A child once asked me…” Have you ever noticed how in Disney movies there is always a villain? Why is that?” I then gave him what I thought was a great answer and said, “Because if there was no villain then the story would not be as interesting.” He was satisfied with this and moved on to the next topic as children tend to do. His question lingered with me and gave me great insight into the fresh mind of a child.
When I think back to this young boy’s question, I realize that children don’t need the villain in their movies in order to be entertained. The way in which he framed and formulated his question led me to believe that he had not considered the villain as necessary to the story. It appeared to me that his eventual recognition that such movies always have a villain indicated that he had not noticed them previously.
Other adults would probably agree with my response to his question because we seem to understand that we are not entertained unless there is a villain. As adults we crave the adversity that a villain presents, we absolutely expect that there will be a villain, or at least that there will be conflict or tension.
It is an interesting discussion: What is it exactly that makes a story interesting?
A great article from Writer’s Digest reviews this topic: http://bit.ly/fhZ5tz