When I was a wee lass, the very Black-and-White good-guy vs. bad guy structure appealed to me. I mean, it’s pretty easy to understand that Skeletor is the bad guy and He-Man is the good guy. If any other character is associated with either of the above, then they are labeled good or bad.
Yes. And my young brain really, really liked it. Because I didn’t have to think deeply about WHY Skeletor wanted Castle Grayskull or if somehow He Man and Skeletor has some complicated, heart softening past that made both of their plights “right” in the eyes of those who understood.
Wanted to see Battle Cat and the others kick some serious butt.
Alas, now I am older (just a few years), and I’ve been exposed to too many good stories in which the bad guy isn’t all THAT bad, and on some level they have a really good point. It may not make them right, but they now have a voice that I am forced to listen too.
Anyway, the other day my husband and I were driving (and unless I bring up something I want to talk about I usually get some sort of math or physics lecture that kind of puts me to sleep—the dangers of having an overly intelligent spouse) and we started to talk about villains.
Disney villains in particular.
We decided that a most could have interesting and potentially story-changing back stories, while others are just bad to be bad.
Writer 1: We need a bad guy
Writer 2: What do we need them for?
Writer 1: Making a princess’s life terrible
Writer 2: (Flips through filing cabinet and pulls out a paper) Take this one. He’s just plain mean.
So we chatted, and I decided that Ursula’s story could be very interesting. I mean, what if she’d only been given the magic to suck souls? To trick people? What if she found it somewhere in the ocean while looking for her lost starfish as a kid? She could be cursed. Or, she traded her own soul to an even bigger fish (haha) and she has to take so many a month that she has to pass on to her superior or she gets dead. (Oooh, a soul-sucking pyramid scheme…I like it!)
Those are kind of silly. But what about the rest?
Fire up your brains, people. Give me a 200 word or less back story for your favorite Disney villain!