Best Disney Animal Characters of All Time
Disney animal characters started with Mickey Mouse in the 1928 short film "Steamboat Willie." And they haven't looked back. They now are just as important to Disney storylines as the human characters. Maybe more.
Whether they're providing comic relief, propelling the main character along their journey or playing the lead themselves, the critters create magic.
These are the best Disney animal characters of all time.
Type of animal: Chicken
First appearance for this animal character: Moana
Other Disney movies: None
Bottom line: If you're looking for the true hero of "Moana," look no further. It's HeiHei. Yeah, you read that right. The idiot chicken is the hero.
HeiHei may be the only Disney animal character dumb enough to eat rocks, is like a silly servant of fate and gets himself into trouble 24/7. But Moana's attempts to keep him safe always take her right where she needs to go.
See? He's a hero.
Type of animal: Bird
First appearance for this animal character: The Little Mermaid
Other Disney movies: The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea
Bottom line: If overconfidence were a Disney animal character, Scuttle might be it. He claims to know everything there is to know about the human world, and Ariel totally buys it.
Thanks to him, a mermaid walked around on land thinking it was normal to comb her hair with a fork.
Now that's just funny.
13. Gus Gus
Type of animal: Mouse
First appearance for this animal character: Cinderella
Other Disney movies: Cinderella II: Dreams Come True, Cinderella III: A Twist in Time
Bottom line: Gus, who frequently calls himself "Gus Gus," isn't the brightest tool in the shed. The plump house mouse loves to snack and visit Cinderella, but the poor thing is constantly terrorized by Lucifer, the cat.
Gus Gus may not be smart, but he and his buddy Jaq are loyal companions of Cinderella. Slow-witted as he is, Cinderella would never have made it to the ball without Gus.
Type of animal: Monkey
First appearance for this animal character: Aladdin
Other Disney movies: The Return of Jafar, Aladdin and the King of Thieves
Bottom line: Abu is the absolute embodiment of sass. He's small, but just as sneaky as his BFF Aladdin.
Abu is a raging kleptomaniac, but what monkey isn't? This semi-anthropomorphic Disney animal character is somehow even more mischievous than Aladdin himself.
His antics are annoying, but priceless.
11. The Cheshire Cat
Type of animal: Cat
First appearance for this animal character: Alice in Wonderland
Other Disney movies: Alice in Wonderland (live action) and Alice Through the Looking Glass
Bottom line: The Cheshire Cat is one of the creepiest creatures among Disney animal characters, but he's also one of the coolest. He's like something out of a dream, and you're not quite sure whether it's a dream or a nightmare.
Like the cat he is, he appears where he wants, when he wants to. Unlike most cats, he can turn invisible, shapeshift and hypnotize people.
Type of animal: Bunny
First appearance for this animal character: Bambi
Other Disney movies: Bambi II
Bottom line: Thumper, an adorable bunny who first joined the team of Disney animal characters in 1942, is one of our all-time favorites.
After Bambi's mother is killed, Thumper tries to take Bambi under his wing. His advice doesn't always work out, but he deserves points for effort.
He does manage to teach Bambi a few good lessons, but Thumper and Bambi's friendship is what we're really here for.
Type of animal: Bear
First appearance for this animal character: The Jungle Book
Other Disney movies: The Jungle Book 2
Bottom line: Baloo is a bear with a big heart. A classic Disney animal character from the 1960s, Baloo finds a human baby in the woods and decides, hey, why not adopt him?
Mowgli might not wear clothes, but Baloo does a pretty good job of raising him. Kids behave like baby bears most of the time, anyway.
Baloo's a little goofy, but he ultimately just wants Mowgli to be happy. To be honest, that makes him one of the better Disney parents, especially for lacking opposable thumbs.
Type of animal: Donkey
First appearance for this animal character: The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
Other Disney movies: The Tigger Movie, Piglet's Big Movie, Pooh's Heffalump Movie, Winnie the Pooh, plus several other short films and an animated series
Bottom line: Now just hear us out. Is Eeyore the cutest Disney animal character? No. Is he the funniest Disney animal character? Not really. Still, Eeyore sends an important message that Disney rarely touches on.
Unlike his companions, Eeyore isn't bright or particularly exciting to be around. In fact, sometimes he's a bit depressing.
The kicker? His friends love him even when he isn't fun to be around, and that's what true friendship is all about.
Type of animal: Reindeer
First appearance for this animal character: Frozen
Other Disney movies: Frozen 2
Bottom line: Often, the role of Disney animal characters is to point their human companions in the right direction. In Disney's "Frozen," Kristoff's pet reindeer, Sven, serves as Kristoff's moral compass.
Kristoff becomes pretty much the perfect boyfriend, but he's not always the best at reading signals. Sven picks up the slack on that front and provides reindeer-powered transportation.
He's responsible for both getting Kristoff and Anna together, and keeping them alive long enough to do so.
Type of animal: Dog
First appearance for this animal character: Up
Other Disney movies: None
Bottom line: Golden retrievers are among the most loving, obedient and loyal dog breeds. Dug showed us what it would be like if they could talk, and it was just as adorable as we imagined.
Dug loves Carl and Russell with all his heart, even though he just met them. They're not always nice to him at first, but he loves them anyway.
He's not tough, but this Disney animal character's furry self is filled to the brim with bravery.
Type of animal: Chameleon
First appearance for this animal character: Tangled
Other Disney movies: None
Bottom line: Pascal doesn't say a single word in the movie "Tangled," but he doesn't need to. This small, green Disney animal character has his personality written all over his explosively expressive face.
You can tell what he's thinking with just one look. Moreover, he's one of the few Disney characters who seems to have some sense of judgment.
A strange man climbing through your window is sketch, and Pascal was the appropriate level of skeptical.
Type of animal: Warthog
First appearance for this animal character: The Lion King
Other Disney movies: The Lion King 1 1/2, The Lion King 2
Bottom line: Warthogs are funny by nature. In real life, they're probably pretty dangerous, but in "The Lion King," Pumbaa is anything but.
His duet with Timon, "Hakuna Matata," is one of the most memorable Disney songs on record. Pumbaa is big and gassy, but he's the best adopted warthog uncle anyone could ask for.
Type of animal: Dragon
First appearance for this animal character: Mulan
Other Disney movies: Mulan 2
Bottom line: Mushu is technically a made-up animal, but this Disney character is too hilarious to skip. With amazing lines like, "Alright, that's it! Dishonor! Dishonor on you! Dishonor on your cow," Mushu was Mulan's primary source of comic relief.
He was self-serving at first, but when it came down to it, he was willing to do whatever it took to help Mulan save China — even when that included biting butts.
Type of animal: Fish
First appearance for this animal character: Finding Nemo
Other Disney movies: Finding Dory
Bottom line: Dory wasn't the star of Disney's "Finding Nemo," but she totally stole the show. Voiced by talk show host and comedian Ellen DeGeneres, Dory's big, bubbly personality more than makes up for the fact that she can't remember anything.
On Marlin's journey across the ocean, Dory provided some much-needed levity to the numerous tense situations the pair encountered. Without her, Nemo and Marlin would never have found their way back to each other.
In other words, the entire movie would have been pointless without this priceless Disney animal character.
Type of animal: Alien ... we mean, dog?
First appearance for this animal character: Lilo and Stitch
Other Disney movies: Stitch! The Movie, Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch, Leroy & Stitch
Bottom line: We're not quite sure if Stitch counts as a Disney animal, but he was originally adopted as a dog, so we're calling him fair game.
Stitch is as endearing as a formerly maniacal extraterrestrial can get. He destroys the house, but he unites the family. And remember? Ohana means family, and family means no one gets left behind or forgotten.