60 Best Disney Characters Of All Time, Ranked - Looper (2024)

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60 Best Disney Characters Of All Time, Ranked - Looper (1)


BySarah Buddery/

For 100 years, Disney has been delighting fans of all ages with its animated shorts, films, and TV series. The magic of Disney is in the beautiful animation, the unforgettable songs, and of course, the memorable characters.

With princesses, talking animal sidekicks, and malevolent yet endearing villains, there is something for everyone. Throughout the studio's history, it has been the exquisitely drawn and voiced characters that make Disney's output so memorable, moving from films into a wider world of merchandising and theme parks.

Everyone has their favorites, and each character has something unique to offer, but which ones are the best of the best? Who stands the test of time and represents the iconic animation company to the entire world? Well, there may be hundreds to choose from, but we wished upon a star, dove deep into the animated archives, and ranked the 60 very best Disney characters of all time.

60. Alice

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In a largely nonsensical film, Alice helps to ground us in the real world throughout the 1951 technicolor fever-dream that is"Alice in Wonderland." When she follows a white rabbit down a hole, Alice's life is turned upside-down as she is transported to a strange land filled with singing flowers, a never-ending tea party, and a malicious queen hellbent on cutting off her head. In addition to her iconic look, Alice is memorable for her innocence and "curiouser and curiouser" nature, which perfectly taps into the childlike joy of discovering new things and creating imaginary scenarios.

59. Chernabog

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Actions often speak louder than words, and that is the case for Chernabog, the giant winged demon from "Fantasia." Appearing in the final segment, "Night on Bald Mountain/Ave Maria," Chernabog summons demons and the damned for a night of terror in an unforgettable sequence. Chernabog cuts an imposing figure atop the mountain and is undoubtedly one of the scariest Disney characters. It's actually a little shocking when you compare him to other baddies from Disney's animated catalog — no one else brings the same supernatural scariness to a Disney film like Chernabog does.

58. Quasimodo

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The lead of "The Hunchback of Notre Dame," Quasimodo is the perfect character for anyone who has ever felt like an outcast and the shining example of never judging a book by its cover. Despite his appearance, the kind-hearted bell-ringer of Notre Dame is gentle and compassionate to everyone he meets. Mistreated from the moment he is born by the evil Frollo, it is difficult not to feel sorry for Quasimodo, particularly when he is ridiculed and mocked by the crowds at the Feast of Fools. While his love for Esmeralda is unrequited, Quasimodo remains loyal and kind to her, making him one of the more complex Disney characters.

57. Kuzco

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Emperor Kuzco is one of the rare Disney protagonists who — in the beginning, at least — isn't particularly likable. His arrogant and conceited behavior goes largely unchecked, and he thinks nothing of destroying Pacha's entire village to make a summer home for himself. However, he is forced to change his ways when he is turned into a llama and Pacha is the only one who can help him. Packed with zany humor, "The Emperor's New Groove" is easily one of the funniest Disney films, and charting Kuzco's journey to becoming a better person is hugely satisfying.

56. Mirabel

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An ordinary girl surrounded by the extraordinary, Mirabel is the only member of the magical Madrigal family not blessed with a gift. Where her family members can lift incredible weights or talk to animals, Mirabel is left frustrated, trying to find her place. However, she ends up being hugely important to her family's story, helping her sisters to realize their full potential and reuniting the estranged Bruno with the Madrigals. Even with her magical surroundings, Mirabel's journey in "Encanto" is deeply relatable since everyone has experienced the struggle to find themselves and where they fit in.

55. Pinocchio

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It's hard not to be charmed by the little wooden puppet who just wants to be a real boy. One of the many things that makePinocchio stand out as a character is that he isn't perfect, and he has to learn life's lessons the hard way. To become a real boy, he must discover the value of being brave, truthful, and unselfish — a journey that takes him to some of the darkest and scariest places imaginable. Even when he makes mistakes, we constantly root for Pinocchio, and seeing his wish fulfilled is a truly magical moment.

54. Pocahontas

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An underrated Disney princess, Pocahontas is one of the characters that doesn't get the attention she deserves. While there are major deviations from the real historical figurein "Pocahontas," Disney's version of the character is a kind, pure-hearted woman with deep respect and love for the natural world around her. With her people under threat from foreign invaders, Pocahontas shows her bravery by standing between the warring groups to protect her forbidden love, John Smith. What also elevates Pocahontas is that she chooses loyalty to her people instead of love in the end — a refreshing change to many of the princess narratives.

53. Olaf

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The benevolent snowman with a penchant for summer and warm hugs, Olaf is one of the many highlights of "Frozen," proving that when it comes to memorable sidekicks, Disney is unbeatable. Olaf represents all that is good and pure in the film, and his eternal optimism is undeniably infectious for audiences. His unwavering loyalty to Anna, in particular, is epitomized in the line "some people are worth melting for," demonstrating that he is willing to sacrifice everything to save those he loves. Olaf's naïveté and his often unintentional hilarity make him one of the best Disney characters in recent years.

52. Lilo

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The best friend of the indelible alien Stitch, little Lilo Pelekai makes an impression on everyone she meets — whether good or bad. Lilo is irrefutably unusual, and her eccentricities see her cast out by the other children she encounters. Lilo has been through a lot in her young life, and this manifests in her frequently cheeky and disobedient behavior. However, her experiences have also made her kind and generous, allowing her to see the good in the equally mischievous Stitch, even when no one else does. The two are a perfect double-act in "Lilo & Stitch," and it is refreshing to see Disney feature a very different kind of young protagonist.

51. Baymax

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Baymax's entire raison d'être in "Big Hero 6" is to help people, and with his calming and cuddly exterior, it is impossible not to fall in love with him. Programmed to be a personal healthcare companion, Baymax's innocent and nurturing spirit helps protagonist Hiro when he is grieving the death of his older brother, Tadashi. Initially subservient to Hiro, Baymax develops his own unique personality, and even makes a huge personal sacrifice to save his young friend. He's instantly able to diagnose and treat medical conditions, not to mention the fact that he's a superhero. It's obvious: Everyone needs a friend like Baymax.

50. Sisu

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Played by the incomparable Awkwafina, Sisu of "Raya and the Last Dragon" is a vibrant and fun-loving goofball. In other words, she defies all the expectations of what the anticipated "last dragon" is for the fictional realm of Kumandra. In this world, dragons are the stuff of legend and the only ones who can save the warring tribes from the dark forces that prey upon their disunity. What makes Sisu so likable is her warmth and honesty. She's naturally self-deprecating and doesn't believe she is the mythical savior that the people have been expecting, meaning she has to discover her strengths and believe in her abilities to become the hero Kumandra needs.

49. Flynn Rider

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The man who can say it all with a smolder, Flynn Rider– also known as Eugene Fitzherbert — is the dashing thief in "Tangled" who becomes involved with Rapunzel on a quest to find her true identity. Sharing similar personality traits with characters such as Han Solo and Robin Hood, Rider is a lovable scoundrel who turns his back on his previously selfish ways when he falls in love with Rapunzel. The "Rider" persona is a bit of a facade after all, and when this is taken away, there is a kind-hearted, loyal, and protective man underneath who is easy to like.

48. Cinderella

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This princess sometimes gets a bit of a bad rap for her potentially rash decision to marry a man she barely knows, but this is hardly uncommon in Disney. Putting that aside, Cinderella is independent and strong-willed, despite living much of her life in servitude. To be able to tolerate the abuse from her stepsisters and the wicked Lady Tremaine demonstrates her tremendous strength of character. Despite all this, she remains optimistic about her future and defiantly kind to the women she shares a home with, refusing to give in to the cruelty that surrounds her.

47. Raya

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The titular human lead of "Raya and the Last Dragon" is not your average Disney princess. She is depicted as headstrong, resilient, and wise beyond her years. When her homeland is threatened by dark forces, Raya heads off alone in search of the fragmented dragon gem and the creature that can restore peace to Kumandra. Raya's biggest hurdle to overcome is her lack of trust in others, making her the perfect counterpart to Sisu the dragon, who always looks for the good in people. In the end, unity and cooperation are what save the day, and seeing a character who accepts her flaws, learns, and grows to become a better person is hugely aspirational.

46. Thumper

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Not only is Thumper exceptionally cute, but he proves to be a great friend in "Bambi," helping everybody's favorite deer find his feet –in more ways than one– in the forest. Far from being relegated to the status of sidekick, this little rabbit has a big personality, and his cheeky, mischievous ways make him instantly likable. While he may occasionally say things that get him into trouble, he is also surprisingly wise, remembering and repeating the sage advice his father gave him, "If you can't say something nice, don't say nothing at all."

45. Aladdin

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The streetwise urchin may not be well-liked by the market owners of Agrabah, but Aladdin isn't just a thief for the sake of it. He steals for survival and to help those like him who go without food. The plucky protagonist shows his selflessness throughout his 1992 film but most crucially in the closing moments of the movie when he chooses to use his final wish to free Genie from his lamp prison. Where all the other masters had given in to their wants and wishes, Aladdin makes a huge personal sacrifice for the good of someone else — a true display of what a great character he is.

44. Maui

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Initially painted as the antagonist of the film, Maui later proves to be a valuable asset in "Moana," teaching the title character all she needs to know about wayfinding. While he may be boisterous and overconfident, the shape-shifting demigod also shows his human side when the truth of his tragic childhood is revealed. The moment we start to see through the facade of Maui is when we start to fall in love with him. His solo song, "You're Welcome" is easily one of the catchiest Disney jams in years, and the character is definitely one of Dwayne Johnson's very best performances.

43. Anna

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While she has her off moments in "Frozen" — such as her willingness to marry a man she just met — Anna is another very different Disney princess, with her endearingly awkward personality making her one of the studio's most relatable characters. Anna is loyal to those she loves and determined to see the good in people, especially her sister, Elsa. Her downfall is perhaps being too trusting, something she learns the hard way when Hans' true character is revealed. But she remains determined and unwavering in her devotion to her sister, sacrificing herself to save Elsa in the most selfless act of true love.

42. Ralph

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In "Wreck-It Ralph," we meet the lovable bad guy who just wants to be a hero. Ostracized by the other characters in his game, we instantly warm to Ralph as he embarks on a perilous journey to win a medal and become a hero. Ralph's motivations are undeniably a little selfish in the beginning, and his carelessness sees him unwittingly destroying several games in the process. Through his relationship with Vanellope, however, Ralph learns that being a hero is more than just having a medal, and by the end, he proves himself worthy to us all.

41. Queen of Hearts

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While this indomitable villain has very little screen time in "Alice in Wonderland" — and doesn't appear until the film is almost over — she makes a huge impression in just a few scenes. Even though the tyrannical queen spends much of her time trying to decapitate Alice, her huge personality makes her one of the most memorable Disney villains. Prone to temper tantrums that see her turn as red as the roses she insists upon having her gardeners plant (or else), the Queen of Hearts is a larger-than-life and unpredictable character who remains one of the highlights of this quirky masterpiece.

40. Ariel

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As the youngest of seven sisters, Ariel is much happier playing by her own rules, frequently defying her father in favor of exploration and adventure. Ariel is obsessed with everything in the human world and longs to be "where the people are" more than anything. She is the archetypal Disney princess: headstrong, independent, and a loyal friend to every fish and creature she encounters. For anyone who has particularly overbearing parents or a lot of siblings, Ariel's drive to carve out her own story will undoubtedly resonate — even if she does spend a large portion of the film unable to express herself. On a grander scale, it was Ariel and "The Little Mermaid" that kicked off a renaissance for the House of Mouse, leading to an amazing period where Disney made some of the best movies in the studio's history.

39. Gaston

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As unlikable and brutish as Gaston might be, he is also such a silly caricature that he's enjoyable to watch. Surrounded by sycophants whose sole purpose is to tell him how great he is, Gaston's unwavering belief that he is a perfect specimen is strangely admirable. Gaston is physically imposing, exuding confidence and swagger with remarkable ease. Perhaps the greatest thing about this "Beauty and the Beast" character is how he succeeds in being believable both as a heartthrob and as a man so detestable that an actual beast is seen as a more viable romantic option for Belle. As the song says, "my what a guy, that Gaston."

38. Elsa

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On top of being the person that belts out the unforgettable "Let It Go" — the best song in the "Frozen"series –Elsa is a surprisingly complex Disney character with a lot going on underneath the surface. With her powers repressed from a young age, Elsa grew up in isolation and without the opportunity to explain the reason to her sister, Anna. The lesson to learn from "Frozen" is that forcing someone to hide their true self is never going to end well, and the moment when Elsa is finally able to use her powers is almost as liberating for the audience as it is for her. Her self-realization and awesome, icy powers also kicked off an entire franchise that's dazzled and delighted audiences for years.

37. Simba

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Like any young kid, Simba is a little overconfident, believing that whatever trouble he gets into, his father will always be around to protect him. Of course, we all know how this one goes: When Mufasa is tragically killed, Simba retreats into a self-imposed exile, ridden with guilt over the death of his father. We go on this journey with Simba across "The Lion King," experiencing all of life's changes through his eyes as he learns from his past and takes his rightful place as ruler. Through Simba, Disney gives us a deeply relatable coming-of-age film that speaks to everyone, making him easily one of the best characters.

36. Tiana

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Taught from a young age that hard work will allow her to achieve her dreams, Tiana toils away in "The Princess and the Frog," working several jobs to buy her own restaurant. Despite being turned into an amphibian after she kisses Prince Naveen — who has himself been transformed — Tiana never loses sight of her goals. While she does find love along the way, it's never her sole motivation. What sets Tiana apart is that she shows that dreams can't always just come true with a spell. Sometimes they require a lot of determination. This, she has in abundance — and that makes her truly aspirational.

35. Hercules

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With a legendary name that has echoed through the ages, Hercules' journey from zero to hero gives inspiration to us all as he learns to embrace who he is and become the demigod he was born to be. More than his physical strength, Hercules is notable for his optimism and drive to prove himself. It's great to see a character who is powerful but not overly arrogant and is open to change. As Hercules realizes that being a god isn't all about saving damsels and destroying demons, he becomes a better person.

34. Mulan

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Mulan is an undoubtedly progressive character, carving out an entirely new identity as she disguises herself as a boy to fight in her father's place. Prior to this, Mulan is expected to bring honor to her family by marrying well and bearing children. However, this is thrown into disarray following a disastrous meeting with the Matchmaker. Incredibly loyal to her family, Mulan defies all expectations by going off to war, demonstrating her incredible emotional strength as well as her physical prowess. Mulan proves, perhaps more than any other character, that there is more to a princess than first meets the eye.

33. Hades

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If you can overlook the fact he tries to have the heroic Hercules murdered when he is a baby, Hades is a pretty likable villain and certainly one of the most charismatic ones. Unlike many of the Disney villains, Hades doesn't seem to particularly revel in his job — in fact, most of the time he loathes it — and relies on his irreverent and sardonic wit to make the days just a little easier. The fast-talking Lord of the Underworld, played by James Woods, is one of the most hilarious and memorable parts of this film, and we love him for it.

32. Vanellope

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If there's one thing we know for sure, it's that Disney loves an outcast, and Vanellope von Schweetz from "Wreck-It Ralph" is one of the very best. An aspiring racer in the candy-coated game "Sugar Rush," Vanellope wants to be victorious behind the wheel, but more importantly, she wants to win the love and respect of her fellow citizens. Due to her glitch, she is treated poorly, mocked, and ostracized by the other racers. Vanellope learns to embrace her glitch and use it to her advantage, providing a valuable moral that it is okay to be different and that the things that set you apart can be your superpower.

31. Yzma

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Voiced by the legendary Eartha Kitt, this unforgettable villain from "The Emperor's New Groove" is obsessed with taking the throne away from the narcissistic Emperor Kuzco, hatching several madcap plans to achieve this. What makes Yzma so wonderful — and the perfect adversary for Kuzco — is that it never seems like she will succeed in her nefarious plans, yet it is so fun to watch her try. The best of all these is her idea to turn him into a flea, put him inside a box, mail the box to herself, and then smash it with a hammer ... before realizing she could just poison him to save postage.

30. Ratigan

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As the villain in the hugely underrated "The Great Mouse Detective," Professor Ratigan is another excellent entry into Disney's extensive catalog of baddies. Ratigan's plans are wonderfully zany, involving an elaborate kidnapping plot to replace the Queen of Mousedom with a robotic counterpart. Played by horror legendVincent Price in one of his best movies, Ratigan is one of those rare villains who is so delightfully charismatic that you actually kind of want to see him succeed. Snappily dressed and adorably devoted to his sassy pet cat, Felicia, no list of best Disney characters would be complete without the "world's greatest criminal mind."

29. Frollo

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Few villains are as nasty (and downright evil) as Frollo in "The Hunchback of Notre Dame," and it's almost surprising that Disney managed to get away with a character like him in one of their movies. Extremely layered and complex, Frollo's dogmatic views driven by his piety see him commit several heinous acts including murder, bribery, and genocide. The most terrifying thing about him is his complete lack of humanity, and despite the fact he has almost no redeemable qualities, he is undoubtedly one of the most effective Disney villains.

28. Moana

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Although ably assisted by the demigod Maui, Moana is one of the rare Disney princesses who doesn't need to be saved by a man, and her adventurous spirit and determination prove that she is more than capable of fending for herself. As the daughter of the chief of Motanui, Moana finds herself torn between a sense of duty to the island that looks to her for leadership and the mysterious, undeniable pull of the ocean. Her strength to see things through is one of her most admirable qualities, making her one of the most aspirational Disney characters.

27. Belle

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With her head buried in a book and a strong desire to see the world beyond the confines of her small village,Belle is a character who instantly resonates with audiences. As she rebuffs the advances of the loutish Gaston, Belle is sometimes lauded as a feminist icon– something that the live-action remake leans into even more. The hero of "Beauty and the Beast,"Belle's ability to see the good in everyone, even her would-be captor, shows that she has a kind nature, but she's also outspoken and determined to stand up for those she loves. The passivity of some of the earlier Disney princesses is now a distant memory, and Belle is one of the characters who ushers in this change.

26. Captain Hook

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While there are certainly more terrifying villains than Captain Hook, few have his style and showmanship, and this is what earns him his place as one of the best Disney characters. There is an element of the theatrical to this mustache-twirling pirate, who is frequently out-witted and out-maneuvered by everyone from the impish Peter Panto a tenacious crocodile with a personal vendetta against him. Captain Hook is a character who relies more upon slapstick than scares, but his humorous antics are what set him apart from many of the other villains.

25. Kronk

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In a film where it seems every character is competing for the limelight, somehow the dim-witted and lovable Kronk is the one that stands above everyone else in "The Emperor's New Groove." As the loyal assistant to the comically conniving Yzma, Kronk's hapless and easy-going nature makes him the perfect henchman, as he seems willing to do whatever is asked. Rather than being a nodding sycophant, Kronk's willingness to follow Yzma seems to stem from a genuine desire to help people, even if they happen to be on the "wrong" side. Few Disney sidekicks are popular enough to earn aspin-off movie, but Kronk is one of them — a testament to how great a character he is.

24. Eeyore

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He may be the gloomiest inhabitant of the Hundred Acre Wood, but that only makes Eeyore more lovable. His downbeat outlook on life provides a particularly stark contrast to the effervescent Tigger and the optimistic Pooh, but all good friendship groups need that person — or donkey, in this case — to provide balance. While Eeyore can be pessimistic, he fully embraces this and is perfectly content under his rain cloud. With his trademark drawling voice, Eeyore can always be relied upon for a witty aside and to help out his "Winnie the Pooh" pals when they need him, and that's why we love him — just as he is.

23. Rapunzel

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In contrast to the source material, the Rapunzel we meet in "Tangled" doesn't need to be saved by the handsome prince, and as long as she has her trusty frying pan in her hand, she is more than capable of saving herself. When she finally leaves the confines of her tower, we see her experience the whole gamut of emotions, including fear, regret, and immense joy at finally being free. This joy is infectious, encouraging Flynn Rider to open up to her and be vulnerable for the first time. The best thing about Rapunzel is that she never pretends or tries to be perfect, which makes audiences love her even more.

22. Stitch

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Although a certain mouse and the princesses having long dominated Disney sales, a little blue alien called Stitch arrived and became, according to The Hollywood Reporter, "among the most sought-after Disney personalities in terms of merchandising."Stitch remains one of the most popular Disney characters, with his adorable face available on everything from clothing to plush toys. The power of Stitch was evident from the very beginning, with the genius trailers seeing the alien gatecrash several iconic Disney moments. Continued in the film, Stitch's cheeky and mischievous personality — and his adorable friendship with Lilo — easily cemented him as a favorite.

21. Megara

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Often overlooked because she isn't part of the princess pack, Megara from "Hercules" is one of the best female characters in Disney history. According to an interview in Deseret News, voice actress Susan Egan was inspired by actresses such as Barbara Stanwyck, a perfect match for Megara's snarky and cynical personality. Many of Disney's female characters can be quite naive when it comes to love, but Megara is very different — having experienced heartache, she has a very low opinion of men and she always makes her feelings very clear. Her iconic quote — "I'm a damsel, I'm in distress, I can handle it" — perfectly sums up what makes her so brilliant.

20. Pluto

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Pluto is the lovable canine companion of Mickey Mouse and a notable entry on this list as he is one of the few who doesn't speak. This doesn't hold him back, however, and along with the likes of Goofy, Donald, and Minnie, he's been a staple of the Sensational Six's adventures since 1930. Pluto is usually a very good boy, but that doesn't stop him from getting into plenty of mishaps — something that is perfectly encapsulated in one of his defining shorts, 1934's "Playful Pluto." The magic of Disney's animators is how they can imbue a character like Pluto with so much personality, and that's why he has been consistently popular for more than 90 years.

19. Tigger

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As the bounciest "Winnie the Pooh" character would tell you himself, "The most wonderful thing about Tiggers is I'm the only one." And there certainly is only one Tigger. With his boundless energy, Tigger frequently gets on the wrong side of some of the other residents in the Hundred Acre Wood, but he also proves himself to be a loyal friend with a heart as big as his bounces. Tigger's confidence is admirable and he approaches all of life's challenges like he's already mastered whatever task lies ahead, something we can all aspire to.

18. Minnie Mouse

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It may be her boyfriend that gets all of the attention, but Minnie has also been there from the very beginning, with her first appearance in 1928's "Steamboat Willie." In the earlier adventures, Minnie frequently played the role of the damsel in distress, however, she has since evolved to become more multifaceted. Minnie frequently acts as the voice of reason and isn't afraid to speak her mind when someone is being mean. A fashion icon, a symbol of femininity, and ultimately just a kind and sweet character, there's so much to love about Minnie Mouse.

17. The Evil Queen

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As much as we can pretend to like the protagonists more, the villains in Disney films are often vastly more interesting — something that stems back to the one who started it all, The Evil Queen from "Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs." Obsessed with vanity, the Evil Queen (voiced with delicious malice by Lucille La Verne)sets a very high bar for all the villains that would follow. The Evil Queen is incredibly sad*stic, willing to kill Snow White to be the fairest of them all. The scene where she transforms into a twisted old hag remains one of the most terrifying things Disney has ever produced.

16. Piglet

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What Piglet may lack in bravery, he makes up for in loyalty, and whether he wants to be there or not, he will always show up for his friends. One of the loveliest things about the characters in "Winnie the Pooh" is that they are all flawed, yet they bring something to the table and have their moments to shine. Piglet may be timid, but he has a huge heart, demonstrated in "The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh" when he gives up his beloved house to Owl — proving that no one is too small to make a difference.

15. Tinker Bell

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As a sidekick to Peter Pan, this sassy fairy shows a whole lot of personality by actually saying nothing at all. Pairing an adorable appearance with a bit of an attitude, Tinker Bell is one of the few side characters who has managed to transcend the original film she appeared in, going on to be a star in her own right with a separate franchise. In "Peter Pan," Tinker Bell is depicted as hot-headed, jealous, and prone to tantrums. Rather than these traits making her unlikeable, they give her a bit of an edge, making her stand out against the other female protagonists.

14. Daisy Duck

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It takes a special kind of person to put up with Donald Duck's bursts of anger, but Daisy Duck is somehow able to hold her own. While her demeanor is distinctly calmer than Donald's, Daisy occasionally reveals a bit more of her diva side and has been known to show some anger as well, making them a great match. Daisy (mostly) succeeds in keeping Donald in check and frequently reprimands him for his outlandish behavior, as demonstrated in the 1945 short "Cured Duck." Daisy might not have as many appearances as some of the other Sensational Six, but she's a great character and the pairing of her and Donald is perfect.

13. Cruella de Vil

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She may have murderous intentions towards a group of puppies, but there is no denying that Cruella has style, and like all the best villains, she knows how to make an entrance. From her penchant for fashion to her maniacal laugh, Cruella is a character who steals every scene she is in with her sad*stic flair, and somehow, we still come out of it liking her. With the character reimagined by Glenn Close in 1996 and Emma Stone in 2021, Cruella's popularity has only grown, but it is Betty Lou Gerson's original iteration in the 1961 "101 Dalmatians" that earns her a place on this list.

12. Donald Duck

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If Mickey Mouse's cheery personality is a little too wholesome for you, then Donald Duck– the angrier and edgier character — might just be your favorite. Often speaking completely unintelligibly, Donald is prone to fiery fits of rage, and this is something that provides not only endless entertainment but the perfect counterbalance to the other Sensational Six members' personalities. With appearances in more than 100 films, Donald's popularity surpassed Mickey for a long time, and while the power of the Mouse won in terms of brand recognition for Disney, Donald has remained a beloved favorite since the beginning.

11. Mushu

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Voicing two fast-talking animated characters just three years apart, Eddie Murphy made a huge impact both as Donkey in "Shrek" and Mushu the dragon in "Mulan." Disney has given us countless memorable sidekicks over the years, but thanks to the incomparable vocal stylings of Murphy, Mushu is one that became a fan favorite. What sets Mushu apart is that he isn't just there to assist Mulan (even though he does succeed there), but he also has a personal journey — trying to prove himself worthy to the ancestors. To see a side character with a complete arc is incredibly rewarding and helps elevate Mushu above the rest.

10. Maleficent

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Appearing in 1959's "Sleeping Beauty," Maleficient is the undisputed Queen of Pettiness, cursing the infant Aurora because she doesn't get invited to the christening party. Voiced by Eleanor Audley(who also plays the underrated wicked stepmother Lady Tremaine in "Cinderella"), Maleficent has all the dramatic flair and iconic lines associated with the very best screen baddies. Throughout the film, the "Mistress of All Evil" is already the embodiment of everything wicked. Still, the climax of the film sees her take on a terrifying dragon form, which is a pretty difficult move to top.

9. Timon & Pumbaa

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Perhaps it's bending the rules slightly to include this double-act, but they work so perfectly as a duo that it is impossible to separate them. This unlikely friendship between a meerkat and a warthog, and their inclusion in "The Lion King," provides twice as many laughs compared to some of the other Disney sidekicks. Both Timon and Pumbaa found themselves outcasts from their respective groups, but fortunately, they also found each other. Together they live an easy-going life, sharing their "problem-free philosophy" with other misfits, including Simba. Both are hilarious in their own ways, and their open-heartedness to others who find themselves with no family is delightful to watch.

8. Goofy

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The image of Mickey Mouse may be the thing most recognizable as the Disney brand, but you could argue that Goofy is responsible for two of the sounds most associated with the studio — his signature guffaw and the Goofy holler. Much like the "Wilhelm Scream," the Goofy holler has become a stock sound effect, used as a Disney easter egg in some of their other films, including "Cinderella" and "Home on the Range." Fans love Goofy for his slapstick style and the charming way he brushes off all the scrapes he gets into with his cheery disposition and iconic laugh.

7. Winnie the Pooh

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When it comes to the characters from the Hundred Acre Wood, it is clear that the one who stands above them all is the titular honey-loving bear: Winnie the Pooh. Described as "a bear of very little brain," Pooh spends his days mostly in search of honey, and it is his kind-hearted nature and devotion to his friends that makes us fall in love with him. Pooh's approach to life is distinctively calm and laidback, and whatever trouble he or his pals may get into, he is often the one to lead the way when it comes to finding a solution.

6. Scar

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Something Disney fans realize as they get older is that sometimes the villains are simply the more interesting characters, and Scar is certainly one that falls into that category. His sarcastic nature — and particularly his observation, "I'm surrounded by idiots" — makes him not just relatable but oddly likable. Despite committing the truly evil act of killing Mufasa, Scar is a fascinating and charismatic figure. His actions are hard to justify, but the bitterness and jealousy he feels towards Simba, who stands between him and the throne, are certainly understandable. As well as being an amazing character, there is a strong argument that Jeremy Irons is perhaps the most perfect piece of casting in a Disney film, with his smooth and suave tones sounding like they were made for this character.

5. Ursula

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Teaching us the important lesson to not "underestimate the importance of body language," Ursula the Sea Witch is the one who reigns supreme when it comes to Disney's villains. The larger-than-life character has personality in abundance, as well as one of the best songs in "Poor Unfortunate Souls." With the ability to shapeshift and conjure all kinds of black magic, Ursula is not only powerful but a very successful villain — as her haunting garden of doomed souls proves. Her success also hinges on her powers of persuasion, and she oozes confidence and charisma. Voiced by Pat Carroll and with a look inspired by the drag queen Divine, Ursula is a truly unforgettable villain.

4. Jiminy Cricket

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With seemingly everything getting in the way of Pinocchio's quest to become a real boy, it requires a special kind of sidekick to steer him in the right direction. Fortunately, the living puppet has got Jiminy Cricket, who acts as his conscience, confidant, and guide as he navigates all that the world is throwing at him. A wisecracking sidekick is now a staple of Disney films, and Jiminy Cricket is the one who started it all. Even though he acts as Pinocchio's conscience, Jiminy often makes mistakes himself and learns from them, and it is this sense of fallibility — as well as his natural wit and charm — that makes him one of the greatest. Plus, his big song, "When You Wish Upon a Star," is the theme song for Disney itself.

3. Sebastian

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"The Little Mermaid" may be full of memorable characters, but the one who takes the prize is Sebastian the crab. The impossible job of keeping Ariel in check, as well as making sure the controlling King Triton is happy, is a lot for one crab to take on. Fortunately, Sebastian is someone who throws himself into whatever task he is given — from conducting an undersea orchestra to escaping from a voracious chef — and he does it all with good humor and unwavering loyalty. Sebastian is a fantastic character and clearly one that the studio knew would be a fan favorite, as he has not one but two incredible songs in the film: the charming "Kiss the Girl" and the unforgettable "Under the Sea."

2. Mickey Mouse

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As Walt Disney himself famously said, "It was all started by a mouse." And of course, that mouse is now one of the most recognizable figures in popular culture. The significance of Mickey is not to be ignored, and Walt's memorable words suggest the idea that something huge — as the Disney brand would become — could all start from something incredibly small. Making his debut in 1928, Mickey has transcended his film appearances to become an icon and an image that is completely synonymous with the Disney name. In terms of his personality and character, Mickey would perhaps be a bit further down the list, as his best moments are often due to his pairing with characters such as Donald or Goofy, but in terms of cultural impact, there is no one like Mickey.

1. Genie

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When it comes to Disney characters, there aren't many that tick every single box ... except for the Genie. Genie is not only an amazing character but also has a big influence on Disney films more broadly. The 1990s in particular saw the studio steer towards casting well-known comedians or stars of the time, and this is partly due to the success of Robin Williams in "Aladdin."

The importance of Robin Williams in creating this character cannot be understated. "Aladdin's" co-director, Ron Clements, told Variety they had "ended up with an enormous wealth of material" thanks to Williams' improvisations and ad-libs. Clements recognized the significance of Williams' performance, saying, "Robin changed the way animated films were perceived." The true testament to the power of a character is whether the film would be as good without them, and in the case of the Genie, he doesn't just steal the film, he is the film.

60 Best Disney Characters Of All Time, Ranked - Looper (2024)
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