The Walt Disney Company’s first full-length animated feature film, Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs (1937) by Walt Disney Pictures changed the animation industry with its ground-breaking animation, giving the company its iconic association with ultimate storytelling and quality. Ever since Walt Disney’s first foray into that world of animation a hundred years ago now, Disney has grown exponentially — encompassing everything from superhero cinematic universes in the Marvel Studios’ Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), sci-fi space opera in Star Wars and Lucasfilm, and James Cameron’s Avatar film franchise, and even pioneering 3D animation with Pixar Animation Studios. Disney even dominates with their world-leading international theme parks around the world — from the original Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California, to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, to Disneyland Paris, the Tokyo Disney Resort, the Shanghai Disney Resort, and Hong Kong Disneyland.
But Disney’s family-friendly animation remains a cornerstone of their brand and many of the nostalgia centers of our hearts. And many a Disney character, too! So today, we’re going to take a look at something we all thought about as kids — which Disney sidekick is the most annoying of all time?
The Disney Sidekick
Every Disney sidekick is unique and iconic in their own right, as every Disney Princess is. From Pinocchio‘s (1940) Jiminy Cricket (Cliff Edwards), to Peter Pan‘s (1953) Tinker Bell, and even Robin Hood‘s (1973) Little John (Phil Harris).
Not exclusive to animal sidekicks, although those are the norm in the wonderful world of Disney — nor are we looking at the worst Disney sidekicks ever. We’re going to take a long, hard look at the annoying Disney sidekick.
How do we define an “annoying Disney sidekick”?
Not necessarily bad people, but perhaps… frustrating. I mean, do you really want some of these individuals following you around everywhere, cramping your Disney Protagonist (they’re not all a Disney Princess!) style? I think not!
Here, we look at the most infuriating, exasperating and irritating Disney sidekicks ever. And strap in, because some of these picks might be controversial!
Ranking the most annoying Disney sidekicks — from worst to best
7. Vanellope von Schweetz — Wreck-It Ralph (2012)
Keep in mind — we love Vanellope (Sarah Silverman)!
Related: Disney Slammed After Documentary Exposes “Trainwreck” Behind the Scenes
It’s just… that she’s that little kid sister or cousin . She’s annoying — in the most endearing way possible! She even becomes Wreck-It Ralph’s (John C. Reilly) best friend. Well, in the first film, at least. Frankly, it was likely her slight personality shift and behavior in the sequel, Wreck-It Ralph 2/Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018) which turned her (not insignificantly) more self-centered, and tipped the scale into “frustrating” territory. I mean, endangering her entire game and home filled with countless other Sugar Rush citizens, for such selfish reasons? Definitely infuriating, as cute as she is!
6. Zazu — The Lion King (1994)
Realistically – do you want him talking in your ear all day about what you should do as a “rightful Prince of the Pridelands”, lecturing you on proper behavior and reporting on all the (boring) going-ons of every single animal in the savannah? Even Mufasa finds him annoying, so you know it gets bad. The only reason he’s so low on the list is because he’s clearly easily tricked/waylaid/distracted, if little cub Simba and Nala can do it. Sorry, Zazu.
5. Hei Hei — Moana (2016)
No, honestly — he’s adorable! But… it has to be admitted that this cute little rooster is a little bit of a liability in general!
Imagine having to set out on a life-changing and island-saving adventure as Moana of Motonui, get Maui to board her boat, sail across the ocean, and restore the heart of Te Fiti! It’s a big ask, and unfortunately the self-preservation-averse Heihei makes Moana’s journey difficult — with any chicken guardian constantly tasked with having to find food (and direct him to it), and keep him from drowning. Sorry Hei Hei/Heihei (Alan Tudyk), you’re really cute — but you’re kind of annoying to travel with!
4. Mushu — Mulan (1998)
Hear me out!
Mushu, Mushu, Mushu! The Eddie Murphy guardian dragon to Mulan (Lea Salonga) definitely iconic, and cute and loyal in his own right.
But he’s arguably also annoying in his own right — having a streak of selfishness that eventually is more-or-less eliminated by the end of the movie, after he realizes that Mulan is doing the right thing, and he can protect her by helping her. Perhaps the sequel version of Mushu is more of a blight on the character, though — especially since the entire plot is centered around him trying to wreck Mulan and Shang’s relationship and future marriage!
3. Sebastian – The Little Mermaid (1981)
Now this annoying little crustacean is a talented musician, yes. A caring guardian. And loyalty personified. But… also unfortunately annoying. Sebastian (Samuel E. Wright) will surely be nattering in your ear and reporting your every move to the Sea King if you even so much as look in the direction of a human. How ever are you going to find the human Prince of your dreams, now!? This pompous nugget of crab-flesh makes everything a million times harder to accomplish (sorry, he’s actually really sweet). But you’ll get astonishingly catchy impromptu fish-concerts on the regular though, with him as your sidekick!
Honestly, we love him — but Sebastian does actively work against Ariel (Jodi Benson) far too much to be that positive force like Flounder (Jason Marin) is for majority of the film. In fact, he’s kind of the antagonist for most of it — well-meaning, but still an opposing force to Ariel achieving her dreams.
2. Iago — Aladdin (1992)
Gilbert Gottfried parrot!
No one can really deny Iago’s ability to be annoying — and to be fair, he’s the sidekick to an evil villain — but he’s still annoying, and a sidekick, so he counts! Granted, he’s likely designed to be annoying, and therefore does a fantastic job at his role, but you cannot deny that Iago’s literal screeching in Aladdin isn’t slowly migraine-inducing. How much does he actually help Jafar (Jonathan Freeman) out, anyway?
1. Victor, Hugo, and Laverne (the Gargoyles) — The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)
To be fair — this is technically more than one sidekick.
But they might as well be alternate aspects of one character, functionally! Arguably, the worst crime Victor, Hugo, and Laverne (Charles Kimbrough, Jason Alexander, and Mary Wickes respectively) commit is being ineffectual, inescapable, and… kind of confusing. They’re sort of the definition of “cramping Quasimodo’s (Tom Hulce) style”, and to be very honest, the entire story’s in general. Do we really need the action to stop just so they can sing a song about love? Let’s be frank – if we cut the gargoyles entirely from the movie – would anything really have changed? Would we really have lost anything vital to the main story, characters and plot? Unfortunately, the answer is no, so Quasi’s “French stone gargoyle” buddies get the top spot on the list. For being not-so-great and also… grating.
Overall, the Disney sidekicks are definitely a varied bunch — and you can always count on them to be there, a staple of Disney stories for years to come. They are a defining hallmark of being a Disney Princess, after all… but boy, can some of them be annoying!
What do you think about our ranking of the most annoying Disney sidekicks ever? Did we miss anything? Share your thoughts in the comments below!