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Foil / Animated Films

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  • Brent and Flint in Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, especially in the first two acts of the film. At first, Brent is everything Flint is not: famous and well-liked by the whole town, if not the smartest fish in the school. But once Flint's invention gets going, their positions flip, with Flint being cheered by the crowds and Brent largely forgotten.
  • Gru and Vector in Despicable Me. Gru was motivated by his "Well Done, Son!" Guy from his mother and became a Jerkass with a Heart of Gold because of his desire to become an astronaut and go to the moon. Vector on the other hand isn't shown being motivated by anything and is a spoiled rich kid thanks to his father Mr Perkins. Gru struggled to get where he is and is legitimately talented and likes making friends (as seen with the Minions, Dr Nefario and eventually the girls). Vector doesn't have any real talent presumably getting all his technology from his dad, has a no non-aggressive contract with anyone except his father and no one is invited to his house. Even their houses play off of each other. Gru's house is normal, though slightly large and foreboding, with a secret underground lair and is between other houses. Vector's house just screams look at me! look at me! and is all alone.
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  • For Beauty and the Beast, Disney gave the story an antagonist in the form of Gaston to contrast with the Beast, with the Beast being ugly (well, by human standards, and that was before Furry Fandom exploded) but having a heart of gold and Gaston being handsome (somewhat) but having the heart of a pig. The earlier French film adaptation did something similar with Avenant, further driving the comparison home in the ending where Avenant turns into the Beast and the Beast turns into a handsome prince who looks suspiciously similar to Avenant.
  • Quite a few foils appear in Wreck-It Ralph:
    • First off, Ralph and Felix. The former is giant and destroys things while the latter is short and fixes things. Not to mention Felix is universally loved by everyone while Ralph isn't.
    • There is also the cheerful, Adorkable Felix with the cynical, rough Calhoun.
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    • Ralph's Gentle Giant nature is contrasted with Vanellope's initial Bratty Half-Pint behavior, though they eventually get along and bond over their desire for acceptance.
    • The most major one would be Ralph and King Candy/Turbo, who is a dark reflection of what Ralph's dissatification could have led to. Both leave their game in order to take what they think is due but whereas Ralph is ultimately good-hearted and makes up for his mistakes, Turbo cares for no one except himself and never learned from his mistakes in attempting to take control of other games. Also, Ralph was the antagonist of his game but becomes a hero where Turbo started as the hero of his game but becomes a villain.
  • Ronin the seasoned warrior, to Nod, the rookie warrior in Epic.
  • The Monsters, Inc. franchise:
    • Waternoose and Dean Hardscrabble from Monsters, Inc. and Monsters University respectively are excellent foils to each other. Both are people in a high position and rooted in the old ways of scaring. Dean Hardscrabble's cold, harsh personality and her demonic design contrast with Waternoose's grandfatherly, warm personality and his relatively harmless appearance. More about them is revealed throughout the films and Waternoose goes to extreme lengths (including kidnapping children) to support his company without showing remorse, while Dean Hardscrabble learns from her errors of prejudice. In the end, the kindly old man becomes hard and villainous, hindering the heroes but the strict headmistress becomes kinder, wishing Mike and Sulley good luck.
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    • Mike and Sulley, especially in Monsters University. Mike is very knowledgeable and skilled in scare tactics and theory but lacks the physical appearance and instinct of a true scarer. Sulley is gifted at scaring, having the build and natural abilities but lacks the technical aspect. Not to mention how people react to them. Mike is mostly ignored or seen as a nuisance whereas Sulley attracts attention and others admire him.
    • The Scare Floor scene in the first film highlights how different Sulley and Randall are when it comes to their job. Sulley is clearly enjoying what he does, remains energetic even to the end and has great teamwork with his assistant/coach Mike. Randall on the other hand is obsessed with outdoing Sulley, seen being tired halfway into the job and shouting abuse at his assistant.
  • Frozen:
    • Anna and Elsa, as a Sibling Yin-Yang.
    • Hans manages to be a Foil for almost every major character as he is shown as an Evil Counterpart to several of them, such as Elsa, Olaf, and even the Duke, Sven, and Anna herself. In particular, Kristoff and Hans are foils to each other. Hans is a sensitive, gentleman prince who experiences Love at First Sight with Anna. Kristoff is a rugged ice harvester who's a bit of a grump and chastises Anna for getting engaged to someone she just met. When Hans is revealed as the true villain, the foils are switched around; Kristoff actually has a Hidden Heart of Gold and has genuine feelings for Anna while Hans is a Villain with Good Publicity who was manipulating her to think he loved her the whole time. As of the sequel, Kristoff essentially succeeds where Hans failed, as Kristoff becomes the King of Arendelle out of genuine love rather than lies and manipulation. And, intentional or not, Kristoff primarily wears black during the epilogue where we see for the first time Anna as queen, while Hans was primarily in white during Elsa's coronation.
    • In A Frozen Heart, it's shown that Hans' family, especially his father and brothers, can be considered as polar opposites of Agnarr and Idunn. While Agnarr and Idunn love their children and each other, King Westergaard picks favorites among his 13 sons while letting them torment each other out of contempt and cruelty, and is at best apathetic towards his wife. Also, while both are responsible for children developing depression, Agnarr only wanted to keep Elsa and Anna safe, but Hans' father is unfeeling towards his sons.
      • On another note, the Southern Isles is the complete opposite of Arendelle. While Arendelle is a democratic monarchy whose queen and princess are open and friendly towards their people, the Southern Isles is a totalitarian Police State run by a violent man whose wrath knows no bounds, and treats his subjects like trash and his sons as his sycophantic enforcers.
      • Sibling relations. While the two sisters got along with and wanted to reconcile with each other, the 13 brothers do not get along with each other, as their father deliberately encouraged violence within his large family. Hans' thoughts throughout the book indicate that he even planned to rub his achievements in his brothers' faces. The brothers are also willing to use dubious means to achieve their father's respect.
  • Hiccup and the Big Bad Drago in How to Train Your Dragon 2. Both grew up fearing dragons before overcoming that fear and realizing that dragons could work with humans. They even both have artificial limbs; by contrast, Hiccup uses a gentle touch and Drago uses a harsh boot. But whereas Hiccup is curious and compassionate with working together with dragons, Drago seeks to rule over them through fear, brute force and intimidation. Hiccup works as a team with his dragon while Drago commands and orders his dragon.
    • How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World again features a villain who serves as a foil to Hiccup in Grimmel the Gastly, who not only controls dragons using drugs (specifically venom taken from one of the dragon species he controls) but who actually copied Hiccup's feat of shooting down a Night Fury when he was a child, except that Grimmel freely killed that dragon and all other Night Furies he could find where Hiccup was inspired to bond with the dragon and became a dedicated protector of all dragons.
  • The Book of Life:
    • Manolo and Joaquin. Both are skilled in their respective talents; however, Manolo is a Humble Hero, and Joaquin veers into The Fighting Narcissist. The two worry about living up to their fathers' expectations, except Manolo refuses to do so if it means killing the bull, but Joaquin will do anything, even using the Medal of Everlasting Life to do so.
    • Manolo and Xibalba. Both are Determinators concerned with gaining the favor of the women they love, but Xibalba is much shadier and willing to hurt others to achieve his goals, a sharp contrast to Nice Guy Manolo.
    • A rare marriage example with La Muerte and Xibalba. They are both Gods, but that's about the only thing they have in common. Xibalba thinks humans are selfish and unnecessary creatures; he is made out of everything icky and slimy in the world, and therefore hated and/or feared by all. On the other hand, La Muerte believes that mankind is good. She is a colorful character made out of everything good and sweet in the world, and therefore beloved by all.
  • In Big Hero 6, Professor Callaghan and Krei are explicitly set up as foils at the expo, with Krei wanting to profit off of Hiro's invention while Callaghan wants Hiro to use his talents for something more.
    • Hiro and Yokai/Callaghan. Both are genius inventors who lost a loved one and most of their actions in the film were driven by their grief and need for revenge. However, whereas Hiro learned to see the error in his actions and accept his loss, Callaghan was too mad by their grief to change and refused to let go of their bitterness. Also, Hiro was surrounded by friends and family who supported and helped him get through his depression while Callaghan kept their pain private and didn't tell anyone.
  • The Lion King: Simba and Scar start the movie sharing the same goal, and that's wanting to be king for the perks. But over the course of the movie, Simba eventually learns to take responsibility and learn what it truly means to be a king, while Scar (AKA Mr. "I'm the king, I can do whatever I want!") squanders his potential at being king by being very unhelpful during his reign.
    • In The Lion King II: Simba's Pride, Vitani and Nuka are foils. Both grew up with an abusive, neglectful mother, and both were embittered by the experience. But Vitani takes the first opportunity she can to leave her mother, and grows up to be a respected member of the Outlander pride. Nuka never breaks away from his mother's beliefs and seeks validation through bullying others (eventually dying in an attempt to murder Simba).
  • Po and Lord Shen in Kung Fu Panda 2. Both are the victims of traumatic pasts, Po witnessing the deaths of his mother and most of his species, and Shen being banished by his parents for causing it. But while Po eventually comes to grips with his past and moves on, Shen is consumed by his past and refuses to let go which ultimately gets him killed.
  • My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Friendship Games emphasizes this, introducing the Shadowbolts who are introduced with Versus Character Splash. Of particular note is Human Twilight Sparkle contrasting to Sunset Shimmer. Besides being a Shrinking Violet loner contrast to Sunset Shimmer's tight circle of friends, she's a major contrast to Sunset's own path to villainy. Sunset was an Alpha Bitch who sought to use magic to dominate and was stopped by Pony Twilight Sparkle. Human Twilight Sparkle was driven to villainy by peer pressure and sought to understand magic.
  • Robots has quite a few characters who act as foils to one another:
    • The first and foremost examples would have to be Bigweld and Ratchet. Both of them are the heads of Bigweld Industries during different points in the movie, but their motivations are complete opposites. While Bigweld is an Honest Corporate Executive who wants to make the world a better and easier place for everyone to live in, Ratchet is a Corrupt Corporate Executive who places making money over the endangered lives of others and wants to wipe every outmode out by manufacturing upgrades, which old and rusty robots can't afford.
    • Ratchet can also be seen as a foil to Rodney, with both of them being characters who get a significant amount of focus and having an ambition to get a position in Bigweld Industries. The difference between them is that Rodney is a humble and altruistic Wide-Eyed Idealist who is a strong believer in Bigweld's motto "you can shine no matter what you're made of" and wants to bring Bigweld back out of hiding to start making things better for everyone again, while Ratchet is an arrogant and materialistic scumbag who refers to robots who can't afford upgrades as "scrap metal" and wants to destroy Bigweld and every outmode so that everyone can be shiny like him.
    • Similarly, Rodney and Ratchet have parents that act as foils to each other. The former has Herb Copperbottom, a very warm and encouraging father who never stops believing in his son despite what may happen in a situation and values what happens to Rodney more than himself, while the latter has Madame Gasket, a cruel, bad-tempered and pushy mother who cherishes the benefit she gets out of Ratchet being the head of Bigweld Industries from being able to melt down outmodes into upgrades.
    • The two main girls who come into Rodney's life during the events of the film, Piper and Cappy, are foils to each other through being a Betty and Veronica pairing. They differ greatly in personality and express their attractions to Rodney in contrasting ways. Piper, for starters, is an outgoing, passionate and aggressive Tsundere who expresses her beginning admiration for Rodney by calling him "kind of cute" and doesn't find out what his ambition is until a bit later on. Cappy, on the other hand, has a much quieter, gentler and more level-headed personality, conveys her appreciation for Rodney through facial expressions rather than words, and is aware of his love for inventing from the get-go. The only things they seem to have in common are that they're both Nice Girls who are openly supportive of Rodney and his aspiration, and they also greatly demonstrate how competent they are in the midst of action, especially during the final battle.
    • Rodney also responds to their admiration for him in different ways. With Piper, he doesn't seem to be aware of her crush on him and shows no signs of having any romantic feelings for her, but with Cappy, he was instantly smitten with her from the moment they met and they eventually become the film's Official Couple by the end.
  • Zootopia: Judy looks like a By-the-Book Cop, but is willing to be a Cowboy Cop in pursuit of justice and defy her species role, while Nick is a conman who deliberately lives up to the stereotypes about foxes while following the law to the letter. note  Both faced prejudice, but while Judy became a determined optimist (who can also be manipulative), Nick became a manipulative cynic (who's gradually becomes more of an optimist).
  • Cars 3:
    • Jackson Storm is one to Lightning McQueen. He is a rude, arrogant, hotshot rookie racer, which is exactly how Lightning was in the first film. Lightning in the meanwhile has become an older racing legend.
    • Lightning himself has become one to Doc Hudson and the King, needing to choose between retiring with dignity, being forced into retirement, or trying to Take a Third Option.
    • Jackson Storm and Cruz Ramirez. Jackson was practically built to win races while Cruz was always discouraged from trying. Jackson is a black car and Cruz is a bright yellow car. Jackson and Cruz have completely different attitudes in regards to Lightning. Jackson sees him as someone to beat, while Cruz truly admires him. Jackson trains heavily on the simulator while Cruz has learned both from and alongside Lightning to deal with the unexpected on the track which helps her beat him.
  • Clayton is a foil to Tarzan. This example is quite similar to Gaston and the Beast. Despite Clayton growing up in civilization and Tarzan growing up thinking he was a wild animal, it is the former who acts more like a wild animal and the latter who is more civilized.
  • Kingpin serves this role to the main characters in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. The Spider-People all lost someone, but took responsibility for their role in the deaths and became heroes who fought to prevent it happening to others. Kingpin lost his wife and child, blamed Spider-Man, and is willing to hurt anyone it takes in order to get his family back.


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