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brainstorming villains...

Now that we had put our comedy development aside and moved on to an action-drama approach, I must have asked Fred Schaefer to come up with (a) some possible names for our new lead gargoyle (the proto-Goliath) and (b) some possible villains for him to combat. Unfortunately, the results were a bit underwhelming. But this was a new area to Fred. We had never developed a show like this before at Disney. It was an adjustment for all of us.

(Schaefer 1-6-92)
[My handwritten notes in brackets.]


Dover (carved from the Cliffs of Dover, Wales)


MORTIFY- A sleazy unemployed (yellow) journalist. Humiliation and embarrassment are his weapons. He's a walking tabloid magazine (not literally), eager to expose people's emotional weaknesses. He gets under people's skin the way Hannibal Lector does, by prying into their personal affairs, but he's much more outlandish and not as gracious and composed as Lector. Mortify obviously relishes an awkward or scandalous moment.

Perhaps he wears a yellow suit with matching hat. He used to be a newspaper reporter, but his journalistic methods were so sloppy and immoral that he was fired and never hired by another paper. So, he decided that he doesn't need to work for a tabloid newspaper to do that damage he loves to inflict. He goes directly to the source -- the innocent citizens of Manhattan. [By these two paragraphs I wrote: "Does our audience 'get' yellow journalism?"]

(E.g. A CEO receives flowers at her home from her secretary. She's confused, but her spouse is obviously perturbed (is she having an affair?) and an argument ensues. Of course, it was Mortify who sent the flowers. In fact, he delivered them himself so he could see the disconcerted reaction of his victim. Now the CEO has been emotionally weakened and Mortify can sabotage the business further (in whatever devious plan he ultimately was up to). [By this paragraph, I wrote "Very subtle."]

LICHEN -- a strange, demented man who lives in the tree tops of Central Park; responsible for your basic muggings, but revels in terrorizing his victims beforehand. He claims that South Central Park is his territory and he won't stop his reign of terror until everyone refuses to enter it again. He's skinny, agile, resembling a spider monkey without the tail. He's petrified of cement -- sidewalks, actually -- and won't venture out of the park. [I wrote "too weak" here.] Strangely, he seems to have control over a large pack of rats that inhabit the Park. Like Willard, they obey his every command. Scary. (Aka Tree Rot, because of his fungus, lichen-encrusted face; and Tree Rat, for obvious reasons.)

VAL STARCH -- Owner of a string of second rate cleaners which are fronts for his illegal business -- counterfeit fashion. Fake name-brand clothes. He always wanted to be a fashion designer, but had none of the talent. Now he doesn't need it as he leeches off the fashion industry and makes a bundle doing it. His ulterior goal, however, is to destroy the New York fashion industry and its most creative talent. On a small scale, he occasionally loves ruining people's clothes at his cleaners. (So he loses a customer, big deal, that's not where he makes his money!) On a larger scale, Starch sabotages other fashion businesses.

(E.G. A big day in the fashion world -- Ellis Perry is unveiling his new line of clothes at the most talked about fashion show of the year. Unfortunately, Val Starch has secretly swiped the clothes and replaced them with replicas, which will fall to pieces by remote control. The fashion models are supremely embarrassed. Cameras flash. Ellis Perry faints. More camera flashes. (Perhaps this one is a co-crime venture with Mortify.) [I wrote: "Too specific. Too gymicky [sic].]