• namaari title

    Analyzing the Disney Villains: Namaari (Raya and the Last Dragon)

    NAMAARI Origin: Raya and the Last Dragon (2021) Is it right to teach the children no one’s really evil, just misunderstood? I’m having a hard believing that in this day and age. Maybe that idea’s good for reality but it’s not good for stories. Let’s just proceed as if Namaari is the antagonist. Because I’m not writing an essay about a faceless purple plague that looks like Gloom from “Tears of the Kingdom”. (Fun fact: she’s the first combination Disney princess/antagonist.) Motivation: Long ago, the four five nations tribes lived together in harmony. Then, everything changed when the Fire Nation Fang Tribe attacked. During her dad’s company picnic, Raya thinks…

  • wreck-it ralph

    Analyzing the Disney Villains: Ralph (Ralph Breaks the Internet)

    WRECK-IT RALPH Origin: Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018) So we have another antagonist-less Disney movie. Who is the villain of this piece? Is it the virus? Is it Shank? Is it… is it Ralph? I can’t see a way that it’s not. For one thing, they are fighting a bunch of Ralph clones at the end. For another, the antagonist is defined as the person standing in the protagonist’s way. Who is the protagonist? It’s not Ralph. Ralph doesn’t need to change. His life is perfect (he even says so). Therefore the protagonist is Vanellope–she wants to change. And Ralph doesn’t want to let her. Motivation: Vanellope wants a life…

  • maui moana

    Analyzing the Disney Villains: Maui (Moana)

    MAUI Origin: Moana (2016) Moana is a little like Pinocchio, where there are several unrelated antagonists–Te Kā, Tamatoa, the Kakamora. But these are dumb obstacles in Moana’s way. They have no personality and no purpose but to provide Moana with action set-pieces. The person serving as the real antagonist, the one preventing her from getting what she wants, is Maui. Some might call him a deuteragonist, but I think he’s enough in Moana’s way to call him the biggest hindrance to the hero’s journey. Motivation: At first, it seems like Maui is just a macho braggart. He makes these grand gestures and accomplishments to earn the accolades of other people.…

  • dawn bellwether zootopia books binders

    Analyzing the Disney Villains: Dawn Bellwether (Zootopia)

    DAWN BELLWETHER Origin: Zootopia (2016) Motivation: Strong. Both personally and socially, Bellwether is full of resentment for being disrespected and mistreated. And why shouldn’t she feel this way when she’s been dominated by a predator for her career? This is a world where there is so much diversity, you are basically a stereotype of your species. As a secretary to a lion (the lion and the lamb?) she has to subjugate herself to predators. But prey are the majority vote 10 to 1! I’d be mad too if I was so underrepresented. But at heart, her desires are purely self-interest. Character Strengths: Being a prey animal, Bellwether has the ability…

  • punisher

    Villains vs. Anti-heroes

    I recently read this editorial on Polygon talking about why every hero seems like a villain these days. It specifically points out Homelander in The Boys, Black Adam who was marketed as an anti-hero, and Spike in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I think the problem is that people are mislabeling villains as anti-heroes. The line is blurry, but there is a line. And it’s very easy to cross. An anti-hero does the wrong thing for the right reason. The Punisher dismantles the mafia and corrupt cops by brutally murdering them. Batman stops crime by inflicting fear and suffering instead of gathering evidence or kidnapping a criminal who fled to Hong…

  • bowler hat guy meet the robinsons disney

    Analyzing the Disney Villains: Bowler Hat Guy (Meet the Robinsons)

    BOWLER HAT GUY (a.k.a. Michael “Goob” Yagoobian) Origin: Meet the Robinsons (2014) Motivation: A long time ago Bowler Hat Guy was Lewis’s roommate in the orphanage. Because of Lewis’s late-night inventing, he doesn’t get enough sleep before the night of the big baseball game. When he falls asleep (standing up) in the outfield, he misses the winning catch. This caused his teammates to beat him up in full view of the audience and coaches and everyone. Coach gives him some advice to let it go, and he’s about to take it when his future self (Bowler Hat Guy) comes in and tells him not to. Tells him to use it…

  • john silver main cyborg arm

    Analyzing the Disney Villains: John Silver (Treasure Planet)

    JOHN SILVER Origin: Treasure Planet (2002) Motivation: A long time ago a pirate named Flint stole treasure from “a thousand planets” (side note: gold and gems are apparently still valuable when you have access to every planet in the galaxy). Somehow Silver found out about this and a map leading to the location. Young boy Jim Hawkins got that map, leading to a commissioned mission to find the treasure. Silver and a band of his unruly scalawags integrated into the mission to steal the treasure for themselves. Gotta admit, the “loot of a thousand worlds” does sound appealing. Character Strengths: Silver is a charismatic bloke. A fun guy. Quick with…

  • frozen 2 snowflake

    Analyzing the Disney Villains: The Spirits (Frozen II)

    THE SPIRITS OF THE ENCHANTED FOREST (a.k.a. the Elements) Origin: Frozen II (2019) Motivation: This movie is, in a word, messy. There are too many protagonists and each has their own motivations (Elsa has wanderlust, Anna wants things to stay the same, Kristoff wants to propose, Olaf wants to be relevant to the plot). So how can the antagonist not be equally messy? As far as I can figure, Ahtohallan chose that particular moment in time to call out to Elsa (just in time for the second movie to start). It wants Elsa to learn the truth so that the dam can be broken and the river can flow again.…

  • king candy wreck-it ralph

    Analyzing the Disney Villains: King Candy (Wreck-It Ralph)

    KING CANDY (a.k.a. Turbo) Origin: Wreck-It Ralph (2012) Motivation: To be played. I guess the biggest thrill in a video game character’s life is when a little boy a girl puts that quarter in, much like a toy in the Toy Story universe. I guess it’s nice to have a purpose. And terrible when that purpose goes away. All of us eventually get used up or replaced by younger, newer, fancier models that better fit the changing times. Some of us can accept that. Some of us can’t. Character Strengths: The most diabolical thing about King Candy is his sincerity. He’s not wrong about Vanellope–a glitched character, one that allows…

  • abuela encanto

    Analyzing the Disney Villains: Abuela (Encanto)

    Oh my god, am I really doing new ones? It’s been so long since I wrote this series and times, they do a-change. I’ve seen some of the films I originally skipped, new ones have been made, and people have actually made a few requests. So let’s waste no words. ALMA “ABUELA” MADRIGAL Origin: Encanto (2021) Motivation: Abuela’s actions are rooted in staying worthy of the miracle that allowed to escape the marauders that forced her from her hometown. She received a second chance when her husband sacrificed himself for his people and his family. That chance is in the form of a candle that indicates the “health” of the…