9 Positive Characters We All Love That Aren’t as Good as We Thought
There are few people in the world who weren’t impressed by the brave Mufasa from The Lion King or the red-haired beauty Merida from Brave. Just like many other fictional characters, these people seem bold, honest, and flawless. But if we dig a little deeper, we can actually see less pleasant features that tend to go unnoticed by many.
Bright Side editorial tried to figure out which of our beloved characters weren’t actually as sweet as they seemed on screen. Perhaps your favorite character is on the list too.
1. Woody from Toy Story
As the astronaut Buzz Lightyear showed off among his new friends, Woody instantly went mad. Driven by jealousy and the desire to be the only leader, the cowboy mocks Buzz and eventually pushes him to the gap between the table and the wall so that their owner can’t find the toy.
By the end of the film, Woody changes his behavior a bit but it’s quite difficult to consider him a purely positive character for this reason alone.
2. Elsa and Anna’s parents from Frozen
Do you remember the beginning of this movie? Little Elsa uses magic to create snowmen and snowdrifts for her sister and accidentally wounds her. Any kid can make such a mistake (because children push each other, throw objects, etc.) but Elsa’s parents blame her for everything. They isolate her from the world and demand that she learn to control her superabilities. Loving parents would never write off one daughter to protect the other from danger.
3. Aladdin from the film of the same name
Aladdin is a thief, even though he steals from bad people exclusively and always shares his finds with the poor. In other words, he needs only enough money for food and he has no greed for profit.
However, after getting hold of the magic lamp, the character decides to break bad: he’s suddenly ready to do anything to earn the love of the princess, even if that means lying to her. Aladdin pretends to be a rich man so that Jasmine agrees to marry him. This kind of relationship is far from perfect, isn’t it?
As some fans pointed out, with Aladdin using magic and tricks to win over Jasmine, the only real difference between him and Jafar is that one’s the main character and the other isn’t.
In fact, Jafar has quite a few fans. He’s even got his own musical telling the story from his point of view.
4. Mufasa from The Lion King
Mufasa is a narcissistic monarch who expels subjects and members of his own family that he dislikes from his own pride. He’s not trying to improve his relations with Scar and even jokes about his brother. Just remember the king’s dialogue with Zazu:
— “What am I going to do with him?”
— “He’d make a very handsome throw rug!”
Hearing this, Mufasa giggles kindly.
— “And just think, whenever he gets dirty, you can take him out and beat him.”
And Mufasa laughs even more. This type of behavior hardly fits that of a hero, right?
5. Peter Pan from the film of the same name
On the way to Neverland with Wendy and his brothers, Peter would fly faster than the rest, overtake everyone, then come back and surprisingly ask who they were. Perhaps he forgot about the fact that he had taken these kids with him too quickly or he simply didn’t want to remember them. When one of the boys starts to fall, Peter laughs and helps the kid only when Wendy persuades him to do it.
This hero also behaved like a true tyrant while on the island:
- He came up with a daily schedule suitable for him and would get angry any time someone broke it.
- He’d forget about basic human needs and didn’t let the kids sleep and eat when they wanted to.
- He’d give them fake food from time to time.
And, of course, we can’t forget about Captain Hook who lost his hand in a fight with Peter. Peter later fed the hand to a crocodile who later chased the captain.
6. The good witch, Glinda, from The Wizard of Oz
In our childhood, we used to believe that the Wicked Witch of Oz was the main villain of this fairytale. But it’s actually Glinda, “the good witch,” who is responsible for all of Dorothy’s problems in Oz.
When Dorothy’s home crushed the Wicked Witch, it was Glinda who gave the girl the shoes that used to belong to the Wicked Witch of the East. It’s almost the same as drawing a big target on Dorothy’s back.
Glinda wants to overthrow the Wicked Witch of the West but doesn’t do it by herself, preferring to reap the fruit of the girl’s labor.
Fans of the original Oz books might also point out that, in the original story, Glinda is the Good Witch of the South who doesn’t appear towards the end of the story, and would have likely had told Dorothy how to get home in the first place if she could have. In fact, some adaptations, like The Wiz, usually have her call out the other Good Witch for not telling Dorothy how to get home.
7. Merida of DunBroch from Brave
Merida behaves like a spoiled child for over half of the movie. She doesn’t even think about what’s going to happen if she refuses to get married. However, her mother says directly that it will start a war. The girl takes any opportunity to hurt her mother, like when she spoils the tapestry, calls her a beast, shouts that she doesn’t want to live with her, and so on.
Of course, Merida had the right to rebel against an unwanted marriage but why give her mother that suspicious bun? The reversible transformation into a bear is nothing compared to the situation of a poisoned bun.
Merida is not a brave and independent girl but a rude and selfish kid who manages to grow a bit mature by the end of the cartoon.
8. Shrek from the film of the same name
Shrek is a charming lout who hates all living things. He goes to rescue a princess, not because it’s what his heart wants or because of noble motives, but because he needs to resolve a land issue — he wants to become the sole owner of his swamp.
We’d also like to remind you that ogres eat humans and the movie is vague about whether or not Shrek is an exception to the rule. After all, Shrek’s favorite drink is garnished with an eyeball, not a cherry.
9. Belle from Beauty and the Beast
Belle is a beautiful, well-read heroine who suffers from snobbery. Do you remember the scenes where she’s rude to the baker and the rest of the townspeople, considering herself better than them? Belle calls her town boring and dreams about escaping the province-like life. However, once she gets into trouble (which is actually the adventure she always dreamt about going on), Belle starts to complain about her life. Given that she spends most of her time reading storybooks, we never see her do anything to support herself and her father, and also seems to look down on the villagers who have to work for a living.
Another point of concern is that the movie indulges the “not like the other girls” trope when it comes to Belle. She is regularly contrasted with the other village girls as being more mature and intelligent, suggesting that women have to be in constant competition with each other. While the original fairy tale made a similar contrast between Belle and her sisters, it was made clear her sisters were the ones actively antagonizing her, like the wicked sisters in Cinderella, and the point was that it’s wrong for girls to indulge such petty rivalries.
Which character adored by many do you think is not all they’re cracked up to be?