Let me just throw out an obligatory Spoiler Alert for any Disney movies you might see ever. So I was watching Up the other day, and at the climax, a certain geriatric villain falls to his death, which made me recall something to my mind: EVERY DISNEY MOVIE EVER. (links probably NSFW)
Beauty and the Beast – Gaston, the lecherous cockblock to the hairy guy, falls off the beast’s castle, even after the beast carefully describes the dangers and pitfalls one may encounter when standing upon the high ledges of a gigantic castle.
The Lion King – Scar falls off the cliff and is met by his pissed off hyena lackeys
The Hunchback of Notre Dame – Frollo grabs onto the wrong gargoyle statue, and falls into some molten lead. Be more careful, brah.
Tarzan – Clayton, the shotgun wielding, overly macho adventurer, trips out of a tree and is strangled by a conveniently placed vine. A little brutal there, Disney?
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs – That nasty witch is struck by lightning (what are the chances!) and falls off the cliff she was hanging out on (bad idea if you ever happen to be a Disney villain) and is subsequently crushed by the boulder she was kinda thinkin’ about crushing the dwarfs with.
There are probably more if you’re feeling wikipedia-ish. These are just the ones that I remember. Now the weird thing about all these people falling is that it kind of works as a lucky break for the good guy. You have this moralistic, gung-ho savior and here he has to commit murder in order to get rid of the icky, nasty bad guy. Conundrum! Fortunately the genius writers at Disney have come up with a cure-all for this; have the antagonist fall to his death all on his own! Gee, that sure is smart, because then the good guy can even run over to the edge and act like they really didn’t want the guy to fall and die, giving them extra Karma points!
It seems that the thought process behind this is always something to the effect of, “Oh no! That guy I was fighting fell to his death! I’m so sad! Ah who cares, he was evil anyway.” Since, as we all know, anyone who has a different perspective than the good guy is unworthy of life, and murder is okay, as long as no one likes you. It’s not like in order to get Disney funding the writers have to include an arbitrary plummet at some point to satiate Walt Disney’s sick last request before he froze himself, it’s just that these movies are almost always aimed at the kiddies, and the Disney mentality is that “kids should never see good people do bad things, because then they’ll get confused and probably become sexual deviants or at the very least murderers.” I had a pure and wonderful childhood, if you couldn’t tell.
Moral: When becoming a Disney villain, confront all heroes at a comfortable elevation.
PS: I didn’t make this, but take notice of how many of these people fall: