11 February 2013 6:52 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

From Emperor Zurg in Toy Story 2, to Javier Bardem in Skyfall, to the eponymous protagonist Ralph in Disney's latest 3D animation, film villains are all turning into big softies

Back in the 1980s, Bonnie Tyler was holding out for a hero. These days, she might well pine for a villain or two. From the Bible to Walt Disney, audiences have lapped up portrayals of clear-cut wretchedness. But now the divisions between good and bad are collapsing. In Disney's latest 3D animation, Wreck-It Ralph, the protagonist is the baddie in a retro-style arcade game. Ralph is a villain who lacks the villainous gene, a heavy who dreams of lightness. Inspired by attending a support group – where he learns that just because he is a Bad Guy, it doesn't mean he is a bad guy – he rebels against his fate and turns heroic. His fellow games characters are aghast. I have to confess, »

- Ryan Gilbey

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