ByBecs Harkin, writer at Creators.co
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Becs Harkin

I've been on a nostalgic trip lately, watching some of my favorite classics: The Emperor's New Groove, Robin Hood, 101 Dalmatians, The Black Cauldron. It got me thinking, there are some amazing female characters who are criminally underrated. Whether they be heroes, villains, sidekicks or damsels in distress, this list rates my top 20 underrated females.

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20. Abby ('Chicken Little')

'Chicken Little' [Credit: Walt Disney Studios]
'Chicken Little' [Credit: Walt Disney Studios]

Abby "The Ugly Duckling" Mallard is bullied by her fellow pupils and taken for granted by her best friends. However, she always sticks by Chicken Little, Fish Out of Water and Runt. Abby is the conscience for our titular character, and to be honest, her awesome Spice Girls duet is one of the main reason she makes my list. The characters of this film don't deserve Abby.

19. Maggie, Grace And Mrs. Calloway ('Home On The Range')

L-R Mrs Calloway, Maggie and Grace. 'Home On The Range' [Credit: Walt Disney Studios]
L-R Mrs Calloway, Maggie and Grace. 'Home On The Range' [Credit: Walt Disney Studios]

These three are the protagonists of a little-known Disney film, Home on the Range. In case you don't know the plot, three very different cows have to team up to save their farm and all their animal friends who live there from an evil yodeling mastermind and a dumb trio of brothers. This movie has everything I wanted as a child, including (but not limited to) yodeling, a hilarious horse, a cranky rabbit and three badass main characters. These ladies put it all on the line to save their friends and (spoiler alert) in true Disney fashion, they succeed!

18. Mrs. Jumbo ('Dumbo')

'Dumbo' [Credit: Walt Disney Studios]
'Dumbo' [Credit: Walt Disney Studios]

I used to cry when watching Dumbo just for the "Baby Mine" scene. Mrs. Jumbo defends her baby from her fellow elephants who ruthlessly tease him for his large ears. She is heartbreakingly taken away from him and imprisoned. How harsh is that? Mrs. Jumbo's sacrifice seems to go unnoticed by most moviegoers, which isn't good enough, so she's made my list at No. 18.

17. Mrs. Potts ('Beauty And The Beast')

'Beauty And The Beast' [Credit: Walt Disney Studios]
'Beauty And The Beast' [Credit: Walt Disney Studios]

I'm British, so love a good cup of tea. It could only be made better by my teapot giving me advice and sorting out my life for me, so Mrs. Potts is my dream come true. She was the mother figure Belle needed, when she had no where else to turn. Even the Beast went to her for love advice. I can't wait to see how Emma Thompson portrays her in the upcoming live-action movie.

16. Nala ('The Lion King')

'The Lion King' [Credit: Walt Disney Studios]
'The Lion King' [Credit: Walt Disney Studios]

Nala is the best. She was more than a match for Simba when they are young, and she takes it upon herself to find help for her pride after his disappearance. She is brave and proves in later films that she will continue to stand by Simba and fight for her pride and her family. One of the great Disney moms in my opinion.

15. Sgt. Calhoun ('Wreck-It Ralph')

'Wreck-It Ralph' [Credit: Walt Disney Studios]
'Wreck-It Ralph' [Credit: Walt Disney Studios]

Sgt. Calhoun may not be the main character of her film, but she is easily the fiercest and the biggest badass. Calhoun starts out as a heartless soldier, recovering from her horrifying back-story, but the dashing Fix-It Felix soon steals her heart. Of course, she is still the one saving him from danger and blasting cy-bugs out of the way. We salute you, Sgt. Calhoun.

14. Eilonwy ('The Black Cauldron')

'The Black Cauldron' [Credit: Walt Disney Studios]
'The Black Cauldron' [Credit: Walt Disney Studios]

Eilonwy, also known as the forgotten Disney princess. The Black Cauldron was seen as too dark for its time, though it has since become a cult favorite, which caused Eilonwy to miss out on her birthright. This is ridiculous really, as she was a very progressive princess for her time — not waiting for a prince to save her, but taking her destiny into her own hands and hatching her own escape plan. She also was never afraid to stand up to Taran and disagree with his plans.

13. Widow Tweed ('The Fox And The Hound')

'The Fox And The Hound' [Credit: Walt Disney Studios]
'The Fox And The Hound' [Credit: Walt Disney Studios]

If I said, "Think of your favorite Disney female," I doubt very many of you would say Widow Tweed. However, I feel she is criminally under-valued. She took in a baby fox cub who had nowhere else to go and she protected him for as long as she could from her next door neighbor and notorious hunter, Amos Slade. She stands up to Slade on a regular basis, not allowing him to intimidate or bully her. Stand tall, Ms. Tweed.

12. Megara ('Hercules')

'Hercules' [Credit: Walt Disney Studios]
'Hercules' [Credit: Walt Disney Studios]

Meg is the second sassiest thing in this film (after Hades, obvs). She may act like a damsel in distress, but Meg is always looking for a way to save herself, standing up to gods, responding sarcastically to demigods and being her sassy self around all the mythical creatures we see. Meg even saves our hero Herc in the end, sacrificing herself so he could live. Nice to see the women saving the men for a change.

11. Grandmother Fa ('Mulan')

'Mulan' [Credit: Walt Disney Studios]
'Mulan' [Credit: Walt Disney Studios]

To understand this one, you only need to see the gifs below. Grandmother is my spirit animal. Always.

'Mulan' [Credit: Walt Disney Studios]
'Mulan' [Credit: Walt Disney Studios]
'Mulan' [Credit: Walt Disney Studios]
'Mulan' [Credit: Walt Disney Studios]
'Mulan' [Credit: Walt Disney Studios]
'Mulan' [Credit: Walt Disney Studios]

10. Vanellope Von Schweetz ('Wreck-It Ralph')

'Wreck-It Ralph' [Credit: Walt Disney Studios]
'Wreck-It Ralph' [Credit: Walt Disney Studios]

Vanellope was brought to life by Sarah Silverman, and I love her. She's witty and brave and totally hilarious. Vanellope continues to survive and dares to dream in the face of extreme adversity. After her throne was stolen by the evil Turbo (although she didn't know this) and she was forced into exile as a "glitch," she continued to follow her dreams of racing. Her back and forth with Ralph is hilarious, and she proves herself to be incredibly loyal, doing everything she can to save her friend.

9. Judy ('Zootropolis' / 'Zootopia')

'Zootropolis' [Credit: Walt Disney Studios]
'Zootropolis' [Credit: Walt Disney Studios]

I wish I was Judy Hopps sometimes. She had a dream and she did everything she had to in order to achieve it. She never gives up (apart from when she had to in order for the story to progress). She tries to quash stereotypes and wants to make the world a better place. She was also the first bunny on the police force.

8. Olivia ('The Great Mouse Detective')

'The Great Mouse Detective' [Credit: Walt Disney Studios]
'The Great Mouse Detective' [Credit: Walt Disney Studios]

Olivia Flaversham (bonus points for the last name) is a little mouse in a big world. After the capture of her father by the evil Ratigan, Olivia enlists the help of Basil, the great mouse detective and she convinces him to take her case. I've always loved Olivia, never letting Basil put her down or stop her from tagging along. She was always brave and pretty sassy in the face of mortal peril, more than deserving of the title of underrated in my opinion.

7. Georgette ('Oliver And Company')

'Oliver And Company' [Credit: Walt Disney Studios]
'Oliver And Company' [Credit: Walt Disney Studios]

As I've gotten older, I've begun to realize I'm less of a "Dodger" and much more of a "Georgette." Her sassiness is infectious and she isn't ashamed to be the person (dog) she is. Georgette feels as though she is being replaced by the adorable Oliver, and so attempts to get rid of the feline infestation that's taken over her home. Of course, her chemistry with Tito and her amazing musical number are incredibly memorable as well.

6. Madame Medusa ('The Rescuers')

'The Rescuers' [Credit: Walt Disney Studios]
'The Rescuers' [Credit: Walt Disney Studios]

A Disney villain you may not remember, Madame Medusa is actually exceptionally evil. She kidnaps a child, forces her into dangerous working conditions and almost leaves her to die. She sounds like a worse version of the Dursleys from Harry Potter. While she isn't a hero (or even a decent human being), she is incredibly overlooked. Therefore, she makes No. 6 on this list.

5. Audrey ('Atlantis: The Lost Empire')

'Atlantis: The Lost Empire' [Credit: Walt Disney Studios]
'Atlantis: The Lost Empire' [Credit: Walt Disney Studios]

Audrey seems like an aggressive badass at the beginning, however as we continue our travels to Atlantis, the audience sees a totally different side to her. She is loyal to a fault and I love her sarcasm. She is so proud of her background and her family and she will always stand up for what she believes in. As well as that, it's nice to see a young girl in a group of boys and being the toughest out of them all.

4. Nani ('Lilo And Stitch')

'Lilo and Stitch' [Credit: Walt Disney Studios]
'Lilo and Stitch' [Credit: Walt Disney Studios]

Nani definitely does not get enough credit in this film. Her parents die; she single-handedly tries to look after her (slightly eccentric) younger sister; said younger sister gets an alien as a pet; said sister and alien get her fired from her job. Aliens blow up her house. Yet, somehow Nani still remains sane and fights to keep her sister safe. She even lets her keep the "dog" that almost ruins their lives.

3. Yzma ('The Emperor's New Groove')

'The Emperor's New Groove' [Credit: Walt Disney Studios]
'The Emperor's New Groove' [Credit: Walt Disney Studios]

My favorite Disney villain ever, Yzma is the hilarious antagonist of The Emperor's New Groove. She's under-appreciated by the selfish emperor Kuzco, so she tries to murder him. However, due to her equally amazing sidekick Kronk messing up, he is instead transformed into a llama. Queue an amazing chase scene, a kitten transformation and a strange skipping sequence.

2. Lady Kluck ('Robin Hood')

'Robin Hood' [Credit: Walt Disney Studios]
'Robin Hood' [Credit: Walt Disney Studios]

An oldie but a goodie. Some people might not recall Lady Kluck from the classic animal telling of Robin Hood. She is the lady's maid (and possibly bodyguard) of our damsel-in-distress Maid Marian and she could easily be an american football player. Her run through rhinos twice her size is iconic. If you haven't seen it, definitely check it out.

1. Chicha ('The Emperor's New Groove')

'The Emperor's New Groove' [Credit: Walt Disney Studios]
'The Emperor's New Groove' [Credit: Walt Disney Studios]

YES. YES. YES. Chicha is an absolute boss. She is the sassiest pregnant lady ever. She loves her husband and children so much, and would do anything to protect them, including turning Yzma into a chicken piñata (see below). I feel this whole film is underrated, but Chicha is so under used. If you haven't seen The Emperor's New Groove go watch it right now.

'The Emperor's New Groove' [Credit: Walt Disney Studios]
'The Emperor's New Groove' [Credit: Walt Disney Studios]

Did you agree with my list? Let me know in the comments below! If you enjoyed this article, give me a follow!

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