Thursday, December 9, 2010

Why Do They Fall for It?

What’s with Disney disposing of their villains via having them fall to their death?

Sorry for the spoiler if it is one, but Bart and I saw Tangled not too long ago and it hit me.
It happens way too often in Disney’s flicks.

Is it a way to be a little merciful (so as not to show the hero actually kill the baddie)? No, that’s been done.

Is it a lack of creativity? Possibly, but that assessment is rather harsh... especially given the satisfying explanation as to why it’s done in the movie UP (Pixar) in the DVD “extra features.”  Also, it's not as if they don't have other ways to kill the villain in other movies (although arguably some of those had already been established as per the story from which they'd been adapted.)

Is it that fitting of a comeuppance? Perhaps often (as it is in Tangled) but certainly not every instance.

It just seems rather wearisome. It reminds me of the alien, from the Alien movies.
Is there seriously no other way to get rid of them than to blow them out an airlock?

I’m hoping I never have to have a villain fall to his or her death.  At least I know in the current book that's a definite impossibilty!


Mel said...

I think the answer lies more in your "target demographic." We rarely see the aftermath of such falls, so children in the audience aren't faced with the mangled, twisted corpses that result from these falls. Shootings, stabbings, beatings, etc. don't offer such a tidy solution to the problem of "How do we kill the bad guy without making kids see a dead body?" Explosions are a bit gruesome. That leaves falling. Just my theory, though.

Peter Von Brown said...

Well, yes. :)

That's what I meant by the "merciful" part.

YET, you do have a great point about the not seeing the body.
For instance, when Ursula the Sea Witch is stabbed to death in The Little Mermaid she conveniently (and logically) sinks beneath the waves, hence no body.

I see the rationale of it. It's just getting hackneyed.

Anon said...

I'm not sure I agree that it was fitting to have the villain in Tangled fall to her death.

Personally, all throughout the movie what I wanted was to see her AGE to death--that is, all in one go suddenly LOOK her age, and then die because that age is older than any mortal has any right to live.

Peter Von Brown said...

Anon -
Ah, yes. That would have worked, too. And perhaps better.

I thought the falling had been fitting in that she's the one who placed Rapunzel so impossibly high up and thought she'd always use her as the way up and down.

Either way... But again, it FALLS into this overuse. ;)

Lewelyn-H said...

Actually, she does "age to death", and it ain't pretty. The falling isn't what kills her, she turns to ash as she's falling out, you can see it when she hits the ground :)

I found that scene really well done, beautiful camera movement and I found it rather violent too, even though they don't show anything (or not much)

Then again, you got me thinking, and many Disney villains *do* fall to their death. I guess it just looks really awesome on screen, and it must be pretty fun to animate ^^

Anon said...

Thinking about it again, I imagine that, especially on film, there's something cathartic about it. The Devil fell out of hell, and the Anti-Christ will fall to his death, for example.