6 Movie Orphans Who Just Wanted A Family

Saturday, May 12 by Joseph Gibson

The Orphanage Scary Latino Religion Movies

Being an orphan might seem like fun. No one to tell you not to eat candy for breakfast, unlimited reign to stay up as late as you want, the freedom to work as long as you can in coal mines and as a chimney sweep– and yet, it's actually kind of tough. If you don't believe it, just ask one of these six movie orphans, who just wanted a family and who sometimes go to great lengths to secure a place for themselves in some kind of surrogate family. Or dress up like a bat and fight psychos. Whatever works.

John, "The Kid"

The titular character in Charlie Chaplin's "The Kid" is actually pretty lucky as orphans go – he gets to hang out with Charlie Chaplin, who as everyone knows is a lot of fun most of the time. Nevertheless, the State doesn't think a homeless petty thief with a proclivity for getting into dangerous slapstick situations makes a good father, so they try to take the kid away from the Tramp. It all ends up pretty well for everyone, though.

The Ellinson Girl, "Them!"

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One of the worst things about being an orphan is that sometimes the circumstances that lead to your becoming one are really, really terrible. That's definitely the case with this poor girl, who is rendered practically catatonic when her family is slaughtered by giant ants. She's so scared that it takes the smell of the ants' "formic acid" to snap her out of it – and even then she can only say one word: "Them!"

Mowgli, "The Jungle Book"

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Mowgli belongs to that orphan subgenre known as the "jungle orphan." It's fuzzy, especially in the popular Disney version of the story, how exactly he came to be raised in the jungle. He was just found in a basket, Moses-style, and left to fend for himself among the animals of the jungle. Luckily for Mowgli, the animals of the jungle are pretty friendly for the most part (a couple rotten apples like Shere Khan excepted).

Addie Loggins, "Paper Moon"

Life was tough for just about everybody during The Great Depression, but orphans had it especially rough. Addie has a pretty good coping mechanism, though, in the form of wisdom that goes well beyond her years and a razor-sharp mind. She's also just maybe got a line on her real father – she's got "his jaw," in any case. He's a con man though, so their brief partnership isn't as smooth as most father-daughter relationships. It's also way more hilarious, so it probably evens out.

Damien, "The Omen"

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Get this through your skull: Not all orphans are cuddly and friendly. Take Damien (please!), who was adopted by Gregory Peck after his wife's tragic miscarriage. One problem: His name is Damien. Do not name a child Damien! It leads to trouble. Oh, and there's a second problem: Damien is probably the Antichrist. Or maybe it's a coincidence that all these people around him are dying mysteriously?

Bruce Wayne, The "Batman" Movies

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They say that when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. In Bruce Wayne's case, the lemons are his parents getting gunned down in the street, while the lemonade is a lifetime of psychological torment manifested by Bruce's penchant for dressing up like some kind of human-bat hybrid and terrifying criminals through violence. Needs sugar.