A few weeks ago, I celebrated Women Who Wow Wednesday with my tribute to Incredible Women, three females from Pixar’s film The Incredibles. It was the first time I shined a spotlight on animated characters that epitomize true heroism. This week, having recently seen Wreck-It Ralph, I want to concentrate my efforts on Calhoun, the tougher-than-nails soldier of death who can burn a hole through any alien that comes her way.
Rather than take the traditional route of describing Calhoun in all her glory as a brazen warrior and defender of Hero’s Duty, I thought I’d take a different approach.
What is a true hero?
A true hero is someone who goes beyond themselves to fulfill a role they never intended on fulfilling. We can recognize these people by their humility in what they do. They do the job never expecting anything in return. The satisfaction they gain comes from making the world a better place to live. Sometimes they have to make decisions that will hurt those they love. This is necessary for the greater good, even if it may harm a few of those who they’re trying to protect.
On the other side of the coin lies the enemy. They’re slick, smooth talking, and always ready with an answer as to why things are the way they are. Their oily tongues pay tribute to the eloquent words they speak. They reassure those in peril all will be well. All will change. All will be better—if—no one disrupts the status quo. Their countenance is that of light, but in their hearts lies darkness. They are snakes ready to pounce on the innocent.
In the center of it all rests a virtual Utopia. A city no one would suspect as having any problems. On the outside things seem to run smoothly. The citizens receive their meager allotment of resources in exchange for their forced labor, although they don’t know its forced. The city runs without difficulty as long as everyone completes their assigned duties.
If everything’s running smoothly, why ruin it?
The hero usually is the first one to recognize something in the Utopian garden is just not right. Sometimes, it’s the hint of how the enemy answers questions without ever revealing anything. Sometimes, it has to do with how superficial things look. It could be anything, really. But in the midst of it all is the hero, knowing something needs fixing.
In the movie Wreck-It Ralph, Calhoun is that hero. A golden-haired character with a dark backstory, she recognizes something bad’s happening to the world she inhabits and needs to fix it—fast. As opposed to a diplomatic solution, she opts for proactive engagement. With Calhoun, there’s no such thing as aggressive negotiations because with Calhoun there’s no such thing as negotiating. She slaps on her weapon and fires. No 20 Questions. No sob stories of how she feels neglected and unloved, blah, blah, blah. She just fires.
Now, wouldn’t life be easier if everyone follows her example? I’ll leave you with that thought.
RANGER MARTIN AND THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE, on sale October 22.
Have you seen Wreck-It Ralph? What did you think of Calhoun?