Sunday, May 26, 2019

The Fantastical and Felicitous Fictional Character Blog Tag

Eva Schon of Coffee, Classics, and Craziness tagged me for this, and I love nattering about pretend people, so here goes!  Because this is my movie blog, I'm going to stick with movie and TV characters, mmkay?  Just to make it easier on myself, as I adore far too many fictional characters across all platforms (books, movies, TV shows, radio shows...) for this to work otherwise.

  • Answer every question honestly. (duh.) 
  • Use as many gifs and images as possible. 
  • Incorporate at least one YouTube video with a favorite scene of a character. 
  • NO VAGUE ANSWERS ALLOWED. Explain why you chose that favorite character to fit that description. I love details, my friends. 
  • If you can’t choose just one, that’s okay – give us a few answers and geek out if that’s what it takes. 
  • Tag at least 3 people. 
  • Use fictional characters from any fictional story. 
  • If you get nominated and/or decide to participate in this tag, please put a link back to this original post in your post and credit yours truly as the creator. 
  • Have fun and obsess over fictional characters!
This says use as many gifs as possible.  Challenge accepted.
I'm going to use Alan Ladd gifs everywhere.
Chew on that for a bit, why dontcha?

Goody-two-shoes: A character who was just so morally good 

Mwahaha!  I know exactly the perfect character for this.  She even gets called "Goody-Two-Shoes" several times in the film.

(Alan Ladd's cracking up over the idea too!)

I'm talking about Catherine Freno (Leslie Caron) in Father Goose (1964).  She's an unmarried woman trying to get a bunch of scared schoolgirls to safety through enemy-occupied territory during WWII.  Hooch-swilling Walter Eckland (Cary Grant) pegs her as the stereotypical uptight, repressed spinster and calls her Goody-Two-Shoes repeatedly because she insists on politeness, disapproves of his drinking, and adheres to her own strict moral code.

But she's no shrinking violet, as he learns eventually.  Together, they learn that you can be upright without being uptight.

Heartbreaker: A character who made you cry 

(Oh my goodness, Alan Ladd.  Those eyes.  HOW did you convey so much sadness with them?  You amazing actor, you.)

One character who makes me cry.  Really.  You think I can pick just one?  I cry WAY more over fictional characters than I do over real life.

But this is going to be a massive post, what with all the Alan Ladd gifs and such.  I'd better stick to one answer per question.

Okay, so I always, always, ALWAYS cry over characters getting wishes granted.  Having things they believed were impossible suddenly become possible.  Finding out dreams can come true.  So when the fairy godmother (Helena Bonham Carter) says, "You SHALL go to the ball" in Cinderella (2015), I bawl.  Every time.

I'm crying because she's so wonderful, does that count?

Parrot: A character who won’t stop talking 

(Look, Alan Ladd got so thirsty from just thinking about talking as much as this character, he has to keep drinking from magically refilling glasses of water!)

"If you put a dime in him, you've gotta let the song play out."

Luis (Michael Peña) never stops talking.  He's like me when I drink too many Cokes in a row.  Or when I sometimes succumb to the need to tell people ALL the details when they ask me a question -- it's generally because I think they deserve to have all the information so they can fully understand something.  But I know it's probably irritating to some people.  Fortunately/unfortunately, I only do that with people I truly care about and feel comfortable with, so it's not like I bore total strangers with what appears to be meaningless drivel, but is actually me making a very full and complete explanation.

Um, except on my blogs.  I natter away here all the time.

But even though he takes foreeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeever to get to his point, Luis is one of my favorite things about the Ant-Man movies from Marvel.  He's so genuinely sweet and kind and helpful, and he has this little-boy glee that makes me laugh a lot.

Moving right along...

Devilish: Your favorite villain 

(And just when you thought Alan Ladd was all sweet face and soulful eyes, he shocks you.)

Know what?  I'm actually going to answer with the character who goes with this gif.  Cuz I can.

I LOVE RAVEN.  Okay?  There.  I said it.  I do.  I love Raven, Alan Ladd's star-making role in This Gun for Hire (1942).  Sure, he gets paid to kill people.  Unarmed, unsuspecting people.  He hits a woman.  He goes all still and creepy and menacing from time to time.  He intends to kill a woman who's been super nice to him.

But he's really kind to cats and kittens.

He looks like this when he's sleepy:

He snuggles.

He rescues kidnapped damsels.

And when someone surprises him by kissing his cheek like this:

He goes all sweet and startled like this:

So, um, yeah.  I love Raven.  I just do.  Even though he's technically one of the antagonists and a bad guy.  And I basically never love bad guys, though sometimes I do love antagonists.  But he has a beautiful character arc toward redemption that I just adore.

Love interest: A character who, if alive in reality, you would want to marry 

(I love how Alan's all "Ooooooookay, then, I'll just go back to my paper...")


Fine.  If I must, I must.  I would marry Bard the Bowman (Luke Evans) in a heartbeat.  If you want a full explanation of why I love him, read this.  Basically, he is upright, honorable, family-oriented, hard-working, brave, and utterly magnificent.  Mine, mine, mine!

Plus, Luke Evans got to use his natural Welsh accent for the role, and I LOVE Welsh accents.  They're so... rich and charming and quirky.

Sidekick: A character who was always loyal no matter what 

(Don't worry, I'm not going to write about the kid from Shane here.  Even though he IS always loyal, no matter what.)

So, there's this movie called China (1943) that stars, you guessed it, Alan Ladd.  But I'm not going to talk about his character, David Jones.  (Totally an inspiration for Indiana Jones, btw.  I'm not even kidding.)  I'm going to talk about his sidekick, Johnny Sparrow (William Bendix).

Johnny is an absolute sweetheart.  He rescues orphaned babies.  He comforts and defends sad young women.  And he will follow his friend David Jones anywhere.  Into a war zone.  Into enemy-occupied territory.  Into morally grey areas.  He's like having a faithful dog for a bodyguard, basically.  And even when he disagrees with David Jones, he still sticks with him.  Only death would be strong enough to separate them.

Complicated: A character you love and hate 

(That's the very first gif I ever made, btw!)

Um, yeah, so... that would be Loki (Tom Hiddleston) from the Marvel movies.

Until Thor: Ragnarok (2017), I basically had this range of emotions toward Loki that went from annoyance to hatred to wrathful disgust.  And then around again.  This is all because I love Thor (Chris Hemsworth) so dearly, and Thor loves his adopted brother Loki with a fierce loyalty that just makes me love Thor all the more.  Because that love is so unconditional and undeserved.  Loki is an unlovable jerk to his brother for three movies straight, but Thor sees past that and loves him anyway.  Thor learns not to trust him, to anticipate that Loki will repeatedly betray him, but he doesn't stop loving him.  And Loki treats Thor with contempt and disdain and cruelty for three movies straight, and so... I couldn't stand him.  Cuz I get all protective of people I love, even when they're fictional, and Loki kept hurting Thor, so... nope.  No love there at all from me.

But that all changed with Ragnarok.  Because Thor finally was done with Loki's nonsense.  And once Thor's friendship and support were gone, Loki realized what he had lost.  And so, by the end, Loki made some good choices and became worthy of his brother's... hesitant trust.  Spoiler:  And then he died a glorious death in Infinity War and I did something I never imagined I'd do.  I cried over Loki.  So, yeah... I now kinda like Loki.  And am still annoyed by him.  But I don't actually totally hate him anymore, so there's that.

The rules say I have to share at least one YouTube video, so although I've shared this before, I'm sharing it again because it continues to delight  me :-)

Oddity: A character who was strange, but you loved them that way 

(Hahaha!  I love this gif.  It's so subtle.)

Right!  A strange, odd character that I love.  Easypeasylemonsqueezy.

Who but a character played by Johnny Depp, Grand Master of Playing Strange Characters?  I dearly love his Tonto from The Lone Ranger (2013).  He's a lone wolf who teams up with another lone wolf to hunt down the men who wiped out his whole tribe when he was a boy.  He's wracked with guilt, he wears a dead bird on his head, he trades with dead men, and he talks to horses.  He's also cunning, fearless, and resourceful.  I would change absolutely nothing about him.  He's wonderful just as he is.

King: A male character whom you admire and aspire to emulate 

(I love this question!)

Easiest answer ever.  Sgt. Saunders (Vic Morrow) on Combat! (1962-67).

In fact, I wrote a big, long post about all the reasons why I love, admire, and look up to Saunders.  So you can read that if you want to know more about why he's my favorite fictional character of all time.  Actually, I could have just answered "Saunders" for all these questions.  Except the villain one and the complicated one.  He's never villainous, and I never hate him.  But the rest?  Yup.  He's totally made me cry; there are times when he won't stop talking; I want to marry him; he's always loyal; he can be a little odd; and he definitely has the savior thing going on.

But back to this question.  I literally will think, "How would Saunders handle this?" when I'm in difficult situations, especially interpersonal ones.  Saunders is The Best Ever at dealing with people.  All people.  Good people, bad people, happy people, sad people, whiny people, calm people, scared people, angry people, mean people, vicious people, cowardly people, ... he can handle them all.  And he does.  Over the course of the show's five seasons, he encounters basically every single kind of person you'll ever meet, and they all are better for the encounter.

Savior: A character who oddly reminds you of Christ 

(Alan Ladd really did shoot the rock in that scene.  He didn't want to because he wasn't actually a great shot, just an actor playing a gunfighter.  Director George Stevens insisted he do it himself.  So he did... but it took more than a hundred tries.  Cracks me up.)

Okay, fine, I'll go with the Alan Ladd character that goes with the gif One Last Time.  Because the title character of Shane (1953) absolutely reminds me of Christ.  He saves a whole community from evil, then leaves.  He takes his friend's place in a gunfight, sacrificing himself (in the book, he's probably mortally wounded, but in the movie, maybe not) for others.  Many of the people he saves shun and reject him.  Just... so many Christ-like aspects to him and his story.

I Tag:

DKoren at Sidewalk Crossings
MovieCritic at Movies Meet Their Match
Cordy at Any Merry Little Thought
And if YOU want to play too, consider yourself tagged!

Play if you want to!

For your ease of participation, here are the categories again, just so you don't have to hunt them down and copy them.

Heartbreaker: A character who made you cry
Parrot: A character who won’t stop talking
Devilish: Your favorite villain
Love interest: A character who, if alive in reality, you would want to marry
Sidekick: A character who was always loyal no matter what
Complicated: A character you love and hate
Oddity: A character who was strange, but you loved them that way
King: A male character whom you admire and aspire to emulate
Savior: A character who oddly reminds you of Christ


  1. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! This was marvelous fun, Hamlette! I was hoping you'd do the tag and I'm so glad you did :D I just did my own answers and it was surprisingly hard to pick only one character for each category!

    Your Alan Ladd gifs made me grin.

    Loki. Yep. Good choice. I cried over Loki in IW, too, even though I HATED him in Avengers 1 because he hurt innocent people. But in IW, he was just the best ever and I am so proud of him <3

    1. Glad you enjoyed it, Katie! Yes, picking one is always the hard part, right?

      My Alan Ladd gifts make me grin too :-D

      Man, Loki is just so... frustrating. Unpredictable. I'm glad I don't have anyone like him in my life.

  2. Well, you've sold me on This Gun for Hire. And this is the second mention of Luis, I've never been super interesting in Ant-Man and the Wasp (my exposure to Ant-Man was in Civil War, and I thought him SO cringey).

    I just read Shane this year in my effort to read some Westerns. I haven't seen the movie. Was he mortally wounded? I guess I didn't get that, not that I really "got" anything or liked much in the book. I wanted BACKSTORY!

    1. Livia, ooooh! This Gun for Hire is a very nifty bit of noir. Raven kind of popularized the whole "babyfaced killer" trope! I hope you can find and watch it.

      I reeeeeally like the Ant-Man movies. I didn't expect to, and didn't see the first one until after Civil War, but they are light-hearted fun. They make me laugh more than the Guardians of the Galaxy movies. Yes, Scott Lang can be awkward, especially when interacting with the Avengers, but in those instances, it's because he's all star-struck by them, which dude, I totally would be too. And he's very sweet and endearing and... I root for him, big-time.

      At the end of Shane the book, it never explicitly says he's mortally wounded, and you can kind of read it either way, but I think the subtext is there that he's given his life to save the Starretts and their neighbors. How sad that you neither got nor liked the book :-( It's definitely one where there's a lot going on under the surface that's never outright stated, like how attracted Shane and Marian are to each other. I think it's masterful, how much gets communicated without being outright stated, but I can see how that might not work for everyone. And I love that Shane has no backstory revelations, that we never even learn his real name. It's almost like magical realism, that he simply arrived when needed and left when his job was done. Like an angel in buckskin, in a way. (Plus, I've totally made up backstory for him. I like books that let me add to them in my head.)

  3. At first I was like "are all the answers going to be Alan Ladd characters?" (Which wouldn't be a bad thing!) But I see only some of them were.

    Raven was a rather unique villain, IMO. I love that he loves cats. :D

    SHANE MAKES ME CRY. (The character. Although the book and the movie do that too.)

    1. Eva, I TOTALLY toyed with just answering it all with Alan Ladd characters. Or just answering Saunders for basically all of them. I could have made either work ;-)

      Raven is just neat. I hear that he's quite different in the book, cold and remorseless and almost an automaton. So I'm not reading the book.

      SHANE MAKES ME CRY TOO. Character, book, and movie. In the best way possible <3

  4. "They're getting MARRIED? Goody two-shoes and the filthy beast?" - My grandmother loved Father Goose, which meant all us grandkids loved it to and got to watch it many, many times. I probably know most of the dialogue by heart.

    This tag would be hard for me to do. I love too many villains. Bwhahhaa.

    1. Charity, EXACTLY! My family adores Father Goose, and I can also quote most of it by heart. Vast chunks, anyway. "You know what 'fat chance' means?" is a favorite family retort.

      Well, we all have our weaknesses, right? ;-)

  5. Great choices! I need to check some of these out. Especially the Alan Ladd ones.

    1. Thanks, Skye! If nothing else, find and watch Shane. I think you would find it very moving.

  6. I love how you used the Alan Ladd gifs. A+.
    So many of these I want to see, especially The Lone Ranger. Hm, I have seen Father Goose, The Hobbit, and the Marvel movies, though. Thank you so much for tagging me! I'm going to have a lot of fun with this. :-)

    1. MC, glad they amused you :-) Ohhhhhhh, I love The Lone Ranger so dearly. It's a weird movie, very fantastical and off-beat, so don't go into it expecting a straight-up western. More like a tall tale with some magical realism stuff going on.

      Looking forward to your post!

  7. Thanks for tagging me. I also had Luis for the talker, but I'll see if I can find someone different now. I can't think of anyone for odd yet, but you answered it perfectly! Dig it (and now what to watch LR again). Love the Alan gifs. LOL!

    1. DKoren, well, I will not be mad if you also use Luis because... he so perfectly fits that.

      Yeah, LR should get rewatched this summer sometime.

  8. Father Goose sounds very promising. I have another friend who enjoyed it as well, so I'm convinced. Must needs try to see it. ;)

    And Cinderella '15 + Godmother therefrom . . . so much goodness wrapped up in one shining movie. <3

    Bard is wonderful!

    1. Olivia, oh my word, I think you would crack up over Father Goose. It is just this funny, salty, sweet hot mess of a movie that I adore.

      Bard. Bard, Bard, Bard. Nobody like him.

  9. wow, I don't know so many of these movies and actors ;0 Love the new Lone Ranger though. It was so shocking and hilarious ;D

    1. Keturah, well, there's always time to learn, right? Yeah, "shocking and hilarious" is a good way to describe TLR :-) Shocking in the "jolts you with surprise now and then" sense.

  10. Wow, such a delight to read your post, Hamlette! I loved reading your answers. When I created this tag, I wanted everyone to just have fun going nuts over their favorite characters, and it seems you've done just that! I'm glad it's gotten such popularity. It made me smile. And yes. I totally feel you with Loki. He's a definite love/hate character for real. I chose Draco Malfoy and Irene Adler from BBC Sherlock, but I had a really hard time not putting Loki in there. Anyways, thanks so much for participating! I'm so glad you did :)
    Emily :)

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Emily! Glad you enjoyed this :-)

      Ahhh, Loki. Can't live with him, can't stuff him in a sack.

      Thanks for creating this fun tag :-)


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