As I left the theater after watching Rise of the Planet of the Apes, my mind was working hard. There was something about the film that remained unexplained, some undefined plot hole that overshadowed an otherwise wonderful movie. I just couldn’t think of what it was. Then my friend turned to me and asked me this question:
“Man, why does Draco hate monkeys so much?”
That was it! What the hell was wrong with Draco? Every time Tom Felton‘s character appeared on screen, the film took an unnecessarily dark turn. It was like a grim version of Annie, except that Miss Hannigan was a hormonal boy and the orphans were apes (which is the plot of my next Annie-inspired fan-made musical, It’s a Hard Ape Life). Tom Felton’s Ratched-like character spent every on-screen moment either antagonizing the apes (and one particularly entertaining orangutan) or showing some of his unnamed friends how awesome he looks when he commits acts of animal cruelty.
What made this character—named Dodge, for some reason—particularly troubling, though, was that he had no reason to dislike apes. At no point in the film is the audience introduced to some dark backstory or an emotional disorder that would help explain Dodge’s aggressive anti-primate behavior. Instead, the audience is left to assume that Dodge is a genuinely and unnecessarily awful human being. At least Draco Malfoy could blame his parents…and Voldemort. Dodge can only blame himself. Get him, PETA.
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