Don’t say you love me if I’m only gray to you. It’s either black or white, yes or no, up or down. There’s no ‘well maybe she’ll work’. I am a gift to you and if you do not cherish me like the queen I am, then leave and stop wasting my time. If you want to be with me, you have to work for it. I am not a prize to be won but I am the judge seeing if you are suitable and willing to deal with me. Deal with my random rambles and my soft kisses and my ugly laugh and my cute chubby tummy and my hot screams. Do not say you want me because I’m better than nothing. If anything, you need me more than I need you.
Internal Conflict: Five Conflicting Traits of a Likable Hero.
1. Flaws and Virtues
I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but characters without flaws are boring. This does not, as many unfortunate souls take it to mean, imply that good, kind, or benevolent characters are boring: it just means that without any weaknesses for you to poke at, they tend to be bland-faced wish fulfillment on the part of the author, with a tendency to just sit there without contributing much to the plot.
For any character to be successful, they need to have a proportionate amount of flaws and virtues.
Let’s take a look at Stranger Things, for example, which is practically a smorgasbord of flawed, lovable sweethearts.
We have Joyce Byers, who is strung out and unstable, yet tirelessly works to save her son, even when all conventional logic says he’s dead; We have Officer Hopper, who is drunken and occasionally callous, yet ultimately is responsible for saving the boy’s life; We have Jonathan, who is introspective and loving, but occasionally a bit of a creeper, and Nancy, who is outwardly shallow but proves herself to be a strong and determined character. Even Steve, who would conventionally be the popular jerk who gets his comeuppance, isn’t beyond redemption.
And of course, we have my beloved Eleven, who’s possibly the closest thing Stranger Things has to a “quintessential” heroine. She’s the show’s most powerful character, as well as one of the most courageous. However, she is also the show’s largest source of conflict, as it was her powers that released the Demogorgon to begin with.
Would Eleven be a better character if this had never happened? Would Stranger Things be a better show? No, because if this had never happened, Stranger Things wouldn’t even be a show. Or if it was, it would just be about a bunch of cute kids sitting around and playing Dungeons and Dragons in a relatively peaceful town.
A character’s flaws and mistakes are intended to drive the plotline, and if they didn’t have them, there probably wouldn’t even be a plot.
So don’t be a mouth-breather: give your good, kind characters some difficult qualities, and give your villains a few sympathetic ones. Your work will thank you for it.
2. Charisma and Vulnerability
Supernatural has its flaws, but likable leads are not one of them. Fans will go to the grave defending their favorite character, consuming and producing more character-driven, fan-created content than most other TV shows’ followings put together.
So how do we inspire this kind of devotion with our own characters? Well, for starters, let’s take a look at one of Supernatural’s most quintessentially well-liked characters: Dean Winchester.
From the get-go, we see that Dean has charisma: he’s confident, cocky, attractive, and skilled at what he does. But these qualities could just as easily make him annoying and obnoxious if they weren’t counterbalanced with an equal dose of emotional vulnerability.
As the show progresses, we see that Dean cares deeply about the people around him, particularly his younger brother, to the point of sacrificing himself so that he can live. He goes through long periods of physical and psychological anguish for his benefit (though by all means, don’t feel obligated to send your main character to Hell for forty years), and the aftermath is depicted in painful detail.
Moreover, in spite of his outward bravado, we learn he doesn’t particularly like himself, doesn’t consider himself worthy of happiness or a fulfilling life, and of course, we have the Single Man Tear™.
So yeah, make your characters beautiful, cocky, sex gods. Give them swagger. Just, y’know. Hurt them in equal measure. Torture them. Give them insecurities. Make them cry.
Just whatever you do, let them be openly bisexual. Subtext is so last season.
3. Goals For the Future and Regrets From the Past
Let’s take a look at Shadow Moon from American Gods. (For now, I’ll have to be relegate myself to examples from the book, because I haven’t had the chance to watch the amazing looking TV show.)
Right off the bat, we learn that Shadow has done three years in prison for a crime he may or may not have actually committed. (We learn later that he actually did commit the crime, but that it was only in response to being wronged by the true perpetrators.)
He’s still suffering the consequences of his actions when we meet him, and arguably, for the most of the book: because he’s in prison, his wife has an affair (I still maintain that Laura could have resisted the temptation to be adulterous if she felt like it, but that’s not the issue here) and is killed while mid-coital with his best friend.
Shadow is haunted by this for the rest of the book, to the point at which it bothers him more than the supernatural happenings surrounding him.
Even before that, the more we learn about Shadow’s past, the more we learn about the challenges he faced: he was bullied as a child, considered to be “just a big, dumb guy” as an adult, and is still wrongfully pursued for crimes he was only circumstantially involved in.
But these difficulties make the reader empathize with Shadow, and care about what happens to him. We root for Shadow as he tags along with the mysterious and alternatively peckish and charismatic Wednesday, and as he continuously pursues a means to permanently bring Laura back to life.
He has past traumas, present challenges, and at least one goal that propels him towards the future. It also helps that he’s three-dimensional, well-written, and as of now, portrayed by an incredibly attractive actor.
Of course (SPOILER ALERT), Shadow never does succeed in fully resurrecting Laura, ultimately allowing her to rest instead, but that doesn’t make the resolution any less satisfying.
Which leads to my next example…
4. Failure and Success
You remember in Zootopia, when Judy Hopps decides she wants to be cop and her family and town immediately and unanimously endorse her efforts? Or hey, do you remember Harry Potter’s idyllic childhood with his kindhearted, adoptive family? Oh! Or in the X-Files, when Agent Mulder presents overwhelming evidence of extraterrestrial life in the first episode and is immediately given a promotion? No?
Yeah, me neither. And there’s a reason for this: ff your hero gets what they want the entire time, it will be a boring, two-dimensional fantasy that no one will want to read.
A good story is not about the character getting what they want. A good story is about the character’s efforts and their journey. The destination they reach could be something far removed from what they originally thought they wanted, and could be no less (if not more so) satisfying because of it.
Let’s look at Toy Story 3, for example: throughout the entire movie, Woody’s goal is to get his friends back to their longtime owner, Andy, so that they can accompany him to college. He fails miserably. None of his friends believe that Andy was trying to put them in the attic, insisting that his intent was to throw them away. He is briefly separated from them as he is usurped by a cute little girl and his friends are left at a tyrannical daycare center, but with time and effort, they’re reunited, Woody is proven right, and things seem to be back on track.
Do his efforts pay off? Yes – just not in the way he expected them to. At the end of the movie, a college-bound Andy gives the toys away to a new owner who will play with them more than he will, and they say goodbye. Is the payoff bittersweet? Undoubtedly. It made me cry like a little bitch in front of my young siblings. But it’s also undoubtedly satisfying.
So let your characters struggle. Let them fail. And let them not always get what they want, so long as they get what they need.
5. Loving and Being Loved by Others
Take a look back at this list, and all the characters on it: a gaggle of small town kids and flawed adults, demon-busting underwear models, an ex-con and his dead wife, and a bunch of sentient toys. What do they have in common? Aside from the fact that they’re all well-loved heroes of their own stories, not much.
But one common element they all share is they all have people they care about, and in turn, have people who care about them.
This allows readers and viewers to empathize with them possibly more than any of the other qualities I’ve listed thus far, as none of it means anything without the simple demonstration of human connection.
Let’s take a look at everyone’s favorite caped crusader, for example: Batman in the cartoons and the comics is an easy to love character, whereas in the most recent movies (excluding the splendid Lego Batman Movie), not so much.
Why is this? In all adaptions, he’s the same mentally unstable, traumatized genius in a bat suit. In all adaptions, he demonstrates all the qualities I listed before this: he has flaws and virtues, charisma and vulnerability, regrets from the past and goals for the future, and usually proportionate amounts of failure and success.
What makes the animated and comic book version so much more attractive than his big screen counterpart is the fact that he does one thing right that all live action adaptions is that he has connections and emotional dependencies on other people.
He’s unabashed in caring for Alfred, Batgirl, and all the Robins, and yes, he extends compassion and sympathy to the villains as well, helping Harley Quinn to ultimately escape a toxic and abusive relationship, consoling Baby Doll, and staying with a child psychic with godlike powers until she died.
Cartoon Batman is not afraid to care about others. He has a support network of people who care about him, and that’s his greatest strength. The DC CU’s ever darker, grittier, and more isolated borderline sociopath is failing because he lacks these things.
And it’s also one of the reasons that the Lego Batman Movie remains so awesome.
God willing, I will be publishing fresh writing tips every week, so be sure to follow my blog and stay tuned for future advice and observations!
I'm sorry to bother you, but do things really get better? I'm 16 right now and everything I know is sadness and exhaustion and anger and then I talk to my parents and they just complain about adult life... is it worth it to go on?
oh gosh, i promise, it’s worth waiting, buddy. i know there are a lot of people who say, oh it gets better. and it does in some ways, but what it really gets is different. the people who are angry and mean and horrible often stay that way. the people who cut you off or who flip you off or who piss you off often are the same people at 16 as at 26.
i think i hated people telling me “it gets better” because what could get better about being a mentally ill queer cuban girl in a world that wanted to eat me. i got spat out. my writing isn’t published because i’ve been rejected so many times i don’t even notice anymore. i was told a few times “make it less obviously homosexual”. what is going to get better about that, i said to myself. the memory of it will never be a nice one.
things got different slowly. like i didn’t realize until i was far on the other side of it. i wasn’t kidding in that last post when i said today i read my writing at 15 and it was painfully obvious how depressed i was. i didn’t have a diagnosis. like you, all i knew was that i was exhausted and angry and sad all the time and when i talked about it, i was told “everyone feels that way sometimes.” i felt that way all the time. in this story, i don’t suddenly wake up after turning 18 and have a magical life where it is all bunnies and flowers and loving. it took me 3 years of trying before i finally managed to quit self-harm completely. my eating disorder and i are still not on speaking terms, luckily. i’m slowly getting a handle on my ocd. i didn’t realize that the biggest thing that was changing was me.
yeah. being out of the house made it easier. away from where people knew me as a certain person. being someone new or being who i was or being in a room full of people who didn’t care how gay i was. being in control made it better. finding real and true friends made it better. being able to make my own plans and choose my own story and do more than just wait until i was old enough to be taken seriously - it got better.
but honestly it’s me. i learned how to shake hands with depression, he and i are such good old buddies i sometimes see him before he’s even coming. and i’ve gotten so good at getting out of his embrace, because practice makes perfect, same as anything. and i’ve learned things about myself i had no idea about at 16. i didn’t even realize i’m funny. i had never been skinny dipping. my only kiss had been sort of an accident. there was a lot i cared about then that i don’t care about now, because in my new world outside of that, the people i surround myself with don’t care either. i’ve worn a dinosaur onesie pajama set to eight parties now when 19 year old me wouldn’t be seen without her makeup. i wear glasses in public even though i’m nervous they make me look like a bug. i have tattoos and new piercings and a bank account (and no money) and i have love. and i don’t mean with a partner, although i’m blessed enough to say i have that as well - i mean. i just found it. i taught myself how to look for it. i figured - listen, i’m here still, so i might as well, like, try to enjoy it. and it wasn’t overnight. it still goes away sometimes. but i love so much and so easily now. i laugh more because of it. i let myself love dogs and movies and silly things. and this love sort of … makes things better. because it reflects off of everything into you. like a mirror.
at sixteen… at sixteen i was very suicidal. i didn’t know that it applied to me, because i thought i was just annoying and lazy. looking back now i always pull a face at how obvious it was, and how close i got to walking myself into a grave. it was more than a close call. death, like, waved. i actually believed i wouldn’t make it past 18. what was the point? what was the point of anything? i think if i’d told myself then, “it gets better”, i would have laughed. “maybe for you!” i would have said, “you have money and a life and you’re not like this.” but it did get better. in inches. stick around to see it. stick around to see everything wonderful that’s waiting in the wings for you. that knows your name. a fate of beautiful moments that are small and precious, like butterflies landing on fingers or snowflakes on tongues, or just sitting with a good book during the rainfall. hell, stick around to write the book, because (trust me), if you believe in your art and yourself - it can be done.
stick around most of all because what gets better is you fall in love with yourself. the world doesn’t become suddenly sickeningly sweet, even if the people around you become better and you’re given more opportunity. that’s wonderful too but… what happens is that over time, the stuff they told you stops sticking. you realize that just because your nose is crooked it doesn’t even matter because it doesn’t stop you from being the best dang ping pong player in your family. you realize you have a family, even if they’re not blood. you realize you are your own family. and you learn to take care of yourself and yes, it gets ugly at times, but you manage. and inside of managing there’s all these wonderful successes like mac and cheese and getting the bills done and the smell of clean laundry and friends that make you laugh so hard you almost pee and an apartment with plants in every corner and a hairless cat in sweaters or a dog with a bowtie or both and watching movies and reading books and seeing art, all of which haven’t been created yet, and possibly you’re the one who makes them. and managing … managing doesn’t have to be big. sometimes it’s just making a small difference. and sometimes the person you make a difference to is yourself. and that’s amazing.
stick around because, trust me, somewhere in there, you meet your younger self in your dreams and you tell her - oh gosh, i promise, it’s worth waiting, buddy.
“How was your day?”
“Text me when you get home so I know you’re safe”
“How are you?”
“I hope you’re feeling better”
“Have a good day today!”
“I miss you”
“Can you come over?”
“Can I come over?”
“Can I see you?”
“Can I call you?”
“Want something to drink?”
“Watch your step”
“Let’s watch a movie”
“What are you up to?”
“How is your day so far?”
“It will be okay”
“I’m here for you”
“Do you need anything?”
“Are you hungry?”
“I just wanted to hear your voice”
“You just made my day”
You don’t have to hear “I Love You” to know that someone does. Listen carefully. People speak from the heart more often than you think.
1. I know letting go may feel like hitting pavement but sometimes staying is like getting hit by a train you’ve seen coming for miles.
2. There are symphonies that are screaming it is going to get better. Listen to the music.
3. The most fight you’ll ever feel is from inside your heart.
4. Nostalgia is only good for telling you bedtime stories. Don’t let it tuck you in at night, don’t let it keep you warm.
5. Keep the moments that you wish could live on for a gazillion years close to your heart, never let them burn out.
6. You’ll find someone that’s not them. You’ll love again and it’ll be pure and significant in its own way.
7. They remember it all. They’ll see how much you impacted their lives much later.
8. You may hate high school, but it’s when it’s almost over that you get flashes of when you were young and passed notes with your first love in art class and had talks with teachers that really mattered and you’ll want it to slow down. Take it in, there’s good in everything.
9. Sometimes the one that was your perfect match will be the one to watch you burn.
10. What’s meant to be yours will always find its way home.
11. It’s okay to change without them. Remember that you are the main character of your story.
12. Music cures it all.
13. Telling the story of how I fell in love with you still warms me from the inside out. Teach me how to let go of you.
14. Falling out of love makes you feel like you’ll never want to do it again, but the feeling of your heart dropping when he tells you he’s wanted you all these years is worth the stab at the end.
15. You jump off the cliff hoping there won’t be daggers at the bottom, and when you’re young you think you know how much it’ll hurt. When it comes, you’ll realize you had no clue.
16. My biggest fear was not being with you. I’m becoming someone without you, and it doesn’t feel right.
17. The nicer you are, the more beautiful you become.
18. One day you’ll meet again, and it’ll be just as scary and beautiful as the first time.
19. You’ll find your person. You may not recognize them at first because they’re not as shiny as they are in the movies, but you’ll know by the calm they bring.
20. Thank God for him.
21. The boy who runs in my dreams isn’t as dishonest. He holds my hand whenever I need to feel less alone and I sit around his kitchen table and talk to his mother about poetry. She goes on to say something about how statistically people are more afraid of love than anything else and the things I don’t say- tell her all there is to know about me. That I’m afraid beyond measure of what love can do to a person. Because I spent the last two years loving someone who didn’t know anything other than tearing apart the sole purpose of my existence. The boy who runs beside me in my dreams convinces me that love isn’t always teeth and bite marks. In my dreams, my scars aren’t there because I never tasted a bitter love before. The boy in my dreams loves me enough to let me meet his mother and destroys the idea that love is what I came here to die for.
22. Maybe love stays, maybe love can’t. Maybe love shouldn’t.
23. I glance off in another direction, but I always glance back at you.
24. Things that are sweet like this attract the worst kind of hungry.
25. I don’t think you’ll ever realize you changed everything for me.
26. I found faith that summer. The lips told stories I fell asleep to, the hands promised to hold on. But bliss is temporary when you pull your hands away from your eyes, and summer only lasts 3 months.
27. Let it pass; April is over, April is over. There are all kinds of love in this world, but never the same love twice.
You gotta stay hungry. It’s all over for you the moment you don’t. And in my job, it’s also about exploring yourself. Films are an incredible medium where you get to talk to people. I have these great fans, they write me everyday, telling me about their lives getting better from watching my movies. To me that’s more important than anything else. And as a man in the world, you have to leave something behind, if not what the hell am I doing while I’m here?
Never afraid to speak and/or draw her mind, Los Angeles based artist and illustrator, Hellen Jo and her characters can be described as rough, vulgar, tough, jaded, powerful, bratty and bad-ass - AKA her own brand of femininity. Known for her comic Jin & Jam, and her work as an illustrator and storyboard artist for shows such as Steven Universe and Regular Show, Hellen’s rebellious, and sometimes grotesque artwork and illustrations are redefining Asian American women and women of color in comics. In fact, that’s why Hellen Jo was a must-interviewee for our latest Sketchy Behavior where we talk to her about her love of comics and zines, her antiheroines, and redefining what Asian American women identity is or can be; and what her ultimate dream project realized would be.
I think the thing I love the most about Mad Max: Fury Road is the fact that while it holds out this persona as ‘hey look some classic post-apocalypse action flick’, it actually breaks and twists a ton of genre tropes. It’s a futuristic desert world, but there is COLOR COLOR COLOR literally EVERYWHERE, it’s not some sepia-toned snooze fest. Immortan Joe isn’t the usual post-apocalypse villain, either–he’s not a sickly philosophizing bureaucrat, he’s just over-powerful and shamelessly selfish. (Plus the overabundance of cool females is fairly unusual in an action movie and exceedingly welcome, but that’s a dead horse I’m going to refrain from beating here).
But my favorite subverted trope in the whole film comes at the end. Like a The Book of Eli or I Am Legend, the movie holds forth the promise of some semi-civilized remnant of humanity that the heroes have only to reach to be safe. The entire plot revolves around Furiosa, and eventually Max, trying to get everyone to the Green Place of Many Mothers; somewhere where plants and kindness still exist, somewhere where the horrors of Immortan Joe’s tyranny can be left behind and forgotten. And then comes the kicker: the Green Place is no longer. It’s as dead and poisoned as everything else, turned into a noxious, useless swamp. And then the heroes have a choice: keep running towards some distant Green Land, some half-hopeless promise–or go back and fight. And THEY GO BACK. And they FIGHT. And in fighting, they save not only themselves but who knows how many others–all the people living under Immortan Joe’s sorry excuse for a rule.
I just love that the solution was not, for once, simply to flee and ignore and save yourselves, but to turn, to hold your ground, and to destroy the evil instead of letting it destroy anyone or anything else.
while it’s still april i wanted to make an autism acceptance post !
this post is a shoutout to every autist with a “weird”, “cringy”, and mostly otherwise unknown special interests – and i mean things that actually arent liked by tons of other people like minecraft and fnaf and undertale
im talking about all of you with special interests that no one’s heard about, that have little to no fan content, that are hard to get other people interested in hearing about let alone invested with you
i see you, i support you, and i think your special interest is wonderful and unique. you arent weird or embarrassing or boring, you are passionate and individual and that’s amazing!!
i encourage us all to celebrate each other’s niche special interests. i absolutely adore having seen all my friends speak so lovingly about their special interests and ive been introduced to so many fantastic new forms of media and information !
because the people around me have had the confidence to share their “strange” special interests ive had the joy to discover so many things ??? i never knew wordgirl existed but now i wish i’d watched PBS more as a kid. i’ve learned more about trains and betta fish than i ever thought i would ever. i’ve never thought more about the pixar cars movie, pinky and the brain, and snagglepuss in my whole life and i LOVE IT
ive heard great music, movies, art, and facts all over from the autistic people i follow all about their special interests that to most would be anything but special. i love seeing all of your care and passion and i hope that i never see that end.
@ foxy-dreams :
hello! i really like your style of reactions, could i request one? when
their s/o really wants physical contact but is also really really shy
about it? like walking together and reaching for his fingers but just
holding pinkies? thank you!
This is soo cute *-* I love it! Hope you enjoy
Loove this. Jin would be so adorable, cute and lovely. You getting too shy even if you really need to hug him after rought day would make him all soft. He wanted you to comfortable with him so for every possible way he’ll be slowly helping you to get over your shiness. But still he don’t want to change you.
“Y/n~ This flower need your kiss to change into really handsome prince. So come and quickly kiss him~”
One more reason to tease you. He love you and he thought that you are really cute when you are
like this. Yoongi sometimes will provoke your shiness only to see your red face. He would make fun of you that there’re so many fans that would give everything to only touch him but his soulmate is getting all shy and don’t even want to hold his hand. He knew that you want to be in physical contact with him so he thought that maybe his teasing will encourage you.
“I knew that my being can knock everyone out. I’m just too cool.”
Asking you why you are feeling shy. He didn’t have anything towards it but he’s curious. We all knew that if you are shy about skinship with him he would make somthing that this shiness will be going away and hope that won’t come back. Hobi can sometimes act that he’s hurt that you are holding only his pinkies but in real he think that you’re adorable.
“Owhh. My Y/N gets shy again?? Can be anything cuter than you?~ I don’t think soo”
everything to make you more comfortable around him. Of course if you’ll
be fine with it. Watching movies together while hugging, cuddles and
randomly kissing. Namjoon would find it cute when your face is turning
red every time when he is coming towards you to kiss you. He would find way to eradicate your shiness about phisical contact.
“You are the cutest. I love you. One day you wouldn’t looks like beetroot while touching me. ”
would be so sweet. He’ll patiently wait when you’ll be ready to take
his hand without being shy. Jimin will assure you that you don’t need to
by shy around him.Sometimes he can be playfull like coming towards you and randomly taking your finger, looking deeply in your eyes if you are fine if he will take your hand.
“Jagii~ no need to by shy. I’ll give you time and your shyness towards me will dissapear.”
knew that you’re shy and that you won’t touch or kiss him because of
that. So he were kissing you without any warning or when you took his
finger he always taking your hand and don’t wanna leave it. He’ll be
doing everything to make you less shy and transform yours desire into activity.
“I love youu~- *kiss*- you are cute- *kiss*- I love you now even more -*kiss*- You are still shy? I can do this all day~”
shy too about touching you. But when you two would date for few moths
he would be more bold. You were looking at his lips for few minutes.
Jungkook notice it and come closer making a small distans beetwen your
and his faces. He thought that maybe he can provoke you to kiss him. You
just turned red and go to another place in the room. He looked at you,
started to laught and come to you and hugs you.
“Kiss me finally! Look I’ll help you. I’m not bitting”-jokingly said Jungkookie
Everything you (n)ever wanted to know about archery
Don’t watch Lord of the Rings, the Hunger Games, or Avatar. At least, not for the archery. Hollywood is stock full of misinformation and misrepresentation about archery. Sadly, not a lot of writers have the opportunity to really delve into the practice. So here is my all you wanted to know primer from how bows are constructed, to lining up and releasing the shot, to treating your friend’s nasty broadhead wound.
I held her close to me with my eyes closed, wonering if anything in my life had ever been this perfect and knowing at the same time that it hadn’t. I was in love, and the feeling was even more wonderful than I ever imagined it could be.
Sportacus: Hey Robbie, my husband’s better than yours!
Robbie grabbing his face, foreheads touching as he stares into his eyes: Now listen here Sportaflop, we’ve been married for three years, you are the sun that shines my life, you are my everything. Everyday I wonder how is it possible for someone like me to deserve someone as perfect as you. I love you so very much, even more than cake and I will give it up if it means I can spend even one more day with you. So if I have to hear you say anything deprecating about yourself in this household, I will need you to pick out the movie while I grab the special sweater and blanket for obligatory cheer up cuddles because you’re not staying sad on my hecking watch
Summary: Chris Evans x Reader where the reader and Chris have a daughter and she gets jealous when he starts spending time on and off set with Mckenna, and he accidentally misses an important day (as requested by anonymous) Word count: 1,052 A/N: in the midst of my college duties/exams, you, anon, managed to inspire and motivate me me enough to make me whip this up in under a day! (Also, Frank gave me dad feels.)
Was it a movie I saw since August 22nd, 2009: Yes. #412.
1) From the very start this film is excellent storytelling. The opening scene where young Judy and her classmates clearly establishes the conflict of predator vs. prey and the biases that come from that, the film’s humor and heart, and Judy as a character.
2) My mother is an actuary. My brother is studying to be an actuary. Actuaries don’t do this.
Little Jaguar: “Today I can hunt for tax exemptions. I’m going to be an actuary!”
3) Judy’s parents (Don Lake & Bonnie Hunt) are so funny in such a sad way.
Stu: “Judy, you ever wonder how your mom and me got to be so darn happy?”
Stu: “Well, we gave up on our dreams and we settled. Right, Bon?”
Bonnie: “Oh yes, that’s right Stu. We settled hard.”
4) Gideon Grey.
Gideon is a perfect example of how nothing - NOTHING - in this film is superfluous, but I’m actually going to speak on that further into the film.
5) The police academy scene gives wonderful exposition. It sets up the environment and rules of Zootopia’s various ecosystems in a way that feeds into Judy’s conflict and character.
6) Ginnifer Goodwin as Judy Hopps.
Goodwin (a massive Disney fan herself) breathes perfect life into Hopps. The best voice over work is when you’re not distracted by the voice actor. When their voice and their heart match with the character so perfectly that you don’t hear - say - Kristen Bell as Anna or Mike Myers as Shrek, you only hear the character’s. Goodwin is able to balance Judy’s massive optimism and heart along with the scenes where Judy has lost those things perfectly. I don’t think anyone else could have voiced Hopps as well as Goodwin.
7) If you want to avoid a slew of bad animal puns, don’t look too hard at Judy’s iPod.
8) “Try Everything” by Shakira.
Written by Sia, Tor Erik Hermansen, and Mikkel Storleer Eriksen, the theme song which deserved an Oscar nomination captures Judy’s optimism and struggles perfectly. The song’s lyrics speak of optimism in the face of constant failure, a theme which is very relevant to Judy in the first half of the film. It also provides the perfect backdrop to the visual introduction of Zootopia as Judy enters the city on train.
Judy [after Clawhauser calls her “cute”]: “Ooh, ah, you probably didn’t know, but a bunny can call another bunny ‘cute’, but when other animals do it, that’s a little…”
Bogo [turning to an Elephant officer]: “Francine. Happy birthday!”
11) I love the way the filmmakers handled Judy’s office discrimination. She is treated just as a token bunny, someone who’s only there for PR. Except she was top of her class at Zootopia police academy: a difficult feat for anybody, let alone a bunny. But this just feeds into the biases Bogo already has about Judy: she’s not really that good, they just said she was because she’s a bunny. That plays into real life way more than it probably should.
12) Wow, I did not catch how entirely speciesist this line was until now:
Remember how I said great voice over work is noted by not realizing you’re listening to a voice over artist? The same can be said of Bateman’s performance of Wilde, 100%. To start, Bateman captures Wilde’s surface level of sly con artists WONDERFULLY well. He’s devilish and charming in the same vein as Danny Ocean or Han Solo, and Bateman expresses this perfectly. But as the film progresses Bateman is also able to show off Nick’s layers. His troubled past, his occasional lack of self-worth and anger at the world. And the honest level never changes. It’s not like Bateman was hired ONLY for the slyness of Nick’s role and had to power through the rest, he’s able to do it all. It’s a great voice over for a great character.
14) The relationship between Nick & Judy is the cornerstone of this film. What I personally like about it is its honesty. There’s no BIG moment when these two meet, it’s a chance encounter which grows to conflict and then budding friendship so organically you don’t even know it’s happening.
15) There is nothing even remotely superfluous in this film. Nick makes a comment about how he’s been running his popsicle con his whole life and that will come back to bite him in the butt later.
16) This pig is played by Josh Dallas, Ginnifer Goodwin’s onscreen partner in “Once Upon a Time” and real life husband.
17) The chase through Zootopia is an incredible amount of fun, especially when Judy and Duke get to Little Rodentia. The filmmakers are able to play with their concept in a visual entertaining and imaginative way, which in turn keeps us as the audience wrapped up in the world they’ve established.
Note: I’m going to take about Alan Tudyk as Duke later in the film, at a very specific moment.
18) Again, there is nothing superfluous in this film (a note I’m going to be making a lot):
Judy [after saving Mr. Big’s daughter]: “Love your hair.”
Mr. Big’s Daughter: “Aww, thank you!”
It is this little encounter (and, you know, the fact that Judy saved her life) that saves Judy & Nick from getting “iced” by Mr. Big later in the film.
19) Again, nothing superfluous in the film. As the “non-onions” that Duke stole end up being very important later on.
20) Disney is at its bets when it pokes fun at itself.
Bogo: “Life isn’t some cartoon musical where you sing a little musical and your insipid dreams MAGICALLY COME TRUE! So let it go.”
21) Can we all just take a moment to appreciate Nick’s face after Judy says she’ll arrest him for, “felony tax evasion,” after he brags to her about how he’s been running this con since he was a kid and how much money he makes?
22) Again, with the idea that nothing in this film is superfluous: Judy’s recording pen becomes very important as the movie goes on.
23) Only Tommy Chong could play this character.
(GIF source unknown [if this is your GIF please let me know].)
Like there’s a chance he’s not even reading from a script, they just had Tommy Chong come in and told him what the movie was about and he just started talking.
24) This is the funniest part of the whole film, in my opinion.
The entire DMV scene plays well not only with the concept established by the film of an animal society in a way which is funny on its own, but the continuing conflict of Judy’s eagerness, Flash’s slowness, and Nick’s desire to throw a monkey wrench into the whole thing leads to amazing comedy.
25) Did you know Kristen Bell is in this film?
Bell landed the role not only because of her working with Disney on Frozen, but also because she is a noteworthy sloth enthusiast (as seen on “Ellen”).
26) It is nice to see Nick freak out when he realizes he and Judy are in Mr. Big’s limo, as it shows us a part of him we haven’t gotten to look at much in the film so far.
LaMarche is a noted voice over actor known primarily for his roles as Brain on “Pinky & The Brain”, various characters including Calculon on “Futurama”, and Mr. Freeze in the Batman Arkham series of video games. Here, we get to hear the veteran voice over artist do his best high pitched Brando impression.
28) This film has its fair share of nice surprises, details and twists which keeps you on your toes. The earliest of these is the revelation that the missing mammal Judy & Nick are looking for - Mr. Otterton - was in fact the one who attacked the limo driver (and not that he was the one attacked, as originally perceived).
29) This scene gives me life.
Bogo [after Judy’s witness disappears]: Two days to find the otter, or you quit. That was the deal. [Holding out hand] Badge.
Judy: But sir, we…
[Judy starts to turn in her badge]
Nick: Uh… no.
Chief Bogo: What did you say, fox?
Nick Wilde: Sorry, what I said was… NO! She will not be giving you that badge.[Bogo flinches] Look, you gave her a… a… a clown vest and a three wheel joke mobile and two days to solve a case you guys haven’t cracked in two weeks? Yeah, no wonder she needed to get help from a fox. None of you guys were gonna help her, were you? [Bogo starts to speak but Nick cuts him off] Here’s the thing, chief. You gave her the 48 hours, so technically we still have… 10 left, to find our Mr. Otterton. And that’s exactly what we’re gonna do. So, if you’ll excuse us, we have a very big lead to follow and a case to crack. Good day.
30) And then there’s this…
I saw this film twice in theaters and both times I was tearing up during Nick’s backstory. Anyone who has ever been bullied as a kid for being different will relate at least a little bit to what Nick went through. And it is this scene when Nick is at his most honesty with Judy, when they become pretty good friends and form a trust with each other.
31) NOTHING IN THIS FILM IS SUPERFLUOUS!!!! NOT EVEN A BLINK OR YOU’LL MISS IT STICKY NOTE ON BELLWETHER’S DESK!!!!
32) I did not think a Disney movie would make me jump like this (stop at 2:11).
33) This is incredibly rare for me, as someone who sees more than 60 films in theaters a year, but after Nick & Judy found the missing mammals and had the mayor arrested I had absolutely NO idea where the film was going after that. At all. I love it!
34) Nick’s face when Judy links the savage animals to being a predator…
(GIF source unknown [if this is your GIF please let me know].)
35) I had a film student criticize this film not based on the merits of its story or character’s or anything, but because they didn’t understand the metaphor. He noted that it’s not a clean comparison between white people and minorities and that’s exactly the point. This film is not about the people in power vs the people who aren’t, because who’s in power? The mayor may be a lion but the most biased character in the film - Chief Bogo - is prey. Bias goes all around and it can infect anybody, no matter what you think. Even Judy, for all her merits, is biased. She carries around fox repellent all the time and even has this line:
Judy: “It’s not like a bunny can go savage.”
That’s what I love about this film. It’s universal. It’s not about one real life society, it is about all societies everywhere and how bias can infect them and taint them and it’s up to us to work against that.
36) Fun fact: I had no idea otters were predators before seeing this film.
37) Gideon Grey returns.
If only all childhood bullies were like that, but again it gets to my oft-repeated point that nothing in this film is superfluous. Gideon could have easily been the one note bully from Judy’s youth who gave her the motivation to prove him wrong, but he comes back 15 years later in the most perfect way. She sees that people can change and that people who are good now are not always good (Gideon when he was younger, Judy when she was biased). It is a really important moment for her that was established all the way in the first ten minutes of this movie. I love that.
38) Judy’s apology to Nick and the way he handles it is something I truly love about this movie and their friendship as a whole.
And then I really love the little joke at the end about Judy trying to get to the pen and can’t help but wonder: was that written in the script? Was it Jason Bateman’s improv that made it into the film? It’s just so natural I must know!
39) Okay, I think this is the last time I will give this note, BUT NOTHING IN THIS MOVIE IS SUPERFLUOUS!!! This is most apparent to me when Nick does a little thing like expressing how much he likes the berries on Judy’s farm and it becomes so important to the plot latter when they switched out those berries with the Night Howlers in Bellwether’s dart gun.
43) The sticky note on Bellwether’s phone earlier was for Doug, the guy who mixes the night howler drug that makes animals go savage (this is the same drug who’s key ingredient was mixed from the non-onions Duke stole earlier in the film, FOR Doug).
44) At one point Doug - who is dressed in a yellow radiation suit and makes drugs for a living - lets his client know that “Woolter and Jesse” have arrived.
And yes, they did that on purpose.
45) The entire subway chase sequence is really great, because it is based heavily on the idea of action = consequence. A ram is running at the door, he gets through and hits another ram. The train goes too fast into a turn, it tips over and Judy/Nick are up a creek. It all works very nicely
46) Honestly, I didn’t figure out Bellwether was the bad guy until just before it was revealed the first time I saw this.
47) Bellwether’s line about, “Fear ALWAYS works!” to keep the people in check should not be as relevant in 2017 as it is.
48) Okay, one thing I need to know: Bellwether is in jail, Mayor Lionheart is in jail, and Chief Bogo is still the police chief…SO WHO’S MAYOR NOW!?!?!?
49) I know this film was pretty much a buddy cop movie, but I would be totally fine with a buddy cop movie where Nick is actually a cop.
Lethal Weapon where Nick is Mel Gibson and Judy is…Danny Glover? Okay, that comparison doesn’t really work, but you get me!
50) And of course…
I honestly think Zootopia may be a perfectly written film, and that is not something I say lightly. I made it clear above how I find nothing in the film superfluous, which is an incredible feat I think. And they did it in a way that was never boring, with entertaining characters, an intriguing mystery, and a fun world. Zootopia may be my favorite Disney animated feature film, and it’s definitely my favorite of the “Modern Era” we’re in now (The Princess and the Frog - Present). Just a great, great, great film which deserved its Best Animated Picture win at the Oscars. A true treat all around.