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Today's Topic: Disney Horses.
I looked into it and found 15 horses from Disney movies that had names. And since that didn't seem like too big a number, I decided to focus on those fifteen. Note that doens't include Horace Horsecollar from the cartoons who I never liked anyway (he looked more like a cow than a horse). Without further ado, here's my top 15 list of Disney horses:
13.) Cyril Proudbottom
Widowmaker is the horse of Pecos Bill in one of the segments of the 1948 feature film Melody Time. I was rather curious about this one since I didn’t remember ever knowing about it, so I looked up a summary. [Spoiler Alert] Apparently a young Pecos Bill saves the young colt Widowmaker and they become friends for life. Then later Pecos Bill falls in love with a girl named Slue-Foot Sue, and Widowmaker thinks he’s losing his best friend to her and so becomes extremely jealous. Slue-Foot Sue wants to get married, in true cowgirl fashion, while riding Widowmaker and wearing a big bussel with a frame made of steal and springs. Widowmaker gets mad, starts bucking, and ultimately Slue-Foot Sue gets bounces all the way to the moon where she remains stranded. So…yeah, not so happy ending I guess. Idk.
Cyril Proudbottom gets ranked highest simply because I like his name the most. He’s the horse of J. Thaddeus Toad in the The Wind in the Willows segment of The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad movie in 1949. Apparently Cyril gets to be a witness in a court case and gets a funny line…and that’s really all I know about these movies. Have any of you seen them? Do any deserved to be ranked higher?
Ahh. A movie I’ve actually seen. He is of course the horse of Woody, to whom he is fiercely loyal and obedient. Though he’s a toy horse, he usually acts more like a dog and often licks Woody to show affection. Bullseye is also shown to hate fighting and hides in a can if the main protagonists are arguing. I personally ranked him so low because, well, I don’t find him all that interesting. Not that I dislike him at all. Bullseye is very happy-go-lucky, and he's heroic in the scene where he chases down the airplane. But still, I don’t think he’s the best. Maybe it’s because he’s a bit too much like a dog rather than having enough of his own intelligence. Though I may be being a bit hard on him considering one of my higher choices…
(Hunchback of Notre Dame – 1996)
I’ll admit, I don’t remember all that much about Achilles. I’ve seen The Hunchback of Notre Dame, but it’s been awhile and the horse is obviously not the first thing to come to mind. That being said, I did find out some interesting things about this horse. Achilles belongs to Phoebus and doesn’t do all that much in the story, though he does provide his fair share of comic relief. According to the DVD commentary, the directors jokingly refer to him as Philippe’s (Beauty and the Beast) dimwitted cousin, and his name was chosen purely for the purpose of making the “Achilles, heel!” joke. As a warhorse, he takes excellent direction such as sitting on command, though this also presents itself as relating the horse to a dog.
(Hunchback of Notre Dame – 1996)
This one’s kinda unfair. I just think Snowball looks really epic (despite his name). I mean, look at him! So pretty! *cough* I mean…regal. Totally. Definitely a regal, handsome, epic looking steed. Though I guess he could look a bit happier in the picture…and you know maybe be a little less evil. Of course, he’s also a very loyal horse, he just happens to be loyal to the villain of the movie.
Despite the epic fact that he’s a winged horse, I’m actually not all that fond of Pegasus. I do however respect the amount of personality and character he is given in the film. Zeus made Pegasus out of the clouds as a present for young Hercules and the two were reunited years later. I like to describe Pegasus as being very much one of Hercules’s ‘bros’. Sometimes I just see this frat boy attitude in Pegasus. Maybe that’s just me. He’s also Hercules’s biggest fan, and becomes incredibly jealous of Meg.
Frou Frou (easily the girliest name, even more than Snowball) is the horse of Madam Bonfamille and friend of Duchess and the kittens. Not only is she a likeable character, she kinda kicks butt despite just being a carriage horse. She helps in the effort to take Edgar down after finding out that he’s the catnapper and is trying to get rid of the cats for a second time.
Philippe's first Scene (10:20-11:55) - Sorry it's a fandub, but it's not that noticeable.
Captain, along with his friend the Colonel the sheepdog and Sgt. Tibbs the cat, aids in the rescue of the stolen Dalmatian puppies. He is the first named Disney horse whose owner is never shown on screen. As a kid I actually assumed the three animals had no owner and lived on their own. But considering the fact that Captain wears a red blanket, they are probably owned by some military officer or something. In the live action movie, the character’s name is changed to Punch, probably reflecting the main purpose of a horse in this movie: to kick the villains.
5.) Samson (Sleeping Beauty – 1959)
I kinda love Samson. He really has such a small role in the film but at the same time I was surprise by the amount of character they gave him since it was one of the earlier Disney movies. I don’t know why it was that surprising (it may have been more the similarities to a certain other Disney horse). Of course every horse that was given personality before Samson also had a somewhat dopy-looking, cartoon appearance. Samson was more on the accurate side animation-wise and was kinda the first to have his own wants shown (even if it was just extra oats and carrots) that don’t go along with whatever the protagonist wants. Also, he’s pretty epic in the ending fight scene between Prince Philip and Maleficent.
4.) Khan (Mulan – 1998)
3.) Major (Cinderella – 1950)
So why did I put the horse from Cinderella above the one that ran into an avalanche to aid his owner? Mainly because of their story. It’s rather cute. It’s shown in the beginning of the film that Cinderella has had Major since she was a little girl. They both lived happily with Cinderella’s father and Bruno the dog (btw, I totally sense a bromance between these two). He’s somewhat proud, but being Cinderella’s friend seems to be the most important thing to him. He happily leads the line of horses pulling Cinderella’s wedding carriage at the end of the movie. I just thought it was kinda cool that the three that made up the original family get a happily ever after together.
2.) Angus (Brave – 2012)
1.) Maximus (Tangled – 2010)
There was really no question that Maximus would get top spot. I mean, he’s awesome! Tangled was just overall an amazing movie, and I really think the comic relief Maximus provided made it that much better. He’s possibly the most independent horse Disney has ever created. Although he’s seen to have a rider, Maximus doesn’t need his guidance to get the task done. While he doesn’t share the same loyalty to his rider’s that a lot of the other horses do, he does have a large loyalty to the kingdom and is shown to have a large heart when he chooses to stall his capture of Flynn to help Rapunzel. He is also shown to often act much more like a dog than a horse.
Maximus and Flynn are a really fun twist on the idea of Prince Charming riding his gallant white steed. They don’t get along at first and Maximus is often the one doing the more heroic deeds rather than just being the simple sidekick. In fact:
Some Honorary Mentions:
And now a [short] Analysis:
The main characteristic that all of these Disney horses share is loyalty. It’s kinda obvious that a hero wouldn’t want a sidekick that wasn’t loyal. Disney also generally does an excellent job of showing a healthy and happy relationship between horse and rider.
I can’t not talk about some of the other similarities these horses share. This blog was practically founded on the weird similarities between Samson and Maximus. Someone on YouTube says it’s like Samson is like Maximus’s great-great-great grandfather or something. If you really get into it, they’re not necessarily that similar. But at the same time, they’re both fairly independent and very heroic. Just swap out the carrots for apples and change the mane color, and there you go. And Pegasus and Widowmaker definitely are similar in their dislike of the female lead for fear that they're losing their best friend.
And of course, there’s the prevalence of dog characteristics. Other than Pegasus who sometimes acts like a birdbrain, if a horse shares characteristics with another animal, it’s going to be a dog. Widowmaker (howls at the moon), Achilles, Bullseye, and Maximus all act like a dog at times, and the best friends of Major and Captain are both dogs are well. While the overall majority of Disney horses may not be this way, a large chunk are.
Eh, I could go on, but my Thanksgiving is today and the computer has been acting incredibly annoying so I'm done.
(BTW, I would just like to mention how annoying my brother is since he told me today that he searches the blog for his name. Hey Cameron, thanks for making writing this blog ten times more annoying than it should have been.)