Sorry I’ve been absent, guys. I’m still recovering from illness and also helping family members who are also sick or getting sick. To quote a family phrase coined years ago: “It just wouldn’t be Christmas without an illness.”
Anyway, I’m back now. And since I missed so many days, the next few categories get to share one post.
Character everyone loves that you don’t.
Merida from Brave. Film and TV is so full of spitfires that this character was nothing new and just made me roll my eyes. But ignoring how often this type of character has been portrayed, Merida has very little in her personality that I respect. She is irresponsible; she’s a princess, for crying out loud, and it’s implied she will rule the kingdom someday, but she complains about all her duties, everything she has to learn, and would rather ride her horse and shoot her bow. While there’s nothing wrong with taking a break every now and then, she fusses about her royal education because she just doesn’t like it and would rather do what she wants. And her hobbies of archery and riding aren’t even helpful to anyone, as there’s no mention of (a) a war or (b) any indication that women would fight if there were. She’s a tomboy for the sake of being a tomboy; she kicks against an arranged married because, well, she just doesn’t want to get married.
Now, she does have a legitimate complaint against the arranged marriage; affection is an important consideration, to the point that Bible has a whole book dedicated to love between a husband and wife. But Merida doesn’t object on these grounds. She objects because she just doesn’t want to get married. Kind of like a toddler refusing to eat his squash because he doesn’t like it. She also has a legitimate complaint that her mother doesn’t listen to her—but Merida also doesn’t listen to her mother, doesn’t even make the effort.
All that said, I can respect her for acknowledging her mistake, mending it, and humbling her pride. That is something I rarely see spitfire heroines do. Aside from that, Merida doesn’t have a terribly unique personality and not enough qualities to respect.
*gets off soapbox*
Character that you love and everyone else hates.
*resists urge to talk about The Phantom of the Opera instead*
Ugh, I know there is an animated character that fits into this category, but I can’t remember who it is.
I’ll talk instead about an animated movie that I love, and it might strike people as odd, considering how seriously I take Tolkien’s epic stories. But I like the Rankin Bass animated Hobbit movie. Mainly because, while it was a very streamlined adaptation, it did tell the basic story (unlike some filmmakers I could name). Also, the music is gorgeous; I was disappointed to find there wasn’t a soundtrack to the film.
Character you used to love but don’t anymore.
I’ve outgrown the animated Charlotte’s Web movie and the Madeline movies. That’s all I can think of off the top of my head.
Character you would fall for.
Um…I’m really not the easily-swept-off-my-feet type. It takes a lot of good character traits for me to respect a character (or a real-life person, for that matter). However, the one character I might fall for also belongs in the next category….
The character you want to be like.
Tadashi Harmada, hands down. He’s a responsible, protective older brother. He pulls Hiro out of dangerous scrapes and then swats him for being foolish. He has his brother’s best interest at heart at all times; he sees the potential in his little brother, knows he is capable of so much more than bot fighting, and tries to interest him in college and science rather than violent betting fights. He teases his little brother, but also encourages him to keep trying, to look for another angle.
Tadashi is also the persevering, seen in his line “I’m not giving up on you,” but also in his lab, where it took 80-something tries and tests to get his robot Baymax in working order. The very fact that he built a nurse robot to tend injuries and illness says something for his priorities, doesn’t it?
Interestingly, the film never implies that Tadashi is or was a young genius like Hiro is. But there’s no jealousy between the brothers; if anything, Tadashi pushes Hiro to fulfil his talents and become better at them.
I want to be like Tadashi and to encourage my siblings to do what they’re good at, and to never give up on them.