Why Wouldn’t Chucky Switch to a Scarier Doll?
Ever heard the expression “bigger isn’t always better?” Well, Child’s Play director and writers believed that “bigger isn’t always scarier!” And they were right, as Child’s Play movies and the Chucky doll have been scaring horror fans for decades! The real fear created by the Child’s Play movies is two-fold, as seen from the perspective of either an adult or a child. Children expect their toys (especially dolls resembling human beings) to be friendly and fun to play with. Parents expect their children’s toys to be safe and harmless. A killer doll that has been gifted to your child, who only interacts with the child in secret is bad news. It’s much worse when that doll convinces or uses your child to do bad things.
Why Did Chucky Pick Such a Small, Incapable Doll?
Most Child’s Play fans have wondered: Why didn’t Chucky Possess a Different Doll?
Unfortunately for Charles Lee Ray, the serial killer responsible for the voodoo possession ritual, selection was rather slim. At the time of the possession, Charles was desperate and on the run, evading imminent capture and likely death for his murders. Should he have had the chance to choose any doll, he likely would have chose a life-size version of Jason Voorhees, considering the Friday the 13th series had already been released for about 8 years. Instead, however, his options were limited and he only had the ability to possess a simple “Good Guy Doll.” The Good Guy Doll was a really popular toy in the movie and gave Chucky a lot of great chances to blend in with the commonplace and really lower his victims’ guards.
Besides, the doll becomes more and more like the grungy-looking Charles Lee Ray we know from his human serial killer days, picking up tears, scars and grime that better fit the character of a slasher.
Behind the Scenes: Why Not Pick a Scarier Doll?
The idea that a regular toy a child and parents alike could trust that had so wildly saturated the toy industry marketplace to the point everybody wanted one made for a strongly vulnerable scenario. At the time of the first Child’s Play movie in 1988, a popular chain of dolls had already hit the market in real life: the My Buddy doll. These dolls were so popular nearly everyone had one, despite the fact they were creepy as hell! Child’s Play writer, Don Mancini, admitted that these My Buddy dolls were his inspiration for the killer that is infamously known as Chucky today. In fact, the original script even called the killer “Buddy” instead, though it was not usable due to the real-life dolls flooding the toy industry. Combining Raggedy Ann, Raggedy Andy and My Buddy concepts, the Chucky doll designer Kevin Yagher was able to create the Chucky look we are familiar with. The size never seemed to be an issue, and the writer and team appear to have relied on the psychological facets of horror instead, choosing to maintain the small size of the My Buddy doll while creating their horror slasher, Chucky. In fact, the Chucky doll’s small size contributes to the horrible fact he could be hiding anywhere!
Final Notes About Chucky and Child’s Play
The size of the doll in the Chucky films is by no means a measurement of the terror invoked by its presence on screen! And while Charles may not have chosen Chucky out of a wide selection of dolls, the small stature had plenty of advantages. After all, Chucky may be small but he is a thoroughly creepy doll who has the ability to strike fear into the heart of nearly any viewer!
Tritone’s love of horror and mystery began at a young age. Growing up in the 80’s he got to see some of the greatest horror movies play out in the best of venues, the drive-in theater. That’s when his obsession with the genre really began—but it wasn’t just the movies, it was the games, the books, the comics, and the lore behind it all that really ignited his obsession. Tritone is a published author and continues to write and write about horror whenever possible.