So This Is Love: The Greatest Animated Couples of All Time
Hello, my babies! Last year, I had the distinct honor of writing about the best fictional couples of all time, a list I could probably add to for the rest of forever. I had so much fun writing it, I’m doing a round two this Valentine’s Day – this time, all animated!
For all of you precious single people and all of you lovely couples, Happy Valentine’s Day!
Let’s celebrate together.
The Best Animated Fictional Couples Ever (Not ranked! Never ranked!)
1. Peter Pan and Wendy, Peter Pan
Maybe it’s an unpopular opinion, but I feel like there’s something inherently romantic about the relationship between Peter Pan and Wendy that I can never quite let it go. Peter Pan – that mischievous young boy who will never, ever grow up – becomes enamored with Wendy Darling when he chases his shadow through her bedroom window. Peter’s lack of realism is so disturbing that he even suggests Wendy come to Neverland as his “mother,” though he only knows a “mother” to be someone who reads bedtime stories and takes care of the wild rumpians.
But Peter and Wendy have more than that to their relationship. Wendy really loved Peter, which is proven throughout the story’s many incarnations. Hook is a perfect, albeit strange interpretation of what happens when Peter and Wendy grow up. Yes, Wendy is a million years older than Peter in Hook, but there is still that sweet scene between the two when they are alone in “Granny Wendy’s” room. Highly inappropriate, considering Peter “Banning” actually married Wendy’s granddaughter, but that is neither here nor there.
2. Rapunzel and Flynn Rider, Tangled
They’re a “newer” couple, but a wonderful one nonetheless. Rapunzel and Flynn meet because he breaks into her house and she knocks him out, which immediately sets Rapunzel apart from other Disney princesses who may not be quite as… independent. In fact, their entire relationship stands out from other Disney love stories. They protect each other, they are as mischievous as one another, they each sacrifice their own lives to save the other and, well, they are just really cute together.
I believe that is all called equality in a relationship. Good work, Tangled!
3. Leela and Fry, Futurama
Over the course of its (broken) seven season run, Leela and Fry have somewhat of a “back and forth” relationship, though not in the traditional television sense. Fry, a regular ol’ dude from Earth, is initially attracted to Leela until he realizes she only has one eye. That does not remain a problem for long. The two spend a lot of time working together and (naturally) becoming emotionally entwined with one another. You know, as coworkers do. The two go back and forth as will they/won’t they couples tend to do–Fry gets jealous about other guys (like Alcazar) and Leela cannot stand Fry’s “childishness,” though she admittedly loves his “boyish charm.”
Though they have been a couple for quite a bit of time by the series finale, the very last episode of Futurama (sob!) simply solidifies the ever-lasting love of these two oddballs. After a series of unfortunate events occurs (including Fry falling to his death a bunch of times), the universe freezes and Fry and Leela are left alone, forever. But the only time it would be acceptable to be alone in the universe is if you have your person with you. We get to watch Fry and Leela walk across frozen oceans, traveling the world, and ultimately growing old together. And it is touching.
4. Mickey and Minnie, from Everywhere!
Mickey and Minnie Mouse have incredible staying power. For generations and generations and generations, Mickey and Minnie have been in love.
Minnie’s first appearance is in the animated short film called Plane Crazy, where she and Mickey are acquainted, but not quite in love. The short revolves around Mickey’s attempt to fly a plane while also trying to steal a kiss from a very unwilling Minnie. Later in the same year, however, Minnie and Mickey were presented as a couple, and presumably have been together ever since. <3
5. Simba and Nala, The Lion King
Well, The Lion King is my favorite Disney movie, so obviously I am going to include Simba and Nala on this list. But they truly should rank with the best of the animated couples, even if they are lions, not humans. (I know Mickey and Minnie are mice, but like…they seem more human than Simba and Nala).
Nala and Simba are betrothed, which really grosses them out when they are just young cubs trying to have a good time, getting in trouble in elephant graveyards and stuff. Not that I am extremely supportive of prearranged marriage or anything, but Simba and Nala’s parents were onto something because the two quickly fall in love with each other when they are reunited years (?) later as adults. We all know the story–Simba runs away because Scar convinces him he killed his father so that Scar could become King of the Jungle–but can we give it up to Nala for being a strong, independent, persuasive young lioness? She bosses Simba around from a young age, and he actually listens to her. He rightfully takes the throne from his backstabbing murderer of an uncle, but he couldn’t have done it without his Queen.
5b. Lady and The Tramp, Lady and the Tramp
After quickly falling in love with the footloose and fancy-free Tramp, Lady learns of his past (through song!) during her brief stint at the pound via the many other girlfriends he seems to keep. Lady angrily confronts him, wanting nothing to do with him until he proves himself by rescuing her loving owners’ baby from a vicious rat. The Dear family adopts Tramp, and we can assume he remains loyal to Lady and the adorable pups they eventually have.
6. Peggy and Hank Hill, King of the Hill
I’m not sure how popular King of the Hill was while it was on air; all I know is that it had a 13 season run, which is pretty impressive. My family certainly was a King of the Hill family, and throughout my time watching the Hill family, I truly began to love and respect Hank and Peggy’s relationship. Much like Homer and Marge (who I did include on last year’s list!), Hank and Peggy manage to maintain a functional marriage, even with their inherent differences. Hank is emotionally void, though it is clear he loves his wife, dog and son, even when Bobby manages to disappoint him with his lack of interest in “manly” activities (like propane). Peggy is relatively naive, considerably arrogant, but overall endearing. When you combine Hank and Peggy’s less than admirable traits however, a sweet and everlasting relationship is somehow formed.
7. Ellie and Carl, Up
In the best eight minutes of any Pixar movie ever, we get to explore a true love story between Carl and the love of his life, Ellie. We see them get married, paint their home, lay under the clouds, attempt to save money for a trip, experience tragedy when they miscarry (ugh), plan adventures, break bones and grow old together.
In a serious heartbreaking moment, Ellie passes away, leaving Carl alone with his balloons and their lovely home. It is incredibly sad, though they truly did experience a life of love and adventure with one another.
8. Shrek and Fiona, Shrek
Ogres are like onions. It truly takes a brave soul to peel back all those layers, cause you know you’re gonna cry. Dealing with a stubborn grouchy ol’ curmudgeon like Shrek proves himself to be is a difficult task, but ultimately a satisfying one. Princess Fiona is not all she seems to be, as anyone who has seen any of the many Shrek movies knows to be true. Fiona’s dark secret is that she is also an ogre (an ogress). After Shrek and Fiona start to fall in love with one another, they get into an argument based on a misunderstanding involving Lord Farquaad, who Fiona is “supposed” to marry initially.
Shrek may be grouchy and hard to crack, but he ultimately cannot stand seeing Fiona marry Farquaad. He and Donkey break up the wedding, Fiona happily remains in her ogress state and the two live happily ever after through tons of sequels and Christmas specials. They make a great couple because of the things we hope all animated movies show us: remain true to yourself, accept one another through faults, and have an annoying sidekick who helps pull it all together.
9. Belle and Prince Adam, Beauty and the Beast
I really struggled with which “’90s classic Disney couple” I was going to include on this list. I was ultimately torn between Eric and Ariel (Little Mermaid) and Belle and The Beast. It really is a toss-up, and I already know what you guys are going to say: The Beast is the worst. He kidnaps Belle, basically, holds her hostage, is verbally abusive and attempts to make her do things she doesn’t want to do, like dress up and eat dinner with him.
But he is a recluse, you guys. He is an angry young man who has been wronged and does not know how to properly express his human emotions. He is a BEAST, you guys! But guess what else happens? He changes! For Belle! No, I do not condone changing yourself for anyone, but yes, I do think learning through love is a beautiful thing! The Beast learns how to eat like a civilized person, he learns how to dance, he learns how to control his temper (which is a huge one), he even falls in love with Belle and lets her go to take care of her father. He definitely starts out as a terrible dude, but he really pulls through in the end because of the love he has for Belle… which I personally think makes a great love story.
10. Lenny and Carl, The Simpsons
Carl: Bart was always blowing his spare cash by paying us to kiss each other.
Lenny: Did we ever get that money?
I know, I know. Lenny and Carl have never actually come out as a couple, but there has been enough hinting at the fact that, for quite some time now, these two bosom buddies are more than just friends.
And, most recently:
Like all great sitcoms, Lenny and Carl have been a long running gag on The Simpsons, subtle at first, but more and more often, it has been pretty clear that these two are super in love. And if I am wrong, ain’t nothing wrong with a little bro love on Valentine’s Day.
Have a love-filled holiday, you crazy kids. <3