When we first see Indie (from the first film, "Raiders of the Lost Ark"), he is presented as an enigmatic mystery man. His back is turned to the camera, and one of his companions attempts to betray and murder him for the secret treasure map. As the traitor raises his pistol to shoot Indie in the back, Indie unleashes his whip and lashes the weapon out of the would-be assassin's hand, sending him fleeing. Only then do we see Indie's face beneath the brim of his trademark hat. Yet even though he is initially presented as a heroic and rugged adventurer, we find that he is a mild-mannered professor by profession. This dichotomy of personalities is what makes Indie such a legendary screen character. His clothing is also so distinctive, they are now signatures of the character; his fedora hat, his leather jacket, and his trusty bullwhip are part of the character's icons.
ok, these are all REALLY important signatures of his visible character ... but what is his struggle? What internal conflict works in contrast to these visible characteristics that fill him out as a person?
When we first see Harry (from the first film, "Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone"), he is presented as an abused and bullied child. He looks small and frail--dependent upon large coke-bottle-bottom glasses to even see. His adoptive family treats him poorly, and makes him sleep under the stairs in a broom closet. Yet as the film progresses, we suddenly find he is invited to attend a school for wizards. We have hope that this poor lad can find a way out of his dreary existence, and even excel in something out of the ordinary (thus elevating him beyond the average man). Our hopes are realized when he finally enters the world of the magic, and it seems that everyone knows his name. So he goes from a downtrodden nobody to a celebrity among celebrities. This is a great convention since we are first made to sympathize and even empathize with the character, then we are given the opportunity to share his relief and joys as we follow his adventures. In regards to his clothing, he, too, has distinctive wardrobe and accessories which have now become trademarks of his character; his thick over-sized round glasses, and to a lesser degree his wand and Gryffindor red-and-yellow scarf.
Again, excellent visible character signatures! Great descriptions .. these help define him as did Indiana. But Harry also had another conflict. What was the reason he was living with his adoptive family? His inner struggle was about finding out what? This grounded him as a character ... making him human... what was it?
Mickey Mouse (I was tempted to use Luke Skywalker, but Mickey's a more challenging choice).
Mickey is always presented as a good-natured, yet almost infantile character. He often gets into trouble by doing what most kids would do. For example, as the "Sorceror's Apprentice" he gets lazy and animates a broom to do the chores he was assigned by his instructor to do--only to find it causes more problems than it solves. In the end, he is saved by his instructor, and he apologizes for his misstep. As an audience member, we can associate with his temptations and mistakes, and learn from his lessons (especially the kids). This could be why he is an immortal character in practically all mediums. His trademark is, of course, the three circles joined together to form a round face with two mouse ears.
As an audience member, we can associate with his temptations and mistakes, and learn from his lessons (especially the kids).
EXACTLY!!!!!!!!!!! You had common ground with Mickey ... now what gives you common ground with Harry and Indiana?
Ask your self these questions:
Is it the clothes Harry wore that caused you to relate him?
Was it living under the stares? Do you live under stares?
How about Indiana?
He was an archeologist who lived dangerously. Do you?
What gave him common ground with you?