How to tell the baddies

Photo by Ivan Diaz

While watching The Lion King with my young son, he asked, “What’s that pink thing across Scar’s eye, Dad?” Well, it’s a scar, of course. Just the same as the scar on Count Rochefort’s face in the remake of the immortal Dogtanian.

Why do they have scars?

‘Cos they’re baddies, of course. And then kids’ TV gets you thinking, and you realise that baddies having scars and mutilations is just par for the course throughout the history of entertainment.

Think of the countless James Bond villains, think of Captain Hook, think of Darth Vader. And these villains with terrible physical injuries are always set against a goodie – 007, Peter Pan or Luke Skywalker – who is fit, fresh-faced and utterly free of injury.

Frankenstein’s monster

Such discussion always leads back to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, the classic that pinned this obsession with deformity equating evil and skewered the uncomfortable mob mindset lurking within humanity.

Sure, we want our goodies to be fit and healthy. We don’t want harm to befall them. But then how quickly does a child begin to associate any such misfortune with the dark side?

It’ll start to make you ponder every story since the dawn of storytelling. If you go out in the woods today, beware…

Prefer the goodies? Watch out for the Ninjago pandemic