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Ranking: Every Wes Anderson Character From Worst to Best

on May 01, 2016, 1:15pm
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This feature originally ran in February and has been re-published today for Wes Anderson’s 47th birthday.

“It is an extremely common mistake. People think the writer’s imagination is always at work, that he’s constantly inventing an endless supply of incidents and episodes — that he simply dreams up his stories out of thin air. In point of fact, the opposite is true. Once the public knows you’re a writer, they bring the characters and events to you. And as long as you maintain your ability to look, and to carefully listen, these stories will continue to … Stop it! Stop it! Don’t! Don’t do it!”

–The author as an old man shot with pellets by his grandson, The Grand Budapest Hotel.

The world of Wes Anderson is a perfectly designed park that audiences have been so lucky to play in. Brimming with nostalgia, resolute framing, addled adolescence, troubled adulthood, and of course, sensationally drawn characters, Anderson builds terrific dramas and comedy of the surreally humane.

Today, in celebration of the 20th anniversary of his first film, Bottle RocketConsequence of Sound seeks to rank those characters — for their qualities, idiosyncrasies, and all around memorability. From Sam and Suzy to Ari and Uzi. Why there’s even room for Mr. Fox and Cody the three-legged dog.

But why? Because we can. Because Max Fischer would.

–Blake Goble
Senior Staff Writer

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161. Fire Chief

Martin Ballard, Fantastic Mr. Fox

Screen Shot 2016-02-21 at 1.03.44 PM

Like the pilot, the fire chief just does what he’s asked with little emotion on his face. We’d like him more if he actually enjoyed flushing animals out of their burrows, but instead, he’s an empty shell of a man. –Dan Caffrey

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160. Pilot

Rob Hersov, Fantastic Mr. Fox

88 Ranking: Every Wes Anderson Character From Worst to Best

The pilot for Franklin Bean is nothing more than a mustachioed stooge, eager to do anything for his mean-ass boss, no matter how horrible. It’s not the actions that make him bad, but his refusal to ask why he’s doing them in the first place. –Dan Caffrey

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159. Grande Dame

Lisa Kreuzer, The Grand Budapest Hotel

Lisa Kreuzer, The Grand Budapest Hotel

This is a deep cut Anderson character right here. Gotta look around the edges of the framing. Cultish German actress Lisa Kreuzer as the Grande Dame was one of Gustave H.’s many bedfellows. –Blake Goble

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158. Carmen

Anna Cifuentes, Bottle Rocket

Screen Shot 2016-02-19 at 11.05.52 AM

No, she doesn’t know where Inez is at this moment. Or where else she belongs in this film. –Michael Roffman

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157. Serge’s Sister

Giselda Volodi, The Grand Budapest Hotel

Screen Shot 2016-02-21 at 3.04.46 PM

Five lines: “Yes, sir?” “Yes, sir.” “No, sir.” “No, sir.” “Yes, sir.” Then she gets beheaded. –Allison Shoemaker

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156. Anita

Melinda Renna, Bottle Rocket

Screen Shot 2016-02-19 at 11.14.00 AM

Who could hang up on Anthony? She could. Anita doesn’t get much screen time, but she has one icy resolve. –Michael Roffman

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155. Rabbit Girl and Boy

Molly Copper, Fantastic Mr. Fox

Screen Shot 2016-02-21 at 1.35.15 PM

Rabbit Girl and Boy’s cuteness gets undercut by their crazed red eyes — unsettling in the worst way possible. –Dan Caffrey

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154. Rob

Stephan Dignan, Bottle Rocket

Screen Shot 2016-02-18 at 4.27.05 PM

Rob, aren’t you supposed to be in literature? –Randall Colburn

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153. Dr. Badger

Jennifer Furches, Fantastic Mr. Fox

110 Ranking: Every Wes Anderson Character From Worst to Best

Dr. Badger gets brownie points from us because she’s a pediatrician, and thus the resident healer in Fantastic Mr. Fox. She also looks exactly like her husband Clive Badger, which means he disappears all too easily in Bill Murray’s shadow. –Dan Caffrey

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152. Antonia Cook

Isabella Blow, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

Isabella Blow, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

Antonia only shows up in brief to congratulate Zissou on his success, and what a success it was. Seriously. (We wish it didn’t require the “seriously,” but hey.) –Dominick Suzanne-Mayer

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151. Mr. Beaver

Steven M. Rales, Fantastic Mr. Fox

Screen Shot 2016-02-21 at 3.41.11 PM

For most of the film, the bucktoothed rodent stands there like a goon in his three-piece suit, never uttering a word or offering to help. Only when he goes on a reconnaissance mission after the animals are holed up underground does he begin to distinguish himself. –Dan Caffrey

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150. Doug, Explosives Man

Tristan Oliver, Fantastic Mr. Fox

Screen Shot 2016-02-21 at 12.54.19 PM

It’s great that one of the film’s biggest catastrophes comes from an explosives expert who’s simply named Doug. “Contact!” –Michael Roffman

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149. Antonio Monda

Antonio Monda, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

122 e1456087808435 Ranking: Every Wes Anderson Character From Worst to Best

As much as it’s a hoot to see the real-life professor/director/essayist/cultural giant interview Steve Zissou in The Life Aquatic, most of the good stuff ended up on the cutting-room floor. –Dan Caffrey

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148. Izod

L.J. Foley, Moonrise Kingdom

L.J. Foley, Moonrise Kingdom

Izod is the kinda guy who will absolutely run off to get more gunpowder when so ordered. What? It’s not like they can all be memorable. –Allison Shoemaker

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147. Herr Mendl

Rainer Reiners, The Grand Budapest

herr mendl Ranking: Every Wes Anderson Character From Worst to Best

While he may have been a talented patisserie man … actually, Agatha did the work. Okay, while he might have had great craftsmanship and packaging design … well, again, that craft seemed like Agatha, and the design would have likely been outsourced. Yeah, alright, Herr Mendl was likely a touchy, credit-hogging, oddball loner wasn’t he? –Blake Goble

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146. Doctor

Dipak Pallana, The Royal Tenenbaums

Screen Shot 2016-02-21 at 12.00.50 PM

There’s not much to say about Dipak Pallana’s Doctor, though this won’t be the actor’s last appearance on this list. He’s also, interestingly enough, the son of Kumar Pallana, who we’ll meet later on. –Randall Colburn

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145. Rabbit’s Ex-Girlfriend

Allison Abbate, Fantastic Mr. Fox

Screen Shot 2016-02-21 at 1.09.41 PM

One of the many ancillary animals in The Fantastic Mr. Fox, she enjoys the title character’s newspaper column, but can’t be bothered to get a subscription because she’s too cheap. A boring, stingy accountant. No wonder she’s Mr. Rabbit’s “ex” girlfriend! –Dan Caffrey

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144. Lieutenant

Neal Huff, The Grand Budapest Hotel

Screen Shot 2016-02-21 at 3.02.52 PM

Anderson takes a lot of care with his films. Often even if a character’s known only by a title or description, they’re dynamic and feel real. This is not one of those cases. –Allison Shoemaker

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143. Dr. Nichols

Ned Dowd, Bottle Rocket

Screen Shot 2016-02-18 at 4.55.44 PM

Um, seems like a nice enough guy. He lets Anthony crawl out of his window with a rope of tied bedsheets and doesn’t call security, so that’s pretty cool. –Randall Colburn

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142. Mr. Mosher

Larry Pine, The Grand Budapest

larry pine grand budapest fixed Ranking: Every Wes Anderson Character From Worst to Best

Mosher’s not particularly interesting. But hey, he hired Zero! That’s cool! –Allison Shoemaker

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141. Panagle

Andreas Sheikh, Moonrise Kingdom

1471 Ranking: Every Wes Anderson Character From Worst to Best

Ever get the sense that Anderson likes to occupy an image with lots of people and takes joy in devising names then casting a person to fill a busy character shot? Panagle seemed like one of those inventions. –Blake Goble

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140. Bookstore Manager

Darryl Cox, Bottle Rocket

Screen Shot 2016-02-19 at 11.20.56 AM

“Don’t call me an idiot, you punk!” Few people, if any, could shut down Dignan. Could you imagine what a hard ass this guy is on any given day? Odds are his stockboys hate him. –Michael Roffman

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139. Anatole

Daniel Steiner, The Grand Budapest Hotel

Screen Shot 2016-02-21 at 12.11.53 PM

While he doesn’t do a whole lot, Anatole’s got two things going for him: he looks perfect in this movie, all skinny and wobbly and stuff, and he’s in every damn trailer (“The police are here”). That’s about it. –Allison Shoemaker

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138. Rowboat

Tak Kubota, Bottle Rocket

Screen Shot 2016-02-18 at 4.38.58 PM

Rowboat has a history with James Caan’s Abe Henry. What that history is we don’t exactly know. But you can’t argue with a nickname like Rowboat. –Michael Roffman

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137. Alice Whitman

Camila Rutherford, The Darjeeling Limited

Screen Shot 2016-02-21 at 4.37.06 PM

All that’s clear about Alice Whitman from her brief scenes in The Darjeeling Limited is that she and Adrian Brody’s Peter aren’t doing too hot in the love department. Not a surprise, I suppose, this being a Wes Anderson film and all. –Randall Colburn

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136. Bean’s Son

Garth Jennings, Fantastic Mr. Fox

Screen Shot 2016-02-21 at 3.36.35 PM

Ha, what a little twerp. All covered in gunk. Bean’s son probably got bad grades and was a wormy, entitled butthead, too. Call it a hunch. But nice comic relief. –Blake Goble

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135. Renzo Pietro

Pawel Wdowczak, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

Pawel Wdowczak, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

You know what’s pretty cool about Pietro, an otherwise forgettable character in a movie chock-full of memorable ones? He does sound for Zissou’s film, and he’s portrayed by the guy who was the movie’s actual sound designer. Cool, now let’s shag ass. –Justin Gerber

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134. Bernice

Haley Miller, Bottle Rocket

Screen Shot 2016-02-18 at 5.11.41 PM

Bernice may believe that Anthony is a jet pilot, but she sure knows when to leave a conversation. –Zack Ruskin

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133. Agnes

Juman Malouf, Fantastic Mr. Fox

Screen Shot 2016-02-21 at 2.21.02 PM

Agnes had nice spots. It was a tad peculiar that she got to hang with the Fox family in the end, but what do we know about foxes and their animal behavior? –Allison Shoemaker

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132. Bobby Ogata

Niels Koizumi, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

139 Ranking: Every Wes Anderson Character From Worst to Best

Of all the Team Zissou descriptions, “Frog Man” may be the strangest. But Ogata’s a good hand. Now put out those deck fires before we sink. –Dominick Suzanne-Mayer

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131. Roosevelt

Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick, Moonrise Kingdom

Screen Shot 2016-02-21 at 4.06.29 PM

“Roosevelt, how’s that lanyard coming?” “Horrible.” No joke — Roosevelt is very, very bad at lanyards. –Allison Shoemaker

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130. Mr. Herbert Billingsley

Larry Pine, Moonrise Kingdom

137 e1456078606141 Ranking: Every Wes Anderson Character From Worst to Best

We don’t spend long with Mr. Herbert Billingsley, but his phone call, in which he says he can no longer foster Sam, is a memorably heartbreaking moment. –Zack Ruskin

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129. Nico, Intern #1

Matthew Gray Gubler, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

136 e1456078660295 Ranking: Every Wes Anderson Character From Worst to Best

Nico was the finest, bestest intern. The one that stayed. Nico deserves any and all extra credit. –Blake Goble

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128. Gadge

Chadler Frantz, Moonrise Kingdom

132 Ranking: Every Wes Anderson Character From Worst to Best

We don’t know much about Gadge, but since he works as Scout Master Ward’s note-taker and is the first person to notice that Snoopy’s gone, we can assume he’s detail-oriented. –Allison Shoemaker

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127. Mrs. Bean

Helen McCrory, Fantastic Mr. Fox

131 Ranking: Every Wes Anderson Character From Worst to Best

A fantastic actress in her own right, the best part about McCrory’s character is the food she prepares. Stare into the “Famous Nutmeg Ginger Apple Snaps” and despair! –Justin Gerber

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126. Prisoner Günther

Volker Michalowski, The Grand Budapest Hotel

Prisoner Günther

Günther. Didn’t do much. Didn’t say much. But, he played an instrumental role in the escape of Gustave H. from prison in Grand Budapest Hotel, and that’s worth at least a mild commendation. Or maybe even a bigger piece of a Mendl’s treat. –Blake Goble

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