Blog Post #5: Because “People With Mustache’s Kill People”… Bad Guys Sport the ‘Stache.

Evil characters, best known as villains, have a type. This is because it is easy for the audience to differentiate  the villain from the hero if they are given different types. One thing I have noticed animators give their villain is the mustache. The mustache represents apparent manliness and “don’t mess with me” wisdom and when added to a character who is supposed to foil the hero, allows for the villian to embody that aspect of their character. Therefore making the mustache a tool for the animators to forward their skill and the story with a simple tuft of facial hair.

Mustachioed characters began sporting the ‘stache pretty early on. My first thought while watch Felix the Cat during class was that the Professor had a thick, white mustache.

This mustache gives the professor a look of wisdom. Society has formed our thoughts on people with mustaches and beards, like Albert Einstein, as being extremely smart. Because the professor is supposed to be a scientist who is constantly innovating new machines in order to obtain Felix’s magic bag, a bit of wisdom in the form of a mustache took his character a long way. Looking at him one can automatically assume “mad scientist”. Plus, it was easy to just twitch a mustache to make him talk rather than animated a mouth. This way the animators have an easier time animating the professor and have given him an evil “mad scientist” feel.

Other animated villains had thin, twirly mustaches that brought along the saying that “evil men twirl their mustaches and rub their hands in excitement of the evil they will produce.” Some of these thin ‘stache sporting villains include: Dick Dastardly, Snidely Whiplash,and Captain Hook.

Dick Dastardly Snidely WhiplashCaptain Hook

These thin, handlebar-like mustaches are used so often by animators for villains to twist and contemplate with.Because most of the villians posses a mustache, they are associated with “being evil” in the newer generations. This is why certain novelty sayings or items like the shirt that says “Guns don’t kill people, people with mustaches kill people” come about and are extremely popular. Therefore cementing the mustache as a tool by animators to instantly recognize witch side a character falls on.

Mustaches provide an easy time for the animator, a certain look for the villian, and a cult following for the mustache itself. Without cartoons providing fodder for this type of villian, mustaches would just be facial hair in today’s world and not a part of cartoon history.

I commented on Ian Crawford’s blog and James Davis’s blog.

BLOG SPECIMEN: I smoothed out some sentences and add a conclusion.

Published in: on February 20, 2010 at 3:30 PM  Comments (12)  

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12 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. […] Blog Post #5: Because “People With Mustache's Kill People”… Bad … […]

  2. I love this post because it is so true! As soon as you see a man with a mustache you know he’s bad news! Also, besides the mustache all of the characters you talked about in your post have those evil slanted eyes. You know a guy is double bad news when he’s sporting a ‘stache and some evil eyes!

  3. […] week I commented on Taylor & Davis. […]

  4. You raise an excellent point with your post. A lot of the main “bad guys” in most animated shows/movies do have mustaches. I always wondered why they have the “bad guys” sporting mustaches. You are probably right by stating your reason in your thesis. It seems that those characters you referenced sport devious-looking mustaches. They don’t have normal ones, they have awkward looking ones that make them seem so evil.

  5. […] this week, I commented on James Davis’ blog and Myca Taylor’s blog. That is all. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)King Rat: Mickey Mouse’s […]

  6. I noticed the same thing that the first commenter said, that all the examples you used all had the inward slanted eyebrows as well. Not only that, with the exception of the Professor, all of the villains have huge grins with pointy chins, and overly big noses. Somehow, it is these characteristics that give the characters these evil appearances.

  7. […] ETA: I commented on Ian Crawford’s Blog and Myca Taylor’s Blog […]

  8. It is rather strange that the bad guys oftentimes are the only ones with mustaches. Perhaps it is because a mustache, particularly a strange looking one, makes one stand out more and an effective villian must stand out in the crowd in some way. It oftentimnes seems that people prefer villains to be larger than life in some way and a unusual appearance certainley helps in that regard.

  9. Yes I agree, I have noticed this trend that mustached Men in cartoons typically are the villain. Not only is it the mustache but that it is usually an odd and over exaggerated mustache. I remember Sonic the Hedgehogs villain Dr. Robotnik (AKA Egg man) he too was a mad genius with many inventions that he would use to try to take out Sonic and Tails. Watch out for the stache little boys and girls, they aren’t the good guys. hahaha

  10. The first thing that came to mind when i read your blog what that episode from Family Guy where Peter is going through Cleveland’s mail and finds this magazine about mustaches and he decides to grow this thick (and bushy) mustache. I obviously love this episode because Peter automatically assumes he is this stereotyped uneducated man and that suddenly he can walk in to a deli and speak italian. I think there is a lot of truth in what you referred to as the type of mustaches, for instance, Peter tells Bryan that his mustache represents masculinity – and he puts Freddy Mercury as an example, which i think it is hilarious- and the characteristics of what is perhaps considered “trashy” for most people. Can you imagine if the animators had given Peter a thin long Hook-like mustache??? I don’t think it would have reflected the stereotype that Peter was trying to convey — that which is that men with mustaches can be very masculine and self-sufficienta and sometimes even righteous as if they had given him the other conspirator evil character.

  11. […] Blog Post #5:… […]

  12. Perhaps we have Tom Selleck to thank for keeping the moustache from plummeting into the abyss of evil. He always plays the good guy from what I recall.

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