They don’t get the recognition, the girl or the cool one-liners, but the sidekick has played an important role in movie history and it is a hugely valuable character. All the greatest heroes have someone alongside them on their quest, but in many cases you will find that these sidekicks have little depth and do not bring much to the narrative. They are often there simply to provide light relief from the action, but this is not always the case, and over the years there have been a few fantastic sidekicks that have even stolen the show away from the hero.
This has become particularly more common in recent times, with plenty of animated films now relying on the sidekick to drive the plot and bring humour. These memorable sidekicks will possess important qualities that we all value, such as loyalty, determination, wisdom and bravery, and without them the film protagonist would be completely lost.
Sidekicks are most notably found in superhero films and children’s films, but even in other genres you will find these characters alongside the main protagonist. They may not be quite as obvious as Robin from Batman (the definition of a sidekick), but they are still fulfilling the role and offering support to the films main protagonist throughout their journey. It seems unfair that they are restricted to these supporting roles and never get the glory, so for once let’s cast the heroes aside and focus our attention on an often overlooked character – the sidekick.
Here are 15 movie sidekicks that stole the show and captured our hearts (but still did not get the recognition, girl or cool one-liners).
15 Chuckie Sullivan - Good Will Hunting
A true sidekick will always know what is best for the protagonist and help them to realise this, even if it is at the sidekick’s expense. In Good Will Hunting, Will’s best friend and sidekick, Chuckie, helps him to realise that he’s “sitting on a winning lottery ticket” but he’s too scared to cash in. Chuckie knows that he will lose his best friend, but he understands that Will is wasting his life by remaining a labourer and not pursuing something greater.
14 Dory - Finding Nemo
A fish with short-term memory loss may seem like the worst sidekick, but Dory proves to be hugely valuable to Marlin in his quest to find Nemo. She of course provides plenty of humour too, as she loves to talk but her memory loss can make this challenging. She is also very playful but naive, providing comic relief throughout the film. Her friendly nature and optimism ensure that she is of great help throughout Marlin’s quest, even if he becomes frustrated with her at times.
13 Mike Wazowski - Monsters, Inc.
12 Garth Algar - Wayne's World
Garth may not possess the bravery or wisdom of many of the greatest sidekicks, but he is certainly one of the more lovable and entertaining ones. Garth’s loyalty to Wayne is important in the film, and when the two fall out they both struggle (including a particularly bad case of stage fright for Garth).
11 Timon & Pumbaa - The Lion King
Ok, technically there are two of them, but you can’t talk about sidekicks without including this fantastic duo. Many claim that The Lion King is the best Disney film, and this is difficult to argue. It has a great storyline and is one of the more emotional Disney movies, it takes place in a brilliant setting, but importantly it has a whole host of great characters. Timon and Pumbaa often steal the show and provide plenty of humour, but they also do what all sidekicks do best and teach the protagonist valuable lessons.
10 Ron & Hermione - Harry Potter
Although there are two of them, Ron and Hermione fit the bill as sidekicks and will often steal the show from Harry Potter. In every film they are essential in driving the plot forwards and Harry would fail without them, and in addition to this they also bring plenty of humour to the films, too.
Ron is responsible for making wisecracks, but his misfortune and consequent embarrassment is also used heavily to bring comedy to the films. He is also brave and loyal to Harry, which proves to be key throughout the series. Hermione’s perfectionist nature and disapproval of the boys' antics provides humour, and her intelligence enables Harry to get the upper hand in situations.
9 Short Round - Indian Jones and the Temple of Doom
8 Gromit - Wallace and Gromit
7 Sam - Casablanca
6 Genie - Aladdin
5 Cameron Frye - Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is one of the greatest films to emerge from the '80s, and this is largely due the characterisation of Ferris Bueller and his best friend and sidekick, Cameron Frye. Where Ferris is carefree, confident and daring, Cameron is depressive, anxious and angry. This juxtaposition is integral to the film and it is Cameron that provides much of the humour through his hesitancy to go along with Ferris’s wild ideas.
4 Goose - Top Gun
3 Samwise Gamgee - The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
2 Donkey - Shrek
1 Chewbacca - Star Wars
If you ever found yourself in a difficult situation or on a quest, you would certainly want Chewbacca in your corner. Like a few other sidekicks, Chewbacca cannot speak English and communicates through strange growls, but this does not stop him from being perhaps the greatest sidekick of all time. A giant hairy beast, Chewbacca possesses immense strength but he is also brave and fiercely loyal to Han Solo. In addition to this, he is also a fantastic co-pilot and mechanic, making him an all-around excellent sidekick. His striking appearance, incredible loyalty and valuable skill set ensure that he often steals the show and is a sidekick that any hero would benefit from having alongside them.
Sources: imdb.com, disney.wikia.com, lionking.wikia.com, harrypotter.wikia.com, indianajones.wikia.com, wallaceandgromit.wikia.com, sparknotes.com, topgun.wikia.com, lotr.wikia.com, shrek.wikia.com, starwars.wikia.com
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