The 10 Best Teams of Heroes and Animals in Movies and TV
Jurassic World: Dominion has arrived in theaters. With that comes the return of Chris Pratt’s character, Owen Grady, and everyone’s favorite velociraptor, Blue, and unsurprisingly, audiences can’t wait to see what happens to one of cinema’s most unexpected crews.
The team concept is more than just a protagonist and his trusty sidekick fighting side by side. They often consist of the most unlikely couples. They’re two distinct characters who overcome obstacles while building a strong relationship in the process. We’ve seen it time and time again, but these particular stories have made it more interesting for audiences by mixing the cutest canines with the deadliest dragons in duets that pair humans with animals.
Owen Grady & Blue
Nobody expected the jurassic world trilogy would include a subplot of a dinosaur and a human crew. That’s questionable at best, considering the original franchise was keen on expressing just how deadly velociraptors can be. Luckily for Owen, that’s not the case.
It’s not a typical partnership, as Owen and Blue’s screen time is short, building their relationship in just a few scenes. In those moments, Blue shows up for Owen, fighting atop a T-Rex. In return, Owen watches over Blue, caring more about her well-being than anything else. The duo make a habit of supporting each other when needed.
Eddie Valiant & Roger Rabbit – Who Framed Roger Rabbit
There are plenty of teams in movies today, but few are a mix of live-action and animation. Who Framed Roger Rabbit gives audiences one of those rare examples with Detective Eddie Valiant and the famous animated Bunny.
What makes this pair the best is their ability to offer truly unique problem solving from their different backgrounds. Roger is that classic comic relief, a cartoon with nothing but slapstick humor, but he still provides Eddie with those wacky solutions to problems. Eddie is that black detective. He’s jaded by the cards he’s been dealt, but because of that, he’s able to knock Roger down, at least as much as anyone can for a comically induced bunny.
Scott Turner & Hooch – Turner and Hooch
The 1989 Disney classic saw Detective Scott Turner struggle with the introduction of a furry new addition to his home. The plot of a budding human and animal friendship isn’t a new idea, but it’s still designed for an effective team story.
The result of a good team is often not the achievement of an objective or the completion of a mission. It is the positive effect that both parties can have on each other. Turner and Hooch are strong examples of this. Hooch is a dog that wreaks havoc on Turner’s house, but it’s good for the heroic head. This takes him out of his rigid, routine lifestyle. Unfortunately, this team has not had the opportunity to grow and develop as much as the others.
Linguini & Remy – Ratatouille
Both Linguini and Remy were protagonists, the heroes of their own stories. One of them happened to be a human with cooking experience in a seedy little Bohemian apartment, and the other a rat with a flair for fine cheeses.
The pair develop one of Disney’s best friendships. It’s a friendship that wouldn’t be so remarkable without their cute and incredibly unexpected team at the start of the film. They both capitalize on what the other has to offer, but they do so by developing an effective way to communicate with each other. Strong communication, verbal or otherwise, is what strong teams are made of.
Mushu and Mulan – Mulan
Mulan needed help on her journey to honor and protect her family, it unexpectedly came in the form of a fiery and headstrong pint-sized dragon. There are plenty of moviegoers who would consider this little lizard a sidekick to Mulan, but that would downplay their relationship.
Mushu is a protagonist in his own right. He may be helping Mulan, but he has his motives, albeit selfish ones. It is for this reason that the pair does not make a good team at first. In fact, they fail, but oddly, that failure is integral to their eventual success. Mushu confesses his faults to Mulan, and because of that, their relationship grows stronger, as does their determination to put Mulan back on the playing field.
Detective Pikachu and Tim Goodman
Detective Pikachu gifted Pokemon fans with one of the best Pokemon movies to date. The long-awaited live-action movie brought its A-game, giving the Pokémon real texture, and the team-up between the main characters is a real promise.
The two didn’t start on the sturdiest foot. Their personalities didn’t match, as evidenced by Pikachu’s ability to get under Tim’s skin. Still, their partnerships have benefited Tim. Before going to find his father, Tim was living in a bubble of his own making, and Pikachu pushed Tim out of his comfort zone.
Lyra & Iorek – His Dark Materials
There’s nothing more unexpected than a young girl and a polar bear developing a lasting friendship. However, this is exactly what happens in Its dark materials.
Iorek and Lyra’s relationship begins the same as other unlikely couples. Lyra gives something and Iorek offers something Lyra wants in return, helping Lyra on her mission. The two might not be far apart in personality or approach, but they listen and learn from what the other has to say in pivotal moments. This shows the respect the two characters have for each other early on, as Lyra even stops Iorek from killing one of the town’s citizens.
Kuzco and Pasha – The Emperor’s New Groove
This underrated Disney movie was a real knockout. The Emperor’s New Groove talented fans, hilarious characters, an original story and truly one of the most unlikely animal and hero team-up stories. It features Kuzco, an emperor-turned-llama, on his journey to becoming human again.
Kuzco and Pasha have one of the most significant teams of animal heroes in animated storytelling, and it has a lot to do with the storytelling of this particular movie. Pasha is a secondary character, but really has more heroic tendencies, as evidenced by his strong moral compass. Kuzco is a selfish, conceited protagonist magically transformed into a llama, and he only becomes a better person through the experiences he and Pasha share. Then there’s the pairs’ hilarious and innovative problem solving. They really can tackle any obstacle in their path.
Toothless and Hiccup – How to Train Your Dragon
A Viking and a dragon are not the most likely pair, and How to train your dragon even opens with many dialogues establishing hatred between the two species.
The two begin a mutually beneficial relationship. Toothless can’t fly without Hiccup, and Hiccup couldn’t have gathered half the knowledge about dragons without Toothless. They start on difficult ground but become partners and friends. What’s better is how they can communicate effectively, which has saved many lives for both dragons and Vikings.
Bowen & Draco – Dragon Heart
Dragons have always been the most beloved characters inserted into epic fantasy works. The 1996 dragon heart is a prime example of this, as audiences were introduced to the lovable, caring, and charismatic Draco. It just took Bowen a minute to see past the teeth, claws and fire.
It’s a common theme with dragon and human teams to see an initial reaction of fear or even prejudice. It takes her some time in the film to warm up to Draco, and this leads to their beginning as nothing more than a quid pro quo relationship. Bowen receives money to survive and Draco is not hunted every day. This slowly turns into a strong bond because of how dependent on each other they are for survival. By the end of the story, it’s a friendship built on equal parts love and appreciation as they struggle to win against the evil King Einon.
Next: The 10 Best Disney Animal Companions, Ranked
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