Charles F. Muntz
Premiered in: Up (2009)
Voiced By: Christopher Plummer
Charles F. Muntz of Up is yet another sympathetic villain to come from Pixar. Seriously, aside from Syndrome and maybe even Hopper, many of the Pixar villains are either justified for their behavior or have been pushed to villainy by the actions of the hero. Muntz is one such character thanks in no small part to his spending well over fifty years hunting for a species of bird so rare as to make Nessie appear common. His sole reason for even hunting the bird isn’t for personal gain or even for profit but to restore a once grand reputation that was ruined when he uncovered the bones of a dead specimen and presented them to the world only to be called a sham. Vowing to never return until he managed to capture a live one, Muntz set off on his dirigible, “The Spirit of Adventure,” and his pack of well-trained dogs.
Muntz’s “minions” are his dogs, which can sound rather sad as far as minions go but one must consider the fact that not only are these dogs trained to an incredibly frightening degree but they were also bred to have borderline human intellect. Muntz is a certifiable genius in breeding and invention, creating a series of collars that translate the speech of canines and his dogs are so intelligent that they can fly miniature fighter planes.
Yes. You read correctly. Dogs flying miniature attack plans.
Snoopy has to be a relative or something.
Anyway, while it is implied that Muntz at least attacked those whom he presumed were a threat to his capturing the bird, there was no evidence to his killing them. Heck, it even took Carl and Russell storming his blimp for him to try killing them. As it was said on Spike.com’s “The Top 10 Hollywood “Villains” Who Got Totally Screwed,” Muntz was perfectly within his rights to hunt and capture the bird, Kevin. All that he wanted from her was to have her as living proof that he wasn’t wrong all those years ago and he needed, nay, wanted her alive for that. I hate to say it, I really do, but one must also consider that the generation that Muntz is from, and even those of more recent years, are of the mindset that it is perfectly okay to take an animal out of its natural environment for further study and examination. Sure, Kevin would likely have been put in a zoo or perhaps even returned to Paradise Falls with tracking chips and the like, but she would have been alive and Muntz would have had his reputation restored.
In the end though, like a good number of Disney Villains, Muntz fell to his death long before his dream of redemption could be realized.
To wrap up this review, allow me a moment of interesting trivia. Charles F. Muntz is named for the man Charles F. Mintz, the man whom once had Walt Disney under his employ and whom, essentially, stole the rights of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit from him. I don’t quite know why they chose that name in particular though I suppose it was in honor of Disney buying the rights back to Oswald a couple years prior to Up’s release and at the beginning of its production.