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Karma Houdini / Animated Films

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  • All Dogs Go to Heaven: The entire family of canidae (dogs) are karma-dodgers. The film states this is because dogs are naturally kind and loving, so they get a free pass.
    • Carface (the Big Bad of the film) also ends up in paradise after he's offed, even though he flat-out murdered another dog, held an innocent child captive for weeks, and engaged in all other sorts of nasty business. Karma bites Carface hard in the sequel. It's revealed that he's The Mole for Satan himself and is Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves in the end, being dragged kicking and screaming into Hell. He does make a Heel–Face Turn in the animated series, though.
      Itchy: What do you know? And I thought All Dogs Go to Heaven.
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    • As it turns out, the first time Charlie died, he only got into Heaven because he was a dog; Annabelle couldn't find a single redeeming quality in him. Of course, he does get redeemed at the end following a Heroic Sacrifice.
    • The way things play out actually make this a Zig Zagged Trope. Dogs do get into heaven by merit of inherent qualities but any that get in solely on that grace are unlikely to actually enjoy being in heaven given the traits they're likely to have. Not to mention that said dogs may well be ruled by their vices enough to try going back to Earth because they can't stand the thought of being dead, regardless of how they may benefit from the rule. And those that do return to life discover that an automatic guarantee to Heaven is a one off for if they die again then they go where their actions and qualities determine is fitting.
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  • An American Tail had three mean, cynical orphans near the end who bully Fievel, briefly convince him to give up looking for his family, make him throw a tantrum, lose hope, push him into a mud puddle and throw straw at him so he can make a bed. Though they are presumed to be scared away by Gussie and Tiger when they tried to take Fievel away from his family, or they had already left by then.
  • Anastasia: Young con-artist Dimitri comes up with the idea to find a random girl to impersonate the lost Grand Duchess Anastasia, giving him the chance to collect considerable reward money from her grandmother. His older friend Vlad is 100% complicit in this scheme, which includes convincing the heroine Anya that she might just be the lost princess, but whereas Dimitri pays mightily for attempting such an elaborate deception, Vlad is never punished at all, and in fact is portrayed from start to finish as a kindly older man who would do no harm to anyone.
  • Despicable Me:
    • Gru might be a Villain Protagonist (for a given value of "villain"; most of the evil he commits is barely above Poke the Poodle level), but the Miss Hattie runs an Orphanage of Fear, forcing her charges to sell cookies and putting them in the "Box of Shame" if they fail to meet their quota or rebel in any way. She receives no punishment whatsoever. The girls are taken back to the orphanage, due to a phone call from Dr. Nefario - actually done to get them out of the way so he and Gru could pull off their plan to steal the moon. Gru gets the girls back in the end, but Miss Hattie simply disappears afterward and presumably remains at her job, none the worse for the wear.
    • Vector's father, the Bank President who was actually the true mastermind behind what Vector was doing. It comes off as sort of ironic that the truly evil villains are the ones that get off scotfree.
  • Disney Animated Canon:
    • Cinderella: Lady Tremaine is one of the few Karma Houdinis in this canon, getting away with making Cinderella's life a living Hell for 20 years, even with The Hays Code in effect. In the more recent direct-to-video sequels, however, she gets punished by being humiliated (along with Drizella) in front of the King and the local noblemen after the Fairy Godmother's wand she stole turns them into frogs and then, when reversing that spell, makes them wear Cinderella-like clothing, complete with brooms and all. This actually happens in Cinderella III: A Twist in Time, which is set not long after the end of the original Disney movie and has Lady Tremaine, aside of abusing the wand's magic, manipulating a remorseful Anastasia (who's been retconned into a Naïve Everygirl) so she takes Cinderella's place with magic.
      • This is somewhat justified in that Cinderella actually does forgive her stepfamily in the original Perrault story, which the film follows. In that version, the younger of the two stepsisters was also much less of an evil bitch than the other one. There have been other interpretations of the story with one of the stepsisters being depicted as either the lesser evil or not so bad.
    • Pinocchio's got four of them, despite the The Hays Code being in effect. Foulfellow and Gideon trick Pinocchio twice, first to send him to Stromboli (who lost his star attraction and his investment in Pinocchio when he escapes, so it can be assumed the karma bullet manages to get a decent hit on him), and later to Pleasure Island and the absolute worst of them, The Coachman, who they're in cahoots with. Pleasure Island lures in and encourages boys to behave badly so they'll be transformed into jackasses and sold to salt mines as workers. Even though they turn children into slaves, wayward as they may be, they don't get their comeuppance. This arguably tells an aesop that you can't simply defeat or get rid of temptations in life, you just learn not to be drawn in by them.
      • In the original book, the (unnamed) fox and cat end up as miserable street beggars; the cat who used to fake blindness really became blind, and the fox had to sell his tail. They beg Pinocchio to help them, but he essentially tells them "good riddance".
      • According to the book Mouse Under Glass that there was a planned idea that, while heading off to save Gepetto from Monstro, Pinocchio would run into Foulfellow and Gideon again. They try to convince Pinocchio that they can help him, but apparently the third time's the charm, because this time he doesn't listen to them, and when they attempt to chase him down, they get caught by the police.
      • There's also the SNES Pinocchio game where at the end of the Pleasure Island level you get to fight the Coachman and throw him off a cliff to a Disney Villain Death.
    • Lady and the Tramp: The Siamese cats, who completely disappear after getting Lady muzzled and kicked out of the house, despite of The Hays Code being in effect at that time. At least their owner is implied to have done a Heel–Face Turn at the end and stopped hating dogs so much, so it's possible the cats did as well. The original cut was apparently worse, with the cats being far more malicious. Meanwhile, the rat who attacks the baby towards the end and does get comeuppance was portrayed as a comic bumbler. Walt Disney himself insisted that their personalities be switched with the rat portrayed as sinister (which also added some much needed tension to the climax) and the cats portrayed as more mischievous than evil.
    • Aladdin: Razoul, the Captain of the Guard, throws the hero off a cliff to certain death because Jafar paid him to eliminate the rival. This was when Aladdin was still disguised, so it wasn't even that Razoul was enacting vigilante justice on the thief he'd been trying to catch for years. Nevertheless, though Jafar gets his comeuppance at the end of the movie, Razoul not only escapes justice but retains his position as the resident Inspector Javert type throughout the 2 sequels (though he mellows at the end of the 2nd one).
    • Beauty and the Beast: Played with regarding the Enchantress that curses the Prince into the Beast and gets the entire plot rolling. The Enchantress shows up in an old crone disguise, offers the prince a rose that he doesn't have any real reason to take even if he wasn't a massive Jerkass at the time, and turns her away. She promptly reveals herself and curses him for being rude to an old woman he had no reason to suspect was a powerful enchantress (a reaction she obviously deliberately tried to invoke). Worse is that the Enchantress doesn't just curse the Prince for this, she curses all of his otherwise perfectly innocent servants and anyone else who happen to be in the castle at the time into appliances as well as the castle itself and much of the area around it into a grotesque shadow of it's former self, andputs a time limit to breaking said curse to "teach him a lesson", all of which for no reason as far as the viewers are ever shown. Worst of all, the Enchantress gets away scot-free for her terrible actions for all this without even a single mention of her by anyone after the introductory scene. It's probably worse, since in the movie, the Beast's servants mention they've been stuck as objects for ten years, and the rose dies when the Beast is twenty. This means Beast was either 9 or 10 when he was cursed. In other words, he was cursed because he didn't know any better.
      • There is also Monsieur D'Arque. After being bribed by Gaston into taking Maurice into the madhouse to enforce Gaston's Scarpia Ultimatum, he simply disappears from the movie.
    • Atlantis: The Lost Empire:
      • The Leviathan is a non-human example, having massacred nearly all of the 200-man crew aboard the Ulysses, and for all we know, it's still out there preying on unsuspecting trespassers.
    • The Nicelanders from Wreck-It Ralph. For thirty years they've made Ralph's life utter hell while taking his services to the game for granted, such that on the 30th anniversary of the game they purposely do not invite Ralph to the celebration, but they're immediately forgiven after a Heel–Face Turn (or at least a realization that the bad guy of a game is just as important as the good guy) at the end of the movie (though they get points for making a cake for Ralph as an apology).
      • Even more notable is Gene, the Mayor of Niceland. He's the one that essentially drove Ralph to go Turbo (i.e. game jump during business hours) in the first place over his constant degrading of Ralph and his role as the game's Bad Guy, as well as challenging him to go out and earn a Hero medal himself. The latter especially makes him a bastard as he thought Ralph wasn't serious about taking up his challenge. And as if all that wasn't bad enough, when Ralph does show back up to Fix-It Felix, Jr. (the game) midway through the movie, Gene is there waiting for him just to hoist additional guilt on him for ditching, all with the smugness of a man who believes he had no part in it. However instead of getting Hoist by His Own Petard, he gets away completely clean along with the other Nicelanders, though he's presumably much nicer to Ralph now.
  • Gnomeo and Juliet: Benny, Gnomeo's friend, manages to get away scot-free despite committing credit card fraud to buy a $20,000 lawnmower, destroying two entire gardens and nearly inadvertently killing the main characters of the film. He even gets a love interest during the Dance Party Ending. Completely averted in the original, as Ben is a pacifist and is one of the few characters still alive at the end.
  • Golden Films tends to do this with their villains, leaving their stories discontinued and unresolved.
    • In Pocahontas (Golden Films), Mr. Gains, the villain for the first half of the movie, disappears after Pocahontas gets married. Before that point, he had wanted the right to hunt animals in the forest. When he was attempting to hunt for food, he shot and killed one of Pocahontas's tribesmen. He also kidnaps Pocahontas herself and attempts to use her for his own personal gain. After her husband is introduced, Gains just disappears. It's never stated where he went or what happened to him. He's just gone.
    • Their version of Anastasia. Rasputin leads the revolutionary movement against the Romanovs and essentially takes over Russia. After his Villain Song, he's forgotten about for the remainder of the movie. Once Anastasia regains her memories after suffering from amnesia for a few years, the movie just ends. Russia is taken over by an evil magician who is responsible for the death of Anastasia's family and he is never punished for his crimes.
  • Home: Captain Smek is arguably responsible for everything bad that happens in this film, but other than losing the captaincy, he's never punished.
  • The Incredibles:
    • In the opening of the film, Bomb Voyage robs a bank, tried to kill Buddy Pine and destroyed a railway bridge causing the Super Registration Act to be enforced. Yet he managed to get away scot-free and possibly stayed at large for the remainder of the film.
    • A mugger got away with his assaulting a civilian after Mr Hugh threatened to fire Bob if he tries to go after him.
  • In Incredibles 2, the Underminer gets away with doing a lot of property damage and stealing money from banks.
  • The Secret Life of Pets: Even though Snowball switches sides near the end of the movie, he is the only flushed pet to not suffer any punishment (nor face real redemption, since Ozone—who took Max and Duke's collars—was shown at Leonard's party during the credits) for his actions halfway into the movie.
  • Downplayed for Mike in Sing. Although the movie ends with him on the run from the Russian Bear Gangsters for cheating them out of a lot of cash in a poker game, he also gets away with an impressive live television performance, an expensive sports car, and a girlfriend who's proven herself to be a loyal companion. So all things considered, he ended up rather well despite being his major Jerkass tendencies.


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