25 Disney characters that are actually good role models

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16. Pacha (The Emperor’s New Groove)

Is it strange that John Goodman shows up twice in this roundup? If you didn’t know already, he voiced Sulley in Monsters, Inc. He also provided the voice for Pacha, a simple Andean peasant in another Disney film, The Emperor’s New Groove.

What’s up with that? Maybe it has something to do with his deep, rumbling voice and larger than life persona. It’s soothing, right? Or is that just me? Anyway, something about John Goodman has led to a healthy profit in terms of Disney films. I’m sure his wallet is thankful, if nothing else.

Goodman also seems to do well playing characters that are fundamentally good people, if a little rough around the edges. Though, given the events of The Emperor’s New Groove, we can probably cut Pacha a little slack.

For one, he has to deal with a selfish and capricious emperor, Kuzco. It doesn’t help that Kuzco wants to turn Pacha’s cozy hilltop abode into a vacation spot called “Kuzcotopia”. Where will Pacha’s family live? Eh, not the emperor’s problem.

When Kuzco is turned into a talking llama by an evil advisor, he eventually crosses paths yet again with Pacha. Though Pacha has some pretty serious reservations about returning the emperor-llama to his rightful place he does the right thing. It’s tough as hell and isn’t made easier by the whiny, wisecracking Kuzco, but Pacha does it anyway.

Thankfully, everything ends up just fine. This is Disney, you know. Because of Pacha’s hard work, Kuzco realizes the selfishness of his previous ways and becomes a more compassionate (though still snarky) ruler. While we may wish there were some more direct real-life analogues for modern political figures, this is still a good start and a fun movie, to boot.