Tag Archives: characters

Acting Game

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Characters and sounds,
Animal sounds and movements.
I’m acting again.

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Thoughts On “Minions” Movie

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Two weeks ago, I saw Illumination Entertainment’s “Minions.” While I didn’t enjoy it as much as I enjoyed “Inside Out,” I liked just about everything about the movie. For this post, I will focus on an integral aspect of the movie: villains. I love villains, and they’re a big part of the reason why I enjoyed the movie.
With that said, you’ve probably guessed by now that I loved the movie’s awesome villainess! The vast majority of my favorite villains are female, and I like them best when they’re as outrageous, hammy, and ferocious as Scarlet Overkill! Besides Scarlet’s overall character, what I liked the most about her was her relationship with her husband, Herb. Herb wasn’t as outrageous as Scarlet, but he clearly loved her. I’m a big fan of evil married couples, and I like them best when they genuinely love each other. I also like how while Herb wasn’t as outrageous as Scarlet, he was definitely believable in his own right as a villain. In terms of evil married couples, I like it when both are equally evil. Alternately, I like it when the man redeems himself but the woman doesn’t, but that doesn’t happen in this movie, and so it is another post for another day.
I like villainesses so much, that at the supervillain convention, I was wondering why Scarlet was the only one. Why couldn’t there have been more female supervillains? Why was Scarlet Overkill the first? Couldn’t she have instead been the baddest villain there, who just happened to be female? Also, there were the mom and the little girl in the evil family, the one the Minions rode to Orlando with. Why couldn’t their villainy have been emphasized more? Along with Scarlet, the evil family was another one of my favorite aspects of the movie, and I wish I had seen more of them. In fact, while I won’t give the ending away to people who haven’t seen “Minions,” I will say I expected the baby, the youngest member of the evil family, to play a bigger part in it. Another detail I would have liked to have seen more of were evil bedtime stories. Scarlet told one to the minions right after they started working for her. Couldn’t there have been more stories, maybe told by members of the evil family?
I also liked how, near the beginning of time, the first “villain” the minions served was a t-rex. I put villain in quotation marks here because I normally don’t like it when carnivorous animals of any sort are villains. All animals need to eat, and so carnivorous animals are just trying to survive. They’re not being evil, hateful, or malicious in any sense. Even so, I would argue that humans (and maybe animals who come close to us in terms of their complexity and intelligence, like apes and dolphins) are the only creatures capable of true evil. For that reason, if the Minions needed to serve villains, a t-rex seems like the closest they could find before there were humans.
That brings me to what I wish the movie had gone into more detail on. Why did the Minions need a master, and why did they specifically need/want to work for villains? As much as I love villains, I wish this had been explained. Both aspects were made clear in the movie, and I’m not necessarily saying either was a bad choice, but if I had helped make this movie, I would have brainstormed the reasons behind these details. These details, I think, were among the many details in stories all around us that are left unexplained.

Review of Roald Dahl’s “The Witches”

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As a child, I loved Roald Dahl’s The Witches. I loved how those witches thought children smelled like dogs’ droppings. That was my favorite part of the story when I was a kid, and as an adult, it is the main reason I still like this book. After rereading it as an adult, though, I have found many problems with The Witches. I’d like to share both these problems and some of the ways I think the story could have been better.

All of the characters in The Witches should have been better developed. The boy definitely should have been. His inadequacies as a character were at their peek when he turned into a mouse. After this happened, he mentioned several reasons why being a mouse is better than being a human boy. Two of those reasons were not having to go to school anymore and not having to grow up and fight in a war, but as a boy, he never mentioned disliking either of those. The reasons he gave for liking being a mouse should have had to do with reasons he disliked being a human, reasons which were know to the reader.

Even though the boy’s parents died early on in the story, they should have been better developed characters, too. If they had had more time in the story before their untimely death in a car accident, Roald Dahl would have been able to develop them as good parents, something very rare in his books. If Roald Dahl really couldn’t have done this, they at least should have died when the boy was a baby, just like Sophie’s parents in The BFG.

The boy’s grandmother is probably the most interesting character in the story, but she, too, should have been better developed. This could have been accomplished by going into more detail on witch-o-philes, and maybe even having additional witch-o-phile characters in the story. This could have allowed some of the witches to be better developed characters, too, and more witch-o-phile characters would have solved other problems.

Additional witch-o-phile characters could have solved problems like the grandmother being the only good grown-up character in the book, magic existing, but hardly being explained, and the end of the book being way too dark. It’s kind of scary how at the end, the boy remains a mouse, meaning he’ll only live for about nine more years. He’s seven, so that would be like a sixteen-year-old dying! Not only that, but he’s glad he won’t outlive his grandma! The reason he gives is that he wouldn’t want anyone else looking after him as a mouse, and frankly, I don’t blame him. Why should he want anyone else taking care of him, especially in his mouse form, when he doesn’t know any other good grown-ups who understand what he’s been through? This wouldn’t have been the case if there were additional witch-o-philes, and they could have helped the boy and his grandma do away with the rest of those witches.

As understandable as the boy’s feelings are, however, having a child know he’s basically going to die when he’s a teenager, as well as him not wanting to outlive his grandmother, is way too dark for a seemingly light-hearted children’s book. There are other aspects of this book that I think are too dark, such as children being destroyed by witches, but this ending is by far the darkest and most problematic. If there were additional witch-o-phile characters in this book, and if they could do magic, they could have worked hard to turn the mouse back into a boy, and one of them could have agreed to adopt him after his grandma dies. That would have made this ending much less dark, and it would have given Roald Dahl an opportunity to better explain the magic in this story.

In conclusion, I see many problems with the witches, but the things I like about the book keep me coming back and thinking about how it could have been better.  I am hoping to further analyze both this book and other personal classics of mine in the future.