10 Most Underrated Disney Characters

10. Rex, Toy Story

Toy Story

I know that this flawless trifecta of computer-animated films is centered around the machismo astronaut with the heart of gold and his cowboy friend, Tom Hanks, but Rex is just such a crucial part of what makes this so good. He’s not vocal like Mr. Potato Head, or sweet like Jessie, but Rex’s adorable voice and terrified reaction to everything is more than deserving of its own movie. Could we just have an hour and a half of Rex needing a Xanax?

9. Kevin, Up

Up [Blu-ray]

You are an unrepentant liar if you say that a huge part of the appeal of Up wasn’t watching Kevin’s bug-eyes look awkwardly at things and hit people with her head. Her getting the walker with the little tennis balls on it stuck in her throat and proceeding to cough it up all over everyone was clearly the Citizen Kane scene of that movie. Don’t deny it.

8. The Featherduster, Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast

Apparently this chick had a name (Fifi, for those it may concern), but she was clearly just the hot French feather duster maid. Her job was to run around the castle getting boned by Lumière in the kitchen pantry and having an adorable French accent. Why wasn’t there more of her? Why couldn’t their little romance get some decent attention? And how creepy was it that her punishment was getting her feathers ripped out? What does that imply for her human-equivalent body? Poor feather duster girl.

7. Vanessa, The Little Mermaid

The Little Mermaid

Let’s be honest, Ursula’s brief stint as a molten-hot human chick was clearly one of the high points of this movie. Her singing voice, her fabulous hair, her constant state of bitch face — you could make a pretty solid argument that she was hotter, and a better catch (Catch?!?! Like fish?!?! Oh my god I’m hilarious, you’re welcome for these jokes) than Ariel. I would have probably stayed with Vanessa, and frankly would enjoy an entire movie of her just running around looking at things bitchily and throwing hair combs into walls.

6. The Muses, Hercules

Hercules

I’m just going to say this, and I know that it will definitely alienate some disciples of other Disney classics, but sometimes the truth must be spoken. Hercules had the best music of any Disney movie. There, I said it. I know, I know, enraged comments ensue. But seriously, gospel music combined with ancient Greece and a hilarious James Woods as the devil — this movie is solid gold. Every thing that comes out of these muses’ mouths is simply perfect, and I would give several appendages to have them narrate my life. Why can’t they do more movies? Casablanca was missing one thing, and it was these muses.

5. Frollo, The Hunchback of Notre Dame

The Hunchback of Notre Dame

How is Frollo not more appreciated as a Disney villain? He’s arguably the most terrifying, given that he’s the closest to actually being someone that could have existed, oppressing minorities and killing non-believers at will and just generally being terrifying. I mean, for God’s sake, his entire song was this insanely creepy ode to the Virgin Mary (?) basically giving her an ultimatum to either force Esmeralda to love him or send her to hell. This is all during his periodic, sexual predator whiffs of the scarf he stole from her. I mean, seriously, could this guy be any worse?

4. Nani, Lilo and Stitch

Lilo & Stitch

Can we all just collectively take a moment to appreciate how awesome Nani is? She never gets any love but, aside from being smart and funny and brave enough to become the parent for her little sister when her parents passed away, she also showed a kind of beauty that we rarely get to see in kid’s movies. She isn’t perfectly thin, her nose isn’t a tiny button, but she’s still so gorgeous and easy to look up to. We need more Nanis in movies for little girls everywhere, and there’s no reason why we can’t have them.

3. Esmeralda, The Hunchback of Notre Dame

The Hunchback of Notre Dame

I’m just gonna go ahead and point out at this juncture how criminally underrated The Hunchback of Notre Dame is as a movie. It is seriously so complex, so fascinating, so well-written and animated, and it never gets the proper amount of love with the rest of the Disney canon. Perhaps it is due to its own complexity — its tendency to err towards the more adult themes — that makes it as hard to take in as a film for kids. But seriously, Esmeralda is so amazing. She takes shit from absolutely no one, she could teach your Monday night pole dancing class, and she has a heart of pure gold. Why isn’t she put in the upper echelons of Disney ladies? She deserves to be there as much as anyone else (even if the movie was technically about Quasimodo). I guess people are just threatened by her perfection.

2. Milo, Atlantis: The Lost Empire

Atlantis – The Lost Empire

I know that no one loves this movie, but seriously. Not only is he a hot teacher, not only does he have that vaguely Goldblum-esque nebbishy hottie thing down to a science, not only is he an adventurer — he has that 90s-era center part with ear-length hair thing down PAT. I’m sorry, but Milo would clearly make the best IRL boyfriend of all the princes. Clearly.

1. Pocahontas, Pocahontas

Pocahontas

Pocahontas gets the least love of any major Disney Princess, and it is nothing short of a crime. The fact that we don’t love her more, when she is not only badass and beautiful, but actually teaches something close to resembling a real lesson about history and environmentalism and humanity itself — well, it really reflects poorly on us as a society. Pocahontas should be more than a vaguely racist Halloween costume, she should be respected for being the most subdued, intelligent, and mature of the Disney Princesses. Even her voice was different, it was so much more rich and adult than the rest of the girls. And that’s good — not every princess needs to be wide-eyed and naive. Some might actually have something to teach her prince, and we could all use more characters like that. TC mark

Chelsea Fagan

Chelsea Fagan founded the blog The Financial Diet. She is on Twitter.

Trace the scars life has left you. It will remind you that at one point, you fought for something. You believed.

“You are the only person who gets to decide if you are happy or not—do not put your happiness into the hands of other people. Do not make it contingent on their acceptance of you or their feelings for you. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if someone dislikes you or if someone doesn’t want to be with you. All that matters is that you are happy with the person you are becoming. All that matters is that you like yourself, that you are proud of what you are putting out into the world. You are in charge of your joy, of your worth. You get to be your own validation. Please don’t ever forget that.” — Bianca Sparacino

Excerpted from The Strength In Our Scars by Bianca Sparacino.

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