They don’t get the recognition, 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.
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. 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. 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 on these 12 movie sidekicks we all love!
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. He is responsible for bringing much of the wacky humour to the film, with fantastic lines such as his response to “Garth, I’m going to be Frank,” These lines, and a memorable “Foxy Lady” routine, ensured that Garth often stole the show from Wayne.
11. Timon & Pumbaa – The Lion King
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; but 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. 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
A pint-sized young boy, you would not think that Short Round would be much help on any kind of quest or adventure, but as it turned out he would prove himself to be one of the greatest sidekicks of all time and a character that made Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom highly enjoyable. Looks can be deceiving, and Short Round is a sidekick that any hero would benefit from due to his loyalty and remarkable skill set.
8. Gromit – Wallace and Gromit
Like many other great sidekicks in cinema history, it is Gromit that is really the brains behind the operation and he comes to save Wallace, the hero, countless times. He is also fiercely loyal to his master, even if he shows frustration at times. The fact that Gromit does not talk also contributes to the comedy and charm of all Wallace & Gromit films,.
7. Sam – Casablanca
A classic movie sidekick, Sam from Casablanca helped to define what a truly great sidekick is and inspired many of the other entries on this list. He was a fantastic friend to Rick and the only person that could truly get through to him. Like all great sidekicks, Sam can provide wisdom to the protagonist and help them when they are at their lowest point in the movie.
6. Genie – Aladdin
Genie from Aladdin would go on to become one of the most influential animated characters of all time, and his depth, humour and the brilliant voice acting of Robin Williams ensured that he stole the show from Aladdin many times. He provides much of the humour through shape shifting, memorable songs, pop culture references and parodies.
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
Everyone needs a good wingman like Goose. He and Maverick are the ultimate duo both in the skies and on the ground, and of course as a sidekick he is heavily relied on by the protagonist throughout the film. Goose is the definition of a great sidekick and played a huge role in making Top Gun such a memorable action film.
3. Samwise Gamgee – The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
The best sidekicks will remain by the hero’s side through thick and thin and will be dependable in every situation. Sam’s relationship with Frodo is integral to the plot of The Lord of the Rings, and many feel that it is actually Sam, a Hobbit of the Shire, that is the real hero of the saga. Sam saves Frodo multiple times throughout the story and should really be the one to take the glory.
2. Donkey – Shrek
Donkey and Shrek form one of the best animated duos of all time, and it is often Donkey that steals the show. Donkey’s sensitivity, talkative nature and hyperactivity will frequently irritate Shrek, and this is where much of the humor lies. He is also a lovable character and one incredibly loyal friend, not to mention damn funny!
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. 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.