When it comes to Disney, Black characters are often few and far between.
But if you look in the right places, there may be more amazing Black characters than you think.
Today more than ever, young Black boys see characters on the screen that look like them!
Positive African-American representation is critical, especially for kids, so we’ve compiled some of the best examples Disney has to offer!
Here are some of the best Black male Disney characters.
Antonio Madrigal – Encanto
Disney’s Encanto features a young, adorable Black boy named Antonio Madrigal.
This movie is full of wonderful Afro-Latino boys, but we’ve decided Antonio is the one truly worthy of the spotlight.
At five years old, Antonio is the youngest of three siblings.
He has a gift for communicating with animals, so you’ll often see him accompanied by capybaras, toucans, jaguars, and other vibrant South American wildlife.
Ravi Cabot-Conyers, a young Black voice actor, provides the voice for Antonio in this movie.
Prince Naveen – The Princess and the Frog
When you’re talking about Black Disney characters, you just can’t forget about Princess Tiana’s handsome love interest–Prince Naveen.
Naveen is the eldest prince of Maldonia, a fictional kingdom in the Disney Universe.
This prince has some impressive musical talent and can speak at least five different languages (including Maldonian, the native language of his homeland.)
Naveen is an Indian name that means “new,” which suggests that this Disney prince may have Black and Indian heritage!
Frozone – The Incredibles
Frozone, or Lucius Best when he’s not in his costume, is a superhero in the movie The Incredibles.
Long-time Incredibles fans might know him for his iconic “Where’s my super suit?” line!
Frozone is a superhero with the ability to manipulate ice and water. He is also a close friend of the main protagonist, Mr. Incredible.
If you liked him in the original Incredibles movie, you’ll want to see his return in the sequel as well!
Joe Gardner – Soul
Joe Gardner is the main protagonist of Disney Pixar’s Soul.
Joe is a kind, 46-year-old man with a passion for music.
He teaches band to middle school students for a living, and he plays piano in his spare time.
One thing that makes Joe Gardner so special? He is Disney Pixar’s very first African-American protagonist and Disney’s second Black protagonist overall!
This lovable character is a great example of representation for Black children and adult Disney fans.
Dr. Facilier – The Princess and the Frog
Dr. Facilier, or The Shadow Man, is the main antagonist in The Princess and the Frog.
He’s an ominous villain with a jazz-musician aesthetic and a talent for voodoo and tarot cards.
Dr. Facilier is also Disney’s first African-American villain.
Dr. Facilier’s surname suggests that he may be of French descent.
In the movie, he sings “Friends On The Other Side,” a notably popular Disney villain song.
Wasabi – Big Hero 6
Wasabi is a major protagonist in Disney’s Big Hero 6.
He’s an organized college student who enjoys knitting and gardening in his spare time.
He has a somewhat sensitive personality, and he can even be a little timid.
Wasabi is also a member of the superhero team known as the “Big Hero 6.” His battle suit has a teal color scheme as well as two razor-sharp plasma blades.
He gets his nickname from the notoriously spicy Japanese condiment, and in some contexts, he’s referred to as “Wasabi No-Ginger.”
Lieutenant Mattias – Frozen II
Frozen II is slightly more diverse than its previous installment.
Not only do they include several Indigenous Sami characters, but they also introduce a new Black protagonist–Lieutenant Destin Mattias!
Lieutenant Mattias is a royal guard to Arendelle, a fictional country in the Disney universe.
His surname, “Mattias,” is a common Scandinavian title meaning “gift of God.”
If you enjoyed Frozen but are looking for some Black representation in your Disney films, you’ll be pleased to see Lieutenant Mattias’ debut in Frozen II.
Cobra Bubbles – Lilo and Stitch
A former CIA agent and current social worker, Cobra Bubbles is a Black male protagonist in Disney’s Lilo and Stitch.
Despite his intimidating personality and demeanor, he has a kind heart deep down and plays an important role in the movie’s story.
Ving Rhames, an African-American voice actor from Harlem, provides Cobra Bubbles’ iconic deep voice.
Oscar Proud – The Proud Family
If you grew up watching The Proud Family on Disney Channel, you probably have fond memories of the loving father Oscar Proud.
Oscar is a caring yet somewhat overprotective father to his three children–Penny, BeBe, and Cece.
He also runs a somewhat unsuccessful snack company called “Proud Snacks.”
Tommy Davidson, an African-American voice actor and comedian from Mississippi, provides the voice for this iconic animated father.
Gus Porter – The Owl House
Augustus Porter, or “Gus” for short, is a twelve-year-old boy in Disney’s animated series The Owl House.
He’s a student at “Hexside,” a school where witches learn to use magic. Gus has a particular interest in illusion magic, and he often uses it to make clones of himself.
As a witch, Gus is also very curious about the human world, and he even runs a Human Appreciation Society at his school.
Sixteen-year-old Black actor Issac Ryan Brown provides the voice for this lovable character.
Vince LaSalle – Recess
Vince LaSalle is a Black main character in Disney Channel’s original cartoon Recess.
Vince is a notably athletic fourth-grade kid with an interest in basketball. Throughout the series, you will often see him wearing basketball shorts and a jersey.
His voice actor is Rickey D’Shon Collins, who also voices Tucker Foley in Nickelodeon’s Danny Phantom.
Chad Danforth – High School Musical
Chad Danforth is one of the main characters in Disney’s High School Musical trilogy.
Corbin Bleu, who is of Italian and Jamaican descent, portrays Chad in these Disney Channel original movies.
Chad has a passion for sports, and throughout these three movies, you rarely see him without a basketball in his hands.
He’s not just good at sports, though–Chad also has an excellent singing voice.
He has a few iconic songs throughout the movies–namely “I Don’t Dance” and “The Boys Are Back.”
Cory Baxter – Cory in the House
If you were a fan of That’s So Raven, you probably also watched its spin-off show, Cory in the House.
This show stars a young Black boy named Cory Baxter, whose life changes when his father lands a job in the White House.
Cory is an ambitious teenage boy who’s always trying to earn money–often to the point of getting himself in trouble.
Like a lot of teenage boys, he also has a huge crush on Beyonce.
Kyle Massey, an African-American actor and singer, portrays Cory Baxter in this iconic Disney Channel original series.
Finn – Star Wars
Star Wars has been groundbreaking since it first aired in the 70s, and as they introduce more diverse protagonists, they continue to uphold that legacy.
Finn, a former stormtrooper, is a deuteragonist in the Star Wars sequel trilogy.
He has a kind, empathetic personality that makes him a great role model for young Black Star Wars fans.
John Boyega, a man of British-Nigerian heritage, portrays Finn in the Star Wars trilogy.
He’s also present in several Star Wars T.V. spinoff shows such as Star Wars: Forces of Destiny, as well as various Disney video games like Disney Magic Kingdoms.
T’Challa – Black Panther
When Black Panther hit the theaters in 2018, Black children and adults all around the world saw some amazing representation in this hit film.
T’Challa stands out as one of the most iconic Black characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
As the king of Wakanda, T’Challa is a powerful and well-respected hero.
Chadwick Boseman, a famous African American actor, portrays T’Challa in the Black Panther film.
Though he passed away in 2020, his legacy lives on in this amazing and inspiring superhero.
Top Black Male Disney Characters, Final Thoughts
From admirable superheroes to goofy teenagers, Disney introduces more lovable Black male characters every year.
It’s safe to say that there are more African American guys in Disney than ever, which is great news for Black kids hoping to see themselves on the big screen.
So if you’re looking for some Black representation in your family movie nights, the Disney shows and movies on this list are a great place to begin!