Movies are often defined by their epic conclusions where good triumphs over evil. But is that what we really take from the experience? Of course not, we remember the crazy old men who help save the day. Their wise words stay with us even after the credits have stopped rolling.
This list is a celebration of the mentors who helped the heroes grow up and face reality. Let’s face it, without these guys none of these movies would have been very good.
Who would’ve thought that there was so much technique to the game of dodgeball? But it was Patches O’Houlihan who gave the Average Joes the skills they needed to save the gym. He threw wrenches at them and sent them through traffic, but at the end of the day his crazy antics got the job done. Sadly Patches did not survive the movie, but we’re all better dodgeball players after spending some time with him.
Favorite Quote “My sweet dick, it’s magic!”
9. Splinter (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Martial arts masters are usually portrayed in film as being a little out there. Splinter might actually be the sanest of them all. The wise old rat raised the loudmouthed and obnoxious turtles to be a force of good, no easy task. His calm demeanor served as the perfect foil for the Turtles, and he certainly provided them with the skills to defeat Shredder. His love of soap operas may have been a little weird, but Splinter was the true hero of the TNMT franchise.
Favorite Quote “Tonight you have learned the final and greatest truth of the Ninja: that ultimate mastering comes not from the body, but from the mind”
8. Chubbs Peterson (Happy Gilmore)
Chubbs didn’t exactly have the greatest life. An alligator bit off his hand and he died after falling out an open window. But that never kept him down. Part of what makes Chubbs so lovable is that he didn’t really have a motive for helping Happy. Humanity’s survival wasn’t at stake, he just helped out because he was a good guy. Without Chubbs, Grandma would have spent the rest of her years being tortured by Ben Stiller.
Favorite Quote “Spoken like a true asshole.”
7. Morpheus (The Matrix, not the second two those were bad)
I wouldn’t really like to have Morpheus as a mentor. He tricks people into coming into his cold “reality” and most of his speeches are a load of bull. But Morpheus fights for what he believes in and there’s honor to be had in that. He also has pretty cool sunglasses. The bottom line with Morpheus is that he trained Neo, who saved Zion. If lame philosophical quotes and trench coats are crucial to his teaching method, than so be it. Results are results.
Favorite Quote: “You take the red pill, you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.”
6. “Doc” Emmett Brown (Back to the Future Trilogy)
Marty Mcfly is a lot cooler than your typical sci-fi protagonist who tends to whine a lot. But the story is nothing without “Doc” Brown. He’s eccentric, funny, and always looking for an adventure. He gets bonus points for always being cool as 1955 “Doc” had just as much swagger as 1985 “Doc.” He also gets more bonus points for not learning his lesson as he married Clara and continued his time traveling adventures. “Doc” didn’t want to mentor Marty as much as he wanted to have a good time. But he did help Marty have a lot of fun. That’s got to mean something, doesn’t it?
Favorite Quote “Oh, look at these… underpants. They’re made of cotton. I though we would be wearing disposable paper garments by 1985″
5. Rafiki (The Lion King)
Having Rafiki as your mentor would have its ups and downs. I bet he would share whatever hallucinogenic drugs he was on with you, but he certainly was not the easiest person to understand. He also talked to dead people, which was kind of creepy. But there aren’t many mentors as wise as Rafiki. He was also one of the most well rounded mentors on the list. He was great at fighting, painting, meditating, and he was a pretty good emcee at baptisms. He might have had a few screws loose, but I’d train under Rafiki any day.
Favorite Quote: “Asante sana Squash banana”
4. Mr. Miyagi (The Karate Kid)
Mr. Miyagi may have used young Daniel to get his chores done, but he taught him some valuable life lessons nonetheless. Even though he didn’t like fighting, he was a master at karate. Miyagi also saves the anti-bullying movie from being a complete cliché with his catchy one-liners. Morpheus could learn a little about philosophical speeches from Miyagi. Miyagi showed the world that even something as simple as “wax on, wax off” could turn a whiney little Italian boy into a master of karate. Miyagi was so good that they replaced his character completely for that horrible Karate Kid remake. They can only be one Miyagi!!!
Favorite Quote: “Man who catch fly with chopstick accomplish anything”
3. Obi-Wan Kenobi (Star Wars Episodes IV-VI NO Prequels)
That wizard is most certainly not just a crazy old man. When he’s not chasing off Sand People with his accurate Krayt Dragon impression, old Ben makes a pretty good mentor. Obi-Wan may not have lived to see Luke mature past his whiney stage, but he got him on the right path. He might have lost points for failing with Anakin and for not killing Jar Jar Binks, but I try to pretend that the prequels don’t exist. Obi-Wan proved he deserves to be on this list for a few reasons. First, he defeated a man who has the death sentence on twelve systems with ease back in that cantina. Secondly he chose to spend the first few years of his afterlife making sure Luke was growing out of his rebellious teenage years. He had the patience that only a great mentor would have.
Favorite Quote: You can’t win, Darth. If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you could possibly imagine.”
2. Gandalf (The Lord of the Rings)
Expert wizard and skydiving enthusiast, Gandalf probably had the least amount of talent to work with out of any of the mentors on this list (half his team didn’t even bring shoes). How exactly did they get out of that cave? Without Gandalf, the Fellowship would not have made it out of Rivendell. He was a crucial component in nearly every battle in Lord of the Rings and could blow ships out of smoke. Talented? I think so. A lesser wizard would have fallen to the Balrog. His only real mistake was not killing Gollum when he had the chance. But things worked out in the long run.
Favorite Quote: “Do not mistake me for a conjuror of cheap tricks”
1. Yoda (Star Wars Episodes V-VI Definitely NO Prequels, no one likes Yoda doing back flips when he needs a cane to walk around)
At last we’ve come to the conclusion of the list. Yoda had a lot of screws loose, but what 900 year old who’s just spent a quarter of a century alone in a swamp wouldn’t be a little off? Obviously Yoda is the greatest mentor of all time. Sure these guys have all worked wonders, but did any of them turn a farm boy into a Jedi with a few hours of cardio and a couple mind tricks? Nope. He didn’t get much thanks either, he only got to sit and watch while the rest of the gang got to celebrate with the Yub Nub. Don’t we all wish we had Yoda to ride around on our back to teach us the wise ways of the force?
Favorite Quote: “Mudhole? Slimy? My home this is!”
So there you have it. The top 10 sages of film. Did my list make you incredibly happy or insanely furious? Leave a comment or make your own article (we’re hiring).