonates an Imperial officer to put an entire battalion of troops in danger just to speed his mission along. At least he helped Mulan keep her cover.


Helped: Timon And Pumbaa

A good friend will give someone the shirt off their back, but a true friend will dress in drag and do the hula to distract the bad guys while the rest of the party goes to defeat a villainous bearded lion. Enter Timon and Pumbaa, setting the bar for Disney sidekicks since 1994.

They might be merely comic relief at first, but they soon break out of that archetype once the siege on Pride Rock begins. Goofy but loyal to a fault, Timon and Pumbaa are definitely some of Disney's best.


Hurt: Pain and Panic

Because villains need friends too, Hades's main minions have earned a spot on the list, but not because they're necessarily good at their jobs. They might be dedicated little imps, but at times they can be downright incompetent at their work.

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These two chuckleheads literally only had one job, make sure Hercules drank all the mortal potion, and they couldn't even do that right. On paper, it shouldn't be hard to take out a kid, but that's what these two get for trying to ax off a demigod.


Helped: Mr. Smee

On the other end of the spectrum, Mr. Smee has been Hook's right-hand man (no pun intended) since J.M. Barrie first wrote his Peter Pan play. While he might be a tad more bumbling than the average pirate, he's one of the few members of the Jolly Roger crew that Captain Hook can truly call a friend.

While it's true that Smee drops the ball every so often, his heart is still in the right place and he does his best to assist the captain in his villainous plots. Out of all the villain sidekicks and henchmen, he's probably the kindest and most dedicated in the field.


Hurt: Hei-Hei

If Disney fans ever need a prime example for the word "useless" they need only look to this cock-eyed rooster for the definitive character. Apart from wandering around and squawking, there's not really much Hei-Hei does to help Moana on her journey, apart from just being silly.

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Needless to say, Hei-Hei is not the sharpest chicken in the henhouse. He's comic relief, plain and simple. Moana would have been better prepared if Pua had stowed away instead of this brainless bird, because Hei-Hei is only useful in a KFC bucket meal.


Helped: Piglet

Without sugar-coating a morsel of it, there are times when Piglet was a better friend to Pooh than Pooh was to Piglet. That being said, Pooh's porcine pal is one of the best true-blue friends in all of Disney. He'd take more than a few bee-stings for that silly old bear.

Piglet has been Pooh's best buddy since before Walt brought them to the big screen, but his acts of friendship in the animated adaptations are downright delightful to the Nth degree. He would follow Pooh to Heffalump Hollow and back.


Hurt: Tinkerbell

Tinkerbell is an icon of the Disney universe and the symbol of faith, trust, and pixie dust. But as beloved and memorable as she is, she's also nearly 100% responsible for all the misfortune that befalls Peter and the Darling children. Her motive is pure, unchecked, unfiltered jealousy.

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Tink's got more spite in her little finger than most people have in their entire bodies. Sure, she saved Pan in the end, but she's still the catalyst for most of the drama.


Helped: The Genie

His theme song says it best, Aladdin never had a friend like him, and neither did the viewers. Phenomenal cosmic powers and itty-bitty living space might have been part of Genie's gig, but he will always be known as one of the fiercest friends in all of Disney's animated features.

Along with his lovable nature, one-liners, and an unforgettable performance by Robin Williams, the Genie has a huge heart and a powerhouse of magical energy he's ready to use to protect his friends. Few characters can stand toe-to-toe with his loyalty or his mystical abilities.


Hurt: Stitch

Stitch is one of Disney's most beloved characters of all time. He's a blue, furry ball of fun that Lilo would be absolutely lost without, and there's no Disney fan out there that will dispute that fact. But even for all his marketability, there's one big fact that keeps him from being perfect.

Stitch is responsible for all of the movie's problems, making him both hero and villain. Every issue Lilo and Nani face in the film is mainly due to Stitch's destructive nature. As Jumba said, his only instinct is to destroy everything he touches. So until he was changed by the events of the film, he was the source of all the movie's conflict. No amount of Hawaiian sunshine can make that fact look appealing.

NEXT: 10 Beloved Disney Characters Who Are Actually Kinda Mean





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About The Author

Zach Gass

(592 Articles Published)

Zach Gass is a writer from East Tennessee with a love for all things Disney, Star Wars, and Marvel. When not writing for Screen Rant, Zach is an active member of his community theatre, enjoys a variety of authors including Neil Gaiman, C.S. Lewis, and J.R.R. Tolkein, and is a proud and active retro-gamer.

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