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Why Dwayne Johnson’s #Moana demi-god Maui is set to join the ranks of all-time-great Disney sidekicks


With every true Disney hero comes their trusting sidekick.

From the glimpses we’ve seen so far in the Moana trailers, it seems like the title character and Maui are set to be a dynamic partnership, and Maui seems destined to become a sidekick everyone will remember. But will he do enough to reach the ranks of the all-time Disney partners?

To find out, we’ve prepared a handy guide just for you. Taking the best characteristics from those iconic characters so far, we’ve created what we believe would be the ultimate companion. But just how does Maui fare with this assessment?

The criteria

Be loyal like Timon and Pumbaa

Loyalty is a prized characteristic in anybody, but it’s a key aspect of what makes a great sidekick. What use is it being there for someone if you aren’t going to support them?

Timon and Pumbaa are the embodiment of loyalty in our eyes. From that very first moment when they encounter Simba in the desert, they do everything in their power to keep him safe (after some encouragement!)

As a result, the trio develops into one of the strongest friendships of any Disney movie, with an unbreakable bond that can survive anything. Not just loyal sidekicks, Timon and Pumbaa give great advice to Simba as he grows up. Hakuna Matata, anyone? If you’re not convinced yet, just watch the clip below. How many people do you know who would willingly risk their own lives and endure such embarrassment purely because of their trust in their leader?

Be caring like the Genie

Sure, the Genie is mostly remembered for his comedic nature, but he also proved to be deeply invested in Aladdin’s happiness. After all those years stuck in the lamp, would you be willing to help others get their happy ending? But the Genie displayed just how selfless he was many times throughout the film.

Even after being taken over by Jafar, the Genie just couldn’t stop caring for Aladdin. He proved to have much more heart than he was given credit for, and always saw the good in people. From saving Aladdin from a near-death experience to willingly choosing to give up his own freedom in favour of Aladdin and Jasmine’s happiness, the Genie easily cemented his reputation as one of the most caring Disney characters of them all.

Robin Williams' vocal performance as the Genie made him special to so many people, and the moment where he receives his freedom at the end is one of the most emotional moments of the movie, proof that caring for others opens so many doors.

Be funny like Olaf

Olaf provided some much-needed comic relief throughout blockbuster hit Frozen, whilst also proving to be a trusting and worthy companion for Anna. Whilst he may not be the most intelligent of creations, Olaf’s willingness to do things for others led him into many humorous situations – and sometimes a laugh is all you need to make a situation seem brighter.

Despite the nature of Olaf’s character, he was never treated like a joke. His knack for helping others whilst also brightening up a bad situation resulted in him being taken into the hearts of many, and becoming one of the most popular Disney characters in recent years. Olaf’s desire to look for the best in everything is a characteristic more people need to take onboard, and another key reason why we believe that he is a sidekick to remember. Just look at how happy he is!

Stand out like Stitch

The best sidekicks are the ones that are easily remembered. After that they need to stand out from the crowd, be that through personality, appearance or both.

Stitch definitely qualifies in both of these aspects with his characterisation unlike any Disney sidekick who came before or after. Despite a rocky start, Stitch develops a lot throughout Lilo and Stitch. His personality at the beginning of the film stems from his background whilst the care he receives from Lilo and Nani helps unlock his sense of inner goodness.

Stitch learns to embrace and love the idea of his family, whilst never truly having to change who he is. Being different is something to be celebrated, and having confidence in yourself and your own abilities is also a key attribute to look for in a sidekick.

The verdict on Maui


Although Maui doesn’t appear interested in joining Moana on her quest from the beginning, the trailer suggests that he does eventually warm up to her company. We strongly believe that he will learn to love Moana and do everything in his power to keep her safe. How could he not?


The moment in the trailer where he cries out Moana’s name is already pulling at our heart strings. Just think about how we’re going to see their relationship develop on screen as they learn to trust in each other and their skills. If the strong friendship that has developed between stars Dwayne and Auli'i Cravalho is any indication, then we’re in for a treat.


If there’s one thing we’re 100% sure of, it’s that he is definitely going to make us laugh. Maui’s extreme self-confidence could run the risk of becoming overbearing, but from what we’ve seen so far, it looks like he’s going to be an extremely likeable character aided by Johnson's great comedic timing.

Stand out

We just know that Dwayne Johnson’s performance is going to make this character a memorable one. And he’s going to sing! What more could you ask for? If you’re not convinced yet, then just check out this sneak preview.

So what do we think? Well it could be argued that Maui is a leading character in his own right, but regardless he's going to be a Disney creation to remember.

We cannot wait for the dynamic between Moana and Maui to play out on screen. Is it December yet? Do you agree with us? Who is your favourite Disney sidekick so far? Tweet us @Cineworld and be sure to check out Moana when it sails into our screens on 2nd December.