I’ve been telling everyone for months before releases of Frozen and Guardians of the Galaxy that they’re going to become box office hits.
Okay, we can deconstruct their success now and say that these stories are well produced, have the right character arcs, story structure, plot progression, amazing attention to detail, but one thing I’ve spotted in them that makes spectators absolutely crazy about these flicks is the weird funny character.
Captain Jack Sparrow in The Pirates of the Caribbean, the snowman Olaf in Frozen. There are not many films that feature such character, but when inserted into a big screen blockbuster it provides much-desired comic relief.
What could be inherent qualities of the successful weird character? My list here:
- kind and innocent like a child
- selfish yet loyal to the point of self-sacrifice (when nearly all is lost)
- not very bright yet wise
- unexpectedly resourceful
- funny, funny, very funny
- eccentric or out-of-this-world
This character won’t be just providing laughs, he would move the plot and will make a critical contribution to the thematic climax of the story. Fellow writers, take notes. Your weird character may not have all these qualities, but the more of them the better.
For instance, Jack Sparrow is far from being innocent, but hey, he’s a pirate.
Now, the film Guardians of the Galaxy enjoys an overall impressive cast, yet it is the genetically modified racoon Rocket and his friend, a walking tree called Groot (who predates even Marvel itself), who steal the show. Especially Groot, who virtually ticks all the boxes. Groot only knows one phrase, he(or it) is mostly quiet in comparison to his chatty ‘know-it-all’ pal Rocket. The duo works so well. An animal and a plant. Super cute.
Then, we notice that Groot is not as dumb as we think. He keeps saving everyone’s asses all the time, including the epic grand finale. Without assisting to spoilers, I’ll just say that the very nature of Groot makes him incredibly resourceful and gives the required foreshadowing to the final plot twist. While Quill is their leader, Groot is the definitely the soul of the Guardians’ team.
Go to see this film, it’s so Groot.