The phenomenal talents of the Disney animators and vocal performers are responsible for creating some of the world's most beloved characters. From the zany one-liners from the Genie to the loveable laugh of Mickey Mouse, Disney knows how to make characters that stick with us for life. They know how to make the magic happen.
That all being said, Disney has a slew of other characters where no vocal performance is required. You'd be surprised how many beloved characters there are that say absolutely nothing. So today, we're going to look at some of Disney's silent sensations without a single line of dialogue. As Ursula says, don't underestimate the power of body language.
We don't know how a chameleon made its way to the enchanted kingdom of Corona, but we know we love Pascal. Aside from a few lizardy noises, Pascal communicates entirely nonverbally. Not only that, but he is one of the few characters we can think of that can communicate by color.
Easily one of the most cherished animal sidekicks in recent years, Pascal has found his way into tons of Disney merch. Being an essential costume piece for anyone wanting to cosplay Rapunzel, a popular plush toy, and an all-around symbol for the flick, Pascal won't be blending into the background anytime soon.
The silly sidekick to the wily Honest John, Gideon's silent performance is a source of comic gold in Disney's Pinocchio. Inspired by the pantomime antics of Harpo Marx, Gideon's entire schtick is performed in silence. Despite his lack of voice, his spectrum of communication is brilliantly colorful.
Gideon's performance would make Mr. Bean and Marcell Marceau green with envy. With a wide range of expression and a gift for goofy slapstick, the cat is a pantomime powerhouse. A highly underrated Disney character, this funny feline definitely has a spot on our list.
Where Gideon was silent but in a smart, pantomime-oriented way, Hei Hei is the polar opposite. To call this bug-eyed rooster bird-brained is a bit too high of complement. He might be a few fries short of a Happy Meal, but Moana still loves him. We can't really blame her.
Hei-Hei is so scatterbrained it's adorable. Watching him is like watching an overly curious pet... minus a few IQ points. So what if the rooster is shy a few brain cells, we still like watching him. Though we 'd be lying if we said an occasional cluck or crow from Alan Tudyk didn't help things.
Next to his moody antithesis, Grumpy, Dopey is perhaps the most popular out of all seven of Snow White's dwarven companions. With his big ears, silly smile, and bubble routine, there's a lot to love about Dopey's silly and silent routine. His funny faces and clumsy nature make him an instant favorite from Disney's first feature.
Dopey strikes a chord with anyone who adores the little brother archetype, but most of his charm comes from his physical performance. Not only that, but Dopey is also a testament to the talents of a skilled animator. In the grand scheme of things, perhaps he isn't as Dopey as the name alludes.
Say it with us now, "Kevin's a girl?" Giving the term gooney bird a brand-new meaning, Kevin is the colorful, squawking, and lovable bird from Paradise Falls. Not one line of dialogue, but a slew of various jungle noises and physical antics make her one of the most memorable features in the entire film.
The blue and yellow bird has become a symbol of Up, second only to Carl's floating house. Kevin is so beloved by fans, in fact, she's recently become a meetable character at Disney's Animal Kingdom. Guess she was able to leave her labyrinth even if only for a while.
How high on the Disney chain do you have to be when your animal sidekick gets his own animal sidekick? Though perhaps not as humorous as his dragon counterpart, Cri-kee is still our favorite lucky bug. With his charming chips and endearing expressions, he's a perfect fit for our list.
From chilling in a warm cup of tea to using his legs as a typewriter for Mushu, Cri-Kee's routines are just as practical as they are funny. We never get tired of his quirky cuteness, and we love him for it. Disney definitely needs a larger insect cast.
4 The Magic Carpet
It's one thing to do an entire routine without any dialogue, but what about expressing a full range without the benefit of a face? That's where Carpet comes in. Aladdin meets his new friend deep in the cave of wonders, and from the first time we meet him, Carpet becomes an icon of the film.
Because you can't have an Arabian Night without at least a genie or flying carpet, Disney definitely stepped up their game for Aladdin. Carpet has no dialogue, much less a mouth, and is one of the most expressive characters ever to come out of Disney.
Because we're not counting a slew of maniacal laughter as language, our next spot goes to our favorite cackling hyena of the Elephant Graveyard, Ed. Obviously the brains of the trio, Ed needs no dialogue to communicate with Shenzi and Banzai. He just does what hyenas do best.
Okay, so maybe he's not exactly Einstien, but to say his laugh isn't infectious is a gross understatement. Ed's bursts of twisted laughter actually convey more emotion than we give credit for. From hungry, to happy, to nervous, his expression is not limited to just fiendish cackling.
How could we forget Mickey's favorite pooch, Pluto? Along with several other Disney mainstays, Pluto helped perfect the art of the nonverbal performance. Though smarter than your average cartoon canine, Pluto's dialogue has been limited to barks since the day he popped out of the inkwell. And he's been Mickey's pal ever since.
Whether acting alongside Mickey, Donald, and Goofy or just starring in his solo cartoons, Pluto's animal act is a classic feature for any Disney outing. With no communication other than an occasional bark, Pluto continues to prove that dog tricks never go out of style.
1 The Cast of Fantasia
Aside from Mickey Mouse's brief interaction with Stokowski, the animated characters of Disney's Fantasia have not a single ounce of dialogue to their sequences. In Disney's concert feature, it's the music that does most of the talking, allowing for ballet and pantomimed expressions to be utilized to the film's benefit.
The characters aren't just moving with the music, they're performing. Yen Sid, Chernabog, the dancing mushrooms, and all the rest never speak a word during their sequences. The film proves how much you can tell a story through music and without a single word being put to paper. Though released nearly 79 years ago, it still sets the bar for a Disney animated masterpiece.