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  • Writer's pictureLoren Javier

Happy 50th Anniversary, Earth Day! My 10 Favorite Disney Wild Animal Characters

Today is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day! In celebration of this momentous occasion, we will be looking at my 10 favorite Disney wild animal characters. Who are yours? Let us know in the comments.


Bambi is a mule deer and the young prince of the forest. Mule deer are indigenous to North America and are called mule deer because of the size of their ears. When Bambi was a child, he was the most innocent and cutest thing. But, he experienced tragedy early in life (spoilers: his mother dies) and had to learn to things the hard way.


Meeko is the constant companion of Pocahontas. He is a racoon and can be cranky. He loves to steal your food. That said, he is a fiercely loyal friend.


Rafiki is a mandrill who serves as Royal Mjuzi (or keeper of knowledge) of the Pride Lands. He is wise in all he knows, although can be cryptic in the way he delivers the message. Some think he is a baboon because he does not have a tail. But, animator James Baxter explains he is "mutated."


Tantor is an African Forest Elephant which is indigenous to the forests of West Africa and the Congo Basin. Tantor is a friend of Tarzan and a little bit of a cowardly fellow. Regardless, he is a good and loyal friend.


Baloo is a Sloth Bear indigenous to India. They love to eat ants, termites and fruit. Baloo loves to live day by day, looking for what he can be provided (the bear necessities if you will). He befriends a young Mowgli who is saddened when he returns to the man village.


Kenai was actually human at first until he was turned into a bear. He is a modern Brown Bear who has learned to take care of a little brother bear in Koda. Kenai learns that bears are just as afraid of humans as humans are afraid of bears.


Tod is a red fox and was adopted by a kindly old woman. But, soon, they learn that a wild animal is not always better off in captivity and she has to let him go. Although, life is a little hard for Tod at first as he gets used to living in the wild.


Dory is the forgetful friend of Marlin and Nemo. She is a Pacific Blue Tang. While her memory problems can often get them in trouble, she would do anything for Nemo and Marlin.


A little known fact is that, while Winnie the Pooh and other friends are stuffed animals, Rabbit is actually a wild rabbit. He's a cantankerous sort that often gets frustrated with the others.

Chip 'n' Dale

While Chip 'n' Dale have certain anthropomoprhic qualities, they are undoubtedly chipmunks in the wild. They are a constant foil for Donald Duck, causing problems for him at every turn.

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