Nothing can efface the memories of childhood-the toys we played with, the silly little games we indulged in, and the cartoons we watched all day long. These were the little elements that shaped us. We cheered for Tom, we cheered for Jerry, we cheered for all things merry. And while we might find the cartoons that we grew up with juvenile now, you can’t help but feel that wave of childhood bliss overwhelming you when you sit down and watch television with a toddler. While Japanese manga seems to be in vogue with the children of today, it still doesn’t generate the same kind of excitement and awe that the Disney animations inspired.
It would be a gross mistake to state that the stories from Disney were targeting the ‘little girl audience’. In fact many little boys grew up wanting to be the heroes that were featured in Disney movies. Psychologists claim that if boys grew up fashioning themselves after the heroes of Disney they might turn out to be young men that society could be proud off.
Superficially the heroes of Disney had the quintessential good looks and charm that could draw the love of beautiful sylphlike princesses towards them. But it isn’t their outward charm and glamorous lifestyles that truly attract kids to them. It is the strength of character that they portray, which enhances their charming exteriors and make them appealing to not just children, but adults as well. These heroes also teach little boys everywhere the kind of men they should grow to be.The kind of characters they like,depict the kind of person they are on the inside, and the kind of person they want to be in future.
So here are a list of well known Disney heroes that boys of all ages adore.
- #10 Phoebus- The Hunchback of Notre Dame
One of the protagonists of the Hunchback of Notre Dame, Phoebus is a character of multiple shades which makes him interesting to viewers. The book version of Phoebus had him playing a character whose only interest in life was money and power making him one of the villains. But Disney altered his character to a guy who is sarcastic, witty and charming. Phoebus also possesses immense skill with the sword and is a highly ranked officer who is known for his bravery. He is also capable of loving passionately.
- #9 Prince Phillip- Sleeping Beauty
While Sleeping Beauty was considered a fairy tale for girls, Disney’s adaptation of it attracted boys as well. Prince Phillip was the famed hero of Sleeping Beauty whose kiss awoke Princess Aurora from the cursed sleep that had been cast on her. Prince Phillip is one of those chocolaty heroes who tender sweet boys could relate to. But that didn’t mean he was a soft marshmallow who could be hoodwinked. Phillip was known as a master manipulator who could make people do his bidding. Armed with powers of persuasion, bravery, and a free spirit, Phillip was a charmer to audiences of all ages especially boys.
- #8 Prince Charming- Cinderella
Now this hero was highly popular with the ladies. So popular in fact that his name seems to be thrown around as a phrase casually. While women watered the character down to suit their fantasies, some men who were aware of the nuances of the character related to him well. Here is why boys who knew the real Prince Charming adored him. Prince Charming was elegant and flamboyant. He was a true gentleman. But he had a spark of rebelliousness within him. He showed vivid disdain for the women his father chose for him and liked to judge people on the depths of their character rather than money and wealth. This showed he was far from superficial. He was an adventurer when it came to love and stood up bravely to fight and defy all those who stood between him and Cinderella.
- #7 Li Shang- Mulan
The deep, brooding hero of the Disney film Mulan was judged for his phlegmatic behavior.While being extremely skilled in martial arts, Li Shang lacked the ability to mingle easily with people. Despite being portrayed as unemotional on the outside, Shang was a man of depth who could live, fight and love with a passion that was not ordinary. It took him some time though, to reveal his true feelings of love to Mulan as he was inarticulate when it came to matters of the heart. But his devotion to his people and to Mulan make him a beloved character.
- #6 Aladdin- Aladdin and the Magic Lamp
No one can resist the boy in the pantaloons flashing his cheeky smile. Kids all over the world became instantly fond of Aladdin and his mischievous ways. The boys particularly like him because of the his street smart skills, his boyish candor, his love for greatness and adventure, and of course for the fact that he courted and married the beautiful Princess Jasmine. Aladdin despite being poor and starving was known for his sense of optimism and selfless nature. He was one of the few Disney characters who was brave, but smart and cunning as well.
- #5 Hercules- Hercules
There’s no surprise why boys adored Hercules. It was his strength of course! While Disney didn’t grant Hercules brains of the highest order, they did give him a disarming innocence, and a deep compassionate nature. Often though, his size and strength intimidated people around him leading him to be labeled a ‘freak’. Despite everyone later revering Hercules for his strength, he never once displayed signs of conceit and continued being his happy cheerful compassionate self.
- #4 Tarzan- Tarzan
Tarzan was the epitome of the good kind of wild behavior. With an incredible history of growing up in the jungle, among the apes who were the only family he knew, it is no wonder Tarzan is an eternally beloved character. By swinging on branches and skidding down hills, and performing the most incredible antics Tarzan not only managed to save his gorilla family but also managed to make sweet Jane Porter fall in love with him.
- #3 John Smith – Pocahontas
Blonde, blue-eyed, young and debonair John Smith is not the most well known of heroes. But from the few who know him he seems to have captured a strong fan base of young boys and men who admire him. An explorer by passion, John Smith comes into native America on board a ship whose crew is looking for gold. But John Smith finds true value in the adventures he experiences along with the heroine of the film Pocahontas. What attracts audiences to John is the fact that he displays hints of mild racism in the beginning and finally learns to accept, admire and love people who are different from him. John Smith truly was one of those characters who taught people the acceptance of differences.
- #2 Dash Parr- The Incredibles
With super human speed and agility Dash Parr of The Incredibles is easily one of the most beloved characters. The reason for boys around the world admiring Dash, is because they can relate to him so easily. Dash has none of the mature, noble traits that other Disney heroes possess. While at the end of the day he has his heart in the right place, Dash is mostly a super-competitive, cocky young daredevil. He loves to play pranks and is impulsive. There’s really no surprise as to why the boys like him.
- #1 Flynn Rider – Tangled
And the winner is Flynn Rider. With ready wit, sarcasm and that cocky smile in his arsenal, Flynn Rider aka Eugene of Tangled has charmed his way into the hearts of all Disney lovers. The boys with no doubt admire him for his intelligence, his humor in difficult situations and his love for adventure. Of course Flynn might not be the greatest role model for growing kids as his profession is thievery, nevertheless Flynn Rider possesses a heart of gold that surpasses his many minor flaws and makes him irresistible to the ladies as well.
With characters like the above heroes to grow up with we are sure kids especially boys everywhere will learn to inculcate values of bravery, respect for women, love for adventure, and a sleek sense of humor that will take them far in life.