Who among us didn’t want a love interest in the same vein as the ones we saw in Disney movies when we were growing up? These films always brought a magical element to our hearts, what with all the quick solutions and happy endings they were all about. Disney films always carried a particular formula, but this formula would be bended to reflect a change in setting. However, kids would fall in line for the latest release regardless of what backdrop there was.
The biggest plus point on Disney’s kitty has always been the couplings it has offered. When it comes to animated features, these films would conclude in happy endings wherein the male and female protagonist would have their big kiss. No matter how many times we saw this happen, we wanted this outcome to come to pass each time – it was that heartwarming.
Now that Disney has expanded to franchises far and wide from its initial animated movies, it also comprises of series within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Surprisingly enough, the MCU characters also have traces of the Disney formula injected within them. Newer films have focused on live-action re-imaginings of animated films, and while these are still of the highest quality, they do appear to be in the same vein as the original animation in terms of delivery.
You can find the best and not-so-great couples found in Disney movies on this list. So, here are 15 Couples That Hurt Disney Movies (And 10 That Saved Them).
25 Hurt: Pocahontas And John Smith
Not only was this coupling historically inaccurate, it didn’t get the treatment it deserved in the film either. In Pocahontas, she and John Smith fall in love with each other at random and she seems to be pretty okay being physically close to a man who is essentially a stranger, considering her modest upbringing.
The two don’t end up together in the movie and in Pocahontas II she doesn’t even contemplate about how John Smith would feel after she moves on to another man.
24 Hurt: Pocahontas And John Rolfe
Speaking of the other man, here we’ve got John Rolfe. Historically speaking, this is the person she should have been with from the start, although the real-life passing of Pocahontas was omitted for obvious reasons.
The reason why they weren’t good together was that the film was awful.
Anyone could tell Pocahontas II was simply setting up the events for these two to fall in love and there was absolutely no subtlety in its attempts to do so. This couple also was too generic to be memorable in any way other than how boring it was.
23 Saved: Bruce And Natasha
Those who say they hate this relationship are those who just won’t stop whining about how they wanted Natasha to be with Steve Rogers instead. However, as far as personalities should go, this one totally made sense. Natasha was used to being the commanding one, someone who would never show another person who she truly was. With Bruce, she had that opportunity and he, in turn, could feel safe with the secret of being the Hulk around her.
It was a nice love story that was ignored in Avengers: Infinity War and wasn’t even mentioned at all.
22 Hurt: Anna And Kristoff
All those kids out there who just watch Frozen for the funny faces and songs won’t have noticed how insufferably annoying Anna is. She can’t shut up for two seconds and constantly drones on an on until you want to physically quiet her down.
The same way, Kristoff’s manly man attitude wasn’t very becoming either and he made the perfect match for Anna because they were both weak characters. The reason why they hurt Disney is that their presence made Frozen a chore to sit through. We’d rather watch Elsa.
21 Hurt: Scamp And Angel
Every direct-to-video film of Disney’s earlier smash hits had the original protagonists’ children as the main characters. And each time these children were so obnoxious you’d want to turn off the movie. The same way, Scamp was a totally boring character whose story was hardly worth watching and he ended up having a thing for another dog called Angel.
As one would expect, the family ended up a
opting Angel too, in the end, to give the film a happy ending, but we were just glad this forgettable couple would go back to obscurity. All we’d wanted was Lady and the Tramp.
20 Saved: Pepper And Tony
This is the only couple that has remained together starting from Iron Man in 2008 to Avengers: Endgame in 2019. Of course, they had a falling out in Captain America: Civil War and reconciled in Spider-Man: Homecoming, but that was for legitimate reasons.
The will they-won’t they relationship they had until Iron Man 2 kept us interested over what would happen between these two. It’s a shame we might not see them get married because of the events of Avengers: Infinity War, but we can be happy that these two loved each other until the end.
19 Hurt: Phillip And Aurora
This has to go in the hurt pile because of how utterly generic it is. Although you could forgive them for being so one-dimensional, considering that the film was released at a time when what we consider generic now was something revolutionary, this coupling hasn’t aged so well.
Ralph Breaks the Internet even had a scene where Disney Princesses poked fun at tired tropes; all of which were seen in the coupling of Aurora and Phillip. You can find similar couples all across Disney media.
18 Hurt: Ariel And Prince Eric
Although The Little Mermaid was a fine film that can be watched to this day – the film was released thirty years ago in 1989 – the character of Prince Eric leaves a lot to be desired.
The guy was so gullible it got extremely frustrating. He easily believed Ursula to be a human even though she was clearly something sinister, and also fell for Ariel despite her random appearance in his life. Ariel, too, disregarded all her childhood life and family to be together with a man she fell in love with at first sight.
17 Saved: Simba And Nala
Unlike all other Disney couples, this one was hardly the focus of the film – which is why it ranks among the topmost of couples. Simba and Nala only started out as playmates when they were young and the romantic aspect came in when they had been separated for years and saw each other as adults.
It made sense why there was an attraction.
Someone you have a deep friendship with in youth is bound to appear attractive when you meet them again in adulthood. But Simba and Nala were great because their love story was kept on the down low.
16 Hurt: Cinderella And Prince Charming
Again, a pretty generic serving from Disney, and one that seems even more ridiculous than Ariel/Eric and Aurora/Phillip. Cinderella’s whole story was about how she was oppressed by her stepmother and then ran out in a magical carriage to meet the Prince. However, it was insane that the Prince didn’t even recognize her after the night had ended.
The fact that he was prepared to wed any woman whose foot fit the glass slipper just went to show he didn’t really love Cinderella, just the idea of her.
15 Hurt: Kenai And Nita
Brother Bear had a sweet story where the bond of family was shown. Its ultimate message was touching as well where Kenai turned into a bear permanently to take care of an orphaned cub, all the while promising his real brother he loved him.
Brother Bear 2 threw in a lame love story plot that showed Kenai was in love with a human, who ended up becoming a bear like him so they could be together. It was a ludicrous plot that is more funny than charming.
14 Saved: Tarzan And Jane
Now, this was a good couple we got in 1999. Around this time, the age-old romantic plot was changed in order to bring more depth to the characters. And so, Tarzan and Jane fell in love because Tarzan was greatly appreciative of how she found him and taught him the best parts of being human.
Jane fell in love with Tarzan because she realized living in the modern world didn’t hold any value when she could have everything in the wilderness.
13 Hurt: Mowgli And Kitty
If you thought Disney making live-action versions of its cartoons was a recent trend, then you’re severely mistaken. Way back in the 1990s, The Jungle Book was released in live-action, featuring a grown-up Mowgli.
His love interest was a woman (Lena Headey before Game of Thrones fame) from the city who visited the jungle. It didn’t work because no one wants to see an adult Mowgli, least of all a Mowgli who falls in love with someone else. Plus, a live-action Jungle Book just didn’t seem right at the time.
12 Hurt: Belle And The Prince
Beauty and the Beast managed to avoid the generic coupling that Disney was known for and delivered a unique love story (read below for more on this), but its ending saw the Beast turn into his human form and this was when the generic aspect returned.
Not only did he have the same look every other prince had, but he also had none of the attitude that had made the Beast seem different. Had this character been there throughout the film, no one would have been interested in Beauty and the Beast.
11 Saved: Mulan And Shang
Ah yes, perhaps the most modern couple you could find in a Disney film and one where refreshingly you don’t get the idea that the female really couldn’t do without the male. Mulan was a revolutionary film that gave us a heroine with personality that showed we don’t need a male hero to save a woman time and again.
The best part was that this film avoided the tired trope of the final kiss in Disney movies and left things ambiguous that Mulan even thought of Shang in a romantic way.
10 Hurt: Rapunzel And Flynn
You might love Tangled in the same way you love Frozen, but its couple also was as tiring to watch as Anna and Kristoff. Although Tangled was a million times superior to Frozen, it did invoke a trope the latter made fun of.
This was the trope where boy and girl fall in love within a day.
Rapunzel forgot any affection for her adopted mother and was head over heels in love with a guy she’d met only hours ago.
9 Hurt: Chicken Little And Abby
We know everyone loves to get offended at the little things nowadays, so we’re sorry that we feel Abby was a scary sight to see. Then again, the entire Chicken Little film is a horror movie for someone who doesn’t enjoy godawful films.
This couple was terrible because the film was terrible. The main character was so full of himself that you’d want to taunt him just like everyone else taunted him in the film. Looking back, no one even remembers a character called Abby even existing.
8 Saved: Roger And Anita
You could count either the animated version or live-action version of Roger and Anita from 101 Dalmatians for this point. We chose the live-action versions because they made the film all the more enjoyable to watch, considering the dogs in this film didn’t actually talk.
Jeff Daniels was in superb form as the intimately likable Roger and Joely Richardson was just as sweet as Anita. The defining point for their characters was when they rejected a 7,500 GBP offer from Cruella to give away their litter of puppies.
7 Hurt: Judy And Nick
Zootopia was an absolutely phenomenal film and was made even more amazing due to the chemistry of the lead characters Judy and Nick. The fact they were of different species only made us love their dynamic even further.
The reason why it’s in the hurt pile is that the fandom insists there is a romantic connection between them. This only sullens the friendship aspect the coupling has brought and making them a purely romantic couple will take away the awesome partnership they have.
6 Hurt: Giselle And Edward
This couple was deliberately made in a way that we would consider it an awful pairing. Enchanted showed in its beginning how generically Edward and Giselle had chosen to marry each other, despite meeting the same day.
It was only after Giselle arrived in New York City that she realized being your own person is more satisfying than just being the wife to a prince. Still, we got some hilarious moments where Edward couldn’t adjust to life as a real person while Giselle awkwardly tried to show him around.
5 Saved: Fox And The Hound
Yes, we know these two weren’t an actual couple; and no, we’re not implying there were any undertones to their friendship. But the two characters had such beautiful chemistry with one another in their childhood days that you could consider them a platonic couple.
It made it all the sadder how it wasn’t meant to be.
Unlike every other Disney film, The Fox and the Hound had a sad ending where the two never patched up and were separated. It did tell children that your childhood friends won’t always remain with you into adulthood.
4 Saved: Belle And The Beast
We now return to Beauty and the Beast, only this time we have them in the opposite pile. This is because of how well the message of falling in love with a person’s personality hit home as opposed to Disney’s usual method of bringing together purely good-looking people.
Belle changing the Beasts savage ways was also a treat to watch, with their love story slowly unraveling, making for a touching tale. If we’re being honest, he should’ve stayed in this form until the end.
3 Hurt: Edward And Nancy
These two had the perfect fairytale ending that Enchanted was poking fun at the whole movie. It was a sweet sentiment that showed there’s nothing wrong with wanting a happy ending that doesn’t include life’s challenges.
However, this isn’t a great couple because the two had absolutely no connection until the very final scene. Nancy, too, was a bland character who could just as easily have been set up to be the villain had the film wanted to go in that direction.
2 Saved: Hercules And Meg
In the same manner as with Simba and Nala, Hercules and Meg weren’t the center focus of their film, which made their coupling all the more endearing. Unlike The Lion King, however, Hercules’ ending had the climax deal with how the main couple got together.
Hercules would choose Meg over becoming the ruler of Olympus, signifying how grandeur doesn’t equal happiness. It was also a nice change that showed a woman partner being older than the male one in Disney films, something we don’t see in these movies.
1 Saved: Giselle And Robert
Finally, we revisit Enchanted once more to bring you the best couple from that film. People would love some magic in their lives, and Giselle did just that for Robert, who had grown to be extremely cynical due to the harsh reality of the world.
It was a perfect blend of reality meeting fantasy as Giselle grew out of being an immature fairytale character and Robert became open to miracles in the world. Add in the fact that they became a happy family and we have the best ending you could think of.