“I’m the bad guy, I don’t save the day, I don’t fly off into the sunset and I don’t get the girl.”
When it comes to superhero movies, today’s audiences come loaded with certain expectations: an emotional origin story, a menacing villain and the dynamic triumph of good over evil. As a fan of animated movies, I find it kind of boring to watch the same plots and endings where the good guys suffer in the beginning but in the end will win over the bad then, the bad guys will be sent to nowhere maybe in jail or what to prove that it worth the fight for the good because bad guys never win in the end of a story. Due to the unvarying plot twists, I’m pretty sure many people were craving for a different one.
We used to define villains as the antagonists, bad guy or the evil one in every movie, also the enemy that contradicts the entire good deeds of the hero. Through the years animated movies producers has came up with a different plot twist where your detested villain will get your sympathy because they somewhat changed side and gone good.
Before we go further, an article from Wikia cited several ways (which I also agreed) a villain can redeem themselves.
It can either be:
- The villain is a hypnotized, brainwashed or possessed pawn who does not know they are being controlled until they are freed, is grateful to whatever hero freed them so they ally with them.
- The hero reveals to them that their actions are actually causing harm, or tries to conform them. The individual chooses their desire for righteousness over what they have done, and/or decides the hero had helped them see what they were doing was wrong, and becomes a full-time hero.
- Choosing their family over evil. This usually happen with villains who have families and to care for them. They realize that their actions are actually hurting their spouses, children, siblings, or any other members in their family so they change their ways.
- Betrayed by their fellow villainous allies/bosses, which made them choose to turned to the good side. After they tasked to antagonized hero and their deed success, their allies/bosses dump them away or tries to kill them straight away, in either way the so-called villain escape.
- Being memory-wiped or brainwashed into becoming a hero and deciding that they like their new personality and life better than their old ones when they inevitably learn the truth. It was mentioned that this is the rarest and most controversial form of a villain redeeming themselves since they did not turn good by their own free will and essentially had to be programmed into being good. It is reserved only for villains who would normally be a (Complete Monster) under their circumstances, we, as the audience or readers met them as a hero first, not knowing they are brainwashed or have fake memories. The “hero” does not know this either and is just as horrified as the viewer when they learn the truth about the horrible things they have done or regain their real memories. But they have spent so much time as a hero and living with an artificial good personality that they choose their new life over their former one and become true heroes.
I see, so let’s have a reminder to note then. If the character that we think is the hero or the protagonist is currently in an “On and Off status”, meaning still having some issues with not only themselves but with his/her life, let us not tag them as the “Good Guy” or “the Hero” unless they stayed good right up the very end of the story.
In relation to all of this, I have listed animated movies where the villains or some of the villains who took a big part on a certain movie, changed sides and gone good.
I have chosen Megamind being on my top list because of one thing, he portrays the villains’ good side. A certain part in the movie where Megamind claimed that he is nothing but a villain saying he doesn’t save the day and worse he doesn’t the girl, has proved it. It was actually my favorite part and line there. The two fight each other until one day, almost accidentally, Megamind destroys Metro Man. The film then explores what happens to evil when good is no longer present. This scenario gives an idea to Megamind to create his new nemesis to supposedly fight against him turned out it simply backfires his expected result so he had the urge to save not only the entire day but the girl he began to love. Generally, the movie wanted to send this simple yet deep message to us, audience, “Destiny is not the path given to us, but the path we choose for ourselves” We always have the option to change ourselves as long as we know that it’ll be beneficial.
Having that feeling to be loved by your fellowmen is what Ralph only wants. This leads him to reveal his desire to stop being the bad guy and tell his fellowmen that if he won a medal like what Felix (the hero) does in their game, he would earn their respect. He got a medal in a certain game where he was about to cause a huge destruction on the entire game central. He met a young trouble-making “glitch” from a candy-coated cart racing game that will teach Ralph what it means to be a Good guy and they actually did it. Ralph gained the respect of his fellowmen and became the good guy though not literally in the game but to his personality. I will never forget my favorite line “I am bad and that’s good, I’m not good and that’s not bad”
- The Despicable Me
Being a super-villain is never a hard task for a Pro like Gru. He was able to plan great objectives to accomplish until three orphans who look at him and see something that no one else has ever seen: a potential Dad has entered his life. He finds that the orphans love for him is profoundly changing him for the better making him the good guy in the movie.
- Monster’s University
In this movie, I actually find two, should I call them villains hmmm… Yes, two villains– Sullivan and Dean Abigail Hardscrabble.
At the first scene of the movie, it was Mike Wazowski who became the protagonist because the story focuses on his life alone until the lazy happy go-lucky student Sullivan ruin his life and well, make it more challenging. He gone good when their dispute ends due to the accidental break of a cylinder containing the greatest achievement of the one of the top scarer among all the monsters in that university — Dean Abigail Hardscrabble. She gone well at the end, (maybe that how it was supposed to happen) when she was amazed by how Mike and Sully survived in a terrible incident.
- Ice age
Back when the Earth was being overrun by glaciers, and animals were scurrying to save themselves from the upcoming Ice Age, a sloth named Sid, a mammoth named Manny, and a saber-toothed tiger named Diego are forced to become unlikely heroes. Well, Diego is not in their side in the first place. He was just attached to the child; it was the one who changed him. The three reluctantly come together when they have to return a human child to its father while braving the deadly elements of the impending Ice Age. As to what I have observed in the movie, the humans were the real villain in the movie other than the natural phenomena, Ice age because they hunt animals especially those who they proved that stole the child. Humans turned the other way around when of course; they see the child bringing back to them.
- How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Everybody loves Christmas, don’t we? We do but the Grinch didn’t. In this movie, his life was narrated on how and why he hated the Christmas. There was actually a book originally created by Dr. Seuss where the movie of course got the concept. They just made a live action of it still the original version was there. The Grinch’s envious feeling towards the Christmas got worse that he even wanted to stop it from coming. He was befriended by Cindy Lou Who, who helped him to understand the deep meaning of Christmas. If you have watched this movie, I’m pretty sure you loved it because I really did and I honestly wanted to watch it right now, right after I finish this blog.
Among all these animated movies, I have learned five things:
- Fix everything by ourselves and stop putting the blame to others because it won’t help either. It will only make things worse.
- At some point in your life you will be forced to make a decision between what is right and what is not.
- Find your own path. At first, it was hard, definitely because we are all clueless of what we will become but soon if we chose to focus on what makes us happy, we will found it.
- Be unique. We are all different in all ways so I always have this question, why do some people keep on hiding their true identity, I mean their attitude, personality and the likes or who are they for real. Being unique is what makes a man beautiful so it is important to exercise the truthfulness to one’s self.
- Learn all the essence of life. Let us not be blinded by our materialistic minds. Focus on what is the real meaning of a certain thing. There are lots of things that seem to be as it is though it is actually not like that so being mature enough to understand those is very essential to a human being.
There you go, the animated movies were the villains gone good. Honestly there were all based on my favorite’s list so you may find it a few. If you wanted to add more, please let me know. I would gladly read them and if I have time, I’ll add them on the list.