Sunday, January 2, 2011

On bad guys and evil

Sarah and I had a great conversation today on our way back from the playground. Somehow we started talking about bad guys. Sarah said, “I don’t like bad guys!”

I said, “What would a story be without bad guys? I think stories need them.”

Sarah said, “I don’t think so.”

I answered, “Think about it. In The Little Mermaid, it’s Ursula the Sea Witch. In Cinderella, it’s the stepmother and stepsisters. In Star Wars, it’s Darth Vader. On the other hand, I hope there are some great stories without bad guys. If you think of one, please let me know!”

Without pausing for a moment, Sarah said, “Mary Poppins.”

“Ooh! I think you’re right. When I was little, I used to think Mr. Banks was a bad guy, but then I realized he was more of a bad-guy-turned-good.”

Sarah: “He was never really a bad guy.”

“OK. Are there more?”


“Oh yeah! And how about Kiki’s Delivery Service? And My Neighbor Totoro? Hardly any Hayao Miyazaki films have bad guys in them.”

Sarah suggested, “In Kiki’s Delivery Service, I think the bad guy is the blimp.”

“You think so? But the blimp didn’t decide to crash and put everybody in danger. That was an accident … do you think accidents and disease are evil?”

Sarah said, “Maybe. But sometimes good things can come from accidents. Here’s an example: If I plan to plant grass seeds, but I accidentally plant flower seeds!”

No comments:

Post a Comment