Congratulations go out to this site’s illustrious Editor-in-Chief, Andy B who, along with his Queen (the brains and the beauty behind the Buffy geek) recently welcomed their first child, daughter Anya, to the world of film, music, video games, comic books and all things cool. Over the next few days, the writers of Biff Bam Pop! will be showcasing pop-culture inspired tributes to the proud new parents and their baby girl. Happy first week, Anya! Things get really, really poppy from here on in!
First up, Scotty G on the best characters that were born on screen…take it away, Scotty!
In honour of our colleague Andy’s baby, we at Biff Bam Pop! are coming up with lists inspired by newborns. I decided to make a Top Five list of my favourite characters that were literally born on screen. I had a couple of rules in coming up with this:
1) The character must have been mainly known from its film. Characters like Harry Potter and Superman don’t count as they were popular in another form before being adapted for film.
2) We had to see the “birth” of the character on film, or the baby when it was first born on screen
So with that in mind, here is my Top Five List of movie characters that were born on screen:
5) Luke Skywalker from The Star Wars Trilogy. He was born at the end of Episode III, and is one of the most iconic characters in film history. His struggle from being a poor farm boy, to one of the key players in the Rebel Alliance, to a final confrontation with his father is one of the most exciting journeys on film. To see the boy become a man, to see his attitude change from caring about just himself to caring about an entire galaxy that wants to defeat The Empire is always exciting. I think any parent would be proud of having a son like Luke.
4) The Alien from Alien. – This is one bad-ass baby. When it is first born, it jumps out of an egg onto John Hurt’s face. That was only phase one. Phase two is when the alien bursts out of John Hurt’s chest and you know this is one bad creature. It is angry and violent, and ready to kill. If you’re a parent, you know that if this was your kid, it definitely will not get bullied in school (having acid for blood will pretty much scare anyone away), but you know that you might have to deal with some anger management issues. I tease a little, but the alien is another iconic character in film history, which goes to show you the impact the film has had over the years, and I think to some degree, parents want their kids to make an impact on the world, but maybe not in the way that the alien did.
3) David from Artificial Intelligence: A.I. – Haley Joel Osment played the robot who only wants to be loved by his parents. David is adopted by a family that uses him to replace the void in their lives left by their real son, who is so ill that he lives in a state of cryo-stasis. David is everything a parent could ask for: polite, well-mannered, listens to his parents and is smart. Even when his mother leaves him in the woods (on purpose) when their real son is well enough to come home, he loves his family so much, his sole purpose is to rejoin them so he can feel the love of his mother. It’s definitely inspired by the “Pinocchio” story, but I still find David an interesting character. A lot of kids can be annoying on film, but David is mature for his age (even though he is a robot), and you care about his journey. David is someone you root want to see succeed, which is what most parents want for their kids.
2) Simba from The Lion King – From the opening shot of Simba being dangled over Pride Rock, you know the cub is going to be special, which is what every parent thinks of their baby. Like Luke Skywalker, Simba is a little selfish in his youth and more concerned about his own life than others. When his father is killed, and he is sent into exile, it still doesn’t dawn on Simba the responsibility he has and is more concerned about partying and living a care-free lifestyle (Parents – this is called university). Eventually he wises up and goes back to fight for what is rightfully his. The journey is the entertaining part, and parents always enjoy the moment when their son/daughter matures and starts to become a grown-up, and that’s why I include Simba on this list.
1) Truman Burbank from The Truman Show – We don’t see much of Truman as a child. We know that he was picked from a select group of babies and his life has been televised ever since he was picked. He is a kind, generous, humourous, kind, hard-working and good-natured human being. Think about this, he never once had a scandal in his entire time on the show. The audience that watches the show on TV has nothing but good things to say about him. Now, think about how many reality shows that we watch have characters we hate or want to see fail? Do you see how rare it is for someone to be a good person on a reality show? That’s why I pick Truman Burbank as the top character. Like Luke Skywalker and Simba, it’s always gratifying as a parent (in this case the audience who watches the show), to see their son/daughter have that moment of realization that they have to fight for themselves and stand-up for what they believe is right. Truman does that, and that is why he is my #1 pick.
That’s my list. Let me know what you think. Do you agree/disagree? Do you think my ranking order was wrong? Hope you enjoyed the list, and hopefully one day I will be able to understand what it is like to have a child and the responsibility that comes along with being a parent. I think of Lester Burnham’s final words in American Beauty when I talk to friends of mine who have kids. I can’t always relate to their lives, but I just remember what Lester said, “You have no idea what I’m talking about, I’m sure. But don’t worry. You will someday.”