When you think of memorable Disney characters, who pops to mind? Ariel? Maleficent? Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum? There are hundreds to choose from and Disney just keeps creating more. Characters are their business these days, whether you want to see that in a joyful or cynical light: Their success hinges on how much we like their characters (and how much of said character’s merchandise we buy). They’ve created some good ones of late. I’ve heard Moana is awesome, though I have yet to see it. I loved Brave so much, and not just because Merida and I have the same hair (okay–hers is way better). And Olaf? Well, he’s played by Josh Gad so of course he’s fantastic. Every character in Up, dogs included. But if I had to pick a favorite among favorites, you might be surprised at my pick.
Do you know his name? You might get a little confused because he looks so much like the owl that dances with Aurora in Sleeping Beauty–
–but of course he does, they’re the same species! But this little guy sitting on the globe is Archimedes, pet owl to Merlin (though I’m sure he’d argue with that label), from the somewhat less popular Disney film, The Sword in the Stone.
He’s smart. He’s cantankerous. He’s a little bit of a jerk. He’s just like me! Well–maybe. He’s like me on the inside, anyhow–some days.
It’s interesting, though–in thinking about my favorite characters from Disney movies, I realized they’re almost all secondary/sidekicks and they’re almost all animals. Meeko from Pocahontas. Gus from Cinderella. Even Mushu from Mulan. In fact, there isn’t a single princess on the list. Maybe Merida would make it but her brothers and mother and father and suitors are pretty much all more entertaining.
To me, anyway. But I like oddballs. And when it comes down to it, without Meeko, Pocahontas’s story would be very different. Same for Mulan and Mushu, and even Cinderella and Gus. And don’t get me started on Archimedes’ importance to Arthur’s tale.
King Arthur. The Wart. Whatever you want to call him.
Now I’m getting misty because there was another Arthur I knew who passed away of late. Not that I knew him well–not even as well as the animated Arthur who turns into a squirrel–but he was sweet and he was young and he’s gone now, and I missed the funeral. And he, like Archimedes, like even the Disney Arthur, was an oddball. At least, I thought so. In a good way. And I hope wherever he is, he’s well.