Why is it that so many movies and TV series want us to believe in a black and white world where the evil characters have no redeeming features?
The truth is that many famous villains are actually more likeable than the heroes if you take the time to understand them.
The Wicked Witch of the West – Wizard of Oz
This poor lady is probably one of the most misunderstood film characters in history. She is portrayed as such sort of cackling, hideous fiend. Yet, all she is trying to do in the Wizard of Oz is reclaim a family possession. You see, the evil Dorothy kills her sister, The Wicked Witch of the East. She does this through the unconventional murdering technique of landing a house on her. The brazen little hussy from Kansas then steals the dearly departed witch´s ruby slippers. Our friend the witch just wants to claim her inheritance.
Wile E. Coyote – Roadrunner Cartoons
Is it just me or does anyone else sit there willing the coyote to finally win the battle and stuff that horrible roadrunner into his Acme Corporation microwave? The poor little dude lives in a barren desert and his only chance of staving off potentially life threatening hunger is to act like the predator he is. Despite his creative genius and admirable work ethic, the coyote is usually let down by his ingenious traps.
Frankenstein´s Monster – Frankenstein
Who do you think is the villain in the Frankenstein movies? It surely couldn´t be the hapless sap who got stitched together out of dead people and then finds that the whole world hates him because he´s ugly and walks funny. To be fair, the original book makes it clear that the monster is a decent chap who just happens to be a terrifying look freak. If there is a real villain it is the mentally unstable, unethical scientist who brings him to life.
Scar – The Lion King
If they had just given him half a chance then Scar would have been a far better ruler than stupid old Musafa and that young wiper snapper lion. Cleverly, he realized that the circle of life has to involve more than just lions, while his despotic predecessor kicked out the hyenas in a strangely racist forced migration policy.
The Matrix – The Matrix Series
Are the humans the good guys in the Matrix or the evil yet nattily attired ones? If you are human then you probably think that your fellow species is in the right in this movie series. Having said that, how does this whole sorry situation develop in the first place? What´s that; the sons of Adam made robots and then basically enslaved them so that they did all the naff stuff that people were too good for? Hmm, and following their righteous uprising the robots very kindly left the homo sapiens in a delightful fantasy world?
Shere Khan- Jungle Book
Let´s face it; this geezer was one shrewd operator. Clearly the ravenous, carnivorous part of him just wanted to eat some human flesh. That´s, like, what carnivores do. If Disney was run by cows then you would be the villain for popping that juicy big hamburger onto your grill every day. The other impressive aspect of Shere Khan is that he realized that the arrival of a man-cub would inevitably upset the delicate jungle eco-system. Mowgli was probably already planning to chop down hundreds of tree and drill for oil. Even if he wasn´t, the boy has no place in the jungle but the tiger does.