Here are five movie sidekicks that totally stole the show from their protagonist counterparts.
While the heroes of the films usually get their names attached to the titles (Harry Potter, Shrek, etc.), it is usually the movie’s sidekicks who actually make the film fun to watch. Aside from being more relatable, the sidekick has an important mission to help the audience connect deeper with the protagonist, while also supplying much needed humor and heart along the way. Sometimes, the sidekicks even become better characters than the protagonists, like in the case of these five movie sidekicks who totally stole the show:
5. Ron Weasley in the Harry Potter series
For those of us who are millennials, we had the very unique experience of growing up with the golden trio from the Harry Potter series. Throughout eight movies, we got to see Ron, Harry, and Hermione grow from nervous 11-year-olds fresh in their first year at Hogwarts to confident, heroic 17-year-olds who defeated the most corrupt wizard to ever live, and most of us experienced these movies while aging along with the characters and staying close to their same ages. While Harry was the chosen one and Hermione was the brightest witch in her year, Ron Weasley was the most relatable character, which made him a movie sidekick that totally stole the show.
Ron was the second youngest in a family of seven kids, and his older brothers constantly overshadowed him. Once inducted into the golden trio, Ron’s best friends also overshadowed him, forcing Ron to learn how to grow out of his low self-esteem and become confident as his ordinary self. It’s a journey that we all can relate to.
Despite his insecurities, Ron always remained a loyal friend, funny comic relief, and overall, he’s a great character (despite the fact that the movies gave all of book Ron’s best lines to Emma Watson).
4. Donkey in the Shrek franchise
Donkey might be an annoying loudmouth, but at his core, he is the heart of the Shrek movies. Without this movie sidekick, Shrek would just be a film about a grumpy ogre coerced to rescue a princess, and, honestly, he probably would have failed his mission without Donkey there to help him. Also, Shrek and Fiona likely would never have fallen in love without Donkey there to break the ice.
Even with his numerous flaws, Donkey’s unwavering character emanates a genuine kindness. He’s the only character who goes along on the journey in support of others, with no selfish or ulterior intentions. And his friendliness is such that he is determined to make even the most hostile of beings his BFF, even if it takes several attempts to make it happen.
3. Dory in Finding Nemo and Finding Dory
Similar to Donkey, Dory is a light-hearted character who forces herself to accompany the journey of a surly grouch, despite his protests. To be fair, Marlin has every right to be upset as he’s stuck in the middle of every parent’s worst nightmare. But the panicking clownfish on his own wouldn’t have made a very good movie, which is why Dory is such a great movie sidekick, and honestly, makes the movie the Pixar classic that it is.
Also like Donkey, Dory has a heart of gold and is a bit of a blabbermouth. This forgetful blue fish is charming and sweet and always has a positive outlook on life, no matter the circumstances she finds herself in.
2. Loki in the Marvel Cinematic Universe
Loki is among the most popular characters in all of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and has thus been given an arc that goes way beyond movie villain or sidekick, but now has his own show featuring his name as the title. But, what makes this character so beloved among fans?
Part of the allure stems from the character’s intricacy and the gripping transformation Loki undergoes throughout the movies he appears in—from antagonist to antihero to selfless hero. Fans might also be able to identify with the character’s isolation, insecurities, and sense of alienation, even from his own family. The show has added more layers to his personality, making him an even more captivating and complex figure.
1. Samwise Gamgee in The Lord of the Rings trilogy
Okay, let’s be honest, Frodo Baggins would not have survived two minutes on his own after he separated from the Fellowship. If Samwise Gamgee hadn’t tried to swim across that river (despite his inability to even doggy paddle) and clamor onto Frodo’s canoe to force himself to accompany Frodo on his quest, the ring surely would have ended up on Sauran’s right hand within a matter of days.
Samwise Gamgee is not just a movie sidekick, he is the hero of The Lord of the Rings trilogy. It’s because of Sam that Frodo reached the top of Mount Doom, even if he didn’t personally wear the ring around his neck for the entire journey. In addition to being the hero of Middle Earth, Sam is also a good soul, a kind person, a fiercely loyal friend, and a tenderhearted individual.
All of this wrapped up into one blonde curly-headed hobbit makes Sam not only a great movie sidekick who stole the show but also one of the best characters ever portrayed on screen.