Disney’s Second Dark Age was very dark indeed as these films are, let’s say, not some of their best. In terms of characterization, they are much better than in either plot or music so this list should be pretty strong after all. So here are the ten best original characters that have arrived during this period.
10. Dr. Jumba and Pleakley
They are not hilarious really, but they are funny from time to time. This alien duo succeeds because of an infectious dynamic they share with each other. They are perfect comic reliefs from this film who never overstayed their welcome and thus they share this tenth spot.
We’ve seen this type of protagonist before who changes from selfish to selfless and caring throughout the runtime. However, Kenai is a really well realized character who transcends that familiarity to him. He is complex and memorable and his relationship with Koda is wonderful.
8. John Silver
John Silver is the best character from Treasure Planet and the most complex out of the bunch. I loved his buddy/bromance relationship with Jim Hawkins and his shift to the good side was done really well as he never really totally changed and admirably stayed in the grey area.
Stitch is the more memorable part of this duo, but still Lilo is pretty good herself. She isn’t funny as she’s a straight character, but she’s better than most Disney protagonists as she is a relatable heroine and a very realistically depicted kid who is at times unlikable and at times likable.
6. Bowler Hat Guy
This superb character from Meet the Robinsons isn’t really a villain by the time the film ends, but still that doesn’t matter as what we got from him is one amazing backstory which was superbly well written and highly moving in emotion. He’s complex and very memorable.
Who doesn’t love Koda? He’s such an immensely cute, simply adorable bear cub, but as in the case of Lilo, he is also pretty unlikable at times and annoying as most kids can be. Thus he is realistic, his brotherly relationship with Kenai is beautiful and he truly is a character you root for from beginning to end.
Now admittedly Kronk is your typical overly dimwitted comic relief cartoon guy. However, he is better than most of his type thanks to Patrick Warburton’s top-notch voice performance and many hilarious lines that he got. His interactions with Yzma are so funny and his funniest scene is the devil/angel one which is hilarious.
Stitch is as classic of a Disney character as we got during this new century so far. I loved his dynamic with Lilo, I really admired how funny and yet gross he can be and the highlights are his voices and especially character design which is odd and highly authentic.
This old hag just had to be somewhere high on this list and this second place was perfect for her. Thin in structure and exceedingly ugly, she is different than most villains look, but what makes her great is her excellent voice, her personality and her relationship with Kronk which produced many of the funniest moments in the film. She is both a competent and a funny villain.
1. Emperor Kuzco
So well developed, absolutely hilarious with his many perfectly delivered funny lines, well voiced and animated, Kuzco just had to be on top of this list as he is simply the greatest character from this decade of Disney films. His interactions with all three characters are excellent, but his wonderfully realized and fun buddy relationship with Pacha takes the cake as the best one. He is arrogant and unlikable at first, but consistently funny with his unforgettable one-liners and I just could not get enough of him in this already hilarious flick.
Jim Hawkins – A pretty solid hero in Treasure Planet, Jim Hawkins is less memorable than John Silver, but likable and well developed nonetheless.
Mittens – Easily Bolt’s finest character, this cat is very realistically portrayed as cats go and I really liked both her personality and her look.
Alameda Slim – This underrated goofy villain from Home on the Range got some funny lines and one great, enormously entertaining song.