12 Disney Characters You Appreciate More As An Adult, From Baller Villains To Sensible Sidekicks

Part of anyone's childhood (that is, anyone's decent, sensible, not-nightmareville childhood) is growing up with Disney films to guide your way through this wacky thing called life. More often than not, this means that, even by time you're in your mid-twenties, have a desk job, and pay rent on an oversized apartment, you still swear that Princess Jasmine is your role model and "Hakuna Matata" isn't just a saying, it's a way of life. That is to say, there's that part of you that forever remains Peter Pan and just won't grow up. The thing is, though, you are growing up, and when you rewatch your favorite Disney films these days, you may be shocked to notice you appreciate certain characters more now than you did as a child.

Now, a lot of these characters fall solidly in the category of "fly super villain" or "naggy animal worrywart." But some of them have more nuanced reasons for becoming new-old favorites in our old-but-young age. All of them deserve our praise in some way or another, though, so let's take today to celebrate. Here are 12 Disney characters that you've come to love more recently than you did when you were a kid.

1. Sebastian

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Sebastian seems like such a drag at the beginning of The Little Mermaid, but come on. He has to play baby-sitter to Ariel, who spends the movie traipsing around getting in trouble and missing her concert rehearsals. The part of you that hates teenagers and how they swim all over the place understands his frustrations.

2. Ursula

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Body-positive and based on Divine, the part of you that still hates teenagers is all about this sea witch.

3. Hades

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I'm sorry, the Lord of the Underworld happens to be cool as hell (actually, hell's probably a bit toasty, you'd have to ask him about that one). First of all, he very realistically sees that men are jerks (Meg tries to vouch for Herc, and he replies with a succinct "He's a guy"), and second of all? He's James Woods. Win-win.

4. Mrs. Potts

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Maybe not the coolest animated inanimate object in the palace, yet definitely the most comforting. You want her in your court when you're stuck dealing with a beast.

5. Zazu

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Cut from the same mold as Sebastian, pretty much: Simba is such a problem child that you totally get Zazu's anxieties as an adult, especially when you're baby-sitting your arrogant 4-year-old niece.

6. Kuzco

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It's doubtful The Emperor's New Groove was your favorite as a kid, but its value definitely goes up years later thanks to the sass factory that is Kuzco. Whether he's a llama or he's Disney's best princess, the emperor is unquestionably David Spade's finest hour.

7. Mushu

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Definitely a bit hipper than your Sebastians and Zazus in the Disney canon, and he always has his girl's back.

8. Maleficent

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This one's mostly due to her sympathetic portrayal in the Angelina Jolie movie, if anything. Doesn't make it any less valid, though.

9. Andy's Mom

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To quote Michael Scott, "You know who my favorite character in Toy Story is? Andy's mom. Because without Andy's mom there's no plot, and without any plot there is no movie."

10. Tinkerbell

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I appreciate that I lived in a world where Tinkerbell was feisty and almost refreshingly mean-spirited instead of growing up with the Tinkerbell that has weird CGI adventures with her fairy friends. So that.

11. Crush

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Upon many rewatches, I'm pretty sure this turtle is blazing it, which is pretty remarkable considering he's under water.

12. Scar

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I get this is a controversial choice because an entire generation is still trauamatized by Mufasa's Death. Like, I get it. Even still, Scar as a character is fascinating, funny, and really nails that sibling inferiority complex that we all have deep down.

Honestly, even beyond these 12, chances are you'll find hidden Disney heroes all over your DVD collection if you really search hard enough.

Images: Giphy (12)