It seems like a cliché, but in any film about a loveable loser, everyone wants the underdog to succeed and have a happy ending. In celebration of the release of Terri on Blu-ray and DVD on October 11, we have compiled a list of five of the greatest unlikely heroes in film. These five characters range from extraordinarily average to aggravated and antagonized, but they end up doing right by themselves and others, and come out on top in one way or another.
An overweight social misfit, Terri Thompson (Jacob Wysocki), is the lone caretaker and guardian for his elderly Uncle James (Creed Bratton). While struggling to find acceptance in school, Terri finds refuge in the company of his shy but pretty classmate Heather (Olivia Crocicchia). In an effort to bring Terri out of his awkward pajama-wearing shell, his off-beat high school principal, Mr. Fitzgerland (John C. Reilly) takes Terri under his wing to distract himself from his own painful divorce. What emerges is a lesson on growing pains for both of them, and learning to find a reason to spread their wings and fly.
Fifteen year-old Terri (Jacob Wysocki) is overweight and depressed about his life (he is the sole caretaker for his ailing uncle, and has no friends). Terri begins to slack off and starts wearing pajamas to school, so Mr. Fitzgerald (John C. Reilly), the school’s vice principal, takes Terri under his wing, and they form an unlikely bond. Through his connection with Mr. Fitzgerald, Terri meets the delinquent Chad, and they become buddies. And, when a pretty blonde girl is disgraced and thrown to the social skids, Terri befriends her, with unexpected results, leaving his life much better off than when the film began.
Napoleon Dynamite (Jon Heder) is an eccentric high school student who spends his time doodling ligers, practicing sweet dance moves, and having awkward interactions with his equally eccentric family (his unemployed chat room trolling brother and creepy has-been high-school football star uncle). After befriending transfer student Pedro (Elfren Ramirez), Napoleon decides to help Pedro run for class President. After finding out at the last minute that Pedro was required to perform a skit after his speech, Napoleon saves the day by performing a stellar dance routine, and the school gives him a standing ovation.
4) Dug from Up
Dug (voiced by Bob Peterson) from Up is a Golden Retriever who, through the use of a special collar, can talk. Dug is the misfit of his pack, often being shamed by the other dogs for being a failure and not doing what his master told him to do. However, when Dug meets Carl (voice of Edward Asner) and Russell (voiced by Jordan Nagai), he disobeys both his pack and his evil master to do what is right and help Carl and Russell rescue the exotic bird, Kevin. Dug may not be the smartest member of the pack, but he’s extremely loyal to Carl and Russell, and he ends up standing against evil, and helping save the day.
Lovable loser Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera) has an adoring (and young) girlfriend, Knives Chau (Ellen Wong), but when Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) comes into his life, Scott becomes infatuated with her, which makes him lose interest in Knives. However, in order to date Ramona, Scott learns that he must defeat her seven evil exes. When battling Ramona’s seventh evil ex, Gideon (Jason Schwartzman), for the second time, Scott says that he is fighting for himself, and gains “the Power of Self-Respect.” Finally able to defeat Gideon, Scott apologizes to both girls, and is able to start a fresh relationship with Ramona.