They’re tiny. They’re toony. They’re just a little loony….they’re Disney’s top 5 henchmen with a dose of comedy!
5. Lefou from Beauty and the Beast
Watching people in pain is funny. Especially when they’re funny-looking.
Okay, so LeFou’s level of enjoyability probably exposes some of the darker sides of our human nature. But I don’t care; that dark side is there, and dang it, I want it entertained! I am a full grown adult and I still cackle every time I see Gaston knock LeFou on the head. Fun fact, when making this movie, the animators were told “when in doubt, hurt LeFou.” Poor guy. He’s obviously madly in love with Gaston, and is demeaned, demoralized, and damaged by him every day. But I love watching it! It’s really funny! Schadenfreude, man. Appealing to the vindictive five year old that lives inside all of us, my what a guy, that Lefou.
4. Iago from Aladdin
I would like to thank the animators for revealing Gilbert Godfried’s true nature: a parrot. Iago is snarky, outrageous, and obnoxious, but in a surprisingly entertaining way. Plus, he’s really good at impressions! Iago adds some lovely sardonic humor that appeals to adults as well as children, especially the one subtle jab at Godfried’s potty mouth. I also enjoy the idea that Iago has to pretend to be a normal parrot but fails miserably. He’s one crazy piece of poultry, and I just love him.
3. Banzai, Shenzai, and Ed from The Lion King
The hyenas are the only henchman who, for me, manage to be truly comedic and effectively threatening in the same movie. They have some really funny moments together, especially with their “special” little brother Ed. The three have a great rapport going and bounce off each other fantastically. As a child, I would repeat their “Did we order this dinner to go?” exchange ad nauseam. My poor parents. Somehow, though, I still find it funny! Yet, when the fire is roaring on Pride Rock and the hyenas are sizing up the size of Scar’s thigh bone, and not in the way LeFou would, it is still genuinely menacing and kinda creepy. I actually find their entire dynamic with Scar pretty compelling. Sure, they worship him and do his bidding as all henchmen should. But they do it for their own self interests, not out of blind loyalty. And when Scar turns against them, it’s time to chow down.
2. Diablo from Sleeping Beauty
Well…they’re not all comedic. Diablo, otherwise known as Maleficent’s creepy-ass crow. Most henchmen are bumbly and goofy. But Maleficent has no need of bumbly and goofy. I’d give LeFou two minutes with Maleficent before he was a burnt piece of french toast [Big Bro’s note: Nice wordplay.].
Diablo is as sleek and menacing as his master. Maleficent doesn’t abuse Diablo, she respects him as her right hand man to get the job done. He’s a henchman like no other. I get chills every time I see him soaring over the three fairy’s color war. Narc! He helps set the tone and perfectly complements his bat-crazy, villainous leader. A true henchman.
And the number one Disney minion is….
1. Smee from Peter Pan
He’s just so adorable! He doesn’t even seem to be madly in love with his master, like LeFou. He’s just this happy go-lucky guy who is happy to do his job and do it well. His job just happens to be serving as Captain Hook’s bitch. But he’s round! He’s cuddly! His ear twitches and grows with the crocodile’s tick! He’s just a tad on the dim side, and his unflappable joviality is a perfect foil to Hook’s comical temper. He’s lovable, he makes me laugh, and he’s my favorite Disney henchman.
And now our song is done.
What are your favorite Disney henchmen?