Checkmate [v.] – To thwart completely.
Some Disney characters would be great at chess with their strategic maneuvering skills. We’re pretty much blinded by the brilliance of these schemes. So put on your sunglasses and let’s review some of the best. Warning: spoilers ahead.
Rafiki Showing Simba The Way
This is one of those it’s-just-so-crazy-it-might-work kind of checkmate moves. But of course, what we think is crazy is just Rafiki being a genius.
Flynn Cutting Rapunzel’s Hair
The mere definition of checkmate means inescapable defeat. We’re going to safely assume definition writers were referring exactly to this moment. No golden hair = no youth-possessed evil witch. Game over.
Nemo’s Bubble Escape
The Tank Gang really came through here. Not only did they give Nemo a straight shot back to his dad via drains (which all lead to the ocean, of course), but they all avoided an inevitable capture by Darla, who is too busy freaking out to care about the fishies anymore.
Winnie the Pooh Choosing Friends Over Honey
Who is the defeated you may ask? The figurative cloud that incessantly hangs over Eeyore, of course. He may not be completely happy, but at least he likes his new tail. And that’s victory enough.
Captain Hook’s Gift for Peter Pan
So this was an unsuccessful attempt. But we still have to include it because if it had worked, what an epic end to this epic feud. Instead, it was an epic fail.
Flotsam and Jetsam Tipping Over Ariel and Eric’s Boat
Again, a failed checkmate. But it’s just such a slimy strategical move that we had to include it. Ruining that kiss did technically put Ursula in a position that was one move, or day, away from victory. And made us distrust eels forever.
Mulan Confronting Shan Yu
It took a woman to see what none of the men could: it’s all about angles. In this case, a little tilt action slows down the Huns so that it’s just the daisy-like ones left. Not bad, Mulan. You can sit by us.
Basil Calculating His Way Out Of a Pressing Situation
After muttering off a bunch of numbers and degrees and things we have relegated to the grade school recesses of our minds, Basil saves himself and Dawson and Olivia Flaversham (and her bow). Math, guys. It’s important.
Aladdin Betting on Jafar’s Insatiable Power Trip
Our favorite diamond in the rough goads Jafar into becoming a genie, which effectively ends his dominion over Agrabah. Well played, little buddy.