5 Disney side-characters who deserve their own film

Posted July 10

Business-minded Hollywood is always looking to capitalize on the latest trend.

The success of “Star Wars” convinced studios it was safe to invest in science-fiction films like Ridley Scott’s “Alien.” “Toy Story” proved the market was right for feature-length computer animated films, and 2010’s “Alice in Wonderland” started Disney’s current animation-to-live-action frenzy.

So as “Finding Dory” starts breaking box-office records, it’s probably safe to anticipate a flurry of projects starring Disney sidekicks. And, while I’m not entirely sold on the idea myself, if this is the road we’re about to travel I do have a few side-characters I’d love to see at the center of their own standalone adventures.


Let me begin and end this list with my personal favorites.

First, to me, the relationship between Hades and Megara was far more compelling than anything Disney did with the Hercules character. That’s not to say I didn’t like Disney’s “Hercules” — at all. I think the movie is actually an energetic ball of fun that often gets overlooked in the Disney line-up. However, Meg is the reason “Hercules” is better than just a song and dance production. Meg is the character that challenges the rest of the cast. Is she playing Hades before Hercules gets in the way? We don’t know. And I’d love to find out more about her heartbreak and her soul-signing ways in a prequel all about Disney’s unofficial princess.


I don’t know if I’d rather see a movie focusing on Bambi’s best friend as a traditionally drawn 2-D adventure, or if I’d want Disney to go as crazy with current technology as possible. No matter what you thought of Pixar’s latest, “The Good Dinosaur,” you have to give it credit for being visually hypnotic. If Disney went back into Bambi’s forest with the creative tools they have now, it could be amazing. Still, I hope Disney and Pixar find a good reason to start drawing again.


Emile may not be the first name you think of when considering side-characters ready for their close-up, but Remy’s lovable brother has a lot going for him.

First, Emile comes with Pixar’s beautiful Parisian backdrop. There’s no way to revisit the world of “Ratatouille” without the Eiffel Tower lighting up the background, and that’s a good thing. Second, Emile was a character that only flirted with the path to change. Yes, he starts to see colors when enjoying different flavors, but he never breaks out into his own person — or rat. Emile is a character that still needs to get lost so he can find his way home, and I bet there is an audience that would love to go on that journey with him.


When Jessie was first introduced in “Toy Story 2” I found her over-the-top cowgirl act to be a bit much. Still, by the time the credits rolled, I was glad she’d found her way to Andy’s room.

When the lights came up in “Toy Story 3” I realized I had grown to love Jessie just as much as the rest of the gang.

Then in “Toy Story of Terror,” she gave Mr. Potato Head a look as he tried to explain his reasons for leaving the suitcase. It was, without question, my favorite facial expression in an animated film. I admit, that’s a weird category to keep track of, but regardless, she became my favorite Toy Story character at that moment.

Now, to embrace the cliche, she could read from the phone book and I’d pay to see it. I’d absolutely love to see her get her own 90 minute adventure.


There have actually been a few rumors concerning a standalone Frozone film, and I would definitely pay to see it.

I can’t think of a better scene in Pixar’s history than when Frozone sees a giant omnidroid outside his bedroom window. Just thinking about the words “Honey, where is my super suit,” causes me to start chuckling.

I don’t care if writers choose to follow Frozone in his younger glory days, or in the future when he’s “getting too old for this.” You give Frozone a feature-length, non-straight-to-DVD adventure, and I’m buying tickets for me, the kids, grandparents, friends, friends of friends’ friends, Facebook friends… if you have a pulse and I know you, I will take you to see this movie.

Travis has been covering movie news, film reviews and live events for Deseret News and KSL.com since 2010 and currently co-hosts the KSL Popcorn Report. Follow Travis on Twitter @tspoppleton.

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  • Jim Bradshaw Jul 10, 12:35 p.m.
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    I always said that a huge financial opportunity was missed after the Santa Clause movies came out. Chet the "newbie reindeer" would have made a perfect plush animal after he rescued Tim Allen.