Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Favorite Non-Animal Disney Sidekick

            I have not been posting nearly enough this year and I want to steer back from that.  To that end I have found a 30-day blog challenge and fluffed it out to 31 entries (since December has 31 days).  I have done a 30-day challenge before for movies, though that one was poorly executed (I started it in the middle of a month, at one point I posted 2 entries on one day, it is a mess).  I did another one just this year in August on Video Games, that one was better, go read it after this one, all of it.  Or don’t, no pressure.

            Today is day 7 and the topic is “Favorite Non-Animal Sidekick”.
            I am regretting putting all of the character entries in this blog series in the first week.  6 straight days of me happily endorsing the messages and abilities of things I like while deriding those I don’t might be entertaining, but it also gets a bit same-same.  It wasn’t as much an issue with video games as there were only five entries and that was after talking about 4 bigger scope ideas.
            Maybe this is sleep deprivation, stress, existential ennui, or my desire to take an unpopular opinion about this movie, but my favorite non-human sidekick—and my favorite character in the movie—is Olaf from “Frozen”.

This is actually a comically large desktop image.
            I do not care for “Frozen” but it did have three strong redeeming traits to it—and 1 lesser redeeming trait.  The first was “Let it Go” which is a good fun song without the movie, it is actually pretty good to work out to.  The second is the message of the movie about love being more complex than the traditional Disney idea of being swept up in a romance at first sight.  And the third is Olaf, who is kind of the anti-sidekick.  The other lesser thing is the character arc Anna goes thru which I talked myself into liking the other day.

            Much of what I am saying will mirror the thoughts expressed in this video talking about the character of Olaf.  He has symbolic importance in the story as he represents the innocence and affection the two sisters had at the beginning of the movie when they were both children and a time when Elsa felt she could safely and healthily use her powers for fun.  Olaf is also the funniest part of the movie, with the funniest song, dialogue, and motivations.  And that Olaf’s ignorance of what his goal is—see summer—will result in his death is pretty funny on its own even if he were written as a serious character that would be great.
            Beyond the typical sidekick, which provide a toy opportunity and inform the main character by being cute enough to let you know that the hero is someone who treasures “cute”, Olaf has actual narrative function and is juxtaposed in the story by the monster snowman who rather than having Olaf’s welcoming persona instead serves to drive people off.

Apparently this thing's name is Marshmallow?
That is hilarious.
             Know what else is fun?  How well Olaf contrasts with the Gargoyles from “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”, whom I—and I think everyone else—consider the nadir of sidekicks because they are so out of tone with the rest of the movie.  “You know what our movie about societal rejection, racial persecution, and sexual repression needs?  Jokes about poker!” 
Olaf fits in the context of “Frozen” and his humor fits in the context of the world.  While the gargoyles of “Hunchback” SEEM to be the delusions of Quasi’s lonely mind, but their humor makes no sense in the context of Paris of that era, Olaf IS a magical manifestation of a character’s emotional state and all of his humor makes sense!
            From a writing standpoint Olaf is the best thing in the movie.

These guys suck.  Not the voice actors, but the characters.  They suck.
I feel the need to point them out because there is no blog entry for "Hated Non-Animal Side Kick".
They would be the most hated.
            Share your own thoughts on this in the comments.  I know I am not the only person out there who is nostalgic for Disney products, and I am sure many people disagree with my selection for today’s entry. 
I picked Disney stuff just because I knew there was so much of it to talk about and it lends itself to discussion in the comments.  So please, tell me how my opinion about cartoon movies is biased and how your opinion on cartoon movies is objectively right.

If you like or hate this please take the time to comment, +1, share on Twitter, Tumblr, or Facebook, and otherwise distribute my opinion to the world.  I would appreciate it.

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