Ranking the Most Optimistic Disney Characters

Is the glass half full, or is it half empty? In the case of most of our Disney friends, boundless optimism is the key to seeing them through on their adventures.

Take it from this guy, he’s usually Happy ©Disney

Out of all the characters in the Disneyverse, we’re picking a handful of the most jovial and upbeat characters that could probably power a city with their energy.

Let’s look on the bright side, shall we?

5) Russell — Up

It takes a special kind of optimism to go toe-to-toe with Carl Fredricksen. Russell is a Junior Wilderness Explorer through and through: brave, loyal, a bit hyperactive — but eager to explore.

Russell from Up

It’s Russell’s sense of adventure and hope that begins to break down the emotional walls Carl had put up, and they end up bonding in almost a grandfather/grandson way by the end of the film. It’s also hinted throughout the movie that Russell’s parents may be divorced, so for him to keep exploring is a testament to his optimistic spirit.

4) Joy — Inside Out

As the emotion in charge of making sure Riley is happy, it makes sense that Joy is overly optimistic. As the de facto leader of the team, she works to keep Riley’s memories from being disrupted by Sadness.

Joy and the other Emotions ©Pixar

When Sadness and Joy are left to navigate the memory islands, she is still confident that Riley can be happy again. By the end of the film, Joy learns that only with all the Emotions working together will Riley truly be able to grow as a person, and she begins to make new memories with Sadness.

3) Dory — Finding Nemo and Finding Dory

Dory might get her memory jumbled every now and again, but that doesn’t stop her from taking life one day at a time. How many times have you said to yourself, “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming”?


She is friendly with Bruce, Anchor, and Chum despite the fact that they’re sharks, and in both films she keeps trekking to find Nemo and her parents respectively — despite the odds.

2) Olaf — Frozen and Frozen II

Olaf is the living embodiment of the bond between Elsa and Anna, which means he has a lot of the latter’s innocence and optimism. The snowman’s child-like personality helps him not lose his head when he’s surrounded by supernatural phenomena or wanders into an ice spike.


Olaf also has a quirky fascination with summer, unaware of the watery fate that awaits him in the blistering season, and in Frozen II he’s sure “this will all make sense when I am older.” His calm demeanor and words of encouragement in the darkest times gives the other characters, especially Anna, hope that everything will turn out alright.

1) Rapunzel — Tangled

Being locked up in a tower for your whole life might dissuade some people from their dreams but not Rapunzel. The lanterns floating into the night sky of Corona give Rapunzel her sense of purpose, and she is determined to make Flynn/Eugene take her to see them up close.

Rapunzel ©Disney

Rapunzel’s giddiness about her dream is infectious, and it inspires most of the characters she meets along the way to help, from the cutthroats of the Snuggly Duckling to Maximus. Despite what Mother Gothel tells her, she believes in Eugene’s good nature and the beauty of the world outside her tower.

Who are your favorite go-getters in Disney? Let us know down in the comments!

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