The kids of today are more influenced by fictional characters than in any time in history. That’s because our society has somehow come to the conclusion that in order for our children to grow up properly we must give them their own personal viewing device (cell phone), at the earliest sign of puberty, so that they never have to be separated from instant entertainment. So, for that reason, and because I just like thinking about these kinds of things, I’ve decided to create a list of some of the best fictional role models for kids in today’s entertainment. For my list, I’ve decided to focus on characters who are: 1. Unselfish, caring about the needs of others more than themselves. 2. They are lovers of peace rather than violence. 3. They are not anti-God, and at least live according to Christian principles. Not that any of these characters have made any claim on Christianity. 4. They are all very family oriented. 5. These are characters whose sexual desires are kept in control and hidden, and have nothing to do with who they are on the screen.
6 … HERMIONE GRANGER – In the Harry Potter books and movies, she is extremely intelligent and takes her studies at Hogwarts very seriously. She is a faithful friend to Harry, always willing to sacrifice her own needs for his. Hermione also handles her attraction toward Ron in a very ladylike and self-controlled manner. She even waits for him to pursue her, rather than trying to get her way and force him to move faster.
5 … GRU – At the beginning of Despicable Me, Gru was supposedly a heartless bad guy. That didn’t last long. As soon as the three adorable orphans, Margo, Edith, and Agnes, came into his life, the real Gru began to come out. By the climactic scene of the first movie Gru was risking his life to save the girls and they were calling him “Dad”, to his delight. In Despicable Me 2 he becomes even more of a traditional family man as he encounters a woman who steals his heart. As he and Lucy Wilde get closer, it becomes clear to Gru and to all of the Minions that she is the one to complete the family. The transformation of Gru from bad guy to good guy is complete by the end of D2. remarkably, Gru does not become soft and boring as some would expect. On the contrary, Gru becomes twice as likeable, interesting, and funny.
4 … RAPUNZEL – In the movie Tangled, Rapunzel has a child-like innocence that makes her character very real in a what-you-see-is-what-you-get kind of way. She speaks from the heart and does what her heart tells her to do. Her character is refreshingly sweet and charming while also being strong-willed and smart. She is very family oriented, longing to be with her real mother and father. She also is feminine enough to fall for the handsome Flynn Rider, a man who we find out has a good heart too and may even be deserving of such a treasure as Rapunzel.
3 … SUPERMAN – He has always been portrayed as a pure-hearted, clean-cut type of guy. But, my reference for this list is the newest Superman movie, Man of Steel. Although the comic book violence was turned up a few notches in that film, Superman’s inner character remained steadfast. He’s still willing to sacrifice everything to save mankind. Even the movie’s director, Zack Snyder says, “If you really think about it, you still want him to be right and to make the right choices and to do the right thing. I think that we all hope for that in ourselves, and I think that’s what always has made him a very interesting character. He’s a Christ-like figure. There’s no two ways about it.”
2 … KATNISS EVERDEEN – The Hunger Games books and movies are at their core, very violent stories. But, it’s because of this background of blood shed for sport that Katniss stands out as an angel among demons, or a sane person among lunatics. Although she is forced to participate in the games, she (along with Peeta, who also deserves mention as a great role model) refuses to play their game. Instead, she always plays by her own rules. Rules that respect human life and assumes that good will always triumph over evil. Katniss is an inspiration to all of us, especially kids, to stand up for what’s right no matter how high the odds are stacked up against you.
1 … CAPTAIN AMERICA – He is a top-notch superhero whose super skills are summed up by three things: incredible physical abilities, a never-give up attitude, and a really cool shield. He is unashamedly pro-American. And, he’s from the past which means it’s ok for him to believe in the Christian God. The old-fashioned characteristic plays out in other great ways. His alter ego Steve Rogers is polite, respectful of women, doesn’t cuss or smoke or drink booze. What more could a parent ask for when looking for a great role model for their kids? It’s just icing on the cake that Captain America is teamed with The Avengers, a dynamite group of superheroes that are really fun to watch together. None of them are as straight-laced as the Captain is, but for the most part, they all remain on the right side of the battle between good and evil.