Legacy Content

Toon Talk Special: Go the Distance: Disney's 50 Greatest Heroes (Part 1 of 2)
Page 1 of 6

by Kirby Holt (archives)
May 1, 2007
Kirby is back with another Toon Talk Special. This time he runs down his list of Disney's 50 all-time greatest heroes (Part 1 of 2)
Toon Talk: Disney Film and DVD Reviews
by Kirby C. Holt
A Toon Talk Special:

Part 1 of 2

True heroes in the Disney universe are unique indeed. Unlike the flashier villains or scene-stealing sidekicks, the heroes on this list have deeper characterizations that make them more relatable to us. They possess more rounded personalities, with driving ambitions that go beyond simply helping their friends, honoring their family or rescuing the proverbial damsel in distress (though all of these are prerequisites of the job).

These heroes make sacrifices for the greater good, sure, but they also have their own flaws, making their ensuing heroics even more human - even if they are not. Quite a few characters that may seem like the hero or heroine of their respective films are in actuality merely the protagonist (most of you “Disney Princesses?, I’m talking to you). But the following fifty or so are true heroes, and Disney’s greatest at that.


From the great frontier to the Wild West, these heroes stand for truth, justice and … you know.


Film: Melody Time (1948)
Voice Actor: Dennis Day
Sidekicks: A forest-full of helpful animals
Heroic Anthem: “The lord is good to me, and so I thank the lord …?
DVD: Available

A simple man with a simple chore: to plant apple trees all across the fledgling landscape of the American wilderness. With a stove pot on his head and a bag of seeds slung over his shoulder, he traverses this great land … and into legend.


Film: Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier (1955)
Actor: Fess Parker
Sidekick: Best friend and ally, George Russel
Heroic Anthem: “Davy, Davy Crockett, king of the wild frontier …?
Quote: “I’ve got the fastest horse, the prettiest sister, the surest rifle and the ugliest dog in Texas. My father can lick any man in Kentucky … and I can lick my father?
DVD: Available in a two-movie set along with Davy Crockett and the River Pirates (1956)

He may have only been born on a mountaintop in Tennessee, but this coonskin capped frontiersman’s fabled adventures stretched from the Mississippi River to Washington D.C. to his final days at the Alamo. Another simple man whose steadfast patriotism led him to greatness.


Film: The Sign of Zorro (1958)
Actor: Guy Williams
Sidekicks: His two stallions (one white, one black), Tornado and Phantom
Heroic Anthem: “Out of the night, when the full moon is bright …?
DVD: While this film (actually a compilation of TV episodes) is not yet available, episodes of the Zorro TV series are available exclusively from the Disney Movie Club

With a “Z? carving saber ablaze, this swashbuckling adventurer of the night posed as the foppish Don Diego de la Vega by day. Galloping through old California, this Latino Robin Hood made his name - and left his signature “Z? - with every exploit.