Welcome to Day 7 of the 30 Day Disney Blogging Challenge!
Today, we are looking at Disney Sidekicks. They are typically lovable animal or human characters that assist our protagonists in achieving their dreams and usually provide the comic relief. The definition of a sidekick reads ‘a person’s assistant or close associate, especially one who has less authority than that person.’ In some Disney movies, we can end up loving the sidekick more than the hero/heroine simply because they outshine the leading character with their animated personalities.
My favourite sidekick is an animal and not an overly well-known or popular character in the Disney realm. I love him for so many reasons which I will explain below. Some may think him unlikable but I find him hilarious. He is the dry, pompous and stuffy old owl:
Named after the Greek Mathematician, Archimedes belongs to Merlin from Disney’s The Sword in the Stone. What I love the most about this adorable bird is the fact that he is described as a ‘highly educated owl.’ I adore all species of owls. He is also a classic familiar for a witch or wizard. Even in the world of Harry Potter, owls are the most common pet to accompany a magical male/female. From the beginning, he does not warm to our protagonist Arthur (A.K.A Wart) believing him to be a waste of Merlin’s time and attention. Archimedes is very easily offended and spends the majority of the film frowning. I love his sarcasm and air of superiority. He is actually the perfect companion for the frazzled Merlin. He keeps him check and brings him back to the point when the wizard strays off course.
When Merlin and Archimedes arrive at Sir Ector’s castle to be near Wart, they are placed in a crumbling, dangerous tower that further ruffles our sidekick’s feathers. He is sent to to investigate what news hails from England. There is to be a tournament where the winner will become King of England. Much to Merlin’s dismay, Wart is more interested in learning battle tactics than being educated about the world around him. Archimedes reminds him that boys will be boys. Merlin decides to use magic to keep Wart engaged in his studies and as usual, our owl is unamused.
We first witness a sign of Archimedes’s big heart when Wart, who has been transformed into a fish by Merlin, is in danger of being eaten by a vicious pike. Our sidekick flies in to save him but denies that he cares for the boy…even though we know he does.
After Wart is fired as a squire, Merlin decides to educate him properly through books and algebra. Archimedes immediately takes over as it is evident that Wart is confused by Merlin’s teaching methods. I really like how it is Archimedes that teaches Wart to read and write. He clearly wishes to see the boy succeed in life and offers a very practical approach that is much easier to understand. My favourite part is when Merlin attempts to prove that a model airplane can fly. Archimedes is highly doubtful and when the plane inevitably crashes, he explodes into hysterical laughter. His cackles always set me off.
Merlin turns Wart into a sparrow to properly demonstrate flying techniques. Once again, Archimedes is insulted as he is an actual bird so who better to demonstrate? The lesson is going well until a hawk tries to eat Wart. Archimedes tries to save the boy for a second time which results in Wart landing in the nasty Madam Mim’s lair. He flies off to find Merlin who rescues Wart by declaring a wizard’s duel with Mim.
At Christmas, Wart is made squire once again and believes it to be a great honour. Merlin is furious and disappointed by the boy’s decision. In a rage, he blasts off to Bermuda leaving Archimedes and Wart completely alone. Here is another reason why I love the owl. He no longer has any obligation to stay with Wart now that his master has gone AWOL but continues to accompany and guide him on the day of the tournament. We all know what happens next. Wart pulls the sword from the stone and is crowned King Arthur of England.
Arthur is undoubtedly overwhelmed so Archimedes tries to help him run away but the castle entrances are surrounded by adoring villagers. It is then that Merlin returns and convinces Arthur to stay. Archimedes is very happy with the turn of events and has softened considerably since the beginning.
Archimedes does not leave Arthur even when Merlin is nowhere to be found. He is a softy underneath all of his feathers and cares deeply for the boy’s education and well-being. Despite his ‘know-it-all’ attitude, he is exactly the kind of sidekick I would want accompanying me throughout life. I believe it’s important to have a balance of head and heart of which Archimedes has both.
Cogsworth from Beauty and the Beast
Thank you for reading. Who is your favourite Disney Sidekick? Do you find them more likable than the main character? What traits make them the perfect companion?
I will see you tomorrow!
Peace & Love xoxo