Friday, October 10, 2008

Puppies! Bring me the Puppies!!!!


A few days ago I had the tv on and they were running an ad for the re-digitized version of the Disney classic Sleeping Beauty. Yeah, I love Disney so of course I had to look and I couldn't help kind of smiling when the Wicked Queen showed up. What is it about Disney villains and villainesses that is so naughty, so rivetting, so...FUN! They are always colorful and give the audience a reason to cheer. Now, I happily admit, I'm a Disney fan from way back. I loved Old Yeller and Pollyanna and the original Parent Trap but the animated stuff really has my heart. There's just something so romantic and wonderful about the princess finding her prince while the birds, rabbits, and mice cheer the happy couple. And of course, no decent Disney movie would be complete without the wicked villain/villainess who tries to tear the two apart. To me, they've always seemed just a bit smarter, more clever and well, more like us than the lily-white pure heros and heroeines. Bad of me to say, I know, but there you have it.

One of my favorites was Cruella from 101 Dalmations. Her overall appearance is so well, VIVID, but I think what is even nastier about her is that she pretends to be friends with the owner of the puppies. I think most of us can connect with the idea of a "friend" who isn't really one at ALL. My other favorite villain is Gaston from Beauty and the Beast, my all time favorite Disney movie. The entire movie revolves around people's perceptions or misperceptions about beauty. Of course, Gaston is beautiful even when he's singing....and every last inch of me's covered with HAAAAIIIIRRR". God, don't you love that?

In regular movies I have to say that Alex (Glenn Close's character) in Fatal Attraction was downright creepy and in books...there are sooo many but I have to say the serial killer from Linda Howard's Dream Man completely freaked me out. Maybe it's because you don't really "see" him through the entire book, you only see his actions. To me that was completely creepy. Of course there are many, many others and too many to name.

Perhaps the best villains are three-dimentional. They have vulnerabilities and redeemable qualities despite the fact they are also so evil. I remember attending an RWA workshop years ago that was given by Tami Hoag. Never forget the title of it: Twisted Minds, Psychopaths are People Too. Funny. It was all about creating an unforgettable villain and was my most informative class. Making the villain always ugly and outwardly reprehensible is taking the easy way out. Maybe that's why I like good old Gaston so much. How could such a gorgeous guy be such a dipwad?

Do you have a favorite villain or villainess? Who is the naughtiest, meanest, most hateful creature to ever grace the page or the screen?

31 comments:

BrennaLyons said...

I'm a fan of the villain who could be a hero, in the right circumstances. I think the best of these is Hannibal Lecter. "I only eat the rude." And when push came to shove, he saved her life, destroyed her enemies and then cut off his own hand rather than harm her.

You know, it amazes me how many people just didn't get that Hannibal was LYING to the detective in the second movie, when he threatened to eat the man's wife. She was gracious, the polar opposite of what he'd consider lunch. But, the detective bought it...and so did many audience members, which amazes me. Are they asleep? They didn't get it.

Brenna

Dakota Rebel said...

I LOVE professor Snape in the Harry Potter books...and movies. The movie I feel is cheating however. Alan Rickman plays Snape, and not only is he hot, he has the most amazing voice. So add that to the fact that his villains are ALWAYS the best villians and HP scored a home run on it.

But that's just me. ;)

xoxoXo
Dakota

Nightingale said...

Got to love the bad guys/girls. Interesting post. Fun reading about villains I had enjoyed in the movies.

Regina Carlysle said...

The thing about Hannibal Lecter...who is just the creep..was that he was just sooo smart.

Regina Carlysle said...

Damn. I love Alan Rickman. Incredible voice and I'm with you 100 percent on that one Dakota. You should see him in a hero role in Sense and Sensibilities. I adore him in that movie.

Regina Carlysle said...

What IS it about the bad guys/girls, NIghtingale? A book or movie isn't complete without a good one. And forget the one dimensional portrayals..give me layers.

Cheryl said...

My favorite villain lately is Russell Crowe's "Ben Wade" in the recent remake of the western "3:10 to Yuma." There was just such a flash of longing in his asking the barmaid to go with him to Mexico, and he certainly did have his good points. I found myself rooting for him more than Christian Bale's "hero" throughout most of the movie. He was a manipulator, but he was so complex you couldn't help falling under his spell somehow.
Cheryl

Anne Rainey said...

Ah, villians...they do make the story, don't they?

I think of the creepy dude in the Dean Koontz book, "Whispers". Oh man, that book kept me up at night.

Also, there will never be a villian quite like Jason in "Halloween". That was a classic right there.

Also, a few of the villians in Kay Hoopers "Bishop" books were damned creepy too!

Anne Rainey said...

Cheryl--YES!!!! I freaking loved that movie! I did NOT see that ending coming at all! He played a great villian for sure!

Kelley Nyrae said...

First, LOVE Disney to. My favs are Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid. Love the original Parent Trap but CAN'T watch Old Yeller. Did it once, broke my heart. I cried for days. I actually like movies that make me cry but that one....oh, so sad.

Okay back to the topic at hand. Gaston cracked me up to. Of course Usula since I like the Little Mermaid.

Lecter...Um...scary! But I see what Brenna is saying too. I know this is crazy but still to this day one of the scariest movies to me are Freddy Kruger. Super scary.

The Villian in Trial by Fire by Jo Davis is really a bad man.

Molly Daniels said...

I love that scene with Gaston!

How about Scar from the Lion King?

And I also love Madame Medusa from The Rescuers:)

I'll probably think of more after I leave...I'll be back!

I think I read Whispers too, Regina! I've not seen the second Hannibal movie yet.

BrennaLyons said...

Oh, yeah! Kelley, that scene with Freddie in the alley from the first movie...shudder. I know exactly what you mean. I adore Alan Rickman, but Englund SO made Krueger!

Did I ever mention that I dressed as a nun for Halloween once? About one person in twenty got the intent and were creeped out by my name tag...Amanda Kreuger. Grinning...

Say it. I know it. I'm warped.

Brenna

Regina Carlysle said...

Oooh. I've been wanting to see 3:10 to Yuma. I love Russell Crowe and Christian Bale. Don't you just love a complex villain. Kind of like Det. Mackey from The Shield or Deadwood's Al Swearingen.

Dr. Karl E. Taylor said...

In print, Joseph Curwin from "The Case of Charles Dexter Ward" by H.P Lovecraft. He was really bad.

Film, "His Grace, the Bishop of Aquilla" from the movie "Ladyhawk". Mean, just does not describe a man that curses two people for being in love

Judith Leger said...

I absolutely love R.A. Salvatore fantasy series about the dark elf, Drizzt Do'Urden. There was this one character, Artemis Entreri, an assassin, sent to kill Drizzt. They hate each other but as the stories go on, they have one horrific battle where Drizzt almost kills the guy. He survives and ends up helping to save Drizzt's life even though he doesn't want to. He ends up turning into an anti-hero type guy.

Regina Carlysle said...

Ooooh. Hated that guy in Ladyhawke..damn that was a romantic movie but he was just AWFUL!!!!

Regina Carlysle said...

My son is so hooked on the Drizzt books by Salvatore, Judith! He says....these people are just MEAN, especially the WOMEN.

Regina Carlysle said...

Oh dang, Kelley. I loooove Ursula's song in The Little Mermaid. Isn't is funny how the villains have the cleverest songs?

Regina Carlysle said...

Amanda Krueger??? Holy smokes!!! Lol. That's funny Benna.

Regina Carlysle said...

Mmmm. Mommy Dearest anyone??? She's ranks right up there with the vilest, I think. Crazy and creepy. I know this was supposed to be biographical but DANG!!!

BrennaLyons said...

Mommy Dearest? No thanks. I had the real thing. NO kidding. By my estimation, Mommy Dearest was a lightweight. Yeah, lousy way for a kid to grow up, but she wasn't the worst I've seen in real life.

B

Amy Ruttan said...

Malleficent from Sleeping Beauty and Prince John from Disney's animated Robin Hood. "MOMMY, oh mother always did like Richard best."

Helen Hardt said...

What a fun post! I love villains who are also funny, like Ursula from The Little Mermaid, or Barbossa from Pirates of the Caribbean. Yes, and of course, Gaston! Especially in the Broadway version.

Helen

Regina Carlysle said...

I haven't seen the Broadway version of Beauty and the Beast but I heard it was soooo good, Helen. I love that Gaston song. It cracks me up everything I hear it and Ursula was amazingly wicked.

Regina Carlysle said...

Malleficant...she's a scary looking one!!! She's the one I saw on tv the other day and I just thought WOW...wicked.

Regina Carlysle said...

Almost forgot the Wicked Witch of the West and her creepy flying MONKEYS. Weren't they just sooo scary? Especially when you are a little kid.

Regina Carlysle said...

Really, Brenna??? OMG, I'm sorry. That's sooo bad.

Linda LaRoque said...

I'm with Cheryl on Russel Crowe in 3:10 to Yuma. He was so compelling, as if underneath he wanted to be good, but it just wasn't in him. Loved the role.

Linda
www.lindalaroque.com

BrennaLyons said...

Actually, I PLAYED the Wicked Witch/Gulch in high school. Seriously. Joy and delight of a mother opined that I was type-cast. Rolling eyes. Figure the odds. I was a straight-A student and teacher's pet...student teaching, tutoring, writing, acting...but she always thought the worst of me.

Nodding to Regina. Yeah. I haven't talked to my biological mother willingly in the last 22 years. NONE of her kids (her own or her step-kids) want anything to do with her, and none of the grandchildren know her. According to a psychologist I went to, he'd classify her as paranoid schizophrenic. I still have scars from my years with her. If we weren't being abused, we were neglected...or she was in the 'try to buy back your love' phase.

And my husband claims that last made his life as a spouse a million times worse. He could never bring me flowers to apologize. Grinning...

But, I spent a good bit of my own 'childhood' keeping my siblings alive. Is it any wonder I don't know how to take care of me first?

Brenna

Regina Carlysle said...

I honestly think most women are both with huge maternal instincts but there are definitely SOME who due to character flaws or mental illness just can't hack it.

Regina Carlysle said...

Linda, I've just GOT to see that movie. I love villains like that. The kind you just WISH you could help to bring out the GOOD STUFF.