Intelligent, studious and fiercely loyal – wholesome Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter films is the ideal on-screen role model for children.
LOVEFiLM worked with film education charity FILMCLUB to create a definitive list of movie characters whose behaviours mark them out as top role models for today’s youngsters, asking almost 1,000 British schoolchildren to vote for their favourites.
The Top Ten, which has been released today as millions of youngsters are returning to school after the Christmas holidays, recognises the positive influence movie portrayals can have on young film fans after the credits have rolled. Harry Potter’s Hermione Granger came top for her intelligence, strong work ethic and loyalty. Her courage makes her inspirational to the 19 per cent of young viewers who voted her in top, with one youngster commenting that Hermione “inspires her to be smart.”
Charlie Bucket from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is second for his outstanding loyalty (16 per cent). Young Charlie didn’t hesitate in choosing his family over a lifetime’s supply of chocolate proving that his family values are second to none.
In third with 15 per cent of the vote is Matilda, the heroine from the film of the same name. Matilda’s love for the written word sets her apart from her odious family. Her profound sense of right and wrong sees her triumph over the adults who have failed her.
Kevin McCallister from Home Alone is fourth in the list for his ingenuity and independence. Left home alone for the Christmas holidays and targeted by burglars, Kevin sets his wits against the ‘baddies’ with hilarious results. His resourcefulness, determination and unwavering love for his family shine through and appealed to 13 per cent of the schoolchildren asked.
Karate chopping his way into fifth is Dre Parker from the 2010 remake of eighties favourite The Karate Kid. Less serene than Hermione, Dre still appealed to 12 per cent of voters who identified with his experiences at the hands of school bullies and his determination to overcome them.
Toy Story’s cowboy hero Woody is sixth in the table and the only non-human role model included in the list. Trying to get back to his owner and making sure all his friends are safe, Woody may be a toy but he has a heart of gold that 11 per cent of the children polled found compelling.
Following through the doors of the wardrobe is Lucy from The Chronicles of Narnia (five per cent). Lucy’s strength and bravery was advanced for someone of her young years, and she insisted that her brothers and sisters stay in Narnia to put things right and rescue fawn Mr Tumnus.
Ten year old Chihiro Ogino (Sen) from Japanese cartoon Spirited Away is an ordinary heroine that children can relate to. “Chihiro is very stubborn and doesn’t like being turned away” were among the comments made by the four per cent that voted her into eighth place.
Arthur from The Sword in the Stone is number nine (three per cent). Approaching every task wizard Merlin sets him with determination; Arthur is one to look up to for steely nerve and a willingness to adapt to every situation. Two young voters praised Arthur’s bravery and honourable nature in their comments.
James from James and the Giant Peach rolls into tenth and final place for sheer determination and his easygoing and friendly nature in the face of tragedy and adversity. (Two per cent.)
The top 10 best movie role models according to FILMCLUB members age 7 – 17 are:
1. Hermione Granger from Harry Potter (19 per cent)
2. Charlie from Charlie and Chocolate Factory (16 per cent)
3. Matilda from Matilda (15 per cent)
4. Kevin from Home Alone (13 per cent)
5. Dre Parker from The Karate Kid (12 per cent)
6. Woody from Toy Story (11 per cent)
7. Lucy from The Chronicles of Narnia (5 per cent)
8. Chihiro Ogino from Spirited Away (4 per cent)
9. Arthur from Sword in the Stone (3 per cent)
10. James from James and Giant Peach (2 per cent)
Sam Wainstein from FILMCLUB said: “Films can have a powerful influence on the way children behave and interact with people around them. Characters that young people identify with tend to stay with them the longest and positive behaviours can be learnt by watching the way that fictional characters handle certain situations on-screen.
“We wanted to work with our philanthropic partner LOVEFiLM to compile a list which recognises and celebrates the positive influence these on-screen role models can have. We hope our list will also help parents and guardians when it comes to choosing films for their children to enjoy.”
Helen Cowley, Editor of LOVEFiLM added:
“Almost all of us can remember being inspired by a character whose big screen exploits stayed with us through our formative years. Young film fans can seek out the next generation of movie role models with LOVEFiLM’s selection of movies and TV series to stream instantly via LOVEFiLM Instant and on DVD and Blu-ray.”
LOVEFiLM has supported FILMCLUB since its pilot in January 2007 and works with the film education charity to supply a range of movies to more than 7,000 primary and secondary schools across the UK. The partnership between LOVEFiLM and FILMCLUB gives around 200,000 young people and their teachers the opportunity to enjoy film screenings in their schools each week.