The Walt Disney Company is arguably the most successful movie studio ever, and a worldwide conglomerate to boot. The characters they have introduced to our lives have been memorable from the start and this tradition continues throughout the decades. This list presents some of the Disney personas that exist happily together, and sometimes unhappily, in the history of cinema.
Copper and Todd from Fox and the Hound (1981)
This is the story of an unlikely friendship between two very different Disney animals. They are constantly being told how at odds they are supposed to be. Fortunately, their kinship surpasses the surrounding collective pressures they face. In terms of “real life”, this is a strong social comment on the true nature of friendship. Regardless of race, orientation, or anything we take at face value. A friend is a friend. A great friend is better. No matter who or what they happen to be.
Tarzan and Jane from Tarzan (1999)
A jungle raised man meets the woman of his dreams! She loves him too, but the prospects seem impossible. In the end, Jane is convinced to stay behind with the gorilla-raised man in her mist.
The Witch and Rapunzel from Into the Woods (2014)
Meryl Streep was nominated for an Academy Award the year this Hollywood blockbuster musical hit the theaters. Of course, she’s incredible. It’s her connection as the Witch with poor Rapunzel that is so affecting though. Stephen Sondheim wrote a song specific to their unconventional girl/capturer relationship. He wrote it for Streep. In the lyrics, the Witch begs her to stay. While Rapunzel yearns to escape.
Mike and Celia from Monster Inc. (2001)
She is a cyclops-Medusa-like……. chick. He is the recipient of her cat calls like, “Schmoopsie-poo”. He responds lovingly, “Celia-Weelia”. They are a sweet, sloppy, sometimes cringe worthy couple. She gets overly agitated at times, but Mike always has a way of bringing her back to planet Monster.
The Twins from The Parent Trap (1961 and 1998)
Hayley Mills originally brought these antagonistic twins to fruition for Disney, but the idea remained so popular they decided to do it again. The young, up and coming star Lindsay Lohan took the spots. These are two characters who are complete opposites. They meet randomly at a summer camp, realize they’re long-lost sisters and concoct a plan to bring their estranged parents back together again. They’re a couple of twins that brought Disney a couple of double hits!
Roger and Anita from 101 Dalmations (1996)
This live action version of the classic Disney dog story finds actors Jeff Daniels and Joely Richardson as two lonely hearts. Each are owners of a Dalmation. An accident brings these love birds together and a simultaneous passion ensues between their pups. It’s a saccharine story between man and woman, bitch and dog. Until Ms. de Vil comes along………..
Alvin Straight and his Lawnmower from The Straight Story (1999)
It’s crazy to think that director David Lynch made this G rated movie for Disney! It’s a delightful true story about an elderly man with little means. He travels across the country on his trusty 1966 Johne Deere so he can make amends with his dying brother.
It is thought provoking yet simple. And so sweet. Richard Farnsworth rightfully received a Best Actor Oscar nomination for his portrayal of the determined senior. The weirdest thing is that you can always feel the weirdness of Lynch in there.
Hercules and Meg from Hercules (1997)
Hades is the son of Zeus and Hera. He is disrobed of his immortality and as a kid becomes determined to reclaim his name as a hero. But he is depicted as a very evil figure. Meg is his femme fatale. A sort of indebted servant. She hates this title, and upon meeting our hero Hercules discovers that there is actually good in the world.
Buzz Lightyear and Woody from Toy Story (1995)
These goofballs captured the hearts and souls of audiences all over the world when Pixar introduced them. They are sworn enemies, brought together for a greater good.
The Witch and Her Mirror from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
Mirror, mirror on the wall, what relationship is more complex and dangerous than them all? This Witch is dependent on her mirror for information, feedback, and to make her feel good about herself. But what happens when this looking glass turns on her?
Ariel and The Prince from The Little Mermaid (1989)
Ursala, the evil sea witch, makes a deal with Ariel. If the young mermaid can get the handsome Prince to kiss her within three days, she will stay a woman on solid ground forever. If he doesn’t, the witch will have her soul forever. Cartoon mania ensues, but ultimately Ariel gets her man! All in true old fashioned Disney glory.
Cinderella and Prince Charming from Cinderella (1950)
She was the slave to her evil stepmother and stepsisters. On her one glorious night out, she meets the man of her dreams. She needs to run off before midnight though because after that, everything turns pumpkin! Cinderella ultimately gets her Prince and lives happily ever after. Take a good look though Cindy…… your husband’s got a foot fetish.
Roger and Jessica Rabbit from Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (1988)
When this movie came out, audiences had never seen anything like it! It was the combination of live action actors and animated characters. Director Robert Zemekis introduced the wacked out version of Bugs Bunny with Roger, and the seductive sultry voiced woman he loves. Kathleen Turner properly played the animated version of herself in Jessica.
These two love each other. They pine for one another. And they’re one of the most unlikely couples ever. Who can understand the power of the animated heart??
Wall E and Eve from Wall E (2008)
These two characters are incredible together because ultimately, they save one another. Sparks literally fly when they kiss for the first time! Wall E is on cloud nine. And even though both are robots their love is palpable to all of us. It’s completely relatable.
Shang and Mulan from Mulan (1998)
Talk about another woman with power. Thank You Disney! After saving her community, she is bombarded with gifts. Her true desire though is to see her family. The romance comes in as Shang accepts her invitation to stay with her for family dinner. This is an iconic meeting of the parents for the first time.
Cruella de Vil, Jasper, and Horace from 101 Dalmatians (1961 and 1996)
Yes, this is technically a threesome. They deserve to be here none the less. The skillfully crafted Cruella (2021) showed the origins of their criminal enterprises together. Yet, the original Disney cartoon portrayed them as a messed up little dysfunctional family. De Vil, the abusive Joan Crawford-like mother, makes her goon side pieces do her every dastardly biding. A relationship made in Disney villain Heaven!
Peter and Wendy from Peter Pan (1953)
When the boy who’ll never grow up whisks a young girl away to a fantasy world filled with lost boys and pirates, she’s on cloud nine! Never Neverland is a fantastical place in which reality stand stills. For the time being, Wendy accepts the new ability to fly and the curious young misfit she’s met. It’s a mismatch made in Heaven.
Aladdin and Jasmine from Aladdin (1992)
The central character is a resourceful street urchin with a heart as big as Texas. His true love is a young, smart princess with a life she desires beyond her own royalty. Their story is a common Disney connection but charming all the same. Their magic carpet ride together solidifies a love for the ages.
Simba and Nala from The Lion King (1995)
Despite her small stature, Nala was able to pin Simba on his back. Female capability was in play. Like numerous Disney female characters, she’s a powerhouse. She gives girls’ confidence in their ability to have the upper hand.
She is the one who convinces Simba to return to “the real world”. Otherwise, the animals of his kingdom would starve under the reign of the evil Scar. This proves, animatedly, that like all politically powerful men in real life there is an even more powerful woman standing beside him.
Aurora and Philip from Sleeping Beauty (1959)
This is the first animated film ever to be photographed in the Super Technirama 70 widescreen process. A handsome young man meets a beautiful young woman in the forest. He falls immediately head over heels for her. She feels the same. What he doesn’t know is that she’s really a Princess in hiding.
He begins obsessing over her. Fondly, not callously. But the evil Maleficent reaches her first, stirring the proverbial pot. Aurora is coaxed into pricking her finger on a cursed spinning wheel. This immortal classic ends with a kiss though. Securing the eternal love between the two.
Anna and Kristoff from Frozen (2014)
The princess who saves Elsa from her ice prison is also the one who finds true love. The hunky woodsman who initially annoyed her becomes the man of her dreams. Didn’t we know that all along though? They are probably the best example of the modern-day, romantic Disney couple. They’ll go down in Disney History along with Cinderella and Snow White and their Princes.
Lady and the Tramp (1955)
Polar opposites come together for the most memorable Disney scene of all time! And they both love spaghetti. When the moon hits your eye like a big pasta pie, that’s amore!
Jack Skellington and Sally from Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
This modern-day classic is a Valentine to holidays. Particularly Christmas and Halloween. The central protagonist, a bony Shakespearian misfit, loses himself partly through the story. It’s another odd ball, a stitched together rag doll, that eventually points him in the right direction.
Snow White and The Prince from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
Walt Disney himself was awarded an honorary Academy Award the year after this film was released. It was the first animated movie to reach a worldwide audience, and therefore the originator of the popular Prince/Princess cartoon genre. Along with all the little people, we loved experiencing the love!
Beauty and the Beast (1991)
When this romance came out, it changed the landscape of animated films and how they were perceived forever. It was the first cartoon to be nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars and subsequently inspired the Academy to create a whole new category……. Best Animated Feature.
More importantly, it’s a love story about acceptance and the true nature of the heart. It’s a tale as old as time. Belle falls for the Beast. The spell is broken.