Disney Heroes Part 2 - The In-between

Disney Heroes Part 1- The Renaissance

The death of Walt in 1966 left Disney in a big quality slump and it wasn't pretty.

Mediocre was the company at its best up until 1989, but that's not to say if you sifted through the duds they produced for the next two decades you wouldn't find some classics buried deep under the pile of crud. Some of their finest work, even if it is few and far between, happened after the passing of Walt and came the next generation of new heroes.

In release year order, spoilers ahead.

Film: The Jungle Book (1967)

Walt died before production on The Jungle Book was finished, so that's why I've included it in this list.

Anyone that has watched The Jungle Book - and that's basically the whole world - will know that Baloo is one of the two heroes in the film (and no, the next one isn't Mowgli). He's a lovable bear, one that doesn't take life to seriously (see the Bare Necessities song), but, when it comes to Mowgli, he's willing to do anything to save the irritating kid. Lord knows why, because I don't.

Choice heroic moment:

Some of the best Disney fight scenes came after Walt passed away, and this is one of the many examples of an end-of-film battle that get's it spot on. Look at Baloo go!

Film: The Jungle Book (1967)

The duo of Baloo and Bagheera worked because they're the juxtapositions of each other; complete opposites. They had one thing in common, though, and that was their love for Mowgli. I wouldn't have ever had a problem with this had Mowgli not been an annoying little shit, but we won't go there for now. Let's just bask in the awesomeness of Bagheera, shall we?

Choice heroic moment:

Anything that had to do with saving Mowgli, which was basically the duration of the whole film.

Film: Robin Hood (1973)

Robbing the rich to feed the poor is a phrase and Robin Hood's life-long motto that can be read in many different contexts in the real world. Fight fire with fire, and all that.

Here, though, the person in power - Little John - is actually an evil, heartless git, so Robin's way of getting back at those who have done him and his friends wrong isn't half as bad as it could be.

Choice heroic moment:

From saving Maid Marion, to rescuing all the villagers from the prison that The Sheriff of Nottingham piled them all into, the little mischievous fox was always on the go.

The one scene that stands out for me, though, is the battle sequence right at the end - that shit is nailbiting stuff. Who knew Prince John could actually fight? I didn't.


Film: Robin Hood (1973)

More than just Robin's sidekick, Little John demonstrated his loyalty and dedication to the cause. He could hold his own in a fight, swaggering his way through anything with style, and did his fair share of mooching off of Prince John without him even realising.

He was the king of disguses, and for good reason.

Choice heroic moment:

Joining forces with Robin to save all the prisoner villagers in the climatic finale of Robin Hood is definitely Little John's highlight, though there were so many to choice from.

(Same video as above, by the way.)

Film: Robin Hood (1973)

I've always had a soft spot for Maid Marion's friend, Lady Kluck. She gets right into the action without a a second thought. You'd probably not expect her to be on any list of sorts, but she truly deserves major kudos. A sadly forgotten character in the Disney universe, and one that, jokingly, as a child, was a film-representation of my grandmother. Yeah, don't ask.

Choice heroic moment:

When she takes down all those rhinos, American football style. And everything else she does in this fight scene (which is cut in with Robin, Maid Marion, and Little John having a good brawl).

Couldn't find any videos online to illustrate Bagheera's heroic nature, unfortunately!

Film: The Fox and the Hound (1981)

Revisiting Disney films over the past few months has led me to watch The Fox and the Hound, which is a film I haven't seen in quite sometime. It was definitely a surprise to note that Tod and Copper don't really spend much time at all for their friendship to be solidified. Around two minutes of screen-time revolved round their BFF friendship, before they parted ways thanks to interfering humans. Shame, since I had always thought that they would be the best of friends forever in my six year old brain. Feelings of nostalgia for this cute film definitely override how quick their friendship did last, though, so, for that, Tod and Copper are a definite duo feature on the list.
Choice heroic moment:

The Fox and the Hound has some great scenes in it, but nothing can champion the epic fight at the end. Both Tod and Copper, together, show what they're truly made of. 

Film: Oliver & Company (1988)

I was never a fan of the musical version of the Charles Dickens novel Oliver, especially when the highlight of a film is mud being flung into the face of protagonist, you know that something has gone wrong.

Disney's take on the story is my favourite adaptation of the classic and the most fun. (The less we speak about Polanski's version, the better.) You have all the key players from the original book with a Disney twist and you know what? It works.

The Artful Dodger is the character I've always been drawn to in Dicken's Oliver, so it came as no surprise that he is also my favourite in Oliver & Company, and the most heroic of the bunch.

Choice heroic moment: 

Dodger rallying up the rest of his gang to save Jenny. So suave. 


  1. I've neither seen Oliver & Company nor Robin Hood (no idea, why), but Bagheera is one of my favourite characters ever. When I was little, I just loved mysterious and quiet characters like his.
    By the way, totally digging this feature!

    1. You should totally check out Robin Hood. I do really like Oliver & Company as well, but it is definitely no match for Robin that's for sure!

      Bagheera is totally awesome, definitely agreed. I watched The Jungle Book about two weeks or so ago after having not seen it for a good half a year or so, and still really love it!

      And glad you're liking the feature, Mette!




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