Before we had Edward vs. Jacob, or Bieber Fever, or the abdominal spectacle that is Ryan Gosling, figuring out which guy to worship was a very simple affair. Every year of childhood, a new Disney movie was presented to us. And every year, a new crush on a new cartoon prince was born. Some of the hottest guys I can think of to this day were created by middle aged men in dark, smelly animation chambers. Some of these hot guys aren’t even human. And, sure, Disney continues to pump out movies year after year, but now that I’m (technically, reluctantly) an adult, it’s much more socially acceptable to ooh and ahh over actual, living, breathing, male specimens. But where’s the fun in that? For your lusty, nostalgic enjoyment, here’s my vote for the Top Five Hottest Disney Cartoon Heroes of all time.
5. Peter Pan
Peter Pan does not get enough credit for being the original, hard-to-get, elusive, Mr.-Big-stole-his-moves bad boy. I mean, let’s face it, this guy invented the Peter Pan Complex. Sure, he thinks Wendy’s a babe, but that’s not going to stop him from stringing Tinkerbell along because he likes the attention, laughing at Wendy when the even-hotter mermaids are teasing her, and risking everything to save yet another sexy mama named Tiger Lily. Wendy foolishly thinks she can tame him, pressuring him to let her parents adopt him back in London, but this Lost Boy will never be domesticated. He ranks #5 on my list because he’ll only break your heart, but who can resist that impish, adventurous spirit and the thrill of the chase?
4. Adult Simba
Adult Simba has that sexy I’ve-Got-a-Complicated-Past vibe, and don’t think Nala didn’t notice. Half of her crooning in “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” is related to wondering why he’s being secretive and what exactly he’s been doing all these missing years. And she’s totally into him regardless. There’s also, of course, a sadness to Adult Simba, which makes him more sensitive than the average cartoon prince. When he discovers the truth about his father’s death, that sadness transforms into red-hot passionate anger: also quite attractive, in the right context. The reason Adult Simba is only #4 is that he really could have returned home a lot earlier. He let his pity party go on a wee bit too long. Side note: the moment in the Broadway musical version when Young Simba swings off stage and swings back in as Adult Simba is, to date, the hottest moment in musical theater history.
3. Prince Eric
Oh, Eric. Dangerously human-like in appearance and as a result, necessarily setting up hundreds of thousands of elementary school girls for years of disappointment in the I-want-a-perfect-boyfriend department. Prince Eric is a bonafide hottie, arguably the most traditionally handsome Disney prince of all time. He’s also pretty cool, as far as stuck-up princes go. He doesn’t want to be told by his handlers who to marry. He’s certain that the perfect girl is out there; it’s just a matter of finding her (insert swoon emoticon here). He’s also incredibly sweet to the strange, mute, homeless girl he finds on the beach. Granted, she’s drop-dead gorgeous and can’t talk back, but still. My only complaint about Eric is that he doesn’t make a move on Ariel sooner. Sure, Flotsam and Jetsom cause some trouble when they’re out on the boat, but does that really mean he couldn’t have snagged a kiss on the walk home? Man up, Eric!
2. Young Simba
Young Simba is pretty much the whole package. He’s adorable, scrappy, fun-loving, and brave. But, more important, he actually likes and respects girls. His best friend is Nala, a female lion cub. He skipped right past the whole female-lion-cubs-have-cooties stage of life. Talk about mature! He also experiences great tragedy, perfect if you’re the type who wants a man you can really take care of. And let us not forget that Jonathan Taylor Thomas, pre-pubescent heartthrob of our universal preteen dreams, was the voice behind this cute little guy. Adorably enough, Young Simba even looks like JTT (possibly the source of my confusing yet unrelenting fascination with Furries). But seriously, guys, check out a side-by-side comparison:
My eight year old self is blushing majorly right now.
While it was a fairly close contest with Young Simba, Aladdin takes the (stolen) cake as #1 on my list. Charmingly voiced by DJ Tanner’s hot boyfriend Steve, this wannabe-prince is unbelievably attractive. He has more than a drop of the bad boy – he is a street urchin after all – but he’s kind and generous too. Remember when he gives his last piece of stolen bread to a hungry street child? And how he keeps his promise to the genie by granting him freedom with his third and final wish? I don’t even care that he lies to Jasmine about his identity throughout the movie. The boy has game, and that game is called a freaking MAGIC CARPET! Until someone takes me on a flying carpet ride over a starlit Arabian city, I won’t be able to say that I’ve experienced true romance.
Sure, there are other Disney studs I could have included. If you’re into self-aggrandizing Fabio types, you probably favor John Smith from Pocahontas. Musclebound meatheads who could use a haircut? Check out Beast, post-transformation. Every Disney hero is sexy in his own special, somewhat lifeless kind of way. Only you can know which Disney cartoon prince is right for you. So, spill: who would make your top five?