We all love our big movie heroes, like Indiana Jones, Ellen Ripley, Luke Skywalker, and John McClane. Our movie theaters and DVD collections wouldn’t be complete without those who are ready to sacrifice life and limb to save the day. But no hero is complete without a sidekick – whether they’re of the bumbling, sarcastic, or ferocious variety.
Take the beloved Minions from Despicable Me, who stepped out of the sidekick shadows to star in their own feature film. The adorable yellow creatures prove how much we love our movie sidekicks. Here we pick ten of our favorites (that don’t look like colorful Twinkies).
Chewbacca, Star Wars
Is it possible to hear the word “sidekick” and not immediately think of Chewie? Han Solo’s furry sidekick is as capable of strangling those who threaten his hero as he is of bestowing Wookiee hugs.
Cosmo Brown, Singin’ in the Rain
Sidekicks should follow Cosmo’s lead by incorporating song and dance into their duties. While we wait for Hollywood to get the memo, we’ll break down what makes Cosmo so great. His use of show-stopping dance numbers to cheer up his best friend epitomizes what all great sidekicks do: unselfishly make the hero’s life better. There are few movie sidekicks that go as far as Cosmo… he romances a mannequin for goodness sakes.
Donkey embodies many great sidekick characteristics: he’s funny, a chatter mouth, an endearing wuss and a sweet unrelenting friend. Most of all, he’s on this list because he’s the kind of sidekick who’ll make you waffles. And who doesn’t love waffles?
Dory, Finding Nemo
Dory may not be the brightest fish in the sea, but she’s undoubtedly the most innocent, sweet and loyal. Beyond just companionship, Dory provides indispensable help – whether it’s translating English into Fish, asking for directions or mediating conflict with sharks. Plus she offers up profound life advice, like: “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming.”
Garth, Wayne’s World
There are few greater acts of sidekickery than singing and headbanging together to Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” . Wayne Campbell should count his blessings that he has a sidekick as perfectly compatible as Garth Algar. We know we count ourselves lucky that Garth exists.
Hermione Granger, Harry Potter
Hermione is a great sidekick because she shouldn’t be one. In fact, she is the rarest kind of sidekick: the one that should be the hero. Because, come on, that kid with the lightning scar is great and all, but half of his victories would have been impossible without Hermione’s magical wisdom and general awesomeness.
Hit Girl, Kick-Ass
It’s a testament to how tough Hit Girl is that she lives up to the movie’s title—and its hero’s name—more than anyone else. Whenever this weapon-wielding, death dispensing, smart-talking powerhouse is anywhere near Kick-Ass, you have to wonder why he isn’t the sidekick. (Clip NSFW)
Kronk, The Emperor’s New Groove
Kronk is loveable for many reasons: he creates suspenseful music for his own nighttime stealth missions, knows how to skip rope like a pro, and can allegedly talk to a squirrel. It doesn’t even matter that Kronk is actually the villain’s sidekick. His sidekick excellence transcends hero versus villain dynamics.
Samwise Gamgee, Lord of the Rings
Fact #1: Frodo is terrible. Fact #2: Middle-earth would have been doomed if not for dear, noble, loyal, trusty Sam. Sam literally carried Frodo to complete his heroic quest. That act of self-sacrifice is a perfect summary of what makes all great sidekicks stand out: their unwillingness to leave their hero-friend’s side, and determination to see them through their greatest challenges.
Short Round, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
Indiana Jones having a child sidekick—let alone one that dispenses love advice and acts as a getaway driver—makes no sense whatsoever. Child endangerment issues aside, that’s exactly what makes Short Round so improbably great. You also can’t beat a sidekick willing to use both emotional and physical force to save their hero friend from, say, a crazy magician who enjoys ripping people’s hearts out.