They Stole the Show

There seems to be a misconception that the main character in a given tv show or movie is the best actor or the one worth watching.  They get paid more, there are more photo shoots, more autographs given, and overall more fame.  But what about the little guy?  I'm not just saying this because I feel bad for them.  Nine times out of ten the most impressive acting was done by a minor and supporting role.  I will give you twenty examples.  If by the end you aren't nodding your head and wanting to watch these movies again just for these characters, then I have failed.

20. Katie from Horton Hears a Who

Do I really need to say more?  I looked up this YouTube video and I laughed until my sides were sore.  Is there a better character?  In my opinion, she should have gotten paid more money for her one line than Jim Carey for the entire film!  Epic performance by Joey King and her one line in Horton Hears a Who!

19. Cockroach from Wall-E

How can you possibly have a great supporting role when they can’t talk…or have arms…or much more than a hard shell?  This film managed to do a lot with a lot lacking.  When I think of this movie the cockroach is one of the first things that come to mind.  We had scarcely started the movie when Wall-E accidentally rolls over this little critter.  For a split second I thought I was going to cry.  How can I have such love for such a disgusting little critter?  That is the mark of an excellent side-character.

18. Young Goob from Meet the Robinsons

Yes, I am aware that Goob is the villain…thus not a supporting role.  But young Goob is far less villainous and so much fun.  The movie ended with me wanting to adopt the first creepy little kid with bags under his eyes that I could find.  So much personality and spunk in this little kid, it practically oozes from every word he utters.


17. Number 6 from 9

I will admit that this one is completely personal and if readers don’t agree I would completely understand.  Of all the little robots, number 6 is my favorite.  He doesn’t talk much, he just draws pictures, but somehow I love this character more than the others that have double the opportunity to push their envelope.

16. Merryweather from Sleeping Beauty

Though all three of the good faeries are a hoot, Merryweather definitely stands out above the rest.  Merryweather brings a whole new dynamic to the film that would otherwise be empty.  Just imagine with me for a moment that only the Red and Green fairy existed.  Lame.

15. The Three Little Pigs from Shrek

I know many of you may be wondering why I chose the three little pigs over donkey.  I think of Shrek and see three characters: Shrek, The Princess, and Donkey.  After this a myriad of woodland characters that exist in no sort of hierarchy.  Of these, the three little pigs are my favorite. Maybe it is all the Shrek movies or maybe I am thinking of just Shrek the Halls, but there is something fantastical about putting a German accent to the character of the three little pigs. 


14. Fidget The Bat from The Great Mouse Detective

As far as great supporting roles go, this is kind of the opposite end of the spectrum.  Typically the great supporting roles happen at the hand of the protagonist, but what would Ratigan be without his exceptionally creepy side-kick?  This character still haunts me.  Bravo to this exceptional role.

13. Hiss from Robin Hood

Another great supporting villain…or would you call them a henchmen?  Hiss has enough personality and sarcasm to make the film worth it.  It isn’t often that the villain gets the better sidekick, but personally, I think he knocks the socks off Little John.

12. Grandmother Fa from Mulan

Okay, I could not resist including Grandma Fa.  June Foray does an amazing job of portraying this over-the-top grandma who is oddly characteristic of a modern-day baby boomer. Do you think they had that era in China?

11. The Trio from The Princess Bride

A magnificent play on the classic duo of the brain and the brawn, we add the Spaniard making a classic Trio.  Originally this was only the character of Inigo Montoya but as a trio they are far more powerful.

10. Frozone from The Incredibles

Up to this point not many best friends have been featured, but --- voices one of the most convincing best friends I have ever saw.  I would put money on the most quoted line from that movie is somewhere along the lines of “woman, where is my super suit?”

9. Pain and Panic from Hercules

Enough said.Pain and PanicCredit:

8. Ricky from Better Off Dead

Granted, Ricky is a character that doesn’t even play a crucial role nor needs to be a part of the film, but they couldn’t have gotten a better man for the job.  I often find myself laughing not at something that he did or said, but because he walked into the room.  What a perfect character to bring to a comedy.

7. Esquelento from Nacho Libre

No, I didn’t know his name either.  I had to look it up.  From beginning to end Esquelento (don’t ask me about the pronunciation either) makes you laugh.  The majority of the memorable scenes from Nacho Libre don’t even have Jack Black in them.  Yes, in my opinion, Esquelento outplayed Nacho.

6. Rhino from Bolt

This should come as no surprise to those that have seen the film.  The interesting thing about this actor is just that…he isn’t an actor.  Looking for someone in the office to do the mock voice-over, they stumbled across this gem and Rhino was born. I don’t think anyone could have hoped for a better coincidence.

5. Alfred from The Batman Trilogy

Alfred BannerAlfred is a solid character all around.  Like one of those Jack Bauer characters, even when they are doing something stupid, you assume they are doing the right thing in the end.  Such a persona is built by brilliant acting mixed with brilliant screen play, and for this Character to be something other than a main is truly impressive.

4. Mike from Monster’s Inc.

I know, it is iffy calling Mike a supporting character, but compared to the obvious main character of Sully, Mike is exceedingly more impressive.  

3. Mr. Potatoe Head from Toy Story

A vegetable, yes.  Snarky attitude, yes.  The most quotable character from the film, absolutely. My siblings have quoted Mr. Potatoe Head for the majority of my life.  Thus I'm not really sure if it is just me that loves this guy or everyone.  "Hey look, I'm Picasso!" "What are you looking at, ya hockey puck!"  Love Don Rickles for giving us this timeless character.

2. Alice from The Brady Bunch

Judge me if you want, but as a child I watched Brady Bunch.  By “as a child” I mean teenager.  But really, sporting a Ellen DeGeneres personality, she knocks this ghetto television show to the top of my ratings. 


1. Mushu from Disney's Mulan

What an amazing side character. Granted, he is still very much a main character, but Mulan should be supporting Mushu as lead role.  If the cricket could talk I would probably have included the cricket...but there is a limit to how many voiceless characters I can put on this list.  Mushu brings a fire and spunk to this movie that would have been severely lacking without.  Imagine for a minute the personality of Mushu gone from this movie.  Boring right?  Eddie Murphy deserves something for this amazing performance.