Chucky (character)

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Chucky
Child's Play character
Chucky (Child's Play).jpg
Chucky as he appears in Child's Play (1988)
First appearanceChild's Play (1988)
Created byDon Mancini
Adapted byDon Mancini
John Lafia
Tom Holland
Portrayed byBrad Dourif
Fiona Dourif (Cult of Chucky and the TV series)
David Kohlsmith (young Charles; TV series)
Tyler Barish (teenage Charles; TV series)
Voiced byBrad Dourif
Edan Gross (Friendly Chucky)
John Franklin (walkabout; 1988 film)
Mark Hamill (Reboot film and Robot Chicken)
Nick Fisher (Friendly Chucky; TV series)
Performed byEd Gale (in-suit performer; films 1, 2 and 4)[1][2]
Debbie Lee Carrington (in-suit performer; Cult of Chucky)[3]
Brock Winkless (puppetry; from Child's Play to Bride of Chucky)[4]
Tony Gardner (puppetry; from Seed of Chucky to the TV series)
In-universe information
Full nameCharles Lee Ray
AliasesThe Lakeshore Strangler
NicknameChucky
SpeciesHuman
Doll
SpouseTiffany Valentine
ChildrenGlen / Glenda
RelativesElizabeth Ray (mother; deceased)
Peter Ray (father; deceased)
ClassificationSerial killer
Signature weapon(s)
Supernatural ability

Charles Lee "Chucky" Ray is a fictional character and the main antagonist of the Child's Play slasher film franchise. Chucky is portrayed as a vicious serial killer who, as he bleeds out from a gunshot wound, transfers his soul into a "Good Guy" doll and continuously tries to transfer to a human body. The character has become one of the most recognizable horror icons and has been referenced numerous times in popular culture. In 1999, the Chucky character was nominated for the MTV Movie Award for Best Villain for the film Bride of Chucky. He was created by writer-director Don Mancini and is portrayed by Brad Dourif in both live action and voice over.[5] For the 2019 remake of the same name, Mark Hamill voiced Chucky, having previously voiced the Charles Lee Ray version of the character in an episode of Robot Chicken.

Backstory[edit]

Charles Lee Ray was born on May 1st, 1958, in Hackensack, New Jersey. In 1965 when Charles was 7 years old, after he returned home from trick-or-treating during Halloween, he decided to pick up an apple that he received and noticed a razor blade stuck inside of it. He bit into it regardless and smiled after the razor blade cut into his mouth causing it to bleed. During Charles' eighth birthday party, he used a mallet to knock the piñata to the ground but continued to aggressively smash it even after it had fallen. He overheard the news of a serial killer on the loose on the radio and delighted in plunging a knife into his birthday cake. Later that night, an assailant broke into his home and stabbed his father Peter to death right in front of him. His mother Elizabeth attempted to hide in a closet with him, however, when the intruder found them, he was surprised to see that Charles had stabbed his mother to death, claiming to have "helped". The impressed killer gave Ray the advice of covering his tracks before leaving.[6] After his parents' deaths, Charles was placed in the Burlington County home for wayward boys. In 1972 when Charles was 14, he was known for playing with the smaller children, particularly a boy named Eddie Caputo who would become his future accomplice. One day after tracking mud through the hallway he was yelled at by the Janitor, Charles slit the man’s throat and cut off his hand so he could present him to the children as "Captain Hook" while playing Peter Pan. When the police came Charles decided to run away, leaving the Janitor's severed hand behind as a gift for Eddie before fleeing into the night.[7]

At some point in the 1980s, Charles picks up a woman named Delilah and a red-headed woman from a nightclub and takes them back to a hotel. As the two women start making out with each other, Charles takes out a knife and holds it over the red-headed woman. Instead of being afraid, the woman tells him to stab her. Ray then spares her and stabs Delilah instead. Charles invites the redhead to finish her off as she takes the knife and starts stabbing Delilah. After killing her together, the couple starts kissing passionately on the bed where the redhead tells Charles her name is Tiffany before suggesting Charles "should be Chucky" and he, in turn, suggests she should be blonde.[8] Chucky and Tiffany left Hackensack in 1987 after killing a man selling his car and driving out of town in it.

Chucky and Tiffany moved to Chicago in 1988 and settled in their new apartment by ordering pizza and killing the delivery boy. During his time in Chicago, Chucky became obsessed with a pregnant woman named Sarah Pierce and killed her husband Daniel before kidnapping her. At the same time tensions rose between Charles and Tiffany when Tiffany found out Chucky was killing people without her, leading to an argument that ended with Chucky storming out. Tiffany then made an anonymous call to the police, telling them the location of the Lakeshore strangler. The police found where Chucky was holding Sarah and angrily believing she had told them his whereabouts, stabbed her in the stomach, which would leave her unborn child Nica Pierce paralyzed from the waist down.

Appearances[edit]

Film[edit]

Chucky made his first appearance in the 1988 film Child's Play. In the film, a serial killer named Charles Lee Ray, aka Chucky (Brad Dourif) uses a voodoo ritual inside a toy store to transfer his soul into a Good Guys doll in an effort to escape from Detective Mike Norris (Chris Sarandon). Pretending to be an inanimate object, Chucky later is given to young Andy Barclay (Alex Vincent) and begins terrorizing the family, even when they realize that he is alive.[9]

Chucky made his second appearance in the 1990 sequel, Child's Play 2. In the film, a resurrected Chucky continues his pursuit of Andy, who has been placed in foster care after the events of the first film.[10]

In Child's Play 3 (1991), Chucky again returns from the grave eight years after the events of the previous film to terrorize a now teenage Andy (Justin Whalin) who is currently in a military academy.[11]

Bride of Chucky (1998) continues the story, with Chucky being resurrected by a former accomplice and girlfriend Tiffany Valentine (Jennifer Tilly). After transferring Tiffany's soul into a bride doll, the two terrorize a young couple in an attempt to transfer their souls into human bodies.[12]

Seed of Chucky (2004) follows six years after the previous film when Glen/Glenda (voiced by Billy Boyd), the child of Chucky and Tiffany (who also became a doll) brings his parents back to life. The trio then set their sights on actress Jennifer Tilly (in a fictionalized version of herself), for whom they have sinister plans.[13]

The 2013 film Curse of Chucky saw the series return to the straightforward horror elements found in the first three films.[14] The film takes place twenty-five years after the events of the first film, and in it, Chucky arrives at the house of Nica Pierce (Fiona Dourif) and her mother Sarah, a woman with a connection to his past. He ends up killing Sarah and the rest of Nica’s family before framing her for the murders.[15]

In Cult of Chucky (2017), Chucky returns to torment a now institutionalized Nica, while a now-adult Andy (Alex Vincent) attempts to stop Chucky's plans once and for all.[16] At one point, Chucky figures out how to split his soul into many bodies at once, thus creating a ‘cult’.

In the 2019 reboot of Child's Play, Chucky (voiced by Mark Hamill) is presented as a high-tech artificially-intelligent Buddi doll created by the Kaplan Corporation. Primarily designed to be a life-long companion to its owner by learning from its surroundings and acting accordingly, Buddi dolls can also connect to and operate other Kaplan products. One such doll has its safety precautions disabled by a disgruntled Kaplan employee during the assembly process, and as a result, Chucky gradually develops murderous tendencies as he tries to eliminate anyone or anything who's stopping him and his "best buddy", his owner Andy Barclay (Gabriel Bateman) from staying best friends forever.

Television[edit]

Chucky made his return to television on the October 12, 2021 premiere of Chucky, the sequel to Cult of Chucky. In this TV series, Chucky encounters 14-year old middle school student Jake Wheeler at a yard sale with his intentions to use him for his personal art projects. A younger version of Chucky as a human also appeared in flashback scenes which were portrayed by David Kohlsmith and Tyler Barish.[17] In flashbacks of the 1980s he's played by Fiona Dourif (who also appears in the present time as Nica Pierce) dubbed by Brad Dourif.

Other[edit]

On the October 12, 1998, episode of WCW Monday Nitro, Chucky made an appearance to promote Bride of Chucky and in the process confronting Gene Okerlund and Rick Steiner.[18][19] On October 26, 2021, Chucky co-hosted NXT: Halloween Havoc assisting with the spin the wheel make a deal matches.[20]

Development[edit]

Design[edit]

Child's Play creator and co-writer Don Mancini explained that Chucky draws heavily from the My Buddy dolls: "In my original script, he was originally called Buddy, and we couldn't use it because of the 'My Buddy' doll. The director went out and got a 'My Buddy' doll, a Raggedy Ann, a Raggedy Andy and one of those life-size baby infants. What I told [designer] Kevin Yagher was, I wanted something similar to a My Buddy doll. I described "Buddy" in my original script, now "Chucky", as wearing red-buttoned overalls, red sneakers, striped sweater, with red hair, blue eyes, and freckles. Kevin went off and sketched many designs of Chucky, until the final was picked. Yagher then built the first doll from those sketches and my details".[21]

Performance[edit]

For the first three films, Chucky was controlled by a team of nine puppeteers, led by Brock Winkless, who moved Chucky's mouth via radio control, wearing a rig that captured his own mouth movement. The others were in charge of operating the doll's head, face, and limbs. By Curse of Chucky, Chucky's mouth, now performed by lead puppeteer Tony Gardner of Alterian, Inc., was now operated via a radio-control unit without the need for a rig, and the doll himself now required fewer people to bring him to life. For the first film, for scenes where Chucky had to move around in wide shots, a little-person actor in a life-sized costume, Ed Gale, would portray Chucky in scenes where the character is walking, the props on the set enlarged to fit the size of the actor.[1][2]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Chucky Was Played by a Real Person Exclusive Interview with Ed Gale". iHorror | Horror News and Movie Reviews. January 29, 2015.
  2. ^ a b Navarro, Meagan (April 15, 2019). "[It Came From the '80s] How Actors and Effects Made a Killer Doll a Horror Icon in 'Child's Play'".
  3. ^ https://www.movieweb.com/amp/debbie-lee-carrington-dead-58-years-old/
  4. ^ Cheng, Cheryl (2015-07-30). "N. Brock Winkless IV, the Puppeteer of Chucky in 'Child's Play,' Dies at 56". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2015-08-23.
  5. ^ Langshaw, Mark. "'Revenge of Chucky' in the works, says Brad Dourif". Digital Spy. Retrieved 12 September 2013.
  6. ^ "I Like to Be Hugged". Chucky. Season 1. Episode 3. October 26, 2021. USA Network/SYFY.
  7. ^ "Just Let Go". Chucky. Season 1. Episode 4. November 2, 2021. USA Network/SYFY.
  8. ^ "Little Little Lies". Chucky. Season 1. Episode 5. November 9, 2021. USA Network/SYFY.
  9. ^ Tom Holland (Director) (1988). Child's Play (DVD). United States: United Artists.
  10. ^ John Lafia (Director) (1990). Child's Play 2 (DVD). United States: Universal Pictures.
  11. ^ Jack Bender (Director) (1991). Child's Play 3 (DVD). United States: Universal Pictures.
  12. ^ Ronny Yu (Director) (1998). Bride of Chucky (DVD). United States: Universal Pictures.
  13. ^ Don Mancini (Director) (2004). Seed of Chucky (DVD). United States: Rogue Pictures.
  14. ^ "Quint chats up Don Mancini, David Kirschner and Michelle Gold about the CHILD'S PLAY REMAKE and the new DVD!!!". Ain't It Cool News. August 19, 2008. Retrieved July 16, 2013.
  15. ^ Don Mancini (Director) (2013). Curse of Chucky (DVD). United States: Universal Studios Home Entertainment.
  16. ^ Don Mancini (Director) (2017). Cult of Chucky (DVD). United States: Universal Studios Home Entertainment.
  17. ^ Hamman, Cody. "Chucky TV series clip has the killer doll dissect a frog". JoBlo. Retrieved October 18, 2021.
  18. ^ "The Best And Worst Of WCW Monday Nitro 10/12/98: Shame Of Chucky".
  19. ^ "WWE on Youtube: Rick Steiner encounters Chucky from "Child's Play" on WCW". YouTube.
  20. ^ "Chucky To Appear at WWE NXT Halloween Havoc".
  21. ^ "YouTube". www.youtube.com.