Portal:Fictional characters

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Fictional characters

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WikiProject Fictional characters aims to improve articles on the English Wikipedia pertaining to fictional characters, such as Mario, Harry Potter, Prince Hamlet, Superman, Archie Bunker, and Luke Skywalker, be it from literature, film, television, video games, or other sources.

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Featured film character

Jabba the Hutt is a fictional character in George Lucas's space opera film saga Star Wars. Designed to be a large, slug-like alien, his appearance has been described by film critic Roger Ebert as a crossing between a toad and the Cheshire Cat.

Jabba is mentioned in the first film, A New Hope (1977), where he was referred to as a ruthless gangster who had a bounty on Han Solo, who owed him money for dumping an illegal cargo. When the film was re-released in 1997, Jabba was included in a scene that had been cut out of the original, where he had been developed by computer-generated imagery. Jabba subsequently appeared in the third film, Return of the Jedi (1983), where he was depicted using a complex animatronic puppet. He served as a minor antagonist throughout the initial series, where he was shown abusing his many cohorts, putting a bounty on Solo's head, attempting to kill Luke Skywalker, and enslaving Princess Leia Organa, who eventually kills him. In the prequel film, The Phantom Menace, Jabba features in a cameo at the start of the Boonta Eve Classic pod race.

Jabba's role in Star Wars is primarily antagonistic. He is a 600-year-old Hutt crime lord and gangster who employs a retinue of criminals, bounty hunters, smugglers, assassins, and bodyguards to operate his criminal empire. In his palace on the desert planet Tatooine he keeps a host of entertainers at his disposal: slaves, droids, and alien creatures. Jabba has a grim sense of humour, an insatiable appetite and affinities for gambling, slave girls and torture.

The character was incorporated into the Star Wars merchandising campaign that corresponded with the theatrical release of Return of the Jedi. Besides the films, Jabba the Hutt is featured in Star Wars literature and is sometimes referenced by his full name, Jabba Desilijic Tiure. Jabba the Hutt's image has since played an influential role in popular culture, particularly in the United States. The name is used as a satirical literary device and a political caricature to underscore negative qualities such as suffering from the disease morbid obesity and corruption. (read more...)

Featured television character

Bartholomew JoJo "Bart" Simpson is a fictional main character in the animated television series The Simpsons and part of the eponymous family. He is voiced by actress Nancy Cartwright and first appeared on television in The Tracey Ullman Show short "Good Night" on April 19, 1987. Bart was created and designed by cartoonist Matt Groening while he was waiting in the lobby of James L. Brooks' office. Groening had been called to pitch a series of shorts based on Life in Hell but instead decided to create a new set of characters. While the rest of the characters were named after Groening's family members, Bart's name was an anagram of the word brat. After appearing on The Tracey Ullman Show for three years, the Simpson family received their own series on Fox, which debuted December 17, 1989.

At ten years old, Bart is the eldest child and only son of Homer and Marge, and the brother of Lisa and Maggie. Bart's most prominent character traits are his mischievousness, rebelliousness and disrespect for authority. He has appeared in other media relating to The Simpsons, including video games, The Simpsons Movie, The Simpsons Ride, commercials, and comic books; he has also inspired an entire line of merchandise.

In casting, Nancy Cartwright originally planned to audition for the role of Lisa, while Yeardley Smith tried out for Bart. Smith's voice was too high for a boy, so she was given the role of Lisa. Cartwright found that Lisa was not interesting at the time, so instead auditioned for Bart, which she thought was a better role. Hallmarks of the character include his chalkboard gags in the opening sequence; his prank calls to Moe the bartender; and his catchphrases "Eat my shorts", "¡Ay, caramba!", and "Don't have a cow, man!"

During the first two seasons of The Simpsons (1989–1991), Bart was the show's breakout character and "Bartmania" ensued. Bart Simpson T-shirts sporting various slogans and catchphrases became popular, selling at a rate of a million per day at their peak. The song "Do the Bartman" became a number one charting single and the seventh best-selling song of 1991 in the United Kingdom. Bart's rebellious attitude and pride at underachieving caused many parents and educators to cast him as a bad role model for children. A T-shirt reading "I'm Bart Simpson. Who the hell are you?" was banned in several public schools. Around the third season, the series started to focus more on the family as a group, although Bart remains one of the most prominent characters on the series. Time named Bart one of the 100 most important people of the 20th century, and he was named "entertainer of the year" in 1990 by Entertainment Weekly. Nancy Cartwright has won several awards for voicing Bart, including a Primetime Emmy Award in 1992 and an Annie Award in 1995. In 2000, Bart, along with the rest of his family, was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. (read more...)

Featured literature character

Nancy Drew is a fictional young amateur detective in various mystery series for all ages. She was created by Edward Stratemeyer, founder of the Stratemeyer Syndicate book packaging firm. The character first appeared in 1930. The books have been ghostwritten by a number of authors and are published under the collective pseudonym Carolyn Keene.

Over the decades the character has evolved in response to changes in American culture and tastes. The books were extensively revised, beginning in 1959, largely to eliminate racist stereotypes, with arguable success. Many scholars agree that in the revision process, the heroine's original, outspoken character was toned down and made more docile, conventional, and demure. In the 1980s a new series was created, the Nancy Drew Files, which featured an older and more professional Nancy as well as romantic plots. In 2004 the original Nancy Drew Mystery Stories series, begun in 1930, was ended and a new series, Girl Detective, was launched, with an updated version of the character who drives a hybrid electric vehicle and uses a cell phone. Illustrations of the character have also evolved over time, from portrayals of a fearless, active young woman to a fearful or passive one.

Through all these changes, the character has proved continuously popular worldwide: at least 80 million copies of the books have been sold, and the books have been translated into over 45 languages. Nancy Drew has featured in five films, two television shows, and a number of popular computer games; she also appears in a variety of merchandise sold over the world.

A cultural icon, Nancy Drew has been cited as a formative influence by a number of prominent women, from Supreme Court Justices Sandra Day O'Connor and Sonia Sotomayor to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former First Lady Laura Bush. Feminist literary critics have analyzed the character's enduring appeal, arguing variously that Nancy Drew is a mythic hero, an expression of wish fulfillment, or an embodiment of contradictory ideas about femininity. (read more...)

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Featured video game character

Master Chief Petty Officer John-117 is a fictional character and protagonist of the Halo universe, created by video game developer Bungie. Master Chief is a playable character in the trilogy of science fiction first-person shooter video games Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2, and Halo 3 and will appear in the upcoming Halo 4. Outside of video games, the character appears in the novels Halo: The Fall of Reach, Halo: The Flood, Halo: First Strike, and Halo: Uprising, and has cameos in Halo media including Halo: Reach, Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, The Halo Graphic Novel and Halo Legends. He is voiced by Chicago disc jockey Steve Downes in the video games in which he appears.

The Master Chief is one of the most visible symbols of the Halo series. Originally designed by Bungie artists including Marcus Lehto, Rob McLees, and Shi Kai Wang, the character is a towering and faceless cybernetically enhanced supersoldier; he is never seen without his green-colored armor or helmet. Downes built his personification of the Chief off a character description which called for a Clint Eastwood-type character of few words.

The Master Chief has been called a video game icon, a relative newcomer among more established franchise characters, such as Mario, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Lara Croft. The character has received mixed reception. Reviewers such as Kotaku have pointed to the Chief's silent and faceless nature as a weakness to the character, while other publications said this attribute allows players to better assume the role of the Master Chief. Gaming magazine Electronic Gaming Monthly named the Master Chief as the eighth greatest video game character ever. (read more...)

Featured comics character

Anarky is a fictional character appearing in books published by DC Comics. Co-created by Alan Grant and Norm Breyfogle, he first appeared in Detective Comics #608 (November 1989), as an adversary of Batman. Introduced as Lonnie Machin, a child prodigy with knowledge of radical philosophy and driven to overthrow governments to improve social conditions, stories revolving around Anarky often focus on political and philosophical themes. The character, who is named after the philosophy of anarchism, primarily espouses anti-statism. Multiple social issues have been addressed whenever the character has appeared in print, including environmentalism, antimilitarism, economic exploitation, and political corruption. Inspired by multiple sources, early stories featuring the character often included homages to political and philosophical books, and referenced anarchist philosophers and theorists. The inspiration for the creation of the character and its early development was based in Grant's personal interest in anti-authoritarian philosophy and politics. However, when Grant himself transitioned to the philosophy of Neo-Tech, he shifted the focus of Anarky from a vehicle for socialist and populist philosophy, to rationalist, atheist, and free market-based thought.

Originally intended to only be used in the debut story in which he appeared, Grant decided to continue using Anarky as a sporadically recurring character throughout the early 90s, following positive reception by readers and Dennis O'Neil. The character experienced a brief surge in media exposure during the late '90s, beginning when Norm Breyfogle convinced Grant to produce a limited series based on the character. The 1997 spin-off series, Anarky, was received with positive reviews and sales, and later declared by Grant to be among his "career highlights". Batman: Anarky, a trade paperback collection of stories featuring the character, soon followed. This popular acclaim culminated, however, in a financially and critically unsuccessful ongoing solo series. The 1999 Anarky series, in which even Grant has expressed his distaste, was quickly canceled after eight issues, but not before sparking a minor controversy by suggesting Anarky was the biological son of the Joker.

Following the cancellation of the Anarky series, and Grant's departure from DC Comics, Anarky experienced a prolonged period of absence from DC publications, despite professional and fan interest in his return. This period of obscurity lasted approximately ten years, with three brief interruptions for minor cameo appearances in 2000, 2001, and 2005. In December 2008, Anarky reappeared in an issue of Robin authored by Fabian Nicieza, with the intention of ending this period of obscurity. The storyline drastically altered the character's presentation, prompting a series of responses by Nicieza to concerned readers. The character has since become a recurring character in issues of Red Robin, authored by Nicieza. (read more...)

Featured list

The Naruto anime and manga series features an extensive cast of characters created by Masashi Kishimoto. The series takes place in a fictional universe where different countries vie for power by using ninja who can use supernatural abilities in combat. The Naruto storyline is divided into two parts, simply named Part I and Part II, with the latter taking place two-and-a-half years after the conclusion of Part I. The series' storyline follows the adventures of a group of young ninja from the village of Konohagakure.

The titular character of the series is Naruto Uzumaki, an energetic ninja who wishes to become Hokage, the leader of Konohagakure. During the early part of the series, he is assigned to Team 7, during which he meets Sasuke Uchiha, a taciturn and highly skilled "genius" of the Uchiha clan; Sakura Haruno, who is infatuated with Sasuke yet has Naruto's affection; and Kakashi Hatake, the quiet and mysterious leader of the team. Over the course of the series, Naruto interacts with and befriends several of his fellow ninja in Konohagakure as well as other villages. He also encounters the series' antagonists, including Orochimaru, a former ninja of Konohagakure scheming to destroy his former home, and the elite ninja of the criminal organization Akatsuki.

While developing the series, Kishimoto created the three primary characters as a basis for the designs of the other three-person teams. He also utilized characters in other shōnen manga as references in his design of the characters, a decision that was criticized by several anime and manga publications. The characters that Kishimoto developed were however praised for incorporating many of the better aspects of previous shōnen characters, although many publications lamented the perceived lack of growth beyond such stereotypes. The visual presentation of the characters was commented on by reviewers, with praise and criticism given to Kishimoto's work in the manga and anime adaptation. (read more...)

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