Why Do Bad Characters In Animated Movies Always Have Skin Issues?

Ever noticed the long sharp nose and mole on the witch? Or the pale skin of Lord Voldermort? I think it’s safe to say that Darth Vader wasn’t hiding a healthy glow behind that mask either…


Researchers examined major characters from the top 50 highest grossing animated movies and divided them into four categories based on what they call “dermatologic findings”. These include scars, baldness, wrinkles, moles, eye bags or darkness round the eyes and freckles. The four categories were:


  • Protagonists – typically good characters from the start, such as Felix in Wreck-It Ralph
  • Antagonists – typically bad characters from the start, such as Lord Farquaad in Shrek
  • Atypical protagonists – morally good characters with negative connotations, such as Dracula in Hotel Transylvania 2
  • Hidden antagonists – initially appeared to be good but later revealed their dark side, such as Hans in Frozen


The researchers said that the atypical protagonists would normally be assumed to be bad and were made to look that way. Interestingly a lot of the hidden antagonists had no skin problems – this enforced the stereotype that good people don’t have skin problems (the movie makers want the audience to believe these characters are good, especially at the beginning of the movie).


Ninety-two percent of the movies were released after the year 2000, and 50% were released after 2010, making the research current. All animal characters were excluded from the analysis and four movies were excluded based on mechanical or robotic characters and one due to its PG-13 rating.


Story Credit: Health 24

Photo Credit: Flickr

Posted in All Stories, Stokley Peters Tagged with: , , ,

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