Many of our favorite Disney characters are plagued by that one major weakness – their Achilles Heel. In Part One of this two-part series, we took a look at some of the more well known physical character weaknesses. Now in Part Two, we’ll focus on the mental game while we explore the characters of Disney, Pixar, Marvel, and Star Wars.
An unstable, volatile temperament can be one of the most frightening components to a personality. This collection of hotheads have a particularly tough time keeping their cool.
If She Doesn’t Scare You, No Evil Thing Will
Cruella de Vil doesn’t just have a twisted sense of style, she also drives a giant 1974 Panther De Ville car, and she’s not afraid to use it! Alas, reckless driving put Cruella and her car out of commission.
Blast That Piece of Junk Out of the Sky!
Kylo Ren. He’s hateable. He’s irrational. He’s a hothead. He’s a baby. And I love him! Darth Vader may be the more iconic Star Wars villain, but Kylo Ren’s temper, uncertainty, and lack of control make him the more interesting personality of the two. Just stay away from him when things aren’t going his way. The damage he inflicts on his own equipment during his fits of rage must cost quite a few Imperial credits to repair!
Admit it – you love it. You wait for something to trip Bruce Banner over the edge, then sit back and relish the wrath of destruction Hulk leaves in his wake. But don’t expect the mayor of New York to see it that way. Time to rework that city budget to make a larger “Hulk repairs” budget.
Who Else, But Donald Duck!
Who’s got the sweetest disposition?
One guess-guess who!
Who never never starts an argument?
Who never shows a bit of temperament?
Who’s never wrong but always right?
Who’d never dream of starting a fight?
Who gets stuck with all the bad luck?
No one… but Donald Duck!
Confidence can be a tricky value. You need to believe in yourself to be successful, but too much bravado can get you into hot water. Let’s look at both sides of the confidence coin.
When I See an Elephant Fly
Dumbo never had a chance as a baby elephant. He was unjustly orphaned, laughed at and ridiculed. It’s no wonder he had no faith in himself. But the tiniest of friends – Timothy Q. Mouse – was able to convince him he could do great things. He overcame his lack of confidence, and the rest is, shall we say, “aviation history.”
The Circle of Life
In his youthful days, Simba had it all. His dad was the king, the kingdom would someday be his, and he was bulletproof – until his uncle plotted a scheme that not only took away his father, but his confidence and therefore his kingdom. Simba lived for years in exile, forgetting who he was and what he could do, until reminded of his place in the Circle of Life.
Zero to Hero
Hercules had the gift of amazing physical talent, but he lacked the guidance and confidence to use it effectively. This doubt plagued him for his entire youthful life, and it took a few lessons with Phil to unleash his inner hero.
Everything is Proceeding as I Have Foreseen
Here’s what happens when your judgement is clouded by your overconfidence. Emperor Palpatine was so blinded by his own perceived invincibility, he did not even see the conversion of his most trusted servant, Darth Vader. Luke said it best – “your overconfidence is your weakness” (to which the Emperor childishly responded “your faith in your friends is yours”). Good one, Palpatine!
Kill the Beast!
Gaston is a fan favorite in the Disney parks, but his dark side is as deep as his vanity. He seriously underestimated Belle’s love for the Beast when he proclaimed “Did you honestly think she’d want you when she had someone like me?” Gaston never saw love coming.
Much like confidence, trust is a tricky game. Trust in friends – absolutely necessary. Too much trust in some – well, Julius Caesar said it all when he asked “et tu, Brute?” Here are a few characters with trust issues.
Let It Go
Our Snow Queen Else just can’t bring herself to trust her sister to help her through her frosty affair, and it almost cost them their kingdom, and their lives. Elsa, just Let It Go (and take the help)!
Trussst In Me
Mowgli is easily won over by Kaa, who entrances him into a spell.
Part of Your World
Blinded by her own desire to be human, she accepts the terms of Ursula’s no-win deal.
When Will My Life begin?
How could Rapunzel buy Mother Gothel’s lie for eighteen years? There’s a word for that – gullible.
Didn’t Your Mom Ever Tell You Not to Talk to Strangers?
Snow White and Pinocchio gave way too much credit to people they’d never even met.
We are all afraid of something, but do we let it get the better of us? What is the one thing you just can’t deal with?
Why Did It Have to be Snakes?
Indiana Jones asks himself this every time he wanders a hidden temple. But hey, snakes are just a part of treasure hunting – we know that going in!
Ichabod Crane is a wimp when it comes to superstitions and ghost stories (I must admit, this is a weakness of mine as well). He was paralyzed with fear and therefore perished (we think) at the hands of the headless horseman.
The fear of small spaces. Cowgirl Jessie evokes this emotion in heart wrenching fashion several times during the Toy Story franchise. But this strong lass overcame her fear to help Woody and the gang!
This last group doesn’t fall under one category. They each have their own unique mental hiccup.
Curiouser and Curiouser
Curiosity. It’s what Walt Disney thrived on. It’s also what took Alice down the rabbit hole into Wonderland, for a wild experience she never forgot.
“Hey Look – Balloons!”
Part short term memory loss, and part ADD, Dory’s inability to stay in the “now” has made her one of Pixar’s most endearing characters to date.
Longing, Rusted, Seventeen…
These are just the beginning of a series of trigger words that turn poor Bucky Barnes into the nearly invincible (and super dangerous) Winter Soldier.
Walt and Roy
Walt Disney was never a great businessman. This one shortcoming in an otherwise brilliant mind is what cost Walt his Oswald the Lucky Rabbit character (and half his early animation staff) to Charles Mintz in 1928. Walt’s “Sticktoitiveness” allowed him to start over and keep pushing. His brother Roy, on the other hand, was not the most imaginative man, but he had a keen business sense. Walt and Roy’s strengths complimented each other, and as a team they overcame their individual weaknesses to accomplish amazing things. Well done, Disney brothers!
There you have it – a diagnosis of some of Disney’s well known Achilles Heels. Did we catch your favorite character in our list? Are there any characters you think we missed? Let us know with a comment below.
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