15 of the most memorable and lovable Pixar side characters ranked

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Francis (A Bug’s Life)

If we thought Rex was challenging conventions as a timid T-Rex, that’s got nothing on the tongue-in-cheek humor of one of Pixar’s greatest insects, Francis the ladybug.

Frustrated with the fact that he is constantly assumed to be female (because he’s a ladybug and plays a female bug in P.T. Flea’s circus act), Francis is rather grumpy and short-tempered. But his character gets a surprising amount of depth for being one of many side characters in A Bug’s Life. 

After rescuing Princess Dot in a bird attack, Francis is made the “den-mother” of Dot’s Blueberry troop squad of young ants. Though at first Francis is unhappy with the assignment (which he can’t escape physically thanks to a broken leg) he eventually embraces this calling and dotes on his Blueberries.

The evolution of Francis is a pretty remarkable example of the attention Pixar gives its secondary characters. He goes from being an aggressive performer who gets in bar fights (“So! Being a ladybug automatically makes me a girl? Is that it, fly boy?”) to being a compassionate leader of a children’s troop, who are all crying when he and the rest of the circus troupe leave the colony — not to mention the fact that he is a circus ladybug drag queen, which in and of itself is just brilliant.