Blue is the colour... film is the game
It won the Best Movie and Best Director awards at the Golden Globes. Yet James Cameron's 'Avatar' is not the first film to make azure folk cool. Here's the top 10 blue-movie characters who kick the Na'vi's turquoise butts
Sunday 24 January 2010
The Blue Meanies
Far from being peace-loving forest dwellers like Avatar's Na'vi, the Blue Meanies were ruthless dictators who captured Pepperland and banned music. Fortunately The Beatles saved the day in their 1968 hit Yellow Submarine, which won no Golden Globes, but was nominated for a Grammy.
Not all blue aliens are bean-eating hippies with attractive stripy skin and saucy tails. Max Rebo is the star of Jabba the Hut's in-house band in Return of the Jedi, and is an amoral glutton. More likely to eat the fruit of the Tree of Voices than commune with it; he makes those invading Americans look thoughtful.
A heart-warming story of filial love, environmental protection and, um, never trusting dentists, Finding Nemo is the bestselling DVD of all time – until someone invents a TV that can broadcast in 3D. Dory, the big blue heroine, is voiced by Ellen DeGeneres, making her even more cool than your average blue fish.
Lover, trumpet player, friend of chickens... The Muppets' Gonzo, aka Gonzo the Great, was a rhapsody in blue when the Na'vi were merely a twinkle in the Tree of Souls. He may not be able to ride dragons, but he will now eat a rubber tyre to the music of "The Flight of the Bumblebee". Music, maestro!
Long before Avatar made $1bn faster than any other film, Walt Disney's blue period took Aladdin to No 1. The 1992 film altered the genie from A Thousand and One Nights in only two major ways – by making him blue, and by giving him the voice of Robin Williams.
Clearly an early prototype of the Na'vi, Hanna-Barbera's Smurfs were a benign blue species that lived in a wood, respected nature and took care of each other's social and domestic needs. Like the Na'vi, they had their own language, in which random words were replaced with "smurf". All that remained was to stretch the little fellas and Baftas, here we come.
Sonic the Hedgehog
Back in the days when 3D glasses were red and green, and the Iraq war was a conflict about Kuwait, Sonic the Hedgehog was regarded as the height of gaming technology. Human invaders mining unobtanium would be no match for him, since he has seen off the evil genius Dr Ivo "Eggman" Robotnik many times over.
A pre- Avatar lesson in American greed and over-consumption, Violet Beauregarde was the gum-chewing brat in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. She gets her comeuppance when she chews Willy Wonka's three-course-meal-flavour gum, and turns into a giant blueberry. Watch out, you evil unobtanium miners.
Thomas the Tank Engine
Though arguably less lithe and sexy than the smug members of the Na'vi, Thomas is nonetheless a Really Useful Engine. Avatar has Sigourney Weaver, but Thomas the Tank Engine has Ringo Starr, making the former Beatle responsible for two of the greatest blue movies of all time (see Yellow Submarine, above).
Bella, the Tweenies
Finally, a blue heroine who's even more smug and irritating than Princess Neytiri, the beautiful huntress of the Na'vi Omaticaya clan. Bella, one of the Tweenies, plays the harp, violin, double bass viola, cello and piano, and she sings. A lot. Don't get the theme tune stuck in your head; it's worse than sitting through Avatar's 162 minutes.
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Planes go hybrid-electric in important step to greener flight
- 2 Christmas comes early to Hong Kong, as millions of bank notes spill out onto busy street
- 3 Antonio Martin shooting: Police and protesters clash over teenager's death just five miles from Ferguson, Missouri
- 4 Northern Lights above Britain: Stunning Aurora Borealis illuminates Northumberland sky on Christmas Eve
- 5 British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Christmas Day TV guide 2014: What to watch from Strictly Come Dancing to the story of Frozen
Best underrated Christmas movies: From Trading Places to While You Were Sleeping
Game of Thrones season five: First preview clip shows a beardy Tyrion, a moody Cersei and a distressed Arya
The Interview is finally released after Sony hack and terror threats – but reviews of North Korea satire are mixed
Christmas TV guide 2014: The best shows to watch from Doctor Who to Downton Abbey
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food