I, like many, grew up watching every Disney movie under the sun. To me, a "Disney Mentor" is a wise character that helps the main heroes of the story reach a happy ending, or at least try their best to keep them safe from harm. So to me, a 'mentor' can't be the leading character, nor can it be a character that doesn't offer useful help. Here are my Top 10 Disney Mentors!
10. Philoctetes - Hercules (1997)
Philoctetes, voiced by Danny Devito, is one of the most entertaining, unique character's in Disney history. He trained heroes like Jason, Perseus, and Achilles, but he just couldn't find that one "champion of champions." When he met Hercules, he changed his life by pushing him to "Go the Distance." He deserves to be called one of the best mentors.
9. Rafiki - The Lion King (1994)
Rafiki didn't have much screen time in the The Lion King, but he happened to be the most integral part of the whole movie. His words are up there with the most inspiring in cinematic history. "Oh yes, the past can hurt. But from the way I see it, you can either run from it, or... learn from it."
8. Hugo, Victor, and Laverne - The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)
Hugo, Victor, and Laverne were the only friends Quasimodo had in the world. They kept him entertained, they kept his spirits up, and they always looked out for him through thick and thin. They helped him greatly during the epic climax with the villainous Judge Claude Frollo, which makes them some pretty kick-ass mentors.
7. Genie - Aladdin (1992)
I think I can safely say that Genie is one of the funniest characters of all time. Robin Williams had free reign to just express his humour through this morphing, dynamo of a genie! While his witty jokes made the movie great, it was his relationship with Aladdin that was truly touching. By the end, he'd helped Aladdin so much that he was set free. THAT was beautiful.
6. Lumiere, Cogsworth, and Mrs. Potts - Beauty and the Beast (1991)
I absolutely adore these three characters, who want nothing more than to have the witches curse lifted. In order to do this, they had to mentor Belle and The Beast into falling in love. From Mrs. Potts' enchanting song 'Tale as Old as Time,' to Lumiere and Cogsworth's etiquette lessons for The Beast, they did everything to help their master and Belle fall for one another. Also, they fought the rioting townfolk in an epic battle at the end. That was pretty darn awesome.
5. Jiminy Cricket - Pinocchio (1940)
Jiminy Cricket is an absolute legend. He is the classic Disney Mentor, the little cricket that started the whole thing. He went through so much with Pinocchio, and tried his darndest to keep him safe from harm. This little cricket was funny, but he also gave some beautiful narration to the story. When it comes to mentors, I wouldn't argue with someone who would call him 'number one.'
4. Sebastian - The Little Mermaid (1989)
Sebastian is the coolest crab ever. At first, he was mostly looking out for Ariel to please King Triton. As time went on, he really risked his neck to protect her. No matter what he told her, or sung her (Under the Sea), she just wouldn't listen to him. So he went as far as to go on shore and traverse through a kitchen (and brave a mad chef), in order to save her. That is some real love and dedication.
3. Merryweather, Flora, and Fauna - Sleeping Beauty (1959)
Let's just say, Merryweather and Flora clashed when it came to personal style (blue or pink). These three fairies completely gave up using their magical powers so that they could raise Princess Aurora to have a normal life in a quiet, secluded forest. This was to protect her from the most evil, powerful witch of all, Maleficent. They gave up so much and risked their lives to save Aurora, making them three of the best!
2. Baloo and Bagheera - The Jungle Book (1967)
Baloo and Bagheera are two completely different animals. One is a fun-loving, carefree, dancing bear that loves to sing of the 'Bare Necessities.' The other is a wise, caring, intelligent panther that is always on the lookout for danger. Together, they help Mowgli the Man Cub survive the treacherous life of living in the jungle, where the ferocious tiger Shere Khan is always lurking to hunt him down. Trust me, these two mentors go through so much for Mowgli, and they're truly beautiful characters.
1. Mushu - Mulan (1998)
In my opinion, Mushu is the funniest Disney character of all time. That's not why I think he's the greatest mentor. Mulan was just an inexperienced girl that was way in over her head at the army. She wouldn't have lasted one day if it weren't for him. Mushu taught her how to act like a man, he gave her encouragement when all seemed lost, and he fought the bloody battles with her to the very end. Through thick and thin, Mushu and Mulan are the funniest, and greatest Hero/Mentor team in Disney History.
Did I miss any mentors you think should have been on the list? Let me know in a comment. Thanks!
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