“‘Fear’ is a four-letter word, ladies! You wanna go pee pee in your big-boy slacks, keep it to yourself!”
This is how we meet Sgt. Calhoun, the leader of the cybug-killing squadron of Hero’s Duty, the fictional first person shooter game in Disney’s arcade fantasy, Wreck-It Ralph. During a time when actual video game creators are leaving women out because of the “realities of production,” or whatever, we thought we’d take a look at some of the reasons why this animated video game badass stole our hearts.
“Flattery don’t charge these batteries, civilian.” Calhoun may have been crafted to look like the epitome of video game beauty with Lara Croftian proportions and flawless, high-definition skin, but she doesn’t know that. She has a squadron to lead, cybugs to kill, and an entire arcade of games to save. Eventually the slick tiddly-winking of the pint-size Felix steals her heart… but not until the job is done.
She was programmed with the most tragic backstory ever. When Felix correctly surmises that she’s one dynamite gal, we quickly learn that the only other person to say that to her was her first love–a fellow soldier consumed by cybugs on their wedding day. Tragedy as a source of character complexity is nothing new for a Disney character, and in this case it gives her a moment of clarity that allows her to maintain focus on the bug-killing task at hand.
“The selfish man is like a mangy dog chasing a cautionary tail.” In the Wreck-It Ralph universe, if a character dies outside her game, then it’s game over for good–no regenerating. That doesn’t stop Calhoun from entering the candy-coated heart of darkness that is Sugar Rush to track and stop her prey.
“Doomsday and Armageddon just had a baby and it. Is. UGLY.” When she realizes that the bugs have multiplied and are about to take over Sugar Rush, Calhoun evacuates the residents and shoots down bugs until she’s out of guns and out of ammo–and even then, she throws her gun as a last ditch effort to protect the civilians under her care. Cybugs may not know when to stop, but neither does Calhoun.
Have a favorite video game or animated character you’d like to see here? Let us know in the comments! Also, come chat with Dani about the merits of Calhoun @dani-ketch, and be sure to follow @LegionofLeia for more interviews, news, and character profile updates.