These Underappreciated Disney Characters Deserves So Much More

Disney is widely known for its iconic characters however, there are several key players characters who often go unnoticed. From sidekicks and villains to supporting characters, their contributions are often overlooked. Let us shed some light on these underappreciated gems. Here are top 18 underappreciated Disney characters.

Megara – Hercules (1997)

Photo Credit: Walt Disney Pictures.

A tough character who is demystified over time, it becomes evident that Meg is guarded and harbors deep emotional wounds. Her multifaceted nature is further highlighted through her ability to display vulnerability. Megara is a testament to the depth and complexity that Disney can bring to their animated films.

Genie – Aladdin (1992)

Photo Credit: Walt Disney Pictures.

Genie is initially a comical figure who merely grants wishes but over time, the audience witnesses his inner conflicts, and his desire for personal fulfillment. Through his character development, Genie becomes more than just a sidekick, serving as a symbol for the limitations one faces when bound by external expectations.

Kuzco – The Emperor’s New Groove (2000)

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Kuzco is known  for his sarcastic wit and self-centered personality but despite his initial arrogance, Kuzco’s journey from spoiled ruler to compassionate friend displays remarkable character development. Through his encounters with Pacha and Yzma, Kuzco learns humility and the importance of friendship.

Bert – Mary Poppins (1964)

Mary Poppins Walt Disney Pictures
Photo Credit: Walt Disney Pictures.

In real life, there are some people who stick by our side and provide so much light and color to our stories. They are sometimes more underappreciated than they deserve. Bert is one of such people who was a constant source of love and optimism for Mary Poppins.

Mushu – Mulan (1998)

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Despite his stature and demeanor, Mushu proved to be a fierce protector and devoted comrade, exemplifying the principle of loyalty. His friendship with Mulan deepened as they faced challenges together, illustrating the power of camaraderie and trust. Mushu was symbolic and it certainly helped that he was hilarious as well.

Mamá Coco – Coco (2017)

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Although hard to imagine the possibility of Miguel’s dreams of music being crushed, that would have been the outcome if not for Mamá Coco who spurred him in direct opposition to the rest of his family. She was crucial to the plot’s advancement and resolution, and ultimately Miguel’s happiness.

Scrooge McDuck – DuckTales

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With his Scottish accent and top hat, Scrooge exemplifies ruthlessness and ambition, making him distinct and memorable. His love for accumulating wealth, while initially off-putting, showcases a depth rarely explored in children’s entertainment. His transformation from a penny-pinching tycoon to a caring and generous uncle further enhances his complexity.

Esmeralda – The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)

Photo Credit: Walt Disney Pictures.

Esmeralda is a strong and independent character whose beauty and compassion captivate both Quasimodo and Phoebus, leading to a complex love triangle. As a Romani woman, she faces discrimination and prejudice but remains resilient. She challenges societal norms and represents the importance of standing up for what is right.

Clarice – Chip ‘N Dale

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With her bright red bow and confidence, Clarice stands out among a male-dominated cast. She subverts gender roles by pursuing her romantic interests, an empowering characteristic often absent in early Disney films. Despite her limited screen time, Clarice leaves a lasting impression through her determination and unabashed pursuit of love.

Frollo – The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)

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Nowadays it seems like the value of Frollo as a villain might slowly be forgotten. Although not as powerful as most Disney villains like Maleficent or Hades, he is much more believable in his realistic depiction that sadly reveals the truth about the darkness and hypocrisy human nature can exhibit.

Tia Dalma – Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (2006)

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Tia Dalma is a witch doctor best described as one of those forces that capture your attention right from the first glance. A powerful enigma who commands an air of eccentricity, she fit perfectly into the aesthetic and framework of Pirates of the Caribbean.

Grimsby – The Little Mermaid (1989)

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Grimsby was the Chief Advisor who patiently stood by Prince Eric’s side and devoted himself entirely to Eric’s happiness even when he saw things differently from the young Prince. He wanted what was best for the Prince and he never buckled in seeing it through.

Ratigan – The Great Mouse Detective (1986)

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Ask around from your friends if they have seen The Great Mouse Detective. You will find that the movie is more unpopular than you might think which is a disservice to one of the most compelling, elegant, and sophisticated villains in the Disney universe – Ratigan.

Joe – The Princess Diaries (2001)

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Although Joe was the Royal family’s head of security doing a job he was hired to do, he went about his business with a fierceness, and unwavering loyalty, exhibiting a genuine love and support system that is more akin to fatherliness and he did it with the coolest flair.

Prince Phillip – Sleeping Beauty (1959)

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It is very easy to overlook fairytale Princes as figureheads who stand by and look pretty until it is time to give the infamous kiss. Prince Phillip is different. He exhibited a pure heart that transcended classism and even fear, and he fought valiantly for the love of his life.

Long John Silver – Treasure Planet (2002)

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There is a category of Disney villains that are attractive specifically because of their complexities. They exist in the limbo between black and white and Long John Silver tops the list. Although clearly evil, he demonstrates a multifacetedness in his relationship with Jim that adds considerable depth to his characterization.

Honey Best – The Incredibles (2004)

Photo Credit: Walt Disney Pictures.

Without us ever even catching a glance of her, Honey Best grabbed our attention and tickled laughter out of us with her perfectly timed quips. As far as comic relief goes, she is a hoot and comes equipped with just the right amount of sass and quotable lines of dialogue.

Mufasa – The Lion King (1994)

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Although Simba grew up in his father’s shadow hoping to be like him, the story was Simba’s and most viewers did not fully grasp how much of a stabilizing force Mufasa truly was to the animal kingdom. He literally had to be killed before any evil could be accomplished.