Disney films tell stories about love, loss, exploration, and family. It’s a common trope in these films for parents to take a backseat to their children’s thrilling adventures, but some of the best protagonists from the studio come with built-in sidekicks in the form of their siblings. Disney’s siblings are some of the company’s best representations of modern families.
While these Disney siblings may not always get along, they are still there at the end of the day to offer one another a helping hand. Disney features characters who are finding themselves, whether through inner self-reflection, a thrilling journey, or both. The presence of a sibling along the way can make these adventures seem less lonely, and help their travels feel more like home.
10/10 Cinderella Helps Anastasia Embrace Her True Self
The story of Cinderella isn’t complete without the wicked whims of her step-sisters. Anastasia and Drizella are introduced in the first film as antagonistic forces who abide by their mother, Lady Tremaine’s, whims. In the film’s sequel, Cinderella II: Dreams Come True, Disney highlighted another side of Cinderella’s step-sister, Anastasia.
In one of the three short stories within the film, Anastasia falls in love with the local baker. Her mother doesn’t approve of the romance, but Cinderella offers Anastasia some much-needed advice. The two bond as they prepare for the ball, and Anastasia ends up thanking her sister with a heartfelt hug. The third film, A Twist In Time, goes even further and makes Anastasia the film true hero, overcoming her mother’s theft of the Fairy Godmother’s magic wand.
9/10 Wendy Goes On A Memorable Adventure With John And Michael
The three Darling siblings go on the adventure of a lifetime in Peter Pan. While they’re very different, they work together during their adventures in Neverland. Each of the siblings depends on one another a great deal, and Wendy in particular takes on the role of a nurturing older sister while playing at being a mother to them and the Lost Boys.
From John and Michael playing make-believe and acting out Wendy’s stories, to the way they work together to help Peter defeat Captain Hook, the Darlings are given an amazing opportunity to learn and grow with one another. The lessons they learn in Neverland are taught to their children in Return to Never Land, proving the value of their relationship.
8/10 Hiro Continues To Be Inspired By Tadashi
The film Big Hero 6 has a heart-breaking opening. The audience is introduced to brothers, Hiro and Tadashi Hamada, who are each brilliant inventors in their own right. Hiro looks up to his older brother and is eventually convinced to attend the same Institute of Technology as Tadashi.
Before Hiro can begin his college career, however, he witnesses Tadashi’s death in a fire. Hiro loses all motivation until he meets Baymax, one of his late brother’s inventions, and the pair join forces with Tadashi’s friends to become a superhero team. Despite his losses and struggles, the inspiration Hiro gets from his brother continues to influence him.
7/10 The Pevensie Siblings Are Prophesied Rulers
In 2005, Disney produced the first film in the Chronicles of Narnia trilogy. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe introduced the Pevensie siblings to the magical world of Narnia, where they are destined to defeat the white witch and become the next rulers of the Kingdom. The four children go on many adventures throughout the franchise while learning valuable lessons along the way.
Together, Lucy, Edmund, Peter, and Suan become sovereigns over the people of Narnia, waging wars, protecting their people, and doing their best to provide for this fantastical country that becomes their second home. While each of the Pevensie children eventually leaves Narnia for good, they manage to grow into the best versions of themselves, together.
6/10 Dash And Violet Parr Are Capable Superheroes
Time and again, the eldest Parr children show their capabilities as superheroes in The Incredibles. In more than one instance, Violet and Dash are left behind by their parents and end up being the ones who help save the day in the franchise. They may not always get along, but part of their success is their ability to depend on one another.
Violet is quick on her feet when it comes to manifesting force fields to keep her brothers safe, while Dash can make it to his siblings’ sides at a moment’s notice. Together they can help prevent catastrophes, battling against the likes of Syndrome and the Screenslaver and protecting their parents from their own egos.
5/10 Kenai And Koda Are A Found Family
The found family is increasingly important in society and media today. Brother Bear hones in on this narrative device when the pessimistic and recently transformed Kenai crosses paths with the outgoing Koda. The pair couldn’t be more different, yet they come into each other’s lives when each needed the other most.
While Kenai eventually takes on the role of caregiver for Koda, he also learns to embrace his new life and the little brother he’s discovered. By the end of the film, he is given the opportunity to go back to his old life, but he chooses to stay behind to live a new life with the animals he’s met on his journey with Koda.
4/10 The Madrigal Sisters Overcome Their Differences
Differences and feuds are common in close-knit families, and they are bound to happen when a dark prophecy looms over siblings’ heads. Encanto is a film about family strife and conflict. Mirabel and her older sister Isabella never seem to get along and the survival of their family’s miracle seems to depend on their reconciliation.
Isabella and Mirabel come together after both realize that Isabella’s life isn’t as perfect as it seems. She holds their family’s reputation on her shoulders, and when Mirabel understands how much her sister is going through, she helps her embrace her true self.
3/10 Anna And Elsa Are Always There For One Another
Frozen‘s Anna and Elsa are two of Disney’s most iconic siblings. Their compelling and heartfelt stories continue to captivate a wide audience, as the two sisters follow one another into danger time and again. There doesn’t seem to be a limit on how far they’ll go for one another as they journey across snowy mountains and magical forests.
While the powerful Elsa tries to protect Anna from danger, her younger sister never hesitates to follow her into the most perilous situations. She brings her back to Arendale when she leaves, and Elsa later revives Anna with an act of true love.
2/10 Ian And Barley Go On A Moving Journey
Grief can be a very powerful emotion, and it influences the events in Onward. Brothers Ian and Barley partake in a magical adventure to revive their late father for a day, but they end up learning more about themselves along the way. The two are incredibly different and spend the beginning of the film at odds, but they learn to trust one another during their journey.
Barley cares deeply for his younger brother and takes on the role of mentor and protector for Ian. Ian, meanwhile, is so focused on the journey to meet their father that he doesn’t realize his brother’s significance in his life until the film’s closing scenes. This realization aids their relationship, allowing them to become closer.
1/10 Nani And Lilo Made A Family Of Their Own
Disney manages to capture a unique family in their Lilo and Stitch franchise. Nani is the sole caretaker for her younger sister Lilo after the deaths of their parents, and the role isn’t always easy. Nani and Lilo live through the highs and lows of a modern family, but each does their best to support the other. Nani takes on a busy schedule to provide for Lilo and makes decisions based on her sister’s best interests.
Lilo, for her part, does her best to keep their home lively and upbeat. The pair are each other’s closest living relatives, but they can extend their family when they embrace the many aliens they meet. Together, the two sisters make a family of their own with Stitch, Pleakley, and Jumba, saving the Earth as a side effect.
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