Not every character in movies, shorts, and shows can have all the lines. But have you ever really noticed how many of your favorite characters actually have no lines? It’s true! Sometimes it’s even the actual star of the show that doesn’t ever speak. Let’s take a look through some of the characters that like to be the strong silent type, Disney’s quiet characters.
What are Disney’s Quiet Characters
We can’t start a list of our favorite quiet characters without talking about our best pal, Pluto! Pluto is the original silent pal, always loyal by Mickey’s side. Pluto has been Mickey’s best pal on the scene since 1930 in the animated short, The Chain Gang.
Over the years we have seen him stick to Mickey’s side through thick and thin, get into scrapes over lady doggos, wear bright fuschia sweaters to make Minnie happy, and just win our hearts through the last 90+ years. Come on, who’s our pal! Who’s our pal!
But here’s the question for the day… How is it that he and Goofy are both dogs, and yet, Pluto is out in the dog house and Goofy has a home? And Pluto is a mouse’s pet… Hmmm.
Disney silent friends are often the most important companions to someone. Just look at Pascal. Could you imagine where Rapunzel would be without the loyalty of Pascal? He pushed her to try new things, was loyal with her through thick, thin, and weird, and he was a good sport and did things that he clearly didn’t want to do. Do you remember that dress that Rapunzel made on him?! Poor fella.
If Pascal is one of your favorite characters, then you need to check out Disney’s shoulder plushes! These special plushes are magnetic and connect through your shirt so that they can ride on your shoulder all day long! You guessed it, Disney has a Pascal shoulder plush (https://www.amazon.com/Disney-Parks-Magnetic-Shoulder-Plush/dp/B08NCC5G9Y) .
Meeko, Percy & Flik
In a movie where a tree can talk, but not the animals, these fellas certainly have personality! Meeko is a fun loving bottomless pit of a raccoon who is best friends with Pocahontas. Percy is the hoity toity companion to the evil villain, Ratcliff, and Flik is the moody bird trying to keep them all in line. Only Disney could create that much story and personality out of characters with no lines. Don’t lie, scenes with these three have a lot going on and by the end, you could read their grunts and hums.
SIDE NOTE: I know we’re not supposed to like Percy, but the pooch has style. Is it bad that I want his life?? I want to be bathed and fed cookies from a cookie carousel. Grandmother Willow, can you make that happen for me??
Dumbo & Mrs. Jumbo
Take a second. I know you’re stunned that not just any character, but the title character of the movie speaks not one word! You want to argue the point, but go ahead and watch it. Dumbo makes no sound. His personality was created 100% by his physical mannerisms. Amazing.
Not only is the ever adorable Dumbo silent through the movie, but so is his mother, Mrs. Jumbo. Even I was surprised by Mrs. Jumbo, but then I realized the whole time we see the elephants it’s the Matriarch and her lemmings that are filling the space with their evil slander. Big ol’ meanies.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Dopey is arguably the sweetest of all of the 7 dwarfs. His child-like innocence is how he fell into all of our hearts. His brothers all love him so much that Dopey doesn’t need to talk. Doc’s got it covered and they all band around Dopey to take care of him. Just maybe we don’t let him have the final count of the gems, yeah?
Present day, a lot of people have had issues with the name Dopey because clearly, the youngest dwarf is experiencing some mental challenges. The movie was made, ready for this? The movie was made almost 100 years ago… Times have changed a lot since then. For fun, let’s look at some of the names that were rejected for Disney’s Snow White and Seven Dwarfs: Jumpy, Deafy, Dizzy, Hickey, Wheezy, Baldy, Gabby, Nifty, Sniffy, Swift, Lazy, Puffy, Stuffy, Tubby, Shorty and Burpy. All things considered, I think Dopey was pretty good, though I like Sniffy, Puffy, and Stuffy.
Frozen & Frozen II
Reindeer are better than people…Yes, no need to go further in the song. Here’s a fan theory for ya… In the Frozen movies Elsa has powers and there’s a magic snowman that talks. It makes sense that reindeer can talk and yet… Kristoff does all of the talking. Maybe, just maybe, Sven can talk but doesn’t need to because Kristoff helps him get all the points across. And of course his trough is full of carrots. Some people say dogs are a man’s best friend, but I think we may need to reconsider and say reindeer are a man’s best friend.
Hear me out… A Disney short devoted to Sven’s back story. Or even better, forget the royal wedding, give us a Sven in the wild!
Close your eyes and listen for Kevin’s squawk… It’s a peacock! Ok, back to her lack of speech – I wonder if the crazed adventurer ever thought to throw one of his canine translator collars on the birds of Paradise Falls so that he could communicate with them.
Another fan theory for ya… The movie leads us to believe that Charles F. Muntz went mad from spending the last 60 years chasing a bird that keeps getting away but what if his madness was caused by a lack of chocolate? If I went without chocolate for decades I would be scarier than Mad Madam Mim in a duel. How do we know that he hasn’t had chocolate? Two reasons:
- Kevin sniffed out chocolate in Russell from over a mile away and Muntz never got that close.
- His chefs are dogs. Chocolate is poisonous to dogs.
Maximus, we admire your dedication to the crown! He spends the whole story chasing the man who stole the crown of the lost princess, and he literally falls off the cliff to catch the criminal who had it! We love how frankly the eyebrows of this horse tell his whole story of frustration, determination, and strength. Beauty magazines have always preached the power of eyebrows, and we see it at play here in this horse. That and a well-timed eye roll.
Lucifer & Bruno
No, we’re not talking about that Bruno. We don’t talk about Bruno. No. No. No. No. We’re talking about Bruno who saved Cinderella from that mean old cat, Lucifer! I spent my whole childhood hating cats because of Lucifer, or Roosifee according to the mice. He was a pampered mean fat cat that kept trying to eat the mice!!! Okay, rethink that statement as an adult. Er meh gerhd. We wrongfully hated the cat. If I had mice in my house I wouldn’t be dressing them up in cute little outfits, I would be letting the cat loose! This is my formal apology to Lucifer.
Bruno had no such prejudice. He was the pooch stuck in a rock and a hard place. While that mean old cat had his own bed, with a bonnet, even, Bruno had a stone floor in the kitchen of the castle. He was kicked out of there, even! But even though he wasn’t treated to the same things as Lucifer, he was given love and therefore, Bruno is the most loyal of friends.
Who is Diablo? Easy, my pet… Diablo is Maleficent’s best friend, the Raven. Can you think of a more ominous sidekick? Insert Edgar Allen Poe lines here. We’re at a crossroads here: Is Diablo a good bird or a bad bird? Maleficent is bad and Diablo is the Bonnie to her Clyde, but really, Maleficent treats him with kindness and he does what she asks. In the world of Sleeping Beauty, there may be fairies and evil dragon villains, but the animals are animals in the normal sense. Moral dilemma there.
Cleo & Fiagaro
Where Lucifer made me hate cats, Figaro started to thaw my frozen feline heart. Can we just point out how much of an animal lover Geppetto was? He took a kitten and a goldfish with him to go search for his lost puppet boy! Even after escaping Monstro, he made sure that his fish and kitten made it out!
Cri – Kee
This cricket is a lucky one! This character teaches the lesson of the power of positive speech on a “person”. Grandma kept referring to him as a lucky cricket, and insisting that he needed to be around the family to bring luck. Even when he messed up, (a bath in the tea, Cri-Kee??), he was still told he was lucky. Because of this, he lived his little cricket life as a friend to others instead of a life of buggy solitude.
Question: Mushu can understand Cri-Kee and talks back to him. Can Mushu understand all species because his a dragon servant to the ancestors? Or just crickets?
Tick Tock Croc & Tinkerbell
Can you even read Tick Tock Croc without hearing the ticking and that special song that always begins when he swims in? Sure, he isn’t a cutie croc that we would want to get close to since he ate Hook’s hand, but golly, he’s cute!
Okay, let’s talk about Tink. Nowadays, Tinkerbell is loved by all and is known for her bubbly can-do attitude. She’s come a long way from the Tinkerbell that we met in Peter Pan. Wendy almost died because of Tinkerbell’s jealousy! Oh yeah, you forgot about that, huh?
Magic Carpet, Abu & Rajah
Abu and Rajah are Aladdin and Jasmine’s besties and can lift their moods with a subtle nod of the head or little grunt. Just like our pets at home, Aladdin and Jasmine formed a bond with their pals in a way that doesn’t require words.
We already talked about the power of eyebrows in expression, but what about tassels? There was no question when Magic Carpet was excited! You would see those tassels spread like jazz hands!
The Lion King
Who knew that evil hyenas that would be quick to kill a baby lion were so inclusive? Ed was different from the other hyenas, but he was always included in their group. Ed was given some of the latest kill and not left to starve. This is clearly no dog eat dog pack! They even ask his opinion on important matters. Once Simba forces Scar to reveal that not only did he kill Mufasa, but also that he used the hyenas, they ask Ed if they should umm, do something about it. I can still hear that evil laugh as they are approaching Scar. Yikes.
Don’t lie, you were cheering when Tarzan came out with Sabor on his shoulders dead! Disney can really make you hate a character, but to do it in under 5 minutes, that’s impressive. Listen, people talk about the terrible hunters who ate Bambi’s mother, but hello! Sabor ate a baby gorilla and was going crazy to eat a human baby!
Fan theory: Clearly Sabor is seen as a savage in the movies. But you also notice that he has zero personification and is fully a jaguar. All the characters that can speak in the movie are all vegetarian. Coincidence?
Spike the Bee
Classic Disney Shorts
Too many people know Spike from playing host of the EPCOT Flower and Garden Festivals over the years. That’s a shame that you don’t know the struggles that Donald Duck went through trying to hang wallpaper with Spike around.
Even though he has been a total nuisance to Donald, we can’t help but love him.
Alice in Wonderland
Dinah is the only animal that doesn’t speak in this film. Of course she doesn’t. She’s a kitten. Dinah never went down the rabbithole with Alice so she never got to wonderland where everything and anything is animated. Dinah became a bit like an anchor for Alice in reality.
Ferb Fletcher & Perry the Platypus
Phineas and Ferb
Ferb and Agent P play the strong silent type. They don’t need all the fluff and banter. I mean Perry is a platypus. They don’t do much. (If you know you know.) Okay, can we seriously talk about this show! This is the only show on this list because Phineas and Ferb is hands down the best animated cartoon ever made. I said what I said. It’s funny, creative, and different. Plus, it’s refreshing for a kids’ show to glorify intelligence and creativity. Disney, get Jeff “Swampy” Marsh and Bowling for Soup and get us a season 5!
Humphrey the Bear
Classic Disney Shorts
Humphrey the Bear is yet another co-star to our favorite Duck with anger issues. Humphrey is big and dopey, which equates him to cute and loveable! Don’t let those big eyes fool you, he is a bear. He will bare those teeth (see what we did there?) if he needs to!
Hei-Hei, Kakamora & Te Fiti / Te Kā
These 3 characters are pretty heavy hitters in the movie Moana, so they need to be given each their own spotlight. Hei-Hei is that crazy chicken that you can’t help love, or Moana for saving him from being a meal. Where most silent Disney characters are silent but still strong characters, Hei-Hei is not quite the same. There’s not a lot going on upstairs, but we love his comedic relief!
FUN FACT: Hei-Hei is voiced by Disney legend, Alan Tudyk, who is known by hardcore Disney fans as the voice for odd ball Disney characters. I originally thought Hei-Hei’s iconic scream was created by a sound board. Nope. Disney is all about authenticity. There’s an honest to goodness man behind Hei-Hei. That actor also “voices” another silent character on this list!
Kakamora. Murderous little pirates. Funny enough, those almost cute, most definitely scary little coconut monsters are from real Polynesian lore. Those folks at Disney really do a lot of homework for little details in these stories.
These often forgotten about characters from Moana sometimes get a little love at the Disney parks. Back in 2020, we were introduced to coconut Dole Whip at Aloha Isle with the Kakamora Float. That’s the best way to pay tribute.
Te Fiti, and simultaneously Te Kā, don’t need words. Te Fiti is a goddess who needs no speech. Let’s be honest, all women can deeply relate to her. In the morning before coffee we are Te Kā, the lava monster, and after that first cup, we are the beautiful serene Te Fiti.
Raya and the Last Dragon
Remember that actor that we mentioned before that “voices” quite a few odd ducks through the Disney sphere? Yup, Alan Tudyk, is the man behind the squeaks, grunts, and animal sounds behind Tuk Tuk. Tuk Tuk is the loyal animal/giant insect companion to Raya. Once again, I had no idea that it was a person behind that character!
Is there any sound that Alan Tudyk can’t bring to life?
Other characters that he has voiced: Knowsmore, King Candy, Duke of Wesellton, Duke Weaselton, and Alistair Krei, just to name a few! For my readers that are my age, I have three words for you: Steve the Pirate. Yup.
Poor Nana! I honestly can’t think about those huge eyes without hearing that line in my head. Nana was more than the family dog. She was the children’s nursemaid, bonnet and all! She cleaned up the toys, distributed the tonic, and tucked them into bed. Mr. Darling, can we get the name of the dog trainer that you used? My dog looks a lot like Nana but just lays there. Yet another case of Disney setting me up with high expectations.
“He’s a great horse with the brain of a bird”. Don’t you just love that moment that Pegasus registers what Zeus says? Pegasus is loyal to the core and even though he possesses no god-like strength, that doesn’t stop him from running and flying into the fight right along with Hercules! That’s a real pal.
In the land of Toy Story, there aren’t many toys that can’t speak… Now, think of this: How many of Andy’s toys that have eyes have you seen not be able to speak. Exactly. Just RC! Is there any chance that Andy got RC used and he lost his voice box? But that shouldn’t stop him from talking to the other toys. Is there any reason that Pixar would have RC be the only toy that cannot talk with the other toys? Or… Is RC the only toy that chooses to not talk to the other toys? If that’s the case, I totally get it. There’s a lot of drama in Andy’s room.
The Nightmare Before Christmas
It’s almost that time! “This is Halloween! This is Halloween!” The Nightmare Before Christmas is the artistic masterpiece by Tim Burton, and Zero is the faithful spooky pooch to Jack Skellington. It’s funny how in Tim Burton’s vision the lines of animal to humans are still intact. Humans are monsters and undead, but dogs and cats still bark and meow.
Terrifying Fan Theory: Do you remember another one of Tim Burton’s films, Frankenweenie? The theory is that the dog from that movie was electrocuted and his ghost ended up in Halloweentown. Once there, he was adopted by Jack Skellington. This proves what we’ve already known to be true, we don’t deserve dogs or their sweet loyalty.
These characters prove that they don’t have to talk a lot to win our hearts or make a big impact!
Who is your favorite quiet character? Tell us in the comments!
I am a mother of three that has refused to grow up. Adulting is for the birds, so I go to Disney World every chance I get for that magical escape from reality. I believe that Haunted Mansion is the best ride in all of the Disney Parks, and I am fervently in team Happily Ever After for fireworks spectaculars, (sorry, not sorry, Enchanted). Finally, I hope I never grow tired of skipping down Main Street, USA, and my dream come true would be “friends with” the Fairy Godmother in my old age.