Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Top 5 loveable rogues

List by Danielle

"I only got myself/And this big old world/But I sip that cup of life/With my fingers curled"
~ lyrics from Thomas O'Malley Cat, from the Aristocats

This list was inspired while watching tv with the kids over breakfast; (trying to avoid) watching Alvin and the Chipmunks: the squeakuel, to be precise. (I have just requested the soundtrack on the urging of my eager 5 year old, and am full of inner glee that I'm not the one who drops her off to school, which is when it'll get played.) High point of the morning's viewing was noticing that Zachary Levi plays the 'hapless human' in this round of chipmunkish hijinks; also known for his TV role of Chuck, you might know him better as Flynn Rider (or should that be Eugene Fitzherbert) from the recent Rapunzel flick, Tangled.

When I saw Tangled, I thought that Disney (and Zachary Levi) had really got it right - he was the epitome of 'loveable rogue'. Full of equal amounts of eye-twinkling charisma and the ability to really irritate, flippant even in the face of certain danger, pulling chaos behind him like a kite, and bursting with schemes and plans and a passion for life. He might take a cynical view to humanity in the abstract, but when he finds that one special person to infiltrate his well-guarded heart, he would risk anything to protect them. I think that's where the 'loveable' part comes alive for me - watching someone with a serious survival instinct battle with the ferocious loyalty and compassion lurking deep down.

Tosca, feel free to step in if I sound too much like I'm writing copy for the back of a Silhouette title!

Loveable rogues. SIGH.

Honourable mentions:
Captain Jack Sparrow; Captain Malcolm Reynolds (what, not another shout-out to Serenity/Firefly!?); Aiken Drum from Julian May's 'Saga of the Exiles' series; Cary Grant in just about anything; Tasslehoff from Weis and Hickman's Dragonlance Chronicles; Silk from David Eddings' Belgariad series; Alan Shore from Boston Legal.

Valen from Carol Berg's fantasy novels Flesh and spirit and Breath and bone.
The rebellious son of a long line of pureblood cartographers and diviners, Valen has spent most of his life trying to escape what society -- and his family -- ordained for him. His own mother has predicted that he will meet his doom in water and blood and ice. And her divination seems fulfilled when a comrade abandons Valen in a rainy wilderness half-dead, addicted to an enchantment that converts pain to pleasure, and possessing only a stolen book of maps. Offered sanctuary in a nearby monastery, Valen discovers that his book -- rumored to lead men into the realm of angels -- gains him entry into a world of secret societies, doomsayers, monks, princes, and madmen, all seeking to unlock the mystery of the coming dark age. Unfortunately, the key to Navronne's doom is buried in half-forgotten myth--and the secrets of his own past...

Highly recommended books, with a wonderfully flawed lead who has a roguish combination of humour, cynicism and the ability to be just a bit heroic when it really counts.

'Facilitator' Joseph from Kage Baker's sci-fi Company series
In the 24th century, the Company preserves works of art and extinct forms of life (for profit of course). It recruits orphans from the past, renders them all but immortal, and trains them to serve the Company, Dr. Zeus.

I've only read the first four of these and have yet to work through the entire series, but Joseph is the central character in books 2 and 4 - in 2 he even gets to don a custom-moulded costume and play that arch-trickster-rogue himself, Coyote. I love the way he effortlessly lands on his feet and looks out for number one... yet somehow has this great weak spot in his affection for the other protagonist of the series, the doomed botanist, Mendoza.

Thomas O'Malley from the animated movie, The aristocats
A kind but eccentric Parisian millionairess wills her entire estate to her family - a family of adorable high-society cats. Edgar, the greedy, bumbling butler, catnaps the family and abandons them in the French countryside. Thomas O'Malley, a charming alley cat, saunters by and offers to escort them home.

Phil Harris - who also played 'Baloo' in Disney's 'Jungle Book' - was born to voice animated rogues. He sounds playful, rough around the edges and slightly disreputable - but you know that, deep down, you could trust him to get your kittens (or your man-cub) home safely.

Flynn Rider from the animated movie, Tangled
When the kingdom's most wanted--and most charming--bandit Flynn Rider hides in a mysterious tower, the last thing he expects to find is Rapunzel, a spirited teen with an unlikely superpower--70 feet of magical golden hair! Together, the unlikely duo set off on a fantastic journey filled with surprising heroes, laughter and suspense.

See above - a really likeable character who performs an act of genuine and surprising selflessness towards the end of the movie, not to save the heroine's life, but just to give her a chance at personal freedom. Way cool.

Han Solo from the Star Wars series

Nothing much to say about the fabulous Han Solo except that I wish that I had a giant cardboard cut-out of him in my house. Or maybe a nice Han-Solo-in-carbonite wall feature. For me, the prototypical loveable rogue who talks real sassy but comes through for ya in the end.


Kelly M said...

YAY! Han Solo is number 1! thats where I'd put him too :) have you seen these? http://www.mightyape.co.nz/product/Star-Wars-Han-Solo-in-Carbonite-Silicon-Tray/10515336/ now you can have your very own encased in carbonite icy Han :)

catatonia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
catatonia said...

THAT is awesome LOL The other night we were at dinner (the quiz group) and one member said, 'Did you know that Al Pacino turned down the role of Han Solo?' There was a moment of silence as I contemplated that information. Then they said, 'He would've been quite good.' My gasp was audible *winces and my answer was in my horrid, outside screechy voice and consisted of, 'YOU TAKE THAT BACK! NOW!' *blushes* Definitely not one of my better moments. I also read somewhere that Jack Nicholson, Christopher Walken, Chevy Chase, Nick Nolte, Steve Martin, Kurt Russell, Perry King *and* Bill Murray turned down the role, too o_O

Danielle said...

*swoon* is it Christmas yet? Because I need me some frozen Han in my daiquiris...