6. Teddy – A.I. Artificial Intelligence
Steven Spielberg’s A.I. Artificial Intelligence is a dystopian sci-fi fairytale, but it’s also not short of heroic characters. Perhaps the most memorable of these is Jude Law’s Gigolo Joe, a lover-bot who becomes the temporary protector of the film’s protagonist, David. However, the real unsung hero of A.I. is Teddy, the living stuffed animal who acts as the Jiminy Cricket to David’s Pinocchio.
When David is first adopted, he’s given Teddy, who once belonged to Martin, the “real” son who was put into stasis after being diagnosed with a terminal condition. Once Teddy and David have gotten acquainted, Martin makes a miraculous recovery and returns home. Teddy, remembering Martin’s mistreatment, sticks with David. In fact, Teddy sticks with David far beyond what you’d expect from any robotic toy.
Whenever David is about to do something stupid, Teddy warns him against it. Whenever David’s in trouble, Teddy shows little concern for his own safety as he attempts to protect his new owner. In fact, after David is kidnapped and caged, Teddy is picked up by a little girl. Instead of accepting a new, safe home, Teddy insists that she take him back to David, showing a level of loyalty to the (robotic) boy that belies Teddy’s heroic nature.
Teddy also tags along on David’s quest for no reason other than loyalty, and finds himself trapped in ice for 2000 years with the boy before the film’s bizarre climax. David is undoubtedly A.I.‘s protagonist, but Teddy is clearly the film’s hero.
Most fellow readers of LOTR tend to believe Sam is the main character of the entire story. He is considered a ring bearer and does eventually leave the for undying lands. His worth and perception in the entire story is more inline with the reader than say Frodo.