Sunday, 24 October 2010

The Villian's Fall

In working on a forth-coming post, I noticed something: a disproportionate number of Disney villains fall to their deaths. Sometimes the fall itself isn't what kills them; sometimes they are stabbed and then plummet as they die (ie. Maleficent), while sometimes what kills them is the sudden stop (the villian in Tarzan--artfully done, by the way). (Well, OK, technically the sudden stop is ALWAYS what kills a person in a long fall...) Scar and Hades both go for a tumble and then get attacked by their own minions.

A second theme, played well by Jafar and Ursula, is to be defeated by your own hubris.

I thought about this and my conclusion is the obvious one: even while the heroes defeat the villian, they get to keep their hands clean of the villian's demise. In fact, they even get to try and save the villian sometimes, but the villian's own treachery or fury prevents them from being able to do so.


(Of course, Disney villians aren't the only ones who have to place "Fall Hazard" on their Workplace Safety Assessment forms. Villians in George Lucas movies seem prone to this fate as well. Consider Boba Fett, Palpatine, Mola Ram from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Dr Elsa Schneider from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade... even Luke Skywalker took a tumble that one time, and he's a good guy.)

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