11 Animated Characters You Secretly had a Crush on as a Kid

Pause: This article is not a shout out to every prince who has appeared in ten minutes of a Disney movie. Yes, some of these will make you reluctantly cringe because (spoiler alert) they're animals. Please proceed with caution.

1. Simba

First on the list of unrealistic boyfriend expectations is the lion king himself. There’s something about watching teenage Simba grow up into an adult that makes us momentarily forget that he’s not human. Maybe it's the animal instincts or his rebel nature; either way, we’re all a little guilty of wishing we were a lioness.

2. Balto

Honestly, do you even remember this movie for anything other than the attractive dogs? (Do you even remember it at all?) Balto is a lowkey must-see that you won’t regret rewatching.

If you think this is the last of the childhood animal-crushes, you’re wrong. We’re just giving you a break.

3. Zuko

Aside from the fact that Avatar: the Last Airbender was one of the greatest shows to grace Nickelodeon, Zuko was the definition of teen angst that we were head over heels for in our tween years. The black skater-boy-shaggy hair and the scar on his face made him just the right amount of “emo” that any middle schooler would swoon over. In an effort to exercise self-control, there will be no further comment on how his firebending skills make him seriously hot.

4. Katara

It would be a crime to move on without mentioning Katara’s understated hotness while she kicks ass water-bending and basically saves everyone in the end.

5. Danny Phantom

Just when you thought the dark, mysterious boy at school couldn’t get any more intriguing… he turns into a green-eyed ghost-hunting protector. We’ve yet to meet one of these in real life. Thanks for nothing, Nickelodeon.   

6. Shego

Most of the time we couldn't decide whether we wanted to be her or be controlled by her. Too far?

7. Tramp

Told you we’d be back with more animals. If dog snuggles don’t sound like relationship goals then I don’t know what does. Not to mention that somehow a stray dog finds a way to take Lady on a date with actual people food and I can’t even get a text back.

8. Spirit

10/10 would ride. Enough said.

9. Peter Pan

Running away into a magical world of make-believe is every child’s fantasy, so really, how could you resist Peter Pan? His free-willed spirit and spontaneous demeanor would make for an exciting young romance (until you grow up).

10. Aladdin

For the record, Aladdin doesn’t count as a prince to start with, so he has been allowed honorary acknowledgment. With his reputation as a thief and hopeless romantic, it’s safe to say that, at some point, he stole your heart too.

11. Tarzan

Last, but not least, is the character who was probably the first to introduce us to the appearance of the male body at our young age. And boy, was I confused! Disney had me thinking animals acted like humans and men like animals. Hence, the reason I blame Disney for my passionate love of dogs and my aversion to college guys.

All images via Giphy